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Strategic dispositions; all aboard

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of U.S. real estate news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

The abbreviated holiday week was mostly quiet in REITworld, although a few items did grab headlines.

Strategic dispositions

* Welltower Inc. closed on the sale of 28 long-term and post-acute care facilities to a joint venture and restructured two loans to tenant Genesis HealthCare Corp.

Welltower will own a 25% stake in the joint venture, which also includes Cindat Capital Management and Union Life Insurance Co. With the purchase of 11 senior housing properties from Welltower, which is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2017, the joint venture is expected be valued at approximately $930 million.

The Genesis loans will be split into four loans with five-year terms that carry interest at 10% cash pay with annual escalators of 25 basis points.

* Vornado Realty Trust announced it will recognize a fourth-quarter noncash gain of approximately $486 million from the sale of its Skyline office park in Fairfax County, Va. The property hit the auction block Dec. 21 after Vornado defaulted on the terms of its $678 million mortgage.

As a result of the disposition, approximately $237 million in assets and $723 million in liabilities related to the property will be removed from Vornado's balance sheet.

* New York REIT said independent proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. recommended shareholders vote in favor of the REIT's proposed liquidation and dissolution plan at a special meeting slated for Jan. 3, 2017.

All aboard

* Vornado expanded its board of trustees to 10 members with the addition of Mandakini Puri, an independent consultant and a member of the Validus Holdings Ltd. board. Puri previously served as a managing director and co-head of BlackRock Private Equity.

* SL Green Realty Corp. added Carlyle Group LP partner and managing director Lauren Dillard to its board as an independent director, effective Dec. 30.

* Healthcare Trust Inc. added a new independent director to its board. Lee Elman was appointed effective Dec. 21 and will serve on the board's auditing and nominating and corporate governance committees.

* Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.'s real estate spinoff, Park Hotels & Resorts Inc., appointed Darren Robb senior vice president and chief accounting officer, effective Dec. 20. Robb hails from Hilton Worldwide, where he most recently was vice president, global head of financial reporting and accounting policy.

* Sentio Healthcare Properties Inc. appointed Spencer Smith, a senior vice president at its adviser, Sentio Investments LLC, as its new CFO, treasurer and secretary, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Spencer, who was responsible for investment strategy, capital markets and corporate finance at Sentio Investments, will replace Sharon Kaiser, who is resigning.

Bulking up

* Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT II Inc. acquired a two-building office property in Birmingham, Ala., for roughly $131.6 million. The asset encompasses 669,440 square feet and is fully leased to Southern Co. Services Inc. on a triple-net basis. The lease expires in March 2044.

* Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. closed on its largest single-asset purchase to date with the acquisition of the Rivergate Shopping Center in Macon, Ga., for approximately $37.3 million. The company said it would consider selling off all or a portion of the outparcels at the Publix-anchored center.

* Pure Multi-Family REIT LP agreed to purchase a Dallas apartment community for $40 million. The property comprises 288 units and was acquired at a going-in cap rate of 5.3%.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Data Dispatch: Trump win a snag in Mexican REITs' growth story: U.S. and European investors in recent quarters have warmed to the FIBRAs, but their share prices fell sharply after the U.S. election as talk of a potential trade war with Mexico circulated.

Data Dispatch: REIT shares suffered after new classification: The creation of a new sector for real estate in the Global Industry Classification Standard coincided with increased investor concerns about valuations and interest rates, REIT observers said.

Data Dispatch: December state of the housing market: Recent data showed overall favorable conditions in the U.S. housing market, with home prices, new home and existing home sales rising annually and monthly, while completed foreclosures decreased.

Data Dispatch: 139 North American real estate companies increase dividends through Dec. 15: Between Dec. 2 and Dec. 15, 15 SNL-covered North American REITs announced dividend increases.