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Blackstone buying Hawaii hotel; J. C. Penney to close store at Simon mall

Commercial real estate

* Private equity giant Blackstone Group LP is acquiring The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel in West Maui, Hawaii, for an undisclosed sum, Pacific Business News reported.

A joint venture between funds managed by the real estate group of Ares Management LP, SMW Hospitality LLC and Honolulu-based Trinity Investments LLC previously acquired the 297-room hotel in November 2016 for $210 million, according to the report. A multimillion-dollar revamp of the property was completed in January.

* J. C. Penney plans to close its store at Simon Property Group Inc.'s Northgate Mall in Seattle in 2019, according to The Seattle Times. The regional shopping mall property is slated for a transformation to a mixed-use center, with NHL Seattle recently choosing the site for its corporate headquarters and a training center.

J. C. Penney spokesman Joey Thomas told the publication in an email that the department store chain, which had been operating at the mall since 1965, decided not to be a part of its redevelopment. A closing date is yet to be determined, according to the report.

* A joint venture between private equity firm Eagle Four Partners and High Street Real Estate Partners acquired the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Colorado's largest hotel, for an undisclosed price.

Chartres Lodging Group LLC had sold the property on which the asset sits in 2015 for $210 million to AVR Realty Co. LLC and David Werner Real Estate Investments but retained ownership of the hotel and agreed to lease back the land, The Denver Business Journal reported, citing public records.

The new owners plan to renovate the 1,231-room hotel, which also includes 133,000 square feet of meeting room space and amenities including a rooftop pool, a fitness center and several restaurants.

* Digital Realty Trust Inc. sold a mostly vacant data center building in San Francisco's SoMa district to Madison Capital and PGIM Real Estate for $95 million, the San Francisco Business Times reported. Digital Realty paid $82 million for the 160,451-square-foot 360 Spear St. property in 2011.

The new owners plan to redevelop the property into a creative office, life sciences and technology hub, the report added, citing Alfonso Munk, PGIM Real Estate's Americas chief investment officer.

* Toll Brothers Inc. division Toll Brothers Apartment Living plans to invest a total of $132 million to develop 499 apartment units in downtown Phoenix, the Phoenix Business Journal reported. The plans comprise a 243-unit project at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Van Buren Street with a price tag of $62 million and a $70 million luxury project with 256 units at Central Avenue and Thomas Road.

Citing Todd Bowden, regional director of development and acquisitions for Toll Brothers Apartment Living, the report added that both projects are expected to commence in 2019 and open in late 2020.

* WeWork Cos. signed a 117,000-square-foot lease for floors 12 to 17 at 575 Lexington Ave. in Manhattan, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing the co-working firm. A joint venture between Normandy Real Estate Partners LLC, Angelo Gordon & Co. and George Comfort & Sons paid $510 million for the 35-story tower in 2015.

The lease, WeWork's seventh in Midtown East, comes after the company crowned itself as Manhattan's largest office tenant.

* Chinese developer Greenland Holding Group Co. Ltd.'s Greenland USA unit filed plans for an 810-unit rental building at 18 Sixth Ave. in Brooklyn, N.Y., which is part of the company's stalled 15-building Pacific Park project, The Real Deal reported.

The building, set to feature 727,000 square feet of residential space and 52,000 square feet of commercial space, was previously planned to offer 551 rental and 213 condominium units across a 760-plus unit tower. Greenland USA earlier divested a portion of the 22-acre mega development to TF Cornerstone and the Brodsky Organization in an attempt to meet the state's deadline to complete 2,250 affordable apartments by 2025.

The remaining scheme, according to some estimates, might not be completed until 2035, the report noted.

* Tech giant Google is considering a roughly 100,000-square-foot lease at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza in Reston, Va., from Comstock Cos., the Washington Business Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Google representatives did not respond to an email requesting a comment on the deal at the 365,000-square-foot office building, while a representative of the landlord declined to comment.

* Joint venture partners Magellan Development, Corner Partnership and Hospitality Gaming Advisors obtained financing worth $133 million for the construction of a $190 million hotel in Nashville, Tenn., Commercial Property Executive reported.

Goldman Sachs and Lionheart Strategic Management extended the senior and mezzanine loan, offering co-terminus initial terms of three years. The 346-room, 16-story property is expected to open at 12th Avenue South and Pine Street in the fall of 2020.

* Costco Wholesale Corp. is seeking up to 1 million square feet of distribution space in Houston, the Houston Business Journal reported, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the deal. The sources said the retailer has been looking to buy land in west and northwest Houston, including at the 150-acre Pintail Crossing Business Park that is being developed by Hines.

* The Chicago area industrial market logged $2.8 billion in investment sales in 2018 through September, marking a $447 million boost compared to the year-ago period, The Real Deal reported, citing Newmark Knight Frank's third-quarter study. The present pace of investment sales is on track for an annual record, according to the report.

In the third quarter, the Chicago area industrial market's vacancy rate fell to 7.8% and rents reached a record $5.43 per square foot, up 4% year over year. The third-quarter absorption of roughly 4.9 million square feet is the highest quarterly figure since 2016.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng slipped 0.11% to 26,172.91, and the Nikkei 225 declined 1.32% to 23,469.39.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.32% to 7,209.38, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.39% to 1,024.09.

On the macro front

The Redbook report is due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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