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Equity Commonwealth off-loads 6 US properties; lender seizes California hotel

Commercial real estate

* Equity Commonwealth closed a six-asset, multi-state sale for a combined sum of $216.1 million.

The company sold a five-property office and industrial portfolio spanning 1.0 million square feet for a gross price of $84 million. The properties are in Maryland, Minnesota and Missouri. Meanwhile, a 640,000-square-foot office asset at 6600 North Military Trail in Boca Raton, Fla., fetched $132.1 million.

* Ownership of the Hyatt Hotels Corp.-operated Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif., was transferred to its lender, CW Capital Asset Management, following a failure by the former owners to settle a debt amounting to $186.5 million, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a grant deed "in lieu of foreclosure" recorded in early June. Broadreach Capital Partners bought a controlling interest in the 329-room hotel in 2007 when it was valued at $251 million, according to the report.

* Co-working giant WeWork Cos. acquired Unomy, an Israeli competitive intelligence business platform, for an undisclosed amount, New York Business Journal reported. Unomy will provide WeWork with a sales and marketing intelligence platform aimed at connecting salespeople with potential customers, the report noted.

* In a filing with the U.K.'s High Court of Justice's Chancery Division, WeWork claimed that UrWork, its competitor in China, infringed trademarks, Bloomberg News reported. WeWork is represented in the action by London law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP. The Chinese company denied the claim, according to the Aug. 14 report.

* Equator Capital Management inked a 99-year, $70 million ground lease for a development site in Staten Island, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing Pure Properties Commercial Division's Eugene Rivera who brokered the deal. The private equity firm plans to develop a 136,000-square-foot self-storage building at the 2-acre property at 2601 Veterans Road West that is owned by A. Tranchina Inc.

* The number of grocery stores in Chicago and close-in suburbs is down to an eight-year low of 262, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing an urban grocery report by retail brokerage Mid-America Real Estate Group. The stores occupy a little more than 9.3 million square feet of space, also the lowest figure since 2009, the report noted. Since the last report in 2015, the number of stores in the area fell by 15, with total grocery store space down by 544,512 square feet.

After the bell

* An Equity Commonwealth unit sold the building at 6600 N. Military Trail in Boca Raton, Fla., to Office Depot for roughly $132.1 million, the South Florida Business Journal reported.

Gaming

* Station Casinos' Palace Station casino in Las Vegas is set to receive a $76 million upgrade that will see the addition of luxury movie theaters, a pool complex, restaurant and bar, as well as a sports book and poker room renovation, the Star Advertiser reported. The casino recently saw a $115 million renovation and expansion that removed its railroad theme, the report added. The new upgrade is expected to complete by 2018-end.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 1.36% at 27,250.23. The Nikkei 225 was down 0.98% at 19,537.10.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.62% at 7,354.97, and the Euronext 100 had risen 0.80% to 994.03.

On the macro front

There are no notable reports due out today.

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* REIT Replay: Pain and gain: Real estate investment trusts slid further and the broader markets posted gains Friday, Aug. 11.

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