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Armada Hoffler joins 30-story Tenn. project; 2 towers planned in Atlanta

Commercial real estate

* Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. has teamed up with The Mainland Cos. on the latter's proposed 30-story One KVB Tower in downtown Nashville, Tenn., the Nashville Business Journal reported, citing multiple real estate sources. The development will rise on a Mainland-owned 1.3-acre site in the SoBro district.

Law firm Baker Donelson has signed up to occupy 92,000 square feet at the 425,000-square-foot tower. The publication added that Armada Hoffler was previously involved in the development at an earlier stage and has now rejoined the project.

* CA Ventures is proposing two towers in Atlanta, plans for which are set to be presented to the Midtown Development Review Committee on Oct. 9, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. A 27-story student housing tower is planned at Spring and 3rd streets with 320 units and 315 parking spaces, the publication noted, citing Midtown Alliance.

The second project is a 32-story residential tower at 903 Peachtree St. with 417 market-rate units and 549 parking spaces.

* Bloomberg News featured a report on the rise of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., and the city's current status as one of the priciest commercial real estate markets in the country. The news outlet noted that Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. co-founder and Chairman Joel Marcus was "one of the driving forces" behind the city's transformation. The company has 4.8 million operating square feet in Cambridge, with 164,000 square feet under development.

Citing CBRE Group Inc., the news outlet noted that average third-quarter office rents in Cambridge were $82.23 per square foot, compared to $82.51 per square foot in Midtown Manhattan, N.Y., the priciest commercial real estate market in the U.S. The downtown Cambridge market has a vacancy rate of 3.6%, compared to the national average for major downtown markets of 10.5%.

* First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. is developing an up to 1.9 million-square-foot industrial park, dubbed First Aurora Commerce Center, in Aurora, Colo., the Denver Business Journal reported. The developer expects to complete a $38.3 million, 555,840-square-foot logistics center by summer 2019 in the project's first phase.

Four of the project's five buildings will be built on a speculative basis. First Industrial paid $8.8 million for the 138-acre site.

* Sales of new condominium units in Manhattan, N.Y., dropped more than 30% in the third quarter compared with the same quarter in the previous three years, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an analysis of sales records. The third quarter is typically the busiest for apartment sales, the publication added.

According to brokers and real estate lawyers, many developers have started offering reduced prices, while agreeing to cover closing costs too, the publication said, adding that brokers are also being offered increased commissions.

* The retail vacancy rate in the Chicago area is expected to fall to 6.2% in 2018 from 6.6% in 2017, The Real Deal reported, citing a report from Marcus & Millichap. The city's West Loop and River West neighborhoods have experienced the sharpest declines in vacancy rates to 2.8% and 4.8%, respectively, of all 11 Chicago-area submarkets covered by the data.

The average asking rent saw a 3.4% growth across the metro area and is expected to reach $17.60 per square foot in 2018. For the full year, roughly 2 million square feet of new retail space is projected to become available in the area, versus the 2.3 million square feet of space that came online in 2017.

* Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions is looking to rebalance its $633 million AEW-managed U.S. real estate portfolio, with plans to acquire new assets worth as much as $100 million and sell some properties in fiscal-year 2019, according to IPE Real Assets, which cited a board meeting report.

AEW will target industrial, multifamily and high-grade retail assets for the portfolio that comprises 1,141 apartment units across 15 investments spanning 3.3 million square feet of commercial space.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 1.39% to 26,202.57.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.56% to 7,277.39 and the Euronext 100 slipped 0.74% to 1,031.23.

On the macro front

The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index 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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