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NYC tower lands $850M refi; American Campus buys AvalonBay property in Seattle

Commercial real estate

* Walton Street Capital L.L.C. has shelved its plans to sell its 49% stake in Manhattan, N.Y.'s 237 Park Ave. tower, The Real Deal reported, citing sources familiar with the transaction. Walton and partner RXR Realty LLC have refinanced the office asset with an $850 million mortgage from Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale, the report said, citing the sources.

The partners acquired the 21-story, 1.25 million-square-foot tower in 2013 for $810 million.

* American Campus Communities Inc. bought the 283-unit AVA University District apartment property in Seattle from AvalonBay Communities Inc. for $112.1 million, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported, citing a King County deed. Citing American Campus' website, the report said the asset is the company's only property in Seattle, and has been renamed Twelve at U District.

* Blackstone Group LP is looking to sell three properties it purchased as a result of its $39 billion acquisition of Equity Office Properties Trust in 2007, Bloomberg News reported. The company will put San Francisco's historic Ferry Building on sale in the "coming weeks," the report noted, citing Blackstone spokeswoman Christine Anderson. Blackstone is expected to take in more than $300 million from the sale.

Additionally, Blackstone is aiming to sell a Snap Inc.-anchored office park in Santa Monica, Calif., and a 32-floor office tower at 100 Summer St. in downtown Boston. The private equity giant reportedly stands to triple its $3.8 billion equity investment with the sale of the three assets and several smaller holdings.

An affiliate of the company was recently reported to have placed the 589-room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel on the market in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for an expected price of $175 million.

* An investor group led by Gem Realty has snapped up the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, one of the biggest hotels in downtown Phoenix, for $107 million, AZCentral.com reported, citing real estate records.

The 693-room asset was sold by DiNapoli Capital Partners, which had paid $96 million for the property in 2008, according to the report.

* Office leasing activity was down 21% year over year in May at 2.3 million square feet, The Real Deal reported, citing Colliers International. For the first five months of 2017, total office leasing activity in Manhattan reached 14.6 million square feet, a little more than 5% below year-ago levels for the same period.

The report noted that deal volume in Manhattan's office leasing market is holding steady as other markets like hotels, retail and investment sales show "significant signs of adversity."

* Citing an advertisement by Chinese migration agency Wailian Group, The Real Deal reported that Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group are planning to raise an additional $380 million via EB-5 investors to fund new developments in the duo's Hudson Yards project in Manhattan.

* Co-working office space provider WeWork leased 52,613 square feet at 655 Montgomery St. for its 10th location in San Francisco, the San Francisco Business Times reported. The space in Jackson Square is slated to open Nov. 1, the report said, citing WeWork director of public affairs Taylor Patterson.

* German grocery chain Aldi Inc. plans to invest $3.4 billion to boost its U.S. store count to 2,500 from 1,600 by 2022, Reuters reported. It also plans to spend $1.6 billion to remodel 1,300 of its existing U.S. stores.

The news outlet noted that Lidl, a rival German store chain, plans to open the first of its planned 100 U.S. stores June 15 as competition heats up in the grocery segment.

* The Croasdaile Village retirement community in north Durham, N.C., is set to undergo a $70 million expansion, the Triangle Business Journal reported. The community is owned by United Methodist Retirement Homes and has had state approval since 2015 to add up to 34 further adult care home beds to the 110-acre campus, the report said.

Housing

* A new research commissioned by the National Association of Realtors examines the five root causes of the low homeownership rate in the U.S. despite improving job markets and low mortgage rates. The factors identified in the white paper include increased student loan burdens, a lack of single-family affordability and a shortage of single-family housing supply.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng closed 1.24% lower at 25,708.04, while the Nikkei 225 decreased 0.52% to 19,908.58.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down by 0.14% at 7,516.47 and the Euronext 100 0.96% lower at 1,014.05.

On the macro front

The U.S. Treasury monthly budget is due out today.

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The Week in US Real Estate: Quality Care could acquire troubled tenant; Plymouth hits the public market: The June 9 weekly news roundup in the North American real estate space also features a possible bidding war over Forestar Group and a mandatory buyout in the healthcare REIT sector.

Conference Chatter: Retail bears stalk mall REIT management at REITWeek: Investors and analysts barraged regional mall management teams at REITWeek, probing for clarity on the future of the business.

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