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Austin, Texas' tallest tower planned; GGP inks lease for HQ relocation

Commercial real estate

* Lynd Development Partners and Lincoln Property Co. plan to develop what would be the tallest building in Austin, Texas, the Austin-American Statesman reported. Michael Lynd Jr., president and CEO of The Lynd Co., told the publication in an interview that the proposed mixed-use tower is designed to comprise 62 stories, but this could potentially be increased to the "mid-70s" range.

The tower is expected to have more than half a million square feet of office space and over 300 luxury apartments, along with ground-floor retail space, the report said, citing Lynd. It will be situated in a block in downtown Austin that presently houses an Extended Stay America hotel. Lynd was cited as saying that his company has the site under contract from Extended Stay America Inc. for an undisclosed price.

Construction on the project, which is slated to last four years, is expected to commence in nine to 12 months.

* GGP Inc. leased 168,000 square feet for its new headquarters in Chicago, Bisnow reported. According to the report, the company has leased the space at the River North Point building, where it is expected to move in the first quarter of 2018. GGP was previously reported to be considering a move to the Blackstone Group LP-owned property, half a mile from its current headquarters at 110 N. Wacker Drive.

A partnership between Howard Hughes Corp. and Riverside Investment & Development plans to build a 51-story office tower at the location of GGP's present headquarters.

* On a similar note, Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. is relocating its headquarters in Tysons, Va., with a 31,000-square-foot lease at Lerner Enterprises' 17-story 1775 Tysons Blvd., the Washington Business Journal reported. The real estate spin-off of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. is moving from 1600 Tysons Blvd., which is also owned by Lerner, the report noted.

* Citing an interview with the incoming CEO of Choice Hotels International Inc., the Washington Business Journal reported that the company intends to expand its higher-end Cambria and Ascend brands with new openings in the Washington, D.C., area.

Patrick Pacious told the publication that Choice Hotels is looking into developing a new hotel in the Crystal City, Potomac Yard and Alexandria areas, and is also scoping out opportunities in Baltimore, Md., as well as in Virginia. The company has more than 70 Cambria hotels in the pipeline, the report noted.

* Essex Property Trust Inc. and Swenson Builders plan to develop a 16-story residential tower at 412 Madison St. in the Jack London Square district of Oakland, Calif., the San Francisco Business Journal reported. According to Essex CEO Michael Schall, it is too early to pin the 294-unit project as rentals or condominiums.

* The Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield, Mo., that was formerly owned by CBL & Associates Properties Inc. could be placed on the market by the fall, the St. Louis Business Journal reported, citing Libbey Tucker, director of community services and economic development for the city. The property was placed in receivership in August 2016 after CBL & Associates defaulted on a $140 million loan on the property.

The mall is owned by C-III Asset Management LLC. Citing data from Trepp, the report noted that the appraised value of the mall dropped to $30.2 million in April 2016, from $63.5 million in May.

* The Wall Street Journal featured a report on the $1.4 billion Westfield World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, N.Y., which is nearing the first anniversary of its opening. The retail component of the Westfield Corp. project now has 82 shops open, up from about 60 when it first opened its doors.

* Kensico Properties has placed the leasehold for its 23-story office property at 509 Madison Ave. in Midtown Manhattan on the market, The Real Deal reported, citing confirmation from the landlord. The 165,000-square-foot, 1929-built property could fetch up to $165 million, the report noted, citing sources familiar with the asset.

The property is 90% leased, the report said, citing Kensico principal Fouad Chartouni.

* A joint venture between Rubenstein Partners LP and Onyx Equities LLC off-loaded an office building in Basking Ridge, N.J., for about 4x the sum it invested, the Journal reported. The duo sold the property at 211 Mount Airy Road for $98.5 million to Harbor Group International LLC.

The venture paid $12.5 million to acquire the property from Avaya Inc. in 2013, before carrying out an $11 million overhaul and modernization. In 2016, pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Inc. inked a 16-year lease for the entire 306,000-square-foot property.

After the bell

* Dream Office REIT will buy and cancel a total of 20,952,380 of its series A units at a price of C$21.00 apiece, based on the preliminary result of the company's modified Dutch auction offer.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.46% at 27690.36. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.52% to 20,055.89.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.14% at 7,522.26, while the Euronext 100 had fallen 0.04% to 1,011.71.

On the macro front

Gallup US consumer spending measure, the labor market conditions Index, the TD Ameritrade IMX, and the consumer credit report are due out today.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

The Week in US Real Estate: Spirit Realty spins off; Wyndham Worldwide unwinds: The Aug. 4 weekly news roundup in the North American real estate space also features new developments in the Sabra Health Care REIT-Care Capital Properties merger and numerous capital-markets activities.

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