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$2B project planned in Florida; San Francisco tower stake up for $500M sale

Commercial real estate

* Royal Palm Cos. is planning a $2 billion project in St. Petersburg, Fla., spanning roughly 50 acres south of the downtown area, the Tampa Bay Times reported, citing property owners who have been approached about selling. The proposed project would include both affordable and high-end housing.

* New York State Teachers' Retirement System affiliate Knickerbocker Properties Inc. is looking to sell a 49% stake in its 39-story 525 Market St. building in downtown San Francisco for almost $500 million, the San Francisco Business Times reported, citing three sources familiar with the discussions.

The 1,086,700-square-foot property, built in 1973 and renovated in 2016, counts Inc. and Sephora among its tenants, the report noted.

* Thor Equities LLC purchased the Center of Excellence life sciences campus in Bridgewater, N.J., for $152 million, Bloomberg News reported, citing an interview with founder and CEO Joseph Sitt. The nearly 800,000-square-foot property is leased to Nestlé Health Science and Ashland Global Holdings Inc., among other tenants.

Sitt told the news outlet that the company plans to spend tens of millions on the property to expand its leasable space by 1 million square feet or more. The acquisition is in relation to the company's newly launched division called Thor Sciences, which will develop and manage properties in the life sciences space.

* Developer Hines is proposing a 32-story, 900,000-square-foot office project in Oakland, Calif., the San Francisco Business Times reported, citing an online pre-application. The project at 415 20th St. in the Uptown District would replace a four-story building in the site, which Hines acquired in June for $36 million.

* Drug developer ChemoCentryx Inc. is leasing 96,463 square feet at Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc.'s Alexandria District for Science and Technology project under construction in San Carlos, Calif., the San Francisco Business Times reported, citing a filing from ChemoCentryx. The project is at 825 and 835 Industrial Road.

ChemoCentryx is the first tenant to sign a lease at the 526,178-square-foot project and is expected to occupy the space in August 2020.


* The Wall Street Journal featured a report on the record occupancy levels reported by Invitation Homes Inc. and American Homes 4 Rent at a time when home sales are in a slump. The relatively new home-rental sector is posting higher occupancy than the apartment sector, which is overbuilt, the publication noted, citing John Pawlowski, an analyst at research firm Green Street Advisors.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 2.85% to 26,151.32, while the Nikkei 225 shed 1.74% to 20,720.29.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 2.18% to 7,245.47, and the Euronext 100 lost 2.19% to 1,028.29.

On the macro front

The US PMI services index, the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index and the TD Ameritrade investor movement index are 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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