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WeWork adopting alternate deal structures in US; NYC hotel could sell for $135M

Commercial real estate

* WeWork Cos. Inc. signed a nontraditional lease at the University of Maryland at 7761 Diamondback Drive in College Park, Md., among other places, as part of a change in its approach to dealmaking in the U.S., Commercial Observer reported.

The coworking giant's chief real estate development officer, Granit Gjonbalaj, told the publication that WeWork is also implementing alternate transaction structures, instead of operating exclusively on a lease basis in the country. WeWork may shape the alternate deals as revenue sharing, profit sharing and operating management agreements.

* Toby Moskovits is reportedly considering a sale of the Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn, N.Y., with Brookfield Property Partners LP among the interested parties, unnamed sources told Commercial Observer. The sources said that although no formal bidding was being held, two interested parties offered between $850,000 and $900,000 per room for the 150-room hotel at 96 Wythe Ave., translating to roughly $135 million at the upper end.

* Development funding in the New York City borough of Bronx reached $3.48 billion in 2018, reflecting a new high since at least 2009, The Real Deal reported, citing the annual Bronx development report. In 2018, 8,885 housing units were developed in the borough, including 4,225 units built using government subsidies. The number of housing units marked a post-2009 record.

Of total development funding, residential developments accounted for about 75%, or $2.63 billion, while institutional and commercial projects represented about 15%, at $489 million, and 10%, at $362 million, respectively.

* Noble Investment Group LLC affiliate NF III Ft. Lauderdale LLC sold a 236-room hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to 17th Street Hotel LLC, an affiliate of Wurzak Hotel Group for an approximate sum of $61.9 million, the South Florida Business Journal reported, citing a deed filed in county records.

Spanning 254,606 square feet, the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel is part of the Marriott International Inc. brand. The buyer obtained a $42.3 million mortgage from Barclays Capital Real Estate for the property, which last traded for $48.1 million in 2015.

* Fifield Co Ltd. lodged plans to develop a 533-unit rental tower at the mixed-use $4 billion Miami Worldcenter project in downtown Miami, The Real Deal reported. The developer will pitch the 47-story, 738,000-square-foot building, including about 15,000 square feet of retail space, to the city's Urban Development Review Board on March 20.

The 10-block Miami Worldcenter will also feature a 348-room CitizenM hotel, a 434-unit rental tower from Zom Inc., a 1,100-space parking garage, a 1,700-room convention center hotel from MDM Development Group Inc. and an office tower with up to 500,000 square feet of space that Hines is constructing, the publication added.

* According to the Financial Times, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. signed the $4.7 billion deal for a roughly 62% stake in Oaktree Capital Group LLC to make itself more resilient in case of a financial crisis. After the global economic crisis in 2008, Oaktree, as one of the biggest buyers of distressed debt, generated significant profits, the publication noted. When the economy bounced back, however, Oaktree returned the unspent cash to clients as there were no longer enough deals for its distressed investment fund, the publication added.

* California Home Builders Inc. secured a $90 million construction loan from the U.S. Bank for its 347-unit residential project in the Warner Center neighborhood of Los Angeles, The Real Deal reported, citing title documents. The developer received a $63.8 million construction permit for the Q West development in November 2018. The project will also offer 18,000 square feet of commercial space upon completion, the news outlet added.

* The New York state Supreme Court overruled a decision by the New York City's Board of Standards and Appeals to allow Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd.'s U.S. unit, Mitsui Fudosan America, and SJP Properties to construct a nearly 670-foot apartment tower on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Crain's New York Business reported.

The plaintiffs who challenged the project hope to limit the tower to its current height of about 17 stories, instead of the 51 stories that the developers have proposed for 200 Amsterdam Ave., the publication said, adding that the opponents have pointed toward "the unorthodox way" in which the builders put together the development rights for the project from several neighboring properties. The developers have already started construction on the site, which they acquired for nearly $300 million in 2015.

Housing

* Thirteen U.S. states posted annual increases in foreclosure starts, or new foreclosure lawsuits, filed in February, with Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles recording gains of 74%, 15% and 7% in foreclosure starts, respectively, an indication that the housing market is slowing down, The Real Deal reported.

Citing an Attom Data Solutions report, the news outlet added that total existing foreclosures are down and the number of U.S. properties that banks repossessed in February stood at 11,392, down 7% from the previous month and 12% on a yearly basis.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.56% to 29,012.26, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.77% to 21,450.85.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.56% to 7,225.49, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.90% to 1,046.14.

On the macro front

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the industrial production report, the consumer sentiment report, the JOLTS report, the Treasury international capital report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report 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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