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2 Fla. resorts sell for $100M; NYC affordable project gets $700M refinancing

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2 Fla. resorts sell for $100M; NYC affordable project gets $700M refinancing

Commercial real estate

* Gencom Asset Management LP acquired two resorts in St. Pete Beach, Fla., for $100 million from Excel Hospitality Inc. The waterfront hotels total 258 rooms.

The 156-room Grand Plaza Resort spans 3.71 acres at 5250 Gulf Blvd. and the 102-room Beachcomber Beach Resort and Hotel spans 6.27 acres at 6200 Gulf Blvd., according to Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which marketed the assets on behalf of the seller.

The buyer plans $24 million worth of renovations and upgrades for the properties.

* TF Cornerstone Inc. secured financing worth about $700 million for its Hunters Point South affordable housing development in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing property records.

The package included a roughly $173.3 million mortgage for the 56-story tower at 52-03 Center Blvd. from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The city's Housing Development Corp. provided another $282.3 million, including bonds, for the 776,624-square-foot building.

Also a part of Hunters Point South is a roughly 400-unit tower spanning 384,000 square feet at 52-41 Center Blvd., which received about $245 million in financing from the Housing Development Corp.

* The Manhattan, N.Y., office leasing market reached a record 32.4 million square feet in 2018, marking the highest annual figure since 2000, The Real Deal reported, citing CBRE. The market's average annual figure over the past 10 years has been 25.8 million square feet, with the 2018 total outpacing the average by 26%.

The record performance was attributed to a strong economy, expanding office employment and a booming stock market. Financial service firms accounted for 28% of Manhattan's office leasing activity in 2018. Leases by co-working firms jumped to 18% from an average of between 2% to 4%, the publication added.

* Casper Sleep Inc. has leased 70,000 square feet of office space at Silverstein Properties Inc.'s 3 World Trade Center in Manhattan, The Real Deal reported, citing unnamed sources and confirmation from the landlord. The e-commerce mattress retailer plans to move to the 2.5 million-square-foot tower by the end of summer. The building, opened in June 2018, is now 40% leased, the report noted, citing the landlord.

Silverstein Properties is among the companies being threatened by a hacker group with the release of litigation documents relating to the destruction of the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

* Merrimac Ventures is proposing a 32-story apartment project in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fla., at a 33,750-square-foot site at 616-624 S.E. Fourth Ave. and 625-633 S.E. Fifth Ave., the South Florida Business Journal reported. The project, known as 629 Residences, is slated to go before the city's Development Review Committee Jan. 8.

The development would comprise 249 apartments and 1,300 square feet of ground-floor retail and a number of luxury amenities targeting an older demographic, the report added, citing Merrimac's Dev Motwani. The site holds small residential buildings.

* WeWork Cos. Inc. has leased roughly 54,000 square feet across four floors at the Esplanade complex in Phoenix for what will be the co-working giant's first location in the city when it opens in the third quarter, the Phoenix Business Journal reported. Citing Esplanade owner LBA Realty, the publication added that WeWork would be the biggest tenant in the development's Tower I at 2425 E. Camelback Road.

* Amazon.com Inc. is said to be among the potential buyers of Equity Commonwealth's Bellevue Corporate Plaza property at 600 108th Ave. NE in downtown Bellevue, Wash., the Puget Sound Business Journal reported, citing "a well-placed commercial real estate industry source with indirect knowledge of the situation."

The source told the publication that Tishman Speyer and Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. are also among potential buyers for the 10-story property. Equity Commonwealth has been planning a two-tower office and hotel project at the site for several years, and the plans would keep the Bellevue Corporate Plaza building, according to the publication.

* Kilroy Realty Corp. sold a three-building office campus in Calabasas, Calif., for $78.2 million. The Calabasas Park Centre spans 225,340 square feet and is 96% leased. A joint venture between Related Fund Management and Cruzan was the buyer.

Housing

* Bloomberg News featured a report on the opposing sentiments of homebuilders and companies that build rental housing. While homebuilders are worried at the prospect of rising interest rates deterring buyers in an already expensive market, rental developers are expanding in hopes that leasing homes would fare better than selling them.

A number of rental home developers are planning expansions and projects during 2019 amid high demand, and some builders are developing with the intention of selling to rental operators, the news outlet added, citing Ryan McBride, COO at CoreVest American Finance Lender LLC.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.82% to 25,835.70. The Nikkei 225 rose 2.44% to 20,038.97.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.63% to 6,794.27, and the Euronext 100 retreated 0.48% to 916.89.

On the macro front

The Institute for Supply Management's nonmanufacturing index, the TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index and the factory orders 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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