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$535M financing approved for Baltimore project; work begins on $2B NYC tower

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$535M financing approved for Baltimore project; work begins on $2B NYC tower

Commercial real estate

*Gramercy Property Trust Inc.paid $112.8 millionto acquire four single-tenant industrial properties in the Baltimore and Miamimetropolitan statistical areas in two transactions.

*DuPont Fabros Technology Inc.priced anunderwritten offering of 7 million shares of its 6.625% series C cumulativeredeemable perpetual preferred stock. The company expects to garner $169.0million from the offering, or $194.4 million if the underwriters' option for anadditional 1,050,000 shares is exercised in full.

* Brazilianbank Itau Unibanco Holding SA is looking to move out of the -owned GeneralMotors Building in the so-called Plaza district of Manhattan, N.Y., as part ofa cost-cutting measure, Bloomberg News reported,citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

Rentsin the district rank the highestin Midtown Manhattan, the news outlet said, citing Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Thebank is scouting a new location in Manhattan, according to the report.

*Work has commenced on a 1.8 million-square-foot skyscraper at Hudson Yards in westManhattan, according to a Bloomberg report.Moinian Group is investing as much as $100 million for foundation works at the66-story tower, which does not have any leasing commitments.

Moinianexpects the roughly $2 billion project to land an anchor tenant beforeabove-ground construction commences, according to the report.

* The Wall Street Journal featured a reporton political organizations and hotel unions' efforts against Airbnb in New YorkCity. The organizations have been lobbying for legislation to curtail the room-sharingservice.

*Baltimore's finance board approved $535 million in tax increment for the Port Covingtonredevelopment, according to a reportfrom the Baltimore Business Journal.Sagamore Development Co. is working on the mixed-use scheme that aims toprovide up to 13 million square feet of offices, homes, stores and restaurants,among other things, over a 20-year period, as previously.

*Hong Kong-based Modern Land(China) Co. Ltd.'s U.S. subsidiary, American Modern Green LLC,landed approval for a $300 million mixed-use development in Pearland, Texas,the Houston Business Journal reported.The Ivy District scheme, the company's first U.S. project, will featureresidential, office and retail space on a 48.5-acre site, according to thereport.

*Bloomberg featured a reporton the use of crowdfunding platforms for real estate projects. According toresearch from the Cambridge Judge Business School, $484 million was raised forreal estate projects through crowdfunding platforms in the U.S. in 2015, reflectinga more than threefold increase from 2014 levels, the report noted.

*Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.said it was hired bySilverBirch Hotels Resorts for a strategic review that may result in the saleof SilverBirch's hospitality portfolio in Canada. The portfolio comprises 25assets across the country, according to a news release.

After the bell

*Morgans Hotel Group Co.entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by hospitality company SBE for $2.25 per sharein cash.

Includingthe exchange of Morgans' series A preferred securities, the assumption of debtand transfer of capitalized leases, the transaction represents a totalenterprise value of approximately $794 million.

*DDR Corp. is poised tounload the bulk of its shopping center portfolio in New York, Buffalo (N.Y.) Business First reported,citing unnamed real estate sources.

Inparticular, the company is in talks to sell to DLC Management Corp. 16 of its17 shopping centers in the state.

*Christopher Papa will step downas Post Properties Inc.'sexecutive vice president and CFO, effective May 31, in order to assume the samepositions at Liberty PropertyTrust, effective June 1.


*The national median home price was up 6.3% in the first quarter, compared witha 7.4% increase in the year-ago period, theJournal reported,citing the National Association of Realtors. Out of 178 metropolitan areas, 28reported a double-digit price increase year over year during the first quarter,compared with 51 metro areas in the year-ago period, the report said.


* Las Vegas Weekly featured a reporton the under-construction Lucky Dragonboutique hotel and casino near the Strip in Las Vegas. The 27,500-square-footcasino with 200 hotel rooms is on track for completion by year-end.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.43% to 20,242.68, while theNikkei 225 was up 2.15% to 16,565.19. In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 wasup 0.77% to 6,161.83, and the Euronext 100 rose 1.26% to 864.70.

On the macro front

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, Redbook and thewholesale trade report are due out today.

Now featured

: The planned spinoff will allow a newentity to manage its relationship with HCR ManorCare in ways that HCP Inc.cannot, executives said, without discussing many specifics.

:The May 9 North American property news roundup also features Phillips EdisonGrocery Center REIT II's acquisition of four properties.

: Thisroundup collects recently reported guidance from North American real estatecompanies.

: Picturesque Savannah, Ga., has become anindustrial powerhouse in recent years, and its significance in global logisticswill increase when the expanded Panama Canal opens this year, observers say.

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