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2 Griffin REITs to merge; Google plans $1B NYC expansion

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of U.S. real estate news stories and more published throughout the week. Please note that some entries may have links to third-party sources that may require a subscription.

Mergers and a dissolution

* Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT Inc. and Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT II Inc. will merge in an all-stock deal to form a $4.75 billion, self-managed real estate investment trust. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

* Select Income REIT and Government Properties Income shareholders approved the proposed merger of the two real estate investment trusts at separate meetings held Dec. 20. The merger is expected to take effect Dec. 31, with the merged entity to be called Office Properties Income Trust and its shares to trade on the Nasdaq under the OPI ticker.

* Inland Residential Properties stockholders approved the company's plan of liquidation at a Dec. 18 meeting. The plans involve the sale of all or substantially all of the assets and a dissolution of the company.

Property moves

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC plans to invest more than $1 billion in the expansion of its existing campus in New York City by developing a new 1.7 million-square-foot Google Hudson Square campus. The new campus will include two leased buildings on Hudson Street and another on Washington Street.

* CIM Commercial Trust received approval from its majority stockholder for the disposal of nine assets in California and Washington, D.C., for expected proceeds of about $690 million.

* AvalonBay Communities Inc. sold an 80% stake in five apartment communities in Manhattan, N.Y., for net proceeds of about $470 million to a newly established joint venture with an institutional client of Invesco Real Estate Ltd.

* Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. received $455 million from the sale of a 17-story office building in Boston. The building sold to a joint venture of American Realty Advisors and Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the Boston Business Journal reported.

* Alexander & Baldwin Inc. agreed to sell approximately 41,000 acres of former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. lands in Maui, Hawaii, to a joint venture between Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board and agricultural group Pomona Farming LLC for $262 million.

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