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New York Times to sublet HQ; Lennar fiscal Q4 earnings rise YOY

Commercial real estate

* As it seeks to generate new revenue streams, New York Times Co. wants to sublet at least eight floors of its headquarters in Manhattan, N.Y., which comprise about 750,000 square feet over 21 floors in a 52-story building on Eight Avenue, Crain's New York Business reported, citing a regulatory filing. In the third quarter, the average rental price in the area where the building is located was $85.74 per square foot, the publication said, citing Savills Studley's director of U.S. real estate analystics, Keith DeCoster, although it pointed out that subleases are usually agreed at a significant discount.

The New York Times sold its headquarters to W. P. Carey Inc. in a $225 million sale-leaseback deal in 2009. The Real Deal and Politico also reported on the news.

* Marcus Corp. plans to expand its Hilton Milwaukee City Center hotel at 509 W. Wisconsin Ave., adding 276 rooms and 61,500 square feet of new meeting and exhibit space, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. The eMbarKE project, which will also include a 200-unit apartment tower, is backed by a "realistic funding plan," the publication quoted company executives as saying. The expansion is planned at a city-owned parking lot at North Fourth Street and West Wisconsin Avenue.

Meanwhile, the company's Marcus Theatres division closed on its purchase of 14 Wehrenberg Theatres sites in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The division purchased the underlying real estate for six of the theater sites, as well as Ronnie's Plaza retail center in St. Louis.

* Isaac Kassirer's Emerald Equity Group closed on its purchase of the 47-building "Dawnay Day" portfolio in the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, N.Y., for $357.5 million, making it one of 2016's largest multifamily transactions, The Real Deal reported. Emerald Equity Group reportedly secured a roughly $300 million loan from Brookfield Asset Management to help fund the transaction.

* Extell Development is poised to refinance a $235 million land loan for its planned 88-story, 233-unit condominium project, the Central Park Tower at 217 West 57th St. in Manhattan, The Real Deal reported, citing unnamed sources. The refinancing for the one-year loan, which will give Extell time to land a roughly $900 million construction loan for the project, is being provided by a group of lenders that includes Fortress Investment Group, Baupost Group and JPMorgan Chase.

* Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which was recently acquired by Marriott International Inc., is scouring beachfront sites in Sydney's Manly Beach for a potential new hotel, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* A six-story, 61-room boutique hotel is planned at 108-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd. in New York City's Rockaway Beach, The Real Deal reported, citing new building applications. The hotel, which will rise 86 feet between 108th and 109th Streets, will be designed by the architect of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Morris Adjmi. New York YIMBY also reported on the proposed project.

* Multifamily sales in New York City totaled $760 million in dollar volume in October, down 34% from $1.2 billion in September, The Real Deal reported, citing Ariel Property Advisors.

* Trophy properties in Manhattan are once again attracting Russian home buyers following President-elect Donald Trump's victory, The Real Deal reported, citing a CNN video.

After the bell

* American Finance Trust Inc., which is in the process of acquiring American Realty Capital - Retail Centers of America Inc., is poised to sell three Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith properties in a $148.0 million deal, excluding closing costs.

* Voltari Corp. received a notice from The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC that its common stock will be delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market, while OTC Markets Group Inc. advised the company that its common stock will be immediately eligible for trading on the OTCQB marketplace under its current symbol VLTC. The changes are effective with market open Dec. 23.

* Choice Hotels International Inc.'s board agreed to raise the quarterly cash dividend by 5% to 21.5 cents per common share and to expand the stock buyback program by 3 million shares.

* Granite REIT said its board of trustees increased the monthly distribution to 21.7 Canadian cents per stapled unit from 20.30 cents per unit.


* Lennar Corp. reported fiscal fourth-quarter net earnings attributable to the company of about $313.5 million, or $1.34 per share, up from roughly $281.6 million, or $1.21 per share, in the year-ago period. Total revenue for the three months ended Nov. 30 was up 15% year over year to roughly $3.4 billion.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.85% to 21,832.68, while the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.05% to 19,391.60.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.07% to 7,016.83, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.07% to 925.18.

On the macro front

The Markit PMI services index is due out today.

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