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Intrawest inks $1.5B sale deal; Uniti Group to splash $700M on Southern Light

Commercial real estate

* Resorts developer and operator Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc. agreed to be acquired by an entity controlled by affiliates of the Aspen Skiing Co. LLC and KSL Capital Partners LLC, in a deal valued at roughly $1.5 billion, which translates to $23.75 per share, according to a release.

The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the board, is slated to close by end of the third quarter, subject to certain conditions.

* Uniti Group Inc agreed to buy Southern Light LLC, a data transport provider along the Gulf Coast region, for roughly $700 million in cash and equity, subject to customary closing conditions, according to a company release.

* Lawmakers voted to reinstate New York's 421-a tax break program as part of the state's $163 billion budget, The Real Deal reported. The program, now called Affordable New York based on a plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, now features wage requirements for construction workers on some projects and a longer property tax break of 35 years, up from 25 years, for large projects that pay these wages, the report noted.

The report noted that Cuomo said at a conference that the program makes $2.5 billion available for the creation of 100,000 affordable housing units and 6,000 supportive housing units.

* Ceruzzi Holdings LLC and its partners obtained a $272 million loan from Credit Suisse Group AG to refinance the land beneath The Lipstick Building at 885 Third Ave. in Manhattan, N.Y., according to The Wall Street Journal.

The four-year term loan has a fixed rate of 3.35%, the report noted.

* Dov Hertz's DH Property Holdings, together with The Fruchthandler family's FBE Ltd., is planning to pay more than $125 million to EJ Realty for a 10-building portfolio in Manhattan and Brooklyn, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing unnamed sources.

The portfolio comprises six buildings in Manhattan and four in Brooklyn. All, apart from the 11-story office building at 109-111 W 27th St., are residential rentals. The deal is expected to close in the summer, the report added.

* Century Development Group told The Real Deal about its plan to build a residential building on a vacant site in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. The planned eight-story building at 148-31 90th Ave. will have 88 units across 70,000 square feet of space, with a 44-car parking garage. 15% percent of the units are intended to be affordable, the report noted.

* Eastern Star Development is seeking a $253.3 million sellout for its 25-story condominium Star Tower development at 27-17 42nd Road in Long Island City, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing filings with New York State Attorney General’s office.

The development plan, touted as one of the most expensive yet in the borough, includes an average unit price of roughly $1.4 million, which is above the median sales price for luxury condos in Queens, the report added, citing a report from appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2017, the report added, citing CityRealty.

* Spain-based veterinary pharmaceutical company Laboratorios HIPRA SA is earmarking as much as $100 million to develop a 375,000-square-foot section of the Rowan University's West Campus in Gloucester County, N.J., into its North American headquarters, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The company is said to be in the final stages of negotiations with the university to purchase 25 of the 180 acres housing the school's South Jersey Technology Park, the report said, citing an email from university spokesman Joe Cardona.

* Electronic retailer hhgregg failed to find a buyer and is now in the process of liquidating its assets, The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported.

The retailer expects to shut down all of its 220 stores by end of May, translating to roughly 5,000 jobs lost across the U.S., the report noted.

* Sycamore Partners-owned retailer Dollar Express, based in Charlotte, N.C., also bit the dust as it proceed to close all of its 323 stores across the U.S. by June 30, after operating as a standalone company for under 18 months, according to a report by The Charlotte Observer, citing a notice to state officials.

Roughly 2,800 jobs will be lost as a result, the report added.

* Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steven Roth pointed to the U.S. being "grossly over-stored" as the reason for the struggles of the retail sector, Bloomberg reported, citing Roth's annual letter to Vornado shareholders.

Roth said that retailers may need to shutter "as much as 30 percent of the weakest retail space" to combat the problem, the report noted.

* The Las Vegas Convention Center will see an expansion and renovation project worth $1.4 billion over the next six years, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The report noted that funding for the project will comprise roughly $275 million in cash reserves, a $100 million maximum revolving credit agreement and $1.1 billion from tax-exempt municipal bonds.

After the bell

* Nonfarm payrolls expanded by 98,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate declined to 4.5%, the U.S. Labor Department said.

* Colony Starwood Homes entered into an equity distribution agreement for up to $300 million of its common shares.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng declined 0.02% to 24,262.18, while the Nikkei 225 increased 0.71% to 18,797.88.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.15% at 7,337.60 and the Euronext 100 0.44% lower at 985.86.

On the macro front

The Federal Reserve's labor market conditions index and TD Ameritrade's investor movement index are due out today. In addition, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to give a talk at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

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