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W. P. Carey in $6B merger deal; Blackstone buys, sells in Florida

Commercial real estate

* The board of net-lease real estate investment trust W. P. Carey Inc. unanimously approved an agreement under which Corporate Property Associates 17 - Global Inc., the nontraded real estate investment trust that it advises, will merge with the company in a roughly $6 billion stock-for-stock transaction.

The board of the non-traded REIT also approved the deal that is expected to close on or around Dec. 31, subject to certain conditions, including approval from the stockholders of both companies.

* Blackstone Group LP sold the 589-room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Thayer Lodging Group Inc., a subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., for $170.6 million, The Real Deal reported, citing property records. Thayer Lodging paid roughly $290,000 per room for the nine-acre property at 1881 Southeast 17th St., which is the third-largest hotel in Broward County, Fla.

The hotel has been renovated multiple times, most significantly in 2008, the news outlet added, citing property records and CBRE's Christian Charre. In June 2017, the asset was expected to trade for $175 million.

* In another Florida transaction, Blackstone paid $55.6 million to purchase the 1996-built Arium Town Center apartments at 10135 Gate Parkway in Jacksonville from Carroll Organization, the Jacksonville Business Journal reported, citing property records. Carroll purchased the complex in 2014 for $40.9 million, the publication added.

* Brookfield Property Partners LP is thinking about injecting up to $700 million of equity into Kushner Cos. and Vornado Realty Trust's 666 Fifth Ave. property in Manhattan, N.Y., and bringing in a $1 billion floating-rate debt package to retire the building's $1.4 billion in outstanding debt, The Real Deal reported, citing Commercial Mortgage Alert.

The tower is valued at between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion, and Kushner, which owns 50.5% of the property, is not expected to contribute additional equity, Commercial Mortgage Alert added, citing people familiar with the situation.

Brookfield already plans to buy a 49.5% stake in the property from Kushner, The Real Deal reported.

* Ford Motor Co. acquired Michigan Central Station, a former intercity passenger rail depot in Detroit, Mich., for an undisclosed amount. Ford plans to set up a new campus, composed of 1.2 million square feet of property in Corktown, to serve as its innovation hub. The development will also have office and retail space, as well as some residential housing.

* Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. Ltd. and partners MHP Real Estate Services LLC and ATCO Properties & Management Inc. refinanced the 21-story office tower at 850 Third Ave. in New York City with a new $342 million loan, The Real Deal reported, citing unnamed sources.

Sources told the publication that French bank Natixis, office REIT Paramount Group Inc. and asset manager Harbor Group International provided the floating-rate loan, which includes mezzanine financing of $75 million from Paramount and $25 million from Harbor Group.

The 617,000-square-foot building is undergoing major renovation, and it is expected to be nearly one-third vacant when anchor tenant Discovery Communications vacates its roughly 190,000-square-foot space in May 2020.

* Developers Jimmy Tate and Sergio Rok sold the 282-unit Allure by Windsor apartment community at 6750 Congress Ave. in Boca Raton, Fla., to GID for $92.1 million, The Real Deal reported. The developers bought the 14-acre property in 2016 from Danburg Management Corp., for an unknown price and completed the development in 2017, according to the publication.

* All Year Management and Spencer Equity Group Ltd. secured a $117.5 million loan for their recently completed Azure rental property at 436 Albee Square in downtown Brooklyn, N.Y., The Real Deal reported, citing property records. Mishmeret Trust Co. Ltd. represented the lenders of the funds, the report added. Azure contains 150 apartments in 28 stories and was previously valued at $167 million, according to the report.

* New York University agreed to a 32-year extension of its lease for the entire 125,000 square-foot building at 105 E. 17th St. in New York City, according to The Real Deal. The lease will run from Nov. 1, 2019, to 2051, with a renewal option for five additional years, the publication added.

After the bell

* Boenning & Scattergood Inc. terminated coverage of 22 REITs covered by departing analyst Floris van Dijkum and suspended coverage of four other REITs.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.43% to 30,309.49 and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.75% to 22,680.33.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.32% to 7,609.25 and the Euronext 100 was down 0.99% to 1,058.92.

On the macro front

The housing market index report is due out today.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

* REIT Replay: REITs, markets edge lower amid renewed trade tensions: The Trump administration unveiled plans to hit China with 25% tariffs on $50 billion of imported goods, fueling renewed trade-war fears among investors.

* Data Dispatch: REIT IPO market lacking catalyst, compelling growth stories: A lack of desire or need on the part of investors for new real estate investment trusts has kept the REIT IPO count low, longtime industry players said.