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Amazon eyes Brookfield, Vornado projects in NYC; Walmart to build new HQ

Commercial real estate

* Inc. is looking to lease at least 100,000 square feet of office space in Manhattan, N.Y., at either of Brookfield Property Partners LP's One Manhattan West or Two Manhattan West skyscrapers, the New York Post reported, citing unnamed sources. The 67-story One Manhattan West tower will be ready for tenants in the fall, while Two Manhattan West is expected to be ready for tenants in 2022.

The online retail giant is also considering Vornado Realty Trust's James A. Farley building across the street that will be ready for tenants in May 2020, the sources told the publication. The interest in leasing space in Manhattan comes soon after Amazon scuttled plans to build one-half of its second headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, N.Y.

* Amazon's call to sublease the 58-story, roughly 710,000-square-foot Rainier Square Tower under construction in Seattle has drawn 1.5 times more tenant interest than its available space, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported, citing Cleita Harvey, the JLL broker assigned to find subtenants.

Amazon opted to sublease the tower after the city proposed, and later passed, a jobs tax on large companies. The tax was later rescinded, but Amazon is going ahead with the subleasing. The tower is being developed by Wright Runstad & Co.

* Walmart Inc. revealed plans for a new headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., with demolition of the existing buildings slated to commence in the summer, The Business Journals News Network reported. The retailer did not give a cost estimate for the new facility that will span more than 350 acres.

The new headquarters is planned to create zero waste and fully operate on renewable energy, according to a message from Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. The new buildings are planned to open in phases between 2020 and 2024.

* ASB Allegiance Real Estate Fund, managed by ASB Real Estate Investments, landed a $100 million financing for the 795 Folsom St. office building in San Francisco, IPE Real Assets reported. The five-year fixed-rate loan for the six-story, 189,000-square-foot property bears a 3.478% interest rate.

* Maryland State Retirement and Pension System slashed its exposure to real estate investment trusts, becoming the latest U.S. pension fund to do so, IPE Real Assets reported. The pension fund is removing REITs from its real estate target allocation, the report noted, citing a board meeting document.

* FirstService Corp.'s Firstservice Residential Inc. unit sold two landscape service companies to BrightView Holdings Inc. for an undisclosed amount.


* The median home sale price in the Crystal City and Pentagon City areas of Virginia jumped 17.7% to $655,000 since November 2018 when Amazon selected the location for its second headquarters, the Washington Business Journal reported, citing Redfin. Available supply has dropped 41.8% over 2018, marking the biggest drop since 2013, the report added, citing Redfin.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng gained 0.38% at 27,390.81, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.37% to 21,260.14.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 lifted 0.02% to 7,279.21, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.34% to 1,038.08.

On the macro front

The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller home price index, the Federal Housing Finance Agency house price index, the consumer confidence report and the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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Data Dispatch: Front Yard puts itself on the market, but public REITs likely aren't interested: The company is the second single-family home landlord to explore strategic options in recent months. While it likely is not a good fit for a leading public REIT, observers say, there are other investors eyeing the single-family rental market.

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