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Equity Commonwealth to sell 54-story tower; Fosun denies $1.6B NYC sale report

Commercial real estate

* Equity Commonwealth is placing the 54-story BNY Mellon Bank Center office tower in Philadelphia up for sale, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. The 1.3 million-square-foot building at 1735 Market St. is the company's last remaining property in the Center City district. The property is 91% occupied, the report noted, citing company documents.

HFF investment broker Doug Rodio, who is marketing the property, said the selling price is expected to be in the "$500 million range," the report added.

* The real estate arm of China's Fosun International Ltd. has denied a report that it is looking to sell its 60-story tower in Manhattan, N.Y., for $1.6 billion, The Real Deal reported. Real Estate Alert initially reported that the company is looking to sell the 28 Liberty tower, but a Fosun spokesman denied the report and said the company plans to retain majority ownership and was open to taking on a strategic partner.

The 2.2 million-square-foot Lower Manhattan asset was acquired for $725 million in 2013 and underwent a repositioning. Fosun refinanced the property for $800 million in 2017.

* An annual ranking by PwC and the Urban Land Institute places Brooklyn, N.Y., as the second most desirable U.S. market for property investment, with Manhattan coming in at 32nd place, Bloomberg News reported. Brooklyn made the top 10 for the first time in the report's 40-year history, the news outlet added.

The Dallas-Fort Worth market topped the "U.S. Markets to Watch" list, with the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., market at third place and Orlando, Fla., at fourth.

* Another Bloomberg News report touched on bankers' worries that the real estate market may be getting overpriced. While banks have been more cautious and disciplined on real estate lending since the 2008 financial crisis, other lenders, including debt funds with much less oversight, have stepped in, offering low rates and terms.

The availability of cheap debt has been driving up real estate prices, which has in turn led to significant declines in the cap rates of most property types, the news outlet added.

* CA Ventures is looking to develop a 33-story apartment tower as well as a 27-story student residential tower in Atlanta, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported, citing plans presented to Midtown's Development Review Committee. The 903 Peachtree St. project would have 417 units and roughly 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

The student tower, near Georgia Tech university, would have 320 units with 716 beds along with roughly 9,400 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

* Cronin Development received a $294 million construction loan from JPMorgan and Mack Real Estate for the 114-unit The St. Regis Residences waterfront luxury condominium tower in Boston, the Boston Business Journal reported. Joyal Capital Management, the project's equity partner, has not disclosed its equity, the report added.

The 22-story tower is rising at 150 Seaport Blvd. with delivery expected in early 2020, the report noted, citing Cronin Development's Jon Cronin.

* Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp National Developments Inc., is acquiring the 50 acres of land underneath the Orlando Fashion Square retail center in Orlando with plans to redevelop the struggling 838,865-square-foot mall, the Orlando Business Journal reported. Whittall plans to convert the location into an outdoor town center with apartments, entertainment and retail space, working with the owners of the buildings on the site, according to the report.

The redevelopment is expected to be a "couple hundred million-dollar" project, the report added, citing Whittall, who is under contract for the land.

* Chinese state-owned telecommunications corporation China Mobile plans to develop a data center and office in south San Jose, Calif., the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported, citing plans submitted to the city. The report added that the plans come a few months after the U.S. federal government blocked China Mobile's plans to provide mobile phone services in the country.

The planned five-story office building would span 65,000 square feet and the two-story data center would be 217,000 square feet on a 7.5-acre site at 6320 and 6340 San Ignacio Ave.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng slipped 3.54% to 25,266.37, and the Nikkei 225 declined 3.89% to 22,590.86.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 1.65% to 7,027.61, and the Euronext 100 fell 1.70% to 991.57.

On the macro front

The consumer price index, the jobless claims report, the Energy Information Administration natural gas and petroleum status reports, the Treasury budget report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report 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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