Commercial real estate
* Qatar's state-owned Katara Holding struck a deal to acquire the Plaza Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, N.Y., for roughly $600 million, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the transaction. The source told the news outlet that the deal includes the acquisition of a 75% stake from Indian business group Sahara India Pariwar Ltd.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the buyer also acquired the 25% minority stake held by New York real-estate investor Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. and Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Co. The minority owners had exercised a right of first refusal in May and matched a $600 million bid for the hotel from Shahal Khan and Kamran Hakim of the Hakim Organization.
According to the Journal, it is unclear why the minority owners did not follow through on their deal to buy the asset or whether they were able to raise the required funds. It was recently reported that Ashkenazy and Kingdom Holding were granted an extension by Sahara Group to close on the deal after coming close to missing a deadline.
* CIM Group is looking to sell a portfolio of five office buildings and a development site in Oakland, Calif., totaling 1.73 million square feet, the San Francisco Business Times reported. The portfolio is expected to sell for more than $1 billion.
The properties up for sale include the 28-story, 530,000-square-foot 1 Kaiser Plaza tower, the 10-story 1333 Broadway building and the two-building Center 21 complex.
* Presidio Trust has received offers from nine teams for the redevelopment of up to 22 historic buildings at Fort Winfield Scott in San Francisco that is expected to cost between $150 million to $200 million, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported.
One of the teams comprises Kilroy Realty Corp. and OpenAI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research company founded by Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk. The team is proposing that the campus serve as space for OpenAI and a temporary residence for visiting researchers, interns and scholars.
WeWork Cos. is proposing to host WeWork Innovation Garage and WeWork Labs at the site for early stage startups along with 2,000 desks for nonprofits, with a commitment to hire 1,500 veterans.
* Second-quarter apartment sales in Manhattan fell 17% year over year to 2,629, reflecting the lowest second-quarter figure since 2009, Bloomberg News reported, citing Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The news outlet noted that 54% of the quarter's recorded sales were for less than the asking price, signifying emboldened buyers.
The median price for all homes dropped 7.5% year over year to $1.1 million, marking the second consecutive year-over-year decline. Homes listed for sale at the end of June were up 11% year over year to reflect the highest second-quarter figure since 2011.
* CIM Group and LIVWRK are projecting a $150 million sellout for 163 condominium units at the 111 Montgomery St. project in Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Crown Heights neighborhood, The Real Deal reported, citing an offering plan filed with the New York State Attorney General's office.
The project is a 12-story development spanning 132,000 square feet.
* American Landmark acquired two apartment complexes in North Carolina's Triangle region for roughly $98.8 million from Livcor, the Triangle Business Journal reported. Livcor had paid roughly $50.2 million for the assets in 2006, the report noted.
The properties are the 330-unit Edinborough at the Park in Durham and the 312-unit Edinborough Commons in Raleigh. Both complexes will be renovated and rebranded, the report noted, citing the new owner.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.21% to 28,182.09. The Nikkei 225 declined 0.78% to 21,546.99.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 added 0.60% to 7,618.39, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.94% to 1,053.54.
On the macro front
The Challenger job-cut report, the ADP employment report, the jobless claims report, the ISM non-manufacturing index and the EIA petroleum status report are due out today.
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