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Sears bankruptcy could hurt malls; Brooklyn, NY, home prices hit record

Commercial real estate

* Department store chain Sears Holdings Corp.'s possible bankruptcy could spell trouble for many mall landlords who rely on the department stores for foot traffic, according to a report by Crain's Chicago Business. Citing John Melaniphy III, president of retail consulting firm Melaniphy & Associates, the publication added that if Sears manages to successfully restructure, it may be able to keep some of its best-performing stores open.

It is unclear how Seritage Growth Properties — the real estate investment trust formed by Sears CEO Edward Lampert in 2015 to acquire and redevelop Sears store sites — would fit into Sears' plans if it files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the publication added.

* The average asking rent for office space in Manhattan, N.Y.'s Midtown South market reached $83.14 per square foot in the third quarter, marking 11 straight quarters of growth and the highest figure since 1995, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing JLL. The borough's neighborhoods, including the Meatpacking District, Chelsea and Union Square, are seeing demand outstrip available supply, the publication added.

Craig Leibowitz, a director in JLL's New York research department, said some brokers have seen bidding wars for leasing new and revamped office buildings in Midtown South, according to the publication.

* London's Financial Times featured a report on the prevailing trend of sprucing up older Manhattan buildings with amenities to make them more appealing to millennials at a time when new office towers are popping up in large quantities for the first time since the 1980s. Citing Cushman & Wakefield, the publication noted that 10 million square feet of new office space has been delivered in Manhattan in the past four years, with a further 24 million square feet slated for delivery over the next five years.

Most of the new space is being developed in Hudson Yards, and is rich with amenities and features that appeal to the younger generation.

* A 415,000-square-foot office building in the Warner Center in Woodland Hills, Calif., is up for sale, with brokers familiar with the property expecting bids of between $110 million to $125 million, The Real Deal reported. The 14-story property at 21555 Oxnard St., is owned by a group of private individuals.

The building was previously owned by Anthem Blue Cross, which plans to move out by the end of 2019. The property is being marketed as a redevelopment opportunity.

Anthem also has a 25.6-acre parking lot surrounding the building up for sale, the news outlet said, adding that the site could accommodate over 5.5 million square feet of office, residential, retail or hospitality space.

* The Sobrato Organization LLC filed plans to redevelop a 1.5-acre parking lot in downtown San Jose, Calif., into a 17-story, 600,160-square-foot tower, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported, citing city documents. The Block 8 property was acquired eight years ago.

The glass-encased project, to be called Market Street Towers, would have roughly 19,600 square feet of ground-floor retail space, with parking space on the second through sixth floors, and then as many as 11 floors of office space.

Citing an interview with Chase Lyman, vice president of leasing and acquisitions at the developer, the publication added that the speculative project does not have a prospective start date for construction.

* Investment sales in Los Angeles' office market in the first seven months of 2018 totaled $3.8 billion, marking a 23.3% year-over-year decline, The Real Deal reported, citing Savills Studley.

* Citing CBRE Group Inc., the Journal reported that the availability of warehouse space across the U.S. reached its lowest level in the third quarter since 2000, even as roughly 50 million square feet of space entered the market during the quarter. CBRE global chief economist Richard Barkham attributed the robust leasing pace to a strong consumer economy and noted the rise of e-commerce as an underlying structural shift in the market.

The third-quarter availability rate was 7.1%, and has been falling for 33 consecutive quarters. In 2000, it reached a low of 6.6%.

Housing

* The average sale price of a home in Brooklyn, N.Y., crossed the $1 million mark for the first time in the third quarter, reaching $1.1 million, according to data from Douglas Elliman. The average sale price in Queens, N.Y., also hit a new record of $635,281 in the third quarter.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 2.12% to 25,801.49, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.46% to 22,694.66.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.86% to 7,066.94, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.55% to 995.60.

On the macro front

The import and export prices report, consumer sentiment report and Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Data Dispatch: US REIT capital markets activity picks up in second half of September: Chart Watch: U.S. equity REITs raised $2.39 billion from capital offerings in the latter half of September. In total, September activity marked a three-month high, 62% over the amount raised in August, but it was down 66% year over year.

Data Dispatch: US equity REITs own 292 properties in hurricane-stricken Florida Panhandle: Chart Watch: Single-tenant landlord Realty Income Corp. owns the most properties in the Florida Panhandle, at 47, or approximately 0.9% of its total portfolio.

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