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$500M data center planned in Texas city; Amazon unit buying land for data center

Commercial real estate

* A more than 300-acre data center project valued at at least $500 million is planned in Midlothian, Texas, by a company called Sharka LLC, the Dallas Business Journal reported, citing documents filed on the city website. According to the report, Sharka LLC may be a code name, as proper company names are rarely used in large projects.

Midlothian is roughly 25 miles southwest of Dallas.

* Inc. subsidiary Amazon Web Services Inc. is under contract for a 107-acre vacant site in Sterling, Va., for a new data center or campus of data centers, the Washington Business Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The site is part of the planned 5 million-square-foot Waterside development spanning roughly 335 acres owned by Chantilly Crushed Stone Inc.

The report noted that a zoning determination request to Loudoun County, Va., from May indicates that the sale is slated to close in mid-June. The report also pointed out the Loudoun-Fairfax border is among the 20 finalists for Amazon's second headquarters.

* The Dallas Morning News reported that Amazon is close to leasing more than 1 million square feet of warehouse space at a planned fulfillment facility that would be its third in southern Dallas County. The e-commerce giant is considering two buildings at the $500 million Southport Logistics Park industrial project in Wilmer, Texas.

* Oaktree Capital Group, in its maiden acquisition in north Texas, bought two office buildings along the Oak Lawn stretch in Dallas from a Quadrant Investment Properties LLC-led partnership for an undisclosed amount, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Included in the transaction are the Centrum tower and the adjacent 13-story Park Creek Place building, the publication noted. Aside from office and retail components, the Centrum high-rise building also includes condominium units that were not included in the transaction.

The properties are 80% leased and were expected to sell for up to $170 million when they were marketed in March.

* Normandy Real Estate Partners is seeking a $250 million refinancing for a two-building complex in Manhattan, N.Y.'s Financial District and a $187 million refinancing for a property in Manhattan's Greenwich village, The Real Deal reported, citing unnamed sources.

At the 610,000-square-foot Financial District property at 80 and 90 Maiden Lane, Normandy and partners Meadow Partners, AM Property Holding and Kushner Cos. are renovating the two buildings.

At the 140,000-square-foot Greenwich Village property at 797-799 Broadway, the funding would go toward replacing the existing office property with a new building totaling roughly 190,000 square feet of office space. The report noted that Ares Management, Normandy's partner at 799 Broadway, has been looking to divest its 50% stake.

* Silverstein Properties has acquired the ground lease for a seven-parcel development site in Queens, N.Y.'s Astoria neighborhood that has more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial development rights, The Real Deal reported, citing property records filed with the city and real estate data service Reonomy. The properties house a dairy plant owned by Queensboro Farm Products.

A purchase price was not disclosed.

* A company associated with Ocean West Capital Partners LLC and Hana Asset Management Co. purchased a two-story, four-building campus in San Jose, Calif., leased entirely to eBay Inc., for $132.5 million, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported, citing Santa Clara County documents.

The 250,000-square-foot North First Commons sits on 14 acres at 2515-2545 N. First St. It was sold by a Net Lease Capital Advisors affiliate, according to the report.

* An Ocean West Capital joint venture with Westbrook Capital Partners purchased the Taft Building at 1680 Vine St. in Los Angeles from DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners for roughly $70 million, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The building spans 126,000 square feet.

After the bell

* Education Realty Trust Inc. is negotiating exclusively to be acquired by Greystar Real Estate Partners for about $3.1 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

* WeWork Cos. is in talks to receive a "multibillion-dollar investment" from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp., a transaction that could value the coworking giant at US$35 billion to US$40 billion, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.93% to 30,440.17, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.99% to 22,738.61.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.47% to 7,667.60, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.45% to 1,058.74.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the retail sales report, the import and export prices report, the business inventories report, the EIA natural gas report, Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

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