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Vornado to test 'pop-up' hotel; $320M underground community planned in Dallas

Commercial real estate

* Vornado Realty Trust plans to lease empty residential units at The Bartlett building in Pentagon City, Va., as a "pop-up" WhyHotel, starting in mid-January 2017, the Washington Business Journal reported. The Arlington County Board gave the go-ahead to the company to offer 50 units for short-term lease for up to 24 months at the 699-unit building.

The residential property, which opened in June, has more than 150 empty units. Vornado's director of special projects, Jason Fudin, said the company could apply the strategy at other properties if the WhyHotel beta project proves successful, according to the report.

* The Federal Way City Council in King County, Wash., is mulling a six-month moratorium on development at Weyerhaeuser Co.'s former headquarters campus, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. Present owner Industrial Realty Group had struck a now-canceled deal for a 314,500-square-foot cold-storage plant that was opposed by a citizens' group.

The city council is weighing the moratorium to stave off industrial development at the property as it favors an office park on the site, the report said, citing Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell.

* The Wall Street Journal reported on a $320 million luxury project in Dallas that will feature 510 underground condos and resort-style amenities on a 700-acre development.

* Congressional democrats said in a letter to the General Services Administration that President-elect Donald Trump must divest the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., that is leased from the federal government as the lease would violate conflict-of-interest rules when he takes office, Reuters reported. Trump planned a Dec. 15 news conference to discuss his business arrangements, but it got put off until next month.

The Washington Post reported that federal officials overseeing the lease said it is "premature" to determine if the matter would constitute a breach of the lease agreement.

* The ultra-luxury Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami, paid off a $214 million construction loan that was issued by Wells Fargo in 2013, Miami Herald reported, citing developer Gil Dezer. The loan was a turning point for Miami's real estate market as it signaled the start of another building boom in the region, following the financial crisis, the report said.

* Griffis Residential snapped up the 332-unit Monterey Apartments complex in southwest Denver for $62 million from Monterey Fox LLC, the Denver Business Journal reported.

* Kane Realty Corp. revised its plans for a project in Raleigh, N.C., that will now include two towers, one that is 20 stories high and the other 31 stories high, the Triangle Business Journal reported, citing a new application submitted to the city's planning department.

The developer previously intended to build a 28-story office tower and is now proposing building a mixed-use project.

Housing

* Single-family home sales in Houston jumped 22.7% year over year in November, marking the largest year-over-year increase for a single month since July 2013, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.

Sales of luxury homes priced at $500,000 and above soared almost 32.5% on the year. The median sales price for single-family homes increased 8.3% to $222,000, which marks the highest median price ever for a November.

* Home sales in San Antonio, Texas, were up 23% on the year in November and the median sale price increased 9% to $199,400, the San Antonio Board of Realtors reported. The median price in November rose to a new record for November sales.

Gaming

* Total gaming wins in Atlantic City, N.J., decreased 3.5% year over year to $197.3 million in November, according to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Year-to-date gaming wins reflected a 1.0% increase year over year.

Total gaming wins for current operators increased 3.0% on the year in November, after excluding results for the Trump Taj Mahal, which closed in October. Year-to-date wins for current operators were up 3.1% year over year to approximately $2.27 billion.

* Australian casino company Crown Resorts Ltd. scrapped plans for a development project dubbed Alon in Las Vegas and said it will explore options for the asset, including an outright sale.

Reuters reported that the company plans to almost completely exit the Las Vegas and Macau markets.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.77% to 22,059.40, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.10% to 19,273.79.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.24% to 6,965.82, and the Euronext 100 had ticked up 0.52% to 920.65.

On the macro front

The consumer price index, the jobless claims report, the Empire State manufacturing survey, the PMI manufacturing index flash, the housing market index, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

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