Commercial real estate
* Liberty Property Trust is set to sell a portfolio of eight suburban office properties in Pennsylvania to Equus Capital Partners, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the deal. The buildings total roughly 650,000 square feet and are in King of Prussia, Wayne and Malvern, the report noted, citing the sources.
The deal "won't exceed $100 million," according to the report.
Liberty Property is implementing a strategy of selling its remaining suburban office properties and transitioning to owning industrial buildings and urban office assets, the report noted.
* Northwood Investors, which recently struck a deal to buy the 1180 Sixth Ave. office building in Manhattan, N.Y., made the acquisition with a $236.6 million loan from the Royal Bank of Canada, The Real Deal reported, citing unnamed sources. The 22-story property was acquired from a partnership between Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. Ltd. and MHP Real Estate Services.
Citing the sources, the report noted that the floating-rate loan financing reflects roughly 78% of the purchase price. The property is anchored by Scripps Network Interactive, which has been searching for a new headquarters space in the city, the report pointed out.
* Columbus Business First reported on a white paper authored by CCIM Institute chief economist K.C. Conway in partnership with the Alabama Center for Real Estate that examines the effects of Amazon.com Inc.'s site selection process for its second headquarters and the implications for other expanding companies.
Conway is predicting that subsidies and real estate incentives will no longer be the primary concerns for relocating and expanding companies. Instead, the availability of a suitable workforce and lifestyle issues will take precedence. Conway also argued that Amazon's search process is more about seeking workforce solutions and a corporate culture fit as opposed to incentives.
* Lam Generation filed plans for a 38-story hotel in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, The Real Deal reported, citing filings with the city's Department of Buildings. The 360-room hotel at 113 W. 24th St. would span roughly 130,000 square feet. The site is next to Lam's 39-story Renaissance Hotel development, the report noted.
* A planned $180 million project in Rochester, Minn., by United Arab Emirates-based Bloom International Realty received a positive response from the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, the Post-Bulletin reported. The project comprises a 22-story tower with 215 senior living units and a 28-story tower with 181 hotel rooms and 132 condominiums.
Bloom is working to purchase the land for the project along the Zumbro River between Second Street and Fourth Street Southeast, the report noted.
* Greenwich Realty Capital has filed a concept plan for what would be the city's tallest skyscraper, 9News reported, citing confirmation from the Denver Community Planning & Development. The Six Fifty 17 project would replace a parking lot with an 81-story tower comprising a hotel, residential space and retail space.
* Citing Jones Lang LaSalle Canada, Bloomberg News reported that Canada's eight largest marijuana companies will require more than eight million square feet of industrial space by 2020, reflecting a more than five-fold increase from present levels. The estimate is for space required for growing marijuana and does not include logistics and distribution centers, the news outlet noted.
Canada is expected to nationally legalize marijuana for recreational use in August or September, Bloomberg noted. The industrial vacancy rate in the country was 3.9% at the end of 2017, the lowest since 2001, the report noted, citing Cushman & Wakefield.
* William Lyon Homes signed a definitive agreement to acquire homebuilder RSI Communities LLC along with three related real estate assets for roughly $460 million.
RSI is focused on Southern California and Texas, and the deal marks William Lyon's entry into the Texas market.
RSI owned or controlled 11,128 lots as at Dec. 31, 2017.
* The Wall Street Journal featured a look at certain startups experimenting with shared-equity contracts in order to benefit from rising home prices across the U.S. The contracts give the startups an ownership position in a home along with the homeowner. The companies are marketing the contracts as an alternative to home-equity loans and cash-out refinancings.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.78% to 30,873.63, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.01% to 21,925.10.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.11% to 7,240.23, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.03% to 1,016. 14.
On the macro front
There are no notable reports due out today.
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