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Alphabet unit nears $1B Toronto project; Facebook to build $1B Va. data center

Commercial real estate

* Sidewalk Labs LLC, a subsidiary of Google Inc. parent Alphabet Inc., is closing in on a deal to develop a waterfront site in Toronto as it moves into the creation of high-tech urban space, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter. The project's cost is expected to exceed $1 billion, based on costs of similar projects, the report noted.

The so-called digital-city project, named Quayside, will sit along a 12-acre section of the waterfront and create up to 3 million square feet, the report said, adding that the project is subject to approval from the board of Waterfront Toronto. Citing the sources, the Journal said approval is expected in October.

* Facebook Inc. is set to build a $1 billion data center in eastern Henrico County, Va., the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The first phase of the facility, which will stand in the White Oak Technology Park, will span about 970,000 square feet and will create about 100 full-time jobs.

* WeWork Cos. and Airbnb Inc. are teaming up to conquer the corporate travel market by allowing customers who book a room via Airbnb to reserve a desk at the nearest WeWork co-working space, The Real Deal reported, citing Bloomberg. The pilot program is set to launch in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, London, Sydney and Washington, D.C.

* The town of Brookfield, Wis., approved the addition of a movie theater to The Corners lifestyle center despite objections from Marcus Corp., which owns a 10% stake in the development, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

Marcus Corp. is the parent company of Marcus Theatres, which operates a theater roughly 1 mile west of The Corners. The company intends to develop another cinema at Brookfield Square, 3 miles east of The Corners development, according to a recent report.

* Blackstone Group LP subsidiary LivCor sold a 414-unit class A apartment community several miles southeast of Memphis, Tenn., for $56.6 million, Columbus Business First reported. The buyers of The Preserve at Forest Creek, in Germantown and Collierville, are Coastal Ridge Real Estate and H. Katz Capital, according to the report.

* A partnership between USAA Real Estate Co., DHA Capital and Patrinely Group is looking to off-load a 280-unit rental building at 535 W. 43rd St. in Manhattan, N.Y.'s Hell's Kitchen neighborhood for roughly $821,000 per unit, translating to about $230 million for the property, The Real Deal reported, citing Real Estate Alert.

The 14-story building was completed in 2016 and is 90% occupied. It has 62 units marked as affordable housing, according to the report.

* Henley Investments' U.S. division signed three deals worth $100 million to purchase more than 1,000 rental units in Manhattan and Phoenix, Property Week reported. In Manhattan, Henley USA acquired two six-story apartment buildings comprising 48 units across 31,152 square feet.

It bought two multifamily housing buildings providing 481 flats and a 488-unit multifamily asset, both in Phoenix. The two assets will be grouped from two separate schemes into a combined community, the publication noted.

* The Seattle Times featured a report on the possibility and feasibility of Inc. choosing the site of a defunct mall for its second headquarters project in what the publication said would an "ironic twist" as online retail is largely to blame for the demise of the malls.

The report noted various sites being pitched for the project that are located on vacant or nearly vacant mall sites in Dallas, Phoenix, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Amazon's headquarters is in Seattle.

* Meanwhile, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported on the completion and formal opening of Amazon's newest office campus — the more than 800,000-square-foot Troy Block in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. The report noted that new Amazon-leased buildings have recently been selling for sky-high prices and that officials at Touchstone, the developer of Troy Block, declined to comment on possible sale plans for the property.

The opening comes swiftly after Amazon nabbed even more space in Seattle by leasing the entire 722,000 square feet of office space at Wright Runstad & Co.'s planned Rainier Square tower. The 58-story, $570 million skyscraper is poised to be the city's second-tallest and will include 200 luxury apartments above the offices.

* Also in Seattle, Unico Properties paid $65 million for a five-story waterfront office property at 2401 Elliott Ave., the Puget Sound Business Journal reported. The 133,000-square-foot World Trade Center North, which is 76% leased, was sold by TIAA and fetched $6 million, or 8%, less than its previous sale in 2007, the report noted.

* IMT Capital splashed roughly $85.4 million for the 386-unit ALARA Cool Springs apartment community in Franklin, Tenn., marking its second acquisition in the area after the purchase of an adjacent apartment community in July, the Nashville Business Journal reported. The two deals reflect a combined investment of nearly $183 million and the company now owns a total of 860 apartments in Franklin, according to the report.

* According to Real Capital Analytics research, more than a dozen commercial real estate markets in the U.S. have still not reached their previous peak values from before the financial crisis, National Real Estate Investor reported. Las Vegas, topping the list of laggards, had average property values 34.3% lower in July compared to a decade ago. Other metro areas in the list include Orlando, Fla., Sacramento, Calif., and Phoenix.

After the bell

* Brookfield Property Partners LP is exploring the option of off-loading a stake in its northeastern U.S. office portfolio that could value the portfolio at up to $10 billion, Reuters reported, citing people privy to the matter.

* New York REIT, which is in the process of liquidating, is set to sell two office properties in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood to Columbia Property Trust Inc. for more than $500 million, The Real Deal reported, citing Debtwire.

* HSBC and Edge Fund Advisors are selling a 48% stake in the office portion of 1540 Broadway, a 909,000-square-foot commercial property in Times Square in Manhattan, The Real Deal reported, citing Real Estate Alert.

* Washington Prime Group Inc. Executive Vice President and COO Butch Knerr resigned. The company said it will not fill the vacated position, as part of its streamlining effort.

* Xenia Hotels & Resorts Inc. acquired two Arizona hotels from Hyatt Hotels Corp. for $305 million and paid $105 million for a Virginia hotel.

* The U.S. apartment market recorded moderate rent growth in the third quarter, with new lease effective rents rising 0.9% during the quarter and 2.6% annually, according to RealPage Inc.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.01% to 20,628.56, while the Hang Seng was closed.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 had risen 0.20% to 7,482.17, while the Euronext 100 was up 0.11% at 1,045.34.

On the macro front

The international trade report, jobless claims report, factory orders report, EIA natural gas report, Fed balance sheet and money supply report are due out today.

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