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WeWork said to be preparing IPO; Va. complex sells for $142M

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WeWork said to be preparing IPO; Va. complex sells for $142M

Commercial real estate

* London's Financial Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter, that WeWork Cos. Inc. "has readied itself for an IPO." The company recently rebranded itself as The We Co. with WeWork, WeLive and WeGrow as separate business units, a move that a person close to WeWork's plans said provides increased flexibility in raising capital by listing a single unit, according to the publication.

WeWork recently received a $2 billion investment from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp., significantly lower than a previously expected investment of $16 billion.

* An affiliate of NGP, which was formerly known as National Government Properties, paid $142 million for the nine-building Gunston Commerce Center in Fairfax County, Va., the Washington Business Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the transaction. The roughly 600,000-square-foot complex contains industrial and flex buildings and is more than 90% leased to government contractors and federal agencies.

* Brooks Brothers Group Inc. bought the office building at 11 E. 44th St. in Manhattan, N.Y.'s Midtown East for $105.8 million from Aion Partners, The Real Deal reported, citing property records. Brooks Brothers is the largest tenant in the 135,000-square-foot building, occupying more than 40,000 square feet.

* Bloomberg News featured a look at the possible valuation of the iconic Chrysler Building in Manhattan that was recently reported to be hitting the market. The 77-story building, completed in 1930, could attract deep-pocketed buyers with the lure of owning a trophy asset, although the tower would need investments to compete with modern office spaces coming to the market, especially after the Midtown East rezoning passed in 2017.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Council bought a 90% stake in the tower for $800 million in 2008, before the financial crisis.

* Manhattan apartment leasing deals that included concessions and incentives increased to 44% in December 2018 from 36.2% in the year-ago period, The Real Deal reported, citing Douglas Elliman. The increase reflected the 43rd consecutive year-over-year increase in concession, according to the report.

The report added, citing Citi Habitats, that the apartment vacancy rate in Manhattan reached 1.6%, marking the highest figure in nine months.

* Diageo has leased roughly 87,000 square feet at Silverstein Properties' 3 World Trade Center office tower in Manhattan, The Real Deal reported, citing confirmation from a spokesperson for the spirits company. Diageo is moving its offices from RXR Realty's 530 Fifth Ave., according to the report.

* RockBridge Capital LLC sold the 214-room Hilton Garden Inn Nashville Downtown hotel in Nashville, Tenn., to AVR Realty for $125 million, Commercial Property Executive reported, citing public records. The 2015-built asset at 305 Korean Veterans Blvd. previously changed hands in 2016 for $80.3 million, according to the report.

* Waterton paid a total of $169 million for a four-property multifamily portfolio in North Carolina totaling 1,148 units, the Triangle Business Journal reported. The portfolio, in Charlotte, Raleigh and Cary, was sold by The Bainbridge Cos. The buyer plans to upgrade the properties, which were built in the 1980s and 1990s, with an investment of between $20 million and $30 million.

* The joint venture of Marc Realty and The Wolcott Group landed a $94 million acquisition loan from a venture of Silverpeak Argentic for their deconversion and overhaul of the former River City condominium building in Chicago's South Loop, The Real Deal reported. The partners closed on a $90.5 million deal for all 449 units at the 800 S. Wells St. building, embarking on the largest deconversion project in the city's history.

New residents in converted apartments could move in as early as March, with the duo also set to renovate more than 250,000 square feet of office and retail space in the complex.

Housing

* Citing a Douglas Elliman report, The Real Deal reported that home sales in Brooklyn, N.Y., fell year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018 for the fourth consecutive quarter, and the average sales price decreased to $998,000 from an all-time high of over $1 million. Inventory in the borough jumped 75% year over year, mainly due to a chronic shortage in the year-ago period.

In Queens, N.Y., the average sales price hit an all-time high of $637,000, while sales were down 11.5% compared to the previous quarter.

* Also citing Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman, Bloomberg News reported that sales of apartments and co-ops in Westchester, N.Y., increased 16% and 8% year over year, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2018, while single-family home sales declined for the sixth consecutive quarter.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.55% to 26,667.27, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.97% to 20,359.70.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.24% to 6,926.01, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.07% to 935.47.

On the macro front

The Treasury budget, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the CPI consensus 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.

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