The Real Deal New York

National Market Report

October 17, 2007

Atlanta

Commercial

Architect Santiago Calatrava, who is designing a train station and residential tower in Lower Manhattan, is heading to Atlanta. Calatrava unveiled plans for a future Atlanta Symphony Center last month. The structure, featuring a monumental white sculpture capped by a soaring arch at 14th and Peachtree streets, might become an enduring symbol of the city, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Residential
Apartment rents in the city averaged $806 last year, up slightly from $803 in 2003 but down from $814 the year prior, according to a report by Grubb & Ellis. Buckhead experienced the highest occupancy, followed by Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. In the condo market, high-end product is overbuilt, and demand will increase for moderate-income projects, the report said.

Commercial
While Midtown and Buckhead have been a destination for commercial developers, Downtown Atlanta hasn t seen a new office building since 1992. But plans for a sizeable new project are in the works. Barry Real Estate Co. is seeking to build up to 1.2 million square feet of office space in three towers. Anchor tenants Georgia Power and Ernst & Young have been signed up for the two smaller 14-story towers. But the future of the project s 600,000-square-foot trophy tower, recently unveiled, is less certain, with no anchor tenant taking space yet.

Boston

Commercial
More than 6 million square feet of life sciences laboratories, research space, and housing are expected to be built between 2003 and 2007 in Boston, part of a little noticed building boom, the Boston Globe reported. More than two dozen life sciences projects are underway, nearing construction, or recently completed. The marquee building that most exemplifies the trend is Genzyme s $140 million headquarters just outside of Kendall Square in East Cambridge, the epicenter of the biotech cluster in Massachusetts.

Residential
For two years now, Arlington has been the Greater Boston locale where houses sell fastest, according to data from the area s Multiple Listing Service. The town s average number of days on market for a house decreased by four days, to 29, from 2003 to 2004, according to the Boston Business Journal. Waltham, Framingham, Norwood and Medford have also consistently numbered in the top 10 in those two years.

Chicago

Residential/Commercial
Chicago saw a spike in the number of condo units coming online during the last part of 2004, following a six-month slowdown in activity, according to a recent report from Appraisal Research Counselors in Chicago. The spike came from two projects with a total of about 1,000 units, including the 450-unit Plaza 440 at 440 North Wabash. The sold-out project is considered a low-cost alternative to the Trump condos set to rise, Realtor.org reported.

Residential/Commercial
Deutsche Bank announced last month it was lending $640 million to Donald Trump to build the 90-story Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, where 75 percent of the units already have been sold.

Residential
A record 6,298 new homes were sold in Chicago last year, an 80 percent gain from 2003, according to Appraisal Research Counselors. Fourth-quarter sales surged 60 percent to more than 1,300, despite forecasts of a slowdown during what is traditionally a slow season for the housing market. The boost in sales came as a surprise to many, considering the city s sluggish job growth and concerns about speculative buying and oversupply, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

Las Vegas

Residential/Commercial
Redevelopment of Downtown Las Vegas is starting to take shape and garner attention, with a spate of recent projects. The Diversified Real Estate Group announced plans last month to build Club Renaissance, a 60-story, 950-unit condo tower with prices from $149,900 to $900,000, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Other recent downtown projects include the under-construction World Market Center, a giant furniture showroom, and the completed Las Vegas Premium Outlet Center.

Los Angeles

Residential
Despite predictions of weaker appreciation rates last year, Southern California home prices rose by more than 20 percent, according to DataQuick Information Systems. By December, the regional median price had soared to $424,000, up 22.5 percent from the same month in 2003. The volume of sales was down 6 percent compared to the year before, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Commercial
Silicon Valley-based Internet giant Yahoo is shifting its center of gravity south, signing a 256,000-square-foot lease in Los Angeles County last month in one of the area s largest leases in the past year. Yahoo, which is making an aggressive push to become a force in the entertainment industry, signed the 10-year deal at the Equity Office-owned Colorado Center — soon to be known as Yahoo Center. The company will keep its headquarters in Northern California.

Residential
San Diego is in the midst of a condominium fever that shows little signs of abating in 2005. At the end of 2004, the median price of a condo was $375,000 a 30.7 percent increase from a year earlier, according to the San Diego Association of Realtors. A shrinking supply of available condos — new construction permits for condos were down nearly 57 percent in the third quarter of 2004 over the previous year–could drive prices higher.

Miami

Residential/Commercial
Condo-hotel projects are catching on in South Florida. More than 30 condo-hotel projects have been built, are being converted or are planned from Fort Lauderdale to south of Miami. Developers, including the active Falor Companies, have been attracted to the projects because by selling ownership of rooms in advance, they get an ample supply of cash to build hotels without taking on the risk of hefty loan payments during the often dicey early years after a hotel debuts, the Miami Herald reported.

Residential/Commercial
In Tampa, Donald Trump announced plans last month for what will be the tallest residential building on the Gulf of Mexico–a 52-story, 190-unit condominium community that will be priced from $700,000 to $5.5 million per residence.

Philadelphia

Residential

Philadelphia continues to have one of the nation s lowest apartment vacancy rates – 4 percent, compared with 11 percent in Dallas and Atlanta, 10 percent in Houston, and 5 percent to 6 percent in Boston and Washington, according to a CB Richard Ellis report. Even in Center City, where nearly 6,500 residential units were added over the last seven years, vacancy rates remain low and rents continue to rise, according to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Projects under construction or planned in the area would add 2,149 units by 2008.

Commercial

Key office buildings like One and Two Liberty Place that epitomized Philadelphia s renewal hopes when they went up in the late 1980s and early 1990s are facing significant vacancies, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. In Two Liberty alone, 40 of its 58 floors are or soon will be empty, totaling about 800,000 square feet of space. The Bell Atlantic tower and Centre Square face 600,000 and 700,000 vacant square feet, respectively.

San Francisco

Residential
The median sale price of a single-family home for 2004 in the Bay Area was $532,000, a 17 percent rise over $455,000 in 2003 and the highest for any year since 1988, DataQuick Information Systems reported.

Commercial
Freedom Tower architect Daniel Libeskind is setting his sights on San Francisco. The Contemporary Jewish Museum last month revealed a $41-million plan for transforming the historic Jessie Street Power Substation into its new home, with Libeskind designing the 60,000-square-foot space. Groundbreaking is scheduled for spring 2006.

Residential
Almost nine percent of all home sales in the nine-county Bay Area last year were for $1 million or more, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. A $1 million house in San Francisco is roughly equal to a $220,000 home in Anchorage, a $236,000 home in Phoenix, $261,000 in Baltimore, or $544,000 in Honolulu, according to statistics from Coldwell Banker.

Seattle

Residential/Commercial

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen s company, Vulcan, announced plans last month for a 450,000 square foot mixed-use development at the corner of Westlake Avenue and Denny Way in Downtown Seattle. Vulcan has already undertaken 12 other projects in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and the two-tower project would add 300,000 square feet of office space, 100 residential units and 17,000 square feet of retail space. Construction could start by the end of the year.

Residential/Commercial

Construction of one of Downtown Bellevue s largest housing projects is slated to begin in June. The four-phase project by developers Wasatch Development Associates includes six towers covering a nearly 10-acre piece of land, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Washington, D.C.

Residential

The median home price in the five-county Baltimore area surged 25.5 percent to $215,000 during the year-over-year period ended in January, according to Metropolitan Information Systems Inc. In the city of Baltimore, average sale price shot up 36 percent to $137,295 in January. Federal Hill, Canton, and the Fells Point neighborhood in the city remain popular with buyers, while Brewers Hill, Union Square, and Druid Hill are becoming an increasing draw, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Residential
Home prices have risen dramatically in the D.C. area, as homeowners noticed when they recently received their assessments. The average assessed value of a home in Northern Virginia has roughly doubled since 2000, the Washington Post reported. In Maryland – in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Olney, Potomac and Wheaton in Montgomery County – average property values grew by an astonishing 65 percent over three years ago, when those homes were last assessed. And unexpectedly strong revenue driven by a hot real estate market has helped the District with a $318 million budget surplus for fiscal 2004, a stark contrast with when the city was more than $500 million in debt and virtually bankrupt nine years ago.

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