The Buckhead neighborhood is hotter than it’s been in years. Demand for office space there is accelerating in 2005 after two slow years, according to the Atlanta Business Journal. Recent high-profile purchases and developments that have lured companies include the sale of the 20-story, 466,000-square-foot One Live Oak building for $31 million. Cousins Properties recently broke ground on Terminus, a mixed-use development at the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads that will include a 532,000-square-foot office building and 65,000 square feet of retail space.
Boston is on Google’s short list. The Internet behemoth is planning to open a massive office compound in one of four cities across the country that could expand to as much as 275,000 square feet of commercial space. Representatives in June scoped out potential sites in Boston and neighboring Cambridge, according to the Boston Business Journal, visiting at least 10 buildings, many in the Back Bay neighborhood. Google is looking to sign a five- to 10-year lease by the end of the year.
A major push is on to redevelop the banks of the Mystic River, according to the Boston Globe. Polluted, with many factories along its route, the Mystic is being envisioned as a landmark next to residential and commercial developments, an enticement for buyers much in the same way as is the Charles River. The Boston suburb of Medford released a proposed plan for mixed-use development that would reorganize its downtown to better capitalize on the Mystic streaming through it.
Centrum Properties Inc. will build a massive three-tower, $700 million luxury condominium in downtown Chicago, according to Realtor.org. The condominium, dubbed CityFront Plaza, will be a half-block east of Michigan Avenue on St. Clair Street in the Streeterville neighborhood. Prices in the first condo tower will range from $300,000 to more than $1 million. Sales started in June, and construction should begin in the first quarter of 2006.
Housing prices in the Chicago metro area appreciated 1.96 percent in the first quarter of 2005, according to a report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. That places Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, at No. 103 of the 265 metro areas studied, well behind New York and Los Angeles, but ahead of Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S. Housing in Chicago appreciated 10.57 percent during the 12-month period ending March 31 and has appreciated more than 45 percent in the past five years.
The Las Vegas metro area had the nation’s second-highest housing appreciation rate from the first quarter of 2004 to the first quarter of 2005, with housing prices up 33.3 percent, according to early June data from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Las Vegas housing prices are up 89.1 percent over the last five years. Nevada’s appreciation rate overall for the 12 months ending the first quarter of 2005 was 31.2 percent, well above the national rate, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Construction on the 1.5-million-square-foot, open-air Town Square at the intersection of Interstates 15 and 215 started in June. Centra Properties, the project’s developer, also revealed the names of several tenants, including a bowling alley, a movie theater and dozens of retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Kenneth Cole. Scheduled to open in late 2006, the $400 million project will also include a 230-room hotel and 200,000 square feet of office space, according to In Business Las Vegas.
The Los Angeles metro area had a housing appreciation rate of 25.55 percent for the 12 months ending March 31, according to recently released government data. The brisk rate places LA among the top 20 metro areas in the nation for housing appreciation, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. It also puts the city well above the national average rate of 12.5 percent. Over the past five years, LA housing has appreciated more than 100 percent.
More than 114 projects, most of them high-rise condominiums, are under construction or in the planning stages in downtown Miami along Biscayne Bay, the Miami Herald reported. Citywide, developers are planning more than 61,000 new condominium units eight times the number built during the past 10 years. These plans include the tallest skyscraper in Florida and the tallest residential building south of Manhattan, as well as nearly 4 million square feet of retail space.
Two new big box retail developments are going up in Miami. A five-story complex called the Bayview Market received approval from the city council and will be built a few blocks from the Performing Arts Center. It will include 24 residential units and more than 580,000 square feet for four large retailers and smaller, ground-floor shops, the Miami Herald reported. A 600,000-square-foot shopping center is also under development in Midtown Miami on the former Buena Vista Rail Yard, the Herald reported.
A three-story, 12,000-square-foot prototype of a small corner of the Comcast Center is being built by Liberty Property Trust. The prototype will give prospective tenants of the 57-story, 1.2-million-square-foot building a feel for how the inside will look, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. Set to open in late 2007, 43 percent of leased space in the building, at 17th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, will serve as headquarters for cable giant Comcast.
Adding to Philadelphia’s already brisk condo construction market, a City Council committee in early June approved plans for a 1,110-unit, two-tower condo rising 40 stories on the Delaware River waterfront between Fairmont Avenue and Laurel Street. Nearly 15,000 condo units in Philadelphia are either under construction or in the planning stages.
Arizona’s population will increase by 5.6 million within the next 25 years, making it the second-fastest growing state behind Nevada, according to a recent U.S. Census analysis by the Arizona Blue Chip Economic Forecast. By 2030, Arizona will be the 10th largest state by population, the Phoenix Business Journal reported, further fueling what is already one of the hottest housing markets in the nation.
Phoenix politicians and developers broke ground in early June on the first market-rate downtown apartment project in nearly a decade. The $40 million, 328-unit Alta Phoenix is across the street from the Arizona Center near Arizona State University’s downtown campus, the Arizona Republic reported. The project is expected to open in January 2007, with rents from $850 to $3,000 a month.
The retail link between Market and Mission streets is nearing completion, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Yerba Buena Lane will bring more than a dozen stores and restaurants to a dense area that already includes the Four Seasons and Marriott hotels. Eight of the new stores, ranging from 2,000 to 4,500 square feet, will be built into the Marriott. Rents range from $35 to $125 a square foot. Much of the fresh space should be rented within the next five months, the paper reported.
The historic Landmark building at 1 Market Street has a new owner. TMG Partners announced in early June that it had closed the sale of the building to American Assets for a reported $496 per square foot or, about $190 million, according to the San Francisco Business Journal. The building includes 380,000 square feet of office space and a 44,000-square-foot annex. Built in 1917 and located at the foot of the popular San Francisco drag, current tenants of The Landmark include Microsoft and Del Monte.
Construction started in June on a Falls Church, Va., development that is one of the largest projects there in 20 years, the Washington Business Journal reported. The mixed-use project includes an 85,000-square-foot, five-story office building that Atlantic Realty plans to finish by mid-2006. It will adjoin a six-story, 349,000-square-foot condo building developed by Carr Enterprises. The building will have 230 units for sale and is scheduled for completion by early 2007.