The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: Blackstone in contract for $1.8B industrial portfolio, Lowy family sells Westfield Corp. for $15.7B … & more

By James Klatell | December 21, 2017 03:00PM

National Cheat Sheet

Clockwise from top left: The Lowy family is handing over control of Westfield, WeWork and UrWork settled their lawsuit, Island Gardens in Miami, and the Blackstone Group head Jonathan Gray.

Blackstone in contract to buy $1.8B industrial portfolio  Already America’s largest private landlord, the Blackstone Group is set to acquire a 22 million-square-foot industrial portfolio from Cabot Properties in a $1.8 billion purchase, according to documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 146 properties in the portfolio are concentrated in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, South Florida, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. Blackstone expects to close the deal in March or April of 2018. [TRD]

Lowy family gives up control of Westfield with $15.7B sale The Lowy family’s $15.7 billion sell-off of its Westfield Corporation is a rarity in real estate: a two-generation dynasty giving up control of its empire. In this case, the family is handing over one of the world’s biggest mall owners, Unibail-Rodamco. “Westfield always was dominated by the family, but it was never meant to be one of those dynasties to be handed down,” Westfield co-chief executive Peter Lowy told the Wall Street Journal. [TRD]

Building in the South and West leads to rising US housing starts Housing starts in the U.S. are at their highest level in over a year, rising 3.3 percent from October to November,to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.297 million, according to the Commerce Department. A spike in single-family home construction in the South and West drove the growth, with rates not seen since 2007. The National Association of Home Builders found that confidence amongst its members has hit its highest level in more than 18 years. [TRD]

WeWork and UrWork settle trademark lawsuit The trademark lawsuit WeWork brought against its Chinese co-working competitor UrWork has been settled, according to federal court documents. WeWork filed the suit after UrWork announced plans to enter the New York market, but UrWork countered that it never claimed to use UrWork branding in their U.S. branches. The terms of the settlement are not known. [TRD]

Data firm Xceligent closes, files for Chapter 7 Real estate date firm Xceligent has shut down operations and filed for bankruptcy. The firm had been embroiled in a multimillion-dollar legal battle with CoStar Group, its main competitor. An email to Xceligent staff asked employees to leave the company’s building in Kansas City, Mo., “within the next thirty minutes.” Xceligent and CoStar had been in talks to settle their lawsuits, but it was reported last week that negotiations broke down without a resolution. [TRD]

2017 has been a good year for real estate startups Real estate tech valuations took off this year, with blockbuster funding rounds for many companies vying to be the next big thing. WeWork, now worth $20 billion, unsurprisingly tops The Real Deal’s list of 2018’s top deals, followed by Compass, which had $100 million and $450 million funding rounds. [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Chinese buyer posts record $91M sale in new supertall NYC condo The $91.1 million purchase of a trio of apartments at 432 Park Avenue, a supertall condominium, marks a record sale at the Macklowe Properties and CIM Group building. The Chinese buyer — 432 Park Joy LLC — will take units 92, 92B and 93B with a total of 11,906 square feet over two floors. At $7,651 per square foot, it’s a better deal than the $10,623-per-foot price Fawaz Al Hokair reportedly paid for a penthouse in the building last year. [TRD]

Inside Flagstone Property Group’s battle to build $1B Island Gardens in Miami Turkish entrepreneur Mehmet Bayraktar has been trying to build Island Gardens, a billion-dollar luxury resort, on a city-owned property for over a decade, but his Flagstone Property Group claims it has met opposition at every step. After finally breaking ground in 2015, the Miami city council cut ties with the developer in May of this year. TRD looks back at the project’s travails as Bayraktar gears up for a February trial regarding the suit he’s filed against the city. [TRD]

LA-based Olive Hill buying Santa Monica office building for $117M The Olive Hill Group is in contract with Tishman Speyer to buy a 113,000-square-foot office building in Santa Monica for $117 million. Michael Cho, president of Olive Hill, said the pending deal is a rare opportunity to move into Santa Monica, where development is strictly limited. The six-story property is 82 percent occupied, with tenants like WeWork and Flywheel Sports. [TRD]

Seattle to invest $100M in affordable housing Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a $100 million plan to provide affordable housing, with the city planning to invest in nine new apartment buildings, which will have 896 apartments, and two “affordable-homeownership sites” that will have 26 homes for qualifying first-time buyers. Some of the $100 million fund will go to maintaining four existing buildings that contain 535 affordable housing units. [Seattle Times]

Charlotte investors buy into Boston’s Harvard Square for $108M A pair of retail buildings on Harvard Square have been sold to Charlotte-based Asana Partners for $108 million after an intense three month bidding process. The two properties have a total of 55,000 square feet, with retail at street level with office space above. The new owners have “no plans to demolish the buildings, no plans to add density on top of it,” Sam Judd of Asana told The Boston Globe. The buildings had been owned by two families that make up the Dow and Stearns trust since the early 1900s. [Boston Globe]

$150M development to bring new residential, commercial and hotel buildings to suburban Dallas The Flower Mound City Council has approved a plan by Direct Development to build a new $150 million mixed-use project with 500 residential units, two office buildings and a 100-room Hilton hotel. Construction on the 35-acre Point project will begin in 2018. Direct Development has built five projects in Flower Mound over 20 years, and the area, which is in the Lakeside DFW district, is also expecting large new developments from Greystar and Realty Capital Management. [Dallas Morning News]