The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: Inside Google’s $2B NYC building buy, states look to end bans on rent control … & more

By James Klatell | February 08, 2018 06:00PM

Clockwise from top left: Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his NYC buildings, the Miami-Dade Courthouse will be sold off, HPP’s Victor Coleman and Macerich’s Art Coppola are working out a deal for the Westside Pavilion, and the View at Tysons will boast the tallest tower in the Washington, D.C. area.

Google joins $2B club with megadeal for Chelsea Market building
Google is buying the 1.2 million-square-foot office-and-retail Chelsea Market building from Jamestown for north of $2 billion. It puts the tech giant in an elite club of buyers whose trophy office purchases in New York top the $2 billion mark. Only four other properties have sold above that level: the GM building at 767 Fifth Avenue, 11 Madison Avenue, 3 Bryant Park and 245 Park Avenue. Google bought its nearby New York headquarters at 111 Eighth Avenue for $1.77 billion in 2010. [TRD]

States look to end bans on rent control
Lawmakers in California, Illinois and Washington are looking to repeal bans on regulations that limit rents or rent increases, the Wall Street Journal reported. Tenant advocates in California are gathering signatures for a ballot measure to end the 20-year-old that put statewide limits on rent control. Lawmakers in Illinois have proposed legislation lifting the state’s 1997 ban on rent control. [TRD]

Blockchain startup that could help RE capitalize on cryptocurrencies raises $10M
Harbor, a startup that sells compliance technology for crypto-securities offerings, raised $10 million from venture capitalists, including the real estate specialists at Fifth Wall Ventures. Harbor’s technology could open the door for companies to mint crypto-currencies backed by real estate by ensuring compliance with U.S. regulations. “This represents the most profound, disruptive change to real estate capital markets ever,” Fifth Wall’s co-founder Brad Greiwe wrote in a blog post about Harbor. [TRD]

CRE data startup Reonomy raises another $16M, partners with Newmark
Reonomy, a real estate data and research company, raised another $16 million in its latest funding round, bringing its investment total to $40 million. Previous to this, Reonomy hadn’t raised money since 2015, which coupled with some high-level personnel departures, had some industry insiders thinking the company was in jeopardy. Richard Sarkis, co-founder and CEO assured the public that the company didn’t “get ahead of our skis” and spent the last three years on research and development. It also announced a partnership with Newmark Knight Frank that will add Reonomy’s data to the commercial brokers. [TRD]

Pass through deductions among remaining questions about new tax law
While the real estate industry stands to benefit from the new federal tax law, some uncertainties remain regarding the changes. The biggest questions surround the 20 percent deductions on income from pass-through entities, which are commonly used tools among real estate companies. According to BDO USA’s Robert Klein, it is unclear if the income from various LLCs can be combined to calculate the amount deducted and if property management companies will qualify for the pass-through deductions. [TRD]

Homeowner tech platform Houzz acquires IvyMark for $30M+
Houzz, the popular tech platform for home design and remodeling, bought interior design management software company IvyMark for $30 to $40 million, TechCrunch reported. Valued at $4 billion, Houzz’s online marketplace connects interior designers with clients, while IvyMark has a set of tools for interior designers to manage their businesses. [TRD]

Realtors survey: 75% of renters want to own a home
The quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey from the National Association of Realtors found that about three-quarters of non-homeowners would like to buy one day, but not because their rents are rising. The survey found lifestyle changes, such as getting married or starting a family, to be the top reason to buy a home, followed by an improved financial situation. More than half, 56 percent, said the main impediment to buying was that they couldn’t afford it. [HousingWire]

Victoria’s Secret invests in brick and mortar
Victoria’s Secret parent company is renovating and expanding its stores just as many retailers are cutting back, the Wall Street Journal reports. L Brands, which also owns Pink and Bath & Body Works, has been pouring 70 percent of its investments into brick and mortar locations. CEO Leslie Wexner believes online shopping won’t kill off traditional retail, even as L Brands same-store sales are expected to decline for the first time in seven years and its share price has dropped by half since 2015. [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

New 26-story county courthouse to be built in downtown Miami, old one to be sold
Miami-Dade County will get a 26-story, 600,000 square-foot courthouse, and the county commissioners won’t accept anything less. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez had sought a smaller, cheaper option, but a new rule passed by the commissioners mandated the size of the building, number of courtrooms and completion date. Miami-Dade will invest $361 million in a public-private partnership to build the new building, while the current historically designated courthouse will be sold. [TRD]

Hudson Pacific Properties in advanced talks to buy struggling LA mall
Hudson Pacific Properties is close to acquiring the struggling Westside Pavilion shopping mall in West Los Angeles. The 755,000-square-foot shopping center is owned by Macerich Co., which announced in November that it planned to sell the property. The malls anchor tenant, a 220,000-square-foot Macy’s, is closing as part of the department store chain’s nationwide cutbacks. Hudson Pacific, the nation’s largest independent studio operator, has an expansive office portfolio and a mixed-use property in West L.A., but no malls. [TRD]

Developer buys land for project featuring what could be the DC-area’s tallest tower
Tysons Development, a partnership between Clemente Development and Saudi investors, bought the first plot of land in Tysons Corner, Virginia, to build a 2.8 million square-foot project with what would be the tallest tower in the Washington D.C. area. The group bought a 1.8-acre parcel at the Spring Hill Metro station for $26 million and is under contract to buy the adjacent 7.1-acre site, Bisnow reported. If the proposed View at Tysons project is approved, the plans call for a 48-story mixed-use tower, two rental apartment buildings and a performing arts center. [Bisnow]

Developers launch $300M planned community with 1,000 homes east of Dallas
Dallas developer Wynne/Jackson is building a 1,000-home planned community in Forney, on the eastern end of city’s metro area. RAM Real Estate Capital is partnering on the $300 million Overland Grove project, and Landmark Bank is financing the initial phase of construction. The plan for the 336-acre site includes a new elementary school and resort-style amenity center. The first buildings are expected to open in 2019, with homes priced between $275,000 and $400,000. [Dallas Morning News]

Seattle’s housing market continues setting records in 2018
The housing market in the Seattle area was hot in 2017, and January’s numbers show that 2018 might be even hotter. A report by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service found that single-family home prices in King County surged 20 percent in January versus the year before, and condo prices were up 23 percent against 2017. The median sale price in Seattle was $757,000, which beat out the high mark set last summer. What’s more, the Seattle Times notes, January has been the cheapest month to buy a home in each of the last two years. [Seattle Times]