The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: China Vanke agrees to buy 5% stake in Cushman … & more

July 27, 2018 09:00AM

Clockwise from top left: Cushman & Wakefield aims for $750 million IPO, WeWork launching real estate advisory, Overstock.com launching real estate platform, and CoStar’s net income nearly doubles in the second quarter.

China Vanke agrees to buy 5% stake in Cushman ahead of IPO
Last month, Cushman & Wakefield filed paperwork for its initial public offering. Sources familiar with the global brokerage’s plans have told the Wall Street Journal it plans to raise $750 million. The IPO “would value the firm at around $6 billion, including debt,” the outlet reported. The firm’s pricing range will likely be set on Monday, with shares expected to begin trading next month. And Cushman already has a buyer for 10.2 million shares, as the firm has struck a private placement deal with a Hong Kong-based unit of China Vanke. The firm agreed to purchase the shares at whatever price the market sets when Cushman holds its public offering. Its IPO comes less than a year after rival brokerage Newmark Knight Frank went public. [TRD]

WeWork launching business that will help smaller companies find office space
WeWork is branching out into real estate advisory, with a new business called WeWork Space Services, which will help companies find non-WeWork office space. Jason Bauer, who co-founded Voda Bauer Real Estate, will spearhead the business. The move comes as the co-working giant looks to help smaller companies who are searching for office space but don’t end up signing with WeWork. “We’ve already got these companies approaching us. For some reason or another, they chose not to go with us. So let’s stick to our mission and help them find space, but give them some value in the network,” WeWork’s chief growth officer David Fano said. [TRD]

E-commerce behemoth Overstock.com is launching its own real estate platform
Overstock.com is moving beyond e-commerce with the launch of a real estate-focused platform called O Real Estate. The platform’s “first iteration” will be a startup Overstock snapped up earlier this year — Houserie — that will help landlords screen tenants and check credit scores. Overstock also bought a company called Rental Roost in February. “Adding real estate to the mix was a natural fit for a brand,” Seth Moore, an Overstock senior vice president of strategy said. The new platform is expected to launch in September. [TRD]

Homeowners trying to leave high-tax states face myriad obstacles
Homeowners hoping to move out of high-tax states and into lower-tax ones may have a harder time than they anticipated. Some states have implemented policies and procedures to make sure that people are actually moving out, rather than simply spending more time in a different state while still holding on to their original homes, Bloomberg reported. In New York, the state Department of Taxation and Finance can check credit card and bank statements, as well as phone records — and even has auditors conduct investigations — to make sure people have actually left the state. “When people understand they have to change their life circumstances, some people say: ‘Never mind, that’s too big a life change for us to do right now,” one law firm partner told the outlet. [TRD]

CoStar’s net income nearly doubled year-over-year in the second quarter
Real estate data firm CoStar Group is having a good year. The second quarter saw its net income nearly double from what it was at the same time last year — reaching $44 million, according to its earnings report. The firm, which snapped up LoopNet for $860 million in 2011, chalked its good fortune up to the fact that many LoopNet users have become paying customers. CoStar has also seen its purchase of ForRent.com pay off, its CEO Andy Florance said. “Since the acquisition, we have successfully signed up over 4,100 ForRent properties to our combined network and expect to complete the process of moving ForRent properties to the combined network later this year,” he said. [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Winick Realty Group founder Jeff Winick owes New York State $1.2 million in unpaid taxes
The founder of Manhattan-based Winick Realty Group — one of the biggest retail brokerages in New York — owes New York State $1.2 million in taxes, the Commercial Observer first reported. Jeff Winick came in at 70th on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s list of “the top 250 individual tax debtors in the state,” according to the outlet. The $1.2 million is a combination of taxes Winick didn’t pay last year and taxes he hasn’t paid since 2015. Bernie Madoff’s brother Peter Madoff also made the list, the outlet reported. [TRD]

Facebook signs lease for office at the CNA Center in Chicago
Facebook has a new office in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune first reported. The company recently signed a lease for 263,000 square feet of space at the CNA Center, which is owned by the John Buck Company. Facebook already has a 100,000-square-foot office in Chicago, and the company declined to say what it plans to do with that space, but noted that the new CNA Center space will allow its global marketing solutions and recruiting teams to grow. In May, Facebook broke a record for the largest office lease in San Francisco when it signed a long-term lease for 756,000 square feet in Park Tower. The social media giant is also planning to sign a lease for 260,000-square-feet of space in Los Angeles, according to sources who spoke with TRD. [TRD]

‘Ghost town’ outside Los Angeles snapped up by investors on Friday the 13th
The new owners of a “ghost town” outside of Los Angeles officially bought the 300-acre property on Friday the 13th. The abandoned mining town known as Cerro Gordo sold to eight investors for more than $1 million after a bidding war. The new owners of the 1860s-built town plan to turn it into a destination for “weekend getaways, festivals, photoshoots and writing retreats,” while still maintaining its historic allure. One of the investors, author and entrepreneur Brent Underwood, said he was drawn to the town because he was seeking a site that was “interesting and unique, with some history to it.” [TRD]

Renters can live in a Palm Beach mansion owned by Trump’s sons for $100,000 a month
Prospective renters with $100,000 a month to spare can live in an eight-bedroom Palm Beach mansion owned by Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, the Palm Beach Daily News first reported. President Trump’s sons bought the mansion — which neighbors Mar-a-Lago — from their aunt for $18.25 million in May. The West Indies-style abode is partially furnished and sits on the beach. It’s also been undergoing renovations since the Trump sons bought it. “It’s a unique property on a unique site, with a location near the Mar-a-Lago Club and the Bath & Tennis Club. It’s really a beautiful home,” broker John Pinson told the outlet. [TRD]

New report says Phoenix is the best place to rent in America
Phoenix, Arizona is the best place to rent in America, according to a new report. That designation came from WalletHub, which looked at factors including apartment size, cost of living, quality of life and affordability in cities around the country. Detroit came in on the opposite end of the spectrum, ranking last on WalletHub’s list. The report ranked New York City, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco among the cities with the highest cost of living. It also predicted that six cities in California would experience the biggest increase in rent prices nationwide. [TRD]