The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: Och-Ziff to launch $2B real estate fund … & more

By Maya Rajamani | September 21, 2018 08:15AM

Clockwise from top left: WeWork drops non-compete agreements for hundreds of employees after settlement with NY Attorney General Barbara Underwood, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group’s $2B real estate fund will target opportunistic investments, Henri Bendel to close all of its stores after 123 years in business, and Around one in six Americans would borrow against their homes to pay bills.

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group’s $2B real estate fund will target opportunistic investments
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group hopes to raise a $2 billion private equity fund that would target real estate, according to Bloomberg. This will be billionaire Daniel Och’s fourth fund targeting opportunistic investments and his firm’s largest real estate-targeted investment vehicle yet. “In the foreseeable future, we think we’re extremely good in credit and in real estate,” CEO Robert Shafir told investors last month. “What you will see is extensions that are local adjacencies to those core businesses.” Och-Siff also aims to raise $150 million for an affordable-housing fund and $750 million for a real estate debt fund. [TRD]

WeWork drops non-compete agreements for hundreds of employees after settlement
Hundreds of WeWork employees across the country will no longer be subject to stringent non-compete agreements. Almost all of the coworking behemoth’s employees were required to sign agreements that kept them from taking jobs with competitors, but after a settlement stemming from an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office, the company agreed to release 800 New York-based employees from their agreements and to make the new policy a nationwide one. As part of the new policy, an additional 600 employees across the country won’t be bound by non-compete agreements, and 1,800 employees will be subject to less restrictive agreements. The settlement was “a key step forward for WeWork’s thousands of employees in New York and across the country,” Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement. [TRD]

Henri Bendel to close all of its stores after 123 years in business
Luxury retailer Henri Bendel is closing all of its stores after 123 years in business, according to CNN. The retailer’s parent company L Brands made the decision to close the remaining 23 stores in an effort “to improve company profitability and focus on our larger brands that have greater growth potential” — Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, to name a few — as Henri Bendel wasn’t doing well sales-wise. After L Brands bought Bendel in the 1980s, it expanded the store into 11 states. Bendel’s 86,000-square-foot flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, its Chicago and Miami-area stores and its outpost at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles will all be shuttering after the holidays, this coming January. [TRD]

Around 1 in 6 Americans say they would borrow against their homes to pay bills
Approximately one in six U.S. homeowners would take out a loan secured by their home in order to pay household bills, a new Bankrate.com report found. That’s around 24 million homeowners, according to the report, which found that people who earned less and were less educated were more likely to make that choice. A majority of homeowners who took part in the survey, however, said that home improvements or repairs were the best reason to borrow against their homes. The report also indicated that while some homeowners said they would borrow against their homes, not many are doing so. The survey result “speaks to how far some households are stretched on a monthly basis,” Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride said. [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Long-vacant Times Square theater getting $100M revamp
Stillman Development and South Korean financial firm Daishin Securities Co. plan to renovate the Times Square Theater on West 42nd Street, the Wall Street Journal reported. Stillman Development has a 73-year lease for the theater, and the company hopes to draw entertainment-centric retailers to the space. Colliers International’s Brad Mendelson, who is handling the lease, said that could include brands like Apple, Amazon and Coca-Cola. President Roy Stillman, meanwhile, said they’re aiming to “design a project that would be insulated from the risks of e-commerce.” [TRD]

Chicago mansion that hosted four Playboy shoots hits the market
Prospective homeowners searching for a new place in Chicago could land a mansion that’s hosted four Playboy photo spreads, Crain’s first reported. The owners of the 7,000-square-foot Gold Coast home put it on the market for $4.9 million. The mansion has a third-floor addition made of glass and a master bedroom with mirrors on the ceiling. Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty agent Duane Shumaker, who’s listing the house, described it as “sexy.” [TRD]

Luxury rental building on the Fort Lauderdale waterfront could fetch $160M
A new luxury development on the water in Fort Lauderdale could fetch anywhere from $160 million to $170 million, according to Cushman & Wakefield broker Robert Given. Broadstone Harbor Beach, which houses 394 luxury apartment units, is unique because it’s “very rare to have a rental building on the Intracoastal or the water in South Florida,” said Given, who is listing the property along with Cushman & Wakefield’s Zachary Sackley, Troy Ballard and Neal Victor. “Most are condo projects,” he added. The site was previously home to Ocean World marine park, and is near the Broward Convention Center. [TRD]

CEO of Atlanta-based real estate investment trust Cousins Properties stepping down
The CEO of Atlanta-based real estate investment trust Cousins Properties is stepping down, Bisnow reported. Larry Gellerstedt, who’s been CEO since 2009, will take on the role of executive chairman. Colin Connolly, the trust’s president, will become the new CEO next year. “Colin’s promotion is part of a deliberate and planned succession effort that will allow Cousins Properties to benefit from his ideas, energy and strategic leadership skills, while continuing its evolution into a larger, highly focused company,” Gellerstedt said in a statement provided to the outlet. [Bisnow]

More and more Denver residents are looking for homes in other cities
More and more people who live in the Denver metro area are looking to buy homes in other cities, the Denver Post reported. A Redfin study found that there were more people from Denver searching for homes in other cities than were people from other cities searching for homes in Denver, according to the outlet. Residents who live in Denver may be looking for more affordable properties, since the median home price in the city is currently $406,000, according to the outlet. Denver residents seemed most interested in moving to Seattle, according to the study. They were also interested in places like Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. [DP]

Brightline buys high-speed rail between LA and Las Vegas
Traveling between Los Angeles and Las Vegas will soon take half the time. Florida-based firm Brightline plans to buy a high-speed rail project called “XpressWest” that will get passengers from Southern California to Las Vegas in about 80 minutes — far less than the time it takes to drive between the two cities now. The firm plans to start construction in 2019 and to launch its service in 2022. “Brightline is changing transportation in our country by connecting heavily trafficked corridors that are too long to drive and to short to fly,” Wes Edens, the co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Brightline parent company Fortress Investment Group, said of the project. A round trip ticket on the rail line will cost around $89. [TRD]