National market report

National market report
By Dennis Lynch | May 01, 2017 11:00AM

Market Tower

Historic Columbus property is slated for redevelopment

Columbus, Ohio, is about to get a big addition to its skyline.

The city selected the team of Wood Companies and Schiff Capital Group from three finalists to develop a $100 million, 35-story mixed-use tower in a parking lot next to North Market, a historic public bazaar, according to Columbus Business First.

The 400-foot building — which will be among the 10 tallest in Ohio’s capital — is part of the redevelopment of the 26,000-square-foot market and neighboring lot and will include around 200 residential units, 40,000 square feet of office space and more than 50,000 square feet for shops and restaurants. The developers will replace the parking lot with an underground garage of about the same size.

A two-story glass atrium, dubbed the Grand Arcade, will connect the new tower to the public market, providing an additional 10,000 square feet of space for vendors to host events. There will also be an outdoor plaza along the property line.

Mark Wood, president of Wood Companies, said the exact makeup of the space could change as the redevelopment moves forward. He called the project in the heart of downtown Columbus “an opportunity to be a landmark.”

The city of Columbus released a request for proposals to develop the site in September and will transfer ownership of the land to the developers and a city-run market authority.

River North tower

New York developer faces zoning woes in the Windy City

Manhattan-based Symmetry Property Development is getting blowback from a Chicago elected official for its proposed 60-story condominium and hotel tower in the city’s River North neighborhood, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

If completed, the development — located on the corner of Wabash Avenue and Superior Street — would stand at 725 feet, making it the tallest tower constructed in the submarket since the recession.

The project needs a City Council-approved zoning change. But the local alderman, Brendan Reilly, opposes the project, citing concerns about  traffic, and the 50 council members traditionally vote on zoning changes in line with that
neighborhood’s representative, Crain’s reported.

Reilly wrote in an email to constituents that the tower would attract scores of taxis, limousines and Uber cars and “exacerbate an already-untenable condition.”

He noted that he had received “significant negative feedback” from the community after Symmetry and its local partners, Golub & Company and Fordham Real Estate, revealed their plans in March.

Reilly successfully opposed a 620-room hotel high-rise that had been proposed three years ago for a portion of the site. He suggested that Symmetry and its partners narrow down one use for the Skidmore Owings & Merrill-designed tower — which would house 246 condos, 216 hotel rooms and 120 time shares — and explore what can be built within existing zoning.

There are several hotels in the blocks surrounding the site, including the Park Hyatt Chicago, the Peninsula Chicago and the Omni Chicago Hotel.

Capital Tower

Skanska kicking off downtown Houston office tower

Multinational construction firm Skanska will start work on a $151 million, 35-story office tower in downtown Houston after Bank of America Merrill Lynch signed a lease for more than a quarter of the tower’s office space, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The tower, which is slated for completion in 2019, is adding 754,000 square feet to the abundance of available office space in Houston.

The city’s vacancy rate hit 16.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, a 22-year high, according to data from CBRE. Downtown Houston alone has 8 million square feet of vacant office space, more than three times the square footage of One World Trade Center. John Pruitt, an executive vice president at JLL, told the Chronicle that it could take 18 months to four years for companies to eat up that surplus.

Bank of America will leave 290,000 square feet of space at three other locations downtown and consolidate in 205,000 square feet of office space across six-and-a-half floors in the tower at 800 Capitol Street.

The property will have a two-level atrium with room for retail and restaurants, and Bank of America will also take 5,000 square feet of retail space in that portion of the building.

The development has been dubbed the Capitol Tower, although Bank of America’s lease gives the company a right to put its name and brand on the building.

Blackstone puts Boston’s South Station on the market 

Boston’s South Station is up for sale for $100 million, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Blackstone Group subsidiary Equity Office Management is selling a 98-year leasehold interest in the 205,000-square-foot transit hub, which includes 117,000 square feet of fully leased office space and 59,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.

South Station was built in 1899 and sits at the edge of Boston’s financial center near the Seaport District. It serves 112,000 rail and bus riders daily, making it the second-largest transportation center in New England behind nearby Logan Airport, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

The offering comes as the Texas-based developer Hines and the Chinese firm Gemdale Properties & Investment Corporation are scheduled to start work on their 51-story office and condominium tower above South Station’s commuter rail tracks using the station’s air rights. That project is part of the city’s South Station Expansion plan, which is meant to accommodate the estimated 50,000 additional passengers that the station will serve by 2020.

MassDOT wants to purchase the neighboring U.S. Postal Service building to complete the expansion, which calls for additional tracks, platforms, passenger facilities and train car storage.