The Real Deal New York

National market report

Commercial and residential real estate news briefs for around the U.S.
By Zachary Kussin | January 01, 2013 07:00AM

The J. Edgar Hoover Building

Washington, D.C.

The federal General Services Administration last month announced that it is seeking proposals for a new headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported. The 2.4 million-square-foot J. Edgar Hoover Building, which serves as the current FBI headquarters, is reportedly outdated and overcrowded. The GSA said it hopes to exchange the Hoover building for a new site elsewhere in the city. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, the Hoover building sits on a 6.7-acre site zoned for office, residential and other uses, and is a prime redevelopment site in a city that is low on available development lots, according to the Journal. Inventory of new condominiums in the capital region has dropped sharply in recent years, according to data from Virginia-based real estate research firm Delta Associates. In the third quarter of 2012, there were 2,797 new condo units under construction or being marketed in the capital region, Delta reported. That’s down from 3,629 in July 2011, and only a fraction of the number five years ago, when the area’s inventory neared 20,000.


Los Angeles

Brookfield Homes has reached an agreement to pay over $250 million for the remaining 110 acres of undeveloped land in the Playa Vista area of Los Angeles, the Wall Street Journal reported. Brookfield, which is controlled by Brookfield Asset Management, purchased the land from the development company Playa Capital, which is owned by a partnership including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Oaktree Capital Management. Brookfield plans to construct 600 to 800 homes and 1,500 apartments on the site, while Dallas-based Lincoln Property will develop office properties, a supermarket and a movie theater. Playa Vista, a 1,000-acre area near the Los Angeles International Airport, was once largely undeveloped, but over the past decade has seen the construction of 2 million square feet of office space and over 3,000 homes. Trulia shows that the median sales price for Playa Vista homes between August and October was $535,000 — 2.7 percent higher than the same period of the previous year.



Richmond-based Apple REIT Six has signed a $1.2 billion deal to be acquired by BRE Select Hotels, an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, Commercial Property Executive reported. Apple REIT, formed in 2004, is focused on hotel properties and has a portfolio of 66 hotels with 7,658 rooms across 18 states. The REIT focuses on select-service and extended-stay hotels, such as Fairfield Inn, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn. The deal is slated to be complete in the first half of 2013, according to Bloomberg News. In May, Blackstone agreed to acquire another major hotel portfolio, committing to buy a 1,102-property package of lodging destinations in the U.S. and Canada from Accor for $1.9 billion.



MetLife is set to pay roughly $120 million for an apartment building at 215 West Washington Street in Chicago, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. Located in the city’s Loop neighborhood, the 50-story building has a total of 389 rental units. The owner, a joint venture led by Chicago-based Jupiter Realty, developed the property in 2010. Known as 215 West, the building was 95.9 percent occupied in the third quarter of 2012. The deal marks MetLife’s fourth acquisition of a high-rise in Downtown Chicago in the past 12 months: The firm purchased the EnV apartment building for $122 million in December 2011, and has since agreed to buy two West Loop office properties for a combined $221 million. In 2012, a total of eight buildings in Downtown Chicago traded for a combined $398 million, according to Crain’s. That’s down from 2011, when the city saw 17 sales for a combined $1.43 billion.


Halle Berry

Hollywood Hills 

Actress Halle Berry has quietly listed her Hollywood Hills home for $15 million, TMZ first reported. The home recently made headlines when Gabriel Aubry, Berry’s ex-boyfriend, got into a fistfight there with her fiancé, Olivier Martinez. Berry reportedly has listed the 5,900-square-foot, five-bedroom house with Billy Rose at the real estate firm the Agency. Rose himself previously owned and renovated the property, which contains a 1,400-square-foot guest house, pool and spa.


Pharrell Williams’ penthouse


Rapper and producer Pharrell Williams listed his three-story penthouse in Miami’s Bristol Tower for $16.8 million, Curbed reported. Williams purchased the 9,080-square-foot unit for $12.5 million in 2007. The five-bedroom condo on the building’s 40th floor has a pool and a home theater. Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Miami have the listing.


Conan O’Brien


Comedian Conan O’Brien took a loss on the sale of his Brentwood, Los Angeles, home, the blog Real Estalker first reported last month. The home reportedly sold in June to a non-celebrity couple for $9.25 million, down from the $10.75 million O’Brien paid for the house in 2008. The home has six bedrooms, six fireplaces, a temperature-controlled wine room and pool. O’Brien and his wife have reportedly moved to Pacific Palisades, where they purchased a home for around $20 million in 2011.