National market report

Atlanta

The Tulsa skyline

Aside from unemployment and industry malaise, Atlanta housing analysts are pointing to another factor to explain the area’s woes: a slow-growing population, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over the last two decades, roughly 120,000 new people have moved to the Atlanta metro area each year, experts say. But in the down economy, the city is drawing fewer newcomers. Mark Vitner, a senior economist with Wells Fargo, told the Journal-Constitution that the decrease in new Atlantans has led to problems in the housing market there. “In Georgia, we have a culture of growth that has been dependent on the influx of people into the state,” Vitner said. Foreclosure notices rose 11 percent between September and October of this year, the Journal-Constitution reported, hitting 11,070. That figure is up 16 percent from October 2009.

Boston

Radisson Hotel Boston

Radisson Hotel Boston sold last month for $143.5 million, according to Citybizlist Boston. CB Richard Ellis represented the sellers, Boston-based John Philopoulos Associates Trust, in the sale of the 358-unit Downtown Boston hotel. The deal represents a renewed interest among investors in the Boston-area hotel market, according to Commercial Property Executive. Other recent Boston-area hotel sales include the 430-room Boston Marriott Newton and the Hyatt Regency Boston, a 498-unit hotel that sold for $112 million.

Chicago

The future of the nation’s would-be tallest tower is now in jeopardy, Crain’s reported last month, after Anglo Irish Bank filed a $77 million foreclosure suit against the developer of the Chicago Spire. The Spire, which was set to occupy a 2.2-acre parcel of land in the Windy City, would have reached 2,000 feet in height. But after breaking ground in 2007, Dublin-based developer Shelbourne Development found a dearth of international investors, according to Chicago Now. Some sources say a glut of existing inventory in the Chicago market may be the project’s death knell — the Spire would have unloaded around 1,200 new condo units on the market.

Denver

Sales of high-end homes — classified as those costing $1 million or more — have remained relatively flat recently in the greater Denver area, despite a volatile local economy, the Denver Business Journal reported last month. With the average price for luxury homes hitting $1.8 million in September, 35 high-end homes sold during that month, up from 34 during September 2009, according to data from Denver’s Multiple Listing Service.

The Denver chapter of nonprofit organization Habitat for Humanity completed its largest project ever in the branch’s 31-year history last month, building 24 new homes that will house over 100 people, according to the Denver Post. Over the next five years, Habitat for Humanity said it plans to build 200 more homes in the greater Denver area.

Fort Lauderdale

The South Florida Sun Sentinel is looking for new office space in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and sources told the South Florida Business Journal that it could move to the suburbs. Several buildings are currently under consideration, including 110 Tower and Broward Financial Centre, and the paper has sent its request for proposals to several prospective landlords. At its smallest, a new lease for the paper could be around 45,000 square feet. The Tribune-owned Sun Sentinel currently has more than 57,000 square feet at its office at the New River Center at 200 East Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Los Angeles

Edward Rosenthal

Call it a broker’s tenacity: A 64-year-old Los Angeles-area real estate agent survived six days lost in the Southern California desert with no food and little water, before being discovered by a helicopter rescue team, according to the Los Angeles Times. Edward Rosenthal, who runs the New Downtown Brokerage, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal, had reportedly gone on the hike as part of a vacation to celebrate his role in the sale of Clifton’s Cafeteria in Brookdale, a 75-year landmark and Los Angeles mainstay. The deal closed in late September.

Miami

Baptist Health South Florida is questioning whether the University of Miami should be allowed to build a health center on its main campus in Coral Gables, according to the Miami Herald. “It’s huge,” Baptist chief executive Brian Keeley said of the plan. “It’s 200,000 square feet — that’s bigger than the Orange Bowl.” Baptist spokesperson Jo Baxter said the new health center would be almost as large as Doctors Hospital, which is across the street from the Gables campus and 255,000 square feet. UM is looking to compete with Baptist, which dominates southern Miami-Dade County.

MDM Development Group is in the late stages of negotiations to sign Whole Foods Market to space in its Metropolitan Miami mixed-use project, which is just south of Flagler Street, the South Florida Business Journal reported last month. The store is in final talks with MDM to open a 35,000-square-foot store at the base of its Met 3 project, according to Tim Weller, MDM’s VP of development. Met 3 consists of a 1,400-space, 10-level parking garage, and the market would be located on the ground floor.

Philadelphia

A subsidiary of Realogy acquired the assets of Philadelphia-based Coldwell Banker Preferred, the company announced last month. The branch, which includes eight offices and 500 employees, is the third-largest independent Coldwell Banker franchise, according to NRT LLC, the Realogy affiliate that made the purchase. Bruce Zipf, president and CEO of NRT, said the acquisition was part of an effort to broaden its presence along the Atlantic Coast. “This move fits perfectly into our expansion model on the East Coast, creating [a] seamless coverage area … from Washington, D.C., to Maine,” Zipf said in a written statement.

San Francisco

California’s Hudson Pacific Properties, a commercial real estate investment firm, is building up its San Francisco portfolio, according to the San Francisco Business Journal, with the purchase of a $34.9 million office property at 222 Kearny Street. The 144,440-square-foot building is the second major purchase Hudson has made in San Francisco in the last two months. Company president Howard Stern said San Francisco is one of the company’s top targets for expansion. The city’s struggling commercial market saw its first period of positive absorption in two years during the last quarter, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Tulsa

There’s mixed news coming out of Tulsa recently. The number of homes sold in August hit 738, a 5.4 percent uptick from the previous month, the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors reported in October, but a 24 percent decline from the same time period a year earlier. The median sales price fell from $140,000 to $131,000 month-over-month, according to Tulsa World, although the median price is still up from August 2009, when it clocked in at $127,652. Still, these uneven figures haven’t been enough to dissuade some market analysts from being bullish. Last month, real estate analysis group Local Market Monitor ranked the greater Tulsa area the best place for “conservative investors” to buy a home.

Compiled by Amy Tennery