The Real Deal Miami

National Cheat Sheet: New co-president at Brown Harris Stevens, the real estate terms of the Fox-Disney deal … & more

By James Klatell | December 15, 2017 12:30PM

Clockwise from top left: The Google-backed plan for Silicon Valley housing, Xceligent shuts down amid data war with CoStar, Georgia State students in Atlanta are getting new high-rise housing, and the National Association of Realtors is making a final push on tax reform.

Realtors Association making final push to save incentives in GOP tax plans
The National Association of Realtors, the largest real estate lobbying group, is making a last-minute push to protect its 1.3 million members as the House and Senate reconcile a final tax bill. NAR’s primary complaint is the looming change in amount of time homeowners need to keep a property as their primary residence before avoiding capital gains taxes on a sale. [TRD]

JLL signs deal to track customers near retail properties
JLL, the world’s second-largest CRE services firm, has partnered with Alexander Babbage, which analyzes pings sent from mobile devices. JLL said the service, named Pinpoint, will track shoppers’ movements and provide valuable information for retailers and landlords alike. [TRD]

Xceligent shuts down amid legal battle with CoStar
Xceligent, which has been locked in a legal battle with CRE data competitor CoStar, abruptly shut down operations and filed for Chapter 7 liquidation. The closure occurred after a year of tangling between the companies, with CoStar suing for copyright infringement last December and Xceligent hitting back in June with an antitrust suit. The shutdown leaves all 250 of the firm’s employees out of jobs. [TRD]

Raveis still owes Elliman $4M in broker-poaching case, judge rules
A New York State judge upheld the verdict in a 2015 broker-poaching case but slightly lessened the amount William Raveis Real Estate owes Douglas Elliman. In January, a jury ruled that Raveis had hired away Elliman manager Lisa Theiss and colluded with her to steal 10 agents for a new Raveis office in Armonk, New York. Elliman was awarded $2.5 million in punitive damages and another $2.25 million for breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference with contract. Judge Alan Scheinkman upheld that decision but reduced the $2.25 million verdict to $1.3 million. [TRD]

Brown Harris Stevens promotes Bess Freedman to co-president
Bess Freedman has been named co-president of Brown Harris Stevens. She will run the residential brokerage alongside its current president, Hall Wilkie. Freedman joined BHS in 2013 after 10 years at the Corcoran Group. BHS has some 500 agents and did more than $4 billion in sales last year. [TRD]

After 1,500-store expansion, Mattress Firm sues its real estate team and prepares to trim
Mattress Firm, the Houston-based retail chain that has added 1,500 locations since 2010 in an effort to be a national powerhouse, is suing two of its former real estate executives, its outside broker and a group of developers over the vast expansion. The company alleges in its suit that its former employees, Bruce Levy and Ryan Vinson, as well as Colliers International Vice President Alexander Deitch, conspired with developers to fraudulently push the company into more expensive locations to enrich themselves. Mattress Firm is planning to eliminate stores in the future, but has not announced numbers or locations. [Bisnow]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Fox to retain sprawling LA studio, lease it to Disney for 7 years
With Fox keeping its global real estate assets as part the company’s reported $52.4 billion sale to Disney, the Murdoch family will lease its sprawling studio lot in Century City to Disney for the next seven years, Variety reported. The 20th Century Fox Studio lot, estimated to be worth as much as $1.8 billion, includes 80 buildings and 1.8 million square feet of space. [TRD]

Broker submits plans to build a hotel in Miami
Sterling Equity Realty broker Robert Ziehm’s company High Cube LLC is looking to build an eight-story hotel in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. The paperwork filed with the city of Miami calls for a 95-room hotel, an 80-spot parking garage and a bar. The permits estimate $14 million in construction costs. Ziehm bought the first piece of the property in 2005 for $240,000 and an additional parcel for $1.65 million in February. [TRD]

Facing a housing crunch, plans are set to add 10,000 units in the heart of Silicon Valley
The Mountain View City Council approved a massive redevelopment plan that would see 10,000 new homes and 3.6 million square feet of office space built in the area around Google’s headquarters. Turning Mountain View’s North Bayshore from a suburban office park to a city-like campus could take as long as 10 years to accomplish. Local officials say it could be a growth model for a region that added 367,000 jobs and only 57,000 homes between 2010 and 2015. Google, which backed the plan, is already investing billions in new properties in San Jose and Sunnyvale. [Mercury News]

$59M loan secured for 26-story tower in Atlanta to house Georgia State students
A new 26-story apartment tower is on the way to Atlanta to fill a housing shortage for Georgia State University students. South City Partners secured a $58.3 million loan from SunTrust to build 120 Piedmont, which will have room for as many as 685 beds, as well as retail space. Far from an old-school dormitory, when it opens in 2019, the new tower will include a pool, roof deck and other modern amenities. [Curbed]

Master plan approved for 1,600-unit development on top of Metro station in suburban D.C.
A plan by Fivesquares Development for a 2 million-square-foot development on top of the Grosvenor Metro station in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. got the green light from the Montgomery County Council. The 14-acre site, owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, will eventually see up to 1,600 residential units and retail space. The developers estimate that the entire project will cost around $500 million, with construction beginning in the summer of 2018.
[Washington Business Journal]