Week in Review for January 5 – 11:
- As part of the ongoing rejuvenation of Philadelphia’s long-neglected North Broad Street neighborhood, local developer Bart Blatstein officially presents his latest project, the Tower Place apartments. At the intersection of Broad Street and Spring Garden, the project is the result of $70 million in renovations to a former government building.
- Increased investor demand for CMBS causes lenders to increase flexibility for borrowers, reports the Wall Street Journal. Retail REIT Macerich (NYSE: MAC) recently obtained $600 million in CMBS financing for the Queens Center mall in New York. The issuers approved a 12-year term, rather than the more common 10-year term, helping Macerich maintain historically low interest rates for an additional 2 years.
- Philadelphia Energy Solutions sublets 22,000 SF of office space in the BNY Mellon Center, a 54-story, class A tower in the city’s Market Street West submarket.
- In London, executives from UBS face more government questioning over the bank’s role in the recent, widespread Libor manipulation scandal.
- Intent on increasing its reach in the highly active multifamily sector, real estate lender Berkadia Commercial Mortgage acquires Hendricks & Partners, a national multifamily brokerage based in Phoenix, AZ. Berkadia is owned by multinational holding company Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A), the firm led by famous billionaire Warren Buffett (see image on right).
- In New York City, CoStar Group reports, Microsoft leases 200,000 SF of office space at 11 Times Square, a newly completed, 40-story office building. The property is LEED Gold-certified and 70% leased, with Microsoft to occupy its lower floors.
- Though self-storage REITs showed extremely positive returns in 2012, timber REITs saw even stronger returns as they recovered from diminished demand brought on by the U.S. housing crisis.
- Canadian pension funds show increasing appetite for U.S. commercial real estate opportunities, reports the Wall Street Journal.