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Goldman Backs Blackstone’s Willis Tower Remake, WeWork to Give Away $20M, & More CRE News

Goldman Sachs Backing Blackstone’s $500 Million Remake of Willis Tower

Goldman Sachs Co. will be selling bonds backing CRE top dog Blackstone Group’s renovation of the iconic Willis Tower. The Chicago 3.83M SF building is one of the tallest buildings in the world. Blackstone aqcuired the buidling in June 2015 for $1.3B and plans to renovate 460,000 SF of the building. This includes 150k SF of space for exclusive tenant use, 300k SF of new retail, dining and entertainment space and a new 30k SF outdoor deck and garden.

WeWork is Giving Away $20 Million in Cash Prizes to Other Startups

WeWork Cos. CEO Adam Neumann recently announced that the company will give away $20M to startups and entrepreneurs in competition series called the Creator Awards. The company will also give a free year of WeWork membership to anyone who fills out an application for the competition. It’s literally a win-win, you can’t lose. Neumann hopes this will increase interest in membership.


CIM Group acquires Gramercy Tower

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital recently sold the Gilman Hall property to CIM Group for a reported $90M. The property includes the 146k SF Gilman Hall Tower as well as additional parcels in Manhattan. Avi Shemesh, CIM Group’s co-founder and principal, noted that the company plans to turn the property into student housing and educational facilities.

hhgregg Files for Bankruptcy, Announces Sale of Company to Undisclosed Buyer

Last week, electronics and appliance retailer hhgregg Inc. announced plans to close 88 of its stores and file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Additionally, the Indianapolis-based company also announced that it has agreed to sell the company to an undisclosed buyer that will recapitalize the firm, allowing it to come out of bankruptcy debt-free. Hhgregg will be closing three distribution centers with plans of keeping 132 stores.

Lenders Pull Back the Reins on New Construction in San Francisco

San Francisco multifamily rental rates may have already reached the peak in the cycle. With 6,133 units expected to enter the market between 2107 and 2018, market vacancy is expected to pick up. Lenders are taking notice and starting to pull back. As for office space, San Francisco’s downtown totaled 5.3M SF at the end of Q4 2016 with a planned 5.8M SF under construction – 34.1% being pre-leased. And things look even brighter for the San Francisco Peninsula which has 1.1M SF of space under construction and 52.6% of it pre-leased.


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