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Equity Office Daily Brief: November 16, 2016

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Daily Brief

November 16, 2016

  EquilityOffice

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Six Property Types Strong Enough to Thrive in a Recession

National Real Estate Investor

 

As the industry mulls “what inning we’re in” one thing is sure: eventually every commercial real estate cycle winds down. Speakers at recent panels and seminars have warned that a recession is nigh, saying this cycle’s lengthened recovery is historically unique.  By the end of 2018,...

 


5 big real-estate trends to watch in 2017

MarketWatch

 

A surprising twist toward the end of 2016 with the election of real estate magnate Donald Trump as president is likely to presage some dramatic changes in 2017 for the housing industry, which saw healthy increases ion values this year, thanks...

 


Santa Clarita and Pico Rivera Named Most Business-Friendly L.A. Cities

Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Santa Clarita and Pico Rivera have been named this year’s most business-friendly cities in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp at the 21st Annual LAEDC Eddy Awards on Thursday night. Santa Clarita won the category for the...

 


Clinic Opens Conejo Office to Care for Rams

Orange County Business Journal

 

Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic of Los Angeles has opened a new office in Thousand Oaks to better care for L.A. Rams players and expand its services into the Conejo Valley. The Cedars-Sinai affiliate focused on sports medicine and orthopedic care partnered with Thousand...

 



BLOG & ONLINE NEWS

 

Top 10 US office metros see healthy gains in Q3

Bisnow

 

The country’s top 10 office markets—based on total square footage and global investor demand—continued to post healthy rent gains in Q3, though six of the top 10 metros in the country had an increase in vacancies during the same period, according...

 


Middle Market Digest: Southwest

GlobeSt.com

 

LOS ANGELES—Our bi-weekly update on the middle markets throughout the Southwest region. Here’s a look at the latest news, announcements and deals that you may have missed in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. NEWS & NOTABLES ORANGE COUNTY, CA—The Spire Awards in...

 


The Bloc Reaching a Leasing Milestone

Urbanize LA

 

After signing seven new tenants, the Ratkovich Company has announced that more than 300,000 square feet of office space has been leased at the Bloc in Downtown Los Angeles. The 33-story building at 700 S. Flower Street is already host to a...

 

FULL TEXT


Six Property Types Strong Enough to Thrive in a Recession

National Real Estate Investor

 

As the industry mulls “what inning we’re in” one thing is sure: eventually every commercial real estate cycle winds down. Speakers at recent panels and seminars have warned that a recession is nigh, saying this cycle’s lengthened recovery is historically unique. 

By the end of 2018, the economic model created by research firm CoStar Portfolio Strategy predicts an 80 percent chance of a recession, says Rene Circ, director of research at CoStar Portfolio Strategy.

“We are in the same camp that say a recession is likely,” he adds. “Lots of variables pointing to this, such as the unemployment rate nearing full employment and business investments down, which is flattening the yield curve. Fixed business investments are not as strong as a component of GDP.”

Circ cautions that the Federal Reserve raising  interest rates will be a negative to the yield curve. “What concerns the most is the growth rate of corporate profits, for a few quarters now, corporate profits have been falling.” At the same time, he says “all signs point to this recession being milder,” because this cycle’s slow-growth economy has meant not many sectors are seeing a bubble.

According to Jim Costello, senior vice president with research firm Real Capital Analytics (RCA), “We’re in the second game of a double-header.”

But while no property type can be 100 percent recession-proof, certain assets are better positioned than others to weather an economic downturn, according to Tony Solomon, vice president and regional manager at real estate brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap.

In this gallery, we look at which property types might be good hedges against an economic downturn.

High street retail

While retail as a property type certainly isn’t recession-proof, storefronts on urban high streets tends to suffer less during downturns than suburban retail centers, due to their reliance on higher-end consumers. Even during the Great Recession, while high-end consumers did pull back on spending, they “never stopped consuming,” according to Circ. The high rents commanded by highly coveted street locations in Manhattan or San Francisco, coupled with demand from luxury retailers, make these properties a unicorn for investors.

“This is safe harbor retail. They are great properties to hold from an investor standpoint, but it is very challenging to access this inventory,” Costello says.

Average retail rents globally has increased 3.7 percent year-over-year, with growth recorded in more than 50 percent of monitored prime retail locations, according to a report from real estate services firm CBRE. In the U.S. alone, retail rents at prime street locations grew 3.9 percent, with CBRE researchers noting that prime retail rents appreciated in a majority of U.S. markets.

Grocery-anchored shopping centers 

Neighborhood shopping centers typically cater to the day-to-day needs of the populations in their immediate neighborhoods and are therefore more protected from economic headwinds as people still need food, medications and other daily necessities, even during recessions. This year, cap rates on neighborhood shopping centers have averaged 7.1 percent, according to Justin Tochtermann, a research consultant with the Costar Group.

“Grocery-anchored shopping centers have historically held up during downturns, as people still need to eat and tend to eat out less when saving money,” says Elizabeth Norton, managing research director for the Mid-Atlantic at commercial real estate services firm Transwestern. “Although grocers are experiencing some competition from Amazon Fresh, for example, these types of shopping centers still hold up during downturns given not everyone has access to Amazon Fresh or other like competitors and some people prefer to pick out groceries themselves.” 

Medical office buildings 

Due to the “unabated development of off-campus ambulatory facilities required to meet healthcare demands, medical office buildings are one of the better-positioned properties in a recession,” Solomon says. 

Medical-related real estate assets are the most recession-proof, Circ contends, adding that medical office buildings (MOBs) are showing vacancies that are 100 to 200 basis points lower than those at general office buildings.

In the third quarter of 2016, medical office buildings were trading at average cap rates in the low-7s, according to Marcus & Millichap.

Big-box warehouses 

Industrial sector assets are more resilient during a downturn, Costello says. “Sectors that are more cyclical, such as offices and hotels, may face more issues during a downturn due to problematic capex. When things are great, these assets have higher returns. But they are not strong performers when there is economic volatility,” he notes.

Meanwhile, big-box warehouses will continue to benefit from the growth of e-commerce, says Matt Dolly, director of research at Transwestern. In fact, “Purchases during a recession would more likely be made online, where consumers can shop different stores for better prices and avoid paying for gas. Millennials are naturally inclined to shop online, and they are becoming a larger purchasing group as they are now all in their 20s and 30s,” he notes.

CoStar data shows that average asking rents at big-box warehouses have climbed 20 percent since 2011, from $4.78 per sq. ft. in 2011 to $5.73 today.

“There is tremendous demand (seen through net absorption) for logistics that is much stronger than the overall economy, reflecting about 3-4 percent of GDP,” Circ says.

Infill fulfillment centers

Retailers across the board will continue to create “new and additional fulfillment nodes” in the next few years, according to Circ. They are doing so to streamline their e-commerce strategies and catch up to major e-tailers such as Amazon.

Generally speaking, purchasing merchandise online is not always the cheapest option for consumers, so now e-commerce sellers are competing on convenience, Circ notes.

“For that to work, need to have smaller distribution centers located close to downtown areas, fed by a big center maybe 100 miles away,” he says, adding that infill industrial facilities will become more and more in demand over the next year.

When Amazon first began building its supply chain model, it focused on big-box warehouse space. The company absorbed approximately 80 million sq. ft. of big-box warehouse space over the past five years, according to CoStar.

Now Amazon and other retailers are focusing on “infill fulfillment centers,” sized about 100,000 to 200,000 sq. ft. and located one to two miles away from main cities. These smaller warehouse spaces help retailers bridge the last mile to the consumer.

Demand for industrial property continues to surge. Logistics vacancy rates today are 300 basis points lower than they were at the peak of the last cycle, according to Circ.

Self-storage facilities

It makes sense that self-storage facilities will continue to see demand as consumers and businesses might downsize during a downturn. Self-storage assets that cater to both groups of users are forecast to maintain strong fundamentals, according to Transwestern. 

“As companies and consumers downsize, storage will continue to see demand,” says Dina Gouveia, research and marketing manager at Transwestern. 

-Diana Bell

5 big real-estate trends to watch in 2017

MarketWatch

 

A surprising twist toward the end of 2016 with the election of real estate magnate Donald Trump as president is likely to presage some dramatic changes in 2017 for the housing industry, which saw healthy increases ion values this year, thanks to factors including low interest rates, lower gas prices, stronger wage growth and millennials getting off the fence and entering the market.

Still, as demonstrated by the Nov. 8 presidential election, anything can happen. Here are five things to watch for in real estate in 2017 — don’t get blindsided:

Attack of the drones

Commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, in 2017 has been cleared for takeoff by the Federal Aviation Administration, and the nascent use of drones by the real-estate industry is likely to expand dramatically next year, according to several analysts.

“Location, location, location has now become perspective, perspective, perspective,” said Steve McIrvin, chief executive of Autel Robotics USA, a Bothell, Wash.–based drone manufacturer. “If you have a property with more than an acre of land or a unique perspective, it’s a good reason to bring in a drone.” 

While the use of drones to create those flyovers of properties for real-estate agents began to rise this year, home buyers and sellers will be able to use them as well by next year, as operators will no longer need a commercial pilot’s license to fly, although they will need the FAA’s permission, along with a filed flight plan.

“I could teach you to operate in 30 minutes,” said Tim Nguyen, a San Mateo, Calif.–based business-development manager for China’s DJI, the biggest maker of UAV’s, who said real-estate agents and buyers can use drones to do live postings to social media. “It’s a new way of interacting with clients and buyers from all around the world,” Nguyen said.

The newest drones have built-in redundancy: If an operator lets go of the controls, it simply hovers in place, Nguyen said. Even better straight-out-of-the-box prices for high-quality drones are expected to drop to as little as $500, he added, though drones with higher-end features, including gyro-stabilized platforms, which help steady the video images, will still run $1,000 to $1,200. The smaller gyro-stabilized drones, with the rotors shut off, can also be handheld and walked inside a home to provide steadier images during a video walk-through, he said.

While initially a tool of the selling side, the expansion of drone use in the commercial space means that they now be a tool for home buyers, as well. “Buyers in Seattle are skipping the home inspection because the market is so hot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a drone to take a quick look,” McIrvin said. He said he recommends that a buyer who skips the home inspection in a competitive buying situation use a drone to inspect a home’s roof, to ensure that a chimney doesn’t have cracks, or to circle the house if access isn’t available.

Not ‘mixed-use’ but ‘surban’

There’s been plenty written about the move from suburban-style sprawl — marked by McMansions and strip malls — to more dense communities of different housing arrangements, such as town houses, apartments and single-family homes, together in the same neighborhoods. In 2017, look for a new name for it: surban.

“Existing suburban neighborhoods are adding urban amenities so that there’s an environment where people can live, work and play right outside of the core part of the city,” said Burley, a real-estate executive in Oak Park, Ill., an urbanized inner-ring Chicago suburb.

“These developments are more than simply mixed-use,” said Danielle Leach, a senior consultant at John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Chicago, who as a single momlives in such a community in St. Charles, Ill., with two teen boys. “Surban living is becoming a new way of life for many: where the blend of urban and suburban living provides the best of both worlds,” she said. With surban living, it’s possible to walk to work, like in a city, as well as enjoying pedestrian access to groceries, entertainment and youth- and sport-friendly parks — plus reliably strong public schools.

John Burns Consulting expects nearly 80% of residential growth to occur in surban communities over the next 10 years — up from 71% from to 2015 — compared to just 15% for “urban” areas through 2025.

Surban neighborhoods are designed to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, said Bill Endsley, of the International Real Estate Federation, a Washington, D.C.–based international real-estate consulting group, making them affordable to teachers, firefighters, police and janitors.

“The more we go down the road of exclusive development, the more problems we have,” including traffic congestion, air pollution and sprawl, Endsley said. He cited a rundown mall site in San Jose, Calif., which was turned into “Santana Row,” a booming destination in the high-priced Silicon Valley, that includes affordable housing. 

Forget the starter home, millennials want the move-up property

More millennials — roughly, those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s — are expected to buy a first home in 2017, according to the Washington, D.C.–based National Association of Realtors.

Many of those buyers have saved enough to go with something more than a condo unit or a starter home, said Jessica Lautz, managing director for research at NAR. And with the markets doing so well, and interest rates as low as they are, millennials who have paid down their student debt and built up their cash may be in a position to buy more house than real-estate agents might think, she said.

Indeed, the NAR noted that in 2016, 17% of buyers under 35 were able to save enough for a down payment for a home within a year, compared with 14% of all age groups. And though it was lower than all other age groups, 37% of buyers under 35 said they were able to save enough for a down payment within six months, compared with 46% of all other buyers, the NAR said.

To be sure, student debt still is seen as one of the top factors that will influence, in the coming year, whether the millennial generation will buy a home. The NAR noted that 44% of Generation Y buyers had a student-loan debt balance of at least $25,000. And perhaps also worrisome, the baby boom generation is also deep in debt, with the highest median debt balance of $29,100. And it isn’t just their own debt, according to the NAR. “This may be due to not only their personal educational loans but accumulating debt from their children’s education loans,” Lautz said.

How Trump’s shocking win could change real estate

The conventional wisdom just a few weeks ago foresaw a solid electoral win for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a smooth passing of the baton from the Obama administration, along with a gentle increase in interest rates in December by the Federal Reserve. No more.

Last week in Orlando, Fla., just before most voters went to the polls, Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said only “election turmoil” could force the Fed to hold back on an interest-rate hike in December.

“You can never rule things out post-election,” Lockhart said. “We may end up with enough turmoil around the election to create a different set of conditions,” he said during a news conference at the National Association of Realtors annual convention.

Indeed, fears of recession could grow with a likelihood that Trump would cut government spending dramatically in his first year, and stock-market uncertainty increasing over just how his presidency will begin. As such, another year of low interest rates could be in the cards.

“I don’t believe that there will be any significant changes to interest rates, at least in the near term, since the underlying fundamentals that have led us into a low-interest-rate environment haven’t changed,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Ten-X, formerly Auction.com, a real-estate auction site.

Sharga sees a Trump presidency being good for the housing and mortgage markets in the long term, he said. “He seems committed to bringing regulatory relief — and regulatory certainty — to the financial-services industry, which should make more credit more available to average home buyers who have been locked out of the market by today’s extraordinarily tight credit standards,” he said.

As a result, home buying should remain strong in 2017, which is good news for a market starved of inventory. “This is absolutely a seller’s market and has been for quite some time, and we do not feel Donald Trump’s win will negatively affect the market for those looking to sell,” said Nancy Dennis, a vice president at American Financing Corp., an Aurora, Colo.–based mortgage lender.

Down the road, interest rates could begin rising faster, especially if Trump’s economic-growth plans ignite inflation. “The accelerated economic growth and ensuing inflationary pressure could prompt a quicker pace of rate hikes that are potentially more aggressive than exhibited over the past year,” wrote John Chang, first vice president of research services at Marcus & Millichap, the largest U.S. real-estate brokerage firm, in a note to investors this week.

Start thinking about Generation Z

The millennial generation might grab all the headlines, but it won’t be long before Gen Z reaches the market. They’re teenagers now, but Generation Z is almost on the cusp of being able to buy homes, with the first Gen Z–ers reaching their 18th birthdays in 2017. Gen Z, according to the National Association of Realtors, is a lot different from the predecessor generation that came of age in the midst of recession, war, terrorism and a stock-market collapse, and was burned by the housing downturn and crushing student-loan burdens.

Gen Z will come of age with low interest rates, better job prospects and higher wages to help cushion the high costs of college education, said NAR research director Lautz.

“It might sound a little traditional, especially when compared to what we’ve seen with millennials, but this is a generation that values homeownership,” said Sherry Chris, chief executive of Parsippany–Troy Hills, N.J.–based Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.

In fact, 97% of the Gen Z age group wants to own a home, she said. “I want a big house,” said Cayman, a 17-year-old interviewed by NAR. “I want a room for each of my kids, a master bedroom, a few guest rooms, a movie room. I want a lot of space.”

-Daniel Goldstein

Santa Clarita and Pico Rivera Named Most Business-Friendly L.A. Cities

Los Angeles Business Journal

 

Santa Clarita and Pico Rivera have been named this year’s most business-friendly cities in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp at the 21st Annual LAEDC Eddy Awards on Thursday night.

Santa Clarita won the category for the city with a population greater than 68,000, while Pico Rivera won the category with a population less than 68,000.

Santa Clarita stood out for its programs and incentives aimed at specific industries, workforce development with the College of the Canyons, having a Film Friendly ordinance, and its Economic Development Element. Pico Rivera’s business friendly efforts included a new economic development division and developing strategies to attract new businesses and keep existing businesses in the city. Both cities were finalists last year.

When choosing finalists, the LAEDC looks at the city’s commitment to economic development, the programs designed to attract and retain businesses, economic development activity, and economic incentives the city provides such as tax rates and fee structures.

In addition to the city awards, the LAEDC awarded honorees for economic development efforts. Brian Lee, chief executive and co-founder along with actress Jessica Alba of the Honest Co., were awarded the best example of local entrepreneurial spirit. The Los Angeles engineering firm Aecom was awarded for best embodiment of corporate civic leadership, and California State University Long Beach was awarded for its programs aimed to increase graduation rates at local high schools.

The Eddy Awards are held each year aimed to encourage local cities to become more business-friendly.

-Natalie Zhang

Clinic Opens Conejo Office to Care for Rams

Orange County Business Journal

 

Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic of Los Angeles has opened a new office in Thousand Oaks to better care for L.A. Rams players and expand its services into the Conejo Valley.

The Cedars-Sinai affiliate focused on sports medicine and orthopedic care partnered with Thousand Oaks-based Sports Academy to house the new clinic in the athletic performance and rehabilitation service’s training center at 1011 Rancho Conejo Road.

“With the Los Angeles Rams’ training facility located in Thousand Oaks combined with the city’s continued growth, it was imperative for us to find a new office location that meets the health care needs of the team and its community,” Dr. Ralph Gambardella, chairman of Kerlan-Jobe, said in a statement.

The partnership and new site allow the clinic to offer players and the public comprehensive diagnostic and non-operative treatments.

Currently, Kerlan-Jobe has six locations, including a satellite office in Glendale.

-Stephanie Henkel

Top 10 US office metros see healthy gains in Q3

Bisnow

 

The country’s top 10 office markets—based on total square footage and global investor demand—continued to post healthy rent gains in Q3, though six of the top 10 metros in the country had an increase in vacancies during the same period, according to Colliers International.

The commercial real estate services firm reported in its Q3 Top Office Metros Snapshot that Manhattan, Washington, DC, Dallas, Boston, Seattle and Houston all had increases in vacancy rates for a myriad of reasons, including a decline in tech leasing activity, the repositioning of large law firms' office needs and struggling economies in markets dependent on the energy sector.

Overall vacancy rates for core submarkets in the sector remained unchanged at 10.3% on both a quarterly and an annual basis, Colliers reports.

Colliers International president of national office services Cynthia Foster tells Bisnow most of the positive absorption the sector is seeing stems from new tech companies moving into urban areas.

“Some people are saying that Millennials will age into childbearing years and move into suburban locations, but were seeing continued strength in the urban trend,” Cynthia says. “Whether it’s tenants like GE, McDonald's, Facebook and Grovo…one of the main themes we’re seeing is continued demand for urbanization.”

Below is a quick snapshot of each market’s absorption rates, vacancy rates and average asking rents as of Q3.

Manhattan, NY Absorption: -306k SF Average Rents: $73.85/SF Vacancy Rate: 6.4%

Los Angeles Absorption: 571k SF Average Rents: $35.76/SF Vacancy Rate: 15.5%

Washington, DC Absorption: -442k SF Average Rents: $46.08/SF Vacancy Rate: 13.8%

Chicago Absorption: 301k SF Average Rents: $37.50/SF Vacancy Rate: 10.6% Atlanta Absorption: 552.3k SF Average Rents: $27.22/SF Vacancy Rate: 12.4%

San Francisco Absorption: 798.6k SF Average Rents: $74.85/SF Vacancy Rate: 5.8%

Dallas Absorption: -225.3k SF Average Rents: $29.63/SF Vacancy Rate: 12.7%

Boston Absorption: -152.8k SF Average Rents: $55.90/SF Vacancy Rate: 11%

Seattle Absorption: 611.3k SF Average Rents: $35.23/SF Vacancy Rate: 8% 

Houston Absorption: -524.3k SF Average Rents: $40.98/SF Vacancy Rate: 6.8%

-Champaigne Williams

Middle Market Digest: Southwest

GlobeSt.com

 

LOS ANGELES—Our bi-weekly update on the middle markets throughout the Southwest region. Here’s a look at the latest news, announcements and deals that you may have missed in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.

NEWS & NOTABLES

ORANGE COUNTY, CA—The Spire Awards in Orange County is now accepting nominations for the sixth annual program. The award ceremony recognizes the top industry experts who have distinguished themselves through their contributions and outstanding dedication to commercial real estate. The categories for nominations are: Women in Commercial Real Estate, New Construction, Building Renovations, Tenant Improvements, Leasing, Sales, Lending, Philanthropy. Nominations are due by February 3, while the event is held March 29.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—Marcus & Millichap has expanded its network of lenders through a preferred correspondent agreement with ReadyCap Commercial LLC. The agreement will originate small balance, agency eligible multifamily loans on a nationwide basis. This move will make the firm all the more efficient, reliable, competitive for clients.

DEALTRACKER

PLAYA VISTA—The Mani Brothers have acquired the Landing in Playa Vista, a 100,756 square foot newly renovated Class-A office property, for $80 million from Hudson Pacific Properties. The Landing is a fully renovated creative office campus, and is largely leased to co-working company WeWork, which occupies 78,000 square feet. The property features include exposed ceilings, open floor plans, multiple outdoor decks, and the conversion of an internal stairwell and a portion of the underground parking garage into office space. Dentsu Aegis Network leases the remainder of the space.

LOS ANGELES—NSB Associates has acquired a two-story, 59,395-square-foot office building along with a four-story, 545-space parking structure in El Segundo, CA, from an institutional seller for an undisclosed price. Avison Young Principal Alan Pekarcik and senior associate Chris Smith, based in the company’s Orange County office, represented the seller in the deal. They sold the property in five weeks.

 

PHOENIX— Kierland Corporate Center, a class-A office complex at 7033 E. Greenway Parkway in the Scottsdale, has traded hands for $20 million between John Bonnell and Brett Abramson and Parallel. The three-story, 78,273-square-foot property sits on 3.4 acres the property and was built in 2009 with glass, concrete and modern architectural detail and onsite parking. It is currently 87% lease. STMicroelectronics, Eide Bailly, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company and Sherman & Howard. Cushman and Wakefield represented the seller and John Bonnell and Brett Abramson of JLL represented the buyer.

PHOENIX—Kramer-Wilson Co. has acquired the Cornwell Corporate Centre, a 63,071 sq. ft. office development located in Scottsdale, Arizona, for $14.7 million from Cornwell Corp. Located in the Scottsdale Airpark submarket, the property features one two-story building and two one-story office buildings on approximately five acres. Currently, tenant in-place rents are 10% below market lease rates, but as these leases expire, the property’s new ownership will have an opportunity to boost revenue by bringing rents into line with the Barry Gabel, Chris Marchildon, Brad Anderson and Mike Strittmatter with CBRE Phoenix represented the seller in this off-market transaction.

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA—A Storage Max Self-Storage in Rancho Cucamonga, California, has traded hands for $13.5 million or $162.17 a square foot. Located at 8363 Foothill Boulevard, the 83,430 square-foot property has seen incredible demand. CBRE SVP Nicholas Walker presented the seller in the deal.

LOS ANGELES—The unnamed owner of a nine-property, rent-stabilized portfolio in West Hollywood and Koreatown has secured a $33 million loan to refinance the properties. The complex transaction required the borrower secure nine separate that closed concurrently with a structure that provided $5,000,000 in return of equity. The loans were funded through two capital providers with a five-year fixed rate of 3.15% and permanent financing at 75% of the portfolio’s appraised value, and a 1.20 DCR. The nine loans will self-liquidate over 30 years, and after the initial five-year fixed-rate period, the rates will reset and float at 235 over LIBOR for the remaining 25-year term. A step-down prepayment is underwritten, which opens without penalty after the third year. George Smith Partners’ Principal Bryan Shaffer, along with his team, including Vice President Jon Shapiro and Assistant Vice President Max Lehrman secured the funds on behalf of the borrower.

-Kelsi Maree Borland

The Bloc Reaching a Leasing Milestone

Urbanize LA

 

After signing seven new tenants, the Ratkovich Company has announced that more than 300,000 square feet of office space has been leased at the Bloc in Downtown Los Angeles.

The 33-story building at 700 S. Flower Street is already host to a variety of technology and design firms, such as DLR Group, HauteLook, Studio One Eleven and Golin.  The latest additions to its roster include KPFF, Placeworks, Krug Furnite, One Medical, MediaAlpha, Arc Capital Partners and Mance Media.

In a released statement, CBRE Vice President Chris Penrose noted that the Bloc has accounted for 13 percent of all the Class A office space asborbed in the Downtown market over the past three quarters.

Beneath the office tower, work is also proceeding on a new pedestrian tunnel which will link the Bloc to the adjacent 7th Street/Metro Center Station. The station, which is the busiest in the Metro Rail network, serves more than 200,000 passengers per day on light rail and subway lines.

Ratkovich launched construction at the Bloc in 2014, transforming the once fortress-like Macy's Plaza into an open-air mixed-use complex anchored by a Sheraton Hotel, a Macy's department store and an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

-Steven Sharp

Daily Brief November 16, 2016 unsubscribe

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