Mortgage Observer

MBA Report Shows Increased Lending Across All Property Types in 2013

Money_Cash

Commercial mortgage origination exceeded expectations in 2013, with $358 billion in loans on commercial and multifamily properties closed, according to the annual origination summation report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The report, unveiled earlier this week, showed banks invested $100.5 billion last year–28 percent of the annual volume–while CMBS, CDO and ABS issuers invested $79.8 million, which accounted for 22 percent of the overall volume amount. Life insurance companies and pension funds did $60.2 billion in deals—17 percent of the year’s total. Read More

Return on Investment

Investments in Real Estate Return 11.8 Percent for Norway’s Wealth Fund

Times Square Tower

Real estate investments returned 11.8 percent for Norway’s $840 billion sovereign wealth fund in 2013, the fund’s manager announced today.

In the fund’s second-best year ever, the Government Pension Fund Global returned 15.9 percent, or $115 billion, overall, according to the Norges Bank Investment Management. The fund’s equity investments returned 26.3 percent, while fixed-income investments returned 0.1 percent. Read More

Sales Beat

Norway’s Wealth Fund Makes More U.S. Property Deals

425 Market Street

Norges Bank Investment Management, the manager of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, is maintaining a steady flow of U.S. property deals in early 2014. Last week, NBIM announced it would invest two additional U.S. office properties as part of its joint venture with MetLife

The two properties, in Washington D.C. at 555 West 12th Street and San Francisco at 425 Market Street, are the second and third investments made by the joint venture since it formed in early December. The first deal was an investment in One Financial Center in Boston.

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Sales Beat

Norway’s Wealth Fund and MetLife Form JV

One Financial Center, Boston

Norges Bank Investment Management, the manager of Norway’s $800 billion sovereign wealth fund, and MetLife have formed a joint venture to invest in Class A office properties in key U.S. office markets. It is the third such venture formed by NBIM in the past year as the wealth fund looks to boost its real property holdings.

The joint venture’s initial investment is in One Financial Center in Boston. NBIM has acquired a 47.5 percent share of the asset from Beacon Capital. Concurrently, MetLife increased its ownership share in the property to 52.5 percent.

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Venture Capital

Real Estate Startup Gets $7M in Venture Funding

VTS Screenshot (Courtesy: View the Space)

View the Space, the real estate startup that collects leasing data and creates virtual space tours, has secured a $7 million round of venture funding.

The funding, provided primarily by Trinity Ventures of Menlo Park, Calif., will allow View the Space to expand into new markets and build the next generation of the service, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

“We believe that real estate has been, like some industries, underpenetrated by information technology,” said Noel Fenton, a general partner at Trinity, in an interview with the Journal. “There is an opportunity there to help owners and brokers execute their job more efficiently through online facilities.”

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Lease Beat

Priceline Negotiates Deal at 470 Park Avenue South

470 Park Avenue South.

Priceline.com has signed a 10-year lease for the entire 9,936-square-foot 10th floor at TIAA-CREF’s 470 Park Avenue South, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant will pay rent in the low-$50s per square foot, according to CompStak. Just last year, leases in the building were signed in the building with rents in the high-$30s per square foot, CompStak’s data shows. 

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2013 Owners Magazine

Norway Takes Manhattan

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Early last month, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund announced it would invest $684 million in a 45 percent stake of Boston Properties’s Times Square Tower.

No small achievement, the investment is the Norwegian Government Pension Fund’s second real estate play in the United States in a span of just eight months as it seeks to rev up its portfolio to as much as 5 percent of total assets under management.

The uptick in activity, prompted in part by the fund’s desire to reduce its exposure to the bond market, is a welcome development for real estate’s largest institutional players now seeking to realize gains on investments made during the past decade and to deploy capital in other sectors of the market. Read More

Lease Beat

ICR Signs On at 685 Third Avenue

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Integrated Corporate Relations, a financial communications consultancy, will relocate to 685 Third Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned. The company has signed a 10-year lease for the entire 22,372-square-foot second floor at the East Midtown property.

Asking rent for the second floor space was $55 per square foot but ICR will pay starting rent of approximately $50 per square foot, according to data from CompStak. A listing on Agorafy indicates asking rent for the 22nd floor at the TIAA-CREF-owned building is $68 per square foot. Read More

Sales Beat

Norway’s Wealth Fund to Acquire Stake in Times Square Tower for $684M

Times Square Tower

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, has agreed to acquire a 45 percent interest in Times Square Tower from Boston Properties for $684 million in cash.

The acquisition agreement, signed on September 6, values the entire building at $1.52 billion. Following the close of the sale, Boston Properties will retain management and leasing responsibilities. Read More

Lease Beat

Crain Communications Moving Next Door on Third Avenue

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Business media company Crain Communications, owner a wealth of trade publications and consumer brand names, announced on Monday that it is moving its headquarters to 685 Third Avenue after signing a 58,527-square-foot lease.

One of the firm’s publications, Crain’s New York Business, reported that the company plans to relocate from its current offices – next Read More

Postings

Power 100 Heat Map

CO POSTINGS 4-30

From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.

Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.

Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013. Read More

Lease Beat

EverBank Inks Valley National Sublease at TIAA-CREF’s 780 Third Avenue

780 Third Avenue

Jacksonville, Florida-based EverBank has inked a 5,118 square feet sublease at its first New York location at 780 Third Avenue in Midtown East, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The sublease from Valley National Bank is for part of the 16th floor, which was already built out and designed for the needs of a bank, making for a perfect match.

“We acted immediately when we found out that Valley National was offering space at this location,” said CBRE’s Arkady Smolyansky, who represented EverBank with Gerry Miovski and Oliver Barakat, who works out of CBRE’s Florida offices.  “The space at 780 Third Avenue was already built and furnished, allowing us to get EverBank a great space quickly and with minimum up-front capital expenses.  It made a lot of sense.” Read More

Feature

Head of the Class: Teachers Retirement Fund TIAA-CREF Making Waves in New York

8 Spruce Street

Though not a traditional owner-operator, TIAA-CREF has begun to draw the attention of the real estate industry in recent months for a bevy of deals, including its acquisition of a stake in the Frank Gehry-designed building at 8 Spruce Street and a joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management.

The asset management firm’s steady persistence in the real estate market during the downturn has led to a realization of gains, and recent deals could lead to the redeployment of capital in key markets going forward, said analysts familiar with the firm’s strategy going into 2013.

“TIAA is one of the investors that was pretty active in the depths of the market in 2009 and 2010, and some of those investments have turned into significant home runs,” said Dan Fasulo, managing director and head of research at Real Capital Analytics. Read More

Sales Beat

TIAA-CREF Pays $60M for 1511 Third Avenue

1511 Third Avenue

TIAA-CREF has purchased 1511 Third Avenue on the Upper East Side from Related Companies for $60 million, sources tell The Commercial Observer.

The 60,000-square-foot property is a four-story landmarked building, one block south of East 86th Street, the main retail artery in the neighborhood. Read More