Sunday, October 30, 2005

Qatar Financial Centre Authority Signs Lease for New Hheadquarters

Qatar Financial Centre Authority Web Site - October 27, 2005

The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) has signed a lease to move into a new building that will provide its permanent home from the end of next year.

The lease for the entire 20 storey building has been signed with the Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) and will include the QFCA, the QFC Regulatory Authority and provide licensed institutions with a base from which to operate.

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has been established so that financial institutions and other associated businesses that move to Qatar can participate in the Country’s growth within an efficient and supportive business and regulatory framework.

The QFC has been created as an integral part of Qatar’s programme to attract major financial institutions and professional service groups that can help to develop business opportunities in the country. Qatar is asset rich and revenue rich and its strategy is to use the QFC to diversify the economy from a position of strength – including a $110 billion project finance programme over the next five years. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Systemax to Lease 500,000 SF Distribution Center Near Atlanta

CoStar Group - October 27, 2005

Atlanta-based IDI is nearing a deal with Systemax Inc. for approximately 500,000 square feet at IDI’s Hamilton Mill Business Center in Gwinnett County. The deal would also include an agreement by IDI to purchase Systemax’s current facility, a 360,000-square-foot building on Satellite Boulevard in IDI’s Shawnee Ridge development.

The Systemax deal would be yet another large warehouse deal for the Northeast submarket, which has seen several large transactions lately. Earlier this fall, The Home Depot took down 546,000 square feet with Solution Property Group in Braselton, Progressive Lighting has made its deal with Duke, Takeuchi Manufacturing struck a build-to-suit deal with J.W. Rooker & Associates in Jackson County and Kubota signed a 400,000-square-foot deal with Pattillo Construction Co. in Jackson as well.

CoStar Group numbers for third-quarter 2005 show the Northeast market strengthening a bit with a small drop in vacancy rate (12.2% to 11.8%) over the past quarter. The market absorbed nearly 1 million square feet during the third quarter, bringing the yearly total for the submarket to more than 2.3 million square feet. Sphere: Related Content

Whirlpool Leases 500,000 SF Build-to-Suit Distribution Center in Orlando

CoStar Group - October 28, 2005

Appliance-maker Whirlpool outgrew its current warehouse on Investors Row in Orlando, FL and struck a deal with The Pizutti Cos. for a new, 500,000-square-foot regional distribution center about 20 miles away at Orange Avenue and Route 417 in Orlando. Construction began this month on the build-to-suit facility with a move-in date set for next June.

The new 500,000-square-foot, rail-served building on 34 acres is expandable to 750,000 square feet. Exxcel Project Management is the project contractor. Whirlpool is vacating a 228,950-square-foot, Class A warehouse facility on 13.20 acres owned by Liberty Property Trust at 2351 Investors Row. Pizzuti and Whirlpool have collaborated on a number of construction projects for the appliance maker, including more than 2.5 million square feet of build-to-suit projects in Carlisle, PA; Clyde, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Dallas, TX; and Tulsa, OK.

In August, Whirlpool agreed to buy rival Maytag for $21 a share or about $1.7 billion. The deal, which would create the world's largest appliance maker, is expected to close next year if approved by U.S. regulators. Sphere: Related Content

Rockwell Automation Agrees to $150 Million Sale Leaseback

PRNewswire-FirstCall - Chicago - October 26, 2005

First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: FR) announced that it has entered into a sale-leaseback transaction with Rockwell Automation, Inc. In the transaction, First Industrial will acquire and lease back to Rockwell approximately 24 properties in 17 states. The transaction is expected to close in fourth quarter 2005. First Industrial expects to purchase the properties from Rockwell Automation for approximately $150 million. The lease terms for the properties range from five to fifteen years. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fortunoff Enters Sale Leaseback on Manhattan Building

The New York Post reports that Fortunoff is selling its Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan in a sale-leaseback deal. Metropole Realty Advisors has agreed to buy the 12-story, 64,000-square-foot tower. The price is said to be around $90 million. Fortunoff signed a long-term lease to rent its 17,000 feet on the lower three floors and mezzanine. The remaining space is fully occupied at undermarket rents by companies that include the Cancer Research Institute. Metropole brought the building to Fortunoff in 1979 and has since been its leasing agent and acting real estate advisor. When the retailer decided to sell, Metropole asked to be the buyer. Eastdil Realty handled the quiet marketing of the luxury property whose primary pricing was based on the value of the Fortunoff retail lease. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sony seeking Sale Leaseback on Eoropean Property Portfolio

Estates Gazette reports that Sony has hired Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker to arrange a sale leaseback for a two million sf property portfolio in the UK, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. The bulk of the portfolio will be offices and the balance manufacturing sites. Sony reportedly plans to stay in only around 60% of the properties. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, October 21, 2005

Progressive Lighting to Lease 700,000 SF Distribution Center Near Atlanta

CoStar Group - October 19, 2005

Just weeks after buying the former Georgia Distribution Center in Braselton, GA, Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE) has nabbed a huge deal with an Atlanta-based lighting firm. Progressive Lighting is days away from completing a deal for the entire building at 625 Braselton Parkway, a currently 505,000-square-foot industrial building originally developed by Southeast Investment Properties. The deal calls for the building to be expanded to approximately 700,000 square feet immediately, and has provisions for Progressive Lighting to take a full-expansion of the building, which would be more than 1 million square feet.

At that size, it would be one of the largest industrial deals in Atlanta this year, comparable to The Home Depot’s 1 million-square-foot deal in Henry County and Solo Cup Co.’s mammoth 1.3 million-square-foot deal in Social Circle. The building will serve as Progressive Lighting’s headquarters and have as much as 40,000 square feet of office space.

The deal is a major coup for Duke, which just recently closed on the purchase of the building and 318 acres at the intersection of I-85 and Georgia Highway 53 in Braselton, northeast of Atlanta. The seller was legendary land speculator Wayne Mason, who had originally optioned the land to Steve Smith of Southeast Investment Properties for a project he called Georgia Distribution Center. Sphere: Related Content

Groupe Casino Agrees to 201 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of 13 Warehouses

Groupe Casino Web Site - October 17, 2005

Groupe Casino, one of France's leading food retailers, is selling 13 warehouses for a total of €201.5 million to Mines de la Lucette. The 13 warehouses total 418,000 square metres and are located throughout France. Mines de la Lucette is 76.7%-owned by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds.

The sale price amounts to €201.5 million pre-tax, including €13.5 million in work to be financed by Mines de la Lucette over the period 2006-2014. Twelve of the thirteen warehouses are being leased back under commercial leases by Easydis, Groupe Casino’s wholly-owned logistics subsidiary. Most of the leases have an initial fixed term of no more than nine years.

The price obtained by Casino corresponds to a rent capitalisation rate of less than 7%. The sale will be completed during the first half of 2006. Sphere: Related Content

Parmalat Pursuing 100 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of Madrid HQ

AFX International, quoting spanish newspaper La Gaceta de los Negocios, reports that Parmalat SpA has put its Madrid headquarters up for sale for over 100 mln euro. The Italian dairy and fruit juice company is expected to remain in the building under a lease back contract following the sale according to unnamed sector sources. Sphere: Related Content

AAA Mid-Atlantic Enters 15 Year Lease for New HQ

Mack Cali Web Site - October 20, 2005

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (NYSE: CLI) today announced that it has entered into a development and acquisition agreement with AAA Mid-Atlantic. The agreement includes Mack-Cali's development of an operations center for AAA and its acquisition of land and buildings from AAA, all in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.

Mack-Cali will develop for AAA a three-story, 120,000 square-foot class A office building on a 21.6 acre land site at Mack-Cali's Horizon Center Business Park. AAA has pre-leased the building, which it will use as an operations center, for 15 years. Construction on the build-to-suit project is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2006.

Upon completion of the new building for AAA, Mack-Cali will acquire from AAA three office and office/flex buildings totaling 83,762 square feet and land for the development of an additional 243,000 square feet of commercial space. Mack-Cali plans to redevelop each of the acquired properties. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hilton US to Buy Hilton UK Business - Media & Leisure - October 15, 2005

HILTON Group, the hotel and gambling operator, confirmed yesterday it is in advanced talks with Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) of the US about a GBP3.6 billion sale of its hotel business, in a deal that would see it split from Ladbrokes, the UK bookmaker the group owns.

HHC, which was founded in 1919 by Barron Hilton, sold the rights to the Hilton brand outside the US in 1964. Ladbrokes, Britain's biggest bookmaker, bought Hilton in 1987, dropping the Ladbrokes name in favour of Hilton after buying the hotel and casino operator Stakis in 1998.

Hilton Group, led by chief executive David Michels, is currently also in talks with Royal Bank of Scotland, among others, over the sale of 18 hotels in the UK in a GBP400 million-plus sale and manage-back deal and further such disposals are inevitable.

Included in that group are Dunkeld House, Edinburgh Airport and the Treetops in Aberdeen, and a spokesman said yesterday that those are likely to be sold separately in a sell-and lease back deal, before any overall sell-off to the US group.

Hilton Group has more than 400 hotels - 70 of which are in the UK - under the Hilton and Scandic brands in 80 countries. HHC owns, manages or franchises more than 2,300 hotels under such brands as Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn brands.

Shares in Hilton Group soared 13.4 percent yesterday as details of the talks emerged, ending at 345.5p. Sphere: Related Content

REIT Legislation Expected in Germany

MSN Money - Financial Times Business News - September 29, 2005

JPMorgan on Thursday said it was 'almost certain' that a new German government would pass legislation to allow the sale of US-style Reits, or tax-friendly property funds, as it announced the formation of a strategic partnership in such products with Sal Oppenheim, Germany's biggest private bank.

The two banks said they were already engaged in a 'whole string' of beauty parades with German industrial companies, retailers and other groups interested in selling and leasing back their real estate via Reits.

Dieter Pfundt, head of investment banking at Sal Oppenheim, said: 'It may be difficult at the start but this should be a $60bn by 2010.' Bankers are confident that Reits legislation will be passed by the end of next year.

'This is in the interest of Germany as a financial centre. No one is opposed to it,' said Karl Altenburg, head of investment banking in Germany at JPMorgan.
'Reit legislation is almost certain.' Sphere: Related Content

French Retailer Casino in $250 Million Sale Leaseback

GlobeSt. com - New York - October 17, 2005

PARIS- French retailer Casino is selling 13 distribution warehouses to a fund controlled by Morgan Stanley for euros 201.5 million ($241.6 million).

A statement by Groupe Casino says that the warehouses, totaling 418,000 sq m, were being sold to Mines de la Lucette. Mines is 77% owned by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds. Twelve of the warehouses will be leased back by Easydis, Casino's wholly owned logistics company.

Casino, France's fifth-largest retailer and second-biggest quoted retailer after Carrefour, says the price obtained for the warehouses corresponds to a yield of less than 7%. Sphere: Related Content

Tyco Building Near Atlanta Sells for $30.4 Million

Costar Group - October 19, 2005

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) has plunked down $30.4 million for 201 Greenwood Court, an 800,000-square-foot industrial building in Henry County that is fully leased through late 2013 to medical product maker Tyco Healthcare Group LP. The seller is Chicago-based First Industrial Realty Trust, which was represented by a CB Richard Ellis team led by Chris Riley.

The building is known to most as a former facility, which was the subject of much hype when the company announced in 1999 it would open its largest U.S. distribution center in Henry County. The company eventually shut the center down before it was fully operational. Tyco signed its first lease there in 2003 and expanded to take the entire building in October 2004.

With an estimated rental rate of $2.60 per square foot, the $30.4 million price ($38 per square foot) roughly equates to a cap rate of 6%. That number used to be rare in Atlanta but may become a more common sight on future sales in that range over the coming year, said Greg Ryan, vice president of investments for Atlanta-based developer IDI.

“Real estate is a steady investment and institutional buyers are becoming very aggressive when these high-quality buildings come to market,” Ryan said. “There’s been a 200 basis point fall in cap rates over the last two years and now some of the biggest markets are seeing some sales in the 5.5% range.”

In this case, Ryan said TIAA is a “wise buyer that recognizes the long-term value of real estate” and one that isn’t afraid to pay top dollar for quality assets.

Ryan said Atlanta is part of a core group of five industrial markets - the others are Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and New Jersey - that are in demand with institutions. He said the popularity of real estate as an investment class is starting to also effect “secondary” industrial markets like Memphis and Cincinnati as well. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

San Francisco Offices Net Leased to GAP Sold For $171 Million

The Australian - October 18, 2005

THE Australian-listed Tishman Speyer Office Fund has made its second acquisition in a month, a $US171.4 million ($228 million) San Francisco office building that houses clothing retailer Gap Inc. The trust, with a market value of $555 million, raised $71 million last night through an institutional placement. The balance will be funded with debt.

The building, near the San Francisco Giants' baseball stadium, is the fund's third San Francisco property. In September, Tishman Speyer made its first foray into Washington DC, buying a suburban office complex for $US88.5 million. The latest acquisition, at 550 Terry Francois Boulevard, in Mission Bay, south of the CBD, is leased to Gap Inc. It is largely occupied by Gap's Old Navy division, which is progressively relocating from other sites in San Francisco, Boston and New York. Tishman Speyer managing director Carl Shannon said it was a new building, in an increasingly dynamic area.

The new building, bought from ProLogis subsidiary Cattelus Development Corp, was acquired on a 6.8 per cent yield (before acquisition costs) and is leased to Gap until 2017. Mr Shannon said significant rental growth was expected in years two and seven under the lease. Sphere: Related Content

IBM Nearing £85m Sale Leaseback of UK Property Portfolio

Property Week has reported that outsourcing specialist Mapeley is the frontrunner in a £85m sale leaseback with IBM. Mapeley is competing wit Highcross and private equity firm Carlyle Group. A decision is expected within a week.

The deal includes IBM's £120m UK freehold estate, but the addition of nine vacant
leasehold properties with liabilities of £35m has reduced the net value of the
deal to £85m. The freehold properties total 1.6 million square feet of space
on 203 acres in three business campuses including IBM's headquarters in Portsmouth. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cortefiel Seeking 220 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of HQ and Store Portfolio

The Financial Times reports that Private equity firms CVC, Permira and PAI, which last month acquired Spanish fashion retailer Cortefiel, have decided to sell off its property assets, including the group's headquarters, several retail outlets and two plots of land. According to market sources, the total value of the assets stands at some 220m euros. CB Richard Ellis has been selected to co-ordinate the sale and leaseback effort. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cortefiel Seeking 220 Million Euro Sale Leaseback of HQ and Store Portfolio

The Financial Times Limited reports that Private equity firms CVC, Permira and PAI, which last month acquired Spanish fashion retailer Cortefiel, have decided to sell off its property assets, including the group's headquarters, several retail outlets and two plots of land. According to market sources, the total value of the assets stands at some 220m euros. CB Richard Ellis has been selected to co-ordinate the sale and leaseback effort. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, October 14, 2005

Lexington REIT Forms New High Yield Net Lease Investment Company

SEC Edgar Archive - October 10, 2005

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust (NYSE:LXP) has announced the formation of a new specialty investment company that will expand Lexington’s acquisition opportunities by investing directly and indirectly in general use properties with private or middle market type tenants, special purpose properties, non-U.S. properties located in the Americas with U.S. dollar denominated rent, and other specialized facilities or assets integral to the operations of its tenants. These investments are generally expected to generate higher yields than those available on Lexington’s core investments.

The specialty investment company, called Lexington Strategic Asset Corp. (“LSAC”), has raised net proceeds of approximately $61.6 million, after placement fees and estimated offering expenses, through the sale in a private placement of 6,738,000 shares of common stock to “qualified institutional buyers”, investors outside of the United States in offshore transactions, and institutional and individual “accredited investors”.

In connection with the private placement, Lexington will contribute to LSAC its indirect ownership interest in four real estate assets and financing deposits. In exchange, LSAC will issue to Lexington shares of its common stock having an aggregate value of approximately $33.2 million based on the offering price in the private placement.

Upon completion of the private placement and Lexington’s contribution, LSAC will have an equity capitalization of approximately $94.8 million and Lexington will beneficially own approximately 32% of the fully diluted outstanding shares of LSAC’s common stock. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kuehne & Nagel Signs 866,064 SF Distribution Center Build-to-Suit

CoStar Group - October 10, 2005

Kuehne & Nagel, a worldwide logistics provider, recently signed a lease deal for an 866,064-square-foot, build-to-suit industrial building in the DeSoto Trade Center. The logistics firm will be expanding and relocating from its current location at 6005 Freeport in Memphis, where it occupies 550,000 square feet.

Dallas-based Hillwood Development Corp. will be overseeing the development in the Desoto Trade Center, a 688-Acre industrial park located in Southaven, MS that recently received foreign trade zone status. Construction is expected to begin in December of 2005 and is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2006. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, October 06, 2005

EDS Closes $217 Million Sale Leaseback of Office Portfolio

Dallas (TX) Business Journal - 10-04-2005

A consortium of investors led by Koll Development Co. has bought several buildings, including three office buildings in Plano's Legacy Business Park, from Electronic Data Systems Corp. for $217 million. Plano-based EDS (NYSE: EDS) will lease back some of the buildings for various terms.

Dallas-based Koll, a commercial real estate firm, divided the properties, which span seven states and four European countries, into three pools -- two domestic and one international. The first pool was bought by Koll and Invesco Real Estate, which will jointly own and manage 1.45 million square feet of office buildings, including the Legacy Campus in Plano and others in Denver and Dayton, Ohio.

Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE: NRF), a real estate investment trust, bought a collection of buildings occupied by EDS on long-term leases. The international component was bought by Citigroup Property Investors of Europe and includes warehouses and office buildings in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. EDS' headquarters, data centers and undeveloped land in the Legacy Business Park were not sold.

EDS in June said it had plans to sell 20 company-owned properties and lease back a portion of them in a move that would generate about $200 million in cash in 2005 and $200 million in cost savings over the next three years. The sale is part of the technology company's strategy to reduce real estate costs and consolidate facilities. Sphere: Related Content

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