Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'properties'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 18 results

  1. Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- New York’s biggest banks and securities firms may relinquish 8 million square feet of office space this year, deepening the worst commercial property slump in more than a decade as they abandon a record amount of property. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and industry rivals have vacated 4.6 million feet, a figure that may climb by another 4 million as businesses leave or sublet space they no longer need, according CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the largest commercial property broker. Banks, brokers and insurers have fired more than 177,000 employees in the Americas as the recession and credit crisis battered balance sheets. Financial services firms occupy about a quarter of Manhattan’s 362 million square feet of office space and account for almost 40 percent now available for sublease, CB Richard Ellis data show. “Entire segments of the industry are gone,” said Marisa Di Natale, a senior economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “We’re talking about the end of 2012 before things actually start to turn up again for the New York office market.” The amount of available space may reach 15.6 percent by the end of the year, the most since 1996, according to Los Angeles- based CB Richard Ellis. Vacancies are already the highest since 2004 and rents are down 5 percent, the biggest drop in at least two decades. In 2003, the city had 14.8 million square feet available for sublease. If financial firms give up as much as CB Richard Ellis expects, that record will be broken. ‘Wild Card’ CB Richard Ellis’s figures don’t include any space Bank of America may relinquish at the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan, where Merrill Lynch & Co., the securities firm it acquired last month, occupies 2.8 million square feet. Brookfield Properties Inc., the second-biggest owner of U.S. office buildings by square footage, owns the Financial Center. Merrill “is a wild card right now,” said Robert Stella, principal at Boston-based real estate brokerage CresaPartners. Manhattan’s availability rate -- vacancies plus occupied space that is on the market -- was 12.3 percent at the end of January, up more than 50 percent compared with a year earlier and almost 9 percent from December, according to CB Richard Ellis. Commercial real estate prices dropped almost 15 percent last year, more than U.S. house prices, Moody’s Investors Service said in a Feb. 19 report. The decline returned values to 2005 levels, according to the Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price Indexes. SL Green The Bloomberg Office REIT Index fell 25 percent since the start of January, with SL Green Realty, the biggest owner of Manhattan skyscrapers, slumping 50 percent. Vornado Realty Trust, whose buildings include One and Two Penn Plaza in Midtown, has fallen 36 percent. SL Green of New York gets 41 percent of its revenue from financial firms, including 13 percent from Citigroup, according to its Web site. Bank of America plans to give up 530,000 square feet at 9 West 57th St. as it completes a move to 1 Bryant Park. New York- based Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is leaving 1.3 million square feet of offices at 1 New York Plaza and 77 Water St. as it prepares to move to new headquarters near the World Trade Center site. JPMorgan put 320,000 square feet of Park Avenue offices on the market after scooping up rival Bear Stearns Cos. last year along with the company’s 45-story headquarters tower at 383 Madison Ave. Citigroup has put 11 floors, or 326,000 square feet, on the market at the 59-story Citigroup Center at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street, bank spokesman Jon Diat said in an e-mail. The tower is owned by Mortimer Zuckerman’s Boston Properties Inc. Moving Out “We’ve been having conversations for two and a half years with Citigroup, and it’s been very clear to us that for the right economic transaction, they would move out of virtually any space in midtown Manhattan that they have,” Boston Properties President Douglas Linde said on a conference call last month. Boston Properties is also expecting to receive about 490,000 square feet back from Lehman Brothers at 399 Park Ave. as part of the bank’s liquidation. That space “will be a monumental challenge” to fill, said Michael Knott, senior analyst at Newport Beach, California-based Green Street Advisors. “They’re going to have to really bend over backwards on rate, or make the strategic decision to sit on it for an extended period of time.” Zuckerman said in an interview he doesn’t expect the increase in sublets to be a long-term problem for landlords. “You’re not going to be able to get for the space what you were able to get a year ago,” he said. “But in a year or two, in my judgment, the space will be absorbed.” Future Forecast Landlords must be prepared for a slow recovery, said Di Natale of Moody’s Economy.com. Commercial vacancy rates climbed for almost a year and a half after the last recession ended in late 2001. Still, CB Richard Ellis Tri-State Chairman Robert Alexander said New York’s financial community will regenerate. “In the late ‘80s, we lost Drexel Burnham Lambert and we lost Salomon Brothers, and we lost Thomson McKinnon,” Alexander said. “New York City survived.”
  2. Mort Zuckerman Who: Real estate developer Mortimer B. Zuckerman is the chairman of Boston Properties, one of the largest real estate developers in the United States, and the owner of U.S. News & World Report and the New York Daily News. Backstory: The son of a Montreal tobacco and candy wholesaler who passed away when Zuckerman was 17, the future real estate mogul headed off to college at McGill at age 16, then moved to the U.S. in the late '50s to attend business school at Wharton and law school at Harvard. After briefly enrolling in a PhD program, he turned to real estate, taking a job at a Boston-based development firm called Cabot, Cabot & Forbes at a starting salary $8,750. Zuckerman soon became one of the firm's young stars; he proved himself to be a pretty brash operator a few years later when he struck out on his own and teamed up with Ed Linde to form Boston Properties: Zuckerman immediately filed suit against his former employer over his ownership interest in a property he developed and ended up collecting a $5 million, which he used to make some of his first real estate deals. In the early '70s, Zuckerman and Linde began developing office buildings on the outskirts of Boston; they later moved into Boston proper and expanded to other cities during the '80s. By the middle part of the decade, Boston Properties had assembled 50 properties in its portfolio, 10 million square feet of real estate in Washington, Boston, New York, and San Francisco. It was during the company's growth spurt that Zuckerman started making his first investments in media, acquiring a small local newspaper chain in New England in the mid-'70s, The Atlantic in 1980, and U.S. News & World Report four years later. He purchased the Daily News in 1992. Of note: Zuckerman continues to serve as chairman of Boston Properties, and today the publicly-traded real-estate investment trust controls more than 100 commercial properties across the country. In New York, Boston Property's portfolio includes 599 Lexington (where Zuckerman's own 18th floor office is located) and 7 Times Square, which was built in 2004. But while there's little question Zuckerman has been enormously successful in the real estate game, his media track record is mixed. The Daily News squeezes out a small profit, but its battle with the Post has been bloody and painful, and U.S. News has been losing money for years and never managed to close the gap with larger rivals like Time and Newsweek. Zuckerman did extraordinarily well with his purchase of Fast Company—he unloaded it at the height of the dotcom boom for $350 million—but other media forays haven't panned out. In 2003, Zuckerman put in a bid for New York, ultimately losing out to Bruce Wasserstein; his investment in Radar lost him a good sum of money; and more recently, his effort to purchase Newsday never came to fruition when Cablevision's Jim Dolan snagged it instead. Keeping score: Zuckerman is worth $2.8 billion according to Forbes. On the job: Zuckerman isn't the sort of developer who spends his days on construction sites wearing a hard hat. Owning media outlets generates the sort of political and social currency that gives him entrée to the Washington political establishment and lands him an occasional seat on Sunday morning political talk shows. And he actively exercises his political influence as the "editor-in-chief" of U.S. News and owner of the News. While he isn't exactly sitting at his desk proofreading copy, he has a hand in the editorial direction of the magazine, which, most recently, he's used to take a series of (often cheap) shots at President Obama. Grudge: With the Daily News and the Post at each other's throats, Zuckerman has been a bitter rival of Rupert Murdoch for years. The Daily News questions the Post's circulation numbers. The Post chides "the Daily Snooze" for every misspelling and factual error. The News refers to Page Six as "Page Fix." The Post questions the methodology used to generate U.S. News's college rankings. And on and on. (The one thing they don't do is go after each other personally. Several years ago, PR guru Howard Rubenstein negotiated a pact between the two moguls to keep their private lives out of their respective papers.) He also isn't a fan of Bernie Madoff. After the Ponzi schemer was busted in 2009, Zuckerman revealed his personal foundation lost $25 million that had been entrusted to Madoff. Pet causes: Zuckerman gives to a variety of medical causes and Jewish charitable groups. In 2006, he announced his largest gift yet when he handed a $100 million check to Memorial Sloan-Kettering. His connection to the institution is personal: His daughter, Abigail, suffered from a childhood cancer that was treated at MSK. Personal: A notorious bachelor—the Washington Post once described him as having "dated more women than Italy has had governments"—Zuckerman's been connected to Nora Ephron, Gloria Steinem, Arianna Huffington, Diane von Furstenberg, Patricia Duff, and Marisa Berenson. In 1996, he tied the knot with art curator Marla Prather. (Justice Stephen Breyer officiated.) In 1997, they had a daughter, Abigail, before separating in 2000 and divorcing in 2001. In December of 2008, Zuckerman had a second daughter named Renee Esther. The identity of the mother, though, was not announced. It's believed the child was conceived via a surrogate. Habitat: Zuckerman resides in a triplex penthouse apartment at 950 Fifth Avenue decorated with paintings by Picasso, Rothko, and Matisse and sculptures by Frank Stella. (His neighbor back in the day was disgraced Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski.) Zuckerman also has a four-acre spread on Lily Pond Lane in East Hampton and a home in Aspen. Zuckerman has a helicopter to ferry him to the Hamptons. For longer trips, he relies on a $60 million, 18-seat Gulfstream G550 or a $35 million Falcon 900 that seats 14 people. True story: A film director pal, Irwin Winkler, cast him in the 1999 film, At First Sight. The role? Billionaire mogul Zuckerman played a homeless man. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vital Stats Full Name: Mortimer Benjamin Zuckerman Date of Birth: 06/04/1937 Place of Birth: High School: Undergrad: McGill University Graduate: McGill University Law School, Wharton, Harvard Law School Residence(s): Upper East Side, Aspen, CO East Hampton, NY Filed Under: Business, Media, Real Estate http://gawker.com/5646808/
  3. http://www.citylab.com/politics/2014/07/paris-wants-landlords-to-turn-vacant-office-space-into-apartmentsor-else/374388/ Paris Wants Landlords to Turn Vacant Office Space Into Apartments—Or Else The city has a surplus of empty commercial buildings that could better serve as residences. And it plans to fine owners who don't convert. FEARGUS O'SULLIVAN <figure class="lead-image" style="margin: 0px; max-width: 620px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Oxygen, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 17px;"><figcaption class="credit" style="color: rgb(153, 153, 153); font-size: 0.82353em; text-align: right;">Justin Black/Shutterstock.com</figcaption></figure>Leave your office space unrented and we’ll fine you. That’s the new ruledeclared by the city of Paris last week. Currently, between six and seven percent of Paris' 18 million square meters of office space is unused, and the city wants to get this vacant office space revamped and occupied by residents. The penalties for unrented space will be as follows: 20 percent of the property’s rental value in the first year of vacancy, 30 percent in the second year and 40 percent in the third year. The plan is to free up about 200,000 square meters of office space for homes, which would still leave a substantial amount of office space available should demand pick up. The city insists that, while the sums involved are potentially large, this isn’t a new tax but an incentive. And, if it has the right effect in getting property re-occupied, may end up being little-used. Landlords' groups are taking the new plan as well as can be expected. They’ve pointed out that, while the cost of the fines might be high, it could still cost them less to pay them than to convert their properties to homes. According to a property investor quoted in Le Figaro, the cost of transforming an office into apartments can actually be 20 to 25 percent more expensive than constructing an entirely new building. Many landlords might be unwilling or unable to undertake such a process and thus be forced to sell in a market where, thanks to a glut of available real estate, prices are falling. There is also the question of how easy the law will be to enforce: Landlords could rent out vacant properties at a token rent simply to avoid the vacancy fine. <aside class="pullquote instapaper_ignore" style="font-family: Bitter, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 2.11765em; line-height: 1.05556; border-top-width: 5px; border-top-style: solid; border-top-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); border-bottom-width: 1px; border-bottom-style: solid; border-bottom-color: rgb(0, 0, 0); padding: 25px 0px; margin: 30px 0px;">As Paris becomes a laboratory for new legislation to make homes more plentiful and affordable, other European cities would do well to watch it carefully. </aside>It’s too early to see if these predictions will come true, but past experience in smaller French property markets suggests it won’t. The fines have already been introduced elsewhere in France: in the country’s fourth city of Lille (governed by the Socialist party) and in the Parisian satellite town of St Quentin-en-Yvelines (governed by the right wing UMP). So far, neither has experienced a legislation-exacerbated property slump. It’s also fair to point out that Paris is asking for a round of belt tightening from pretty much every group involved in the city’s real estate. The new levy is part of a plan announced last month that will also pressure state and semi-public bodies to release Parisian land for home building. Paris has some fairly large reserves of this, including space currently owned by the state health authority, by the national railway network and by the RATP—Paris’ transit authority, on whose unused land alone 2,000 homes could be built. In the meantime, stringent planning laws are also being relaxed to cut development costs for office converters. They will no longer, for example, be obliged to provide parking spaces for new homes, as they had been until the law change. Finally, starting next year, landlords will get an incentive to rent their properties to financially riskier lower-income tenants by having their rents and deposits guaranteed by a new intermediary, a public/private agency called Multiloc. Coming on top of laws that have relaxed building-height restrictionson the Paris periphery, it’s clear that, for Paris developers and landowners, there’s a decent ratio of carrot to stick. But will it all work? At the very least, Paris deserves recognition for being proactive, especially on a continent where many cities’ grip on the property sector is floundering. Berlin has recently had major new homebuilding plansrejected by residents (for good reason—they were due to get a bad deal), while the U.K.’s number of newly built homes has actually gone down, despite property prices continuing to rise sharply. As Paris becomes a laboratory for new legislation to make homes more plentiful and affordable, other European cities would do well to watch it carefully. (Photo credit: Justin Black/Shutterstock.com)
  4. Proposed: Current: NOTE: This is a Karsten Rumpf project announced back in JUNE 2011 with little to no indication that any work started. Since he is currently active with the Bishop Court condo conversion, I figured this project would be worth posting here. But this thread probably belongs to "projects oublie" for now.
  5. http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/stevebergsman/westmount-canadas-beverly-hills According to wikipedia, Place Belvedere is considered the most expensive street on the whole island. I guess when there is only 10 homes on it, would make sense.
  6. La Baie vendrait son édifice montréalais pour mieux rénover 14 août 2009 | 10h30 ARGENT Michel Munger Argent L'éventuelle vente du principal édifice montréalais de La Baie (HBC) pourrait bien servir à mieux investir dans des rénovations et ses activités commerciales. C'est en effet ce qu'affirme, Melissa Cable, relationniste pour la firme Edelman et porte-parole pour HBC, en réponse aux questions posées par Argent. Rappelons que le quotidien Globe and Mail révélait hier que HBC a confié à une filiale de courtage de Brookfield Properties le dossier de son immeuble situé au 585, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest. «De temps en temps, dit Mme Cable, HBC vend et achète des immeubles. Au cours de la dernière année, la compagnie a travaillé avec Brookfield Properties sur la possibilité de vendre l'édifice montréalais et de louer les locaux pour un éventuel redéveloppement et une rénovation, avec le magasin La Baie qui occuperait une grande partie de l'édifice.» Melissa Cable ajoute toutefois qu'«aucune transaction n'a eu lieu relativement à ce projet». Denis Couture, vice-président Affaires corporatives et Affaires internationales chez Brookfield à Toronto, a dit que la politique de la filiale de courtage était de ne pas commenter les éventuelles transactions. Haut de neuf étages et bâti en 1945, l'édifice de La Baie est bien connu des Montréalais. Selon le role d'évaluation de la Ville de Montréal, sa valeur s'élève à 39,9 M$.
  7. STANFORD PROPERTIES GROUP New multi-tenant office building - 52,764 square feet Pie IX Blvd, between Majeau and Larin, This project is replacing the old Mike's Restaurant on Pie IX. Sorry no Pics!!
  8. Macklowe’s Worldwide Plaza Successor Wrestles Towering Dilemma By David M. Levitt Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Real estate investor Peter Duncan, who negotiated the nation’s biggest property deal of the year in buying Manhattan’s Worldwide Plaza, is now in charge of a skyscraper that’s 40 percent empty. The Italian marble south lobby of Worldwide Plaza, the gateway to 14 vacant floors, is quiet. It’s one reason Duncan, president of George Comfort & Sons Inc., was able to buy the 49- story building in July for $590 million, two years after it sold for almost three times as much. The purchase price may allow Duncan to undercut the rents competitors charge as he leases his 709,000 square feet. Manhattan has 59 million feet of available offices, according to brokerage Colliers ABR, the most since June 1996, and rents for the best space are down more than 30 percent from their peak last year. Duncan’s outcome may help investors determine whether it’s time to resume buying New York office buildings. “They are one of the first waves of risk-takers here in this asset recovery business,” said Robert Freedman, executive chairman of New York-based brokerage FirstService Williams. “They made a great deal if they can manage this risk.” Pinched by scarce credit and the recession, New York City may hit a record low dollar value for commercial property sales this year. Manhattan office properties have lost almost 47 percent of their value since 2007, more than any other major U.S. city, according to the Concord Group, a consulting firm in Newport Beach, California. Investor Signal If Comfort and its partners lease the space at 825 Eighth Ave. quickly, it will be a “signal for investors” that could increase their appetite for risk, said Jim Frederick, a principal at Colliers ABR, a New York-based commercial broker. Not a single lease for more than 250,000 square feet in Midtown has been signed this year, according to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the world’s biggest commercial brokerage. Tenants have plenty to choose from. Just eight blocks south at Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street is 11 Times Square, a new 1.06 million square-foot office tower that’s almost finished and has no tenants. Just up the street is 3 Columbus Circle, the former Newsweek Building, where 417,000 square feet is available, according to Colliers. Six blocks southeast lies the former New York Times building, where all 644,000 square feet is up for lease. Comfort’s advantage may be price. The partnership paid $370 a square foot for Worldwide Plaza, while competitors paid $1,000 a foot or more for similar buildings at the height of the five- year U.S. property boom. Rents Fall “No longer will they have to get $80 or $90 or $100 a square foot” for a lease, Robert Sammons, research director at Colliers, said in an Aug. 20 interview on Bloomberg Television. “They can do deals in the 30s, 40s or 50s now, which is going to help start to move the market.” Rents for so-called Class A Midtown offices averaged $68.38 a square foot at the end of September, according to Colliers data. The law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP agreed to pay almost to $100 a foot when it renewed its 600,000-square-foot lease at Worldwide Plaza in 2007, a person involved in the transaction said at the time. “I look at the vacancy as being an opportunity,” said Duncan, whose company owns or has interests in eight other New York office properties. “The success of any deal is dependent on how well occupied you keep your buildings.” Comfort, a closely held family-owned company, and its partners set aside “in excess of $100 million” to cover leasing costs, including maintenance and a reserve to renovate for new occupants, Duncan said in an interview. He declined to disclose the building’s expected first-year yield, or capitalization rate. Higher Vacancies The vacancy rate for the highest-quality offices in Manhattan was 12 percent in September, near the highest in more than 12 years, Colliers said. Tenants haven’t been in a better position since the mid-1990s, when the market was coming out of a recession, Sammons said. Duncan’s challenge is the latest for a skyscraper that helped gentrify part of the west side in the 1980s. Built on the old 50th Street site of Madison Square Garden, it was the first sizable skyscraper built that far west in Manhattan. A PBS program, “Skyscraper: the Making of a Building,” documented the construction. William Zeckendorf Jr. developed the property. It was the first New York commission for Skidmore Owings & Merrill architect David Childs, who went on to design the nearby Time Warner Center. Macklowe’s Purchase Developer Harry Macklowe purchased Worldwide Plaza and six other Manhattan buildings from Blackstone Group LP in February of 2007, the same day Blackstone bought billionaire Sam Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust in what was then the biggest leveraged buyout in history. A year later, Macklowe lost all seven properties to lender Deutsche Bank AG when he was unable to refinance almost $7 billion in short-term debt he used to acquire the buildings. Deutsche Bank financed a $470 million loan for Comfort’s group to make the purchase. The partners include RCG Longview, an investment firm whose founders include former Shearson Lehman Brothers Inc. Chief Executive Officer Peter Cohen; and DRA Advisors LLC, a New York-based sponsor of real estate investment funds. “We wanted to put together a group that has been through the wars a little bit,” Duncan said. The partners “are all long-term holders of real estate.” The floors they need to rent make up the second-biggest empty space in the city: 14 stories at the base of the tower vacated in June by the advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather. Empty Space While some floors have been stripped to the fireproofing, traces of the ad agency remain. The walls on the fourth floor are covered with artwork, including a red and black 1960s-style pop-art mural that reads: “Next time there’s a war for sale, it’s alright to say no thank you.” Representatives of accounting firm Deloitte LLP have spoken with Comfort about taking some of the space, according to two people familiar with the discussion. They declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the space. Jonathan Gandal, a spokesman for Deloitte, declined to comment. “We’ve had lot of people look at the available space,” Duncan said. “We are actually discussing having active negotiations with certain tenants. And that and $2.25 gets you a ride on the subway.” To contact the reporter on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at [email protected] Last Updated: October 23, 2009 00:01 EDT http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aJG1.l7fPiik
  9. Technically it is not BMO Harris yet, only in a few months. Seeing they bought Marshall & Ilsley of Wisconsin, that have multiple foreclosures all over the states. Link You can find 2 acres of land in Arizona for like US$24,900. There is also some properties in Florida (nothing in Naples or Miami). There is even land for sale in Vegas
  10. Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT) may be on the brink of discovering a breakthrough that will lead to reduced pollution and cleaner air for all. According to the EUT, a roadway made of concrete blended with titanium dioxide can effectively remove up to 45 percent of the nitrogen oxides that it comes in contact with. The titanium dioxide, a photocatalytic material, captures airborne nitrogen oxides and, with the aid of the sun, converts it to nitrates that are harmlessly washed away by the rain. The EUT conducted real-world studies on a 1,000-square-meter section of repaved road in the Netherlands. Such testing showed that the laced pavement could reduce nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent more than traditional concrete. As Jos Brouwers, professor of building materials at the EUT remarked, "The air-purifying properties of the new paving stones had already been shown in the laboratory, but these results now show that they also work outdoors." Additional testing is still underway and although the pavement laced with titanium dioxide does cost some 50 percent more than regular cement, overall road-building costs only increase by a marginal 10 percent. Costs aside, the advantages of the titanium dioxide are readily apparent, but the implementation of such a product requires repaving our roadways – a time intensive and costly endeavor. [source: Eindhoven University of Technology] http://w3.tue.nl/en/news/news_article/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=9833&tx_ttnews[backPid]=361&cHash=d58ad9cc61
  11. New York Times, October 1, 2008 Failed Deals Replace Boom in New York Real Estate By CHARLES V. BAGLI After seven years of nonstop construction, skyrocketing rents and sales prices, and a seemingly endless appetite for luxury housing that transformed gritty and glamorous neighborhoods alike, the credit crisis and the turmoil on Wall Street are bringing New York’s real estate boom to an end. Developers are complaining that lenders are now refusing to finance projects that were all but certain months or even weeks ago. Landlords bewail their inability to refinance skyscrapers with blue-chip tenants. And corporations are afraid to relocate within Manhattan for fear of making the wrong move if rents fall or a flagging economy forces layoffs. “Lenders are now taking a very hard look at each particular project to assess its viability in the context of a softening of demand,” said Scott A. Singer, executive vice president of Singer & Bassuk, a real estate finance and brokerage firm. “There’s no question that there’ll be a significant slowdown in new construction starts, immediately.” Examples of aborted deals and troubled developments abound. Last Friday, HSBC, the big Hong Kong-based bank, quietly tore up an agreement to move its American headquarters to 7 World Trade Center after bids for its existing home at 452 Fifth Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets, came in 30 percent lower than the $600 million it wanted for the property. A 40-story office tower under construction by SJP Properties at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue for the past 18 months still does not have a tenant. And the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe last week suddenly pulled out of what had been an all-but-certain lease of 300,000 square feet of space at Citigroup Center, deciding instead to extend its lease at 666 Fifth Avenue for five years, in part because they hope rents will fall. “Everything’s frozen in place,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s lobbying association, shortly after the stock market closed on Monday. Barry M. Gosin, chief executive of Newmark Knight Frank, a national real estate firm based in New York, said: “Today, the entire financial system needs a lubricant. It’s kind of like driving your car after running out of oil and the engine seizes up. If there’s no liquidity and no financing, everything seizes up.” It is hard to say exactly what the long-term impact will be, but real estate experts, economists and city and state officials say it is likely there will be far fewer new construction projects in the future, as well as tens of thousands of layoffs on Wall Street, fewer construction jobs and a huge loss of tax revenue for both the state and the city. Few trends have defined the city more than the development boom, from the omnipresent tower cranes to the explosion of high-priced condominiums in neighborhoods outside Manhattan, from Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene to Williamsburg and Long Island City. Some developers who are currently erecting condominiums are trying to convert to rentals, while others are looking to sell the projects. After imposing double-digit rent increases in recent years, landlords say rents are falling somewhat, which could hurt highly leveraged projects, but also slow gentrification in what real estate brokers like to call “emerging neighborhoods” like Harlem, the Lower East Side and Fort Greene. At the same time, some of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s most ambitious large-scale projects — the West Side railyards, Pennsylvania Station, ground zero, Coney Island and Willets Point — are going to take longer than expected to start and to complete, real estate experts say. “Most transactions in commercial real estate are on hold,” said Mary Ann Tighe, regional chief executive for CB Richard Ellis, the real estate brokerage firm, “because nobody can be sure what the economy will look like, not only in the near term, but in the long term.” Although the real estate market in New York is in better shape than in most other major cities, a recent report by Newmark Knight Frank shows that there are “clear signs of weakness,” with the overall vacancy rate at 9 percent, up from 8.2 percent a year ago. Rents are also falling when landlord concessions are taken into account. The real estate boom has been fueled by a robust economy, a steady demand for housing and an abundance of foreign and domestic investors willing to spend tens of billions of dollars on New York real estate. It helped that lenders were only too happy to finance as much as 90 percent of the cost on the assumption that the mortgages could be resold to investors as securities. But that ended with the subprime mortgage crisis, which has since spilled over to all the credit markets, which have come to a standstill. As a result, real estate executives estimate that the value of commercial buildings has fallen by at least 20 percent, though the decline is hard to gauge when there is little mortgage money available to buy the buildings and therefore few sales. Long after the crisis began in 2007, many investors and real estate executives expected a “correction” to the rapid escalation in property values. But after Lehman Brothers, the venerable firm that had provided billions of dollars of loans for New York real estate deals, collapsed two weeks ago, it was clear that something more profound was afoot. And there was an immediate reaction in the real estate world: Tishman Speyer Properties, which controls Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building and scores of other properties, abruptly pulled out of a deal to buy the former Mobil Building, a 1.6 million-square-foot tower on 42nd Street, near Grand Central Terminal, for $400 million, two executives involved in the transaction said. Commercial properties are not the only ones facing problems. On Friday, Standard & Poor’s dropped its rating on the bonds used in Tishman’s $5.4 billion purchase of the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complexes in 2006, the biggest real estate deal in modern history. Standard & Poor’s said it cut the rating, in part, because of an estimated 10 percent decline in the properties’ value and the rapid depletion of reserve funds. The rating reduction shows the growing nervousness of lenders and investors about such deals, which have often involved aggressive — critics say unrealistic — projections of future income. “Any continued impediment to the credit markets is awful for the national economy, but it’s more awful for New York,” said Richard Lefrak, patriarch of a fourth-generation real estate family that owns office buildings and apartment houses in New York and New Jersey. “This is the company town for money,” he said. “If there’s no liquidity in the system, it exacerbates the problems. It’s going to have a serious effect on the local economy and real estate values.”
  12. Ottawa sells buildings in $1.64B lease-back deal Aug 20, 2007 04:48 PM Canadian Press OTTAWA – The federal government has sold nine office properties to a Vancouver-based real-estate company for $1.64 billion, but will lease them back for the next 25 years. Larco Investments Ltd. made the purchase after what the government called "an extensive open, transparent and competitive process" involving properties in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Public Works Minister Michael Fortier says the government sought independent advice from Deutsche Bank before making the sale, concluding it is a fair deal for taxpayers, particularly since markets were favourable at the time. A government statement says the deal makes good sense because it transfers ownership risk for major capital costs to the private sector and ensures the buildings are properly maintained. It says the conditions of the leases are fair and stable, and Ottawa will maintain the right to name the buildings. Fortier says office space is a commodity and government does not need to own it to use it. The transaction increases the percentage of leased properties in the Public Works portfolio from to 47 per cent from 43.
  13. Jardins Windsor Architectes: DCYSM Fin de la construction:2007 Utilisation: Résidentiel Emplacement: Centre-ville, Montréal ? mètres - 12/21/21 étages Descriptions: - Complexe de trois tours et de 650 condominums. - Les tours seront reliées par le plus grand jardin privé du centre-ville, qui sera aménagé sur un stationnement à étage. - La fountaine ronde, au centre du jardin, deviendra une patinoire l'hiver. - Le projet est la continuité nord du complexe Terrasses Windsor, du même promoteur, True North Properties LTD. - True North Properties LTD possède aussi le terrain vacant à l'est des Jardins Windsor. - Les Terrasses et Jardins Windsor, ainsi que le terrain voisin sont sur le terrain où le nouveau stade des Expos était proposé au début des années 2000. Residential condos under construction by Malek Racho, on Flickr IMG_5290 by Malek Racho, on Flickr
  14. Surtout des investisseurs chinois, comme on l'a vu pour le projet Séville.. via The Gazette A foreign attraction to Montreal’s real estate market BY ALLISON LAMPERT, GAZETTE REAL ESTATE REPORTER NOVEMBER 23, 2013 4:55 PM People are seen waiting outside the offices for the Seville condos on St-Catherine St. W. in 2010. Photograph by: Dario Ayala, The Gazette The Seville Condo project has a sign, in English, French and Mandarin, that says “Do you know the person you let in without any fob? Please swipe your fob to show you live here” in the front entrance of the condo building on Ste-Catherine St. W. because of the large number of owners who are recent immigrants from China, or who have bought to rent out as an investment. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, The Gazette MONTREAL — Down the street from Montreal’s old Forum, in a bustling neighbourhood now dotted with Chinese noodle shops, ethnic grocers and new construction, the sign on the door of the Le Seville condo building asks residents in French, English and Chinese: “Do you know the person you let in?” Since last year’s annual meeting — when some condo owners from China had difficulty following the discussion — the board of directors has been translating important material — such as the sign on the door and the building’s annual budget — into Chinese. “It was clear that the Chinese buyers needed to have access to a language they’d understand, like everyone else in the building,” said condo board president Colin Danby, who learned Mandarin during seven years spent in Taiwan. “Not everything is translated. But as a board, we take that step when it is something important like building security.” Residents estimate that between 20 to 40 per cent of the Seville’s co-owners are either Chinese Canadian, recent immigrants who own neighbouring shops in the area known as Shaughnessy Village, or are foreign investors from China. They bought into the sold-out first phase of the 477-unit Seville in 2010 — when low interest rates and an economy that had emerged relatively well from the 2008 financial crisis drove demand for Montreal condos to near-record highs. While the vast majority of foreign real estate buyers in Canada have focused on Toronto and Vancouver, investors from China, Middle East and Europe also helped fuel Montreal’s condo boom, which peaked in 2012. In 2011, Montreal had the second highest number of permits and starts for new condos of any city in North America. Toronto was in first place. “More inventory, more investors,” said Alexandre Sieber, senior managing director of Quebec operations for real-estate services firm CBRE Ltd. “As you build inventory, you are diversifying the investor base.” Some firms estimate that up to 20 per cent of Montreal condos bought as rental properties — or to be flipped for a profit — were purchased by foreign buyers searching for inexpensive prices in a comparatively stable market. Foreign investors have also bought small multi-unit buildings for use as student rentals and are showing interest in large properties, including vast tracts of land in the Laurentians, brokers say. Just like Vancouver, or Toronto, there is no hard data for the number of foreign real-estate investors in Montreal. But two foreign buyers, along with half-a-dozen commercial and residential real estate brokers, told The Gazette that sales to foreigners and landed-immigrants in areas like Westmount and LaSalle are on the upswing. And Asian and Middle Eastern money is behind at least two new large sites downtown that are being promoted for residential development. “We’re certainly seeing an increase in foreign buyers, especially from China,” said Robert MacDougall, senior vice-president for investment sales and special projects at the commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. MacDougall said about 10 to 20 per cent of his offers on properties now come from foreign investors, mostly Asians. In addition to the foreigners who’ve long been purchasing condos for their adult children attending McGill and Concordia universities, people who have recently arrived from Asia are also buying homes in Westmount to be close to their kids’ private schools, brokers say. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada estimated recently that half of the luxury properties sold in Montreal this year were purchased by foreigners. “Two or three years ago, I had the odd buyer show up from China. That was kind of a novelty,” recalled Brian Dutch, a broker with Re/Max DuCartier, who specializes in the Westmount market. “Then all of a sudden, there was another Chinese broker calling for an appointment. And then there’s another. “From it being the odd one, there are now at least two inquiries on a weekly basis.” While foreign buyers are appreciated by the real estate industry because they purchase properties in a relatively soft housing market, investors from Asia and the Middle East have been blamed for driving up home prices in Vancouver. Economists have warned that foreign buyers also create a more volatile market driven by yields, rather than by fundamentals like having a place to live. In Montreal, there have been a few instances of buyers from other countries failing to show up at the notary’s office, after signing contracts — and leaving hefty deposits — to purchase homes. But Montreal brokers have yet to see widespread bidding wars with Asian or Middle Eastern buyers willing to pay above-market prices. “I have seen those kinds of news stories from Toronto and Vancouver (about inflated prices), but my clients are more cautious,” said Jason Yu, a broker with the Brossard-based agency Esta Agence, whose commercial and residential buyers are mostly recent immigrants from China. Yu, who’s worked with Dutch on multiple sales to Chinese buyers in Westmount, said several of his clients are wealthy Asian families moving to Montreal as part of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program. A decade ago, Yu and his family came to Canada from China as immigrant investors under a program that requires applicants with a net worth of at least $1.6 million to make an $800,000 interest-free loan to the government for five years. The Quebec program — which mirrors a federal one that’s now frozen and does not accept new applicants — remains hotly debated, amid criticism that 90 per cent of the mostly Asian arrivals promptly move elsewhere in Canada, while their $800,000 stays in la Belle Province. Quebec’s quota for 2013-2014 is 1,750 immigrant investors. Despite the large number who leave, Yu says that he also sees immigrants who choose to stay in Montreal. In the last few months, three of his Chinese clients purchased homes in Westmount, while a fourth is looking to buy downtown condos as an investment. She said the family moved to Montreal largely for her daughter’s education. One immigrant from Shanghai described how her family moved to Westmount a few years ago through the Quebec investor program. Her husband is working in China right now while she raises their daughter and takes French classes in Quebec. “We made the decision very quickly, based largely on what a friend from China who lived in Montreal told us,” said the woman, who spoke to The Gazette on condition that her name wouldn’t be published. “We didn’t even know about Bill 101.” The language law hasn’t affected the family, since her daughter is enrolled at a non-subsidized English girls’ school, where she is learning both official languages. She said she’s constantly meeting new recent immigrants from China. Last week, the woman received a call from Dutch, who had been her real estate broker when she bought her home. Dutch invited her to meet a newcomer from Shanghai who had an accepted offer on a house in the area. Dutch also invited the newcomer’s neighbour, a recent arrival from Beijing. “I called my client to come over because I wanted as much for her and for them to get to know each other,” Dutch said. “Everyone was busy on their iPhones, sharing contact information and yacking away in Mandarin. It was fun. “It’s something we haven’t seen before.” Also new is the tendency of immigrant investors — even ones who leave Quebec — to purchase properties in Montreal. “Will they stay? History says they won’t, but they are making investments here,” said Eric Goodman, owner of Century 21 Vision in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He described one new condo project in LaSalle, where 80 per cent of the units were sold to Chinese buyers, including recent immigrants, or investors who are still in China. “They are buying them as investments and they are buying them for family members who may come in the future,” said Goodman. “They are always looking for places to put their money. They feel it is safe to build here, even if they’re not going to make as much of a return as in Toronto.” Goodman’s agency also sold the land to the developers behind the YUL mixed condo and townhouse project on René Lévesque Blvd. near Lucien L’Allier Rd. The YUL project, backed by Chinese investors, is being marketed to foreign as well as local buyers. Adjacent to YUL, land on René Lévesque Blvd. next to Guy St. has been purchased by investors from Qatar who intend to launch their Babylon residential development this spring. The downtown area has proven attractive to investors because of the large pool of student tenants, and the limited construction of new rental buildings to replace the city’s aging stock. Indeed, investors — who make up an estimated 40 per cent of owners at Seville — generated such demand for the project that people were lining up at 10 a.m., a day before the sales office opened in 2010. Colin Danby, now condo board president for the Seville’s phase 1, arrived at 3 p.m. He was No. 58 in line, he recalled. The crowd was so large that by 8 p.m., developer Groupe Prével decided to give out tickets to buyers. And just like the hockey scalpers outside the old Forum in the 1970s, “authorized” Seville buyers were said to be hawking condo tickets on the street for $5,000 each. [email protected] Twitter: RealDealMtl © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette