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Real Estate Roundup 9.16.20

Office leasing

  • RF Binder Partners has signed a 10-year, 11,305-square-foot deal at the Altholz family’s 950 Third Avenue. The PR firm will move upstairs from its current space (21,672 SF) on the sixth and seventh floors to the eighth floor. (CO)

Retail leasing

  • Bookstore Bluestockings has signed a lease for 5,000 SF at Penn South Capital’s 116 Suffolk Street in the Lower East Side. The company, which operates as a bookstore, cafe and activist center, is moving from its longtime home at 172 Allen Street. Asking rent on the deal was $13,000 per month. (CO)

Hotel closures 

  • Courtyard by Marriott will permanently close its 167-room hotel, located at 8 Herald Square, due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by Covid-19.” (TRD)
  • A company tied to a luxury Wyndham hotel planned for 115 Cedar Street in New Rochelle has filed for bankruptcy. The hotel’s developer is Ward Capital Management, a real estate investment firm based in nearby Dobbs Ferry. Court records show the partners in the project are in litigation. (TRD)

Luxury market update

  • Ten contracts were signed last week at $4 million and above, one less than the previous week. Six of the nine properties were sold by developers. It was the same total during the same time period last year, and 10 fewer than in 2018. (OlshanReport)

Tech 

  • Opendoor is officially going public through a merger with a shell company helmed by Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist and early Facebook executive. The deal values the company at an enterprise value of $4.8 billion, and will generate up to $1 billion in cash proceeds. (Forbes)

Covid-19

  • The great grocery boom is slowing down: As the pandemic began in the spring, consumers were hoarding groceries and household staples. Food and beverage sales at US retail stores grew 11.5% in August compared with last year. That compares with 31.2% year-over-year growth in March. Sales online have also moderated. Delivery and curbside pickup sales totaled $5.7 billion in August, down from $6.6 billion in May and $7.2 billion in June. (CNN)
  • JPMorgan Chase sent some of its Manhattan workers home this week after an employee in equities trading tested positive for Covid-19. News of the infection, on the fifth floor of the company’s 383 Madison Ave. building, was communicated to employees on Sept. 13. That was less than a week after more workers began returning to offices following the Labor Day holiday, and just days after the biggest U.S. bank told senior traders they’d be required to return by Sept. 21. (Bloomberg)

Other news

  • Blackstone Group is pouring more cash into mobile-home parks. The alternative asset manager is in exclusive talks to acquire roughly 40 parks from Summit Communities for about $550 million. The majority of the properties are located in Florida. Blackstone operates the properties — also known as manufactured-housing communities — through a platform known as Treehouse Communities that was co-founded by Dallas Tanner, the CEO of Invitation Homes. The average price of a new manufactured home in the U.S. was $86,900. (Bloomberg)
  • Brand management company Authentic Brands Group (ABG) could join mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners’ takeover of JCPenney. Last week, the bankrupt retailer announced it reached an agreement to sell the department store to Simon and Brookfield for a mix of $1.75 billion in cash and loan debt. Jamie Salter’s firm was not announced as a partner in the deal, but the company — whose holdings include Barneys New York and Nine West — was in talks to join. (BI)

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