Category: CRE News (48)

Source: CoStar News
By: Lou Hirsh
February 11, 2020

A new list of the federal government’s surplus properties targeted for disposal includes what brokers say is real estate that’s expected to be in high demand by developers of offices and housing in some posh West Coast locales where land is tight.

What’s more, the decades-old properties — most of them underused offices — could be revamped for new uses, ranging from distribution centers to high-end apartments, retail and other mixed-use combinations that could bring new life to the areas, brokers and analysts say.

On the list, which contains 12 underutilized properties nationwide that could bring in more than $750 million, is real estate in areas where development and business have been growing from Seattle to Silicon Valley. It includes an entire city block just three miles from Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, that could soon be for sale.

“The Menlo Park property is located in one of the country’s strongest markets for tenant demand,” said Jesse Gundersheim, CoStar Group’s director of market analytics in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Sales activity in Silicon Valley and San Francisco is robust, and cap rates remain at historic lows which is indicative of strong investment interest.”

The surplus property list put forward last month by a federal advisory panel stems from a bipartisan 2016 law requiring the Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration to identify opportunities for the federal government to reduce its inventory of nonmilitary properties. The list is just the first round of potential sell-offs, with more rounds of recommendations expected in coming months, as the government looks to consolidate locations, maximize property values and revenue and trim down a real estate portfolio that includes roughly 77,000 underutilized properties.

Some that aren’t in their city’s downtown or prime office district could face the bulldozer, as developers put the land underneath them to more suitable uses demanded by the market, such as apartments and single-family homes — provided their projects get the blessing of local governments.

Take for instance the property at 1352 Lighthouse Ave. in coastal Pacific Grove, on the northern tip of central California’s Monterey Peninsula. The property, that CoStar data says was built in 1952 and spans 11,220 square feet on 4.4 acres, is a Department of Commerce fisheries science center.

Located just 5 miles north of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Course overlooking the Pacific Ocean, that federal facility sits in a city where the median home value is $902,528 and the median monthly apartment rent is $3,300, according to data firm Zillow.

“That location could be very sought-after for high-end housing,” said Cale Miller, senior vice president in the San Francisco office of commercial brokerage Hughes Marino, noting the neighborhood currently hosting the fisheries center is generally not known for offices or other heavy commercial uses.

The same generally goes for the 1 million-square-foot Chet Holifield Federal Building, built in 1971 at 24000 Avila Rd., about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean in coastal Laguna Niguel. That city, in Southern California’s Orange County, has a median home value of $844,539 and median rent of $3,300, both well above regional averages.

Miller said housing or other mixed-use elements serving that neighborhood — rather than offices — would probably see the most practical demand going forward.

Coveted Silicon Valley

At the other end of the spectrum, brokers are expecting the listed property in Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park to see the greatest future demand on the office side. Washington, D.C., attorney David Winstead, who serves on the federal building advisory board, recently told CoStar News that the city block surrounding the Menlo Park Complex at 345 Middlefield Road “could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

With multiple major tech firms expanding their office footprints in the supply-constrained region, the location is a major draw. The Menlo Park federal complex, housing the operations of the U.S. Geological Survey among other tenants and spanning just more than 140,000 square feet, is 3 miles south of Facebook’s global headquarters and even closer to local office strongholds of companies such as Apple and Hewlett Packard.

“Menlo Park has been ground zero for tech expansion,” said Eric Luhrs, regional president in the San Jose office of brokerage Kidder Mathews. “That’s still a very strong market, and that’s a great location as well.”

Luhrs said he’s expecting the Menlo Park location to garner serious interest from multiple developers and future tenants, including the venture and financial firms that have thrived in Silicon Valley. It could also attract smaller nontechnology firms that have found it tough to find new space as the major tech giants, including Facebook and Google, have expanded throughout the region.

Gundersheim noted that, based on its size, more than a million square feet on a 100-acre lot, the Laguna Nigel property could prove more valuable on a pure sales-price basis than the Menlo Park site. However, the Menlo location could represent a rare investment opportunity slightly east of that city’s most active section, the downtown area where most developers are now focused on revitalization.

In Menlo and other office locations, Luhrs said changeovers to commercial uses will depend on how the government chooses to transition out of them — for instance, whether the GSA sells buildings and immediately clears out the agencies that occupy them or chooses to stay in them for a period under leaseback arrangements with the buyer.

In the Seattle area, where older federal buildings on the list are not located in what are currently deemed the hot office markets, other types of nonresidential buyers and tenants could still find strategic uses for the properties.

That includes the property currently known as the Federal Archives and Records Center, operated by the National Archives and Records Administration at 6125 Sand Point Way NE. The warehouse and office building was completed in 1945, spanning 184,251 square feet on 10 acres.

Owen Rice, executive vice president in Hughes Marino’s Seattle office, noted the area that grew up around that Seattle facility over the decades is primarily a residential neighborhood, known as Hawthorne Hills.

“That area has not really been a big hub for commercial offices in terms of demand,” Rice said. “It’s also a very constrained market in terms of supply.”

Alternate Seattle Scenarios

He said possible future nonresidential users of that government complex could include those in the fast-expanding healthcare industry. For instance, Seattle Children’s Hospital has existing operations next door to the Sand Point Way property and is known locally to be scouting sites for future expansion.

Rice said another vintage property on the federal list in Washington state, a government complex at 400 15th St. SW in Auburn, is located in an area just north of Tacoma that has become a popular regional hub for mostly small to mid-size industrial developers and tenants.

He said the 119,000-square-foot property, built in 1950 and last renovated in 2006, has good access to area ports and freeways but is in an area of the Kent Valley that has so far not become a hotbed for office expansion by major tech giants such as Amazon. The e-commerce giant has been expanding its corporate hometown operations primarily in and near downtown Seattle.

It could take several office tenants to fill up the space at the Auburn facility, based on the size of companies that are currently predominant in that area, leaving the possibility for industrial and other uses of the property if it is sold off by the government.

“It really depends on what the zoning would allow and what the developer would want to do with it,” Rice said. “It’s hard to imagine that someone would want to tear down a building that was just renovated in 2006, but that’s a possibility.”

Miller said other factors to watch include how fast the properties get sold off by the government and whether officials decide to sell them as one or two large portfolios, or instead choose to shed some individually in one-off deals.

In several locations, the government could get more for the properties by selling them separately, but finalizing several separate deals could also take longer to dispose of the assets and garner the revenue that the government is seeking.

“They’re going to be incentivized to sell these in a relatively short time frame, if they’re looking to capitalize while the market is still at its current peak,” Miller said.

Because some of the federal properties are older and not in neighborhoods deemed the hottest for offices, brokers said their future owners will probably require substantial financial resources to weather long transition periods in which the properties are being approved for significant renovations or repurposing.

That’s a potentially time-consuming prospect in states such as California, where projects must clear numerous environmental and other hurdles, especially in coastal locations.

“It’s going to take patient money, from experienced developers who are able to afford the carrying costs for a project that might take five years to approve,” Miller said.

These are the Western U.S. properties on the national list of locations recently targeted for potential sell-off by the GSA:

Sacramento Job Corps Center, excess land sale only, 3100 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, California, Department of Labor.
Southwest Fisheries Science Center, 1352 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, California, Department of Commerce.
Veterans Affairs Denver Medical Center, partial sale, 1055 Clermont St., Denver
Auburn Complex, 400 15th St. SW, Auburn, Washington, GSA.
Menlo Park Complex, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California, GSA.
Chet Holifield Federal Building, 24000 Avila Road, Laguna Niguel, California, GSA.
WestEd Office Building, 4665 Lampson Ave., Los Alamitos, California, Department of Education.
Federal Archives and Records Center, 6125 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, National Archives and Records Administration.

Link to article: Government Surplus Properties

The reported industrial vacancy rates in San Francisco and surrounding Peninsula areas decreased to 3.5% at the end of Q3 2019 (down from 3.8% in Q2 2019). The Bayshore Corridor of San Francisco witnessed yet another decrease in vacancy to a sub 1% rate of .5% (down from .9% in Q2 2019). The San Francisco/Peninsula market reported a delivery of 21,807+/- square feet of new construction, and 2,568,754 square feet of product under construction, primarily in South San Francisco, Brisbane & Daly City. The industrial core of San Francisco (Bayshore / Potrero Hill / Dogpatch) reported 56,121 square feet of product under construction, with zero deliveries, or construction starts.

Q3 2019 ended with averaged over-all asking rents (industrial and flex) down from $2.30 per square foot to $2.26 per square foot, representing an 1.9% decrease over the previous quarter. Comparatively, current average US industrial asking rents are reported as $.72 per square foot (up from $.71 at the end of Q2 2019). Asking rents specific to warehouse product remained at $1.88 psf at the end of Q3 (no change from Q2). Quoted daily warehouse asking rents for the Bayshore Corridor at the end of Q3 decreased to $1.97 psf from $2.04 psf in Q2. Year-over-year market rents have decreased by 3.9% for the San Francisco/Peninsula industrial/flex market.

Q3 2019 Industrial sale transactions are up from Q2 2019 with $408M in sales volume averaging $334.00 per square foot compared to $308M in sales averaging $328.61 per square foot in Q2 2019. CAP rates averaged 4.9% in Q3 & Q2 2019, representing a minimal increase over Q1 2019 CAP rates of 4.85%. National CAP rates have remained at 6.7% for Q1-Q3 2009.

Calco Commercial has leased and sold 1,097,884+/- square feet of industrial, flex, office and land in 2019 comprising 59 transactions, with 179,124+/- square feet and 16 transactions in Q3 alone. Following are the notable Q3 2019 transactions: 253 Utah Avenue, South San Francisco (14,250 +/- sf industrial lease), 81 Dorman Avenue, San Francisco (12,500+/- sf industrial lease), and 3012 Spring Street, Redwood City (5,000/- sf commercial/sale), and 4870 Centennial Boulevard, Colorado Springs (50,000+/- commercial/sale). Calco Commercial is a leading industrial & commercial real estate firm with decades of experience in Landlord /Owner representation, and repositioning assets into net leased properties with in-place income streams. Let us help make the most of your real estate properties and investments.

If you would like to discuss your real estate options, or would simply like more information related to current market conditions, please call our office a 415.970.0000, or directly contact one of our professionals.

Click here for the full report: Q3 2019 Industrial Market Report

Source: CoStar
By: Jesse Gundersheim

While some investors are exploring secondary and even tertiary markets throughout the country in search for higher yields, coastal gateway cities continue to take home the lion’s share of capital investment.

As typical, New York outpaces all other U.S. markets by far. Next up is Boston, then Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Seattle. And while San Francisco and San Jose in California rank sixth and seventh, respectively, and the state’s East Bay rounds out the nation’s top 15, if all the Bay Area markets were combined they would outpace all but New York.

It’s further evidence of enduring demand generated by buyers attracted to the Bay Area’s expanding tech industry, along with several owner-user acquisitions, which has maintained downward pressure on capitalization rates, or the expected rate of return on investment, at premium asset pricing.

Combined, the three major Bay Area markets have seen $12.5 billion of office assets sell over the past 12 months, behind only New York’s $19.6 billion.

Sales volume in San Francisco alone, at $5.2 billion year to date, has already eclipsed the previous two year’s annual totals.

Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., have each seen about $8 billion in office assets trade over the past year.

Source: CoStar
By: John Doherty
Link: Amazon HQ2

After Amazon gave his county a painful snub in January, David Iannucci is stuck exactly where 19 communities may find themselves in coming months: trying to market sites that online retailer Amazon rejected for its new $5 billion second headquarters.

Iannucci, head of economic development for Maryland’s Prince George’s County, said he’s been in talks with “several dozen” companies since the world’s largest retailer rejected the county’s bid for its second headquarters, known as HQ2. Many of those companies are looking to move from nearby Washington, D.C., including tech and cybersecurity firms. Those companies aren’t promising to bring 50,000 jobs, like Amazon, though. More like 300 to 400 apiece. And here’s the real peril for other losing cities: After eight months, Iannucci still has no takers, just talkers.

Even so, he said the process has improved the county’s pitch in those talks: “This process reinforced our knowledge of our strengths. We see that there are things we could focus on and promote. That won’t stop.”

For cities from Boston to Atlanta, the effort to woo Amazon has led officials to come up with development plans for long-fallow areas they can quickly turn around and pitch as facility sites for other companies if they meet the same fate. In Newark and Denver, officials say they are positioned to attract other companies should Amazon reject them, Atlanta’s mayor is urging steps that could position the city to find other companies after a rejection, and Boston already has an alternative in place.

To a greater and lesser extent, the 20 finalist cities are beginning to grapple with an irrefutable truth: All but one will lose this commercial real estate beauty pageant. Most of the sites proposed as HQ2 homes are too large to quickly market to another company other than Seattle-based Amazon because the list of U.S. corporations needing that kind of space can be counted on one hand.

In some cases, the process of applying itself was edifying: Officials in finalist cities Newark and Denver both say the process raised their profile as legitimate hosts for corporate headquarters. They hope that could pay off down the line, even if Amazon passes them over.

“There is a lot of excitement in the development world about the possibilities for Amazon,” said Richard Dunn. He’s vice president of operations at Paramount Assets, an investment firm that owns about 40 properties in downtown Newark.

“Even making that list of the 20 basically tells the tale about the resurgence of Newark,” he says. “Now if Newark wasn’t in a resurgence stage, if it wasn’t for its renaissance, obviously Amazon wouldn’t be looking at Newark.”

Whether or not Amazon picks it, the proposal process has elevated the city’s profile not only nationally but internationally in a tangible way, local officials said, and they intend to build on that momentum.

“We’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of inquiries that are coming into our office,” said Aisha Glover, president and chief executive of the Newark Community Economic Development Council. “And then, just kind of anecdotally speaking to brokers around the city, they’ve been saying how the quality of the inquiries has changed. For them, the uptick in inquiries hasn’t been so dramatic, but the types of firms that been inquiring with them.”

The same goes for Denver. Sam Bailey, who, as vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., is managing the state’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. He said there’s now a burgeoning pipeline of 31 active prospects for space that represents more than 12,000 jobs and about $1.5 billion in capital expenditures from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. Denver winning a spot on Amazon’s short list has been noted about 30 percent to 40 percent of the time in those discussions, Bailey said.

“We always looked at this as if we don’t win HQ2, we’re going to make the most of this opportunity to showcase to the world everything that is going on in our region,” Bailey said. It will put Denver on the minds of future executives looking for new corporate digs, he said. “The experience, the notoriety, the visibility – we could’ve spent millions of dollars and never have gotten the exposure we’ve had,” Bailey added.

Other finalists aren’t so sure. Austin, Texas, another member of the 20-region shortlist, has endured a long local debate about what inviting the corporate giant into their city might do to it: raise rents, increase traffic, mess up the balance of the artsy city’s culture.

“I don’t know that we want to be” Amazon’s second home, Austin Mayor Steve Adler admitted this past March.

A poll conducted by Elon University and American City Business Journals found 13 percent of Austin locals don’t want their city to host Amazon’s second headquarters, second only to Denver, at a whopping 17 percent.

The full details of what Austin has offered to Amazon are between the city and the online retail giant, but if the mayor’s comments are any indication, Amazon was left wanting. On the day of Amazon’s shortlist announcement, Austin Mayor Steve Adler reiterated the reluctance of city leaders to extend tax breaks and other incentives in order to lure Amazon HQ2.

In other cases, the competition itself sparked questions about economic development. How far was a city willing to go to land a whale like Amazon: Would it offer free land, reduced taxes or no taxes?

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms last month urged the City Council to support proposed incentives to make a site leaders see as critical to downtown Atlanta more appealing to developers.

Known as the Gulch, the site is a former railyard that covers 30 football fields worth of land near CNN Center and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and has lain fallow for decades. While the city hasn’t officially confirmed it is the site for its bid for Amazon’s headquarters, several council members said they believe the incentives push is designed to help in the city’s bid to land HQ2.

With or without Amazon, Bottoms said the city has a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to redevelop the Gulch and stressed that developer CIM would assume all financial risks of the $3.5 billion development. She added that the redevelopment of the Gulch “will ultimately generate tens of millions of dollars a year in tax revenues” and create thousands of jobs. The mayor’s push for incentives so late in the Amazon selection process would leave the city in a stronger position to find alternative companies to occupy the site should it not be selected as home to HQ2, city leaders said.

Other cities are also not making the HQ2 battle their only priority.

In Boston, the primary site for a possible new headquarters is at Suffolk Downs, a 161-acre former horse-racing track that straddles Boston and the northern suburb of Revere. Long under-used, the site has been the subject of several redevelopment efforts over the years.

In 2017, Boston investment firm HYM Investments paid $155 million for the site. It was offered up as an HQ2 contender, but some preliminary plans have also called for a massive mixed-use project with apartments, for-sale homes and office and retail space.

Whatever happens, according to HYM, the firm will keep shopping the site.

That day-after thinking is starting to pervade most planners in HQ2 finalist cities. And Iannucci, of Prince George’s County, thinks that’s the right attitude.

His bid didn’t make it, but bids in nearby Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland and Northern Virginia did. Any of those sites, if picked, could have a spill-over effect – jobs, housing demand – for Prince George’s.

“We stand by ready to help [those finalists] any way we can,” he says.

Still, as 19 other cities will discover it hurts to be told no.

“Amazon was wrong about their conclusion about our workforce,” said Iannucci, a former Maryland state Secretary of Commerce. “We have feelings about that to this day.”

Contributing to this article are CoStar News Reporters Kyle Hagerty, Linda Moss, Jennifer Waters and Tony Wilbert.

According to the The Registry and the San Francisco Business Times, Amazon’s real estate presence in San Francisco continues to grow by nearly doubling its leased area at the 525 Market Street building.

Amazon currently leases approximately 176,000 square feet in San Francisco’s third largest office building, where the e-commerce leader will be expanding into an additional 143,000 square feet. Per The Registry article, “Amazon has been actively expanding its presence across the entire Bay Area region” as the company continues its search for the secondary HQ location.

Source: CoStar News
By: Mark Heschemeyer
Date: July 19, 2018
Link: Distressed

The deal announced this week that private equity firm Stone Point Capital plans to buy Sabal Capital Partners, a small-balance, multifamily lender and loan servicer, is only the latest maneuvering in the shifting landscape for special servicing of commercial real estate loans. More deals are likely as a projected rise in interest rates may boost distress in the market.

Special servicers control the fate of billions in distressed loans and thus the fate of billions in commercial properties. And right now, that is a lucrative market flooded with capital but with fewer investment opportunities capable of providing the higher returns expected from private equity investors.

The jockeying for position is not only indicative of billions of private equity money flowing into distressed assets but also shows where the market is heading.

Driven in part by retail weakness, the volume of loans in commercial mortgage bonds on servicers’ “watch lists” has been on a gradual upswing since last November, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings data. Loans are put on a watch list because of issues such as declining occupancy or net incomes at the properties backing the loans. The rise in volume is considered a reliable indicator of future distress.

The maneuvering is not done, with a prize still to be had. One of the three largest commercial loan special servicers in the market, Rialto Capital Advisors, is still in play. Its owner, homebuilder Lennar Corp., has hired financial advisers to determine Rialto’s strategic alternatives as Lennar shifts to concentrating purely on residential building.

Three of Rialto’s larger competitors are owned by bank holding companies, PNC Financial Services Group owns Midland Loan Services, the largest special servicer in the market; and the second- and fifth-largest are Wells Fargo and KeyBank.

Notably, Wells Fargo is one of the two financial advisers Lennar hired to consider what to do with Rialto. The other adviser is Deutsche Bank.

The fourth-largest special servicer, CWCapital Asset Management, was acquired six months ago by Japanese multinational holding conglomerate SoftBank Group.

Distressed property purchasing is one of the country’s hottest investment categories and the primary target of new investment dollars. At a time when core property prices have hit new peaks, yield-hungry investors are aggressively sourcing new investment opportunities that offer more compelling returns.

Private equity funds raised $14.7 billion alone for value-add and opportunistic commercial real estate last quarter, according to private equity data provider Preqin.

About 75 percent of the new investment money being raised in the market is targeting value-add and opportunistic real estate, the categories that distressed assets fall into, said Chris Lee, vice chairman of CBRE Capital Markets Group based in Miami.

Lee directed one of the largest distressed deals of this year. CBRE, in conjunction with Ten-X, arranged the sale of a foreclosed upon leasehold interest in 110 E. Broward in Fort Lauderdale in January for $41.06 million. Stockbridge Capital Group acquired the 24-story office tower and an adjacent two-story office and retail pavilion. LNR Partners was the seller as special servicer for owner CMBS trust.

“There is no lack of demand for distressed properties,” Lee said of private equity firms. “There is a lot of hidden, and not so hidden, value in these properties.”

At the time of the sale, 110 E. Broward was only 42 percent leased at the time, representing a value-add opportunity by the lease-up of 198,803 square feet of vacant space in a market where the competitive set vacancy is just 8 percent.

In this environment, banks and servicers have had little trouble liquidating the distressed assets. So, the problem for Lee and other brokers is finding inventory right now to sell. The amount of distressed assets in the market at the moment is at post-2008 recession lows as the recovery is now approaching 10 years running.

The amount of foreclosed commercial properties on bank books had shrunk to just $4.7 billion in the first quarter from $31.2 billion seven years ago, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

The amount of specially serviced loans in commercial mortgage-backed securities has fallen by $70 billion in that time, down to about $23 billion.

The diverging trends of money coming in and assets available for liquidation has created a lot of jockeying among special servicers for the dwindling supply of deals. Wells Fargo Bank, PNC’s Midland Loan Services, Rialto Capital and KeyBank have grown their market share in the past two years at the expense of CWCapital Asset Management and other smaller servicers.

Of those loan balances assigned, the amount of distressed loans being actively serviced is small, about 2.4 percent. At year-end 2017, Rialto’s active special-servicing portfolio contained 364 loans and 481 real estate owned properties with a combined unpaid loan balance of $1.98 billion, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings.

In advance of any decision from Lennar about Rialto’s fate, the special servicer has also been particularly active in the past two months growing its special servicing assignments.

Another arm of Rialto has been one of the most active buyers of B-piece commercial mortgage bond offerings. That affiliate has underwritten and purchased over $6.1 billion in face value of such bonds in 88 different securitizations.

B-piece buyers generally purchase the lowest-rated and the very bottom of the bond classes — the unrated class. Any losses to the bond trust come out of the lowest-rated bonds first.

Because of that, B-piece buyers have the right to play an active role in making decisions on important issues that can affect the value of the loan or the collateral. That includes such issues as identifying what collateral goes into the offering and having first-purchase options on defaulted loans or, in this case, appointing new special servicers.

In the past two months, the Rialto affiliate has removed the existing special servicer on 11 different commercial mortgage bond offerings in which it has invested and replaced them with Rialto Capital, according to bond rating agency announcements. Rialto has taken assignments away from Midland Loan Services and CWCapital.

Such removal and replacing of special servicers is not unusual. CWCapital has also won such assignments in the past two months. However, the number of such switches involving Rialto has been much higher than for the others.

Executives from neither Rialto nor Lennar responded to requests for comments for this story.

Source: CoStar
By: Jacquelyn Ryan
Link: Oyster Point Tech

Los Angeles’ Kilroy Realty Corp. has closed on its $308 million acquisition of San Francisco’s life science development site Oyster Point from a development group led by China’s Greenland USA, the company announced today.

The 40-acre industrial site, entitled for 2.5 million square feet of development, spans the waterfront in South San Francisco.

The sales price provides an 80 percent return for Greenland’s group, which has done some demolition work since buying it fully entitled for $171 million two years ago from Shorenstein Properties and SKS Partners.

In recent years, the South San Francisco region’s commercial biotech market has expanded to more than 12 million square feet of office and laboratory space across more than 500 acres, accommodating a range of entrepreneurial start-ups and established companies such as Amgen and Genentech.

The area’s popularity with the life science community is so strong that the market’s Class A office and lab space has a vacancy below 3 percent, according to Kilroy.

Kilroy plans to build 11 buildings that will include a laboratory and more office space in phases across the newly-acquired property.

The site adjoins the real estate investment trust’s three-building Oyster Point Tech Center, a 146,000-squre-foot project that is home to DNA testing company 23andMe Inc. The firm acquired the site earlier this year for about $111 million, according to CoStar data.

On a combined basis, the overall project will give Kilroy a significant footprint in South San Francisco’s large and rapidly-growing life science community, home to more than 200 biotech companies.

“Kilroy Oyster Point is a significant opportunity to expand our West Coast life science platform in a prudent and disciplined manner,” said John Kilroy, the REIT’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “It offers all the advantages we look for in new development – a strong location in a world-class market serving a dynamic industry with all the services and amenities required to attract today’s young, urban innovative workforce.”

The property adds to the company’s 13.9 million-square-foot portfolio in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area and greater Seattle.

Source: CoStar
By: Randyl Drummer
Link: Office Market 2020

Office completions are expected to peak this year and begin trending lower amid signs of a slowdown in U.S. office demand, a declining working-age population and an extended economic recovery entering the late stages.

That slowdown in construction is a good thing for office investors as it should keep supply in check and help extend the stable growth seen in office rents and sale prices.

Total office space under construction fell 7% in the first quarter of 2018 to 141 million square feet, down from 152 million square feet during the first quarter a year ago. The drop in construction occurred even as the national office occupancy rate continued to cruise in the first three months of the year at just under 90 percent, according to data presented at CoStar’s First-Quarter 2018 U.S. Office Review and Forecast.

“It’s been a remarkable cycle, especially lately, with very little movement in occupancy over the past year,” said CoStar Managing Consultant Paul Leonard, who presented the first-quarter office market analysis along with CoStar Portfolio Strategy Managing Director Hans Nordby.

With demand largely in check with supply in most metros, the national office market remains in a period of stability, Leonard said. While, annual rent growth has fallen well below the market peak of 5.6 percent, average office rents continue to increase at a healthy 2.1 percent clip.

“We’re expecting very little rise in vacancy over the next few years, maybe one or two tenths of a percentage point through 2019,” added Leonard. “That’s why we’re continuing to see good rent growth even though demand growth is beginning to slow.”

While new construction is trending lower, office deliveries are expected to peak in 2018 as several large build-to-suit projects, such as Apple’s mega campus in Cupertino, CA, reach completion. Office construction levels are expected to slow considerably in 2019 and 2020, Leonard added.

“Construction starts are down year-over-year and have been basically flat for two years,” Leonard said. “Uncertainty in the remaining length of the cycle, coupled with diminished rent growth, will give enough developers pause, slowing the supply trend overall.”

Despite the decrease in office construction activity, the level of speculative construction, which involves new development without a tenant commitment, is continuing to ramp up.

This is partly due to several high-profile built-to-suit projects reaching completion, resulting in a slow increase over the past year in the amount of space available for lease as a percentage of total office space under construction, Leonard said.

While the increase in speculative activity bears watching and certain markets, such as San Francisco, continue to see elevated office construction levels, the decline in new construction activity overall is good news for the market, Nordby said.

“The total amount of office space which is under construction is trending downward before the market hits the wall,” Nordby added.

Source: CoStar
By: Randyl Drummer
Date Posted: March 22, 2018
Link to Article: Interest Rate Hike

In a widely expected but still worrisome move for commercial real estate investors and financial markets, the Federal Reserve Bank on Wednesday raised the federal funds rate a quarter point from 1.5% to 1.75%, the first of three rate hikes expected by the central bank and the sixth quarter-point increase since the beginning of 2016.

The Fed, in its first policy meeting under new Chairman Jerome Powell, also raised the longer-term “neutral” rate, the level at which monetary policy neither boosts nor slows the economy. In a news conference Wednesday, Powell said that the economy has recently gained momentum and he expects inflation to finally move higher after years running below its 2% historical target.

The Federal Open Markets Committee noted in a statement at the end of its two-day meeting that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate.

The FOMC noted strong job gains in recent months and the exceptionally low unemployment rate, underscoring the central bank’s growing confidence that tax cuts and government spending will continue to boost the economy. Unemployment is now expected to fall to 3.8% this year and 3.6% in 2019, which would be the lowest since 1969.

While the Fed plans to follow a path of gradual rate increases, Powell said policymakers need to be cautious about inflation. The chairman warned that financial market asset prices, including real estate, are high relative to their longer-run historical norms in some areas.

“You can think of some equity prices. You can think of commercial real estate prices in certain markets. But we don’t see it in housing, which is key,” Powell said.

“Overall, if you put all of that into a pie, what you have is moderate vulnerabilities in our view,” the chairman added.

In their Monetary Policy Report to Congress last month, Fed policymakers noted “valuation pressures continue to be elevated across a range of asset classes, including equities and commercial real estate. In general, valuations are higher than would be expected based solely on the current level of longer-term Treasury yields,” the report said.

Although rates remain low by historical standards, interest rate increases remain top of mind for CRE executives this year. In a sentiment survey by law firm Seyfarth Shaw, 80% of respondents expected multiple rate increases, and clearly expect that the increases will begin to weigh on commercial property markets in 2018.

More than one-third, 37%, of those surveyed in February by the Chicago-based firm predicted three rate hikes by the Fed over the next 12 months, up from just 14% a year ago.

CoStar Portfolio Strategy Managing Director Hans Nordby notes that the end of the so-called low-rate environment is going to have an increasing impact on CRE pricing going forward.

While interest rates are going to matter much more to investors, and will likely lead to higher cap rates, Nordby expects only about one-half to two-thirds of the 10-year Treasury rate yield should transfer to cap rates because the spreads between cap rates and Treasury rates are already wide compared to historical levels.

“CRE investors have worried about cap rate increases for the better part of 15 years, and fighting the Fed with the assumption of higher rates has served few well. Those who avoided low-cap-rate deals and bought the best assets have fared very well since the Great Recession,” Nordby said.

“However, those who bought at higher cap rates but took on credit or market risks, such as acquiring Toys ‘R Us stores in sleepy suburbs or less-thriving U.S. cities, those bets probably didn’t fare so well,” Nordby added.

“But today’s (rate increase) is a little different,” Nordby added. “The Fed appears to be on board with higher rates at both the short and long ends of the (yield) curve. Fighting the Fed now means trying to hang on to scary-low cap rates in some of the nation’s largest markets.”

Nordby also points out that many properties may have lower cap rates because their existing leases are at below-market rents, which presumably will be replaced with higher-income leases as they roll over.

However, while many assets have the potential to benefit from this dynamic, properties that are locked into a 20-year lease with a credit tenant that was previously touted for its bond-like stability when interest rates were low may see value decline as interest rates rise, Nordby said.

“Markets like New York City multifamily, which had razor-skinny cap rates and spreads, are now showing weak or negative rent growth. These are the types of assets that are most exposed to interest rate surprises in the next couple years,” Nordby said.

The boom of e-commerce, fueled by Amazon, as created a demand for industrial warehouse space across the nation. But how long can the industrial boom be sustained–can other companies follow the “same day delivery” demands sparked by Amazon, and how will increasing construction costs affect the market? At Bisnow’s National Industrial event in New York, such questions were discussed.

Click here to read the responses including how a lack of truck drivers, old ports, and lack of space may impact the industrial marketplace: Industrial Boom