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Week-In-Review: Hines REIT Approves Liquidation Plan, Brexit Vote Amplifies Downside

Hines REIT Approves $1.7 Billion Asset Liquidation Plan: Bad news for Hines REIT—it approved of a liquidation and dissolution plan. The REIT agreed to sell seven West Coast office assets for about $1.2 billion to an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII. It also recently made a deal with New Properties LLC to sell a portfolio of eight grocery-anchored retail centers. These centers total 1.04 million square feet and are expected to sell for $210 million. Some of the centers include Champions Village, Oak Park Village, and Cherokee Plaza. On another note, the REIT is currently in the process of selling its interests in Chase Tower.

Brexit Vote Amplifies Downside, Upside for U.S. Investors in the U.K.: There is currently some trouble in the global market due to the vote for Brexit last week. Because the UK voted to leave the EU, many real estate firms are shaken up. Bilfinger GVA in London lost over 10% in value. New York’s NorthStar Realty Europe Corp. are saying that the change in the currency exchange rate could make them lose $100 million in equity, while Hines Global REIT could potentially see a $29 million loss in its asset value. Also the current devaluation could really harm REITs’ operational results. However, UK property assets are now more affordable, not to mention that foreign buyers could benefit as well.

Ashford Prime to The Weisman Group: ‘Make Us a Better Offer’: A couple weeks ago Weisman Group offered Ashford Hospitality Prime a deal to acquire all of its property assets. This deal includes refinancing all of Ashford Prime’s debt, and the real estate firm offered $1.48 billion. Apparently $1.48 billion isn’t good enough for Ashford Prime because they believe that Weisman’s “current price level materially undervalues Ashford Prime.” Basically, they’re telling Weisman to try again. Currently Ashford Prime owns interests in 12 hotels in 6 states. The portfolio includes 3,952 rooms, which makes the offer worth about $375,000 per room.

Prime Real Estate: Amazon Has Swallowed Downtown Seattle: Amazon, Seattle’s largest private employer, is turning heads with its three giant spheres by its new office tower. The company is calling these 100-foot tall architectural orbs biospheres because they are hosting over 300 plant species. Basically, this is Amazon’s way of getting in touch with nature. The new headquarters and spheres will be located on a busy street in downtown Seattle. The company will have about 10 million square feet of office space in just the city of Seattle! John Schoettler, Amazon’s global real estate director, remarked that they “wanted to create a place employees would be proud of and proud to bring their families.” These orbs are already becoming a tourist attraction and will officially be completed by 2018.

Marcus & Millichap Arranges Miami Metro Retail Deal: Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, might be getting New Century Commons, an 84,551 square foot retail center in Delray Beach. The center is currently leased for $33 million by Menin Development Inc, and the deal closed on June 20th. The property has three main components, and one of them is Sports Authority. However, the store is planning to close due to its bankruptcy protection plan. The free space in this building is currently occupied by PetSmart. The other part of this site includes Chipotle, PNC Bank, and an Italian concept store called Cream.