Commercial real estate news for July 6

Onex takes control of Las Vegas landmark - onex.com - OCX-T - The legendary Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is getting a makeover courtesy of its new owner: Toronto-based takeover specialist Onex Corp. The Tropicana, located on Las Vegas Blvd. – also known as "The Strip" – sits on 14 hectares at one of the busiest intersections in the world. Pedestrians use overhead bridges to cross to the neighbouring MGM Grand and the Excalibur casinos.

Onex takes control of Las Vegas landmark – onex.com – OCX-T – The legendary Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is getting a makeover courtesy of its new owner: Toronto-based takeover specialist Onex Corp. The Tropicana, located on Las Vegas Blvd. – also known as “The Strip” – sits on 14 hectares at one of the busiest intersections in the world. Pedestrians use overhead bridges to cross to the neighbouring MGM Grand and the Excalibur casinos.

Toronto Star, Jul 06, 2009 Reuters, Jul 06, 2009 Market Wire, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Pet Valu agrees to friendly $144-million takeover bid – petvalu.com – Canadian pet shop company Pet Valu Canada Inc. announced Monday it has agreed to be sold to an American private equity firm in a cash deal worth $144-million. The sale, which has been approved by boards of both Pet Valu Canada and its parent company Pet Valu Inc., sees shareholders picking up $13.68 cash for each share from Roark Capital Group.

Financial Post, Jul 06, 2009 Canada News Wire, Jul 06, 2009

•••

U.S. Commercial Real Estate Debt Reaches $40B – The end of the line is near for commercial real estate borrowers unable to meet their repayment schedules or work out a new payment extension plan. The bad-loan total has hit $40 billion and continues to climb, reports Trepp LLC, a commercial bonds and real estate loans statistician hired by the Treasury Dept. June 16 to create models that will guide what CMHC receive Federal TALF dollars.

The Real Estate Channel, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Tough times ahead for Ottawa downtown tenants – colliers.com – The tightening office vacancy rate in Ottawa’s central business district should cause rental rates to climb, according to real estate services firm Colliers International. In its second quarter office market report, Colliers noted the all-class vacancy rate in the core now sits at a “paltry” 2.9 per cent, a full percentage point lower than a year ago.

Ottawa Business Journal, Jul 02, 2009

•••

Jones Lang LaSalle tops in corporate real estate services provider – Jones Lang LaSalle has been recognised as the best overall provider of corporate real estate services by the Watkins 2009 Survey of Corporate Real Estate Service Providers. Of the 19 providers evaluated by the largest users of commercial real estate services, JLL was rated No 1 in every category, including delivery of results, adaptability of services, pricing, reputation and financial strength.

Business Standard, Jul 02, 2009

•••

Winnipeg says repair ‘deficit’ totals $7.4B – The City of Winnipeg has requested help from the province to deal with proposed infrastructure projects that could create a $7.4-billion budget shortfall. The figure is listed in a report from the city’s secretary of strategic infrastructure renewal, which will be presented next week to the executive policy committee, also known as the mayor’s cabinet.

CBC.ca, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Report to outline benefits of Alberta high speed rail – Albertans could travel between Calgary and Edmonton in as little as an hour on a high-speed train linking the province’s two largest cities and Red Deer, reveals a provincial government report that will be presented today to a joint Alberta-federal Conservative caucus meeting in Calgary. A summary of the report suggests the private sector would be keen to fund the system’s construction and operation.

Calgary Herald, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Land Grab: Google Expands Real Estate Listings – MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Craigslist, fellow real estate listings sites, newspapers and other classified ad providers … please meet your new neighbor: Google.com. Google has expanded its real estate listings and added extra search functionality for users to find property listings in Google Maps. Right below the search box is a hard-to-miss invitation to search current real estate listings.

Search Engine Land, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Second Quarter Best in U.S. REITs’ History – The U.S. REIT market completed its best quarter ever in June, as the FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index gained 28.9 percent in the second quarter of 2009. The index’s performance marked its highest quarterly gain since its inception in 1972. The index dropped 2.5 percent for the month of June, bringing its return in the first half of 2009 to -10.5 percent.

REIT.com, Jul 06, 2009 REIT.com – INTERVIEW, Jul 06, 2009

•••

UK property owner defaults on £1,15bn of commercial mortgage bonds – Investor Simon Halabi’s real- estate companies failed at the weekend to remedy a default on £1,15bn of commercial mortgage bonds at a time when, according to Fitch Ratings, “pretty much” all such European deals would breach loan-to-value conditions if they were tested. Halabi’s companies had until the close of business on Thursday to stave off a default on the bonds.

Business Day, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Saudi fund eyes $1bn UK and US real estate deal – An investment manager part-owned by the Saudi royal family is planning to invest a chunk of its assets in UK and US commercial property, according to Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, its chairman. For Jadwa Investment, commercial real estate was, with natural resources, the most appealing investment opportunity, Prince Faisal told the Financial Times in an interview.

Financial Times, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Barrhaven mixed-use commercial building sells for $1.38M – A 6,650-square-foot freestanding retail/office building at 810 Greenbank Rd., just south of Fallowfield Road, has been purchased by a numbered Ontario company for $1,383,689 according to real estate data firm RealTrack. The seller is listed as Tarodd Investment & Management Ltd. The second floor of the property is occupied by dentists and orthodontists.

Ottawa Business Journal, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Huntingdon REIT announces sale of two retail properties – hreit.ca – HNT.UN-T – Huntingdon REIT has completed the previously announced sale of a retail property in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, known as Southfort Square. The property was sold for $1,725,000 and resulted in a gain on sale of approximately $228,000 and net cash to HREIT of approximately $557,000, after expenses and closing adjustments, and the repayment of approximately $1.03 million of first mortgage debt.

Canada News Wire, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Ottawa building permit applications drop 5.6% in Q1 – The number of building permit applications submitted to the city fell to the lowest first-quarter level in three years, according to a report being tabled next week. Across all categories, 1,460 building permit applications were received in the first three months of 2009, down from 1,546 during the same period a year earlier and 1,738 in 2007.

Ottawa Business Journal, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Real estate sales booming in Vancouver and Victoria areas – Historically low interest rates and discounted housing prices are fuelling a real estate boom on B.C.’s south coast with sales in Vancouver up 75 per cent compared to June of last year. Strong activity is also being reported in the Fraser Valley to the east of Vancouver — where sales were up 40 per cent over last year — and in Victoria, which saw a 30 per cent increase over last year.

CBC.ca, Jul 05, 2009 Vancouver Sun, Jul 05, 2009

•••

Canada’s economic bounce will be short-lived, Merrill Lynch says – The new chief economist for Merrill Lynch Canada has finally landed and published a forecast that is significantly more optimistic about the Canadian economy in the short run, but less enthusiastic for next year. Sheryl King, who was a senior U.S. economist for the firm but moved to Toronto last week, believes the Canadian economy has begun to grow.

Globe and Mail, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Golf course, toxic plants up for grabs in GM ‘garage sale’ – As General Motors Corp. prepares to sell its best assets to a streamlined new entity, the worst of what it owns will be auctioned off in bankruptcy court, including contaminated factory sites, parking lots in Flint, Mich., and a nine-hole golf course in New Jersey.

National Post, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Buyer’s Remorse Hits Vegas Project – One of the costliest and highest-profile condominium developments in the country — the $8.4 billion City Center project in Las Vegas — is facing a revolt from some early buyers. Some buyers who signed contracts are demanding significant price reductions, and have hired a law firm to take their grievances to the project’s principal developer, gambling company MGM Mirage.

Wall St. Journal, Jul 06, 2009

•••

UK Land Securities sells City of London offices – Land Securities (LAND.L), the UK’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT) said on Monday it has sold the leasehold interest in London office building One Wood Street for 105.5 million pounds ($171.6 million). The property was bought by fund manager Aerium on behalf of the Glenn Arrow UK Property Fund.

Reuters, Jul 06, 2009

•••

U.S. Industrial Study Highlights Market Realities – Grubb & Ellis Co. has produced a new study of the Los Angeles County industrial market that goes beyond the regular quarterly surveys issued by major brokerage firms in order to provide building owners with data on how the county’s roughly one-billion-square-foot industrial market has changed with the economic downturn and how building owners can best adjust to those changes.

Globe St., Jul 06, 2009

•••

UK banks reluctant to clean up commercial property exposure – As the government finalises details of its asset protection scheme (APS), real estate private equity funds are holding their breath at the prospect of snapping up distressed property loans from the UK banks, reports Dealreporter. Despite having raised significant funds to deploy on the distressed debt, as they did in the early 90s, the funds have so far been frustrated at the UK banks’ reluctance to sell.

Financial Times, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Edmonton looking up with bold, stylish towers – Edmonton’s civic self-esteem takes a further hit as yet another hockey star spurns our lovestruck advances. What gives, Dany Heatley? Does urban sprawl make our city look fat? Do our streets smell? Are we too frigid? Or is it our lack of height? Because if it’s tall you like, we’re growing up. We might even close the Muni airport this week and allow, like, buildings over 35 storeys downtown.

Edmonton Journal, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Possibility of greatness awaits on the waterfront – Waterfront revitalization means different things in different places; in Toronto it could well be our last chance to relearn something we forgot 50 years ago – how to build a city. As Waterfront Toronto CEO John Campbell put it last week at the Toronto Board of Trade, “How do you implement an innovation strategy?” Good question, and not one we’re able to answer quite yet.

Toronto Star, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Hydro draws the line on mixed-use project – Nicolas Ibrahim is a small real-estate developer who thought he was doing everything right. His plan for a four-storey mixed-use building on Main Street in Old Ottawa East was supported by the community, its city councillor and both the city’s official plan and the community design plan.

Ottawa Citizen, Jul 06, 2009

•••

CAPREIT appoints General Counsel and Corporate Secretary – caprent.com – CAR.UN-T – Canadian Apartment Properties REIT announced the appointment of Philip Lefko as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of CAPREIT. Mr. Lefko joins CAPREIT from one of Canada’s largest bank owned securities dealers where he was an in-house legal advisor and prior to that he was in private practice with a focus on securities law and mergers and acquisitions at a pre-eminent Canadian law firm.

Market Wire, Jul 06, 2009

•••

The Lease Coach: Rent relief for commercial property – Mr. Willerton has trained a network of franchisees dedicated to working with tenants throughout Canada and the United States. Health-care professionals such as dentists, chiropractors and physicians frequently come to The Lease Coach for assistance with their commercial office or retail leases. He has also advised quick-services restaurants, retail outlets by both independent tenants and franchisees and so on.

The Globe and Mail, Jul 05, 2009

•••

Wolfe Island, Ontario wind farm in operation – Canadian Hydro Developers, Inc. says its 197.8 MW Wolfe Island wind facility has begun commercial operation. The second-largest wind facility of its kind in Canada, the Wolfe Island project was completed on schedule, with a total capital cost of about $478 million. Wolfe Island, located near Kingston, is expected to generate about 594 GWh annually of renewable energy.

Journal of Commerce, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Water quality study led by U of R profs – A team of researchers from the University of Regina is leading a national water quality study in hopes of finding a way to preserve and protect precious water supplies for future use. “We’re trying to understand what the effects of organic nitrogen are on the water quality,” explained Peter Leavitt, a U of R biology professor. He believes now is the time to start conducting such research.

Star Phoenix, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Ground Zero restoration a triumph after the tragedy – The last time I visited Ground Zero was Sept. 22, 2001. I lived in Long Island, N.Y., then and the Sept. 11 attacks consumed life for weeks. Seeing the World Trade Center in fiery rubble was Dickensian bleak and painful. The ruins smouldered, firefighters teemed, anxiety swept over every face. New Yorkers are not only getting over 9/11, they’re turning the Financial District into a neighbourhood.

Toronto Star, Jul 06, 2009

•••

Real estate access: denied – When Fraser Beach received a call from a Bell Canada subsidiary about starting a new real estate company three years ago, he had no idea the unlikely partnership would land him in a high-stakes court case. The drama playing out this week has pitted the realtor against Canada’s largest real estate board in a landmark battle that some say could open the doors to further competition between realtors.

Toronto Star, Jul 05, 2009

•••

The City of Calgary is using VFA Canada’s Capital Planning and Asset Management Solution – vfa.com – VFA Canada Corporation, the leading Canadian provider of solutions for facilities capital planning and asset management, today announced that The City of Calgary, the largest city in Alberta and the fifth largest city in Canada, is using VFA.facility® to manage more than 1.3 million square feet of facilities.

Market Wire, Jul 06, 2009

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read