June 17, 2014 | Issue 278
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Massachusetts Gaming Commission OKs $800 Million MGM Casino License
MGM plans to break ground on MGM Springfield, an $800 million casino and entertainment property, this summer with an anticipated opening in early 2017.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. -- The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has unanimously approved an agreement to award MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) a license to operate a proposed resort casino in downtown Springfield. This is the first approval of a casino license in Massachusetts.


The casino and entertainment development, known as MGM Springfield, is an $800 million investment. The development will be located on approximately 14.5 acres between Union and State streets, and Columbus Avenue and Main Street. Springfield is approximately 90 miles west of Boston.


MGM plans to break ground on the casino property this summer with an anticipated opening in early 2017.


"This is a great day for Springfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and MGM," says Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts. "We thank the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for its thorough vetting process and look forward to continuing our work with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and other Springfield and western Massachusetts elected officials and governmental leaders, along with residents and businesses of Springfield and the region, as we move this project forward."


The integrated resort casino is designed as a mixed-use development project with a 25-story, 250-room hotel; 125,000 square feet of gaming space with 3,000 slot machines, 75 gaming tables, a poker room and a VIP gambling area; about 55,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space that will accommodate 15 shops and restaurants; and a multi-level parking garage. Future plans for the site include an eight-screen movie theater, bowling alley and an outdoor stage.


MGM Springfield is expected to bring 3,000 permanent jobs and 2,000 construction jobs to downtown Springfield. Boston-based Davenport Properties will develop the project in partnership with MGM.


MGM formally announced its interest in a resort casino in Springfield in August 2012. In July 2013, voters in Springfield approved MGM Springfield in a referendum vote (58 percent to 42 percent).


Following the $85 million licensing fee to MGC, MGM will make payments to the city of Springfield and surrounding communities. The global resort and casino owner will pay the city of Springfield $15 million during the construction period and $25 million annually during operations.


Possible Wildcard

All casino projects in the Commonwealth still face the threat of a ballot repeal of the casino law. Attorney General Martha Coakley ruled last year that the repeal question was unconstitutional. Following an appeal by advocates of the repeal effort, the Supreme Judicial Court is expected to decide by July if the question may appear on the November ballot.


"The city of Springfield deserves a brighter economic future. Its residents spoke loudly when they voted 'yes' for MGM Springfield in a July 2013 referendum," says Michael Mathis, president of MGM Springfield. "A successful repeal would mean the loss of good jobs, new economic development and a needed revenue stream. It would also eliminate the opportunity to recapture billions of dollars currently lost to neighboring states. MGM is ready to help the Commonwealth achieve these worthy goals."


MGM's stock price closed Monday, June 16, at $24.81 per share, up from $14.94 per share a year ago.


-- John Nelson

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DDR, Blackstone Team Up To Acquire 
76 Shopping Centers For $1.98 Billion 

Daniel Hurwitz


BEACHWOOD, OHIO AND NEW YORK -- DDR Corp. (NYSE: DDR) and an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII have announced the formation of a third joint venture to acquire 76 shopping centers currently owned by American Realty Capital Properties Inc. (NASDAQ: ARCP).


The joint venture has executed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the portfolio for nearly $1.98 billion. The transaction includes assumed debt of $461 million and approximately $800 million of new financings.


"We are pleased to once again announce a transaction with our partners at Blackstone, further reinforcing our unique relationship and again highlighting both partners' ability to source and execute efficiently," said Daniel Hurwitz, CEO of Beachwood, Ohio-based DDR in a prepared statement. "We expect to generate outsized asset-level growth by leveraging our operating platform, and have appropriately structured our investment to produce attractive risk-adjusted returns while securing access to acquisition opportunities in the future."


Blackstone owns 95 percent of the common equity of the joint venture and an affiliate of DDR owns the remaining 5 percent. DDR will also invest up to a maximum of $300 million in preferred equity in the joint venture, and has agreed to provide leasing and management services.


The 16.4 million-square-foot portfolio primarily consists of prime power centers located in Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.


The portfolio features high-quality retailers such as Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, The Fresh Market, Costco, Target, Walmart, Kohl's, PetSmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. The portfolio is 95.1 percent leased, and the average base rent per square foot is 6 percent below DDR's current prime portfolio, which represents an opportunity for the new ownership to drive future growth.


Additionally, the portfolio contains eight vacant junior anchor boxes, more than 100 available small shop units, more than 20 outparcel expansion opportunities, and more than 30 potential candidates for "Project Accelerate," DDR's initiative that entails recapturing below market spaces from underperforming retailers. (You can read more about Project Accelerate in REBusiness Online's recent Q&A with Joe Tichar, DDR's senior vice president of corporate operations.)


Goldman, Sachs & Co. and KeyBanc Capital Markets served as advisors to DDR on the transaction. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the third quarter of this year.


DDR is an owner and manager of 396 value-oriented shopping centers representing 108 million square feet in 39 states and Puerto Rico. DDR is a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT).


The company's stock price closed on Monday at $17.32 per share, up from trading at $17.28 at this time last year.


-- John Nelson
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Advance Realty, F. Greek Development Break Ground on Warehouse Facility

The 190,000-square-foot build-to-suit refrigerated warehouse
is being developed for Preferred Freezer Services.

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. -- Advance Realty and F. Greek Development have broken ground on a 190,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse and distribution center at 275 Blair Road in Woodbridge. Situated on a 9.33-acre site, the property will be fully leased to Preferred Freezer Services, a nationwide operator of temperature-controlled warehouses. The joint-venture partnership of Advance Realty and F. Greek Development is developing the build-to-suit warehouse, which is slated for completion in April 2015.


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Jenike & Johanson Breaks Ground on 14,000 SF HQ Expansion in Tyngsboro


TYNGSBORO, MASS. -- Senate Construction Corp. has broken ground on an expansion at Jenike & Johanson's global headquarters in Tyngsboro. Located at 400 Business Park Drive, the 14,000-square-foot expansion will increase the company's facilities by 75 percent and will accommodate double the current engineering and advanced modeling and simulation staff. The new addition includes enclosed space, which the company plans to use to expand its testing laboratory with new equipment and staff. Enterprise Bank provided financing for the project, which is scheduled for completion in October.


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HJ Sims Expands Senior Living Finance Practice with Philadelphia Location 


PHILADELPHIA -- Fairfield, Conn.-based HJ Sims, a privately held investment bank and brokerage firm, has expanded its senior living finance practice by opening a location in Philadelphia. The firm has hired Jim Bodine to its senior living finance team for the new office. Bodine specializes in senior living and healthcare finance and has more than 25 years of investment banking experience. HJ Sims specializes in structuring and underwriting senior living and long-term care financings, including tax-exempt and taxable bonds, mezzanine loans, equity, seed money, bank financing and FHA-insured loans. The firm also provides financial advisory services for capital planning, restructuring, plus mergers and acquisitions.


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WinnDevelopment, BFIM Acquire Waterbury Apartment Community 
WinnDevelopment plans to renovate
the 108-unit Watertown Crossing in Waterbury, Conn.

WATERBURY, CONN. -- WinnDevelopment, the development arm of WinnCompanies, in partnership with Boston Financial Investment Management (BFIM) has acquired Watertown Crossing in Waterbury. Located near Route 8 and Interstate 84, the 108-unit affordable housing community comprises 18 residential townhome buildings with a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom townhome-style units. 


Following the acquisition from Tinman Realty, the community will undergo renovations that include in-unit upgrades to kitchens and baths; repaired siding; new windows, doors and roofing; as well as energy-efficient upgrades to the property's HVAC systems. In addition to unit upgrades, Winn will complete site improvements, including the construction of a new 2,500-square-foot community clubhouse with a community kitchen, laundry facilities, fitness center and management office. 


WinnResidential, the property management arm of WinnCompanies, has managed the property since 2001 and the community continues to maintain nearly 100 percent occupancy. The project is receiving equity financing from BFIM and construction-to-permanent financing from the Connecticut Housing Finance Agency. 


Winn plans to begin construction immediately with completion slated for summer 2015. The Architectural Team is providing architectural services. Keith Construction is serving as general contractor for the redevelopment project. 


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Madison Realty Closes $23.5 Million Acquisition Loan For Redevelopment


NEW YORK CITY -- Madison Realty Capital has closed on a $23.5 million first mortgage loan to Heritage Equity Partners for the acquisition of a development site in Brooklyn's Crown Heights. The borrower plans to redevelop the 31,943-square-foot property at 564 St Johns Place, which is currently operating as a rental parking facility, into an eight-story residential building. When complete, the 172-unit development will offer a mix of 26 studios, 110 one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom units, as well as 86 on-site parking spaces.

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HFF Arranges $38 Million Multifamily Community Sale In Lebanon 
Eagle Rock Multi-Family Property Fund acquired 
the 150-unit Presidential Place for $38 million.

LEBANON, N.J. -- HFF has arranged the sale of Presidential Place, amultifamily property located at 701 Presidential Dr. in Lebanon. Pizzo & Pizzo sold the 150-unit property to Eagle Rock Multi-Family Property Fund for $38 million or $253,000 per unit. Constructed in 2011, the six-building community features a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units and a clubhouse with fitness center and swimming pool. At the time of sale, the property was 95 percent leased. Zac Pierce and Mark Thomson of HFF Philadelphia, along with Jose Cruz of HFF's New Jersey office, arranged the off-market transaction.


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HFF Arranges $24.6 Million Refinancing Of Boston Office Building 

The 104,709-square-foot office building located in 
Boston's Seaport district is 100 percent leased.

BOSTON -- HFF has arranged $24.6 million in refinancing for 250 Summer Street in Boston's Seaport district. Originally built in 1903, the eight-story, 104,709-square-foot office building is 100 percent leased to a variety of tenants, including Morrison Mahoney LLP. HFF secured the long-term, fixed-rate loan through Eastern Bank for the borrower, a partnership between Synergy Investments and Independencia Asset Management. Greg LaBine of HFF led the team that represented the borrower.


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Trinity Place Holdings Sells $29 Million Industrial Leasehold Interest 


SECAUCUS, N.J. -- HFF has closed the $29 million sale of the leasehold interest at One Emerson Lane, a 340,000-square-foot light industrial property in Secaucus. Situated on 18.64 acres and constructed in 1978, the vacant property features 35,712 square feet of two-story office space.  Michael Nachamkin and Steve Simonelli of HFF represented the seller, Trinity Place Holdings, in the transaction.

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Marcus & Millichap Brokers $16.7 Million Sale of FedEx Freight Facility

Situated on 24 acres, the 31,551-square-foot facility sold
for $16.7 million.

NORTHBOROUGH, MASS. -- Marcus & Millichap (M&M) has brokered the sale of a FedEx freight facility located at 300 Bartlett St. in Northborough. Built in 2013 and situated on 24 acres, the 31,551-square-foot facility sold for $16.7 million, or $531 per square foot. Laurie Ann Drinkwater of M&M's Boston office and Seth Richard of M&M's Manhattan office represented the buyer, a regional private investor, in the transaction.


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Ariel Property Advisors Brokers Sale
of Development Site for $10 Million 

NEW YORK CITY -- Ariel Property Advisors has arranged the sale of a development site at 92 Fulton St. in Lower Manhattan. The 25-foot wide vacant lot offers 29,890 buildable square feet, including air rights. A private investor purchased the property from a developer for $10 million. Michael Tortorici, Howard Raber, Shimon Shkury, Victor Sozio and Randy Modell of Ariel Property Advisors represented the seller and procured the buyer in the transaction.


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TerraCRG Arranges $2.9 Million Brooklyn Mixed-Use Property Sale 

The property features six apartments and two commercial units.

NEW YORK CITY -- TerraCRG has brokered the sale of a mixed-use property located at the corner of 61st Street and Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood. The 9,250-square-foot property features six apartments and two commercial units. The property sold for $2.9 million, or $308 per square foot. Adam Hess, Sam Shalumov and Chris Pechlivanides of TerraCRG handled the transaction. The buyer and seller were not disclosed.
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12,327 SF Retail Condo Sells

for $7.3 Million In Midtown West


NEW YORK CITY -- American Realty Capital New York City REIT's operating partnership has entered into an agreement to acquire a 12,327-square-foot commercial condominium unit at The Hit Factory in Manhattan's Midtown West neighborhood. Sagamore 54th Avenue St. Investments LLC and Sagamore Arizona LLC are selling the property for $7.3 million, exclusive of closing costs. The property is currently 100 percent leased to Gibson Guitar Corp.


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Upcoming Events

Residential Ethics Course
for New Members

Overview: Required non-credit course for new REBNY members. Registration is required.
When: June 24, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. 
Where: REBNY Mendik Education Center, 570 Lexington Ave. (Lower Level), NYC

Certified Negotiation Expert Course

Overview: Sponsored by REBNY, the two-day course is for real estate professionals looking to obtain CNE certification or continuing education credits.
When: June 25-26, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 
Where: REBNY Mendik Education Center, 570 Lexington Ave. (Lower Level), NYC


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 Northeast Real Estate Business

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