Real Estate ROUNDUP

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Multifamily Construction Sentiment at Highest Point in 7 Quarters. The Multifamily Production Index, which measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condo market on a scale of 0 to 100, rose eight points from Q4 2020 to 51 in Q1 2021. NAHB says this is the first time the MPI has been over 50 in seven quarters. Meanwhile, the Multifamily Occupancy Index increased by one point to 59. A number above 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse. MPI is a weighted average of three key components of multifamily housing: construction of apartments that are supported by low-income tax credits or other government subsidy programs, market-rate rental units, and for-sale units—condominiums.
Retail Rent Collections Are Nearing Pre-Pandemic Levels. Retail rent collections reached 89.42% in April, a spike compared with 59.73% this time last year and a full percentage point increase from March. That volume of retail rent collections is close to pre-pandemic levels. During January and February 2020, and even last March, collections hovered a bit above 90%. National chains paid 93.44% of their rent due in April 2021, while local and regional chains paid 85.07%, according to Datex. The surge in rent payments is especially pronounced among beauty and hair salons and fitness studios. Movie theaters and gyms still aren’t paying a large proportion of their rents.
Rent Premiums on New Lab Space Beckon Office-to-Lab Conversions. A report from Newmark has concluded that lab space is becoming more appealing to investors as attractive returns and rent growth surge. Demand for lab space has intensified during the last year, particularly in biotech hubs such as Boston/Cambridge, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. While the cost of conversion is substantial, and land use/zoning challenges could prove problematic in some jurisdictions, with low supply and the demand for high-quality lab space surging, the potential upside seems to outweigh these complications as the number of investors exploring lab conversions continues to grow.  (GS)
National Acquisitions Roundup 
OneWall Partners has acquired two Baltimore MSA multifamily communities totaling 871 units from Kushner Cos + Morgan Properties for $100M, or ~$114K per unit. The properties, named Hopkins Point & Oak Grove Apartments, consist of 524 & 347 units, respectively. Both properties are over 94% occupied. (REW)
Klingbeil Capital Management has acquired the Strauss Townhomes in Denver, CO, from Castle Lanterra Properties for $85M, or ~$304K per unit. The property consists of 280 townhouse units spread among 36 buildings; amenities include a business lounge, swimming pool, and dog park. (REW)
TruAmerica has acquired two multifamily communities in Phoenix and Nashville totaling 903 units from Knightvest Management + Covenant Capital Group for a combined $196M, or ~$217K per unit. The firm plans to pursue targeted capital improvements on each asset while maintaining competitive market rental rates. Notably, each acquisition marks TruAmerica’s second transaction in each respective market.
Northwood Investors has acquired a pair of SoHo mixed-use properties from the Propp Family for $325M, or ~$1,350 PSF. The assets, located at 520 and 524 Broadway, have a combined 180,000 SF of office space and 60,000 SF of retail space and are 90% occupied.
Northeast Capital Group has acquired the Woodbridge Corporate Plaza, a six-building, 629,189 SF Class A office complex in Iselin, NJ, from KBS for $88M, or ~$140 PSF. The property is currently 90% leased to a diverse collection of 64 tenants.
CenterPoint Properties has acquired a Class-A logistics center from sellers Goldman Sachs Asset Management + Blumenfeld Development Group, for $116M, or ~$800 PSF. The asset, located in the Bronx, NY, contains 145,144 SF of industrial space and serves as a last-mile distribution center. The property is fully leased.
Uniqlo, the Japanese apparel brand, has purchased 546 Broadway, the location of their NYC Flagship store, from AB & Sons, for between $160M-$200M, or $1,675-$2,100 PSF. The property encompasses 95,500 SF of retail, office, and apartment space. Uniqlo first opened its flagship store in 2006, taking up 53,000 SF over three levels.
NYC Financing Roundup 
Reading International has secured $55M in bridge financing from Emerald Creek Capital for its landmark, recently converted, office and retail asset at 44 Union Square in New York City. The financing was arranged by Estreich & Co and is structured as an interest-only loan with a three-year term and an option for two (1) year extensions. (CS) 
Tishman + PIMCO have obtained $60M in acquisition financing from Bank Hapoalim for their $90M purchase of 70 condos at Elad Group’s 123-unit development in Hell’s Kitchen, NY. The acquisition comes at a time of considerable slowdown in NYC’s condo market. (TRD)
Naftali Group has secured $103M in construction financing, including a $44M building loan and $17M project loan, for its condo project at 1165 Madison Avenue in NYC’s Upper East Side, from Bank Hapoalim. The 13-story, 63K SF building will contain 12 units along with ground-level retail space. (TRD)
Proptech Roundup 
RiskFootprint Announces New Risk Assessment Platform Integrations. RiskFootprint is an online environmental and climate risk assessment service that allows owners, developers, investors, and lenders, as well as individuals, communities, and governments, to conduct high-quality climate risk analyses for buildings, communities, and cities. They are the first proptech risk assessment platform to integrate ‘NRI Community Resilience Scores’, and FEMA Community Rating Scores for better ‘Market Risk’ Due Diligence. (PRN)