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In The Pipeline: CoStar Development & Construction News for Feb. 12 - 18

News, Notes and Comments on New Projects, Trends and Construction In the Commercial Real Estate Development and Planning Pipeline Around the U.S.
February 12, 2014

Mitsui Fudosan America Opens San Francisco Office

About a month after announcing a major office development with SKS Partners in the South of Market area (SoMa), Japanese real estate giant Mitsui Fudosan America, Inc. (MFA) has opened an office in San Francisco.

The office expands MFA’s presence in the U.S. as it continues to make acquisitions in key markets and pursue development projects. The company said the opening of the new San Francisco office "underlines MFA’s interest in increasing its activities in the West Coast’s gateway cities," notably Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

In The Pipeline is a column on significant acquisitions of commercial land for sale, and other transactions and trends affecting office, industrial, flex, multifamily, mixed-use, hotel and public works developers. Send us news leads about your new commercial real estate project -- and sign up to be added to our distribution list to receive future In the Pipeline columns by e-mail.

"The major U.S. West Coast cities have always been important to us and a focus for our long-term expansion plans here," said Mitsui Fudosan America President and CEO Yukio Yoshida, based in the company’s U.S. headquarters in New York. "Having our executives on the ground in San Francisco will not only enrich our relationships with existing business partners in the city and the region but also enable us to pursue important new opportunities."

The San Francisco branch manager will be Kenji Yamamoto, who will report directly to Yoshida. Jeff Menard, director of acquisitions, will also be based in MFA’s San Francisco office.

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Brookfield to Begin $200M Makeover of 450 W. 33rd St

Brookfield Office Properties Inc. (NYSE: BPO) announced a $200-million redevelopment of 450 West 33rd Street office building adjacent to its Manhattan West development in Hudson Yards.

The long-anticipated new portion of the development under construction west of Penn Station and across the street from the new Moynihan Station will be known as Five Manhattan West. The project will modernize and fully integrate the 44-year-old, 1.8-million-square-foot building through an exterior recladding and interior renovation program.

"Manhattan West is a vital mixed-use real estate development and the redeveloped 450 West 33rd Street gives the urban campus even greater depth and diversity," said Dennis Friedrich, chief executive officer of Brookfield Office.

The architectural firm REX designed the redevelopment of Five Manhattan West, including a new pleated glass façade which will create floor-to-ceiling windows on every floor. The interior program includes a redesigned lobby, upgraded and expanded elevators, and enhanced HVAC and other mechanical systems.

New retail storefronts will provide a welcoming streetscape. The renovation is expected to be completed in 2016.

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Newcastle Buys 25 Acres For Spec Warehouse Construction in Inland Empire

San Francisco-based Newcastle Partners, Inc. has purchased 25.74 acres in Riverside, CA, where it will begin the second phase of its Meridian Distribution Center at midyear.

The real estate investment and development company will start construction on a speculative 510,000-square-foot distribution building at its project at Opportunity Way and Meridian Parkway, located in Meridian Industrial Park, a 1,290-acre master-planned commerce center featuring office, retail, industrial, and research and development space.

Newcastle Partners completed construction at the end of 2013 of a 600,000-square-foot distribution building at 14600 Innovation Drive in the industrial park.

The new facility will be situated at 22200 Opportunity Way, a block south of the Innovation Way development. Building features include 32-foot clear height, ESFR sprinkler system, and up to 360-foot truck courts.

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Mixed-Use Project Planned For W. Hollywood

Developer AvalonBay Communities (NYSE: AVB) has partnered with architecture firm MVE & Partners to design a multifamily project on three acres in West Hollywood, CA.

Avalon West Hollywood project at Poinsettia Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard will consist of two market-rate apartment buildings and one income- and age-restricted building.

The project will rise at the former Movietown Plaza site, a strip center that was demolished in December. It will include a total of 371 apartment units over subterranean garages; the redeveloped property will include 32,300 square feet of retail space, including a 14,500 square-foot specialty market space.

Two of the buildings will be built to achieve LEED Silver certification, and the income- and age-restricted building will be built for LEED Gold certification.

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Joint Venture to Develop Marriott Hotel in Hillsboro

A joint venture headed by investment manager Alex. Brown Realty Inc. (ABR) has acquired a 4.93-acre site in Hillsboro, OR, about 15 miles northwest of downtown Portland, where it plans to develop a 140-room Marriott Residence Inn.

ABR Chesapeake Fund IV, a real estate fund sponsored by ABR, expects to have $8 million invested in the venture upon completion. ABR is partnering with Hillsboro Hotel Development and Huntington Hotel Group to develop the site along NE Brookwood Parkway in the northeastern section of the 320-acre Dawson Creek Business Park.

The site is one mile south of Interstate 26, a major east/west interstate that connects Portland to Oregon’s Pacific coastline and two miles east of the Hillsboro Airport. It's also immediately west of Intel Corp’s Ronler Acres campus, which employs 7,000 and is undergoing a $3 billion expansion.

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