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In The Pipeline: CoStar Development & Construction News for Feb. 26 - March 4

News, Notes and Comments on New Projects, Trends and Construction In the Commercial Real Estate Development and Planning Pipeline Around the U.S.
February 26, 2014

Vanke, RFR Developing 61-Story Condo Tower in NYC

A joint venture of Shenzhen-based Vanke and RFR Holding LLC has broken on a condominium tower on East 53rd Street near the Seagram Building in Midtown Manhattan.

The slender white tower at 610 Lexington Ave. designed by Foster + Partners, will rise to 700 feet and 61 stories. RFR and Hines will work on construction through a joint development agreement.

The project is the first in New York City and the second in the U.S. for Vanke, China’s largest residential real estate developer, said company President Yu Liang. A year ago, Vanke signed a joint venture with Tishman Speyer to develop a high-rise condo at 201 Folsom St. in San Francisco.

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 location of our site is extraordinary, and the demand for highest-end condominiums in Midtown has never been stronger," said Aby Rosen, principal of RFR who co-founded the company with Michael Fuchs.

Vanke and RFR will reportedly begin selling condos next year for delivery in 2017.

Downtown L.A. Owner EVOQ Properties Explores Possible Sale of Company

The company that took over the downtown Los Angeles development sites and buildings of Meruelo Maddux Properties, Inc. after its 2011 bankruptcy announced it is exploring potential strategic options, including a possible sale.

The board of directors of EVOQ Properties, Inc. announced the decision on Wednesday, adding the company will continue to operate during the process. EVOQ, which trades publicly on the OTC exchanges, had about $36.7 million cash at year-end 2013.

EVOQ Properties, formerly Meruelo Maddux, one of the Los Angeles CBD's largest landlords, struggled during the downturn and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2009. When Meruelo Maddux emerged from reorganization in 2011, the board appointed 20-year real estate veteran Martin Caverly as CEO, replacing company founder Richard Meruelo. The company changed its name to EVOQ Properties in 2012.

EVOQ has retained Houlihan Lokey and Eastdil Secured as financial advisors. Jeffrey Altman, managing director at Houlihan Lokey, and Stephen Somer, managing director at Eastdil Secured, will lead the review.

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JLL to Market New Spec Industrial Park In DeSoto

USAA Real Estate Co. and Seefried Industrial Properties have picked Jones Lang LaSalle to lease Southfield Park 35, the largest speculative industrial project in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The master-planned industrial park on 157 acres at 501 West Danieldale Road in DeSoto, TX, includes four buildings totaling 2.3 million square feet. Building one, at 1.13 million square feet, is under construction with completion slated for the fourth quarter of 2014.

The second building has a pad in place and totals 678,600 square feet, while buildings three and four are each 241,800 square feet.

JLL Managing Director Terry Darrow, Executive Vice President Kurt Griffin and Senior Vice President Nathan Orbin will lead leasing and marketing representing USAA. Atlanta-based Seefried Industrial Properties is the developer.

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Schindler Opens Elevator Manufacturing Facility in South Central PA

Schindler Elevator Corp. has opened a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Hanover, PA, the first elevator manufacturing facility in North America to receive a LEED Gold sustainability certification.

A facility will support the global supply chain of the Morristown, NJ-based company, producing doors, entrances, jambs and elevator cab interiors. The plant also includes an order fulfillment warehouse.

Schindler has maintained a manufacturing presence in south central Pennsylvania for many years, said Jakob Zueger, CEO, Schindler Americas.

The new facility achieved LEED for implementing measurable solutions for high performance in sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Follow Randyl Drummer on Twitter for CRE news updates.
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