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In The Pipeline: CoStar Development & Construction News for Oct. 21 - 27

News and Notes on Trends, New Projects and Construction In the Commercial Real Estate Development Pipeline Around the U.S.
October 22, 2012
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.

San Francisco's Transbay Tower Cleared For Construction

The Transbay Tower, destined to be the tallest building on the West Coast, has reached two important milestones on the road to construction of the 1.4 million-square-foot, 61-story building.

The San Francisco office of Hines recently finalized the formation of a 50/50% joint venture with Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP) to acquire the land for the tower from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. The $190 million acquisition of the land for the tower to be built next to the Transbay Transit Center is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

In addition, the San Francisco Planning Commission on Oct. 18 granted final approval for the Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects-designed 1,070-foot tower to proceed.

"We think the tower will be a beautiful addition to San Francisco’s beloved skyline as well as an extremely desirable and sustainable workplace next to one of the state’s busiest transit hubs," said Hines Chairman Gerald D. Hines in a statement.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman and CEO of Boston Properties, added the building will be "a landmark for generations to come."

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Espacio To Build $412M Mixed-Use Project In Miami's Downtown

In its first major U.S. development, Spanish developer Espacio USA has received approval from the city of Miami for a $412 million project to build a 12-story office building, a condominium building and ground-level retail in downtown Miami’s Omni area.

It's the first major development in the Omni area since the last real estate boom, receiving approval from Miami’s planning, zoning and appeals board last week. Architecture firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners designed the mixed-use project, its first in Miami since the iconic, color-changing Miami Tower.

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The development at 1400 Biscayne Blvd. by Espacio USA, the American division of Spain-based real estate firm Inmobiliaria Espacio, will break ground in early 2013 and take five years to complete.

In addition to the 12-story, 103,000-square-foot office building designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, the project will include a 55-story condo tower with prime street-level retail.

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Dueling Developers Announces Plans for Competing Outlet Malls in Charlotte

The race to build outlet centers is on in Charlotte, with Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. and a joint center of Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) and Baltimore, MD-based Paragon Outlet Partners announcing projects within two days of each other.

Simon and Paragon announced Friday they have signed a letter of intent to jointly develop Charlotte Premium Outlets, a 400,000-square-foot center expected to open in 2014.

The outlet center, proposed for Stallings, NC at Interstate 485 and Idlewild Road, will house about 100 designer and name-brand stores and is expected to break ground next spring. The project is a 50/50 joint venture between Simon and Paragon.

Simon Property is familiar with the Charlotte market, owning SouthPark and Concord Mills, noted John R. Klein, president of Simon's Premium Outlets division.

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Transwestern Plans Spec Industrial Project In Energy Corridor

Transwestern announced the acquisition of 30 acres in the Mason Creek Corporate Center for a five-building, 384,900-square-foot speculative industrial project.

With construction set to start in early November, the development will be built in a single phase for delivery in the third quarter of 2013 with a variety of building types to meet the needs of various tenant types.

The project is in the 110-acre Mason Creek Corporate Center, a master-planned development by Parkside Capital, LLC. The project site is on Park Row along the north side of the corporate center, which is at the northeast corner of Interstate 10 and Mason Road about a mile east of the Grand Parkway.

The Transwestern project will consist of five buildings with a variety of rear-load and cross dock and clearances of 24- and 28-feet ranging from 45,000 to 121,000 square feet. The architect is Munson Kennedy Partnership.

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KDC Developing Two More Digital Realty Data Centers In Texas

Dallas-based developer KDC is building two powered-shell data centers totaling 244,000 square feet for Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) in Richardson, TX.

KDC also recently completed the first ground-up 112,000-square-foot data center at Digital Dallas Datacampus, formerly known as Datacenter Park Dallas, at 1215 Datacenter Park Blvd. The company is developing the powered shell buildings and Digital Realty is installing its Turn-Key Flex solution.

Once all three projects are complete, Digital Dallas will contain the largest amount of ground up, wholesale datacenter space in Texas.

Construction has started on the two just-announced 244,000-square-foot projects at 850 and 950 E. Collins Boulevard. Both buildings are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.

Digital Realty has been on a rapid pace of development ever since locating its 69-acre site in Richardson's telecom corridor area, said Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend.

Ensemble Breaks Ground on Navy's Yard's First Hotel

Ensemble Hotel Partners, LLC, has broken ground on a new $34 million, five-story Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Philadelphia, the first hotel to be constructed at The Navy Yard.

The new development is expected to be home to more than 120 companies and 10,000 employees by the end of 2012.

The 172-room Courtyard by Marriott expected to open next year is designed by Erdy McHenry Architects of Philadelphia. INTECH Construction, also of Philadelphia, is the design-build contractor of the 99,000-square-foot hotel on 2.4 acres.

"This new hotel is a great addition to the growing and dynamic business campus being built at The Navy Yard,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter.

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