Saturday, November 30, 2013

New York

From the rooftop of The Met

A photo posted by Charissa Fay (@charissa_fay) on

Helmsley Trust Sells Park Lane Hotel next to Central Park for $ 660 million USD

The 47-story, 466,000 square foot, 605 room hotel would now be rebranded as the Park Lane New York, quashing initial rumours of a possible early conversion to residential use.

The Witkoff Group announced on Tuesday that it had closed a deal to acquire the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, which directly faces Central Park at 36 Central Park South.

The seller was the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, published reports show.

Witkoff Group and a Hong Kong-based equity majority partner Jynwel Capital, paid US$660 million for the hotel, the company confirmed after the closing.
Jynwell Capital is led by its Chief Executive Officer Mr. Jho Low.    >>  Jewish Business News

"This was a unique deal because we're keeping the hotel operations," Mr. Witkoff said. "It's a cash flow deal, the hotel earns about $20 to $25 million annually, which is enough to service this debt while we consider longer term plans."
Mr. Witkoff said that the building could eventually be renovated, either fully or partially converted over to residential use, or demolished and redeveloped from the ground up as either residential, hotel or a mixture of both.
"What we like is that there are a lot of options here and we're still contemplating them," Mr. Witkoff said.
Several minority partners have also invested in the deal. They include New Valley, Highgate Holdings, and Macklowe Properties. Mr. Witkoff said Highgate, an operator of hotels, would help run the Park Lane Hotel. Macklowe Properties would appear to bring additional development experience. That company, chaired by Harry Macklowe, is in the process of co-developing a project in that neighborhood, the nearby residential spire 432 Park Ave.
The Park Lane Hotel, which was built by Harry and Leona Helmsley, and sold by the late Mrs. Helmsley's trust, sits along Central Park South between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, a stretch that is considered one of the city's most valuable locations. The area has seen several plans take shape in recent months for a new generation of super-tall ultra-luxury towers that offer sweeping view of Central Park and are asking for record prices.     >>  Crains NY

Thursday, November 28, 2013

MacDonald House London

Flats Coming Next To Grosvernor Square

Canada sold their High Commission in London to Lodha of India

Canada has sold a large embassy building in London’s luxury Mayfair district to Indian developer Lodha Dwellers Pvt Ltd for $530 million, the Canadian foreign ministry said on Thursday. The 150,000 square feet MacDonald House is the headquarters of the Canadian High Commission in Mayfair area and it is near the Grosvenor Square which is one of the prime properties is London. Canada wanted to dispose of the large six-storey building in Grosvenor Square because it plans to consolidate all diplomatic activities in another official Canadian property on Trafalgar Square.     >>

[LONDON] Foreign embassies are abandoning London's premier addresses such as Mayfair and Kensington as the world of diplomacy changes in the face of security risks and new technology, just as property prices are reaching untold heights.
The trend to move further afield to more secure, functional properties is being led by the US, which on Wednesday marked out its future in a new site south of the River Thames.
Estate agent Wetherell and the Diplomat magazine found at least 20 of the 165 diplomatic missions in London have been sold or explored a sale in the past six months after prices in up-market embassy areas rose by up to 60 per cent since 2007. But the exit from palatial houses in ritzy areas was also seen as reflecting the changing nature of diplomacy, with extravagant displays of nationalism deemed inappropriate in a tough economy and greater security needed.
"Embassies took over grand houses at a time when diplomacy was serving drinks and eyeball-to-eyeball contact which was the way of doing business then," managing director of Wetherell, told Reuters. "Things have changed and nowadays these buildings are not really fit for purpose."

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Bloomberg's Asia's Edge speculated today that the building will be torn down and replaced with high end flats.   Of course?!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vancouver Real Estate

"In Hong Kong, Metro Vancouver real estate is big news"


Vancouver benefits from influx of mainland migrants, says mayor

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says a flood of mainland Chinese immigrants, tourists and investors is creating new economic development opportunities in the Canadian port city, not driving up property prices, as some city residents have complained.
13 Nov 2013 - 2:39am

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hong Kong

Where The Seriously Rich Live

Second Barker Road house sold for HK$538m

Despite cooling measures, buying interest in super deluxe houses is still keen with Hutchison Whampoa selling another house on the Peak for HK$538 million, its second deal within a week.

Hutchison sells house for HK$740m
Price is 2nd-highest after a HK$800m home deal in 2011
[HONG KONG] Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, controlled by Li Ka-shing, Asia's richest man, sold a house in Hong Kong's Victoria Peak area for HK$740 million (S$120 million), the second-highest paid for such property in the city.
The 6,863-square-foot house at the seven-home, 28 Barker Road project was sold to an unidentified buyer, according to the project's website.
The price is the second-highest paid in the city after a house on Pollock's Path in The Peak area sold for HK$800 million in 2011, according to broker Colliers International.
The city's government has since 2010 imposed various extra property transaction taxes and tightened mortgage lending to curb home prices that are now the world's highest.

Barker Road

The 6,863-square-foot unit, costing HK$107,825 per sellable square foot, is the first house to be sold by Hutchison Whampoa Property - a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa (0013) - at its luxury 28 Barker Road project with a 1,577-square-foot roof and a 1,992-square-foot garden.
Such good memories at Knightsbrigdge Court

Living the high life

SCMP article by Anna Healy Fenton dated 2000 April 30

The Peak remains the smartest address in Hong Kong, and one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in the world. Renowned for its lofty harbour views and steep green hillsides, the area is nowadays a place of leafy roads, forests of bamboo and vines and 2,286 homes occupied by the SAR's elite.

They include senior government officials, overseas diplomats, chief executive officers of publicly listed companies, and many of Hong Kong's wealthiest families.
Unlike the rest of Hong Kong, the density of population on the Peak has remained low for several reasons.

Its delights were discovered by the British 150 years ago, a few of whom were energetic enough to scramble to the top.

Finding the temperatures five degrees cooler than the rest of the colony, it soon became a favourite venue for elaborate society picnics.

Building houses was impossible until the first footpath to the summit was built in 1859, by order of the governor. He also greened up the bare slopes by planting eucalyptus trees and shrubs imported from Australia.

In 1867, Governor Sir Richard McDonnell established his summer residence, Mountain Lodge, at the Peak and one by one the great hongs erected plush summer palaces for their senior people.

The colony's rich and upwardly mobile soon followed suit. But money could not buy access, and the Peak's remoteness thwarted many aspirants until the Peak Tram was built in 1888. Then Stubbs Road provided the first real road access in 1924. No longer just a summer retreat, more elegant bungalows and villas sprang up, built in tiers on narrow ledges quarried out of the hillside. Yet none of this affected the Peak's exclusivity, because until World War II the governor's permission was needed for both the design of homes and permission to live in them.

Sadly, Hong Kong's affection for its architectural history did not extend to preserving many of the elegant colonial dwellings and most have bitten the dust.

These have been replaced by today's more modern, but equally opulent low-rise apartments, townhouses and detached houses. They must comply with the existing seven-storey height limit.

Driven by the sudden influx of investment bankers, financial people and the recent craze for Internet start-ups and initial public offerings, Peak property prices have shot up 20 per cent since last Christmas (rentals and sale markets), according to head of FPDSavills Research.

But Peak properties do not change hands very often, with only 62 transactions in the past five years. Even so, the value of the units has meant that seven of the 10 top property sales in the past three years were on the Peak.

The 2,286 Peak dwellings, make up just about 1 per cent of residential units on Hong Kong Island, and 6 per cent of luxury units - those with more than 160 square metres of saleable area.

The Peak's lofty location has its downside, even if being high above the smog and the traffic din in leafy seclusion makes it all worthwhile.

For three months of the year, Peakdom is damp and shrouded in mist. But to long-term residents that is a minor detail. As are the two major inconveniences which have moved in.
The first has been recent construction and all its inconveniences.

The other has been christened "slope-aphobia" by locals and refers to the rising number of apparently treacherous hillsides being clad in concrete.

Little numbered green signs like leprechauns identify the gradients, and several Peak roads are at a standstill as a result of temporary traffic lights operating during slope repairs. 

Knowing of no sudden deterioration in slope quality, residents are baffled as to why all this activity is needed.

However, when it all gets too much they can go for a stroll around the Peak's 60 kilometres of peaceful walks.


Gaw Capital as Fund Managers Into Asia

2015 July 10

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC announced its sale of the iconic 503-key InterContinental Hong Kong for US$938 million (US$1.86 million per key) to Gaw Capital Partners, on behalf of Supreme Key Limited.     IHG will continue to manage the hotel under a 37-year contract with three 10-year extension rights. Additionally, the buyer has committed to invest in the hotel’s renovation, scheduled to commence in 2017.  

2015 January 22

Photo Foster & Partners

Tower Place has about 354,000 square feet (32,900 square meters) of offices and 24,300 square feet of shops, according to the website of Tishman Speyer, the developer. Its biggest tenant is Marsh & McLennan Co Inc.

2013 November 22
HK's Gaw Capital Partners buy London building

This property, with 237,800 sq ft of office space, will be Gaw Capital's fourth property deal in London in 2013 - PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

There is definitely a growing demand from Asian institutional investors in safe commercial and residential real estate purchases abroad," said Christina Gaw, managing principal and head of capital markets at Gaw Capital.
The purchase of Waterside House in Paddington, which has 237,800 square feet of office space, would make it Gaw Capital's fourth property deal in London this year.
Hong Kong-based private equity real estate firm Gaw Capital Partners  and three South Korean institutional investors have jointly acquired the headquarters of retailer Marks & Spencer Group Plc, for reportedly $321 million.

It is the fourth acquisition in London by Gaw Capital and the three South Korean institutional investors this year.

Gaw Capital did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but Reuters reported that the deal was sealed at $321 million.

Gaw Capital had teamed up with the Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives, Suhyup Bank and Hyundai Securities, to buy Waterside House at Paddington in London, the global headquarters of Marks & Spencer from D2 Private, a Irish property investment and development company.

Dublin-based D2 Private had bought the 237,801 sq ft  Waterside House in 2005 for about €170 million from property developer Chelsfield.

Goodwin Gaw , chairman and managing principal at Gaw Capital, said, "We are so pleased to acquire the striking and stunning Waterside House at Paddington London. Richard Rogers designed this iconic building as well as the Lloyd's of London Building and The Pompidou Centre in Paris."

In addition to the purchase of Waterside House, Gaw Capital acquired Allen House, a prime residential building located in Kensington, Vintners' Place in London and the Lloyd's Building in London.     -- with files from South China Morning Post

Waterside House on the Market for Sale - 2018

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