Commercial Real Estate News Brief: December 2012

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Commercial real estate is a dynamic industry. Keep up with happenings with Spaces’ monthly recaps of the most valuable industry articles we’ve recently come across, focused on news in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Real Estate Innovations

Social Media

Do you use social media to do business, make connections, or find information from commercial real estate experts? The Wall Street Journal recently discussed the proliferation of Twitter and LinkedIn among brokers within the article Real-Estate Firms Get a Handle on Twitter.

The leading real estate firms on Twitter include CBRE, Jones Lang Lasalle, Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International, in sequential order. Some brokers debate the value of social networking, while others report landing deals as a direct result to social media. According to The Wall Street Journal, one CBRE broker said that he gained 25 business interactions through the use of LinkedIn.

Mixed-Use Design

2012 proved to be an innovative year for real estate, not only in regard to technology, but also within building structure. Urban Land Magazine displays ten recently constructed buildings that exemplify “mixed-use projects.” These projects creatively merge the elements from two differing product types.

For example, Copenhagen’s 8 House incorporates residential apartments, offices, shops, a café and a childcare facility, all within a building strategically structured into the shape of a bow tie. Other examples include Toronto’s Artscape Wychwood Barns, LA’s Cherokee Lofts and Salt Lake City’s City Creek.

Economic Outlook

In every industry and market, Americans feared the results of the looming fiscal cliff. However, the Senate and House of Representatives agreed upon a bill to halt the fiscal cliff late into the night on December 31 and in the early hours of the New Year. President Obama signed the bill the following day.

The new bill carries on tax cuts administered by the Bush administration for those who make less than $400,000 annually, as well as couples who gross less than $450,000. Couples and individuals who earn more than the aforementioned amounts will face a 35-39.6% rate increase, according to CNN Politics. The cliff may have been avoided, “but new battles over taxes and spending await Washington in the next few weeks,” reports CNN.

These economic changes will greatly alter the state of American business. Moving forward, businesses must accommodate these changes and demands from both consumers and employees.

In the Office

JLL’s Emma Jackson points to a recent survey discussed in Regus and Quora Consulting’s whitepaper: “Meeting the Future of Work.” The survey includes feedback from 25,000 working people from 19 countries. The results showed that many felt that office technology is severely lacking. The survey also reported dissatisfaction related to “workspace configuration” and an increase within the population of working females.

News Wrap Up: In Our Region


  • The Centennial Plaza III Investment LLC purchased one of the three Centennial Plaza office buildings for $2.3 million. Centennial Plaza I Investment LLC bought the second building at Seventh and Central for $1.2 million. Both purchases were a result of an action held by
  • Located at Clifton and Dixmyth, a 68,000 square-foot medical office building was sold for $10.6 million to Dr Clifton MOB LLC.


  • The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) plans to auction off its current building on East 6th Street and move to a different downtown location. CMSD continues to search for a building with 90,000 square feet, including 20,000 to 30,000 square-foot floors.
  • Cuyahoga County has been directed by County executive Ed FitzGerald to sell the Ameritrust complex to Geis Cos. for $27 million. Geis is proposing the construction of an original, eight-story building in place of the P and H buildings.


  • On Dec. 20, Molina Healthcare Inc. purchased new office space at 3000 Corporate Exchange Drive for $8.5 million. With new headquarters and new Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, Molina plans to hire 226 employees.
  • The Qwest Communications building was sold to Wells Real Estate Funds, a firm based in Atlanta, for $25.3 million. The building, located at 4650 Lakehurst Court, spans 164,639 square feet. Wells Real Estate Funds also recently purchased four nearby properties.


  • A global company entitled Konica Minolta Business Solutions has chosen to lease office space located at 38019 Schoolcraft Road. The company will lease 16.43 square feet from Schoolcraft Industrial Associates LLC.
  • Trident Barrow Management purchased 239 acres of Ford Motor Company’s Wixom assembly plant. Two separate companies have also purchased 320 acres of land here; only 45 acres remain.


  • Pittsburgh’s real estate sectors are expanding across the board. Many out of state businesses are looking to Pittsburgh for new office space or company relocation. Outside investors include Philadelphia’s PMC Property Group and Raleigh’s Highwood Properties.
  • Starwood Capital purchased a 231,213 square-foot office building at 2000 Park Lane located in North Fayette. This purchase was one of nine U.S. buildings; the complete transaction totaled $260.5 million.
  • Highwoods Properties, owner of the PPG Place downtown, has expanded its real estate portfolio to include the 616,000 square-foot EQT Plaza. Highwoods bought the building from Liberty Ave Mezzanine for $91.2 million.

Please feel free to add any relevant industry news we might have missed in the comment section below.

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