Commercial Real Estate News Brief: July 2015

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In the latest edition of our monthly news brief, JLL’s regional team curates the top industry articles to keep you in-the-know. In this month’s edition, JLL spotlights rooftop real estate, the impact of heightened CRE investment worldwide, and JLL’s new client-centered data and insights platform, RED.

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Restaurants & Tourism Attractions Are Going Up … Literally

From cocktail lounges to touristy observation decks, more sky-high entertainment spots are popping up across New York City. According to the New York Times, “Builders and developers are tryinCleveland rooftop g to squeeze more money out of their real estate by taking advantage of one of their last available spaces: their rooftops.”

Zagat recently published a list of 10 Hot Rooftop Scenes in NYC, showcasing the swankiest places to grab a cocktail, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Knickerbocker.

The rooftop trend is also picking up in secondary markets throughout the Midwest. One of Cleveland’s hottest hotels, The Metropolitan at the 9, recently opened Azure (right), a rooftop bar featuring VIP seating and unprecedented views of downtown. The Pittsburgh Tribune also highlighted a list of patios and breweries built high above the city’s rooftops asking, “Hey, where are we? Is this Manhattan? The Loop in Chicago?”

While Midwest rooftop attractions may offer urban views and trendy menus, Pittsburgh and Cleveland locals will not likely have to choose from a list of $20 mixed drinks at their favorite rooftop spot. The Pittsburgh Tribune said it best: “You can get big-league amenities and food without the big-city rents and stress.”

Commercial Real Estate Investment Is Thriving

We’re only halfway though 2015, but commercial real estate investment sales in the U.S. are “on pace to experience an approximately 20% growth” as compared to 2014, according to JLL Global Capital Flows.

Total investment in the Americas reached $153 billion during Q1 and Q2, largely thanks to U.S. activity. If this pace continues, the industry is poised to “set a new all-time high on an ex-entity-level transaction basis.”

Examining current and future activity, JLL analysts have identified two key investment trends:

  1. Portfolio-sized and entity-level acquisitions are driving interest. Investors have a “growing appetite” for big transactions, especially when it comes to industrial space. According to JLL Research, there were six office acquisitions of at least $500 million in size in 2014, whereas there were 14 transactions of this size in just the first six months of 2015.
  2. The cycle hasn’t peaked. JLL experts suggest, “there’s no bubble in the short-and mid-term horizons.” If anything, real estate is set to continue to grow, especially in the U.S. as its economy is projected for ongoing expansion in the years ahead.

Read the full article on JLL’s Global Capital Flows blog.

JLL Unveils New Data & Insights Platform

Tenants and investors can now take a deep dive into the data behind their real estate with RED, JLL’s latest Corporate Real Estate Data and Insights Platform.

RED will help tenants unlock the science behind commercial buildings, enabling business owners to accelerate productivity, better manage profitability and make smarter real estate decisions.

Watch the video to see how it works.

Read more about RED to determine how to make your real estate more productive, efficient and cost-effective.

News Wrap-Up in Our Region


  • One of Cincinnati’s largest marketing and branding agencies, Northlich, has decided to extend its lease at the Sawyer Point Building, located at 720 E. Pete Rose Way, for another three years. The company has occupied the 22,000-square-foot space for eight years.
  • Fast-emerging private company ODW Logistics & Transportation Services LLC is planning to add 40 jobs by 2018. With help from a job creation tax credit, estimated at $108,000, the company plans to double its current size.


  • The former site of the Bob Evans corporate headquarters in Columbus will soon house the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. Located at 3776 S. High St., the building was purchased at $4 million. The nonprofit is expected to relocate to the new site in January.
  • Columbus-based Pizzuti Cos. is planning a speculative distribution center at the CreekSide Industrial Center in Obetz. In partnership with Texas-based equity partner USAA Real Estate Co., the 268,906-square-foot building will be developed on a 26-acre site, with construction beginning soon.


  • A seven-structure portfolio in Akron is officially on the market. Investors outside the Northeast Ohio region are already expressing interest in the portfolio, primarily located in the Embassy Corporate Park in Fairlawn.
  • Stark County’s tallest warehouse is in the center of TimkenStell’s Faircrest Plant and “contains a one-of-a-kind apparatus.” The plant makes what’s known as some of the best, and most expensive, steel worldwide.


  • Dow Chemical is planning to build a new six-story, 150,000-square-foot corporate office in Midland, Michigan. The building will “serve as the centerpiece” to its headquarters in the town, and will take two years to complete.
  • In order to keep up with demand, Fiat Chrysler is investing $166 million at its stamping plant in Sterling Heights. The plant produces more than 62 million body stampings every year. 


  • Cyberfense, a cybersecurity firm based in France, selected Pittsburgh to host its headquarters due to the market’s “diversity of business” and “fantastic test market.”
  • MarkWest Energy Partners received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to grow its Bluestone gas processing plant. The company plans to double its plant in Butler County.

Keep up with trends and relevant commercial real estate news throughout the Midwest on Twitter at @JLL_Spaces!


Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Erik Drost