Commercial Real Estate News Brief: June 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 trends in shared workspace, the future of vacancy in downtown Pittsburgh, and Midwest Real Estate News’ latest CRE Summit in Cleveland. 

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Proworking Takes Co-Working to the Next Level

JLL CRE News Brief

Newspaper image via NS Newsflash.

Shared office space is no longer a trend reserved for techy startups. Co-working environments are drawing in entrepreneurs across the globe, according to a recent article in Real Views.

Co-working allows small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers to work in a shared office space, each one leasing a small desk or private office month-to-month. Thanks to its flexible, collaborative nature, co-working is often the perfect scenario for startups and freelancers that aim to take their venture to the next level.

The next step: Companies can make better use of underutilized space and flip the concept, through what we call “proworking.” The approach, coined by JLL, encourages organizations to strategically share and lease unused space with business partners or vendors.

Related read — Proworking: 4 Ways Office Space Can Increase Employee Productivity and Retention

Major Developments Change Downtown Pittsburgh’s Vacancy Landscape

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, future developments will bring new opportunities to one of our nation’s most crowded office markets. Major up-and-coming developments include:

  • The opening of Tower 260, which will feature more than 120,000-square-feet of vacant space.
  • Bank of New York Mellon will make moves from 525 William Penn Place and rack up more than 600,000 square feet of empty space.
  • S. Steel Corp relocating from its 470,000-square-foot space at the Civic Arena to just 268,000 square feet of space in the Lower Hill District.

This could mean “as much as a million and a half more square feet of space” will be placed back on the market, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The good news? Businesses will have new, high quality options for a relocation or expansion.

Visit JLL’s full 2015 Digital Skyline for a closer look at the state of Pittsburgh office market.

Cleveland’s CRE Market Is Heating Up

The overall sentiment at Midwest Real Estate News’ Cleveland Commercial Real Estate Summit: “the Cleveland market is hot.”

Chad Pinnell, Managing Director of Healthcare Solutions at JLL, spoke at the event alongside key players in Cleveland real estate to discuss the current and future state of the market. Pinnell specifically weighed in on the local healthcare market.


Discussion revolved around the thriving apartment market, the importance of ROI in retail, office and industrial and feedback from Cleveland’s CRE “titans.”

According to RE-Journals, apartment experts in attendance have high hopes for the city’s multifamily market: “Developers have plans to add even more new apartment units to the city’s downtown and surrounding communities.


News Wrap-Up in Our Region


  • Local Cincinnati company, ODW Logistics & Transportation Services LLC, which offers supply chain and transportation management services, plans to capitalize on a new job creation tax credit. The third-party logistics company, which currently employs a staff of 37, announced that it will create 40 new jobs by 2018.
  • Oakley station, an 80,000-square-foot office building near Interstate 71, has its first tenant: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The health insurer confirmed it expects to move in to the $14.8 million building next summer.


  • A Trepp LLC real estate analytics report showed the Fifth Third Center loan may fall into default. According to the report, “collateralized mortgage backed securities servicer KeyBank has sent Dallas-based Tier REIT Inc.’s $49.3 million loan to special servicer CWCapital Asset Management.”
  • The city has offered fitness equipment provider, Rogue Fitness, a job creation and tax abatement package in support of its $36 million expansion project. The company plans to move its operations into a 600,000-square-foot facility at the former Timken Co. property near East Fifth Avenue.


  • Downtown’s historical Huntington Building sold to Hudson Holdings for $22 million. The change “could herald a huge redevelopment project,” for the 21-story property, which is currently 92 percent empty.
  • JobsOhio offered PTT Global Chemical Public Company Ltd. an “aggressive incentive package,” including job-creation and local tax credits, work-force training and infrastructure improvement grants, to bring an ethane cracker plant to the state. The plant project, confirmed to take place in Belmont County, is valued at a proposed $5.7 billion.


  • The government headquarters in downtown’s historical Guardian Building is searching for a real estate agent to sell the property to reduce its $70 million structural deficit. Built in 1929, the building is a National Historic Landmark and stands at 496-feet-tall.
  • General Motors Co. plans to invest $119 million in its Grand Rapids operations plant, providing tools and equipment to support roughly 300 new jobs. This expansion is part of GM Components Holdings LLC’s plan to invest $5.4 billion in U.S. plants.


  • Three properties, totaling 200,000-square-feet, originally part of the J. Heinz Co.’s North Side operations are up for sale. The office buildings have been prepared for redevelopment and could transform for “residential or hotel use.”
  • Shell Chemical Appalachia purchased almost 800 acres of a site formerly owned by Horsehead Corp. for $13.5 million. Shell hasn’t finalized a plan for the former zinc plant, but the purchase was part of its proposal to build an ethane cracker plant.

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

Newspaper image via NS Newsflash.

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