Commercial Real Estate News Brief: May 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 foreign commercial real estate growth in the U.S., developer interest in Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon project, and brand journalism trends in real estate.

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Foreign Commercial Purchasing Surges on U.S. Soil

JLL CRE News Brief

Newspaper image via NS Newsflash.

In the first quarter of 2015, “commercial real estate transactions increased 45 percent by dollar volume,” according to research from Real Capital Analytics Inc., reported by Bloomberg. Demand is back—it’s raised competition among desirable properties, and encouraged investors to buy more rapidly throughout primary and secondary markets.

According to Real Capital, “Real estate deals surged $129 billion during the three months through March, marking the most active start to a year since 2007.”

Related Read: Aim Higher: JLL Presents The 2015 Digital Skyline

The commercial real estate market is in the midst of booming demand, with better yield for investors. Buyers are purchasing more frequently, cashing in on bulk purchases, and paying down mortgages in the short term. If the economy shifts, however, tenants will have a harder time walking away from their new purchases.

The good news for both investors and the nation’s commercial real estate market: this upward purchasing trend is projected to stay the course, as “commercial-property values are on firm footing.” 

To learn more about commercial real estate trends and demand in your city, check out JLL’s Digital Skyline for an interactive look at properties in your market.

Carnegie Mellon Project Hot In Pittsburgh

JLL’s recent commercial development neighboring Carnegie Mellon University’s campus has received major interest. The 425,000-square-foot office, retail and hotel project was announced in April, and since then developers have been lining up to get in on the deal.

Twenty companies were present at a forum for the project. And according to market leader and managing director of JLL’s Pittsburgh office, J.C. Pelusi, at least half of those companies will likely act on initial interest. From there, the CMU and JLL will narrow it down to a handful of finalists, and fast.

“There’s a lot of developers that have been looking at Pittsburgh … this is a meaningful way to get into this area,” said Pelusi, who is heading up the project in Pittsburgh.

Real Estate Embraces Brand Journalism

JLL recently launched Real Views, a site that bridges commercial real estate with wider consumer interest topics, such as lifestyle, technology, trends and economics.

Real Views brand journalism merges research, multimedia and modern writing style to reach potential and existing tenants and investors directly. With relevant, timely topics, JLL celebrates commercial real estate’s overall impact on development, business and society.

To execute Real Views, JLL brought on a handful of journalists “who will be backed by JLL’s global public relations team of about 40 as they write about such issues as urbanization and sustainability,” said Charles Doyle, Chief Marketing Officer, JLL.

News Wrap-Up in Our Region  


  • Online electronics retailer, Monoprice Inc., plans to expand its distribution center into a facility in Florence, generating an anticipated 22 new jobs and $2.9 million in investment for the region.
  • The nation’s ninth-largest independent tire retailer, Tire Discounters, is relocating its headquarters to downtown Cincinnati at One East Fourth Street. The company signed a long-term 10,000-square-foot lease agreement.


  • Italian Village will soon be the new home to Uber ride-sharing’s Columbus office. The company will occupy the 10,000-square-foot space on the first floor at 350 East First Ave. in September.
  • Florida-based Southeastern Data LLC, an e-recycler that refurbishes and recycles old electronics, opened a second warehouse and processing facility in Columbus at 4300 Janitrol Road.


  • Howard Hannah Real Estate Services plans to expand from Cleveland’s 15,000-square-foot Warehouse District to the suburb Mayfield Heights at 6000 Parkland Blvd., and invest more than $1 million into the new property.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio will open a new 40,000-square-foot distribution center in Lorain. The new facility will allow Second Harvest “to provide an additional 2.5 million meals each year.”


  • Private real estate investment firm, Brennan Investment Group, LLC, acquired a Class-A, 160,035-square-foot, multi-tenant warehouse and distribution facility in Trolley Industrial Park, located in Taylor, MI.
  • Detroit-based Sterling Group purchased the 237,000-square-foot, Class A Tri-Atria building in Farmington Hills for $20 million, marking it as the second-largest building deal in the metro-region so far this year.


  • Retail optimization research company, First Insight, anticipates employment to double as it relocates from Wexford to its new, 13,000-square-foot headquarters at Warrendale’s Keystone Summit Park.
  • An entity owned by Philadelphia-based Hayden Maguire Real Estate Funds purchased a building at 2250 Roswell Drive for $29 million, or four times the original cost paid by NY-based Rugby Reality Co. Inc. The building currently houses offices for Amazon.

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


One thought on “Commercial Real Estate News Brief: May 2015

  1. Mike

    Very nice article about commercial real estate news. I’m new to property investment and your blog, but have been spending hours today reading it.

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