McShane sells downtown Houston office building Rosemont, Ill.-based McShane Corp. has sold the 3100 Main Street office complex to the Houston Community College System (HCCS) as a turnkey redevelopment project. HCCS will base administrative and communications operations at the $44 million facility.

The 3100 Main Street development, formerly the headquarters of Southwestern Bell, is a 12-story, 531,000 sq. ft. office building in downtown Houston. McShane purchased the property in January for redevelopment into a speculative, multi-tenant office property. The company has also acquired an adjacent parcel of land for a parking garage and retail to support 3100 Main.

Northwestern Mutual originates $92.7 million loan Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has closed a $76.7 million loan to PPR Redmond LLC to finance the corporate headquarters of AT&T Wireless in Redmond, Wash. The 14.8-acre site currently consists of five buildings totaling 486,900 sq. ft. and parking facilities for 2,000 cars. Construction also has begun on an additional 95,560 sq. ft. office building that will be funded as construction progresses by an additional $16 million loan. AT&T Wireless leased the entire complex.

The borrower is an affiliate of The Macerich Co., Santa Monica, Calif., and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, Toronto.

Garden State a little greener for Cushman & Wakefield The Financial Services Group of Fairlawn, N.J.-based Cushman & Wakefield of New Jersey Inc. has arranged the $65 million sale of 111 Sylvan Avenue in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., on behalf of MSGW Real Estate Fund LLC. A German investor advised by Lend Lease Real Estate Investments purchased the 410,000 sq. ft. suburban office building, which is fully leased.

The 27-acre property is approximately 1 mile from the George Washington Bridge, and has undergone extensive renovations. o

111 Sylvan Avenue was originally built in 1953 and has undergone extensive expansions and upgrades, including a complete building and systems renovation in 1998. The property can also accommodate an additional 80,000 sq. ft. building.

McShane sells downtown Houston office building Rosemont, Ill.-based McShane Corp. has sold the 3100 Main Street office complex to the Houston Community College System (HCCS) as a turnkey redevelopment project. HCCS will base administrative and communications operations at the $44 million facility.

The 3100 Main Street development, formerly the headquarters of Southwestern Bell, is a 12-story, 531,000 sq. ft. office building in downtown Houston. McShane purchased the property in January for redevelopment into a speculative, multi-tenant office property. The company has also acquired an adjacent parcel of land for a parking garage and retail to support 3100 Main.

Northwestern Mutual originates $92.7 million loan Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has closed a $76.7 million loan to PPR Redmond LLC to finance the corporate headquarters of AT&T Wireless in Redmond, Wash. The 14.8-acre site is located in the Redmond Town Center development in downtown Redmond and currently consists of five buildings totaling 486,900 sq. ft. and parking facilities that can accommodate 2,000 cars. Construction also has begun on an additional 95,560 sq. ft. office building that will be funded as construction progresses by an additional $16 million loan. AT&T Wireless leased the entire complex.

The borrower is an affiliate of The Macerich Co., Santa Monica, Calif., and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, Toronto.

Beat Box II: Where were you when the capital markets blinked? About this time a year ago I visited a friend and college roommate who is in the mortgage business in St. Louis. Wade, it seems, was a little disturbed by the events of that week - the credit collapse that crippled mortgage-backed securities markets and jeopardized his job. In the end, Wade came out okay, but he wasn't the only one sweating. Far from it.

"I should have that date tattooed on my head," says Stephen B. Siegel, chairman and CEO of Insignia/ESG. "We'd gone through a couple of frenzied years for investment sales and the business in general. It didn't slow down. It hit a wall with the capital markets collapse."

With a few exceptions - notably CBS removing its headquarters from the market in New York - Siegel reports a solid rebound with aggressive sales and a steady flow of "intelligent" capital.

Tim Ballard, managing partner and CFO at Newport Beach, Calif.-based Buchanan Street Capital, attributes last year's crisis not to real estate fundamentals, but to an economy that, overall, was too leveraged. One year later, the result is a more cautious approach.

"What separates it from crises of before is that this was really a blink of the eye," Ballard says. "Previous crises went on for years and years and were generally related to economic cycles or changes in legislation, real estate taxes or banking regulations. Here, we continue to have a strong demand for real estate almost across the board."

"There is a little more tenuous attitude in the market in terms of people's aggressiveness in underwriting real estate transactions," Ballard continues. "In early 1998 and 1997, there were a variety of players doing very well, like the Credit Suisse First Bostons and Nomuras of the world, who provided very highly leveraged financing to their clients in order to securitize debt. Those kinds of investors have been pushed out of the market, either going out of business or facing restrictions in terms of their balance sheet and what they can do. "

On the CMBS side, the credit collapse may have ended the branding trend where billion-dollar issues were owned and offered by one company. Issuers are diluting their risk, Ballard says.

"What people found is that, as they held real estate debt securities on their balance sheet, they held a tremendous amount of risk," he says. "Today, you'll find a lot more people on the real estate debt origination side really emphasizing going to market with their securitizations much sooner. You're finding a lot more cooperation between various issuers of debt, so that they can pool their portfolios together and clean up their balance sheets much faster."