National Cheat Sheet: SoftBank mulls $15B addition to Vision Fund, Compass buys Stribling… & more

Clockwise from top left: SoftBank Group mulls adding $15B to its Vision Fund, Compass plans to buy New York City-based Stribling & Associates, Google adds a vacation rental feature to its hotel booking platform and Cushman & Wakefield launches a nationwide sports and entertainment practice.

SoftBank mulls adding $15B to giant Vision Fund
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group is considering adding an additional $15 billion to its $100 billion Vision Fund and may end up raising capital for another fund, Bloomberg reported. Since 2017, SoftBank has invested $70 billion from its Vision Fund in technology-focused real estate startups like Compass and the We Companyboth of which have made a number of acquisitions within the past year after receiving such funding. Sources told Bloomberg that SoftBank has considered “persuading state-backed investors in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi to waive their rights to debt repayments or taking out more bank loans.” [TRD]

Compass grows again, adding Stribling & Associates
The ever-expanding Compass agreed this week to purchase Stribling & Associates, marking the venture capital-backed brokerage’s first major acquisition in New York City. It wasn’t immediately clear how much the brokerage planned to pay for Stribling, a boutique that closed $1.62 billion in sell-side deals in Manhattan last year. Stribling president Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan praised Compass in an interview with The Real Deal. “To work with a company focused on making the agent as relevant as possible, and ensuring their livelihood is paramount to this… you can’t say that about every firm in this city or country,” she said. The Real Deal subsequently reported on the rapid changes and increased competition in the brokerage business that helped push Stribling into the arms of Compass, which so far this year has absorbed other brokerages in Northern California and South Florida. [TRD]

Google gets into the vacation rental business
Having already launched a hotel booking platform, Google is now letting its users book vacation rentals, Skift first reported. Mobile users can use the platform to book entire vacation homes rather than just single rooms and desktop users will be able to do so in a few months. “Our goal is to provide the best possible search experience for users looking for a place to stay,” a Google spokesperson told the outlet. “Increasingly, we see that users are interested in alternative accommodations when traveling.” The platform currently works with partners such as Expedia, HomeAway, and TripAdvisor. [TRD]

Private equity firm makes play in CRE arena
Insight Venture Partners has made another key acquisition in the commercial real estate technology space, picking up SiteCompli, a New York-based software startup focused on building operations, The Real Deal first reported last week. The deal, which closed quietly earlier this year, saw SiteCompli be absorbed into Insight portfolio company Property Brands. Jason Griffith and Ross Goldenberg, who founded SiteCompli in 2008, will stay on as co-CEOs of the company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and representatives for New York-based Insight and Knoxville-based Property Brands did not return requests for comment on the matter. [TRD]

Cushman starts sports, entertainment practice
Following in the path of commercial real estate services rivals CBRE Group and JLL, Cushman & Wakefield has launched a nationwide sports and entertainment practice, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. The new team will be led by Chicago-based executive managing directors Craig Cassell and Michael Sessa and the firm also plans to bring aboard executives from Atlanta, New York and San Francisco. The practice will advise “pro teams, colleges and municipalities as they build, redevelop and maintain their sports venues,” the outlet reported. The launch is just one of many changes that Cushman has made since it went public last year. [TRD]


Miami tops US list of most rent-burdened cities
Los Angeles and New York may be known for their high rents, but Miami tops the list of the most rent-burdened cities in the country, according to a new Freddie Mac report, which noted that renters living in the area don’t earn as much as they do in other cities. Meanwhile, affordable housing supply in many municipalities hasn’t kept up with the demand for it, Freddie Mac said. “That’s pushing affordable rents out of reach for millions of American families,” said Steve Guggenmos, vice president of multifamily research and modeling at Freddie Mac. San Diego, Los Angeles, New York and Orlando took the other top spots on Freddie Mac’s list. [TRD]

Chicago resi brokerage expands into Georgia
The Windy City’s top residential brokerage, @properties, is expanding into Atlanta by investing in Georgia brokerage Ansley Atlanta, The Real Deal reported. The partnership will allow Ansley Atlanta to use @properties’ resources, including its “pl@tform” technology suite; @properties, meanwhile, will be able to establish itself in a new market. Outside of Chicago, @properties already has offices in New Buffalo, Michigan, and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but has not yet expanded beyond the Midwest. In a statement, @properties co-founder Thaddeus Wong noted that the brokerage has been working to “selectively bring pl@tform to new markets through other independents.” [TRD]

Bravo star Serhant expands NYC team with new hires
Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant, the super-agent of “Million Dollar Listing” fame, has expanded his team in Manhattan with four new brokers, The Real Deal reported. John Bataille, Scott Fava, Nick Hovsepian and Nicole Palermo joined Serhant’s squad within the past month, bringing the size of the team to 64 brokers. Bataille and Hovsepian came aboard from the Corcoran Group, Fava joined from Compass and Palermo defected from Brown Harris Stevens. The moves come about two months after Serhant snagged former Corcoran agent Mike Fabbri. [TRD]

Private equity exec lists $22.5M mansion after tax passes
The managing director of a private equity firm put his Upper West Side mansion on the market — a day after New York legislators passed a budget that includes a mansion tax. Cerberus Capital Management’s Jonathan Gallen is seeking $22.8 million for the townhouse, which has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a library, a garden and a terrace. The new tax, which could go into effect as soon as July, amends the existing transfer tax. A buyer would pay $225,000 on the home under the old tax, and around $844,000 under the new provisions. Both Gallen and his broker, Cathy Franklin of the Corcoran Group, declined to comment on the listing. [TRD]

Honolulu has a megaproject to rival Hudson Yards
The master plan for a Hudson Yards-esque megadevelopment in Honolulu has been named the best in the country for 2019, Forbes reported. Dallas-based real estate company Howard Hughes Corporation is building the development known as Ward Village along the coast of Honolulu. The 60-acre project, which includes thousands of apartments and around 1 million square feet of commercial space, is focused on wellness. Simon Treacy, president of Howard Hughes’ Hawaii branch, told the outlet the project aims to “create environments where people will talk to each other, spend time outdoors and build a very diverse community.” [TRD]

Chemical processing plant spurs Rust Belt development
Construction of a new chemical processing plant is spurring a new spate of housing construction in the Rust Belt region, the New York Times reported. Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is building the plant along the Ohio River, around 30 miles from Pittsburgh. The plant is expected to create around 600 full-time jobs — as well as around 6,000 temporary construction jobs —  and will be the “first sizable new factory” built in the area since 1992, according to the outlet. A local real estate company’s chairman called the plant “the best thing to happen in our region in 40-plus years.” [TRD]

HBO could take 240K sf of Culver City space
HBO, the cable giant that is now a division of AT&T’s WarnerMedia, has inked a lease for 240,000 square feet of space at the mixed-use Ivy Station complex in Culver City, California, sources familiar with the deal told The Real Deal. The $350 million project, which is currently under construction, includes apartments, a hotel and restaurants, as well as retail and office space. Sources told TRD that HBO will lease the entire office portion of the complex. The network isn’t the first media firm that has relocated to Culver City; Apple and Amazon already have their own offices in the area. [TRD]

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