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Inside Real Estate (Jul 1st, 2017)

This Saturday edition contains a special report on the housing inventory crunch for Inside Real Estate premium subscribers. On Saturdays, in addition to news, we're going to do an in-depth data download, focusing on key sectors in real estate. These Saturday emails will be going out to Inside Real Estate premium subscribers ONLY, so if you want to sign up, click here!

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Seattle-based real estate brokerage, Redfin, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise $100 million. Redfin bills itself as a next-generation real estate broker and offers lower commissions and a streamlined backend technology for Redfin agents. According to filings, the company reported a loss of $28.1 million and revenue of $59.9 million for the first three months of the year. Redfin started in 2004 and has sold more than 75,000 homes worth more than $40 billion combined. Redfin has raised a reported $167 million in venture capital. It will trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol RDFN. Redfin is also rolling out Redfin Now, a service in which it buys homes at a set price for later resale.  – GEEKWIRE

Former NFL player Emmitt Smith is leaving his eponymous real estate company, E Smith Realty Partners. The company has changed its name to ESRP and will be led by co-founder Sharon Morrison who is currently CEO. Smith is starting a new business,  EJ Smith Enterprises, which will also be involved in real estate. Also this week, Smith announced he is seeking approval to open a sports apparel shop inside the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. – DALLAS NEWS

Commercial property data provider Xceligent has filed an antitrust countersuit against rival CoStar, saying that CoStar has created a monopoly on commercial real estate data. Last December, CoStar sued for copyright infringement saying that Xceligent researchers stole data and images from the CoStar database for resale. The new suit from Xceligent claims CoStar used internet blocks and data alteration practices to prevent its users from sharing their property information with competitors and violated restrictions the FTC placed on CoStar in 2012. CoStar has issued a statement calling the countersuit meritless and a distraction from Xceligent’s theft of CoStar content. CoStar, which also owns LoopNet and, tracks approximately 5 million properties across 368 markets worldwide. – BISNOW

Michael Bloomberg announced a $200 million investment into various US cities over the next three years during the US Conference of Mayors. The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ new American Cities Initiative begins with the Mayors Challenge, which invites cities to suggest solutions to some of today’s most prominent urban issues from infrastructure problems to homelessness and the opioid crisis. Cities have until August 18 to sign up and 35 cites will get up to $100,000 to experiment. The eventual winner will receive $5 million for implementation and runners-up will each get $1 million. – FORTUNE

As was predicted in April, the Crain Communications Building in Chicago is selling for around $132 million. The building at 150 N. Michigan Ave with the distinctive diamond-shaped roof is being purchased by CBRE Global Investors. The price for the 41-story tower works out to approximately $200 per square foot. The John Hancock unit of insurer Manulife Financial paid $102 million for the tower in 2012 and spent $20 million on upgrades. The building is 21.5 percent vacant and has several leases expiring in the next few years. Crain Communications is the second largest tenant in the building. – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Airbnb is rolling out new classifications aimed at attracting luxury consumers and hotel guests. Airbnb Select is a level of hosting that provides a consistent standard of service and regular inspection for the properties. Airbnb Lux, as it's being called internally, will be a level of distinction for penthouses and larger estates. Earlier this year, Airbnb picked up Luxury Retreats, a company that specializes in the listing of villas and vacation homes. The new direction is in line with the site’s Experiences program as the company looks towards becoming a full-service travel provider. Airbnb’s next goal is to expand into flight booking. – BLOOMBERG

A luxury residential rental building in Manhattan has been sold for $450 million. The tower at 180 Water Street was converted from an office building to rentals by a partnership between Vanbarton Group and Metro Loft Management. Metro Loft Management is now purchasing the building from Vanbarton for a price that works out to $785,340 per unit. The conversion resulted in 573 units plus retail spaces and a rooftop amenity center that includes a yoga studio, gaming area, and a roof deck with a pool. Rents start at $2,690. – NYP

Special report: Inventory shortage constrains the residential market Classic supply-and-demand theory tells us that as supply shrink
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Variety is reporting that Kevin Spacey has sold his estate in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles for approximately $11 million in an off-market deal. Spacey bought the home on 1.1 acre in 1997 for $2.135 million. He was rumored to be quietly shopping it around for over $15 million in 2015. No sale has been recorded yet, but Variety says the new purchaser is a studio executive. – VARIETY

A 24-acre plateau of land in Malibu, California has sold for $50 million, setting a new record for a land sale in the luxury beach town. The buyer Scott Gillen, the founder of development company Unvarnished, will build a guard-gated community of five multi-million-dollar homes each on 2.5 to 5.5 acres. Gillen has said the designs will be inspired by mid-century modern architecture and the smallest of the homes will be approximately 10,500 square feet. Architect Richard Landry, who is known for his lavish luxury estates, has been involved in the design process and each home is expected to list for between $40 and $60 million. Gillen hopes to have the project completed by mid-2020. – MANSION GLOBAL

An heir to the Barilla pasta company is selling the family’s longtime estate in a suburb of Geneva, Switzerland for $73 million. Riccardo Barilla’s parents bought the 10-acre property in 1975 and lived there for the next 40 years. Barilla and his family renovated the 1830s mansion but decided that, with over 22,000 square feet of living space, it was too big for them. The property also includes a 6,000-square-foot barn that has been turned into a five-bedroom guest house, and a former stable that was converted into three studio apartments. – BLOOMBERG



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