Each Wednesday, The Wrap
presents a compilation of recent noteworthy commercial real estate stories from
a variety of publications. Below are five stories that caught our eyes in
recent days.

“Office
Confidence Stalls with Lack of Rent Growth”
by Carisa Chappell of REIT.com.

Investors are concerned over a lack of rent growth in the
office sector, according to a commercial real estate report from PricewaterhouseCoopers
(PwC).

Absorption levels and rent growth in the office sector are
falling short of buyers’ expectations in many markets and therefore pricing
remains steep, according to the report.

Even so, PwC partner Mitch Roschelle said the market is
showing signs of improvement, noting demand is starting to creep back into the
market as 200,000 new jobs have been added to the economy in the last two
months.

Roschelle said the suburban market could show promise for
the office sector as the single-family home market improves. 

“Whole
Foods Builds Greenhouse on Store Roof”
from Supermarket News.

A rooftop greenhouse at a Brooklyn Whole Foods Market will
soon supply fresh produce to locations of the chain throughout the city,
Supermarket News reports.

Gotham Greens will design, build and operate a 20,000-square-foot
hydroponic greenhouse on top of Whole Foods’ Brooklyn store, which the retailer
claims will be the nation’s first commercial-scale greenhouse farm integrated
within a retail grocery store.

The greenhouse will enable Whole Foods to sell premium,
pesticide-free produce year-round, according to Supermarket News.

“Macy’s
Rethinks Distinction between Clicks and Bricks”
by Mark Heschmeyer of
CoStar.

Reports of the imminent demise of bricks-and-mortar stores
at the hands of online stores may have been exaggerated. A recent survey from
the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group found that 93 percent of products
sold in the United States are still bought in bricks-and-mortar locations.

This has retailers such as Macy’s thinking about how the
store-based and online shopping experiences can be integrated rather than
competing against each other, Heschmeyer reports.

“The way we’re looking at it is sort of the total, and how
do we transform our stores to be relevant in a world with all this technology
available to her?” said Macy’s CFO Karen M. Hoguet. “I’m not as fixated on the
Internet versus bricks-and-mortar. And in fact, this year, we’re not reporting
it separately anymore.”

“Hines
Gets Green Light on 100 Northpark”
by Amy Wenk of the Atlanta Business
Chronicle.

The Atlanta Regional Commission has approved a massive
mixed-use project planned at Georgia 400 and Abernathy Road in metro Atlanta,
Wenk reports. 

The more than $500 million project is planned to include 1.5
million square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail, 500 units
for multifamily development and a 250-room hotel, Wenk reports.

The project still needs approval from the city of Sandy
Springs, Wenk notes.

• “Ground
Officially Broken On West Coast’s Tallest Office Tower”
by Randyl Drummer
of CoStar.

Boston Properties and Hines have broken ground on the
Transbay Transit Tower, a planned 1,070-foot skyscraper in downtown San
Francisco that is expected to be the tallest building on the West Coast,
Drummer reports. 

The groundbreaking ceremony came the day after the two firms
closed on a $192 million acquisition of the land downtown, Drummer notes. The
office tower is set to be completed in 2016, just before the opening of a new
transit facility.

“The Transbay Transit Tower and neighboring Transbay Transit
Center are powerful individual buildings designed with a common civic purpose —
to create the 21st century gateway to San Francisco and state-of-the-art place
marker on its skyline,” said Fred Clarke, senior principal of Pelli Clarke
Pelli Architects, which was awarded the tower and the transit center contract.