BILL GATES IS BUILDING HIS OWN SMART CITY

An investment firm headed by Bill Gates has pledged $80M toward the building of a smart city in Arizona.

The city, which has been named Belmont and sits about 45 minutes from Phoenix, will work off a communication and infrastructure spine that incorporates high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, as well as include autonomous vehicles and logistics hubs, Popular Mechanics reports. Belmont will encompass 25,000 acres and will be connected to Las Vegas via freeway I-11.

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SELIG PITCHES MIDTOWN ATLANTA PROPERTIES FOR AMAZON HQ2

Doraville. The Gulch. Fort McPherson. Aerotropolis. These are some of the big sites in Metro Atlanta that can easily fit Amazon’s second headquarters. They make sense. They are large land tracts connected in many cases to mass transit. But one developer sees potential to fit HQ2 in one of the city’s most densely developed corridors: Midtown Atlanta.

Selig Enterprise Chief Development and Operating Officer Steve Baile said his firm is looking to combat a perception that perhaps Midtown — which has experienced a development renaissance in the past decade — may be too built-out to fit Amazon. “Let’s make sure that Amazon knows there’s something available in the heart of Midtown,” Baile said.

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DALLAS DEVELOPER BUILDING UPSCALE APARTMENTS NEXT TO NEW MERCEDES-BENZ HQ

A Texas developer is debuting its mixed-use endeavors right next door to the new Mercedes-Benz North American headquarters, a move that could be just the start of a host of new projects in Atlanta for the firm.

Aria Village, which will also include 30K SF of retail and restaurants, is being co-developed by Dallas-based Westdale.

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A $140M MIXED-USE PROJECT TARGETED FOR WEST MIDTOWN

Two developers are targeting a West Midtown parcel near Atlanta’s BeltLine for a $140M mixed-use project. S.J. Collins and Terwilliger Pappas are looking to develop a mixed-use project that would include 342 apartments, 190K SF of loft office, a 140-key boutique hotel and 90K of retail that could include a rooftop restaurant, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.

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NEW BILL COULD SPUR CONSTRUCTION LENDING FOR BANKS

Banks have been conservative in their construction lending since the financial crisis, but a new bill could encourage more activity.

The Clarifying Commercial Real Estate Loans Act aims to reduce banking restrictions pertaining to high volatility commercial real estate loans. In particular, the bill aims to highlight exemptions to HVCRE loans, which are deemed of greater risk under the current Basel III mandate — a set of banking regulations that work to prevent banks from damaging the economy by taking on too much risk.

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