International Beat(15) Markets to Watch Japan – The highest rates reported since December 2004, vacancy rates for class A and class S (class A landmark properties) in Tokyo rose to 3.5 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively, in 4Q08, reports CB Richard Ellis. The class S increase was primarily due to the addition of one new building to the city’s inventory. Overall, about 30 percent of the 121 class A and class S buildings had vacancies as of 4Q08. Singapore - Giving into the pressure of the global economic crisis, Singapore’s CBD office rents registered a 17.9 percent quarter-over-quarter decline in 4Q08, finishing the quarter at $7.73 (USD) per square foot per month, according to Colliers International. For the remainder of 2009, CBD office rents are expected to decline around 30 percent. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – The office sector experienced a somewhat subdued rental market in 4Q08, with prime office rental rates declining by 25 percent, according to CB Richard Ellis. However, despite an activity slowdown, the market still saw a 30 percent year-over-year rental growth in 2008. For 2009, developers are expected to proceed with caution, concentrating on higher-quality projects. Lithuania – With 140,000 square meters of warehouse space coming on line, 2008 was a rather active year for the country, according to the Baltic Property Market Report compiled by Lawin, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Re & Solution, and Jones Lang LaSalle. Currently, 570,000 sm of warehouse and logistics space is located in Lithuania with 52 percent in Vilnius and 33 percent in Kaunas. Overall, rentals should remain static for the next two to three years. GERMANY Germany Becomes Newest Hospitality Hub[insert image: 2International.Berlin][photo credits: eyeNAVPty, VR National, 3dtour.com, VFM Interactive][caption: Holiday Inn Berlin City Centre, Potsdamer Platz]Putting all its eggs in one basket, Foremost Hospitality GmbH has committed to building 20 Holiday Inn & Hp;iday Inn Express properties in Germany by 2016, reports www.hotelnewsnow.com. Focusing on large cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich, Foremost sees that Germany as a strong home for the midscale without food and beverage hotel sector based on its robust performance in 2008. Last year, the sector’s average daily rate increased by 5.1 percent with revenue per available room increasing by 3.6 percent year-over-year, according to STR Global. Currently, seven hotel contracts are signed with development under way, reports IHG. The 150-room Holiday Inn Express Berlin City Centre/Alexanderplatz is scheduled to open in March 2010, and the 328-room Holiday Inn Berlin City Centre/Potsdamer Platz is slated for completion in March 2011.INTERNATIONAL STATSEuropean Prime Retail Rents Market 2008 prime retail rent (€ per square meter) 2007 prime retail rent (€ per square meter) Vienna, Austria 2,400 2,040 Paris 10,000 9,500 Rome 2,700 2,400 Moscow 3,150 2,750 Barcelona, Spain 2,650 2,160 London 8,850 8,350 Source: King SturgeINTERNATIONAL STATSAsia Pacific Construction Pipeline, 4Q08 Country 4Q08Projects Rooms 2Q08Projects Rooms China 938 257,143 1,240 323,956 India 462 78,140 470 76,304 Southeast Asia 339 76,706 369 81,032 All others 152 25,385 147 25,354 Total pipeline 1,891 437,374 2,226 506,646 Source: Lodging EconometricsRUSSIAN FEDERATIONOutlet Centre Comes to MoscowPartnering with GVA Sawyer, a Moscow development company, Fashion House Development has completed the acquisition of itsfirst outlet plot in Russia. “Currently, Russia has no outlets and yet there is a potential for at least 20 based on population brand awareness, and potential spend[ing],” says Brendon O’Reilly, director of GVA Grimley Outlet Services and Fashion House Development. The outlet is located next to the Sheremetyevo International Airport on a highway connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg.ASIASouth Korea’s New Cultural ComplexA $315 million cultural complex in the Songdo International Business District off the coast of Incheon, South Korea, broke ground in September 2008, reports PR Newswire. A 70/30 joint venture between Gale International and Posco Engineering & Construction, the 603,000-sf complex will encompass a 1,800-seat concert hall, a 500-seat multipurpose hall, a 1,400-seat opera house, the Asia Museum of Contemporary Art, a music school, a design school, dormitories, and a library. The complex is part of the 1.2 million-sf IFEZ Arts Center, which includes $603 million in residential, retail, and medical facilities on 592,000 sf and is slated for completion in 2012.