10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 22, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 22, 2015)

 

  1. This Startup Wants a Stake in Your Home, Poor Credit No Problem “When Bennett’s mortgage lender, Wells Fargo & Co., refused the social worker because her credit score was too low, she turned to a technology startup called Point Digital Finance Inc. In October, Bennett got the almost $40,000 she needed to pay down debt that was costing her more than $1,900 a month in car, personal-loan and credit-card payments. In return, Palo Alto, California-based Point -- which is backed by investors including Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Vikram Pandit, the former chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc. -- wanted to own a piece of her property.” (Bloomberg)
  2. How Detroit Riverfront Lost Out on Gilbert’s Quicken Headquarters “The pitch would have brought Quicken to a new 300,000-square-foot building constructed just east of the RenCen as part of what was then being floated as the River East District on 25 acres of GM-owned land. My sources estimate such a building would have cost about $300 per square foot to build, or $90 million. That doesn’t include the cost of what was planned to be a 1,036-space dedicated parking deck that was part of the plan.” (Crain’s Detroit Business)
  3. U.S. Government Deals Another Blow to Proposed Staples-Office Depot Merger “The government continues to show it's not keen on having one dominant office supplies company in America. In a statement on Monday, Staples (SPLS - Get Report) said the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rejected its proposal to divest up to $1.25 billion of commercial contracts in an effort to gain approval by regulators to acquire smaller rival Office Depot (ODP - Get Report) . According to Staples, the FTC did not issue a counter proposal. The company said it's still willing to continue negotiations with the FTC to reach a settlement that addresses antitrust concerns.” (The Street)
  4. Maefield Acquires Doubletree Times Square Stake for $540M “Maefield Development acquired the leasehold interest in the Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square hotel from Sunstone Hotel Investors for a purchase price of $540 million. The deal for the 468-room hotel at 1568 Broadway is valued at just over $1.15 million per key, with Maefield announcing a “planned redevelopment of the property into a premier cultural entertainment, retail and hospitality experience” in the middle of Times Square.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Bob Evans to Sell 145 Restaurants’ Real Estate for $200 Million “Bob Evans Farms has agreed to sell a portion of its real estate assets for $200 million. The New Albany-based restaurant and prepared foods company signed a letter of intent with a Chicago-based investment bank for a sale-leaseback transaction involving 145 of Bob Evans’ 547 stores. Mesirow Realty would give Bob Evans $200 million for the properties and receive $15.4 million a year in lease payments for at least 20 years, according to a press release.” (Dayton Daily News)
  6. Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Slump on Delayed Contract Closings “Sales of previously owned homes slumped in November to the lowest level since April of last year as a change in industry rules lengthened the amount of time it took buyers to close on a deal. Closings on existing homes, which usually take place a month or two after a contract is signed, declined 10.5 percent to a 4.76 million annual rate after a revised 5.32 million pace in October, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. November sales were weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey.” (Bloomberg News)
  7. Barclays Center Sale Needs More Oversight, Locals Tell State “Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment, the potential buyer of the sports center and its team, already owns 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of Barclays. But his company may soon buy both the arena and the team outright, according to a Dec. 2 report from Bloomberg Business. That news is troubling to those who represent the area, including Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, Assemblyman Walter Mosley and State Sen. Velmanette Montgomery.” (DNAinfo)
  8. Retail Chains See Slow Growth in New York City “New York City has seen a slowdown in the growth of national chain retailers, according to the Center for an Urban Future’s eighth annual ‘State of the Chains’ study released today. Of the 300 businesses surveyed in the study, the city’s chain stores expanded to 7,550 locations in 2015 from 7,473 stores in 2014, the seventh consecutive year of growth, but only a 1 percent increase year-over-year. Last year, the 300 chains grew 2.5 percent compared with 2013.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Los Angeles Tower Presents a Topological Alternative to Urban Sprawl “Beijing, China–based MAD Architects has proposed a residential design that could represent an urban landmark for modern architecture’s connection to the environment. The 548-foot-tall Cloud Corridor concept, set in Los Angeles, seeks to address concerns about urban sprawl and challenge conventional residential topology by reorienting the streets with a vertical village design. In the concept, public spaces, sky-top gardens, and individual neighborhoods are woven through nine interconnected residential towers erected on a 97,000-square-foot site.” (Multifamily Executive)
  10. How Russians Launder Stolen Money through Real Estate “The numbers are staggering: Annually, $1 trillion is stolen by corrupt officials from countries around the globe. That money needs to be spent, or laundered, and much of it goes into big, anonymous real estate deals in the United Kingdom, which is seeing $1.5 billion in unrecorded capital inflows per month. The main source of that money? Russia.” (Newsweek)
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