10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 16, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 16, 2015)

 

  1. Blackstone is Now ‘the Largest Owner of Real Estate in the World’ “Blackstone has grown its size nearly four-fold since its 2007 IPO. But the biggest private equity firm on Wall Street has seen even greater growth in its real estate division, which has expanded from a $17.7 billion business when Steve Schwarzman took his company public to one that today manages nearly $100 billion worth of property.” (Business Insider)
  2. Texas Selling Dirt Bonds at Record Pace as Residents Flood State “On Election Day this month, just two Conroe, Texas, voters were the entire electorate for one of the biggest bond proposals on U.S. ballots, a $468 million sale that will transform the pinelands around a former Boy Scout camp into a sprawling community. Both of them approved. Texas special districts like the one in the Houston suburb, drawn up around virtually unpopulated tracts owned by developers, are borrowing billions to build roads, sewers and water lines needed for new houses. It’ll be repaid -- eventually -- by property owners.” (Bloomberg)
  3. The Beginning of the End of the Current Boom “As Commercial Observer columnist Robert Knakal of Cushman & Wakefield said in this week’s paper: Investment sales have been going strong for five years. As history has shown, our market is cyclical. So the question is not if the market will turn, but when. Well that time appears to be imminent. One investment sales broker who requested anonymity said that he and his colleagues were inundated with work, ‘rushing to get stuff done before the market crashes.’” (Commercial Observer)
  4. After a Horrific Weekend, How Will CRE, CMBS React? “This weekend, it seemed, the world came apart. On Friday evening, three carefully-coordinated attacks by seven terrorists in Paris, France killed 129 people and injured 352. The country’s borders were closed and a manhunt initiated for one of the suspected perpetrators. A grim and heartbroken President Francois Hollande fiercely declared ‘We are at war.’ No one disagreed. The ramifications from this weekend will continue to play out in the coming days, weeks, months and unfortunately, probably years.” (GlobeSt.)
  5. Urban Outfitters Gets Jump on Food with Acquisition of Restaurant Chain “In a new expansion of food and retail, Urban Outfitters Inc. is acquiring a Philadelphia-based restaruant chain. Vetri Family operates five Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, and also three Pizzeria Vetri restaurants, with two in Philadelphia, one in Austin, Texas, and two reportedly in the works in Washington, D.C. The move comes as many retailers are working to make their stores more experiential by adding various services, including food and beverages, to the mix.” (Chain Store Age)
  6. Sears Canada Sells More Real Estate, Including $100-Million Distribution Centre “Sears Canada says it will receive $100-million by selling its distribution centre north of Toronto, though it plans to continue to operate in the building when the deal closes next year. The retailer also announced Friday that it has vacated another distribution centre at an undisclosed location and sold it for $8.5-million in a deal that is expected to close by the end of the year.” (The Globe and Mail)
  7. Auction.com’s Delicate Real Estate Expansion “Auction.com is launching a major push to develop stronger ties with brokers as part of a broader effort to expand its commercial-property business. The firm, which started online real-estate auctions in 2008, has been listing commercial property since 2009. But so far its volume has been dominated by residential sales. The firm expects to sell 1,000 to 1,500 commercial properties this year and 50,000 to 60,000 homes.” (Wall Street Journal)
  8. Saks is Shaking Off Retail Gloom With a Fifth-Avenue Face Lift “Department stores, as a class, are under siege: online retailers are making inroads into luxury, off-price outlets are peddling name brands at deep discounts, and there has been a shift in where and how people shop. But Saks, the 91-year-old department store chain that long defined American fashion and luxury, is betting that shoppers still care about glamour and is putting its hopes on a $250 million, three-year restoration of its Fifth Avenue flagship store.” (New York Times)
  9. New York Developers Resolves Lawsuit With Kazakhstan “A New York developer has agreed to give up an equity interest in a Manhattan hotel and cooperate with Kazakhstan officials who had filed a civil lawsuit alleging he helped Kazakh men launder foreign money through U.S. real estate, according to people familiar with the matter. The developer, Joseph Chetrit, said in a joint statement with the Kazakhstan city of Almaty and BTA Bank that a civil dispute ‘has been amicably resolved.’” (Wall Street Journal)
  10. Portland’s Rents Are Driving Out the Artists Who Made it Cool “Portland has been a magnet for young, creative adults for more than a decade, beckoning droves with its quirkiness, liberal appeal and quality of life. But the city's popularity has had another effect: Those who helped make it cool can't afford to live here anymore. Evictions and skyrocketing rents are putting apartments out of reach for many, especially those working part-time, low-wage or artistic jobs. It's even harder to afford a house.” (Los Angeles Times)
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