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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 16, 2018)

Isaac Larian, the toy mogul, made a $890 bid to acquire Toys “R” Us stores in the U.S. and Canada, The Record reports. According to the Wall Street Journal, the asset-management unit of Guggenheim Partners is being investigated by the SEC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Toy Mogul Isaac Larian Offers $890 Million to Buy Toys R Us Stores in U.S., Canada “Isaac Larian, the entrepreneur who made his fortune marketing bestselling toys, has submitted a formal bid to buy Toys R Us stores in the United States and Canada in an effort to keep the iconic retail brand alive.” (The Record)
  2. Guggenheim Partners’ Asset-Management Unit Is Under SEC Investigation, Sources Say “U.S. securities regulators have opened an investigation into Guggenheim Partners LLC’s asset-management arm that includes questions about an $85 million home in Malibu, Calif., co-owned by Guggenheim Chief Executive Mark Walter,  according to people familiar with the matter. The Securities and Exchange Commission, three of these people said, has shown interest in that real-estate transaction and a series of other deals involving ABS Capital Co. LLC, a Miami firm owned by two former Guggenheim managers.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. No Relief in Sight: Housing Affordability Is Weakening at the Fastest Pace in a Quarter Century “It is the perfect storm: Rising home prices, rising mortgage rates and rising demand are colliding with a critical shortage of homes for sale.” (CNBC)
  4. Queens Is in the Middle of a Middle-Class Housing Boom “Most folks pay through the nose to live in New York City, but many in search of affordable middle-class housing are finding some relief in Queens.” (New York Post)
  5. How You Can Help Fix America's Affordable Housing Crisis (And Earn Returns In The Process) Every day across America, individuals and families are looking for clean, safe houses and apartments that are affordable, a term the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines as “housing for which the occupant(s) is/are paying no more than 30 percent of his or her income for gross housing costs, including utilities.” Homes that are affordable are a necessary and tangible asset for any adult or family to survive and thrive, but there simply aren’t enough of them to go around.” (Forbes)
  6. LaSalle Hotel Receives Revised Proposal from Pebblebrook “The new bid is about 5.8% over what Pebblebrook first offered for the rival REIT, representing a 30% premium for LaSalle’s stock on March 27, 2018.” (com)
  7. Boise, Idaho, Feels the Growing Pains of a Surging Population “Laura Johansen has always loved the easiness of life in her hometown: The first-rate hiking and rafting a short drive from her front door. The quick commute to her job at a local hospital. The affordability. But when Ms. Johansen, who was renting her home, decided to buy a house earlier this year, the Idaho native was shocked. The median price of a single-family home in Boise’s Ada County had shot up to almost $300,000, well-above the $200,000 homes she was eyeing when she first considered homeownership two years ago.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. Automobiles Drive U.S. Retail Sales Higher in March “U.S. retail sales rebounded in March after three straight monthly declines as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and other big-ticket items, suggesting consumer spending was heading into the second quarter with momentum.” (Reuters)
  9. MHP and Banyan Street Capital Form $3B Joint Venture “MHP Real Estate Services, a New York City-based real estate investment, management and brokerage firm, and Banyan Street Capital, a Miami, FL-based real estate investment and management firm, have formed a commercial real estate joint venture. Their combined owned and managed assets comprise more than 15 million square feet in the eastern region of the US, with an aggregate value in excess of $3 billion.” (com)
  10. Mysterious Mastermind Behind Co-Working Ponzi Scheme Makes Appearance in Court “The founder of a New York City-based co-working company that federal prosecutors say was a $37 million Ponzi scheme appeared in U.S. District Court on Friday.” (Crain’s New York Business, subscription required)
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