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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 9, 2018)

Nine West files for bankruptcy, reports Fortune. Forbes look at whether Deutsche Bank’s new CEO will change the bank’s real estate strategy. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The World’s Hottest Shopping City Is Becoming a Ghost Town “If you want to see the future of storefront retailing, walk nine blocks along Broadway from 57th to 48th Street and count the stores. The total number comes to precisely one — a tiny shop to buy drones. That’s right: On a nine-block stretch of what’s arguably the world’s most famous avenue, steps south of the bustling Time Warner Center and the planned new Nordstrom department store, lies a shopping wasteland.” (New York Post)
  2. Nine West Holdings Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy “Nine West Holdings Inc., the group that owns Nine West, Anne Klein, Bandolino and other fashion brands, announced Friday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a plan to restructure almost $1.5 billion in debt. As part of its restructuring support agreement, the company plans to sell off Nine West and Bandolino while focusing on profitable businesses, including Anne Klein, One Jeanswear Group, the Jewelry Group and the Kasper Group, according to a release.” (Fortune)
  3. A Miami Real Estate Developer Readies for Flying Cars “Developer Dan Kodsi sees flying cars on the horizon. The CEO of Royal Palms Companies says he expects air taxis to fill the sky in the next 10 to 15 years—and he’s preparing for their arrival on the roof of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter. About a dozen companies are developing vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, vehicles. These electric aircraft, born aloft by multiple propellers, are expected to travel at speeds up to 230 miles an hour, drastically reducing commute times and gridlock.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Four Lessons Learned From a Zoning Reclassification Misfire “Some folks have hunting, collecting or competing in triathlons. I needed an outlet of my own for when the seemingly endless shifts as an ER doctor finally wound down, and I found it in real estate and in collecting the cash flow produced by these hard assets. After successfully buying foreclosed homes and contracting my own renovations to use them as rental properties, I was hooked. But then I needed to reach the next rung on the ladder which was, logically, multifamily housing.” (Forbes)
  5. Jared Kushner’s $1.2 Billion Miracle “The 41-story skyscraper at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was supposed to be Jared Kushner’s signature investment. A 27-year-old Kushner bought the property in 2007 for a record $1.8 billion — the most ever paid for an office tower. The move was supposed to catapult the family real estate firm, previously known for mid-priced apartments in New Jersey, into the big leagues. It has been an unmitigated disaster. Shortly after the sale, the recession hit, depressing the commercial real estate market in Manhattan.” (ThinkProgress)
  6. Nordstrom Opening a New York Store as Other Retailers Close Theirs “The Nordstrom family has run stores for more than a century, first selling shoes in the Pacific Northwest and later introducing fashion-forward clothing to wealthy suburbanites across the country. But the Nordstroms, one of the last remaining dynasties of American retailing, had never made a big bet in nation’s retailing capital until now. On Thursday, Nordstrom will open its first full-line store in Manhattan, a sleek, three-floor home to men’s clothing, shoes and grooming supplies at 57th Street and Broadway.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Will New Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing Change the Lender’s Real Estate Strategy? “John Cryan is out and Christian Sewing is in as CEO of Deutsche Bank. Sewing, previously co-deputy CEO of the Frankfurt, Germany-based lender, was appointed Sunday to replace Cryan, who had been on the job for less than three years. One open question about the move, which was part of a management overhaul that Deutsche Bank hopes will bring it back to profitability after three years of losses, is whether the change at the top will leave Deutsche Bank in place as a big player in the U.S. commercial real estate market or will herald a narrower approach that could shrink the lender's role in U.S. real estate finance.” (Forbes)
  8. Best Buy to Open First U.S. Store in Seven Years “The Richfield-based electronics chain is putting a 36,000-square-foot store into a newer mixed-use lifestyle center called Station Park in a suburb north of Salt Lake City. It is slated to open this fall and is located in an area where the nearest Best Buy stores are more than 15 miles away. ‘We’re excited to be opening a brand-new store in a popular shopping center in a growing part of the Salt Lake City market,’ said Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman. He declined to share any details about whether and how many other new stores Best Buy might have in its pipeline.” (Star Tribune)
  9. Most Warehouses in U.S. Inadequate for E-Commerce Distribution “According to CBRE, momentum for additional construction of U.S. warehouses is not likely to wane, because the vast majority of the country's warehouse stock is decades old and ill-suited for the demands of e-commerce. While it may appear that developers have raced to erect warehouses and distribution centers in recent years, the new supply's impact within the wider scope of the entire U.S. warehouse market has been muted. Despite roughly 1 billion sq. ft. of new construction over the past decade, the average age of warehouses rose to 34 years from 26 in that span.” (World Property Journal)
  10. Vornado Considers Tearing Down 2 Penn to Make Way for Giant Tower “In his annual letter to investors, Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steve Roth said the company is considering razing 2 Penn Plaza to make way for a new building that would double the current tower’s footprint. Two years ago, Vornado unveiled renderings of a redeveloped 2 Penn designed by Bjarke Ingels. The design featured a new facade and skirt-like canopy — a reference to Marilyn Monroe’s iconic run-in with a subway grate in ‘The Seven-Year Itch.’ It’s not clear if Ingels would be involved in the new building if Vornado decides to go that route.” (The Real Deal)
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