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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 11, 2017)

Fortune looks at the world’s tech meccas. The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. turned an unexpected profit this year, reports CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The 25 Most High-Tech Cities in the World “Cities are the way of the future. In less than 35 years, the World Health Organization estimates that two-thirds of the world population will be living in urban areas. That's an additional 2.5 billion people. The cities that will flourish the most are those that rely on cutting-edge technologies and create opportunities for people to develop new ones.” (Fortune)
  2. Ivanka Trump’s Opening a Store in Trump Tower “Less than a year after major retailers started dropping Ivanka Trump's fashion brand en masse, the label is opening its own brick-and-mortar store. A Politico reporter spotted the first daughter's storefront opening in New York's Trump Tower this fall. Insert nepotism joke here?” (Racked)
  3. J.C. Penney Shares Hit New All-Time Low As Turnaround Fails “J.C. Penney's turnaround has officially turned around. The department store's shares fell 22% on Friday morning to less than $4—heading for a new all-time low when trading opens—after it reported a fourth straight quarter of comparable sales declines and a wider net loss hurt by how cheaply it has sold items in liquidation from the dozens of stores it has closed.” (Fortune)
  4. Commercial, Multifamily Starts Fall 9% in First Half of 2017 “In eight of the top 10 metropolitan markets, the dollar volume of commercial and multifamily construction starts decreased on a year-over-year basis, according to the latest Dodge Data & Analytics report, covering the first half of 2017. At the same time, nine of the next 10 metro markets (ranked Nos. 11–20) experienced start growth, indicating that smaller metro areas are “picking up the slack” from the deceleration under way in larger cities.” (Multifamily Executive)
  5. As Many as 160 Applebee’s and IHOP Locations to Close “The parent company of Applebee's and IHOP plans to close up to 160 restaurants, vastly boosting the number of eateries from the two comfort-food chains that it plans to shutter. Some 105 to 135 Applebee's restaurants will close, up from the 40 to 60 that parent DineEquity said would close in the first quarter. Also on the chopping block are an estimated 20 to 25 IHOP sites, up from about 18.” (USA Today)
  6. Trump’s D.C. Hotel Reportedly Turns a Sizeable, Unexpected Profit “President Donald Trump's Washington hotel turned an unexpected profit in the first four months of the year, helped by charging higher rates than initially planned, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The Trump International Hotel had a "nearly $2 million" profit in that period and recorded $18 million in revenue, the Journal said. The hotel initially budgeted for a $2.1 million loss, according to both newspapers.” (CNBC)
  7. How Does the Live/Work/Play Shift Impact Office Trends? “Don’t write off those suburban office markets as unappealing to Millennial workers, occupiers or investors. A new report from CBRE notes that suburban office markets that provide an urban-like live-work-play environment—the so-called “urban-suburban submarkets”—are in a good position to be in high demand, particularly as rents climb and supplies dwindle in downtown locations.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Toys ‘R’ Us Opening Holiday Pop-Up at the Crossroads of the World “After a nearly two-year hiatus, Toys “R” Us plans to reopen a 35,000-square-foot temporary holiday store at 1466 Broadway (also known as the Knickerbocker Building) this month, the toy giant announced in a news release this morning. The store at the corner of West 42nd Street and Broadway will span three levels (lower level and first and second floors), with an entrance on Broadway. The terms of the lease were not immediately clear and nor was when the store would be open.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Why Grocery Stores Continue to Expand in an Over-Stored Landscape “J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Sears have been closing stores in large numbers in an acknowledgment that there is simply not enough business to support their continued operation. Others in the consumer electronics, specialty apparel, and sporting goods channels have also shuttered stores in large numbers. Are grocery stores next? The commercial real estate firm, CoStar Group, reports, via The Wall Street Journal, that the amount of retail space per person increased to a record 4.15 square-feet last year.” (Forbes)
  10. Real Estate Titans… And Their Toys “There were live camels, trapeze artists, a 12-minute fireworks display and an enormous birthday cake carved in the shape of a Chinese temple. Blackstone boss Stephen Schwarzman’s 70th-birthday party, hosted at his Palm Beach mansion in February, drew dozens of high-profile guests including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, art dealer Larry Gagosian and billionaire businessman David Koch. Many of them cheered as Gwen Stefani crooned “Happy Birthday” at the end of the night.” (The Real Deal)
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