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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 2, 2017)

Kushner Cos. has still not secured financing for the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue, reports Reuters. Retail bankruptcies are up 110 percent year-to-date in 2017, according to Investopedia. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The Fate of Jared Kushner’s Flagship Manhattan Tower is Still Up in the Air “The fate of the flagship Manhattan office tower partially owned by the family of President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is still being debated, a joint owner of the building said on Tuesday. Kushner Cos, the company that had been overseen by Kushner, said in July it was reassessing how to finance the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue after failed talks with a former Qatari prime minister.” (Reuters)
  2. Why WeWork Competitor Serendipity Lab is Ignoring VCs and Taking Money from Real Estate Investors “WeWork is a real estate business that acts like a technology company. It's backed by powerful Silicon Valley venture capitalists, hires data scientists and DevOps engineers and sports a valuation that's about 20 times annual revenue. John Arenas is taking a very different approach with his co-working business Serendipity Labs. Founded in 2011, a year after the launch of WeWork, Serendipity is sticking with investors who live, sleep and breathe real estate.” (CNBC)
  3. Forget the Urban Stereotypes: What Millennial America Really Looks Like “Perhaps no generation has been more spoken for than millennials. In the mainstream press, they are almost universally portrayed as aspiring urbanistas, waiting to move into the nation’s dense and expensive core cities. Yet like so many stereotypes — often created by wishful thinking — this one is generally exaggerated and even essentially wrong. We now have a solid 15 years of data on the growth of young people ages 20-34, from 2000 to 2015, which covers millennials over the time they entered college, got their first jobs and, in some cases, started families.” (Forbes)
  4. Retail Bankruptcies Soared by 110% This Year “The fact that physical retail is hurting is old news. But the extent of its suffering became clear last week when news and research organization Reorg First Day reported that retail bankruptcies rose 110% in the first six months of this year compared with the same period a year ago. The consumer discretionary sector accounted for 24% of all bankruptcies this year, according to the ratings agency Fitch.” (Investopedia)
  5. Atlanta Draws Big Apartment Investment “Atlanta’s real-estate market is getting more attention from institutional investors hunting for better yields in more affordable markets. JLL Income Property Trust Inc. on Tuesday became the latest, acquiring a 210-unit apartment complex called The Reserve in an affluent suburb of Atlanta for approximately $47 million.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. Why Steve Roth Thinks the Vast Amount of U.S. Retail Space Needs to Disappear “By now, everyone agrees that New York’s retail market is in trouble. But is it just a temporary dip, or is the market facing a more permanent crisis? Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steve Roth thinks it’s the former. ‘My belief is that the softness in New York is cyclical,’ he said during Vornado’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday. He was more concerned over the U.S. retail market outside the Big Apple, which he sees in a cyclical downturn.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Orlando Is Getting a New Hotel Attraction “A developer who founded one of the largest U.S. home builders has secured construction financing to build a $282 million JW Marriott hotel in Walt Disney World in Orlando that is scheduled to open about the same time as a new Star Wars attraction. Dwight Schar, founder of home builder NVR Inc., of Reston, Va., has borrowed $218 million for the 516-key hotel and resort project scheduled to open in 2019.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. Mezzy Business: Is Your Lender Looking to Take Over Your Project? “The Billionaires’ Row condominium project, from Michael Stern’s JDS Development and Kevin Maloney’s Property Markets Group, recently saw a bid by a mezzanine lender to take over the project blocked by New York Supreme Court after the developers’ equity partner, Ambase Corporation, objected, as Commercial Observer reported last week. Ambase said it had been far too easy for the lender, Spruce Capital Partners, to take over the property, which is now, allegedly, in technical default.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Walmart Expands Curbside Grocery Pickup to 26 Stores in California “The online grocery war between Amazon and Walmart is heating up this month in Southern California as the Arkansas retail giant plans to roll out curbside pickup in several local markets including Foothill Ranch. The South Orange County Walmart is among 26 stores adding “online grocery pickup” this week in California, bringing the total statewide to 36. Other curbside pickup locations are in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Diego.” (Orange County Register)
  10. Ventas Appoints New Leader “Ventas Inc. has named Todd Lillibridge as its new senior advisor to the Ventas chairman & CEO effective 2018. Lillibridge currently serves as president and CEO of Lillibridge Healthcare Services & EVP of medical property operations for Ventas, and will continue leading the MOB business until a successor is named. Lillibridge founded his namesake company more than 25 years ago with the goal of providing comprehensive real estate solutions to high-quality hospitals and health systems.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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