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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 24, 2017)

Sears will close 28 Kmart stores, reports Fortune. Stonemont Financial Group just bought a $1.3 billion office, industrial and retail portfolio, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1.  Stonemont Financial Group Buys Portfolio of 100 Properties for $1.3 Billion “Stonemont Financial Group, an Atlanta-based real-estate-management firm, is buying a 100-property portfolio of office, industrial and retail holdings across 20 states for $1.3 billion, saying demand for properties with investment-grade tenants remains strong. The deal, Stonemont’s largest acquisition ever, was fueled in part by debt capital seeking to finance strong real-estate portfolios, the company said Wednesday.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Sears Is Closing Another 28 Kmart Stores as Sales Tumble Again “The bleeding at Sears Holdings shows no signs of stopping. The long-struggling retailer said on Thursday it was closing another 28 Kmart stores, the latest in a string of recent announcements of store shutterings amid a severely deteriorating business. The company has already closed dozens of Sears department stores and Kmart discount stores this year. Sears Holdings said comparable sales fell 13.2% at Sears, and 9.4% at Kmart, for a companywide decline of 11.5% in the quarter ended July 29.” (Fortune)
  3. Growth Lessons for Real Estate Investments in the Desert States “The historical West was a place of feast or famine, mainly the latter. Deserts, snow, water, mountains, mining, gambling - the West either had too much of them or too little. The dry climate prevented settlement because farming was too difficult, limited to narrow strips along rivers that could flood or run dry from one year to the next. Towns only appeared in places where other natural resources were found. The modern West isn't really that different.” (Forbes)
  4. In a Thriving City, SoHo’s Soaring Rents Keep Storefronts Empty “Now, with the city’s unemployment at near historic lows and the economy humming along, empty storefronts dot SoHo’s streets, with 16 in the six-block stretch of Broadway between Houston and Canal Streets, the area’s retail spine. More stud the Belgian-blocked side streets, dark gaps between boutiques selling high fashion and designer furniture and the occasional remaining art gallery.” (The New York Times)
  5. The New Gated Community: More Land, Fewer Neighbors “Ty and Kady Hendrix live in a gated development that doesn’t have a golf course or a clubhouse—or a lot of neighbors. A half-mile of woodland separates the couple from their nearest fellow homeowners in the Reserve, an 1,100-acre community with only 57 home sites, just a few miles from North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest. ‘It’s almost like you’re camping,’ said Mr. Hendrix, 55, a financial adviser who spent over $1.09 million to build a 4,000-square-foot, board-and-batten home on 15½ acres there in 2003.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. At Contentious First Debate, Rival Slams De Blasio Ove r Real Estate Ties  “Bill de Blasio's underdog Democratic primary opponent used the first televised mayoral debate Wednesday night to paint the mayor as having ‘turned the city over to big developers’ to make good on his promise of building record amounts of affordable housing. Former Brooklyn Councilman Sal Albanese also sought to make an issue of the now-folded probes into the mayor's political fundraising. Albanese alluded to recently disclosed email exchanges between de Blasio and JSR Capital founder Jona Rechnitz, who pleaded guilty in a separate police corruption investigation.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  7. Investor Demand Further Compresses Capitalization Rates for U.S. Commercial Assets in 2017 “According to global property advisor CBRE, increased investor demand from both international and domestic buyers contributed to further capitalization rate compression in the U.S. industrial real estate sector over the first half of 2017. Industrial remains the strongest performer out of the five sectors, given the especially robust fundamentals, record low vacancy rates, tangible rental rate growth and strong tenant demand. The CBRE North America Cap Rate Survey provides insights on movements for the major property asset classes.” (World Property Journal)
  8. SL Green, Vornado Close on $1.2B Refi for 280 Park “SL Green Realty and Vornado Realty Trust closed on a $1.2 billion financing package to refinance the 43-story office tower at 280 Park Avenue.The financing replaces a $900 million loan from a group that includes Deutsche Bank and Bank of China, which closed in 2016, that was set to mature in 2023. The new interest-only loan will mature in 2024 and carries a rate of Libor plus 1.73 basis points. It’s not immediately clear who the lender is.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Large Mixed-Use Houston Portfolio Changes Hands “A joint venture between H.I.G. Realty Partners and Lincoln Property Co. has acquired Greenspoint Place, a six-property, mixed-use portfolio located in the North Houston District of Houston. In total, the portfolio includes six office buildings totaling more than 2 million square feet and three adjoining retail centers. Built over a 14-year span between 1978 and 1992, Greenspoint Place once held a decades-long standing as the premier office portfolio in the region, and the new owners plan to transform it back to its glory days.” (Commercial Property Executive
  10. Demand for Medical Office Buildings Rises as U.S. Population Ages “According to a new report from CBRE, the aging U.S. population, pressure for healthcare providers to cut costs and new technologies have boosted demand for medical office properties in recent years. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the 65+ population will nearly double between 2015 and 2055 to more than 92 million and comprise nearly 23 percent of the country's total population by that time.” (World Property Journal)
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