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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 7, 2018)

The details of President Trump’s infrastructure plan will be released on Monday, reports Reuters. The Wall Street Journal looks into new trends in the co-working sector. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Trump to Unveil Infrastructure Plan Monday: White House Official “U.S. President Donald Trump plans to unveil details of his long-awaited plan to generate at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure improvements over 10 years next Monday, a White House official said on Tuesday. Trump will issue ‘infrastructure principles, which will outline a plan’ to boost infrastructure and call for cutting regulatory burdens to speed approval for new projects, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.” (Reuters)
  2. In the Wake of Amazon, Trophy Retail Properties Fall Short “The retail world is in a state of transition. Over the last few years, several retail giants, including Sears, Kmart, JC Penney, Macy’s, Payless Shoe Source, Radio Shack and The Limited, announced multiple store closures or filed for bankruptcy protection. Overall, the number of retailers with debt rated at Moody's most distressed level has tripled since 2009 - and Moody's predicts this list will grow longer over the next five years. Meanwhile, online retail giant Amazon generated $80 billion in sales in North America alone.” (Forbes)
  3. San Jose Ballot Measure Would Force Real Estate Developers to Hire Local “As Silicon Valley’s housing market booms, benefiting homeowners, landlords and developers, some activists say one group isn’t reaping its fair share of the profits: the local construction workers building these expensive homes. A new ballot measure for San Jose seeks to change that. If approved by voters in November, the ‘Build Better San Jose’ initiative would require developers of large, private projects to hire more local workers, and pay them better.” (The Mercury News)
  4. Entrepreneurs Are Getting Creative in the Co-Working Space “The fact that Ellie Lightfoot is an atheist only makes her choice of co-working spots all the more curious. The freelance radio reporter works out of St. Lydia’s, a storefront church in Gowanus, Brooklyn. For a monthly fee, she enjoys coffee, Wi-Fi, snacks, and a seat at one of the church’s communal tables between the kitchen and the alter, with its gold cloth cover and Christ candle.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. Golub Aims to Cash Out on Evanston Office Tower—Again “Twelve years after pocketing a gain in flipping a downtown Evanston office tower, a local real estate investor is poised to sell the same building for an even bigger return. A joint venture of Chicago-based Golub and New York-based real estate company Investcorp is seeking $87 million, or $257 per square foot, for the 20-story Orrington Plaza, according to a person familiar with the offering. That price would mark a fat profit for the Golub-led venture, which paid $61.5 million in October 2013 for the 339,050-square-foot property.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  6. Updating the Landmark T.W.A. Terminal at J.F.K., This Time as a Hotel “Aviation has declined from the days when air travel was considered glamorous and exciting. But Tyler Morse, a hotelier planning the first hotel within walking distance of the terminals at Kennedy International Airport, is enthusiastically embracing that earlier time. Specifically, 1962. ‘Sixty-two was a special year: John Kennedy was president, John Glenn circled the Earth, the space race was on,’ said Mr. Morse, the chief executive of MCR Development, a hotel owner and operator in New York. That was also the year that Trans World Airlines opened its flagship terminal at what is now J.F.K.” (The New York Times)
  7. Commercial, Government Construction in U.S. to Accelerate Through 2019 “According to American Institute of Architects, despite labor shortages and rising material costs that continue to impact the construction sector, construction spending for nonresidential buildings in the U.S. is projected to increase 4% this year and continue at that pace of growth through 2019. The American Institute of Architects semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast indicates the commercial construction sectors will generate much of the expected gains this year, and by 2019 the industrial and institutional sectors will dominate the projected construction growth.” (World Property Journal)
  8. Location Intelligence, Personalization and the Changing Face of Retail Success “One retailer that came to market offering discount beauty products has outperformed its competitors by using location intelligence to better understand its highest performing customer segments. The company didn’t simply open more stores, deepen discounts, or offer free shipping. Its executives used location intelligence to understand the needs of certain customer segments in various geographic locations, and then designed personalized experiences both in-store and online. That included catering to some of the most profitable segments with in-store salons and hands-on product testing.” (Forbes)
  9. Nikola Motor Selects Arizona for $1B Plant “Nikola Motor Co. will erect its hydrogen-electric, semi-truck manufacturing headquarters facility in the City of Buckeye, roughly 35 miles west of Phoenix. The electric-vehicle manufacturer will invest in excess of $1 billion to realize the 1 million-square-foot development, which will result in the creation of 2,000 jobs. ‘Nikola Motor Company’s selection of Arizona demonstrates that we are leading the charge when it comes to attracting innovative, industry-disrupting companies,’ Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a prepared statement.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Houston’s Apartment Safety Measures ‘Severely Inadequate,’ UT Study Finds “The report titled ‘Out of Order: Houston's Dangerous Apartment Epidemic’ examines Houston's regulation of apartment complexes and procedures for enforcing those rules, focusing on the city's response to complaints made about 10 properties in the Sunnyside neighborhood. Among the UT study's findings are that more than a quarter of Houston's roughly 4,000 apartment complexes lack a certificate of occupancy, it took five and half years for the city's public works department to inspect all of those complexes, and the city often closes cases tied to 311 complaints without conducting inspections.” (Chron)
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