10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 15, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 15, 2016)

  1. America’s Next Boom Towns “Which cities have the best chance to prosper in the coming decade? The question is a complex one, and as the economy changes, so, too, will the best-positioned cities. To identify the cities most likely to boom over the next 10 years, we took the 53 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country (those with populations exceeding 1 million) and ranked them based on eight metrics indicative of past, present and future vitality.” (Forbes)
  2. Wal-Mart to Close 269 Stores as it Retools its Fleet “Wal-Mart said Friday it will close 269 stores across the globe, including 154 in the U.S. The world's largest retailer also will open as many as 405 stores globally in the coming fiscal year, as it shifts its focus toward Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in profitable locations.  In all, 16,000 employees will be impacted by the store closings, about 10,000 of whom are in the U.S.” (CNBC)
  3. GE’s Move Raises Questions about Fairfield, Conn. Campus “General Electric Co.’s announcement this week that it will be moving its headquarters to Boston has raised concerns about the future of the Fairfield, Conn., campus that it will be leaving. GE has said it intends to sell the property, which spans more than 60 acres. While Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said the company has received offers, a company spokeswoman declined to specify whether there were potential buyers.” (Wall Street Journal)
  4. Activist Jonathan Litt’s Real Estate Picks “Litt likes to write and talk about his stock picks, which makes it easy to track what he's doing. Rather than conduct closed-door meetings with management, Litt sends (and makes public) letters that outline the problems he sees and how he recommends fixing them. These ‘fixes’ often involve an outright sale of the company, which can lead to nice profits for investors who glam on to investment moves. I went through Litt's portfolio recently and found a few gems worth considering.” (The Street)
  5. Department Stores Have a Big Problem: Stores Filled with Apparel “Disruptions in the retail eco-system call for department stores to rethink how they work with vendors and consider reducing the massive amount of space they devote to clothing, Oliver Chen, retail analyst with Cowen & Co., told Forbes. ‘The market has changed.’ Today, department stores lack sufficiently differentiated, compelling merchandise to consistently resonate with consumers, including those younger, coveted Millennials.” (Forbes)
  6. Taking a Closer Look “TruAmerica Multifamily’s Bob Hart took an important lesson from the 2008–2009 recession that he’s beginning to apply in this frothy market. ‘The lesson is, ‘Don’t buy on pro forma only,’’ Hart says. Hart says TruAmerica underwrites ‘fairly conservatively,’ looking at growth rates of 3% to 4% for primarily Class B buys.” (Multifamily Executive)
  7. City Moving Ahead with Plan to Seize Coney Island Property “The city is moving ahead with plans to seize 75,000 square feet of Coney Island beachfront property after a public review found it would help spur stalled economic development there. The land that would be grabbed through eminent domain includes a long-neglected 60,000-square-foot tract that once housed the original Thunderbolt roller coaster immortalized in Woody Allen’s 1977 film ‘Annie Hall.’” (New York Post)
  8. Federal Agent Says Iraqi Refugee Wanted to Bomb Texas Malls “An Iraqi refugee who is facing charges that he tried to help the Islamic State group wanted to set off bombs at two Houston malls and was learning how to make electronic transmitters that could be used to detonate explosive devices, a federal agent has testified. Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, who came to Houston from Iraq in 2009, was indicted last week on three charges, including attempting to provide support to a designated terrorist organization.” (Associated Press)
  9. One Housing Maverick’s Plan for Investors to Tap Homeowner Equity “Eight years after the bubble burst, leaving foreclosed homes, dented equity, and failed financial institutions in its wake, one housing expert is pursuing a radical new approach to financing. Allan Weiss, who helped create the closely-watched S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, has a new idea based on a long-held belief that Americans are dangerously exposed to real estate as an investment. Weiss has created a platform that will allow homeowners to tap the equity in their homes.” (MarketWatch)
  10. Goldman Taking $1.5B Hit on Q4 Earnings to Settle Mortgage-Bond Case “Goldman Sachs said Thursday that its fourth-quarter earnings will take a roughly $1.5 billion hit as it has reached an agreement in principle to resolve an investigation related to its ‘securitization, underwriting and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007.’” (CNBC)
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