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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 19, 2017)

Cities are considering converting municipal airports into commercial space, reports The New York Times. Treasury yields are rising, according to MarketWatch. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The 30-Year-Old Texas Tycoon Who Is Building a Real Estate Empire “Unlike other successful Millennial entrepreneurs, Nate Paul is not a T-shirt or hoodie kind of guy--his uniform is a suit. He has worn one to work, usually with a vest, every day since he dropped out of college nearly ten years ago. "I always wanted people to take me seriously," the Texas real estate prodigy says. ‘Part of it is you have to look older.’ At 5'11", with a stocky build and a two o'clock shadow, Paul certainly looks as though his odometer has long since passed 30 years old. But that's not why the real estate brokers who clamor to meet him take him seriously.” (Forbes)
  2. Abundance of Office Subleases Available Across Manhattan “Office sublease availability in Manhattan has soared to its highest percentage since 2010 as companies are squeezing into smaller spaces and moving to new buildings before their leases end. A Savills Studley report shows 3.5 million square feet of sublease space has been added since June 2016 — a surge of 44.7 percent year over year. Meanwhile, the firm’s Jeffrey Peck says the new standard for space occupancy has dropped from a range of 200 to 225 square feet per person to just 125 to 135 square feet per person.” (New York Post)
  3. Treasury Yields Tick Higher After Strong Housing Starts Number “Treasury yields rose slightly after a stronger-than-expected housing starts numbers gave investors some reassurance that the economy was still on track after a raft of weaker-than expected data in the last few weeks lowered growth and inflation expectations. The 10-year Treasury yield rose 0.8 basis point to 2.268%. The 2-year note was up 0.8 basis point at 1.356%, the 30-year bond gained 0.6 basis point to 2.854%. Bond prices move inversely to yields.” (MarketWatch)
  4. Factories or Runways? Municipal Airports Face Economic Pressure “Coleman Young International Airport was once one of the nation’s busiest airports and a thriving piece of Detroit’s economy. But like so much else in the city, it festered for decades after the action moved to the suburbs. Now local officials want to reinvigorate the 264-acre plot. The question is whether that means it will survive as an airport or be remade for other purposes. The City Council this month is expected to select a firm to start studying options for the site, including using the land for a half-dozen new factories or other industrial uses.” (The New York Times)
  5. Developer Buys Elk Grove Site Near O’Hare Airport for New Business Park “Chicago O’Hare International Airport is getting some new neighbors. Brennan Investment Group, a private industrial-property developer and investment firm, is planning to develop six parcels of land totaling 85 acres near the airport into a business park, anticipating demand from manufacturing firms and data centers who want to be near the travel hub.” (Wall Street Journal)
  6. Off-Price Giant Details New Store Concept “The TJX Companies will debut a new, off-price home store concept in August. HomeSense will open its initial U.S. location on  August 17, in Framingham, Mass.  Three additional stores are planned by the end of 2017, with locations in East Hanover, N.J., Ocean Township, N.J., and Westwood, Mass. The HomeSense banner is not new for TJX, which operates stores under that name in Europe and Canada. However, the HomeSense U.S. concept will be different from those stores, with a greater depth of merchandise in certain categories.” (Chain Store Age
  7. The Most Overvalued Housing Markets in America are in Texas “In a city with rising incomes and declining unemployment, it stands to reason that home prices would go up as well. Such is the case in San Antonio. Incomes in the Texas city grew 4.5% between the first quarters of 2016 and 2017, nearly a percentage point more than the national average. The problem is home prices were even hotter. The CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index for San Antonio gained 7.8% year-over-year, compared to a 3.7% gain nationally. As a result, San Antonio homes are overvalued by 18.6%, the most of any market in America, according to Fitch Ratings.” (Forbes)
  8. Property Developers Push for Open Drinking on City Streets “Property developers trying to create buzz for open-air shopping districts are lobbying regulators to relax rules to allow patrons to walk around streets and parks with alcoholic beverages. As landlords hustle to get customers into their properties, they are looking to tap into demand for food-and-drink experiences. The hope: that lively atmospheres will encourage patrons to linger and shop.” (Wall Street Journal)
  9. Westfield Displays Questionable Sistine Chapel Replica at Oculus “We have no idea, none whatsoever, why Westfield thought it was a great idea to plunk down a tacky ‘UpClose: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel’ exhibition on the floor of the World Trade Center Oculus. Described as ‘a way to engage with the master works of art like never before,’ it offers reproductions of 34 of the great Italian painter’s Sistine frescoes, all ‘artfully displayed in near-original size.’ Westfield is presenting the Sistine ceiling images as part of a road show, with stops in other cities including Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.” (New York Post)
  10. Good Time to Invest in Boston’s Growth Areas “Boston is turning into the city of tomorrow, with real estate projects built to suit the city’s status as an innovation hub. In addition to the new wave of development, investment is also solid due to diverse asset types with solid rent growth, as illustrated by General Electric’s decision to move its headquarters to Boston’s Seaport District. This is according to Andy Hoar, president & co-managing partner of CBRE/New England, who underlined the main trends and challenges in this northeastern market in an interview with Commercial Property Executive.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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