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ten must reads sears

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 5, 2017)

Leasing velocity in the office sector has slowed down in the country’s top markets, reports the Wall Street Journal. Many Sears stores are in disrepair, according to Business Insider. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Office Market Growth Slows “The pace of office-space leasing slowed in the second quarter, mostly because of sluggish activity in the country’s top five markets, according to new figures from data firm Reis Inc. The amount of occupied office space in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Dallas increased by a total of 789,000 square feet in the three-month period ending in June.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. City Cracks Down on Office Roof Terraces “Big Apple real-estate developers and landlords are raising the roof over a citywide crackdown on office tower roof terraces — which have recently become the must-have amenity for tenants. Major new projects around town are imperiled or are being delayed by a bizarre, ‘out of left field’ interpretation by the Department of Buildings of 1961 zoning language that was only intended to stop a proliferation of outdoor flea markets, multiple sources told The Post. The 56-year-old zoning code stated that ‘all uses must be contained within enclosed buildings.’” (New York Post)
  3. Treasury Yields Steady Before Release of Fed Minutes “Treasury yields were largely unchanged ahead of the Fed minutes from the June meeting that could give investors insight into how central-bank officials are lining up in the hawks-vs.-doves debate amid deteriorating inflation. The yield for the benchmark 10-year Treasury note steadied at 2.350%. The 2-year note’s yield added 1.2 basis point to 1.422%, while the yield for the 30-year bond fell 0.3 basis point to 2.863%. Bond prices go up when yields go down; one basis point is one one-hundredth of a percentage point.” (MarketWatch)
  4. More Securitized Commercial Real Estate Debt Becomes Delinquent in June “The delinquency rate for securitized commercial real-estate loans jumped 28 basis points to 5.75% in June from May, the biggest month-over-month increase since March 2012 and up sharply from the 4.6% recorded in June last year, according to real estate provider Trepp Inc.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. Jersey City is a Case Study in the Perils of Politics and Real Estate for the Kushners “Since the presidential election, Jersey City has turned sharply against Kushner. Opposition to Trump runs deep here, and the city has been taking out some of that hostility on the Kushner Cos., withdrawing political support for high-profile projects and shining a spotlight on the company’s business practices. Mayor Steve Fulop, a personal friend of 36-year-old Jared, abruptly yanked his support for a tax abatement at Journal Square in May. Several other Kushner projects have run into intense public opposition.” (Los Angeles Times)
  6. Collapsing Ceilings and No Working Toilets: Sears Workers Describe Decay in Failing Stores “In interviews with Business Insider, half a dozen employees described signs of decay in the stores they work in. These include a rat problem, collapsing ceilings, empty shelves, and a lack of working toilets for weeks on end. Some of these problems started several years ago, and have been getting progressively worse, according to the employees, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from Sears.” (Business Insider)
  7. Capital Markets, Regulatory Shake-Ups Ruffle REIT Industry “According to the 2017 BDO RiskFactor Report for REITs, competition for assets at lucrative prices, the anticipation of tax reform and the likely drumbeat of interest rate hikes rank high on REITs' risk radar. BDO further reports that 2017 is leaving a string of broken stock market records in its wake, but REITs have seen more modest boosts in performance. REITs registered 3.41 percent annual growth in early-June, compared to the broader S&P 500's 9.91 gains.’ (World Property Journal)
  8. Apple Disrupts Silicon Valley with Another Eye-Catcher: its New Home “Things change when a spaceship comes to town. Tourists stroll by, whipping out their iPhones to get a photo. New businesses move in. And real estate prices go up even more. Apple’s new home in Cupertino — the centerpiece being a $5 billion, four-story, 2.8 million-square-foot ring that can be seen from space and that locals call the spaceship — is still getting some final touches, and employees have just started to trickle in. The full squadron, about 12,000 people, will arrive in several months.” (The New York Times)
  9. Oxford Properties JV Nabs Pair of DC Trophy Buildings “Oxford Properties Group and Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the real estate branch of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, joined forces in order to acquire two prime office buildings in Washington, D.C. The LEED Gold-certified assets total more than 500,000 square feet and will be managed by Oxford, the operating partner in the joint venture.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Here’s How Trump Transferred Wealth to his Son While Avoiding the Usual Taxes “In April 2016, as Donald Trump was on the cusp of clinching the Republican nomination for the White House, he sold two luxury condos near Manhattan’s Central Park for less than half the price his company had said they were worth. The lucky buyer: Trump’s son, Eric. Such family-friendly deals would normally incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in gift taxes. But in this case, Trump appears unlikely to have been on the hook for anywhere near that, thanks to benefits only available to real estate developers.” (The Real Deal)
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