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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 13, 2017)

The 1031 exchange may be on the chopping block, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hudson’s Bay may be under pressure to monetize its real estate holdings, reports CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The 15 Hottest Housing Markets in the U.S. “Markets in Colorado and the Carolinas are drawing the most potential home buyers, according to data released recently by ATTOM Data Solutions. The property data company analyzed mortgage applications to create its “Pre-Mover Housing Index,” a measure of the proportion of homes likely to sell in a market. The index is based on the ratio of mortgage applications that include an estimated loan settlement date to the number of homes in a given market.” (MarketWatch)
  2. The Mall of the Future Will Have No Stores “When Starwood Capital Group LLC bought Fairlane Town Center in 2014, the investment firm had a lot of work to do. The Dearborn, Mich., mall was only 72% leased, and among the vacant space was a sprawling former anchor store. A chance call to Ford Motor Co. to sell some mall advertising turned out to be a game changer.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Bain’s Gymboree Sees to Slash a Billion in Debt in Latest Retail Bankruptcy “Kids’ clothing retailer Gymboree has turned to bankruptcy for a chance to reorganize and keep open most of its 1,300 stores. Gymboree is new to Chapter 11, but the story behind its financial woes is not. Payless ShoeSource entered bankruptcy in April, blaming the shift away from brick-and-mortar retailers for its discount shoe sales drying up in recent years. rue21, the teen specialty fashion retailer, filed its own petition last month with plans to close nearly a third of its 1,179 stores amid low sales.” (Forbes)
  4. 1031 Exchange, a Cherished Real Estate Tax Break, Faces Extinction “A much-loved tax advantage in the commercial real-estate industry is on the chopping block even as chances dim for the passage of a broad federal tax overhaul this year. Why? If a sweeping bill doesn’t get traction in Congress, there is still a decent chance a narrower tax rate cut will get passed, according to lobbyists and Capitol Hill officials working on tax legislation.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. Two Financial Firms Close Massive Real Estate Deals “Two large financial-firm leases that were in the works have just been signed — and in the year’s biggest non-surprise, neither was in East Midtown. While the Grand Central and Plaza districts wait on East Midtown rezoning, brand-new towers and redeveloped older ones to the west continue to snap up large tenants. (The rezoning measure, which would allow larger, modern new buildings to go up in the mostly stagnating district, was cleared by the City Planning Commission last week.)” (New York Post)
  6. Hudson’s Bay Real Estate Monetization May Be Inevitable, But Market Tepid “Hudson's Bay could face investor pressure to monetize a portion of its $10 billion-plus global real estate portfolio at the Canadian retailer's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday amid skepticism that last week's restructuring plans aimed at saving $350 million will be insufficient to battle a tough real estate market. The 347-year-old company, also known as HBC, announced job cuts across North America on Thursday.” (CNBC)
  7. Amazon Brings 855 KSF Fulfillment Center to CT “Amazon is bringing a new 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center to North Haven, Conn., upping its total to three sites in the state, joining those in Wallingford and Windsor. Those working at the new North Haven facility will be tasked with picking, packing and shipping items including electronics, books and toys. The facility will feature innovative technology such as Amazon Robotics that will assist employees in fulfilling customer orders.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. U.S. Needs 4.6 Million New Apartments by 2030 “According to a new study commissioned by the National Multifamily Housing Council and the National Apartment Association, delayed marriages, an aging population and international immigration are increasing a pressing need for new apartments in the U.S., to the tune of 4.6 million by 2030. It's important to note that: Currently, nearly 39 million people live in apartments, and the apartment industry is quickly exceeding capacity; In the past five years, an average of one million new renter households were formed every year, which is a record amount.” (World Property Journal)
  9. Update on Walgreens-Rite Aid Merger “There's been another development in the planned Walgreens Boot Alliance and Rite Aid merger. Even as media reports circulated Friday that the Federal Trade Commission was preparing to block the merger between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid, one of the merger’s key players took steps to help strengthen the case to approve it. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Fred's Pharmacy secured additional financing Friday to meet its obligation of acquiring as many as 1,200 Rite Aid stores that are expected to be divested as part of the merger.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. New Hotline Allows NYC Tenants to Report Illegal Airbnb Rentals “An anti-Airbnb coalition is creating a hotline for New York City tenants to blow the whistle on illegal short-term rentals on the home-sharing service, the Daily News has learned. ShareBetter, a coalition of politicians, housing and tenant groups, and unions, says the hotline is designed to assist New Yorkers in filing “actionable complaints” against Airbnb illegal short-term rentals.” (New York Daily News)
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