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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 15, 2018)

CNBC looks at who’s been taking newly available Toys ‘R’ Us locations. The Florida Keys continue to deal with the post-hurricane housing crisis, reports Reuters. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. More Toys ‘R’ Us Store Went Up for Sale. Here’s What’s Moving In “According to court documents filed Wednesday in Virginia, another round of Toys R Us shops has been bid on, and the winners include retailers Aldi, Big Lots, Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Ashley Furniture, and Raymour and Flanigan. (See a complete list below of the locations bid on this month, along with the winning bidders and backup bidders.) This follows an auction earlier this year, where another handful of Toys R Us locations was bid on by Target, a few real estate investment trusts, and other interested parties.” (CNBC)
  2. Climbing Interest Rates and Economy Top Property Market Concerns “Interest rates and their influence on the economy is the chief concern for the real estate industry in 2018 and 2019, according to the Counselors of Real Estate, which released its annual Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate to kick off the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference (#NAREE18) Wednesday in Las Vegas. Joseph Nahas Jr., chair for the Counselors of Real Estate and senior vice president of Equus Capital Partners, couldn’t have better timed his presentation to the journalist gathering. About an hour after he spoke, the Federal Reserve announced that it would hike its benchmark short-term interest rate a quarter of a percentage point.” (Forbes)
  3. Kentucky Sues Walgreens for its Alleged Role in the Opioid Crisis “Kentucky has sued Walgreens for its role in the state's opioid epidemic. Attorney General Andy Beshear filed the suit against Walgreens for its dual role as a distributor and a pharmacy, saying it allegedly failed to monitor its own operations and shipped and dispensed large amounts of opioids. Beshear said Walgreens flooded Kentucky with opioid prescriptions at its more than 70 locations across the state, ‘directly contributing to the state's drug epidemic.’” (CNBC)
  4. No Vacancy: Housing Crisis Dogs Florida Keys Months After Irma “To put a dent in the housing deficit, Monroe County has teamed with private developers and donors on a plan to build homes capable of withstanding 200 mile-per-hour winds that are affordable for hospitality workers. Florida Governor Rick Scott and state lawmakers are also weighing a proposal for 1,300 new housing units for workers in the Keys. The construction cannot come fast enough as the region braces for what this year’s hurricane season, which began June 1, will bring to the region.” (Reuters)
  5. At Risk in a Big Quake: 40 of San Francisco’s Top High Rises “Earthquakes are part of the California bargain, a risk that residents accept in exchange for the state’s natural beauty, sunshine and plentiful jobs. This unspoken seismic trade-off came into sharp focus last month when, for the first time, a government earthquake study included a list of potentially vulnerable high-rise buildings in San Francisco. The list includes some of the city’s most prominent hotels and office buildings.” (The New York Times)
  6. How Can First-Time Real Estate Investors Avoid the Most Common Mistakes of Their Trade? “First-time property investors can get wrapped up in a market that is heating up and react with abandon to purchasing their first property. While many rely on the 2 million real estate agents navigating the industry to help them along, many others do not. New investors need to think twice and act cautiously before a sudden mistake can cost them big down the road. Listening to the advice of their agents and considering all the possible factors that go into making a transaction of this magnitude can save them some of the potential pitfalls faced by others before them, and prevent them from entering into a purchase that ends up being a dud.” (Forbes)
  7. Silicon Valley Build-to-Suit Office Project Lands $150M Loan “HFF has arranged $150 million in permanent financing for 1625 Plymouth, a 245,738-square-foot build-to-suit office development in the North Bayshore submarket of Mountain View, Calif. The brokerage firm worked on behalf of Broadreach Capital Partners to secure the fixed-rate loan through New York State Teachers Retirement System. The loan closing coincided with the completion of the warm shell and the building’s delivery to the tenant for their buildout. According to Yardi Matrix data, Google will occupy the entire property.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Big Box Vacancy Greatest Threat to Retail “Retail may be the most challenging sector for investors. E-commerce, new patterns of consumer behavior and store shutdowns means buyers have to very thoughtful as they evaluate properties. And according to Real Capital Markets’ May 2018 Retail Investor Sentiment Report, the shutdown of Toys R’ Us and so many other well-known retailers has changed investors’ views on the threats to retail investing. Potential buyers now consider big box vacancy, cited by 39% of those surveyed, the greatest threat. In 2017, it was viewed as the third greatest threat behind changing consumer buying habits and e-commerce.’ (GlobeSt.com)
  9. SL Green Boosts Stock Buyback Program by $500M “’As we continue to evaluate the best use of capital, the purchase of our stock, which is highly discounted relative to the value of our underlying assets, remains an extremely attractive option while maintaining our discipline with regard to leverage, liquidity and our earnings trajectory,’ says SLG CEO Marc Holliday.” (Seeking Alpha)
  10. Bright Realty Kicks Off $1.5B TX Mixed-Use Project “The Realm at Castle Hills, a mixed-use project in Lewisville, Texas, will soon begin to take shape on a 324-acre site roughly 25 miles north of Dallas. Bright Realty just broke ground on the development, which will be constructed in the Castle Hills master-planned community in phases. Construction of Phase I of The Realm, spearheaded by general contractor Hill & Wilkinson, is on track to reach completion in mid-2019.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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