10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 5, 2018)

The Senate is getting ready to scale back Dodd-Frank, reports The Washington Post. Middle-class professionals in San Francisco are sharing dorm rooms, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. 10 Years After Financial Crisis, Senate Prepares to Roll Back Banking Rules “The Senate is preparing to scale back the sweeping banking regulations passed after the 2008 financial crisis, with more than a dozen Democrats ready to give Republicans the votes they need to weaken one of President Barack Obama’s largest legislative achievements. Congress’s appetite for pulling back bank regulations shows the renewed clout of the financial sector in Washington, not just in the GOP but also among Democrats.” (The Washington Post)
  2. Zara Turns to Robots as In-Store Pickups Surge “Zara wants to knock the kinks out of ‘click and collect.’ The fashion behemoth has honed an online strategy that is the envy of its more lumbering competitors, exploiting a rapid-fire production and distribution system that has allowed Zara to use thousands of its stores—including its 85 locations in the U. S.—as a convenient pickup and return point for online customers.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey: Meeting Amazon Was Like “Falling in Love” “Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey on Saturday said his meeting with Jeff Bezos and the team at Inc. before the e-commerce behemoth struck a $13.7 billion acquisition of the organic grocer was ‘really like falling in love.’ ‘We did talk to other companies besides Amazon. We flew up to Seattle myself and three executives and met with [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos and three of their senior executives and it was really like falling in love,’ Mackey told Students for Liberty, a libertarian group, at a conference in Washington.” (The Street)
  4. Dorm Living for Professionals Comes to San Francisco “In search of reasonable rent, the middle-class backbone of San Francisco — maitre d’s, teachers, bookstore managers, lounge musicians, copywriters and merchandise planners — are engaging in an unusual experiment in communal living: They are moving into dorms. Shared bathrooms at the end of the hall and having no individual kitchen or living room is becoming less weird for some of the city’s workers thanks to Starcity, a new development company that is expressly creating dorms for many of the non-tech population.” (The New York Times)
  5. 4 Reasons Silicon Valley Will Not Move to Detroit “A Silicon Valley investor had something nice to say about Detroit. Does that mean it's time to buy up high quality housing stock in the Midwest before Silicon Valley investors move in to drive up the prices? No. To be sure, Silicon Valley -- which has expanded north in the last decade to encompass San Francisco -- has problems. Its success has driven up real estate prices to the point where those lacking multimillion dollar annual incomes and a net worth well over $100 million are feeling squeezed.” (Forbes)
  6. Economy Watch: Construction Spending Stands Pat in January “U.S. construction spending during January 2018 came in at an annualized rate of $1,262.8 billion, nearly the same as the revised December total of $1,262.7 billion, the Census Bureau reported on Friday. The January figure is, however, 3.2 percent above the January 2017 total. Spending on private construction dropped for the month, coming in 0.5 percent below the revised December total. Compared with a year ago, however, private construction spending gained 1.7 percent.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. For Waterfront Revamp, Seattle Weighs Fees for Downtown Property Owners “With the Alaskan Way Viaduct scheduled for demolition in less than a year, the Seattle City Council is considering whether and how much to make certain property owners pay to help build a park-studded promenade along the downtown waterfront. The council could vote as soon as May on a resolution letting the public know about its intent to create a local-improvement district (LID) and as soon as October on an ordinance that would make the LID real.” (The Seattle Times)
  8. 13 Marketing Strategies Real Estate Investors Can Use to Improve Their Business “According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, as many as 51% of buyers found the home they purchased on the internet. This staggering stat shows that the power of being present online with your marketing efforts as a real estate business is key to your success. From digital advertising to social media to just being present and visible in the community, there are several strategies that can make a difference in how quickly your business grows year to year.” (Forbes)
  9. Former Starbucks Chief to Help Fuse Albertsons, Rite Aid “Albertsons Cos. and Rite Aid Corp. are bringing on a retail veteran to steer the grocery and pharmacy chains through their complex, roughly $24 billion merger. Executives of the new company Monday named Jim Donald their president and chief operating officer. The 64-year-old former Starbucks Corp. chief executive was most recently CEO of the Extended Stay America Inc. hotel chain and sits on the board of chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  10. Federal Capital Sells DC-Area Office Tower for $226M “Federal Capital Partners just completed an office transaction in suburban Washington, D.C., walking away with $226 million in its pocket. The real estate investment company recently sold One Dulles Tower, a 403,600-square-foot trophy property in Herndon, Va., to Harbor Group International LLC. Relying on commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield to market One Dulles Tower, FCP saw the 13-story building at 13200 Woodland Park Road command a notable amount of attention in the market.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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