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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 23, 2018)

Apple is looking for a city to build a new corporate campus, reports the Wall Street Journal. Forbes examines a mall REIT stock. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Apple Avoids Amazon’s Beauty Contest, Searches Secretly for New Campus “The world’s two most valuable technology companies—Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.—are shopping for cities in which to build new corporate campuses. But with one of them, you would hardly know it. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook this month met secretly with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to discuss possibly putting a major new customer-service facility in the Raleigh-Durham area, according to a person familiar with the meeting.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Rollback of Dodd-Frank Won’t Roll Back Time “The first significant adjustment to post-crisis U.S. financial regulation, passed on Tuesday, is not going to unleash financial Gomorrah. Big banks will barely notice the difference. And even if the deregulatory tide continues, the financial markets have changed sufficiently that the good old days aren’t coming back any time soon.” (Reuters)
  3. Why Sabotaging Rescue of Kushner’s 666 Fifth Ave. Would Be a Mistake “If the hate-everyone-in-the-White House claque tries to torpedo Brookfield’s proposed rescue of Kushner Cos.’ 666 Fifth Avenue, it would be a disaster — as much for the city as for Kushner. The antiquated, aluminum-clad tower between East 52nd and 53rd Streets stands in the heart of Midtown. Foreclosure would make it impossible to find tenants and leave the once-prized property in indefinite limbo.” (New York Post)
  4. A Mall Stock for Dividend Lovers “Owning mall stocks these days requires fearless resolve. California's Macerich owns high-end malls in coastal-hub and gateway cities like Los Angeles and New York. Tenants include trendy specialty stores like Apple and Tesla. This has allowed its space to remain 95% occupied, with steady rent increases over the past decade.” (Forbes)
  5. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Says Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on China Will Stay in Place “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum imports will stay in place even as the Trump administration suspends separate proposed tariffs on Chinese goods. The framework of a deal that emerged from trade talks in Washington last week only involves holding off on up to $150 billion in potential tariffs on technology and other products, Mnuchin told a Senate panel.” (CNBC)
  6. Cleaning Up After Toys “R” Us “Retail real estate these days can seem like a choose-your-own-adventure of sorts, with a variety of plausible story lines for all the players involved. Pivot to be experiential? Yes. Rebrand? Yup. Relaunch online? Affirmative. Chapter 11? Check. This last ending — filing for bankruptcy — is among the most prevalent plot lines, affecting not just retailers but landlords, brokers and lenders. And it is certainly the most visible on the retail landscape today.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Cramer: JC Penney’s CEO Bolting to Lowe’s Means Embattled Department Store Chain Can’t Be Saved “Marvin Ellison's exit as CEO of J.C. Penney means the struggling department store chain can't be turned around, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday. J.C. Penney shares plunged Tuesday after Lowe's announced it is naming Ellison president and CEO, effective July 2. J.C. Penney, which has struggled to compete within the quickly changing retail landscape, told CNBC that it was informed by Ellison a couple days ago of the move.” (CNBC)
  8. Big Retail Tenants and Brokers at ICSC: Malls Are Just Fine! “Malls aren’t dying, but department stores are, argued a diverse panel of national retail tenants and brokers organized by JLL at International Council of Shopping Centers’ ReCon. ‘The onus is not on the mall, it’s on the anchor,’ said Naveen Jaggi, the president of retail advisory services at JLL. ‘Macy’s is one great example of a place that has been stuck in a time warp for 30 years. The mall itself is changing; it’s being challenged. That’s when you get new experiential or food concepts.’” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Coworking Operators Now Manhattan’s Fastest Growing Office Users “According to a new CBRE report, coworking companies and other third-party flexible space operators now occupy 9.2 million sq. ft. in the Manhattan office market. The sector, which includes 65 different flexible space companies that operate more than 260 locations, has grown by approximately 600 percent since 2009. While the sector currently accounts for just 2.5 percent of overall Manhattan office occupancy, its footprint is expanding at an accelerating pace, with over 900,000 sq. ft. of additional leases signed in the first quarter of 2018 and many more in the pipeline.” (World Property Journal)
  10. First-Ever Cover Girl Store Opening in Coty’s Times Square Space “Cosmetics manufacturer Coty, which recently signed a retail deal in Times Square, is opening its first-ever Cover Girl store at the space in the Crossroads of the World, Commercial Observer learned at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon conference. The store will include a section for manicures and makeovers, sources said.” (Commercial Observer)
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