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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 6, 2017)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley will retire six months earlier than expected, reports MarketWatch. The arrest of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal could have implications for the real estate industry, according to the Los Angeles Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed’s Dudley to Announce His Retirement Sooner Than Expected “Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley is set to announce he will retire next year, around six months earlier than scheduled, and the announcement could come as soon as Monday, according to two people familiar with the matter. The search for Dudley’s successor will start immediately with the aim of finding a new president in mid-2018, after which time Dudley will retire, according to people familiar with the matter.” (MarketWatch)
  2. An Arrest in Saudi Arabia Could Be Felt as Far as Silicon Valley and Wall Street “Finance, technology, hospitality, entertainment and real estate: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has invested substantially and with great fanfare in all of them, as befits his status as one of the world’s richest men. He is also believed to be under arrest in his native Saudi Arabia, ensnared in an anti-corruption dragnet that also pulled in 10 other Saudi princes, four sitting Cabinet members and ‘tens’ of former Cabinet members.” (Los Angeles Times)
  3. Commercial Real Estate, Which Fueled Trump’s Fortune, Fares Well in Tax Plan “An industry familiar to President Trump appears to have emerged from the Republican tax rewrite relatively unscathed: commercial real estate. For months, commercial real estate developers had been concerned that the tax plan in the works would make it more difficult or expensive for them to take out huge bank loans or would damage demand in the property market.” (The New York Times)
  4. Zara Workers Hidings Tags in Garments with Pleas for Wages “Shoppers at the fashion retailer Zara in Istanbul have found unusual tags on their garments — complaints by Turkish workers who say they have not been paid for the merchandise in the store. Workers from an outsourced manufacturer for Zara and other retailers have been going into Zara shops and leaving the tags inside clothes.” (New York Post)
  5. Banks Are Far More Exposed to Risky Real Estate Loans Than You Think—Thanks to This Loophole “Last February, Slate Property Group and GreenOak Real Estate landed a $285 million loan from the Blackstone Group to finance the acquisition and condominium conversion of RiverTower, the enormous Midtown East rental building. It was a bold deal: The young Brooklyn-based Slate had never taken on anything close to this size, and the condo market was softening. In years past, a bank would have been the most likely lender on such a deal.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Another 60-Plus Sears, Kmart Stores Set to Close in January 2018; See the List “The cost-cutting strategy continues at Sears with another 63 stores targeted for closure early next year. Emblematic of the struggle facing U.S. department stores, Sears Holdings has already closed more than 350 Sears and Kmart stores this year. An additional 45 Kmart stores and 18 Sears stores will be closing in late January 2018, the company said Thursday.” (USA Today)
  7. Inside the Women-Only Co-working Space and Club with an 8,000-Person Waitlist “When The Wing, a co-working space and social club for women, launched in October 2016, its founders, Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, didn't realize how large the demand for membership would be — or exactly the type of comfort it would provide its members. In the months before the 2016 presidential election, Gelman, who has past experience working in politics, said she believed Hillary Clinton would win. ‘This was [going to be] the golden age of women in power, so women could have rooms like this,’ she told Business Insider, gesturing around The Wing.” (Business Insider)
  8. Department Stores Seek a New Direction—But Selling Real Estate Is Not the Answer “Recently we read about some new, and unusual, retail activity.  It seems retailers have gotten into selling real estate in addition to their regular store assortments.  Macy’s is selling some store properties (including part of their Chicago store space, a San Francisco store for $275 Million, and a Portland store for $54 Million). Similarly, Hudson’s Bay is selling the Lord & Taylor flagship store to investors for $850 Million.  Then, there’s Sears Holding selling properties in the hope of realizing some value as well.” (Forbes)
  9. Developers, Builders of 55+ Housing Segment Remain Confident in U.S. “According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) which was released this week show that U.S. builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market continued to be positive in the third quarter of 2017. While the index measuring builder confidence in the single-family 55+ market dropped from a reading of 66 in the second quarter to 59 this quarter, it's the 14th quarter in a row in which the reading was above 50, the break-even point at which more respondents see conditions as good than poor.” (World Property Journal)
  10. Transwestern Expands Industrial Portfolio in Florida “Transwestern Investment Management and Diversified International Partners acquired two industrial properties in Florida. Located at 4150-4200 Church St., in Sanford, Fla., the Monroe Commerce Center is a 181,348-square-foot, two-building, multi-tenant industrial property.  Sold by TA Realty, the asset offers easy access to Interstates 4 and 95. Located at 9420 Delegates Drive in Orlando, Fla., the Park South Business Center is a 32,318-square-foot property anchored by Hyundai Motors America.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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