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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 1, 2017)

The Treasury Secretary has promised a detailed tax plan will be released to the public by the end of this month, reports CNBC. Japanese property developer Mitsui Fudosan purchased a 90 percent stake in a Hudson Yards office project, according to Reuters. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

Mnuchin: We Have a ‘Very Detailed’ Tax Plan Ready “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the administration has a ‘very detailed" tax plan ready and couldn't be more excited’ about its prospects. Mnuchin made the remarks to CNBC as the White House is looking to get its economic plan back on track after months of having to focus on other issues. He said the plan has been presented to members of Congress and will be released to the public by the end of September.” (CNBC)

Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan to Develop $3.6 Billion Office Tower in New York City “Japanese property developer Mitsui Fudosan Co (8801.T) said on Friday it would take a 90 percent stake in an office tower in New York that would cost more than 400 billion yen ($3.6 billion), its largest investment in a single building overseas. The 58-storey building, 50 Hudson Yards, in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards office and retail complex will be one of the largest standalone office properties in the area, Mitsui Fudosan said in a statement.” (Reuters)

Days After Sister’s Visa Pitch, Kushner Divested Asset Related to Jersey City Project “Kushner held a ‘contingent right,’ which allows an investor the chance to gain ownership if certain benchmarks of financial success are met — such as revenue targets. Kushner’s lawyer, Blake Roberts of WilmerHale, said that he stood by his initial statement that his client had divested from One Journal Square. He said that Kushner had sold his ownership stake in the project on March 7 to his mother’s trust and that the contingent right, which was discovered only after the public statement, no longer held any value because it was connected to a prior version of the project that had fallen through.” (The Washington Post)

U.S. Cities Have a Glut of High-Rises and Still Lack Affordable Housing “Perhaps nothing thrills mayors and urban boosters like the notion of endless towers rising above their city centers. And to be sure, new high-rise residential construction has been among the hottest areas for real estate investors, particularly those from abroad, with high-end products accounting for 8o% of all new construction. Yet this is not an entirely high-end country, and these products, particularly the luxury high-rises in cities, largely depend on a small segment of the population that can afford such digs.” (Forbes)

Kushner’s China Deal Flop Was Part of a Much Bigger Hunt for Cash “Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. His family’s real estate business, Kushner Cos., owes hundreds of millions of dollars on a 41-story office building on Fifth Avenue. It has failed to secure foreign investors, despite an extensive search, and its resources are more limited than generally understood. As a result, the company faces significant challenges. Over the past two years, executives and family members have sought substantial overseas investment from previously undisclosed places.” (Bloomberg)

Coastal Wetlands Dramatically Reduce Property Losses During Hurricanes “With the Atlantic hurricane season well under way and Tropical Storm Harvey causing devastation in Texas, a new scientific study reports that coastal wetlands significantly reduce annual flood losses and catastrophic damages from storms. Led by a team of scientists from the engineering, insurance, and conservation sectors, including researchers at UC Santa Cruz, the study found that coastal wetlands in the northeast United States prevented $625 million in direct flood damages during Hurricane Sandy, reducing damages by more than 22 percent in half of the affected areas and by as much as 30 percent in some states.” (Phys.org)

This Grim Map Shows All the Places Working Class Americans Can’t Afford to Live “San Antonio is the only one of the top 10 most populated cities where a working class family can enjoy a decent living without taking on more debt. Out of the top 50, only 12 qualify. Geography obviously plays a big role as well. Newark, New Jersey, Chesapeake, Va., and Jacksonville, Fla., are the only coastal locations where a worker can support his or her family. How many on the West Coast? Shocker: Exactly zero. You probably don’t need a map to tell you, but the more landlocked, the more affordable.” (MarketWatch)

Morgan Buys Suburban DC Portfolio for $509M “Already having one of the largest multifamily footprints in Greater Washington, D.C., Morgan Properties has acquired the Mark Center apartment and retail portfolio in Alexandria, Va., for $509 million. The seller was JBG. Sited fewer than five miles from The Pentagon, the portfolio is regarded as one of the largest institutionally-maintained contiguous portfolios in the country.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Are Ulta and Home Depot the Next Victims of Amazon? “One of our most favored stocks, ULTA has recently been laid low leading into and following earnings. ULTA recently reported excellent same store sales comps of 12% and Home Depot was at 6%. Unfortunately, ULTA is part of a long list of companies in the retail sector that have been taken to the woodshed by investors this year. Home Depot was not rewarded for reaching their high water mark of 6% comps. What gives? Why is retail so hated?” (Forbes)

Five Reasons Why Westfield Hearts Uber “Each shopping center will come equipped with between one and ten Uber stations, according to a Westfield news release about the partnership. At Westfield Century City in Los Angeles, there will be an “Uber Lounge” with complimentary beverages and phone charging stations. The program will begin rolling out in Westfield locations starting in the fall (official dates have yet to be announced).” (Commercial Observer)

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