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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 22, 2017)

Amazon has signed a lease to open a big office in New York City and will hire 2,000 people, the New York Post reports. The Wall Street Journal profiles a German grocery store chain that plans to expand its reach in the United States. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. How Grocery Giant Aldi Plans to Conquer America: Limit Choice “There is nothing super about these stores. Yet their owner, German discounter Aldi, is betting billions it can win over spoiled American shoppers. How? By offering them fewer choices—way fewer—than rival retailers.” (The Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Amazon Is Opening a Massive New Office in New York City “The Seattle-based web giant has signed a lease for 359,000 square feet at Brookfield’s 5 Manhattan West, where it intends to open in 2018.” (New York Post)
  3. Toys ‘R’ Us Revs Up for Holiday Hiring “The Wayne, New Jersey-based chain said Thursday it will be accepting job applications for part-time holiday positions at stores and distribution centers in the U.S. That includes a new position called a toy demonstrator, who will help kids test out toys.” (CNBC)
  4. With Stores Closing, How Come Property Values—and Tax Assessments—Are Still Sky High? “As landlords of prime retail space face greater challenges in leasing their spaces due to overinflated rents, excess supply and the Amazon effect, they are hoping the DOF will take these factors into account when assessing their properties. Since the city relies on old data—when perhaps the market was rosier—to calculate tax bills, commercial property owners are doubling down to prove that their properties were incorrectly assessed at inflated prices.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. Amazon Puts Whole Foods on Fast Track to Conventional Supermarket “Whole Foods will change the way companies can sell and market their products in stores beginning next year, one of the biggest moves yet in its continuing push to operate more like a traditional market.” (The Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. How Retailers Can Recoup Funds with CAM Audits “The continued popularity and development of town centers and lifestyle centers have made it clear that retailers can no longer go it alone. They must co-exist in a symbiotic live-work-play environment, and that means they must also co-exist with the different demands and cost structures of residential and office spaces.” (Chain Store Age)
  7. DC Is Talking About Reforming the Tax Code—But What Will it Mean for Real Estate? “While many Washington, D.C., hands are skeptical that it will ever actually happen, reforming the tax code is a big priority in the Trump Administration. What would reform look like? Nobody quite knows (hence the skepticism that the administration will pull it off).” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Walmart Heiress Alice Walton Is the Richest Woman in the World “With the death of the French heiress of cosmetics giant L'Oreal Liliane Bettencourt, Walton has gone from the second richest to the richest woman on the planet.” (Business Insider)
  9. WeWork Competitors Form Alliance “Flexible office startups Knotel and Grind formed an alliance as they try to take on WeWork, the companies announced Thursday.” (The Real Deal)
  10. A Rail Showdown on Goose Island “Real estate developers may have won the war over the future of the North Branch of the Chicago River, but they’re bracing for a new kind of battle with a lone industrial holdout.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
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