AIA Billings Index; Merchants try to take GGP Mall (Wednesday's News & Notes)

Deal Junkie posted this earlier today. It's an interview with Philip Blumberg of Blumberg Capital Partners at the 2009 Global Real Estate Summit in New York. He says banks are in part not lending and holding onto TARP money because they know they will have huge writedowns to deal with as a result of commercial real estate.

Here are some other news and notes on retail and retail real estate from around the Web today.

  • According to the Boston Globe, a group of merchants at Faneuil Hall Marketplace has raised $20 million in an effort to take control of the center. They've set up a Web site called
    Yesterday, the retailers said they have received pledges from local celebrities, athletes, and other business owners to buy the lease from General Growth Properties Inc. and run the property themselves. They estimate they need to raise at least $50 million to have a chance at winning control of the Marketplace and stabilizing its operations, after years of unsettling changes and an influx of national chains.

    “It's really about having locals gain control of this much loved landmark, which is not an ordinary piece of real estate,'' said Carol Troxell, who runs several food shops there and is a member of the group raising funds, the Friends of Faneuil Hall. “Its historical significance to Boston makes it deserving of a local group of people who understand the market and are willing to maintain the vision of the property.''

  • MBA's NewsLink features an an interview with Joe Franzetti, managing director of debt advisory services at Cohen Financial, who talks about some of the pressures smaller banks will face as a result of too much exposure to commercial real estate.
  • Reuters reported on the latest AIA Billings Index. The index for May held steady with April's number. Calculated Risk has more on the index, including a long-term chart, which I've copied below. You can also view AIA's release on the results here.

    (Click for larger version.)


  • Victor Calanog says the worst is still to come for retail real estate in a piece for Scotsman Guide's Commercial Edition.
  • Lastly, Seeking Alpha has a look at the latest CMBS delinquency stats.
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