Mobile Technology to Play a Large Role This Christmas; CMBS Investors Ready for New Issuance (Friday's News & Notes)

As we round off the first decade of the oughts, the way we shop has been changed dramatically by all the new technology that's been developed in the past few years. Previously, we discussed the impact of social media sites on the way malls do business.

For example, this winter a slew of new iPhone applications will allow shoppers to compare bargains found at their local store against those offered by other retailers or on the web. Both retailers and retail property owners better start thinking about how to use these applications to their advantage. The impact of this new technology is likely to be huge, and not just when it comes to consumer behavior.

Agent Genius discusses ways brokers can use new mobile applications to help them do business. Imagine augmented reality applications on smart phones that allow you to view a building through a phone's camera and instantly be given listings on leasing availabilities or the building's price. We're just at the tip of an iceberg here.

Meanwhile, Web Designed Pinoy takes a look at how one iPhone application helps shoppers navigate retail properties. It allows shoppers to navigate shopping centers, search mall store inventories and lists available sales.

Lastly, Oklahoma per Square Foot had some thoughts on our story about Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust's successful Facebook campaign.

Here are some other news and notes from recent days.

  • Mobility Site looks at how more malls now feature Windows Phone kiosks.
  • Calculated Risk looks at how retail sales in December so far have been slow after a burst of activity during Black Friday weekend.
  • Luxury department store Barneys New York is looking into filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and would like to be bought out by the owners of the Lord & Taylor chain, according to The New York Post.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that mobile phone seller Nokia is also struggling in the U.S. and will close its flagship stores in New York and Chicago.
  • Real estate developers remain cautious. According to a new Reed Construction Data report, construction materials orders declined during the month of October.
  • There's more movement on the financing front for individual properties. On the negative side, Forest City, recently missed a mortgage payment on its Atlantic Yards project, notes The Real Deal. However, West Oaks Mall is emerging from foreclosure, according to Chron Business. The 1.1-million-square-foot mall was recently purchased for $15 million.
  • Private equity fund managers and real estate partnership managers may face a huge increase through how carried interest is treated. The House passed a bill to raise the rates on carried interest from 15 percent to 35 percent--bringing it in line with capital gains tax rates. This is not the first time such a bill has passed the House. It has normally failed in the Senate. ICSC, among others, is urging industry pros to call their Senators and try to stop the tax.
  • Lending giant CIT Group completed its reorganization. We previously wrote about the potential impact of the reorganization on small retailers.
  • According to Reuters, an upcoming CMBS issue backed by Inland Western's assets has attracted a lot of interest. Importantly, it was done without using TALF. And it speaks to a rise in interest among investors hungry for new CMBS bonds, according to the CoStar Group.
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