Here are some news and notes on retail and retail real estate from around the Web today.
- Bloomberg did an update on the Fed's plans to help commercial real estate, which said that the program may have few, if any, securities deals to start. Fed officials said it they weren't surprised by the slow start because it takes longer to ramp up CMBS deals. Today's application deadline applies to securities issued this year. In late July, the Fed will start accepting investor requests for loans to purchase older CMBS. In other securitization news, Felix Salmon wonders if the proposed regulations are workable. Talk has heated up now that details are leaking as to what the government has in mind to put some restraints on the securitization machine while allowing it to get back into operation again. Salmon thinks some of the proposals make sense and others--not so much.
- Seeking Alpha looked at the plight of GGP shareholders, who are stuck waiting out the REIT's bankruptcy. The situation has grown contentious with many lenders challenging the inclusion of specific properties in the filing. MetLife has joined that bandwagon and it wants Providence Place removed from the filing.
- The Chicago Tribune looked at how drugstores are rethinking beauty counters in light of the recession. The story says, "CVS Caremark Corp. is rolling out modern, spa-like beauty boutiques attached to its drugstores while Walgreen Co. is redesigning beauty departments in select locations, most dramatically at its new Times Square store in New York."
- CityBiz broke the news that Hines has a new REIT in the offing. It is looking to raise up to $3.5 billion to invest in a diversified portfolio of quality commercial real estate properties and other real estate investments throughout the United States and internationally.
- Gas prices rose for the 49th straight day. Higher gas prices were a big reason why May retail sales rose 0.5 percent from April.