10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 10, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 10, 2015)


  1. GE to Sell Real Estate Holdings, Sets $50 Billion Share Buyback “General Electric Co said it plans to sell the bulk of its $30 billion real estate portfolio over the next two years as it returns to its industrial roots, and has set a share buyback plan of up to $50 billion - the second-largest ever. Blackstone Group LP and Wells Fargo & Co are buying most of the assets of GE Capital Real Estate in a deal valued at about $23 billion.” (Reuters)
  2. Walgreens Plans to Close About 200 Stores “A spokesman told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday that no hard timeline has been set for the store closings and that the list of stores slated to close is still being finalized. The closings are part of an expansion to the $1 billion cost-reduction plan it announced in August.” (Chicago Tribune)
  3. Fannie Mae Uncorks First Sale of Delinquent Loans “Mortgage-finance company Fannie Mae on Wednesday gave details of its first-ever large sale of non-performing mortgages, a step that could make it easier for some of the borrowers behind the loans to stay in their homes. Fannie Mae said that its first auction would include 3,200 mortgages with $786 million in unpaid principal and that, eventually, the company would auction off such loans regularly.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Pier 1 to Close 100 Stores over Three Years “Pier 1 has initiated a plan to optimize its store portfolio as part of a strategy to drive growth through its omnichannel platform, reduce occupancy and payroll costs and improve efficiency. As part of the plan, the company plans to close approximately 100 stores during the next three years, primarily through natural lease expirations and relocations, leaving it with just under 1,000 stores.” (Chain Store Age)
  5. House Payments More Affordable in 76 Percent of U.S. Markets Over Renting “According to RealtyTrac's new Residential Rental Property Analysis Report for U.S. residential properties purchased in the first quarter of 2015, the monthly house payment on a median-priced home is more affordable than the monthly fair market rent on a three-bedroom property in 76 percent of the U.S. counties surveyed.” (World Property Journal)
  6. Griffin Capital Invests in Houston’s Energy Corridor “Griffin Capital Corp., the sponsor of Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT, Inc., and Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT II, Inc., has acquired Westgate II and Westgate III, a pair of Class A office buildings located in Houston’ Energy Corridor, for a reported $135 million.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. Pasadena Sees a Flurry of Hotel Development, Expansions and Makeovers “Average occupancy in Pasadena hotels has risen substantially in the last five years to nearly 85%, which is ‘extremely high,’ according to hospitality analyst Bruce Baltin of PKF Consulting USA. The city is undersupplied with rooms, he said, and new hotels are coming to the central city.” (Los Angeles Times)
  8. DDR is Moving the Bar, but the Yield is Sub-Par “The good news is that the worst is over for DDR and since the official end of the recession (2009), the company has become a much more disciplined and focused company. My article today is not to provide you with the granular details of the challenging times, but instead to determine whether or not DDR is a stock that I can rely on in the future. So let's get started…” (Seeking Alpha)
  9. Heritage Equity to Build First Brooklyn Office Building in 40 Years “It hasn’t happened in four decades in Brooklyn, N.Y., but it will now. Heritage Equity Partners has announced plans to develop The Williamsburg Generator, the first speculative office building to sprout up in the city since the 1970s. The project will add 400,000 square feet of Class A office space to the North Williamsburg neighborhood.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. ‘Dirty Dozen’ Real Estate Developers Dispense Advice at Breakfast Talk “George Laham, Bill Farha and Herb Krumsick spent most of an hour reflecting on parts of their careers and some things they’ve learned about investing, brokering and developing commercial properties. Those are among the topics that the Dirty Dozen discuss when they meet informally each month.” (The Wichita Eagle)
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