10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 21, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 21, 2015)


  1. Blackstone Buying U.S. Centers from RioCan for $1.9 Billion “RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust is ending its six-year foray into the U.S. with a deal to sell its 49 shopping centers in the country to Blackstone Group LP for $1.9 billion. The sale to the Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII fund will provide capital for RioCan’s recently announced acquisition of 23 properties from Kimco Realty Corp. and to cut debt, Canada’s largest retail landlord said in a statement Friday. The U.S. shopping centers are located in the Northeast and Texas.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Westfield Sells Five Malls in Billion Dollar Deal “Westfield Corp. announced Monday it has sold five of its U.S. shopping malls — totaling more than 6 million sq. feet of retail space across four states — to help fund a property development program.  The move is line with the company’s recent strategy to focus on its flagship assets, which include the new World Trade Center mall, due to open in spring 2016. In November, Westfield sold Westfield Carlsbad mall, Carlsbad, Calif., to New York's Rouse Properties for $170 million.” (Chain Store Age)
  3. Albany Trials Exposed the Power of a Real Estate Firm “In addition to its role at the heart of the government’s case against the Skeloses, both of whom were convicted of bribery, extortion and conspiracy this month, Glenwood also figured prominently in the federal corruption trial of Sheldon Silver, the Democratic assemblyman and former speaker who was convicted of extortion, wire fraud and money laundering 11 days earlier. The name of Mr. Litwin was just one example of the way the two corruption trials revealed how entwined the interests of Glenwood and other developers are with the business of the state.” (The New York Times)
  4. U.S. Eases 35-Year-Old Real Estate Tax on Foreign Investment “President Barack Obama signed into law a measure easing a 35-year-old tax on foreign investment in U.S. real estate, potentially opening the door to greater overseas purchases. Contained in the $1.1 trillion spending measure that was passed to avoid a government shutdown is a provision that treats foreign pension funds the same as their U.S. counterparts for real estate investments, said Ron Kuykendall, a spokesman for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, a Washington-based trade group.” (Bloomberg)
  5. EB-5 Champions in Congress Show Strong Financial Ties to Real Estate Industry “What do Chuck Schumer, Jeff Flake, John Cornyn and Pete Sessions have in common? This isn’t the beginning of a bad Capitol Hill joke. The four lawmakers all championed an extension of the controversial EB-5 visa program in Congress, and they all received major donations from the industry benefiting most from such an extension – real estate.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Did the Feds Just Save NY Real-Estate? “Last week, Washington did something it hadn’t done in nine and a half years: hike interest rates. Around the country, the rate hike should make it cost a little bit more to buy a house or a car — and that’s a good thing. But the hike could have a big impact on Gotham, too. Already, it points up one of our biggest sins: our failure to invest in the city’s quality of life.” (New York Post)
  7. Understanding the Tax Advantages of Real Estate IRAs “What happens in an IRA stays in the IRA. A traditional IRA that invests in real estate and has expenses is not deductible to the IRA holder since the IRA is the one holding the investment and not the IRA holder personally. On the other hand, IRA-owned real estate that has rental income is not taxable until the income is distributed from the IRA. Sale of real estate owned outright by the IRA is also not subject to capital gains.” (RISMedia)
  8. Year in Review: 2015 “The past year was busy, to say the very least. From iconic properties changing hands to the city’s newest subway station, and from corruption cases to murder trials, it feels like 2015 has seen it all. The saga of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village came to an end, with Blackstone Group’s and Ivanhoe Cambridge’s $5.3 billion buy. (The acquisition closed on Dec. 18.) Related Companies and Oxford Property Group’s Hudson Yards development is well under way, especially with the new 7 extension opening its doors to riders in September.” (The Real Deal)
  9. World’s Most Expensive Office Markets Revealed “According to CBRE Research's semi-annual Global Prime Office OΠccupancy Costs survey, London's West End was the world's highest-priced office market for the second straight year and Hong Kong Central, Beijing Finance Street, Beijing Central Business District and Hong Kong West Kowloon, took four of the top five most expensive spots in the rankings. London's West End topped the "most expensive" list, with overall prime occupancy costs of US$273 per sq. ft. per year.” (World Property Journal)
  10. The 10 Best Business Books of 2015 “With so many new business books published—over 8,000 from just the major publishers in 2015—it’s hard find the titles that will really make a difference to financial professionals. But we searched far afield to find lesser-known works that offer fresh insights into the latest condition of finance, innovation, and customer service. Moreover, since few of us have time to read books from cover to cover anymore, we suggest the one or two sections of each book that deliver the goods. As always, the list includes a worthy novel set in the world of finance whose fictional themes offer lessons just as pertinent as those of the non-fiction titles” (WealthManagement.com)
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