10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 20, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 20, 2015)


  1. Lightstone Committing $2 Billion to Hotel Projects “David Lichtenstein, whose real estate company owned Extended Stay Hotels when the chain went bankrupt, is committing $2 billion to developing and investing in lodging properties. Lightstone Group is choosing ‘top-branded’ select-service properties, those with limited amenities, in proven U.S. markets for its projects, Lichtenstein said in an interview.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Traders Are Betting Sears Will Be the Next Big Retailer to Fail “It now costs more to insure against a Sears default for a year than for five years, a dynamic that indicates traders anticipate a credit event such as a default in the near term. The relationship was reversed as recently as last month, according to prices compiled by CMA in the privately negotiated market for credit swaps.” (Bloomberg)
  3. High Rents Trickle Down to Smaller Cities “The national apartment market saw its strongest January of the post-recession period, with rents rising 4.9 percent annually and occupancy at 94.6 percent, according to Axiometrics, an apartment research firm. While California markets still lead the nation in high rents, smaller cities are jumping.” (CNBC)
  4. Abu Dhabi to Buy New York Edition Hotel “The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the oil-rich emirate, is buying the upcoming Edition hotel at Madison Square Park, seller Marriott International  announced today. The property, located at 5 Madison Avenue, is expected to wrap up construction by the end of the first quarter.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Ann Taylor Said to be in Talks with JMP on Possible Sale “The New York-based retailer said in a regulatory filing in October that it was reviewing strategic options. Ann is in talks with at least two buyout firms, two of the people said, and the company has also considered selling a stake or preferred shares to a private equity firm, one other person said.” (Fox Business)
  6. Owner Seeks Quick Profit on 575 Lexington “The 35-story office tower at 575 Lexington Ave. is for sale in a deal whose price could well exceed the $400 million record for the property. Normandy Real Estate Partners, an investment firm that has scooped up several office buildings in the city at opportune moments and later sold them for quick profits, bought the building in 2012 from a partnership between Silverstein Properties and the California State Teachers Retirement System.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  7. Hyatt Adds Lifestyle Brand for “Modern Explorers” “Hyatt Hotels Corp. is adding to its offerings as it becomes the latest hospitality giant to offer a full-service ‘lifestyle brand’ with the April debut of two Hyatt Centric hotels in Chicago and Miami.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Multifamily Megadeal: Eisenberg’s A&E Buys Brooklyn-Centric Portfolio for $360M “The Brooklyn-centric portfolio contains more than 1,000 apartments — a mix of rent-stabilized and market-rate units — and 17 commercial units. There are 19 buildings in Brooklyn, 10 in Manhattan and three in Queens. Of the Manhattan properties, eight are in Morningside Heights and two are in East Village.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Best Buy to Open Engineering Center in South Lake Union “Best Buy today said it would open a technology development center in South Lake Union, taking the top floor of the Seattle Times Building. Set to begin operations in late spring, the office will employ more than 50 engineers, product managers, web architects and developers in the next year and is expected to expand to more than 100 e-commerce professionals over time.” (The Seattle Times)
  10. City Housing Rules Examined “From Bedford-Stuyvesant to the South Bronx, politicians have sold new housing to communities with the expectation that half of the lower-rent units would be set aside for local residents. Now that practice is drawing scrutiny from the federal government, raising fears among advocates and developers that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable-housing agenda will be undermined.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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