10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 4, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 4, 2015)


  1. Staples Agrees to Buy Office Depot for About $6.3 Billion “Staples Inc. announced plans to buy Office Depot Inc. for about $6.3 billion, forging a deal that will reduce the U.S. office-supply industry to a single major chain and test the limits of antitrust regulators.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Administration Gets Aggressive About Real Estate Cuts “The administration wants to implement a five-year strategy to reduce the size of its real estate portfolio, with each agency required to set annual reduction targets for office and warehouse space, according to President Obama's 2016 budget request. That could mean a reduction of more than 500,000 square feet, according to the administration.” (Federal Times)
  3. S&P to Pay $1.5 Billion in Settlements with DOJ, States, CalPERS “McGraw Hill Financial, parent company of ratings agency S&P Financial Services, said Tuesday that it has reached deals it hopes will finally put to bed formal debate about its role in the collapse of the housing market and the subsequent financial crisis.” (Forbes)
  4. U.S. Real Estate Investors Turn to Israel for Cash “Israel, it turns out, offers some key advantages. Large developers with good credit can sell corporate bonds for about 5%, often less than half what they would pay in the U.S. for a junior loan known as mezzanine debt. They also can issue debt in smaller chunks.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. Offices Minus Tenants Rise Beyond Manhattan: Real Estate “The dearth of development in secondary markets, coupled with employers seeking to cut costs and young workers searching for affordable living, is buoying demand for office buildings. In Charlotte, Portman’s 370,000-square-foot (34,400-square-meter) building is one of two spec projects planned for the area, the city’s first such developments in five years, according to the company.” (Bloomberg)
  6. Where is the Hedge? “It hasn’t been a great year for alternative investments. To put it simply, vanilla trumped spice. Only one alternative class—real estate—beat the S&P 500 Index in 2014. Of course, alternatives, or ‘alts,’ aren’t meant to replace core holdings, only to augment them.” (Wealthmanagement.com)
  7. Sterling Bay Scores Big Payday with Refinance of Google Project “Chicago-based Sterling Bay used the $220 million in loans to retire the West Loop property's existing debt and fund additional project costs, according to the Chicago office of HFF, which arranged the financing for Sterling Bay. The new loan replaces about $150 million in debt on the property at 1000 W. Fulton Market, with much of the difference between the new and old debt going directly to Sterling Bay.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  8. Fundamentally Speaking: Multifamily Market Still Strong for REITs “In the latest edition of Fundamentally Speaking, Calvin Schnure, NAREIT’s senior vice president for research and industry information, said economic developments haven’t hampered the strength of the multifamily real estate market.” (REIT.com)
  9. Japanese Firm Jowa Pays $165M for Observer HQ “Japanese investment firm Jowa Holdings picked up a 10-story office building in Hell’s Kitchen for $165 million, property records filed with the city today show. The company, which owns and operates office properties in Tokyo and other major cities, bought the 180,000-plus square-foot building at 321 West 44th Street from Jonothan Yormak’s East End Capital, records show.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Can RadioShack Possibly Survive in Some Form? Analysts are Split “Depending on which analyst one talks to, RadioShack  (RSH - Get Report) can either still survive in some form despite its escalating woes, or it's as good as dead already. And whether it does or doesn't survive, it might make sense for Sprint (S) to buy some of its stores -- but definitely not Amazon.com  (AMZN) , analysts said Tuesday.” (The Street)
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