10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 5, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 5, 2015)


  1. U.S. on Course for June Rate Hike: Fed’s Mester “The Federal Reserve should likely raise interest rates in the first half of this year to account for an economic recovery that continues to build momentum, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said on Wednesday.” (CNBC)
  2. How a Teacher’s Pension Fund Became a Real Estate Giant “One of New York City’s most prominent real estate empires traces its origins to the financial well-being of professors rather than to a family patriarch. TIAA-CREF, which stands for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund, entered the city’s real estate market in 1944 with the purchase of a Montgomery Ward store in Flushing, Queens, and a six-story office building at 3 East 44th Street.” (Commercial Observer)
  3. Reports: DFW Ranks as Top Commercial Real Estate Market “Dallas (although I think they mean Dallas-Fort Worth) ranked as the No. 4 commercial real estate market in the United States based on the percent change in vacancy and rental rates across real estate divisions year-over-year.” (Dallas Business Journal)
  4. Life Companies: What Riskier Lending Could Mean in the Next Cycle “Numerous articles are devoted to the CMBS industry and its effect on the larger real estate landscape. With total CMBS lending at $99 billion in 2014, this capital flow has helped buoy the market and keep cap rates low ever since the dark days of 2009. However, it is the life insurance companies that are the rock that large loan deals are built on.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. CalPERS Names New Real Estate Chief “Paul Mouchakkaa, a managing director at Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, was named senior investment officer of CalPERS’ nearly $30 billion real assets group. The group includes the California Public Employees’ Retirement Systems’ $25 billion real estate portfolio, plus smaller holdings in forestland and infrastructure.” (The Sacramento Bee)
  6. HFF Arranges Financing for 30-Property Portfolio “HFF gave quite a helping hand to Paramount Realty Services recently, as Paramount, which focuses predominantly on retail real estate, acquired a 2 million-square-foot commercial portfolio in the Northeast from LMS Commercial Real Estate. HFF arranged a $221.8 million financing with a portfolio lender for the transaction on Paramount’s behalf.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. Allstate Settles Mortgage Lawsuit Against Morgan Stanley “Allstate Insurance Co. agreed to settle a 2011 lawsuit accusing Morgan Stanley of fraud over more than $100 million worth of mortgage-backed securities in which the insurer invested. The largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer sued Morgan Stanley and other lenders in 2011, alleging they sold packages of risky home loans while claiming they conformed with ‘conservative’ underwriting standards.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  8. RadioShack Store Closings to Jolt Some Developers “Mr. Falconer is one of many small, regional real-estate investors preparing for life after RadioShack. The Fort Worth, Texas, electronics chain’s restructuring will almost certainly involve the shutdown of at least a significant chunk of its roughly 4,000 U.S. stores, the vast majority of which it leases.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. Cache Files for Chapter 11 Protection “Cache on Wednesday said it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after running out of capital and time to complete its turnaround. The women’s apparel retailer will continue to operate its business, but intends to continue to reduce its store count and sell and renegotiate some of its leases.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. Macy’s Buying Bluemercury for $210M, Raises Full-Year Guidance “Bluemercury operates about 60 stores in 18 states in the United States, most of which also have in-house spas. Macy's said Bluemercury would operate as a stand-alone business and would continue to be led by Marla and Barry Beck, who co-founded it in 1999.” (CNBC)
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