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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 12, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 12, 2015)


  1. Sam Zell to Sell Waldorf Astoria for Record Chicago Price “Veteran Chicago hotelier Laurence Geller has cut a deal with billionaire financier Sam Zell to buy the Waldorf Astoria hotel in the Gold Coast for a record-breaking price. A Geller venture including a Chinese partner has agreed to pay a Zell fund more than $600,000 per room, or $113 million, for the 188-room luxury hotel at 11 E. Walton St., according to people with knowledge of the transaction.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  2. Real Estate Stocks May Be a Leading Indicator for Real Estate Prices “I believe it will be important to monitor news stemming from the top real estate stocks on a regular basis, while taking note of their recent weakness, as interest rate risks increased. Those are Toll Brothers, Hovnanian Enterprises and PulteGroup. Quite often we can better identify the direction of real estate in the open market from information disseminated by the public disclosures of these companies.” (MarketWatch)
  3. Bob Evans Jumps After Pursuing Real Estate Plan for Restaurants “Bob Evans Farms Inc. rose the most in five months after pursuing a transaction to squeeze money out of its real estate, a move spurred by activist-investor pressure. The deal, which involves the company’s restaurant properties, may be either a sale-leaseback or a conversion to a tax-free real estate investment trust.” (Bloomberg)
  4. Durst Organization Bids for Marijuana Growing License “In a surprise move, the Durst Organization is partnering with nonprofit trade group the Greater New York Hospital Association in a bid to become one of five licensed medical marijuana growers in New York state. The application process for companies to fill five slots to legally grow and sell marijuana in the state closed last week.” (The Real Deal)
  5. The Average Manhattan Rent Now Tops $4,000 “The vacancy rate is now 1.07%, the lowest it has been in three years, Citi Habitats reports. Last year at this time, Manhattan vacancies were at 1.17%. At the same time, rents are at their highest. Manhattan dwellers pay, on average, $4,081 a month — from Inwood to the Financial District — for the privilege of living in Gotham.” (MarketWatch)
  6. Prime Century City Land is Put Up for Sale “Century City landlord JMB Realty Corp. has dropped plans to develop an office skyscraper on Avenue of the Stars and instead has put the land up for sale. The property is expected to be developed into condominiums instead of offices as investment in high-end Los Angeles County condos escalates.” (Los Angeles Times)
  7. 3 Residential REITs to Buy Now “Rising interest rates on the horizon could be bad news for the real estate investment trust, or REIT, industry. But that doesn't mean all REITs are bad investments. There are plenty of commercial real estate REITs as well as retail REITs worthy of investment. Below are three residential REIT investments to consider.” (The Street)
  8. Whole Foods Reveals ‘365’ Small-Store Banner “Whole Foods Market on Thursday revealed a name for its forthcoming small-store concept — 365 by Whole Foods Market — and said the new division would be led by Jeff Turnas, who most recently led the retailer’s stores in the United Kingdom.” (Supermarket News)
  9. Commission OKs Historic Hotel Demolition for Detroit Red Wings Hockey Arena “The Detroit Historic District Commission has approved plans to tear down a vacant historic hotel as part of construction of a new Red Wings hockey arena north of downtown. The commission voted 3-1 Wednesday in favor of razing the Park Avenue Hotel, which was built in the 1920s.” (The Associated Press)
  10. 10 Lessons Learned After 10 Years in Austin Real Estate “Last October marked my 10th year as a real estate lawyer in Austin. I have watched the city (quite literally from my office window) and its real estate market change immensely. In that time, I’ve had the chance to work with and learn from numerous clients, colleagues and adversaries, and observe a thing or two along the way about Austin, real estate, lawyering and myself. Some of what I’ve learned, I think, is worth sharing.” (Austin Business Journal)
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