10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 11, 2014)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 11, 2014)


  1. American Realty Names Glenn Rufrano as CEO “American Realty Capital Properties Inc. named veteran real-estate executive Glenn Rufrano as its new chief executive, effective April 1. He was most recently chairman and chief executive of O’Connor Capital Partners, a privately held real-estate investment firm.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Seattle’s Tallest Tower Said Readying to Go on the Market “Seattle’s Columbia Center, the curved black office tower that’s the city’s tallest building, is poised to go on the market as its owners seek to tap into robust demand for U.S. real estate. Beacon Capital Partners, a Boston-based private-equity real estate company, is working with Eastdil Secured LLC on the sale of the 76-story Columbia Center, the second-tallest U.S. building west of Chicago, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.” (Bloomberg)
  3. Massive Store Closings Will Reshape Retail Landscape as Online Newbies Take Over Some Locations “Although the U.S. retail vacancy rate fell to 6.1% in the fourth quarter of 2014 from 6.6% in 2013, 2015 will be a whole other story, according to a research note from Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group, a brokerage and retail consultancy, citing data from commercial real estate firm CoStar. That’s because a large swath of retail space will open up as hundreds of stores go dark in the nation’s malls this year.” (Forbes)
  4. Vornado’s Roth Sees ‘Enormous’ Value in Urban Retail “For years, Vornado Realty Trust chief executive Steven Roth has touted his millions of square feet of property around Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station as a diamond in the rough – a neighborhood that has far more potential and value than anyone realizes. But ask him what is the most undervalued asset in his company’s sprawling portfolio, and he gives a different response: Vornado’s urban retail.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. Family With Stake in GM Building Set Sites on Madison “The Brazil-based banking family who recently purchased a stake in one of the city's most expensive office towers is buying an interest in another midtown trophy building. The Safra family is close to finalizing a deal to acquire a minority stake in 590 Madison Ave., in a purchase that, sources said, could value the 43-story tower at more than $1.5 billion.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  6. Q&A: James Flaum, Global Head of Commercial Real Estate Lending at Morgan Stanley “Mr. Flaum spoke with Mortgage Observer about doing big deals in New York, expanding in Europe, and the redeployment of bank deposits to help fuel his team’s business. The 53-year-old executive gave an in-depth look at his division’s growth in 2014.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. RFR Sells 757 3rd Ave. for $360M “GlobeSt.com has confirmed reports that RFR Realty has sold 757 Third Ave., a 27-story office building—to Canadian real estate giant Bentall Kennedy for approximately $360 million.” (GlobeSt.)
  8. Treasury Urged to Scrutinize Foreign Real Estate Buyers for Money-Laundering Risk “In a broad show of support for increased scrutiny of foreign real estate buyers in the United States, 17 nonprofit organizations on Tuesday urged the Treasury Department to require that the real estate industry verify the identities of buyers and screen them for potential money-laundering risk.” (The New York Times)
  9. Report Documents Real Estate Crowdfunding’s Explosive Growth “Real estate crowdfunding grew 156 percent in 2014 to just over $1 billion in funding volume, with campaigns ranging in size from less than $100,000 to over $25 million, the report said. Massolution sees that momentum continuing in 2015, predicting that crowdfunding will increase by 150 percent to $2.57 billion.” (Inman News)
  10. Economy Watch: Student Debt Potentially Harmful for RE “The impact of ballooning student loan on real estate is still mostly hypothetical. But less money for spending, and less ability to borrow among a large generation of consumers, presumably would mean fewer single-family home purchases in the long run, though other factors (such as anemic wages) are surely at work.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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