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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 16, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 16, 2015)


  1. Blackstone Group Agrees to Buy Chicago’s Willis Tower “Blackstone Group LP, the biggest private equity owner of real estate, agreed to buy Chicago’s Willis Tower for an undisclosed price. The firm’s Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII will acquire the 110-story building, the second-tallest in the U.S., the New York-based company said in a statement today.” (Bloomberg)
  2. MetLife Gets Sizeable Mortgage Mandate from Reinsurer “MetLife Real Estate Investors, the third-party investment management arm of MetLife Inc., has received a mandate from an unnamed reinsurance company to invest $500 million in U.S. CRE loans, MetLife announced late last week. MetLife REI reportedly ‘will originate and service variable and fixed-rate loans across various property types’ for the reinsurer through a separately managed account.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  3. Brookdale Senior Living Activist Sandell Seeks 3 Board Seats “Activist shareholders Sandell Asset Management Corp. is seeking to replace three directors at Brookdale Senior Living Inc., setting the stage for a board proxy fight at the largest retirement-home operator in the U.S. “ (Bloomberg)
  4. Gym Chain Life Time Fitness is Getting Bought Out by Private Equity “Private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital have struck a $4 billion deal to buy Life Time Fitness, the investors announced early Monday. Life Time Fitness is based in Minnesota and has more than 110 locations nationwide. In recent months, gyms and fitness chains have been swapped between investors at growing valuations.” (Business Insider)
  5. 4 Promising Real Estate Mutual Funds to Consider “Over the years, mutual funds from this category have continued to perform favorably. They offer a convenient method to invest in real estate because of low initial investment requirements and the advantage of professional management. Investors willing to hold long-term positions would do well to consider these funds as they add stability and bring steady returns to a portfolio.” (Seeking Alpha)
  6. Dollar Tree Says FTC May Require 250 Divestitures “Dollar Tree said Friday it may have to divest approximately 250 locations to complete its acquisition of Family Dollar Stores — a smaller number than previously anticipated, observers pointed out. In an SEC filing the Chesapeake, Va.-based company reported the 250-store number, adding, ‘We continue to estimate that no more than roughly 300 stores will be required to be divested.’” (Supermarket News)
  7. Most Renters Are Not Ready (or Willing) to Buy “Only 12% of current renters say they plan to buy a home within the next year, according to the latest ‘Housing Confidence Index’ by real-estate company Zillow, although this was up 25% on the previous year. On a scale of 1 to 100, with a reading of more than 50 indicating general confidence, the housing confidence index rose to 70.6 in January 2015, up 4.4 points over the previous year.” (MarketWatch)
  8. Has Robert Durst Really ‘Killed Them All’? Suspect to Go to Court “An eccentric real estate scion who was the subject of an HBO documentary on his possible ties to several people’s deaths is expected at an extradition hearing in New Orleans on Monday that could send him to Los Angeles as part of law enforcement’s latest effort to charge him in the slayings.” (Los Angeles Times)
  9. Aging in Place “It’s been a mantra in recent years: most Americans want to stay right where they are in retirement. Aging in place can be a good option - but it’s not always realistic. Issues to consider include the cost of upkeep and healthcare and proximity to family, recreation, leisure activities and transportation.” (
  10. How America’s Wealthiest Real Estate Mogul Got So Rich “Donald Bren is the country's richest real estate mogul, worth $15.2B, and chairman of The Irvine Co. But he didn't even found the company, which started about 150 years ago as a ranching outfit. So where did all that dough come from? Bisnow investigated.” (Bisnow)
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