10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 8, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 8, 2015)


  1. Whole Foods Plans New “Cheap” Chain for Millennials “Whole Foods is planning to open a new chain of stores that courts millennials with lower prices as it faces intensifying competition as a purveyor of organic and natural products. The company said Wednesday it’s building a team to focus exclusively on the new concept and that it’s already negotiating leases.” (New York Post)
  2. RXR Takes $785M AIG Loan for Helmsley Buy “RXR Realty closed a $785 million acquisition loan from American International Group for its purchase of the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.” (Commercial Observer)
  3. Chinese Developer Plans Condo, Retail Project Next to Angel Stadium “A Chinese developer is planning a nearly $500-million residential, hotel and retail complex next to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, a potential anchor for a future downtown area.” (Los Angeles Times)
  4. Wendy’s to Open 80 Restaurants This Year “The Wendy’s Co. plans to open 80 restaurants this year — its highest number of openings in eight years — as it continues to sell restaurants to franchisees. Wendy’s is on track to refranchise 640 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada by early next year.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
  5. FAO Schwarz Eyes Move to 1633 Broadway “Famed toy store FAO Schwarz is considering a move from its longtime home at the General Motors Building to Times Square. The store, known for its larger-than-life displays and floor piano (featured in a memorable cameo appearance in the 1988 film Big) is in negotiations to move to 1633 Broadway, a large office tower north of Times Square.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  6. Sears Future May Include Slimmed Down Stores “Some Sears and Kmart stores will shrink in half, from an average of 150,000 square feet to 75,000 square feet, which Lampert said will make them more productive and profitable on a square foot basis, as well as drive more traffic as shoppers are drawn to the new tenant. Consumer electronics, which have had sluggish sales, may disappear from some stores as they get smaller.” (Chicago Tribune)
  7. Charlotte Office Tower Sells for Tidy Sum “Acting on behalf of KBS Real Estate Investment Trust and asset manager Gramercy Property Trust Inc., commercial real estate and capital markets services provider HFF has orchestrated the sale of 101 Independence Center, a 565,700-square-foot office tower in downtown Charlotte, N.C.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Fancy Building Designs are Nice for Low-Cost Housing, but is it Worth the Cost? “It's becoming clear how high the cost of high design can reach for taxpayers. The nonprofit that built what's called the Sugar Hill Development has asked the City Council to cover $4 million in construction cost overruns on the now $70 million residential portion of the building, bringing the per-unit price to more than $550,000.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  9. As More Rent, the Wealth Gap Widens “For the majority of American homeowners, their house is their single largest asset. Despite the crash in home values in the last decade, that still holds true. That crash, however, created a much larger share of renters, and these Americans are not enjoying the new wealth that now-rising home prices afford.” (CNBC)
  10. Kate Spade Has Invaded Your Closet. Now it’s Determined Not to be a Flash in the Pan “Fast growth in the luxury world comes with a potential downside. Michael Kors has seen slower growth recently and Coach sales have declined as they grappled with a tricky image problem: Their bags became so popular with everyday shoppers that they lost the high-end, trendy fashionistas that helped catapult them to success in the first place.” (The Washington Post)
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