10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 17, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 17, 2015)


  1. TIAA-CREF, U.S. Investment Giant, Accused of Land Grabs in Brazil “As an American investment giant that manages the retirement savings of millions of university administrators, public school teachers and others, TIAA-CREF  prides itself on upholding socially responsible values, even celebrating its role in drafting United Nations principles for buying farmland that promote transparency, environmental sustainability and respect for land rights. But documents show that TIAA-CREF’s forays into the Brazilian agricultural frontier may have gone in another direction.” (New York Times)
  2. Sternlicht Says Obama Deserves Blame for Paris Terrorist Attacks “Barry Sternlicht, chairman and chief executive officer of Starwood Capital Group, said President Barack Obama deserves the blame for last week’s terrorist attacks in France. ‘This is this president’s fault, what happened in Paris,’ Sternlicht said Monday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. ‘He said these guys weren’t real. Everyone in the Middle East has been telling him differently and he’s been looking the other way.’” (Bloomberg)
  3. Marriott’s $12.2 Billion for Starwood Signals More Deals to Come “Marriott International Inc.’s agreement to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in a $12.2 billion deal, creating the world’s largest lodging company, signals more consolidation to come as hotel operators find being bigger is better to compete with each other and such upstarts as Airbnb Inc. The combined company will operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide.” (Bloomberg)
  4. Marriott CEO: We Were “Compulsive” About Keeping Starwood Deal Secret “Was it an eleventh-hour bid? No, says Marriott president and CEO Arne Sorenson, who spoke with me this morning. Then how’d he keep such a lid on it? ‘The technical answer is, we are very compulsive about keeping confidential things confidential,’ he said, noting that the company even made certain Marriott executives sign documents that acknowledged confidentiality. But, in fact, the deal’s history dates back seven months, when Starwood originally put itself up for strategic review.” (Fortune)
  5. Financial District Office Building is Sold for $115 Million “A partnership between Newmark Holdings and Northwind Group has purchased a 20-story office building in the financial district for $115 million, the team announced Monday. The acquisition of 40 Exchange Place was financed in part by a $65 acquisition loan from Natixis Real Estate Capital. Newmark Holdings and Northwind plan on renovating the property, near the corner of William Street, to increase its appeal for small and midsize commercial office tenants.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  6. AR Capital to Stop Creating Non-Traded REIT “AR Capital, the real estate investment company built by Nicholas S. Schorsch and William M. Kahane, said Monday that it would stop creating new investment products and close existing ones to new investors to focus on managing the $19 billion it has in current investments. The company cited ‘regulatory and market uncertainty’ that was affecting its ability to raise investor money.” (New York Times)
  7. In Wake of AR Capital Deal Collapse, Marc Rowan Leaves NY REIT Board “The fallout from Apollo Global Management’s aborted acquisition of Nicholas Schorsch’s real estate asset management business continues, with Apollo’s co-founder stepping down from New York REIT’s board of directors. The New York-focused real estate investment trust announced Rowan’s resignation from its board of directors on Monday, less than seven weeks after his appointment last month as part of a ‘strategic review process’ initiated in response to mounting shareholder criticism over the company’s stock price.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Meet the Biggest Landowners in the U.S. “The annual edition of the Land Report 100, listing the individuals and families who own the most real estate in the U.S., is out. The top 10 includes lumber legacies, ranchers and entrepreneurs who own sprawling parcels of forests, prairies and vineyards. This year's list also features landowners who added significantly to their portfolios, like the Emmerson family at number three.” (CNBC)
  9. Real Estate Execs Were ‘Upset” to Learn They Were Paying Sheldon Silver Referral Fees: Testimony “The chief lobbyist for the state's biggest residential real estate developer testified Monday that top execs at the company were “angry” and “upset” after learning they’d been paying Sheldon Silver without knowing it. Richard Runes recalled January 2012 conversations with Glenwood Management founder Leonard Litwin and general counsel Charles Dorego after the real estate taxation law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, notified them that Silver received referral fees as a result of the firm's representation of the company.” (New York Daily News)
  10. New Jersey Mall Frees Up Santa’s Lap: No More $35 to $50 Fee “Santa Claus is free again. A New Jersey mall on Monday eliminated a requirement that parents pay $35 to $50 for a photo or video package for their kids to get into a Santa exhibit. The decision to charge for an attraction that had been free last year sparked anger from many parents, some who said the fee inherently pushed away low-income families and ran counter to the spirit of the holiday.” (Valley Morning Star)
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