10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 20, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 20, 2015)


  1. Investors Are Taking the Air Out of Some of the Hottest ‘Yield Plays’ in Markets “Years of low interest rates have sparked an intense search for yield, with many investors seeking heftier returns in riskier corners of financial markets. So-called yield plays, including real estate investment trusts (Reits), master limited partnerships (MLPs), some initial public offerings, leveraged loans, and the bottom tier of the corporate credit market, have offered relief for the return-ravenous, rate-restrained investor. With an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve now widely expected to take place next month, however, some of the air has been firmly kicked out of yield plays' tires.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Most of Real Estate Firm Clarion Partners on the Block—Sources “Private equity firm Lightyear Capital is looking to sell its majority stake in real estate investment manager Clarion Partners LLC for around $800 million, people familiar with the sales talks said this week.  Lightyear's stake in Clarion, which has more than $36.8 billion in assets under management, has attracted interest from a larger asset manager, Legg Mason Inc, according to one of the sources.” (Reuters)
  3. Blackstone’s James Says U.S. May Enter Recession in 2017 “The U.S. may enter a recession within two years, Blackstone Group LP President Tony James said, as he outlined challenges to economic growth. James, who leads New York-based Blackstone with Chief Executive Officer Steve Schwarzman, said most of the industrial sector, excluding aerospace and automotive companies, is already in recession, and he expects no growth in earnings in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index of large U.S. companies this year. He also cited factors such as financial strain on consumers, while saying wage growth is one positive sign.” (Bloomberg)
  4. REITs Break Into World of Crowdfunding “Fundrise, which runs a crowdfunding real-estate investing platform, said Wednesday that is launching its first e-REIT. The Fundrise real estate investment trust will invest in a diverse portfolio of U.S. commercial properties, such as apartments, shopping centers and office buildings with the aim of generating cash flows to investors in regular dividends, according to the company.” (ThinkAdvisor)
  5. Despite Another Strong Quarter, Questions Ahead for Some REITs “So far, 2015 has been a noteworthy year for the apartment REITs. Two longtime public companies, Home Properties and Associated Estates, were sold. And Equity Residential announced it was selling 23,262 apartment units to Starwood. With those transactions in the background, dispositions were obviously at the forefront of the recent earnings calls. But that wasn’t the only theme.” (Multifamily Executive)
  6. Does No One Have a Spare $2B These Days? “With debt markets booming and interest rates at record lows, you would think developers have an easy time raising funds. But industry leaders still lament that securing financing is a challenge – at least for giant projects like Hudson Yards or the World Trade Center. ‘Financing is not easy. These are really ridiculous numbers,’ Silverstein CEO Marty Burger said at Thursday’s Capital Markets conference hosted by NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Toys ‘R’ Us: New CEO, New Plans “For Toys ‘R’ Us chairman and CEO David Brandon, it’s all about having a successful holiday in 2015 — a short-term goal that he believes will pave the way to leveraging long-term opportunities. If the retailer can produce positive sales and consistent margins, it will be in a position to prosper in 2016 and beyond, becoming the great specialty toy company that he contends the world deserves. ‘We have many opportunities, but first we have to win and be successful this holiday season,’ said Brandon.” (Chain Store Age)
  8. Seattle First Presbyterian’s Breakaway Vote Spurs Real Estate Fight “On Sunday, Seattle First Presbyterian church members voted to split from its liberal-leaning denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In doing so, the 125-member congregation formed a corporation that now claims full control of its assets, according to documents distributed Tuesday night at a meeting of the Seattle Presbytery, the denomination’s regional authority. The church, founded in 1869, sits on a $20 million piece of property that stretches from Seventh to Eighth avenues along Spring Street.” (Seattle Times)
  9. Custom Publishing: Conde Nast Produces Magazine for the Retail Real Estate Company Simon “Simon, a leading global retail real estate company, has teamed with Conde Nast, a premier media company, to produce a 98-page, high-end lifestyle publication – Simon Magazine – designed to provide readers with the latest must-haves and must-dos, from fashion and beauty to dining and travel.” (TalkingNewMedia)
  10. Taco Bell to Save Original Restaurant from Wrecking Ball “Taco Bell will save its original restaurant from demolition by loading it onto a truck and moving it to the company’s headquarters campus on Thursday. Fans of the 53-year-old brand can watch the proceedings via social media as the company lifts the restaurant, dubbed ‘Numero Uno,’ from its foundation in Downey, Calif., and moves it 45 miles across Southern California to Irvine, where the chain is based.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
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