10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 8, 2014)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 8, 2014)


  1. Calpers Reboots Its Real-Estate Ambitions “As it pulls the plug on hedge funds, the country’s biggest public pension is giving its property portfolio a $7 billion jolt. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System plans to increase its $26 billion of commercial real-estate investments by 27%, according to its latest asset-allocation report. The boost would leave Calpers with its largest property holdings since before the financial crisis.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Zell swears that foreigners are not responsible for driving up prices “Leave it to Sam Zell to call foreign investment ‘bullshit,’ the commercial real estate market a ‘whorehouse,’ and still end up with a surprisingly sensible argument. The famously blunt investor and REIT pioneer used Eisner Amper’s real estate private equity summit last Wednesday to pick on the common notion that foreign investors are driving up commercial real estate prices in New York and other cities.” (Real Estate Weekly)
  3. Silverstein, Elad Seek $500M to Build 1 West End Avenue “Silverstein Properties and Elad Group, who are partnering on high-end residential condominiums at 1 West End Avenue, are now seeking about $500 million in construction funds from a consortium of banks for the project, sources told Mortgage Observer. The syndicate will be led by Wells Fargo and Bank of America, who provided the loan the partnership used to buy the Midtown West land last year from the Carlyle Group for $160 million, one person said.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. Microsoft’s First Flagship Store Will Open at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York City “It’s been a busy end of September for Microsoft. Three years after launching the rather unsuccessful Windows 8, the software giant simply skipped a potential Windows 9 and offered a sneak peek into its newest operating system. Dubbed Windows 10 and announced in Seattle at a business event, the operating system and its family of products will be officially released next year as ‘the first step of a whole new generation of Windows,’ according to Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Operating Systems.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  5. Deutsche Bank Said to Explore Selling U.S. Real Estate “Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) is exploring the sale of about $2 billion of U.S. commercial real estate loans held by the bank’s Special Situations Group, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Germany’s largest lender is considering a joint venture with a private-equity firm, said the person, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. The assets comprise distressed mortgages and other types of debt. Amanda Williams, a spokeswoman for Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, declined to comment on the potential sale.” (Bloomberg)
  6. How Malls Die—and How Your Business Could Be Next “The global financial crisis of 2008 might not appear to have much in common with a derelict shopping mall in your neighborhood. But both are examples of how financial distress can spread through markets like a contagious disease. Unlike global financial markets, the retail stores in a mall are primarily connected via their physical proximity to one another—a phenomenon that economists call ‘retail agglomeration.’” (Kellogg Insight)
  7. J.C. Penney Back From the Dead? We Head to the Mall to Find Out “The retail chain, which is holding a highly anticipated analysts day in New York City on Wednesday, hopes to show investors, analysts and media that it is still relevant with American consumers. The event -- the first in nearly three years -- will be hosted by chairman and CEO Mike Ullman and his executive team. The Street will be there to live blog the presentations, which will likely underscore how far the company has come from the disastrous tenure of former CEO Ron Johnson.” (TheStreet)
  8. Empire State Realty Trust Interested in Acquiring New York REIT “Several potential buyers have expressed interest in acquiring New York REIT Inc., a $1.75 billion real-estate investment trust, according to several people briefed on the talks. New York REIT on Tuesday announced it had enlisted Barclays Capital Inc. and Realty Capital Securities LLC to advise it in a bid to boost shareholder value. The company said it had received inquiries on ‘potential strategic opportunities.’ One potential buyer that has made an inquiry is Empire State Realty Trust Inc., the company that owns the Empire State Building, according to the people familiar with the talks.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. West Loop tech hub could fetch $330 million “A 101-year-old West Loop office building that has become one of the most desirable addresses in Chicago’s growing technology sector is for sale and could fetch $300 million or more.” (Chicago Real Estate Daily)
  10. Here's How Teens Really Spend Money, What They Like, And Where They Shop “Piper Jaffray released its semiannual report on teen spending Tuesday. We dug through the report and pulled out some of the most interesting facts and charts.” (Business Insider)
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