10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 24, 2014)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 24, 2014)


  1. REITs Prune Their Portfolios in Shift Back to Basics “When Duke Realty Corp. DRE closed on the sale of its stake in a mixed-use office tower in Atlanta's tony Buckhead district in late June, company executives beamed to investors about having eked a profit out of a building that had been troubled by high vacancy during the downturn. But the sale also allowed Duke to keep up with the latest trend among real-estate investment trusts: simplify, simplify, simplify.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Congress Votes to End Condo Owner Filing Requirement “The U.S. Senate voted unanimously last week to end a federal filing requirement for owners of condo buildings with more than 99 units that ensnared developers in litigation following the financial crisis of 2008. During the downturn, lawyers for condo buyers began trying to break the purchase contracts by arguing in court cases that the owners hadn’t accurately complied with a 1969 law named the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act that required owners of buildings to register with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and then the Consumer Financial Protection Board.” (Commercial Observer)
  3. DTZ’s Deal for Cassidy Turley Shakes Up Service Sector, Analysts Say “A deal to buy Cassidy Turley is a good move for both the commercial real estate services firm and the international private equity investment consortium behind the DTZ acquisition if they want to compete on a global level with CBRE Group Inc. and JLL, industry analysts and consultants told Commercial Property Executive.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  4. 7 Reasons Why CalPERS May Have Increased Its Exposure to Real Estate “Of course with CalPERS' size, any shift in strategy, no matter how small for the fund, is significant to investors. Why did CalPERS decided to increase its allocation to CRE? Certainly for the typical reasons of diversification and yield and the strong growth in valuations. But, we wondered, could other factors been at play as well. Here are some theories.” (GlobeSt.com)
  5. Norway Jumps to No. 2 Foreign Buyer of U.S. Real Estate “Norway has vaulted to the top ranks of foreign U.S. commercial real estate buyers as its $870 billion sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest, acquires buildings from New York to San Francisco. The country has spent more than $3.2 billion on U.S. real estate this year, including the assumption of debt, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc. and statements from the wealth fund.” (Bloomberg)
  6. Tim Cook says new Apple ‘Spaceship’ HQ will be the greenest building on the planet “As we shared this morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook today participated in the Climate Week NYC environment-focused conference to speak on behalf of Apple and the company’s efforts on preserving the planet. During his interview, Cook stated that Apple’s new headquarters will be what he thinks is the greenest building on the planet.” (9to5Mac.com)
  7. Skanska cancels Atlantic Yards contract “Skanska USA Building canceled its contract Tuesday for the much-anticipated yet long-delayed modular apartment building at Forest City Ratner Cos.' 22-acre Atlantic Yards project, which was recently rebranded Pacific Park—though the long-running legal dispute is far from over. ‘We could not continue to incur millions of dollars in extra costs with little hope that Forest City would take responsibility for fixing the significant commercial and design issues on the project,’ Richard Kennedy, co-chief operating officer at Skanska USA Building, a subsidiary of Swedish construction company Skanska, said in a statement.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  8. Most Americans Believe We're Still In A Recession “Americans aren't happy with the economy, despite continuous signs of improvement. In fact, 72% of Americans ‘believe that the recession is still on,’ according to the 2014 American Values Survey. Only 7% of American believe that they are in ‘excellent financial health themselves,’ and approximately one-third surveyed said that ‘they or someone else in their household had to cut back on food in the last year to save money.’” (Business Insider)
  9. San Francisco Skyscraper Values Soar as Tech Lifts Rents “Offices on the highest floors of skyscrapers in San Francisco and New York soared in value since March, boosted by growing technology and energy businesses, Knight Frank LLP said. The upper floors of office towers, which command the highest rent, are valued at $2,260 a square foot in San Francisco, a gain of more than 60 percent from March, according to an index compiled by the London-based property broker. In Manhattan, values have climbed 25 percent to $2,980. At the same time, slowing Chinese growth caused prices to fall in Singapore and Hong Kong, though the latter remains the most expensive at $6,330, Knight Frank said in a report today.” (Bloomberg)
  10. Wal-Mart Teams with Green Dot on checking account "The list of things you can get at Wal-Mart is about to get longer as the world’s biggest retailer plans to roll out everyday low prices on checking accounts. Wal-Marts across the country will stand in as bank branches for GoBank, the mobile banking platform backed by Green Dot Bank. Starting in October, consumers can head to the big-box retailer to sign up for or deposit cash into a GoBank account, giving the smartphone-based bank an advantage over competitors such as Simple and Moven." (The Washington Post)
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