10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 4, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 4, 2015)


  1. The Unlikely Cities That Will Power the U.S. Economy “Huntsville may not seem like an obvious place to base a center for genomics, a branch of biology concerned with DNA sequences that requires expensive hardware and even greater investment in human capital. Alabama ranks in the bottom 10 U.S. states for educational attainment and median income. Yet Huntsville, nestled in a hilly region in the northern part of the state, turns out to be a great place to recruit high-tech workers.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Can Wal-Mart Support 5,200 Stores? “Added up, all of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (NYSE: WMT) retail outlets in the United States total 5,200. This includes all Wal-Mart store formats, from supercenters to discount stores and the company’s 651 Sam’s Clubs. With flat same-store sales, and a future that makes a downturn in same-store sales likely, Wal-Mart may not be able to keep all these locations, if it wants to improve its U.S. financials.” (24/7WallSt.com)
  3. Prokhorov Nears Deal to Buy All of Barclay’s Center, Nets “Prokhorov has been in talks to buy the 55 percent of the arena and 20 percent of the NBA team he does not already own. Under the deal being discussed, he would kick in little cash beyond forgiving the roughly $31 million Forest City owes him to cover team losses, according to two sources familiar with the situation.” (New York Post)
  4. Tricked Out Student Housing Equals Big Developer Profits “On a Wednesday afternoon, in a luxury apartment building called "The Standard," which would fit right into any major metropolitan downtown, sunbathers line the edges of the rooftop's infinity pool. Sweat flies in the bright fitness center as loud pops emanate from the racquetball court, and a young woman at the concierge desk phones upstairs to a resident about a package. Only this is not any residential building. It's student housing at the University of Georgia in Athens.” (CNBC)
  5. Bob Evans Plans $200M Sale-Leaseback “Bob Evans Farms Inc. plans to complete a $200 million sale-leaseback consisting of restaurants, its headquarters and a pair of manufacturing plants by the end of the year, as it continues to look for a new CEO, the company said this week. Executives said Wednesday that they expect the sale-leaseback to generate $160 million to $170 million in proceeds.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
  6. Lear Corp. Buys 50,000-Square-Foot Building in Downtown Detroit for Satellite Office “Southfield-based Lear Corp. has purchased a 50,000-square-foot building in downtown Detroit for an undisclosed price. The Hemmeter Building, at 1465 Centre St. at Grand River Avenue, was built in 1911 for the Hemmeter Cigar Co. It had been owned by Woodward Building Plaza Inc., an entity registered to Detroit real estate investor Dennis Kefallinos.” (Crain’s Detroit Business)
  7. Prudential Warms Up to Tampa “Prudential Real Estate Investors has acquired five Class A buildings in East Tampa’s Highland Oaks office park, a 1-million-square-foot suburban office park in Tampa, for $111 million. CBRE arranged the transaction on behalf of the seller, who was not disclosed. The portfolio consists of five Class A office properties totaling 575,852 square feet and boasts seven Fortune 500 tenants.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Going West: Aldi’s Next Big Leap “Perhaps the most significant leap in Aldi’s 40-year U.S. history takes place next March when the first of the discounter’s stores will open in Southern California. In California, where Aldi intends to open 45 stores next year, Aldi should find a market extremely receptive to price relief, but not always friendly to new brands. Observers say the company must be prepared for the nuances of a more diverse market than it might to be used to in other parts of the country.” (Supermarket News)
  9. Mortgage Rates in U.S. Uptick Higher Amid Financial Market Volatility “According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), the averaged fixed mortgage rate ticked higher amid another week of volatile market activity on essentially no new information. Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti said, ‘Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night," said Bette Davis in All About Eve. That could just as well have been Janet Yellen, or a specialist at the New York Stock Exchange, or the head of the People's Bank of China on yet another week with lots of volatility on essentially no new information.’” (World Property Journal)
  10. REITs Report 12-Year Low in Turnover, Strength in California “With rising rents and new competition, it would make sense that renters would start to leave and maybe even look at homeownership. So far, however, that’s not the case. ‘The decline in turnover is surprising, [considering] the arrival of new competing supply and the fact that renters are now experiencing their sixth consecutive year of healthy rent increases,’ Wagner says.” (Multifamily Executive)
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