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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry (March 28, 2017)

Eddie Lampert has just bought 526,000 more shares of Sears Holdings last week, reports Chicago Tribune. Fortune interviews Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.


  1. Sears CEO Lampert Takes Bigger Stake in Ailing Chain, Shares Jump “Shares of Sears Holdings jumped more than 9 percent Monday after Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert bought more of the department store's shares. Lampert, already Sears' largest shareholder, bought nearly 526,000 shares last week, according to a Friday regulatory filing. Earlier that week, Fairholme Capital Management bought up nearly 614,000 shares. Fairholme Chief Investment Officer Bruce Berkowitz is also a member of Sears' board of directors.” (Chicago Tribune)
  2. Q&A With Brian Chesky: Disruption, Leadership and Airbnb’s Future “It’s been a newsy few weeks for Airbnb: the “home-sharing” company announced a plan to grow its business in China under a new name; closed another round of $1 billion in equity funding; and CEO Brian Chesky—who last week joined Fortune’s list of the World’s Greatest Leaders at No. 19—announced he was adding the role of Head of Community to his title. In mid-March, as part of a world tour to promote the company’s new menu of ‘experiences,’ Chesky stopped in on New York City for a sit down interview in front of the Economic Club of New York.” (Fortune)
  3. U.S. Heading for Recession After Two Years of Unsustainable Growth, Economist Says “Posen, who served at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the mid-90s, said that GDP (gross domestic product) growth targets of 3 percent or more are unobtainable given current productivity and employment rates in the U.S. Add to that intended tax cuts and financial deregulation under Trump and the country will find itself trapped in a boom-bust cycle, Posen said.” (CNBC)
  4. Commercial Real Estate Sellers: Hire Your Own Attorney! “Does a seller of commercial real estate really need an attorney?  I get asked this question often, and the resounding answer is ‘yes!’ Many sellers believe, possibly based on their experience in residential real estate transactions, that they can rely on the buyer's attorney, or a real estate broker, to ‘represent’ them in a transaction.  Although it is common for the buyer's attorney to prepare the deed and other closing documents for the seller in a residential transaction, it is strongly recommended that commercial real estate sellers hire their own attorney.” (National Law Review)
  5. Here’s What the Next Generation of Trump Hotels Could Look Like “There could be up to 100 of these hotels opening up in cities and resorts across the country in the next three years, with the first likely to be in Dallas. According to the Dallas News, developer Mike Sarimsakci is rumored to be working on the first project, though a spokesperson for the Trump Organization declined to confirm. The Trump Organization will not be putting any money into building the hotel themselves – the named real-estate developers and their investors will cover costs.” (Business Insider)
  6. Whole Foods Has Lost a Staggering Amount of Shoppers and That’s a Major Problem for its Future “How rotten is Whole Foods' business at the moment? About as black as a 30 day old banana, suggests one analyst. Whole Foods has lost between nine to 14 million customers over the last six quarters, Barclay's analyst Karen Short estimated in a new note on Monday. Short believes Kroger has been one of the prime beneficiaries of the traffic exodus from Whole Foods as the traditional supermarket has ramped up its number of organic food offerings and discounts.” (The Street)
  7. NFL Approves Raiders’ Move to Las Vegas “NFL owners voted Monday to approve the Raiders' move from Oakland to Las Vegas, the league announced. The move had been anticipated for months. The Raiders received about $750 million from Nevada taxpayers last year to build a stadium in Las Vegas, and team owner Mark Davis is putting up $500 million. Bank of America has committed to financing the rest. The stadium, expected to cost $1.9 billion, is planned for 2020. The Raiders are expected to stay in Oakland in the meantime.” (CNN Money)
  8. Here Are the Nation’s Healthiest—And Unhealthiest—Housing Markets “Housing remains in high demand in most of the nation, but the housing recovery looks increasingly uneven, depending on location. Whether buyers are shopping for their own homes or for investment properties that will throw off some cash, certain markets are becoming far more lucrative than anyone might have expected just a few years ago. Still, some of the hottest markets are falling from grace. A few of the recession's hardest-hit housing markets have suddenly some of the healthiest.” (CNBC)
  9. LaSalle Closes on $185M Historic Boston CBD Asset “LaSalle Investment Management recently closed on the acquisition of an interest in 10 Post Office, a 14-story office building located in the center of Boston’s central business district, recapitalizing a joint venture with Synergy Investments, who will continue to act as operating partner. The asset was acquired on behalf of the company’s closed-end, U.S. value-add fund, LaSalle Income & Growth Fund VII. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank worked on behalf of both parties. According to Suffolk County records, the transaction of the Class A property amounts to $184.8 million, recorded in mid-March. Yardi Matrix data shows that the asset last changed hands in October 2014.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Amazon’s Cashier-Less Convenience Store Delayed to Work Out Technical Glitches “ Inc. is delaying the public opening of its first cashier-less convenience store because of technical complications. Amazon Go was due to launch to the public by the end of the month, after launching in beta mode to employees in December, according to people familiar with the matter. It is unclear when it will now open, as it works out kinks in the technology to automatically charge customers when they leave, instead of needing to have cash registers, checkouts and lines.” (MarketWatch)
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