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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry (October 9, 2018)

Fannie Mae appointed Hugh Frater as its interim CEO, reports MarketWatch. Forbes looks at Old Navy’s new store format. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed’s Kaplan Is ‘Comfortable’ with Another Three Rate Raises “Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said Tuesday he supports the U.S. central bank pressing forward “gradually and patiently” with interest-rate increases. Mr. Kaplan said he was ‘comfortable’ if over the next year or so the Fed raised rates ‘another three times ...That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.’ While he acknowledged that knowing the point where monetary policy ceases being stimulative and turns restrictive of growth is quite uncertain, he said he would like to get those rate increases in place, assuming the economy performs as expected, and then take stock of where the economy is.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Fannie Mae Appoints Interim CEO “Fannie Mae, one of the government-backed enterprises that guarantees most U.S. mortgages, on Monday said it appointed Hugh Frater as interim chief executive officer, replacing outgoing CEO Tim Mayopoulos. If approved by Fannie's regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Frater will start his new role October 16. Mayopoulos announced in July plans to leave on Oct. 16. Frater is currently a director on Fannie's board, and previously worked at Berkadia Commercial Mortgage LLC.” (MarketWatch)
  3. $1.5 Billion Frisco Station Ramping Up with New Construction “Three years ago the fields along Warren Parkway just east of the Dallas North Tollway were known for producing some of the finest hay in Frisco. This week real estate execs and city leaders were on the property to launch construction of the next phase of the $1.5 billion Frisco Station development. The 242-acre mixed-use project is part of Frisco's so-called $5 billion mile and wraps around the Dallas Cowboys' new headquarters complex.” (Dallas Morning News)
  4. Construction Hiring Is Booming—And There Still Are Plenty of Available Jobs “One of the brightest spots in recent employment reports has been construction hiring. Employers added a net new 23,000 construction jobs in September, the Labor Department said Friday, and the number of people working in the industry was 315,000 higher compared to a year earlier. But there are still construction jobs open – and the pay and perks aren’t bad. At the end of July, there were 273,000 open construction jobs, according to a separate Labor Department report.” (MarketWatch)
  5. Legislation Intended to End Sharp Rent Increases Lands in the DC Council “Tenants could be spared from larger-than-expected rent increases under new legislation the DC Council is considering. Councilmember Anita Bonds (D-At Large) introduced a pair of bills that would update how rent increases are determined under the city’s rent control law. They target a practice called rent concessions some landlords use to offer discounts on rent, then they calculate rent increases on the non-discounted amount.” (Greater Greater Washington)
  6. Old Navy’s New Store Format is the Gap’s Unsung Hero “The Gap Inc. announced its first new brand in a decade last month, Hill City, which got a lot of ink in the business press. But the new men’s athlesisurewear brand won’t reverse the namesake brand’s decade-plus decline in sales and relevance to shoppers anytime soon. A prototype store from Old Navy — the company’s workhorse, saving grace and growth engine — seems to have flown under the radar, even as the strategic direction of the low-priced spinoff holds far greater impact on the future of Gap Inc.” (Forbes)
  7. Oil Company Headquarters Make a Powerful Statement “Striking headquarters have long been synonymous with energy companies for canny, unabashedly capitalist reasons, said Marc Kushner, a partner at the architecture firm Hollwich Kushner. ‘Great architecture by great architects is a way to physically manifest success, because big buildings equal big profits in people’s minds,’ he says, adding that their permanence is a swaggering statement more powerful than any advertisement.” (The New York Times)
  8. Netflix Chooses New Mexico for New U.S. Production Hub “Netflix has chosen New Mexico as the site of a new U.S. production hub and is negotiating to buy an existing multimillion-dollar studio complex in the state's largest city. It is the company's first purchase of such a property, and local officials said Monday that upcoming production work by Netflix in Albuquerque and other New Mexico communities is expected to result in $1 billion in spending over the next decade.” (Associated Press)
  9. Florida Lawmakers Must Stop Directing Affordable Housing Funds Elsewhere, Influencers Say “Year after year, Florida lawmakers have raided hundreds of millions from trust funds designed to develop more affordable housing. That practice needs to end, according to a group of the state’s leading political and policy voices. In a new survey of the Florida Influencers, a clear majority (84 percent) said the next governor and legislature must direct all the funds from those trusts into state and local programs to properly address Florida’s ongoing affordable housing crisis.” (Miami Herald)
  10. First Look: Canada’s Indigo Books and Music Makes U.S. Debut “The largest bookstore chain in Canada has opened its first-ever U.S. store. Indigo Books and Music has made its long-awaited U.S. debut with a 30,000-sq.-ft. store at The Mall at Short Hills, Short Hills, N.J. The space is designed around Indigo’s “cultural department store” for booklovers concept which combines typical book store categories such as books, magazines and stationery with such non-traditional ones as toys, home décor, wellness and other lifestyle products.” (Chain Store Age)
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