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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 1, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 1, 2016)


  1. Marriott To Buy Starwood Hotels, After Chinese Firm Quits Pursuit “A Beijing-based banking and insurance company has lost the fight for Starwood Hotels, leaving Marriott as the prospective new owner of the company that operates the Sheraton and Westin hotel chains. Announcing its exit from takeover talks Thursday, the Anbang Insurance Group cited "various market considerations." The withdrawal came days after Starwood said there was a good chance the Chinese firm would make a "superior proposal" to Marriott's. That designation was important because Marriott and Starwood had signed a merger agreement back in November worth $12.2 billion in stock and cash. The price of that deal was amended on March 21 to $13.6 billion — a price that Anbang had seemed intent on beating.” (NPR)
  2. Total U.S. Commercial, Multifamily Mortgage Debt Outstanding at $2.83 Trillion “According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Commercial / Multifamily DataBook, the fourth quarter of 2015 was the fourth highest quarter for borrowing and lending on record. Banks, life insurance companies and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all saw their highest originations volume on record. Of the major investor groups, only the commercial mortgage-backed securities market did not break a record for originations.” (World Property Journal)
  3. DRA Advisors Completes Merger with Inland “Following the approval by Inland Real Estate Corp.’s stockholders earlier this week, funds managed by DRA Advisors LLC have acquired the company for approximately $2.3 billion, and the new company will now be known as IRC Retail Centers Inc.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  4. The new office floor plans: flexible or demoralizing? “As employees have expressed a desire to move throughout office spaces during the day and choose how and where they work, experts in office design say they have seen a shift in traditional workplace designs in the last several years. It’s a move away from a rigid structure, in which employees are assigned to individual desks and expected to stay there, and a push toward giving them options.” (MarketWatch)
  5. Welcome to the Future: Middle-Class Housing Projects “The quandary became flagrant last week: news circulated that the Palo Alto City Council had moved to explore subsidized housing for families earning between a hundred and fifty thousand and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. The proposal, advanced by Palo Alto’s vice-mayor, traveled far and wide because the numbers seemed preposterous. In much of the country, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year qualifies as wealth. The subsidized-housing idea has an eye to public employees—government officials, teachers, firefighters—and would be part of a constellation of housing efforts that the council has launched to build units in Palo Alto’s downtown, near its transit hubs. This has the admirable goal of reducing car emissions but the amusing implication that households earning a mere quarter of a million a year are unlikely to be able to afford a car.” (The New Yorker)
  6. Hot Housing Markets Pinch Seniors “More than 6.1 million households in 2014 were primary residences rented by people age 65 and older, up 29% from 2001, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. While the 79% homeownership rate for people 65 and older is the highest of any age group, the rate is down significantly since the housing boom, when it peaked at nearly 82%. Many seniors who lost homes in the housing crash will be renting for the rest of their lives, because they have less time than younger households to recover financially.” (Wall Street Journal)
  7. Tired of rising rent? Maybe you should consider becoming a landlord “Your rising monthly rent is a big reason that rental housing has become a hot property. Since the Great Recession ended, the overall rate of inflation has been fairly tame, by historical standards. Since July 2009, when the biggest economic storm in decades had finally lifted, the government's measure of consumer prices has risen by about 10 percent. The average rent, on the other hand, is up nearly 14 percent.” (CNBC)
  8. Innovative Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid dies at 65 “Born and raised in Baghdad, Hadid studied in Beirut and London, where she based the architectural firm that bore her name. She designed buildings around the world: a BMW facility in Leipzig, Germany; sleek funicular railway stations in Innsbruck, Austria; and the strikingly curved Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. She twice won Britain’s Stirling Prize for architecture and in 2004 became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, known as the “Nobel prize of architecture.” (The New York Post)
  9. To build bus terminal, Port Authority may have to seize private property on West Side “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's plan to replace the aging and maligned bus terminal on Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street will likely force the bistate agency to use eminent domain. On March 11, the Port initiated the first phase of a design competition to solicit ideas for a new, larger terminal that could cost north of $10 billion and will accommodate tens of thousands of additional daily riders the agency anticipates will pour into the facility in the next 20 years.” (Crain’s New York)
  10. How Trump's Debt Addiction Crushed the Biggest Company He Ever Ran “The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination promises that he’d remake the U.S. economy into a growth machine and erase the country’s national credit problem. As evidence, he trumpets his success managing his own enterprises, boasting that the businesses in his portfolio have “very low debt and tremendous cash flow.” That example, Trump has declared, demonstrates the “kind of thinking this country needs with $19 trillion in debt, believe me.”  (Fortune)
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