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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 15, 2019)

Blackstone Real Estate Investment just bought four mobile home parks in metro Phoenix, reports AZ Central. More stores have closed year-to-date in 2019 than in all of 2018, according to CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Silicon Valley Housing Crisis Ensnares Stanford “Stanford University is locked in a dispute with regional officials over whether it is providing enough affordable housing as part of a major planned expansion, drawing one of America’s most prestigious institutions of higher education into Silicon Valley’s housing crisis. The university is suing Santa Clara County, its home for 125 years, over a new law requiring that a certain share of any new housing development is priced below prevailing market rates.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Big Investor Ups its Stake in Metro Phoenix’ Most Affordable Housing: Mobile Homes “Metro Phoenix’s most affordable housing is in high demand, not only with a growing number of renters but also with one of the world’s biggest real-estate investors. New York-based Blackstone Real Estate Investment just spent $55 million for four Valley mobile-home parks, according to public real-estate records. That’s on top of the $120 million it spent last year snatching up nine mobile home parks. Investors bought more than 50 metro Phoenix trailer and other manufactured-home parks in 2018, according to an Arizona Republic analysis.” (AZ Central)
  3. At Pension Bridge: Finding Opportunity in Real Estate “When in doubt about asset allocation, real estate is a sector that is coming in handy for institutional investors. ‘I actually think we’re in a great real estate cycle,’ said Anthony Breault, Oregon State Treasury’s senior real estate investment officer, at the Pension Bridge conference in San Francisco. ‘It’s a renaissance, quite frankly,’ he said, citing an abundance in multi-family housing and work office development.” (Chief Investment Officer)
  4. Offering Shoppers New Experiences Isn’t Helping as Malls See Tsunami of Store Closures, Falling Traffic “It’s only April, but already this year more store closures — nearly 6,000 — have been announced than in all of 2018. That surely isn’t helping mall owners. Foot traffic at some of the best shopping centers across the country peaked around August of 2018 and has since started to fall, after rebounding for much of last year, according to a new report from data analytics firm Thasos, which uses more than 100 million mobile phones to track when consumers enter and leave certain trade areas.” (CNBC)
  5. You Can Bank on Financial Firms to Keep Buying Busy Dallas Retail Corners “Drugs and money. For years, some of the biggest buyers of key retail locations have been pharmacies and banks. Branch banks and drugstores covet high-traffic corners all over the country. And when it comes to banks, Dallas-Fort Worth has one of the largest concentrations in the country. Only New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles had more bank locations than North Texas in a 2018 survey by JLL.” (Dallas Morning News)
  6. Big Brother at the Mall “The battle to protect consumer data is moving from cyberspace to shopping malls, as Congress scrutinizes how advanced technology increasingly follows shoppers around bricks-and-mortar stores. Retailers including cosmetics chain Sephora use electronic Bluetooth beacons to detect customers’ smartphones as they enter the store, allowing them to ping shoppers with promotions as they browse —and see where they linger.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Record $573.9 Billion of U.S. Commercial, Multifamily Mortgage Originations Made in 2018 “According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's 2018 Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Annual Origination Volume Summation, mortgage bankers in the U.S. closed a record $573.9 billion in commercial, multifamily loans in 2018. Commercial bank portfolios were the leading capital source for whom loans were originated in 2018, responsible for $174.0 billion of the total. The government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac saw the second highest volume, at $142.3 billion, and were followed by commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) issuers, life insurance companies and pension funds, and REITs, mortgage REITs and investment funds.” (World Property Journal)
  8. More Stores Have Closed So Far in 2019 Than in All of 2018. So What? “Stores have a different purpose now. Before the internet and mobile shopping, a store existed to hold stuff, and if you wanted to buy that stuff, you went to the store. But now that consumers can buy almost anything at any time or place, growth in store counts is an old metric that matters less. The future of stores now depends on what you do with them.” (Forbes)
  9. The Closing: David Kramer “David Kramer is the president of Hudson Companies, one of the city’s largest affordable housing developers. The firm, which employs 50-plus people in its Greenwich Village office, ranked as the fourth most active developer in the five boroughs in 2018, with 1.9 million square feet across 10 projects, a recent tally by The Real Deal showed. Hudson has gained a reputation for pursuing large-scale projects since Kramer took the helm in 2011.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Patrinely JV Sells Houston Area HP Campus “Patrinely Group, USAA Real Estate Co. and CDC Houston announced that HP Inc. has signed a long-term lease for a new 12-acre campus in Springwoods Village, the 2,000-acre, mixed-use development located near Interstate 45 and the Grand Parkway, north of Houston. HP will benefit from 378,000 square feet in two office buildings. The tech company’s campus will be situated east of CityPlace at Springwoods Village, another Patrinely Group-led venture development.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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