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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 27, 2017)

JPMorgan economists cut their economic growth forecast for the first quarter to 0.4 percent, reports CNBC. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin promised that the overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be next on the President’s agenda, according to MarketWatch. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. JPMorgan Says the Economy Barely Grew in the First Quarter “JPMorgan Chase economists are forecasting first quarter growth of just 0.4 percent, barely a positive pulse. The economists cut their view from 0.6 percent on Wednesday, after reviewing annual revisions to retail sales data — reflecting a potentially worrisome trend of consumer weakening also seen in softer auto sales and retail sales data recently.” (CNBC)
  2. Housing Finance Overhaul May Be Finally in the Cards, Mnuchin Says “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said the Trump administration would tackle housing finance reform after it addresses tax reform, setting the stage for Washington to lay to rest the last unfinished business from the financial crisis. Housing finance has been a prickly subject for Washington ever since the 2008 crisis, when the giant quasi-governmental agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reeling from credit losses, were made wards of the state.” (MarketWatch)
  3. Trump’s Plan Calls for the Repeal of a Tax That Once Cost Him $3 Million “President Donald Trump's administration unveiled a tax plan on Wednesday that proposes lower taxes across the board and a number of alterations to the tax code. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn announced the plan during a White House press briefing. One proposal in the plan is the repeal of the so-called alternative minimum tax. The decades-old tax, which was enacted to make sure the rich pay their fair share, cost Trump $31 million in 2005.” (Business Insider)
  4. KKR Real Estate Finance Trust to Offer 10 Million Shares in IPO “KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc. unveiled Wednesday the launch of its initial public offering, in which it will sell 10 million shares priced in a range of $20.50 to $21.50. The company, which originates and acquires senior loans secured by commercial real estate assets, is planning to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘KREF.’” (MarketWatch)
  5. Rumors Circulate of Chinese Government Detaining Anbang Chief Wu Xiaohui “Chinese social media platform WeChat erupted Wednesday with reports that Wu Xiaohui, chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, has been detained by authorities in Beijing. Chinese authorities have also halted all of the insurance giant’s overseas investment, according to reports early on Wednesday. According to the media reports, the investigation into Wu is connected to a $14.5 billion loan the Anbang chairman allegedly obtained illegally from Minsheng Bank.” (The Real Deal)
  6. ULI Forecast Predicts More Room to Run for CRE “The commercial real estate market may be in the late stages of its current cycle, but the sector still has some gas in the tank for more growth ahead according to the latest ULI Real Estate Consensus Forecast. The more than 50 economists and analysts surveyed have a generally positive outlook on economic and employment growth, which in turn will help to prolong the current real estate cycle at least through 2019. While the pace of that growth is decelerating, overall growth in key property fundamentals, values, and returns are still positive.” (Seeking Alpha)
  7. Coffee Giant to Open Massive Location in Chicago “Starbucks Coffee Company is going big in the Windy City — in a space that is currently to home to one of the city’s iconic retail flagships.  The coffee retailer will open a four-level, 43,000-sq.-ft. Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in 2019, in the building currently occupied by Crate & Barrel. The home goods chain, which has operated a store on the site for 27 years, is expected to close its door in early 2018.” (Chain Store Age)
  8. New York’s Rent Freeze Is Over “Rent-stabilized tenants will not get another rent freeze next year, according to a vote by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. The board voted Tuesday night to set the range on rent increases on one-year leases between one and three percent. On two-year leases, the board voted for a range of two and four percent. Landlords and tenant advocates slammed the decision with both laying the blame squarely at Mayor de Blasio’s feet.” (New York Post)
  9. Billion-Dollar Mixed-Use Project Kicks Off in DC “The Parks at Walter Reed, a $1 billion mixed-use project in Washington, D.C., gets underway as TPWR Developer LLC—a joint venture of Hines, Urban Atlantic and Triden Development Group—breaks ground on the 3.1 million-square-foot transformative undertaking. The Parks, which will include newly built space and the adaptive reuse of historic structures, is the largest master-planned community under development in Northwest D.C.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Power of Attorneys: The Lawyers Who Shape Everything in the World of Real Estate “Behind every power broker, power developer and power landlord is a power attorney. From Hudson Yards to the New York Wheel in Staten Island to the East River Science Park, these lawyers have been getting down and dirty in the details to make sure that all of these projects that are changing the city’s streets and skyline come to fruition. Here are seven of the legal world’s most powerful, most connected and most exciting players.” (Commercial Observer)
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