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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 5, 2016) Mario Tama/Getty Images

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 5, 2016)


  1. Macy’s Hires Real Estate Executive Amid Activist Pressure for REIT Spin-Off “Macy’s Inc. said Monday that it has hired Douglas Sesler as executive vice president for real estate, starting Tuesday. The announcement comes amid calls from activist investors for greater returns on the retailer’s real estate holdings. Sesler will lead initiatives such as creating joint ventures and other partnerships involving Macy’s flagships and mall-based locations, working closely with Macy’s banking advisers and other executives.” (MarketWatch)
  2. Miami’s Luxury Condo Boom Could Be Doomed by Data Leak Showing Mass Corruption “Last night, one of the biggest data leaks in history hit the web. The leak comes via a firm in Panama with a niche business: setting up offshore shell companies for clients who want to hide their cash from the tax man. A team led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists dove into more than 11 million files to trace a global web of graft. And lo and behold, a good portion of that corruption leads straight back to Miami.” (Miami New Times)
  3. Industry Heavyweights Gearing Up for $3B Penn Station Redevelopment “A $3 billion plan to renovate Penn Station has attracted some of the city's biggest developers. Several large real estate landlords and builders—including Boston Properties, Brookfield, Related Cos., Silverstein Properties, Tishman Speyer and Vornado Realty Trust, attended a tour of the transit hub on Feb. 25—according to a document provided by the Empire State Development Corp. The state agency is overseeing a request for proposals to solicit a developer to improve the station with new retail, upgraded interior spaces and better entrances.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  4. The EB-5 Gravy Train “This month, The Real Deal took a deep look at how the program’s key stakeholders — from developers to regional centers to banks to the so-called migration agents — are riding this EB-5 gravy train. Detractors claim it favors projects in wealthy parts of the country, that it can be used to bring dirty money into the U.S. and that naïve Chinese investors sometimes get lured into investing in financially flawed projects. Proponents say EB-5 capital helps spur economic development.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Apartment Transaction Volume Down in February “Apartment transaction volume was three times greater in December than it was in February, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA), but there’s no need to hit the panic button. Yes, total February sales were $7.3 billion, which is a 31% year-over-year decrease, but in February 2014, there was a 72% year-over-year volume decline due to huge portfolio and entity-level activity in February 2013. In other words, there are peaks and valleys.” (Multifamily Executive)
  6. Breaking Ground Where Echoes of Edison Linger in New Jersey “The facade of Thomas Edison’s last factory in this town crumbles behind a chain-link fence on Main Street. The dilapidated building sits on several acres of fallow land, a sharp contrast to its state in 1914, when it was just one piece of the American inventor’s formidable manufacturing operation. In the last few weeks, workers have begun restoring the 400,000-square-foot Edison Storage Battery factory, the first step in a $230 million redevelopment project.” (The New York Times)
  7. Consumers’ Top 25 Restaurant Chains “NRN presents the 2016 Consumer Picks survey — a comprehensive look at customer preference and restaurant brand strength. The report, produced with WD Partners, analyzes customer feedback on more than 170 restaurant brands. Take a look at the 25 brands with the highest Overall Scores in NRN's 2016 Consumer Picks survey.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
  8. Dead, Ugly Malls Turned into Productive Real Estate Again by Dallas Duo “Dallas real estate veterans Frank Mihalopoulos and Anthony Ruggeri have a sixth sense: they travel around the country to see what most would call dead malls. In the monumental, half-empty spaces, they see new stores, landscaping, pedestrian walkways, restaurants, maybe a fountain or some other communal spaces and lots of people. Instead of blight, they see filled parking spaces and a town center.” (The Dallas Morning News)
  9. Hudson, Related Nail Down $105M Construction Loan for Cornell Tech Passive Resi Tower “Hudson Companies and Related Companies have nabbed a $105 million construction loan from Wells Fargo for a residential building on the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, David Kramer, the president of Hudson Companies told Commercial Observer. The deal closed last Friday for what will be the first residential passive high-rise and the world, which cuts energy consumption, in the world. The Handel Architects-designed building is expected to cost $117 million, to construct.” (Commercial Observer)
  10. Chasing Airbnb’s Success, Office Listing Sites Are Going After Bigger Game “Can startups plying their trade in the short-term office market enjoy the same success that Airbnb has in the hospitality sector? In Manhattan, they’re certainly trying, with firms like LiquidSpace and PivotDesk hoping to make inroads with corporate tenants and large landlords. PivotDesk, a matchmaker between tenants and subtenants with a minimum term of nine months, claims around 1,000 companies list space on its site every day, up from 500 in September.” (The Real Deal)
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