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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 13, 2018)

The Trump administration would like to change how fair housing rules are enforced, reports the Wall Street Journal. The amenities at Toyota’s new office campus in Dallas-Fort Worth reveal how competitive the market for employees is in the area, according to the Dallas Morning News. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. HUD Moves to Shake Up Fair-Housing Enforcement “The Trump administration wants to shift the way it enforces an aspect of fair housing around the U.S., pivoting away from efforts to integrate lower-income housing into wealthier neighborhoods in favor of promoting more housing development overall. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is set to announce the change on Monday.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. As Barnes & Noble Struggles to Find Footing, Founder Takes Heat “Leonard Riggio radically altered bookselling in America when he bought an ailing New York City bookstore and turned it into a national chain of megastores. Now, his company — Barnes & Noble — is floundering, the publishing industry that depends on it is worried, and Mr. Riggio has nobody to turn to but himself. That much became starkly evident last month when Barnes & Noble abruptly fired its chief executive, Demos Parneros, with little explanation.” (The New York Times)
  3. Why One of the Biggest Mall Owners Is Double Down on Malls “While mall owners have faced record store closures and bankruptcy filings as more Americans shop online, Taubman Centers Inc. has doubled down. It is reinvesting in design, technology, big-data tools and new store mixes for its 24 malls. One of the biggest overhauls is a $500 million revamp of the Beverly Center in central Los Angeles.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. With Rent Surging, These Start-Ups Offer to Pay the Security Deposit “Even as some pockets of many metros are seeing a flood of new rental apartments ease the supply crunch, rents remain high — up 3.6% compared to a year ago, according to fresh CPI data - and the barriers to entry, for many people, formidable. Now a new wave of start-ups is trying to apply fintech principles to helping ease some of the angst of getting into a rental agreement, even if it can’t do much about the rent itself. TheGuarantors is one.” (MarketWatch)
  5. Let’s Listen to Seattle’s ‘Real Estate Rainmaker’ When He Says $800M Safeco Field Deal Is Terrible “In the wake of an $800 million deal to extend the team’s lease, Kinzer has become its biggest critic. The deal, announced in May, has been reported on as controversial almost solely because it includes $180 million in hotel-motel tax money from King County. But Kinzer says that’s the least of the deal’s flaws. He claims that potentially hundreds of millions more in public money has been negotiated away.” (Seattle Times)
  6. Walker & Dunlop Structures $120M for Miami Portfolio “Graham Cos. has recently obtained a $120 million loan for a 1.2 million-square-foot group of properties in Miami Lakes, Fla. Acting on behalf of the diversified company, commercial real estate services and finance company Walker & Dunlop structured the financing through a correspondent life lender, AIG. The collection of high-quality Graham properties, referred to as the Graham Portfolio, consists of a range of property types, including retail, office, industrial, flex, multifamily and land lease assets.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. Where Even Walmart Won’t Go: How Dollar General Took Over Rural America “When Dollar General came to Haven, Kansas, it arrived making demands. The fastest-growing retailer in America wanted the taxpayers of the small, struggling Kansas town to pick up part of the tab for building one of its squat, barebones stores that more often resemble a warehouse than a neighborhood shop. Dollar General thought Haven’s council should give the company a $72,000 break on its utility bills, equivalent to the cost of running the town’s library and swimming pool for a year, on the promise of jobs and tax revenues.” (The Guardian)
  8. What Toyota’s Campus Amenities Say About the Competitive World of Employee Perks in D-FW “When Toyota hosted a grand opening event at the new campus on July 6, 2017, company officials showed off fancy features like a two-story rock climbing wall in the gym and on-site pharmacy. So how much do they actually get used? According to Toyota, a lot. Here are some fun numbers about the campus's first year.” (Dallas Morning News)
  9. In Sacramento Rent Growth Slows, Employment Doesn’t “After a long stint as the poster child for the spillover effect driving up rates in smaller metros, Sacramento yielded its position as multifamily rent growth leader to Orlando earlier in the year. However, rents are still growing at an above-average rate: 4.0 percent year-over-year as of May, which is double the U.S. figure.’ (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Apple Appeals Against Santa Clara County Tax Demands Over High Property Valuations “Apple currently has 489 open cases with the Santa Clara County tax assessor, totaling $8.5 billion in property value, dating back to 2004, according to the newspaper. At issue are disagreements between the company and the county tax assessor over the value of certain items. That amount of items has increased significantly with the opening of Apple's new Apple Park headquarters, and all of the items contained therein.” (AppleInsider)
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