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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 13, 2019)

More than 7,800 stores are already slated to close in 2019, reports Business Insider. The World Trade Center is still losing money, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Equinox Developer Targeted by Anti-Trump Protesters Is a Big Player in Downtown L.A. “The billionaire real estate developer whose support for President Trump sparked calls for a consumer boycott is also behind one of the flashiest redevelopment projects coming to downtown Los Angeles. Protesters in West Hollywood and elsewhere called last week for customers to cancel their memberships with luxury gym Equinox and SoulCycle studios after learning that Stephen M. Ross, chairman and founder of the Related Cos., was planning a Trump fundraiser at his home. Ross has a minority stake in Equinox and SoulCycle, said Related spokesman Glenn Gritzner.” (Los Angeles Times)
  2. Oakland Dominates SF in Housing Production “Builders in Oakland are on course to create more new housing units than San Francisco this year, a notable role reversal for a city that has long produced far less residential development than its wealthier and more bustling neighbor across the bay. The deluge of apartments is leading — at least temporarily — to a renters’ market in Oakland. From the Broadway Valdez neighborhood to Lake Merritt, developers are jockeying to attract well-paid Millennials not only with amenities such as yoga studios, dog-washing facilities and swimming pools, but also with concessions including six weeks of free rent or a $1,000 signing bonus.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  3. More Than 7,800 Stores Are Closing in 2019 as the Retail Apocalypse Drags On—Here’s the Full List “The staggering rate of store closures that has rocked the retail industry over the past couple of years is expected to continue in 2019, with roughly the same level of closures expected this year. Retailers closed a record 102 million square feet of store space in 2017, then smashed that record in 2018 by closing another 155 million square feet, according to estimates by the commercial real-estate firm CoStar Group.” (Business Insider)
  4. Here's Why So Many Real Estate ETFs Near 52-Week High “Stock market turmoil weighed on SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY, Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ and SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF DIA, which have lost about 3.4%, 4.5% and 3.2%, respectively in the past 10 days (as of Aug 9, 2019). On the other hand, the largest real estate fund Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF Shares VNQ has added more than 2.9% during this timeframe. Many funds are hovering around a 52-week high.” (Yahoo Finance)
  5. Near Completion, World Trade Center Still Loses Money “New York City showed resilience when it rebuilt the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but the project was also supposed to generate profits that could go toward bridges, tunnels and airports. Now, nearly five years after the office tower at One World Trade Center opened, the World Trade Center complex as a whole is still losing money. That is largely because costs related to security efforts to prevent any future attacks are making it hard to break even.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. Related Companies Share Details on Roosevelt Island’s Affordable Digs “Related Companies and development partner Hudson Companies just topped off Riverwalk Park on Roosevelt Island, a 21-story rental apartment building on Main Street that will have 340 new affordable housing units. Opening is set for 2021. It’s the eighth building by Related and Hudson and the first newly built and permanently affordable one on the island.” (New York Post)
  7. Surf’s Up in the California Desert as Wave-Pool Attractions Grow “A developer who loves to surf is building a $200 million artificial-wave resort in the middle of Palm Desert, Calif., part of a budding movement of artificial-wave parks opening across the U.S. and overseas. The Southern California project, called DSRT SURF, will include a 5.5-acre surf pool, up to 350 hotel rooms, 62 villas, restaurants and retail shops offering surf gear and GoPro cameras. The developers expect to break ground early next year and open by the end of 2021.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. Walmart Mass Shooting in El Paso Puts Focus on New Risk to Retailers “The deadly mass shooting at a Walmart Inc. El Paso store has sparked questions about the risk of violence at the nation’s brick-and-mortar retail locations, with one expert expressing confidence that there will be progress on safety measures, even if the move is minimal. Since the August 3 shooting in El Paso, Walmart has continued to make news after an armed man dressed in body armor caused panic at a Missouri Walmart and a Florida white supremacist was arrested for making an online threat.” (MarketWatch)
  9. How to Invest in Self-Storage Real Estate “IN A HOT real estate and stock market, investors may be looking for new and innovative opportunities beyond the high-priced apartment buildings and buildable land. Self-storage facilities have the upside of being "fairly resilient through both economic booms and downturns," and capitalize on society's need to accumulate stuff, says Paul Letourneau, manager of commercial loan originations at Alliant Credit Union in Chicago.” (U.S. News & World Report)
  10. The 10 Major U.S. Cities Where Housing Costs Have Increased the Most “If you want to live in a big city but have a tight budget, you may want to avoid places such as Miami and and Denver, where housing costs are rising year over year. That’s according to a recent report from Rent.com on the cost of city living, which analyzed data from the 2016 and 2017 editions of the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, which is conducted annually by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report looked at the change in housing costs in 22 major metropolitan areas over 12 months.” (CNBC)
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