10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 21, 2017)

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund just bought a 48-oercent stake in a New York City building, reports Reuters. Walmart is working on flying warehouses, according to Fortune. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Here’s How Amazon-Proof These 13 Types of Retailers Are “It goes without saying that retail is evolving. More shopping is occurring online, but the pace of change is uneven. ‘You can't paint retail with broad brush strokes,’ James Cook, JLL's director of retail research, told CNBC in an interview. ‘You have to talk about the category changes ... instead of saying retail is going down the tubes.’ JLL took a look at 13 retail categories using consumer opinion data gathered by the firm, store closure statistics, same-store sales growth and e-commerce penetration, to gauge how it will look in the future.” (CNBC)
  2. Norway’s Wealth Fund Takes 48 Percent Stake in New York Property “Norway's $975-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, has bought a 48-percent stake in a New York City property, it said on Monday. Norges Bank Real Estate Management paid $223 million for the stake in the 93-year ownership interest of 375 Hudson Street from Trinity Church Wall Street, valuing the property at $865 million. The deal was done in a joint venture with Trinity Church Wall Street and Hines, the Norwegian fund added.” (Reuters)
  3. WeWork and Other Firms Test Brooklyn’s Office Market “Samuel Rudin, the late patriarch of one New York’s oldest real estate dynasties, built the family’s real estate portfolio with a rule: if a property wasn’t accessible by subway, he wasn’t interested. Now the Rudin family is tweaking that rule, adding another mode of transportation—a ferryboat. The Rudin family and office giant Boston Properties Inc. are in the midst of building a 675,000 square-foot office building.” (Wall Street Journal)
  4. How Is Commercial Real Estate Taxation Unfair to Other Investors? “Next up in Washington will be tax reform since an easy, no-brainer like infrastructure improvement has been put on hold until sometime later in 2018. Fixing roads and bridges awaits the findings of the new committee formed to study the subject — which really means a fight over which states deserve to receive the forthcoming pork. Where was I? Oh yes. Tax reform. But first, I’ll note that one aspect of returning to a summer home for vacation is that all the magazines lying around are from July and August of the previous year.” (Mercury News)
  5. Republican Committees Have Paid Nearly $1.3 Million to Trump-Owned Entities This Year “The Republican National Committee paid the Trump International Hotel in Washington $122,000 last month after the party held a lavish fundraiser at the venue in June, the latest example of how GOP political committees are generating a steady income stream for President Trump’s private business, new Federal Election Commission records show. At least 25 congressional campaigns, state parties and the Republican Governors Association have together spent more than $473,000 at Trump hotels or golf resorts this year, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance filings.” (Washington Post)
  6. Walmart Wants to Take on Amazon with Flying Warehouses “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has opened a new front in its battle with Inc. The world’s largest retailer has applied for a U.S. patent for a floating warehouse that could make deliveries via drones, which would bring products from the aircraft down to shoppers’ homes. The blimp-style machine would fly at heights between 500 feet and 1,000 feet (as much as 305 meters), contain multiple launching bays, and be operated autonomously or by a remote human pilot. Amazon was granted a patent for a similar vessel in April 2016.” (Fortune)
  7. Frank Sinito Has Sky-High Hopes for Real Estate Portfolio “Frank Sinito recently bought the 57-story Key Tower and the attached 400-room Marriott Cleveland Downtown in a $267 million deal. It's a long reach for a Cleveland native who started out with a 14-suite apartment complex and a bar in the suburbs. But at 54 with a tireless devotion to work, he's fine-tuning things at the Key Center complex and has his eye on another big downtown building and renovation project.” (Crain’s Cleveland Business)
  8. CoStar Moves to Dismiss Xceligent’s Antitrust Countersuit “CoStar Group is asking a Missouri judge to dismiss the countersuit Xceligent filed against the data giant in late June alleging the company had engaged in years of anti-competitive behavior.  The D.C.-based commercial real estate data company filed a 27-page motion to dismiss with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Thursday, arguing Xceligent did not present adequate claims to merit a court judgment.” (Bisnow)
  9. Sheldon’s Grey Cloud and Silver Lining “The recent overturning of Sheldon Silver’s 2015 corruption conviction raises key questions for both the real estate industry and those who police it: Do landlords and developers have clearer guidelines on what counts as corruption, or will heightened scrutiny and a likely retrial only bring more of them into the witness box? Although the former State Assembly speaker was sentenced to 12 years in prison for schemes involving real estate developers, he was spared last month by a Supreme Court decision that cleared former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell of corruption charges in 2016 — a ruling that redefined what could be considered an official act by a politician.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Entrada Snags DFW Office/Industrial Portfolio “Entrada Partners recently snagged an office and industrial portfolio in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, thanks in no small part to HFF. The commercial real estate and capital markets services provider arranged a loan with Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Entrada’s purchase of the 508,800-square-foot group of properties. The financing came in the form of a floating-rate, non-recourse loan with a three-year term and the option for two one-year extensions.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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