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

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


  1. Sterling slump knocks London off most-expensive spot for locating staff “Sterling's slump since the Brexit vote means London is no longer the world's most expensive city for companies to locate staff, luxury real estate firm Savills said on Thursday. The British pound has declined by around 12 percent since the U.K. voted to leave the European Union (EU) on June 23 and is down by around 11 percent since the start of the year. This has sliced the cost in U.S. dollar terms of housing and office rental in London compared to other leading world cities. In July 2016, the total live-work accommodation cost per employee in London stood at $100.141.30, down 11 percent from December 2015, Savills said. As a result, London is not the most expensive city to locate staff in for the first time in two-and-a-half years. ‘For the last two-and-a-half years … London has held top spot, reflecting the strength of its economy and high demand for space from a wide variety of occupiers, but the impact of currency falls post-EU referendum has made London very much more competitive on the world stage,’ Savills said in a report on Thursday. Both New York and Hong Kong are currently more expensive to location to place staff, having risen slightly since December 2015. The cost for these two financial hubs stands at $114,009.57 and $100,984.26, respectively.” (CNBC)
  2. Real Estate: How to Invest in Wall Street's 'New' Sector “A historic shift in the Standard & Poor's 500 index will occur mid-September when real estate will become its own sector, similar to other sectors like utilities, financials, energy and health care. When S&P and MSCI jointly created the classification standards in 1999, they tucked real estate under the financial sector. Since then, real estate investment has quickly grown and now it accounts for 20 percent of the financial sector's holdings. When it becomes its own sector, real estate will represent 3.25 percent of the entire S&P 500, with 28 names making the switch, says David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P. This is the first time since 1999 that S&P and MSCI have added a new sector classification.” (U.S. News & World Report)
  3. TIAA, GGP Go Shopping in Vegas “TIAA Global Asset Management is teaming up for a third time with mall owner General Growth Properties Inc., as a partner on one of its high-end shopping centers. Under the latest joint venture deal, TIAA owns 50 percent of the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, after purchasing its stake for $1.25 billion. The information was made public this week by GGP CEO Sandeep Mathrani during the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call. Mathrani, who noted that the transaction values the 1.9 million-square-foot property at $2.5 billion, called Fashion Show a ‘one-of-a-kind asset.’ ‘Over the past several years, the GGP team has successfully re-tenanted several anchor boxes, bringing in Macy’s Men’s, Urban Outfitters and Dick’s Sporting Goods,’ he said on the call. ‘We brought to life the boulevard entrance bringing a number of new dining and leisure options.’” (Commercial Property Executive)
  4. Paul Massey, Real Estate Executive, to Run for Mayor of New York City “Paul J. Massey Jr., a millionaire real estate executive, took steps on Thursday toward running for mayor of New York City — styling himself in the mold of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as a wealthy businessman and an outsider to politics with the management chops needed to run the nation’s biggest city. But if Mr. Massey, a Republican, wanted to project the image of a capable manager, his first act as a declared candidate did little to help that cause. Although a news release announced that Mr. Massey had filed papers to begin his run for mayor with the city’s Campaign Finance Board, a spokesman for the board, Matthew Sollars, said that officials there were not aware of having received any such filing. At the same time, John Conklin, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections, said that papers were filed on Thursday to form a political committee called Massey for Mayor 2017 — but that the filing was missing a required document and the papers were returned.” (The New York Times)
  5. Following Uber’s Expansion, Lyft Ups Space at LIC’s Falchi Building “Today, CO has learned that Lyft, a direct Uber competitor, is tacking on 7,000 square feet to the 5,000 square feet it leases on the fourth floor of the Jamestown building at 31-00 47th Avenue between 31st Place and 31st Street. The lease runs through 2021 and the asking rent was in the $40s per square foot, a source told CO. Cushman & Wakefield’s Kelli Berke, Haley Fisher, Michael Blanchard and Mitchell Arkin along with Greg Smith from JRT Realty Group brokered the deal for Jamestown. Steven Rotter and Justin Haber from JLL represented Lyft. Jamestown declined to comment via a spokeswoman and Smith declined to comment via a spokesman. A spokesman for C&W didn’t immediately respond with a comment. A JLL spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The 96-year-old, five-story 658,049-square-foot property has become a sort of hub for the tax industry. The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, a city agency that regulates yellow cabs and private car services such as Uber and Lyft, occupies 72,000 square feet at the property. As CO reported, Uber signed an 11-year lease for 11,068 square feet on the ground floor of the building, bringing its total square footage to 36,142 square feet.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Westwood is the most unaffordable college town in the U.S. for off-campus living: reportOff-campus student housing can be rewarding for investors — that is, if they can stomach the toga parties. UCLA’s hometown of Westwood, for instance, is America’s most expensive college town, with off-campus rents 80 percent higher than the Greater Los Angeles market rate, a new report has found. Looking at the median rents of single-family properties within a two-mile radius of more than 300 universities, investment management firm HomeUnion compared them with market rents in the metro area. The result is a ranking of the most unaffordable schools for off-campus living. At the top of the list, the Bruins pay a median rent of $4,343, more than $1,900 more than rent in the L.A. Metro area, according to the report. But this isn’t surprising. Westwood overall is a notoriously pricey rental neighborhood, where three-bedroom apartments average a whopping $6,152, according to Zillow.” (The Real Deal Los Angeles)
  7. Dollar Tree Moves Forward with $110M Virginia HQ “Dollar Tree Inc. will move forward with its existing $110 million plan to develop its corporate headquarters on a 70-acre site in Chesapeake, Va. ‘Dollar Tree has seen tremendous growth over the past 30 years,’ Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree CEO, said in a company release. ‘We have grown from a small number of stores to a leading retailer with more than 14,000 retail stores across North America. To facilitate our continued growth, we are investing in the development of corporate facilities.’ The company’s rezoning application was approved by the Chesapeake City Council back in September of 2013, but the development was put on hold while Dollar Tree considered an expansion in North Carolina. Those plans eventually fell through. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the city of Chesapeake have facilitated the company’s expansion through grants, tax credits, and the Greenbrier Tax Increment Financing. According to the Virginian Pilot, the state is providing more than $9 million to encourage the expansion, with Chesapeake adding another $4.5 million in incentives.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Ikea eyes second Denver location “Ikea has tabbed a 123-acre parcel 17 miles north of downtown Denver as the potential site of its second location in the metro. The Swedish furniture retailer made its debut in the area with a store in Centennial in 2011. Ikea set no time frame for the opening of the second store, though the city of Denver has begun the process of incorporating a new Ikea into the master-planned retail center destined for the site in Broomfield at the intersection of Interstate 25 and State Highway 7. ‘A store in this retail corridor would complement our strong presence established in Centennial and eventually provide customers in the northern part of the Front Range an Ikea store closer to them,’ said Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson.” (Chain Store Age)
  9. $57.4 million apartment sale sets record in booming West Miami “A mid-rise, luxury apartment building in the tiny city of West Miami sold for $57.4 million Wednesday, marking a new hotspot of rising rents and booming property values in Miami-Dade County real estate. The sales price equates to $278,000 per unit, a record for an area of mostly single-family homes that hasn’t seen new multi-family construction in decades, said Robert Suris, principal of developer Estate Investments Group. The seven-story project at 2101 Ludlam Rd., Miami, is called Soleste West Gables and opened last August. It offers 206 one-, two- and three-bedroom units that rent between $1,600 and $2,800 a month, as well as amenities including a pool, cabanas, gym and entertainment room. The buyer is Waterton, a Chicago-based real estate investment and property management firm.” (Miami Herald)
  10. Chicago Industrial Vacancy Rate Sinks Below 7% “The Chicago area industrial market continues to thrive, according to a new report on the second quarter by Colliers International. Developers finished another sixteen new buildings totaling 4.6 million square feet, and 61.4% of that work was done on a speculative basis. Perhaps most impressive, however, was the level of tenant demand. Users absorbed another 5.3 million square feet, bringing the year-to-date total up to 14.3 million square feet and sending the vacancy rate down to just 6.91%, the first time that figure sank below 7.0% in 15 years. ‘Demand for space continued to outpace the effects of new speculative construction completions, many of which have been delivered to the market at least partially vacant,’ the report says. And the vacancy rate is now below 6.0% in nine of the region’s 22 submarkets, with the O’Hare submarket leading the way at just 4.21%. That’s an amazing turnaround from five years ago, when it was 13.17%. The greater need for distribution buildings has benefitted the land-scarce submarket, due to the proximity of the airport and the many highways that connect it to the rest of the metro area. ‘Despite 8.8 million square feet of new vacancies coming online during the second quarter due to speculative construction completions and vacated second-generation space, new leasing and user sale activity resulted in a reduction of the total vacant supply in the market to 93.0 million square feet, more than 3.1 million square feet less vacant space than was available one year ago,’ Colliers notes.” (Globe St.)
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