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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 7, 2017)

A cryptocurrency backed by real estate enters the market, reports the Bitcoininst. The Wall Street Journal looks at the new World Trade Center mall. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. A Tired Narrative on Malls—and an Incorrect One “Malls are putting their land to use. Marcus & Millichap predicts 81 million square feet of retail space will be absorbed by new businesses and new ideas this year, on net. Malls also continue to serve as hubs of economic activity. One million food and beverage jobs have been created over the past three years alone, frequently due to the opening of restaurants in malls. Retail sales jobs are expected to grow by 7 percent through 2024, keeping pace with other occupations.” (Forbes)
  2. Marriott Looks to Woo Chinese Travelers with Alibaba Deal “The world's biggest hotel chain said the joint venture with Alibaba would allow Chinese travelers to book rooms at Marriott hotels via Alibaba's travel service platform, Fliggy. The travelers would be able to pay for their bookings using the Chinese e-commerce company's online payments platform, Alipay, the companies said.’ (Reuters)
  3. Trump’s Business Applies to Build a Casino in Macau, China’s Las Vegas “A Trump Organization company has applied for four new trademarks in the Asian gambling hub of Macau, including one for casinos, public records show. The new applications highlight the ethical complexity of maintaining the family branding empire while Donald Trump serves as president, and are likely to stoke speculation about the organization’s future business intentions in Macau, where casino licenses held by other companies come up for renewal beginning in 2020.’ (Associated Press)
  4. RECoin Launches First Ever Cryptocurrency Backed by Real Estate with ICO Campaign “Proceeds from the ICO will be invested in the highly regulated real estate market in all jurisdictions and help the holders and investors gain confidence in REcoin. The company has also stated that over the next 50 years, 83% of the coin mining will be invested right back into real estate. The construction of the REcoin ecosystem aims to integrate Internet platforms that provide services in the real estate, retail and financial markets.” (Bitcoinist)
  5. Raytheon’s Richardson Campus at CityLine Sells to Real Estate Arm of Mormon Church “Raytheon Corp.'s new office campus in Richardson's $1.5 billion CityLine project has sold. The 3-building, 500,000-square-foot office complex on Bush Turnpike east of Plano Road cost almost $100 million to develop. It's been purchased a Property Reserve Inc. - a real estate and investment arm of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. Finished in early 2016, the 4-story office campus houses almost 1,700 workers for Raytheon, the Massachusetts-based high-tech and defense manufacturer.” (Dallas News)
  6. Grocery Stores Draw Millennials with In-Store Restaurants “Imagine going to the grocery store for dinner, not to pick up a rotisserie chicken to take home, but to actually eat at the store. As online grocery shopping grows, many supermarkets are adding sit-down restaurants in a move to attract more millennials. And it seems to be working. Kyle Riggs, who manages Market Grille, the restaurant at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Columbia, Mo., says most people don't expect to find this level of food service next to the produce aisle.” (NPR)
  7. World Trade Center Retail Space Tries to Find its Footing “As its first-year anniversary approaches, the $1.4 billion World Trade Center, hailed as a milestone in lower Manhattan’s recovery from the 2001 terrorist attacks, is still a work in progress. The shopping component, Westfield World Trade Center, debuted its first phase of shops in the soaring, white transit hub last Aug. 16 to the promise of immense pedestrian traffic from tourists and the thousands of office workers in the mixed-use complex.” (World Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. WeWork Raises $500 Million for Asian Expansion “WeWork Cos. raised $500 million to expand operations in South Korea and Southeast Asia, the company said Monday. The investment is an addition to WeWork’s announcement in late July of a $500 million funding round led by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and China’s Hony Capital to build new office spaces in China beyond Beijing and Shanghai.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. Commercial, Multifamily Borrowing in the U.S. is Up 20 Percent Year-over-Year “A rise in originations for industrial and office properties led the overall increase in commercial/multifamily lending volumes when compared to the second quarter of 2016.  The second quarter saw a 91 percent year-over-year increase in the dollar volume of loans for industrial properties, a 33 percent increase for office properties, a 21 percent increase for multifamily properties, a 14 percent increase for hotel properties, a 7 percent increase in health care property loans, and a 9 percent decrease in retail property loans.” (World Property Journal)
  10. Wyndham to Separate Hotel, Timeshare Businesses “Wyndham Worldwide will spin off its hotel business, thus creating two separate publicly traded companies, Wyndham announced late last week. Wyndham Hotel Group will become a new publicly traded, pure-play hotel company and will remain headquartered in Parsippany, N.J. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, based in Orlando, Fla., will be the world’s largest publicly traded timeshare company and will be teamed with Wyndham Destination Network, home to RCI, the world’s largest timeshare exchange company.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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