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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 6, 2018)

Eddie Lampert submitted a $4.6 billion offer for 500 Sears stores, reports CNBC. New Yorkers support the development of Amazon’s HQ2 campus in Queens, according to Reuters. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert Submits $4.6 Billion Proposal to Save Sears “The fund run by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, ESL Investments, submitted a $4.6 billion proposal on Thursday to help save the bankrupt retailer with the purchase of 500 stores. Sears Holdings, which owns Sears department stores and Kmart, filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15. In previous court filings, it has said it was in talks with ESL about a ‘going concern bid’ that could help the company emerge from bankruptcy.” (CNBC)
  2. New Yorkers Overwhelmingly Support Amazon Campus in Queens: Poll “New Yorkers by a wide margin approve of plans for Amazon.com Inc to build a massive new campus in the city, although they are divided over terms of a multibillion-dollar incentive package used to lure the largest U.S. online retailer, according to poll results released on Wednesday. Fifty-seven percent of New York City residents who responded to the poll approved of Amazon building one of two secondary headquarters in the Long Island City area of Queens, more than double the 26 percent who said they oppose the move, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.” (Reuters)
  3. 2019 Real Estate Report: How Does the Multifamily Market Look? “Multifamily real estate posted another exceptional year in 2018. Whether judged by gains in property appreciation or income growth, multifamily fundamentals delivered. Mapping the year ahead, investors are positioning themselves now as the market signals that dynamic changes are underway. Three primary impacts will move the multifamily market in 2019, including pressure from volatile financial markets, a growing housing supply and emerging development risks.” (Kiplinger)
  4. Dollar General Sees Opportunity to Grow in Food Deserts “Produce is a growing area for Dollar General Corp., with the discount retailer seeing opportunities for growth in food deserts, places where fresh foods and grocery stores are scarce. Currently, about 425 Dollar General stores carry produce, according to Todd Vasos, chief executive of the company. Through the end of the third quarter, 925 Dollar General stores were remodeled, 325 in the Dollar General Traditional Plus format, which includes more cooler cabinets.” (MarketWatch)
  5. Tariff Effects Broaden Across U.S., Wage Growth Higher: Fed “Tariff-driven price increases have spread more broadly through the U.S. economy, though on balance inflation has risen at a modest pace in most parts of the country, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday in its latest report on the economy. The U.S. central bank’s ‘Beige Book’ report, a snapshot of the economy gleaned from discussions with business contacts in the Fed’s 12 districts in the weeks through November 26, also said that the economy appeared to be growing modestly to moderately.” (Reuters)
  6. Sears’ Death Gives Life to Crisis-Era Derivatives Demon “When the global financial crisis began spreading like a callous cancer more than a decade ago, policymakers realized the over-the-counter (OTC) unregulated $55 trillion credit default swap (CDS) market was home to many unscrupulous bets that were eroding the entire banking system. The economic pain which followed was excruciating, and unless something is done now, another onslaught could be coming around again.” (Forbes)
  7. How Will Industrial Vehicles Change CRE Development? “New York City is one of the metros facing a shortage of parking spaces due to the constant population growth coupled with thousands of people visiting the city every day. The local government is looking at technology, especially mobility projects such as driverless cars, to address the issue. At the same time, authorities are working on new policies that are more consistent with broader sustainability, transportation and land use goals.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Kroger’s Profit Squeezed by Investments to Transform Business “Kroger Co.’s profit margin is getting pinched as the grocer ramps up investments to compete in the cutthroat U.S. grocery market. The Cincinnati-based company, in an effort to expand beyond its traditional business of selling groceries in stores to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and others, has struck six deals this year to boost sales online and elsewhere, such as in Kroger-branded locations in select Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. pharmacies.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. Workforce Housing Gaining Foreign Capital Interest, Orlando Top Target “According to new market research from CBRE, strong market fundamentals are attracting a wide variety of investors to workforce housing, creating good returns and helping to preserve affordable accommodation in lower-income communities. Workforce housing--rental communities that are affordable for low- to median-income workers--has outperformed the overall multifamily market for the past four years, with relatively low vacancy rates and above-average rent growth.” (World Property Journal)
  10. For Americans Looking for a Better Life, This State Is Their No. 1 Choice “Looking to get the hell out of Dodge? Then there’s a pretty decent chance you’re headed for Florida. The Sunshine State ranked as the No. 1 destination among homebuyers who were looking to move across state lines, according a new analysis from LendingTree. All told, 12.4% of all mortgage requests made by out-of-state movers were for homes in Florida. When the data was adjusted by each state’s population however, South Carolina ranked as the top destination, just ahead of Florida.” (MarketWatch)
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