10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 7, 2018)

The Wall Street Journal looks at what types of areas appeal to today’s multifamily occupants. The Kushners is buying commercial properties in New Jersey, reports These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The Latest Housing Hotspot: Downtown and By the River “Randy and Gail Ross recently downsized from a suburban house on a lake near Minneapolis to a luxury condominium in the city’s downtown district— but they still have a water view. From nearly every room of their 14th-floor condominium at the Legacy, a new 374-unit residential tower in Minneapolis, they overlook the Mississippi River, as well as St. Anthony Falls and the historic Stone Arch Bridge.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. To 10 States to Make the Most Money from Investing in Real Estate “Investing in real estate isn't as simple as investing in equities. But some wealthy investors like real estate because of the potential for great returns. There are several ways to invest in property. You can become a landlord or buy a property to rehab and flip. Or you can put money into a real estate investment trust or real estate investment groups: two other ways to invest without the hassle of dealing with a tenant or putting up drywall.” (CNBC)
  3. The Kushners Continue to Expand Their New Jersey Real Estate Portfolio. Here’s What They Own “For Kushner Companies, the real estate company that was once a major player in New Jersey, there is apparently no place like home. After an ill-advised foray into the New York market, led by Jared Kushner before he became a senior White House advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, the business is on a renewed buying spree of properties on this side of the Hudson. The company, which sold off many of its New Jersey apartment properties as part of a major shift in focus on Manhattan more than a decade ago, announced this past week that it bought the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal from Lone Star Funds for $36.6 million.” (
  4. New Initiative Aims to Empower Women Leaders in Real Estate “A new statewide real estate program strives to connect and empower women leaders in an industry often described as male territory. More than 120 women in seven cities across Michigan will take part in the Build Up Breakfast Clubs starting Dec. 12. The program, hosted by the Michigan chapter of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Urban Land Institute, will take place in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Bay City and Marquette.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  5. Why Hilton Was Just Named the Best Workplace for Diversity “As Hilton approaches its 100th birthday in 2019, it has a lot to be proud of. When it comes to creating an inclusive workplace, the global hospitality company has had a remarkable year. The McLean, Va.-based operator of hotels and resorts around the world takes the top spot on this year’s list of the Best Workplaces for Diversity, published by Great Place to Work and Fortune, moving up from No. 14 last year.” (Fortune)
  6. Non-Disclosure Agreements, Disclosed “Last May, the chairman of New York REIT, a company that became notorious for having its dirty laundry aired in public, stressed the clandestine nature of a potential entity-level selloff of its $3 billion portfolio. The process “generated over 80 executed nondisclosure agreements,” company chair Randolph Read told investors on a conference call at the time. Those agreements, at least in theory, were designed to ensure the REIT would not have dozens of tongues wagging about prospective deals, which could give some parties unfair leverage.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Amazon Targets Airports for Checkout-Free Store Expansion “ Inc is looking at bringing its futuristic checkout-free store format to airports in an effort to win business from hungry, time-pressed travelers, according to public records and a person familiar with the strategy. The move underscores how a company that started as an online bookseller is making forays into brick-and-mortar retail to capture a greater share of shoppers’ spending. For months, the world’s largest online retailer has been expanding Amazon Go, where customers scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter, and then cameras identify what they take from the shelves.” (Reuters)
  8. Can Average Investors Take Advantage of a New Real Estate Development Tax Break? “Investing in an opportunity zone is not for everyone, but for the right investor, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime tax break. Opportunity zones are designated as economically distressed areas by each state and certified by the US Department of the Treasury. As a result of recent tax reform, opportunity zones have emerged as a way for distressed neighborhoods to attract needed real estate development and for investors in these projects to receive favorable tax treatment.” (CNN Business)
  9. Paul Massey, Simon Greenburger, Simon Ziff on ‘Making It’ in CRE “Commercial real estate can be a harsh career, where many exist from deal to deal and must stomach fierce competition for business. Despite the grueling environment, it offers a chance to be part of a thrilling, exciting industry and to play a role in shaping New York City. The risks and stress, to those who have been successful, are worth it. At Bisnow’s How To Make It In Commercial Real Estate event Dec. 12, curating and creating a successful career will be the focus of the day.” (Bisnow)
  10. SF Sues Peninsula Couple, Saying They Violated Affordable Homeowner Law “San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued a Peninsula couple Thursday who he alleges lied nearly 20 years ago to qualify for an affordable condominium in downtown San Francisco and then rented it out or used it as a pied-a-terre despite owning a $2.8 million house in Redwood City’s Emerald Hills neighborhood.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
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