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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 12, 2019)

The Washington Post looked at one hedge fund’s tactics in cashing out on the real estate assets of the newspapers it has acquired. The WSJ examines a new rise in legislation attempting to increase tenants rights—and how landlords are planning to fight back. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. A hedge fund’s ‘mercenary’ strategy: Buy newspapers, slash jobs, sell the buildings “For Alden and its subsidiary, the Gannett empire’s newspapers are clearly an attractive feature. But by purchasing the Memphis building and others like it, Alden has already begun coming for what it may consider a bigger prize: Gannett’s real estate.” (The Washington Post)
  2. Progressive Lawmakers Take Aim at Landlords With Rent Control, Tax Proposals “In Illinois, New York and Oregon, legislators are pushing bills to introduce or strengthen apartment rent controls. Newly elected California Gov. Gavin Newsom has said changes to a decades-old constitutional amendment that has kept taxes low for many commercial property owners are ‘on the table.’” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Q4 Commercial and Multifamily Mortgage Originations Up 14 Percent “Fourth quarter 2018 originations for commercial and multifamily mortgages were up 14 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). On an annualized measurement, the final three months of last year saw a 61 percent year increase in the dollar volume of loans for healthcare properties, a 32 percent increase for multifamily properties, a 28 percent increase for industrial properties and a one percent uptick for retail properties.” (National Mortgage Professional)
  4. Investcorp Buys 8 Apartment Buildings for $330M “Investcorp has acquired eight US multifamily properties for $330 million. The 2,510-unit portfolio is spread across the Southeast and Southwest: Raleigh, NC; Atlanta; Jacksonville, FL; Phoenix; and Dallas.” (GlobeSt.com)
  5. Fed’s Bowman talks up community bank resilience as she notes pressures from commercial real estate, agriculture “The Fed is trying to reduce regulatory burdens on the sector, while maintaining safety and soundness, she noted. Bowman noted that concentrations of commercial real estate are rising at some banks and the Fed is reminding bankers ‘of the difficulties that such concentrations presented in the past.’ Another focus will be on concentrations of agricultural credit, she added.” (MarketWatch)
  6. Restaurant Owner's Global Property Fund Plans to Sell Crypto Tokens “If you didn’t think property investing was already risky enough, Stephane De Baets has an intriguing proposition. The New York-based Belgian entrepreneur is throwing cryptocurrencies into the mix.De Baets plans to sell shares in a global real estate portfolio in the form of digital tokens following a comparable sale last year of part ownership in a Colorado hotel for $18 million. He's targeting $250 million of transactions this year, including a $100 million deal in Thailand.” (Bloomberg)
  7. How Co-Living Fits Into The Future Of Real Estate Development “Co-living is the residential equal of coworking. Co-living relies on a shared economy where people have individual bedrooms but share kitchen and communal living spaces. As residential real estate prices in most major cities escalated, various startups have been applying this model to housing to create more affordable and fun places to live.” (Forbes)
  8. The Difficult Truth About Being A Working Parent In Property “In front of a packed room of 600 people, two panels of senior real estate professionals talked openly about the challenges of finding that balance as working mothers and fathers in the real estate industry. About the fear of being left behind by your company while on maternity leave. The pride in your job and of wanting to do it well, but facing a society that can be judgemental of mothers who want to go back to work.” (Bisnow)
  9. Donald Trump ally Tom Barrack examines shake-up of real estate firm “Colony, which has lost more than half of its value since a disastrous merger with rival Northstar at about the same time that Mr Trump took office in January 2017, said it had reached agreement with Blackwells Capital to appoint two new directors to its board.” (Financial Times)
  10. Top 10 States for LEED Certification “The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its annual list of Top 10 States for LEED. Combined, these regions comprise 468 million gross square feet of LEED-certified space and are home to 128 million Americans.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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