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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (February 14, 2019)

CNBC analyzed Google’s announced intentions of spending $13 billion on its corporate real estate strategies in 2019. Bloomberg explored why so many new apartment buildings across the country have the exact same aesthetic. And the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a proposal in the city to tax landlords for keeping storefronts empty for too long. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Google will spend $13 billion on U.S. real estate in 2019, expanding into Nevada, Ohio, Texas and Nebraska “Pichai outlined the plans, which include opening new data centers in Nevada, Ohio, Texas and Nebraska, the first time the company will have infrastructure locations in those states. The company is also doubling its workforce in Virginia, providing greater access to Washington, D.C., with a new office and more data center space, and expanding its New York campus at Hudson Square.” (CNBC)
  2. Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same “The number of floors and the presence of a podium varies; the key unifying element, it turns out, is under the skin. They’re almost always made of softwood two-by-fours, or ‘stick,’ in construction parlance, that have been nailed together in frames like those in suburban tract houses.” (Bloomberg)
  3. Weed company Green Growth Brands to open CBD shops in malls across US, as Barney's adds 'cannabis lifestyle shop' “Simon Property Group on Monday said it was partnering with Ohio-based marijuana company Green Growth Brands to open 108 locations selling CBD products this year at Simon's U.S. malls, which include Roosevelt Field Mall in New York and The Galleria in Houston.” (CNBC)
  4. Vacancy glut in SF could spur tax on empty storefronts “Peskin’s proposal has support from neighborhood groups that are tired of seeing once-vibrant streets deadened by empty storefronts, but others worry that it will punish property owners for market factors out of their control, such as soaring costs and competition from online shopping.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  5. Navigating the Risks of Blockchain Technology in Commercial Real Estate “[R]ecent signs have pointed to a coming blockchain revolution in the world of commercial real estate.  For example, in October 2018, Brickblock announced a strategic partnership to launch a real estate fund on its blockchain platform with the promise of more efficient investing. Similarly, is positioning itself as a platform to streamline real estate asset offerings through its proprietary token, IHT, and its associated blockchain platform.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Fed’s Brainard Says Balance-Sheet Runoff Should Probably End This Year “Ms. Brainard said she is comfortable ending the balance sheet runoff this year because she favors an operational system with a much larger level of reserves than before the financial crisis. Bank reserves have declined to around $1.6 trillion last month from a peak of $2.8 trillion in 2014..” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. The Upside of a Global Downturn? Juicy Real Estate Deals “To lure house hunters, sellers of high-end homes are slashing prices by as much as 30 percent. Many metro areas are succumbing to downward pressure from the U.S.-China trade war, uncertainty in Europe, rising interest rates, or a combination of all three.” (Bloomberg)
  8. Shopko Outlines Post-Bankruptcy Footprint “As it proceeds with Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Shopko Stores Operating Co. LLC has committed to a substantial list of go-forward store locations in 11 states.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  9. Federal Tax Overhaul Seen to Benefit California Commercial Real Estate “California’s commercial real estate industry is expecting to see ‘moderate’ growth because of the Trump administration’s overhaul of the federal tax code that took effect last year. That’s one of the conclusions from the December survey of real estate professionals by the Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson Forecast released Wednesday.” (Times of San Diego)
  10. Loop's financial core to get its largest co-working space “New York-based co-working provider Industrious leased 52,021 square feet on two floors at 231 S. LaSalle St., where it will open its largest Chicago location later this year, the company announced. Industrious' eighth Chicago-area location will be its first in the Central Loop and symbolize an ongoing transition for a stretch of city blocks long known as a hotbed of trading firms and financial institutions.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
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