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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 3, 2020)

Chain Store Age looks at the four trends that will rule retail real estate this year. Foreign real estate ETFs will offer a good investment opportunity in 2020, reports Nasdaq. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. CEOs Still Consider Recession to Be the Biggest Business Risk in 2020 “Corporate leaders around the world apparently have not gotten the memo yet that a recession isn’t happening anytime soon. CEOs still consider the end to an expansion that has been the longest in U.S. history and has spread around the globe to be the biggest fear in 2020, according to the Conference Board’s CEO Challenge survey released Thursday. This is the second year in a row for recession to take the lead.” (CNBC)
  2. Can $500 a Month Change a City? Stockton Tests Universal Basic Income “What could you do with an extra $500 a month? Lorrine Paradela got a better night’s sleep. The 45-year-old single mother is one of the 125 Stockton residents receiving monthly cash disbursements as part of an attention-grabbing experiment on guaranteed income.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  3. Our Lives, Under Construction “Unloved and janky, scaffolding is New York City’s other architecture, its Tinker Toy exoskeleton. It has enraged and inspired its residents, while forever altering their behavior — there are those who cleave to its shelter during bad weather, or skittishly avoid it — as they continue to rail against its persistence and ubiquity, perhaps unaware of the history behind much of it.” (The New York Times)
  4. Four Trends That Will Dominate Retail Real Estate in 2020 “The face of retail continues to evolve and retailers have a tremendous opportunity to enhance customer connections and stand out in an increasingly competitive landscape. Here are my top four predictions for retail in 2020. Traditional mall formats will evolve to meet modern consumer demands. The state of the enclosed mall in the United States will continue to evolve.” (Chain Store Age)
  5. Looking Abroad for Real Estate ETF Opportunities in 2020 “With 2020 here and with expectations plentiful that international stocks could finally outpace their U.S. rivals this year, ex-US real estate assets, including exchange traded funds could be worth considering in the new year. That includes the Vanguard Global ex-U.S. Real Estate ETF. Although investors are often under-allocated to international stocks, VNQI has carved out a niche for itself as it has $5.9 billion in assets under management. Much of that enthusiasm is derived from VNQI's low fee of just 0.12% per year, or $12 on a $10,000 investment, a hallmark of many Vanguard ETFs.” (Nasdaq)
  6. Plano Business Campus Sells to Dallas Developer “A big Plano business campus has sold to a Dallas developer. Furniture and appliance retailer Rent-A-Center’s corporate headquarters in the Legacy business park has been on the market since mid-2019. The 168,605-square-foot office complex is on Headquarters Drive east of the Dallas North Tollway. A partnership formed by Dallas developer Cawley Partners purchased the 17-acre campus, which includes 4 acres for additional development.” (Dallas Morning News)
  7. Physical Branches Might Not Be a Lost Cause for Banks “In Business Insider Intelligence's recent Digital Banking Ecosystem report, we showed that physical bank branches are on the decline, in contrast to the rising popularity of digital channels like online and mobile: In the UK, one-third (3,300) of all bank branches closed in the past five years as of September 2019, while in the US there was a net decrease of 9% of branches nationwide in the past decade.” (Business Insider)
  8. Hotel Guests Evacuated During Standoff with Gunman at a Michigan Hampton Inn “An armed 37-year-old Kentucky man who barricaded himself in a room at the Hampton Inn in West Bloomfield, Michigan, surrendered to police Wednesday morning after a nearly eight-hour standoff, reports the Detroit Free Press, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network. The man, who possessed a handgun and is suspected of domestic assault, peacefully surrendered to officers at about 10 a.m., said Curt Lawson, deputy chief for West Bloomfield Township Police Department. Some hotel guests were evacuated during the standoff to a nearby hotel.” (USA Today)
  9. Why Big Banks Could Be Killing Private Prisons “Private prison companies have been a source of debate since they were established in the 1980s. Activists argue it is wrong to profit from incarceration, while proponents claim that privatization saves money and provides higher quality care. Nevertheless, the companies were born out of necessity, during the tough-on-crime and war-on-drugs era. The country was incarcerating more people than ever, and the U.S. government couldn’t keep up.” (CNBC)
  10. Senior Housing Properties Trust Announces Name Change, $208 Million in Property Sales “Newton, MA-based real estate investment trust Senior Housing Properties Trust changed its name to Diversified Healthcare Trust, effective yesterday, while also announcing that it had completed $207.8 million in property sales during the fourth quarter of 2019 as part of its previously announced plan to sell up to $900 million of assets as part of a restructuring. Monday, the REIT also said it expected to complete the restructuring of its business arrangements with its largest tenant, Newton, MA-based Five Star Senior Living, as of Jan. 1.” (McKnight Senior Living)
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