10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 20, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 20, 2016)


  1. MetLife and New York State Common Retirement Fund Form Real Estate Investment Venture “MetLife, Inc. announced today that it has formed a real estate investment venture with New York State Common Retirement Fund, the third largest public pension fund in the U.S. The venture’s initial investment portfolio, which will be managed by MetLife Investment Management (MIM), comprises seven properties valued at more than $1.4 billion. MetLife sold a 49.9 percent stake in the portfolio to the New York State Common Retirement Fund.” (WallStreet: Online)
  2. Einhorn Buys Macy’s Stake Saying It Could Be Takeover Target “Greenlight Capital, the hedge fund firm led by David Einhorn, made a new investment in Macy’s Inc. in the fourth quarter, arguing the retailer could become a takeover target, according to a letter to investors that was obtained by Bloomberg. A private equity firm and a real estate investment trust could team up to purchase the company and ‘unlock the value’ of its land and buildings, Greenlight said in the letter, which was dated Tuesday.” (Bloomberg)
  3. Housing Starts Fall 2.5% in Final Months of 2015 “Home builders cut back slightly on new construction in the final month of 2015, though they built the most homes last year since 2007. So-called housing starts fell 2.5% last month to an annual rate of 1.15 million, the government said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected starts to total a seasonally adjusted 1.23 million. Yet for the full year home builders started work on 1.11 million new houses, the largest number since the Great Recession.” (MarketWatch)
  4. How American Department Stores Are Fighting Extinction “American department stores have been pillars of retail for well over a century. Saks, Bloomingdales, and Lord & Taylor were founded back in the 1800s, while their competitors such as Barneys are relative upstarts, launching during the Roaring 20s. For many years, their hold on consumers was absolute. But in an age when customers can just as easily shop from their sofas, the American department store is facing flagging sales.” (Fortune)
  5. Silver Bay CEO Steps Down as Board Seeks New Leadership “David Miller resigned as chief executive officer of Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp., and board member Thomas Brock will lead the single-family landlord during the search for a new CEO. Brock will serve as interim president and CEO, effective immediately, while the company seeks a permanent replacement with a strong background in real estate operations, according to a statement Tuesday. Miller will no longer serve on Silver Bay’s board.” (Bloomberg)
  6. Crashing Chinese Markets Could Be Boon for U.S. Real Estate “Concern about the Chinese economy heightened again with the announcement Tuesday that GDP rose just 6.9% in 2015, its lowest annual gain in 25 years. Chinese and other foreign investors will undoubtedly start shifting their attention to the U.S. and other markets. Among the industries most likely to benefit is real estate, which has benefited significantly from foreign investment in recent years.” (The Street)
  7. As Wealthy Brazilians Snap Up Miami Real Estate, Few Benefit “Facing a teetering economy at home, wealthy Brazilians have been pouring money into what they increasingly see as the safest place to invest: South Florida real estate. So are Argentinians, Colombians, Mexicans, Venezuelans, French and Turks—almost anyone with money to shelter, a direct flight to Miami and a shaky economy to flee. Their cash has helped drive the latest twist in Miami's ever-evolving transformation.” (CNBC)
  8. Commercial Property Demand in U.S. Remains Strong in Q4 “According to CBRE Group, Inc., the U.S. commercial real estate market shows continued healthy demand across all property types during the fourth quarter of 2015 (Q4 2015). The office vacancy rate declined 20 basis points (bps) to13.2%. The vacancy rate has not shown an increase in 23 quarters. The industrial availability* rate continued to decline, falling by 20 bps to 9.4%.” (World Property Journal)
  9. 15 NYC Real Estate Properties Assessed at Over $1B “Related Companies and Oxford Properties saw 10 Hudson Yards’ “market value” – assessed for tax purposes – grow by nearly $250 million year-over-year according to city assessments released Friday, the largest increase of any property in the city. The city valued the property at $332.8 million, up from $84 million the previous year. Vornado Realty Trust’s 1.8 million-square-foot hotel and retail building at 1375 Broadway saw its city-assessed market value climb by just over $200 million, to just over $1 billion.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Major Landlord to Spend Millions of Dollars Creating Retail Space at Starrett-Lehigh Building “The owner of the Starrett-Lehigh Building is investing millions of dollars into the west Chelsea office building to create ground floor retail. The space will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, which has a dearth of stores and restaurants that cater to the growing population of office workers. RXR Realty plans to create about 50,000 square feet, spanning a full block, of retail along Eleventh Avenue.” (Crain’s New York Business)
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