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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 22, 2019)

Developers are competing to build the largest and most sophisticated warehouses, reports the Wall Street Journal. Smaller co-working operators cater to small businesses, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Shutdown’s Pain Cuts Deep for Homeless and Other Vulnerable Americans “Ramona Wormley-Mitsis got welcome news in December: After years of waiting, the federal government had approved a subsidy that allowed her to rent a three-bedroom house, bracketed by a white picket fence to keep her two autistic sons from bolting into traffic. A few days later, the dream was deferred. The Department of Housing and Urban Development — one of the federal agencies hit hardest by the shutdown — would not be able to pay her new landlord until the government reopened.” (The New York Times)
  2. Developers Woo Retail Tenants with Tallest-Ever Warehouses “Developers across the U.S. are racing to build larger and more sophisticated warehouses, aiming to capitalize on retailers’ desire for ever-faster deliveries. Property owners are competing for industrial space where companies can sort packages closer to urban consumers and deliver them more rapidly. To attract tenants, developers are offering a wide range amenities, like more loading docks, higher ceilings, hundreds of parking spaces, and stronger structures to support the movement of large volumes of goods.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. ‘Boutique’ Co-Working Spaces Find a Niche Nurturing Small Businesses “In a refurbished Salvation Army building in downtown Lincoln, Neb., Bob Hinrichs runs a co-working space for about 150 people. The workers are not allowed to bring in their dogs, and they don’t curl up in beanbag chairs. But they are encouraged to collaborate with one another and with the city’s wider business community. Mr. Hinrichs works to nurture connections among the small businesses — software developers, public-relations consultants and sustainable-agriculture advocates — that work in his space, and he says such cooperation is helping the local economy.” (The New York Times)
  4. Land Holdings, Even Far from Campus, Lucrative for Some Colleges “Cooper Union earned $10.6 million last year from student tuition and fees. It made three times that much from a patch of dirt and concrete in Midtown Manhattan. The private arts and engineering college owns the land under the iconic Chrysler Building, which The Wall Street Journal recently reported will be put up for sale. Many schools rent out land near their campuses to private companies that build and operate student apartments, and others let developers build offices, then occupy a portion of the space themselves.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. What You Need to Know if You Are Investing in California Real Estate “California is always different, somehow always better or worse than the rest of the country. This year there are two Californias. One that’s not much different than the rest of the country and one where real estate markets must be watched very carefully because home prices are getting into bubble territory. We used data from Local Market Monitor, Inc. to build a table to show the split.’ (Forbes)
  6. These U.S. Cities Are the Most at Risk from Rising Seas “Arctic ice is melting faster than expected, and driving sea levels up around the world. As sea levels rise, coastal flooding is expected to worsen, scientists say. And that means that 40% of the nation's population - over 126 million people - are at risk from rising seas, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Annually, these coastal counties produce more than $8.3 trillion in goods and services, employ 55.8 million people, and pay $3.4 trillion in wages.” (The Street)
  7. Macy’s Adds 300K Square Feet to Lease at Tishman Speyer Tower “In the young year’s largest new office lease so far to a private-sector company, Macy’s has added a whopping 300,000 more square feet at The JACX, Tishman Speyer’s 1.2 million-square-foot Long Island City project that’s now fully leased months before it opens. It’s a resounding vindication for Tishman Speyer’s commitment to Long Island City, where it invested long before any other major developer.” (New York Post)
  8. Poll: CRE Professionals Expect More Momentum in 2019 “Interest rate hikes, GSE lending confidence and adapting new technologies are all on the forefront this year as commercial real estate professionals reflected on 2018’s deal flow and anticipates new year opportunities, according to Berkadia’s 2019 Outlook Powerhouse Poll. As the commercial real estate industry navigated four interest rate hikes last year, investors still accepted less returns and ended the year on a high note as 82% said that deal volume either met or exceeded their expectations for the year. Berkadia’s professionals are now keeping a close eye on interest rates in 2019 and investors may not react as favorably to as many rate hikes.” (
  9. Should Real Estate Investors Be Worried about U.S. Stock Market Volatility? “The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 2018 down 3.5% and lost 13% of its value between October 2018 and December 2018 alone -- its worst annual performance since 2008. The downturn rippled through world equity markets. Should real estate investors be worried? Yes, says Richard Barkham, Global Chief Economist & Head of Americas Research of CBRE, but only if policy makers overreact. CBRE reports there have been two instances in the past 30 years--1987 and 2000--where large stock market losses have come out of the blue at a time of robust economic confidence and low inflation.” (World Property Journal)
  10. Welcome Group Lands $300M Capital Infusion “Welcome Group LLC, of Houston, has entered into an agreement with an investment fund managed by Almanac Realty Investors, of New York, under which the fund has committed to provide up to $300 million of growth capital to Welcome. The funding will be used “to expand its investment platform and portfolio of primarily industrial and office assets in Texas,” according to Welcome. Welcome Group LLC specializes in single-tenant office, lab, industrial and manufacturing facilities and also offers build-to-suit and sale-leaseback services for new properties.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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