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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 26, 2018)

MarketWatch looks at Amazon’s impact on rents in Tacoma, Wash. The Street argues Eddie Lampert might end up with a profit even if Sears goes under. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. U.S. Economic Growth Slows in Fourth Quarter on Surging Imports “U.S. economic growth unexpectedly slowed in the fourth quarter as the strongest pace of consumer spending in three years resulted in a surge in imports. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate also restrained by a modest pace of inventory accumulation, the Commerce Department said in its advance fourth-quarter GDP report on Friday. That followed a 3.2 percent growth pace in the third quarter. Imports, which subtract from GDP growth, increased at their fastest rate in more than seven years.” (Reuters)
  2. Amazon Is Likely Behind the Biggest Rent Increase of 2017 (And It Wasn’t in Seattle) “Rents in Tacoma, Wash., increased nearly three times more than the national average last year. This city in the Pacific Northwest experienced the highest rent appreciation nationwide in 2017. The median rent in Tacoma rose 8.8% from $1,350 per month in 2016 to $1,795, according to a report released Thursday by real-estate website Trulia. Comparatively, the median rent across the U.S. increased only 3.1% last year.” (MarketWatch)
  3. What Will 7-Eleven Do with All its New Stores? “7-Eleven is one of the most well-known U.S. convenience store chains and thanks to an acquisition, customers might be noticing a lot more of them. The retailer has acquired 1,030 convenience stores owned by Sunoco spread across 17 states, the largest acquisition in 7-Eleven’s history, according to Convenience Store News. The acquisition bumps 7-Eleven’s total store count up to around 9,700 in the U.S. and Canada.” (RetailWire)
  4. Industrial Real Estate Owner Buys Large Maspeth Warehouse “The country’s largest owner of industrial real estate is about to make one of the priciest warehouse purchases in the city. Prologis, a $34 billion public company that controls nearly 700 million square feet of industrial and logistics space worldwide, has struck a deal to buy a recently finished warehouse in Maspeth, Queens, for roughly $265 million, several sources said—one of the highest prices paid for a warehouse property.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  5. Downtown Office Markets Receive Disproportionate Amount of New Supply in U.S. “According to CBRE's 2018 U.S. Real Estate Market Outlook, improved U.S. office market fundamentals should continue, downtown markets will receive a disproportionate amount of new supply, the tech sector will likely remain a primary demand driver, and occupiers will pursue space efficiency and agility in 2018. CBRE expects continued U.S. office market growth in 2018, with net absorption projected to total 32.1 million sq. ft.” (World Property Journal)
  6. Miami Worldcenter to Reshape City’s CBD “Miami Worldcenter, a $2 billion master-planned development in Miami’s central business district, will span 27 acres and encompass 10 city blocks upon completion. The mixed-use project will boast as much as 450,000 square feet of retail, 600,000 square feet of office and 500,000 square feet of convention space; a 1,700-key Marriott Marquis; the 513-unit PARAMOUNT Miami Worldcenter Condos; as well as 4.5 acres of open space.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. How Sears CEO Eddie Lampert Might Come Out Ahead, Even If Retailer Dies “A Chapter 11 filing that hands a bankrupt company to new owners is one of the most common forms of restructuring. However, those waiting on new owners to take the helm of Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD - Get Report) following a much-speculated-about bankruptcy filing haven't taken a close look at the company's balance sheet. An analysis of Sears' debt by The Deal, sister publication of TheStreet, found that at least $1.6 billion of Sears Holdings loans are held by affiliates of chairman and CEO Edward S. Lampert's ESL Investments Inc.” (The Street)
  8. In Surprise Move, Lidl Heading to NYC “In a surprise announcement, the developer of New York City’s Staten Island Mall confirmed that German grocer Lidl will open a store next year as part of a project redevelopment. The location would be the first in a regional shopping mall—and the first in New York—for Lidl U.S., which previously said it was looking at opening stores between New Jersey and Georgia, with most of those in suburban or rural locations.” (Windsight Grocery Business)
  9. Ladder Capital Rejects Related’s Merger Bid “Ladder Capital rejected a takeover bid by an affiliate of Related Companies. Related Fund Management last week offered to take over the mortgage real estate investment trust for $15 per share. Related already owns 8.2 percent of Ladder’s shares and offered to buy the remainder, taking the public company private.” (The Real Deal)
  10. U.S. Hotels Inspiring Even More Confidence “The US lodging sector has expanded for nine straight years, and usually, when a property type is that deep into a cycle, investors start shying away. But over the past year, the top buyers of US hotels have grown more interested, not less, in these properties, according to new research from JLL. The firm’s North America Hotel Investor Sentiment Survey collected more than 5,000 data points from hotel investors to measure their expectations for 2018.” (, subscription required)
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