money launder

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 5, 2018)

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is arguing for fewer than expected interest rate hikes in 2018, according to CNBC. The New York Times looks at how landlords calculate apartment rents. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed’s Harker Pushes for Only Two Rate Hikes in 2018 “Federal Reserve officials should ease up on expectations for rate hikes this year, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said in a speech Friday. With the central bank poised to hike its interest rate target three times in 2018, Harker instead suggested that with inflation running low, the Fed ought to consider a slower pace until prices catch up. Harker moves to the sidelines this year and will not be a voting member on the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee. He will, however, continue to have input at committee meetings.” (CNBC)
  2. Here Are the Stores Macy’s is Closing NextMacy's will close nearly a dozen stores early this year, as part of a previously announced plan to trim the retailer's massive store fleet and cut back on expenses. About this same time last year, Macy's released more than 60 locationsthat would close in 2017, saying 100 total closures would take place over time. Eleven stores were officially added to that list Thursday.” (CNBC)
  3. Westinghouse, Once an Industrial Powerhouse, Is on Brink of Sale “Westinghouse Electric Co., a faded industrial giant that once helped electrify the world but recently fell into bankruptcy because of bad bets building nuclear power plants, is being sold to a Canadian conglomerate in a deal valued at $4.6 billion. Brookfield Business Partners LP and institutional partners announced their deal to buy the troubled company’s assets on Thursday.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. How Does Your Landlord Calculate Your Rent? “While the city’s larger, institutional landlords may use algorithms to set rents, informing tenants of increases by letter, for many smaller landlords, the process is not so impersonal. They may rent just a few units, often in the building where they live, relying on the income to make their mortgage payments. Many see their tenants in the hall, know what kind of music they listen to and exchange neighborhood gossip on the stoop. And though most say that they follow general principles and guidelines when determining rents, not all of those are financial, and they are far from uniform.” (The New York Times)
  5. How Money Laundering Works in Real Estate “Real estate, it seems, is central to the charge Bannon made, given the involvement of Kushner and Trump Jr. in the industry. In light of that, we contacted Chris Quick, a retired FBI special agent who specialized in financial crimes and now runs a private investigative firm in South Carolina. He walked us through how money laundering works in the real-estate industry and how others may be implicated in that criminal activity.” (Washington Post)
  6. Sears Closing 103 More Stores, Including Orland Square “Sears’ latest store closures follow a year of cost-cutting and a pair of deals announced last month that Sears said would give it more financial flexibility heading into 2018. The company paid down $325 million on a loan originally due midway through this year and won an extension on the remaining $400 million but said it still has $752 million remaining due in 2018. Sears also inked an agreement allowing it to sell up to 138 properties to help finance a $407 million contribution to its pension plans. None of the closures announced Thursday are tied to the pension deal, Costello said.” (Chicago Tribune)
  7. Avoid These Four Common Commercial Real Estate Investing Mistakes “Buying and managing investment property — be it houses, multifamily units or commercial real estate — is hard work. Owners must choose between paying to outsource and handling everything themselves. The latter can range from finding financing and performing maintenance to resolving emergencies and legal problems. All these tasks extract a price in terms of time, aggravation and mistakes for owners who lack expertise in all of these areas.” (Forbes)
  8. City’s Claims on 2015 Affordable Housing Deal Face New Scrutiny “In 2015, the new owners of two huge Manhattan developments, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, agreed to keep 5,000 apartments affordable for middle- and low-income residents for 20 years, the biggest such deal the city has ever done. It was part of a grand plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio to create and preserve affordable housing in New York City.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. Real Estate Investor Plans West Loop Redevelopment “A local real estate investor is placing a bet on two trends in the downtown office market: the popularity of the West Loop and renovated old buildings. Following a spate of developers that have turned old West Loop warehouses and industrial buildings into trendy nontraditional offices, Chicago private-equity firm RDG Funds said it plans a similar turnaround for the vacant three-story building at 156 N. Jefferson St. It's the first West Loop investment for RDG.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  10. 2018 Trends: Micro-Hospitals to Gain Popularity “As Baby Boomers age—10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day for the next 20 years—the total demand for inpatient care will witness enormous growth. With the number of mental health patients on the rise, micro-hospitals are steadily evolving into consumer-friendly environments, taking their cue from the hospitality industry. In addition, architects are prone to further incorporate digital technologies in the ways in which both patients and employees interact with and within medical spaces.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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