10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 12, 2018)

The Street argues that REITs benefit from trade wars. Dillard’s may take over Boston Store sites in the Milwaukee area, reports Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Missing Millennial Homeownership Endangers the American Dream “No avocado toast jokes here. Yes, a lot has been written already about the question of millennials and homeownership. But as a new report demonstrates, the stakes are high enough that when an entire generation takes a step backward in accessing ownership, it’s worth a little extra attention. The report, out Wednesday from the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center, suggests that the story of millennials and homeownership is in many ways a story of inequality in America — and one that might be getting worse.” (MarketWatch)
  2. This Is Why Real Estate Investment Trusts Do Well During Trade Wars “Real estate investment trusts have acted as a safe haven for investors in the midst of the Trump Administration's plans to renegotiate trade agreements with a host of countries. Martin Kremenstein, head of ETFs at Nushares, which operates the Nushares Short-Term REIT ETF, said a rotation out of REITs is possible if trade war worries subside, but that REITs are an important asset class in any environment.” (The Street)
  3. In Miami, a $300 Million Skyscraper Is Banking on Unrest in Turkey “The reelection in Turkey of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month did little to encourage foreign real-estate investors who have been avoiding the country because of his authoritarian rule. But the country’s economic uncertainty may prove helpful to Turkish real-estate developer Bekir Okan and his plan for what would be one of Florida’s tallest towers.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. New York’s Vertical Problem “Building in New York City is dramatically different, of course. The process can take several years, in some cases well over a decade, as owners navigate fluctuations in the market, the city’s byzantine building regulations and fierce public opposition. The city isn’t yet home to a “megatall,” a term used by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat to describe structures that exceed 1,968 feet. One World Trade Center is as close as it gets in New York. And at 1,792 feet, it’s the seventh tallest among completed buildings worldwide.” (The Real Deal)
  5. What Family Offices Need to Look For in a Real Estate Joint Venture Partner “For many single-family and multifamily offices, there is a desire to invest directly into real estate opportunities rather than a fund or a managed account. The ability to do the proper due diligence for each family office varies based upon the internal resources and experience that the office has available. With the constant requests from real estate companies wanting a family office to invest with them, it is essential for the family office to be able to screen any opportunities efficiently before spending additional time.” (Forbes)
  6. Dillard’s Department Store Chain Could Enter Milwaukee Area by Buying Boston Store Sites “Dillard’s Inc. department store chain could be entering Wisconsin, which might include replacing three Milwaukee-area Boston Store locations that are closing this summer. Dillard’s executives are considering opening stores at what are now Boston Store buildings at Brookfield Square, Mayfair and Southridge Mall, as well as a Younkers store building near Green Bay, according to sources familiar with the company’s activities.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
  7. Another Fine Mezz: Maturing Cycle Gives Rise to a Mezzanine Lending Boom “Even in late 2007, just before the global financial crisis, few and far between were the sages who predicted how abruptly the music would grind to a halt. But throngs of industry observers did notice a distinct development that, in their eyes, marked a definite shift from a healthy period of stable asset-value growth to a stagnating market. Suddenly, they found, pairing solid returns with low levels of risk had become as difficult as squeezing water from a stone. The change was a rise in mezzanine lending: high-leverage debt that is just barely senior to equity in real estate capital structures.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Apple, Tesla, Salesforce Add Huge Sums to Soaring Bay Area Property Rolls “The assessed value of all Bay Area property soared to $1.72 trillion in 2018-19, up 7.8 percent from last year despite wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Sonoma and Napa counties. This year’s growth in assessment rolls beat last year’s 7.4 percent increase, thanks to a strong economy, fast-rising property prices and frenetic construction. Growing companies such as Apple, Tesla, Facebook and Salesforce were top contributors to the rolls in their respective counties.” (San Francisco Chronicle, subscription required)
  9. Retail Woes Are Not All About Amazon “Total e-commerce growth is healthy, but it’s always lagging Amazon’s total, with the e-commerce behemoth still taking the largest share of a growing pie, some 45% of the total e-commerce game. Home building professionals at PCBC 2018 learned more about this stark realization in the session, Retail Realities in the Age of Amazon, led by Garrick Brown, national retail research director and vice president of Cushman & Wakefield. In the second of a two-part exclusive, outlines the structural issues at play, along with the losers and retailers that have staying power.” (
  10. Abercrombie Teams Up with Lifestyle Hospitality Firm “The retailer has entered into an exclusive partnership with SBE to launch co-branded events and pop-up shops at select SBE properties. Additionally, members of Abercrombie’s loyalty program, will be rewarded with special benefits across the hospitality firm’s venues. (SBE’s global portfolio will include 25 hotels and some 170 restaurants, nightlife and entertainment venues by the end of 2018.)” (Chain Store Age)
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