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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 19, 2018)

The U.S. Interior Department’s inspector general is probing a Montana real estate deal involving a foundation set up by the agency’s secretary, Reuters reports. San Diego’s City Council adopted an ordinance that restricts short-term rentals, which could impact some 1,000 properties, the Los Angeles Times reports. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. San Diego’s Tough Regulations on Short-Term Rentals Spark Battle in Vacationland “Maurice Maio is the owner of San Diego Beach King, a vacation rental business in Mission Beach. But he didn’t sound like royalty on Tuesday, one day after the San Diego City Council passed an ordinance restricting short-term rentals and eliminated a proposal by the mayor to make an exception for the popular beach and bayside community.” (Los Angeles Times)
  2. S. Interior Watchdog Probes Zinke Over Real Estate Deal “The U.S. Interior Department’s watchdog said in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday that it was investigating a Montana real estate deal involving a foundation set up by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and a development group backed by the chairman of oil service company Halliburton.” (Reuters)
  3. New York City Looks to Crack Down on Airbnb Amid Housing Crisis “The New York City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to significantly restrict Airbnb and other online home rental services, joining a growing movement of cities around the globe in stepping up regulation of the so-called sharing economy.” (The New York Times)
  4. How Dirty Is Miami Real Estate? Secret Home Deals Dried Up When Feds Started Watching “When a company called the Flower of Scotland paid $1.13 million — in cash — for a three-bedroom condo in Sunny Isles Beach last year, it had to do something unusual: tell the federal government who its real owner was. In years past, the Delaware-based shell company could have put down the money and walked away with a new condo — and a boat slip on Dumbfoundling Bay — no questions asked. But a temporary rule imposed in early 2016 by the U.S. Treasury Department on Miami-Dade County and Manhattan, two of the nation’s most attractive real estate markets to dark money, began to strip away that kind of secrecy.” (Miami Herald)
  5. Five Strategies For A More Sustainable Real Estate Portfolio “Renewable energy offers an exceptional opportunity to not only reduce consumption of GHG-producing fossil fuels, but also to achieve immense cost savings.” (com)
  6. The Long and Winding Ownership History of the Plaza Hotel “Earlier this month, it emerged that Katara Hospitality—a subsidiary of the sovereign wealth fund of the tiny, oil-rich Gulf nation of Qatar—had agreed to acquire the iconic Plaza Hotel in Midtown for the price of $600 million. The deal represents the latest chapter in the long and rather convoluted ownership history of the famed neo-Renaissance-style hotel at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South—one that has seen the 111-year-old property trade hands through the decades between legendary tycoons, international billionaires and, famously, the sitting president of the United States.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. Wells Fargo’s Doug Mazer Talks Competition and the Bank’s Path Forward “It may be the dawning of the age of the debt fund. But by Commercial Observer’s 2018 Power 50 list, the most influential leader in commercial real estate finance last year wasn’t yet a jet-setting investment manager or the tight-lipped executive behind a secretive private portfolio.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. WATCH: Mary Ann Tighe on Whether Real Estate Needs a #MeToo Moment, Rebuilding Lower Manhattan After 9/11 and More “On the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, CBRE tri-state CEO Mary Ann Tighe had a chance encounter with landlord and developer Larry Silverstein.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Real Estate Investors Face Lower Returns, Possibly Lower Fees – LaSalle “The high price of real estate, commercial real estate technology and macroeconomic surprises affecting the world's largest economies are having an impact on real estate's outlook, according to a soon-to-be released midyear report by LaSalle Investment Management.” (Pensions & Investments)
  10. Abercrombie & Fitch to Open Concept Store at Ohio State “Abercrombie & Fitch is going to school with a new concept store aimed at university students, according to one of its landlords in Columbus, Ohio.” (Chain Store Age)
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