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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 20, 2018)

Dallas Morning News looks at whether the city’s commercial real estate owners pay their fair share of the taxes. Starbucks will open its first U.S. store that caters to the needs of those with hearing problems, reports MarketWatch. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Land Goes from ‘Dirt Cheap’ to ‘Pay Dirt’ “In real estate, location is everything—and that goes not just for buildings, but the ground beneath them as well. Move a scoop of soil from Beverly Hills, Texas, to Beverly Hills, Calif., and its value soars. To illustrate this idea more, well, concretely, Spread Sheet asked real-estate firm NeighborhoodX to look at some large-scale land-reclamation.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Oaktree’s Marks Bullish on Emerging Market Stocks, Real Estate Debt “Emerging market equities and real-estate debt remain attractive at a time when most of the year’s gains in the S&P 500 have already been realized, billionaire investor Howard Marks said on Wednesday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference in New York. Emerging markets, in particular, have been ‘significantly hit’ this year, he noted.” (Reuters)
  3. Are Dallas Commercial Real Estate Owners Paying Their Fair Share? “In a recent editorial concerning the Dallas City Council's passage of the Park Land Dedication Ordinance, Dallas Morning News editors stated: ‘The reluctance among some in the real estate community to support the proposal for the new fees and set-asides comes from a reasonable place.’ I maintain that on the contrary, the commercial real estate industry in Dallas is, to an unsettling extent, getting a free ride on the backs of residential homeowners, and that whatever fees the Park Land Dedication Ordinance imposes are more than made up for by the consistent undervaluation of their properties on the Dallas Central Appraisal District tax rolls.” (Dallas Morning News)
  4. Starbucks to Open First U.S. Store Designed to Service the Deaf and Hard of Hearing “Starbucks Corp. said Thursday that it will open a cafe in October that caters to the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing. All of the associates in the new Washington, D.C., store, about 20 to 25, will be fluent in American Sign Language. It will be located near Gallaudet University, whose campus is an ASL-immersive environment. The idea for the store came from the Starbucks Signing Store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which opened in 2016 with nine deaf workers.” (MarketWatch)
  5. Amazon, JP Morgan and BlackRock Are All Snapping Up Space in the New $25 Billion Manhattan Neighborhood That’s Reshaping the City “Topping out at 1,296 feet this week, 30 Hudson Yards is the second tallest skyscraper in New York City. The tower is part of a new $25 billion neighborhood by the same name. Hudson Yards is the most expensive real-estate development in American history. Located between 30th and 34th street on Manhattan's Far West Side, it features a mix of office space, expensive condo buildings, retail, and outdoor public space.” (Business Insider)
  6. Gymboree Has a New Look, and Moms Aren’t Pleased “Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree weathered a bankruptcy filing. Now, it’s facing what might be an even tougher battle: persuading moms to like its new look. The chain had a cultish following for its head-to-toe outfits that were embellished with embroidery and designed around whimsical themes. Everything from headbands to tops to shoes matched, which encouraged shoppers to buy the entire line. When items sold out, they would scavenge online resellers to find the missing pieces.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Albertsons and Rite Aid Have a Message for Investors: Size Still Matters “As Albertsons Cos. and Rite Aid head to an August vote over their planned merger, the message to investors is simple: size still matters. The deal, announced in February, would create a new retail giant valued at roughly $24 billion that would combine Albertsons' grocery operations with Rite Aid's pharmacy business. But with Rite Aid, investors expected to hold a roughly 29 percent stake in the new company, some have pushed back against the combination, pointing to Albertsons' burdensome debt-load and recent performance struggles.” (CNBC)
  8. Manhattan Landlords Reduce Retail Rents in 2018 “According to CBRE's Q2, 2018 Manhattan Retail Market Report, New York City's retail market continues to evolve as the fundamental demand drivers remain healthy. Over the past year, average asking rents decreased in 12 of the 16 main Manhattan retail corridors, while the aggregate average asking rent declined by 12.1% to $658 per sq. ft. year-over-year. Across the 16 corridors, 143 spaces have remained on the market for one year or more and 58% of these have been repriced down.” (World Property Journal)
  9. Domino’s Wants to Open Thousands of Stores “CEO Richard Allison discussed the plan during a conference call discussing second quarter earnings on Thursday. In anticipation of the expansion, the pizza chain is investing between $115 and $120 million in its supply chain, more than it had planned. Currently, there are about 5,650 Domino's locations in the United States. Over the next ten years, Domino's wants to open about 2,350 more.” (CNN Money)
  10. Behind Brookfield’s Development Tear “Brookfield Property Partners develops all over the world, but earlier this year the company found a new corner of its sandbox to play in. The Canadian giant signed a contract in April to buy a sprawling, seven-building development site in Mott Haven for $165 million. The 1.3 million-square-foot, 1,300-unit megaproject — assembled by Keith Rubenstein’s Somerset Partners and the Chetrit Group — is one of the most ambitious developments the Bronx has ever seen.” (The Real Deal)
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