10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 21, 2017)

Institutional investors are scooping up single-family rentals, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hudson’s Bay is unlikely to spin off its real estate in the near future, reports Reuters. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Meet Your New Landlord—Wall Street “When real-estate agent Don Nugent listed a three-bedroom, two-bath house here on Jo Ann Drive, offers came immediately, including a $208,000 one from a couple with a young child looking for their first home. A competing bid was too attractive to pass up. American Homes 4 Rent, a public company that had been scooping up homes in the neighborhood, offered the same amount—but all cash, no inspection required.” (Wall Street Journal)
  2. RPT-Hudson’s Bay Real Estate IPO Unlikely Any Time Soon,—RioCan CEO “Retailer Hudson's Bay Co is unlikely to take its vast real estate holdings public any time soon, the head of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, a partner in a venture that holds some of those assets, said on Thursday. North America's oldest company, HBC is under pressure from activist investor Jonathan Litt, who disclosed a 4.3 percent stake in the company in June, to get cash from its real estate assets or take action to boost income from them.” (Reuters)
  3. These Are the Top Zip Codes for Rental Returns “More Americans are renting homes today than at any time in more than half a century. As a result, more investors are looking to cash in on that trend as landlords of single family rental homes. If you're one of them, you want to know where you'll get the most bang for your buck. Try this ZIP code: 33434. That is the finding of HomeUnion, one of several companies that help investors find, purchase, renovate, manage and sell single-family rental homes.” (CNBC)
  4. I Checked the Math on the CEO of Marriott and He’s Right—Kind Of “Sorenson’s right. Airbnb had a distinct benefit where landlords were able to rent where they saw fit, or they had a competitive advantage because they weren’t paying taxes. Many jurisdictions are now leveling the playing field and charging those expenses that Sorenson mentioned. This explains the enormous initial boom in short-term rentals through Airbnb.” (Forbes)
  5. McDonald’s Suburban Hometown is Worried Because the Company Abandoning Them for Chicago “In 1971, McDonald's settled its global headquarters in Oak Brook, a Chicago suburb with fewer than 8,000 people. Over time, Oak Brook's identity became closely linked with the fast food chain, which brought jobs, resources, and infrastructure to the town. But in 2016, the company announced that it would move to downtown Chicago. A 608,000-square-foot building will be built on the site of Oprah Winfrey's former Harpo Studios by 2018. The relocation worries a number of employees and residents who rely on the company for their income, according to a new report from the Washington Post's Jonathan O'Connell.” (Business Insider)
  6. Artist Turns Real Estate Promos into Anti-Gentrification Messages “Real estate promotional materials juxtaposed with images of dilapidated houses are the basis of an upcoming art exhibit in Charlotte, North Carolina, where gentrification threatens to displace members of the city’s oldest historic black community. ‘There will be pictures of people jogging or walking their dog placed with these crumbling buildings,’ Janelle Dunlap, social justice creative in residence at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture recently told Creative Loafing Charlotte.” (Next City)
  7. Don’t Try to Make Your City the Next Silicon Valley “Does your city suffer from Silicon Valley envy? If you want to do something about it, experts from Stanford, Harvard, and MIT agree on one thing you should not do -- try to become the next Silicon Valley. Their research documents failed attempts by cities around the world to get there and points the way to a more productive approach for such cities. Two of the most compelling case studies suggest reasons for optimism despite imperfections.” (Forbes)
  8. Amazon Effect Blamed for Spike in Default Rates among Riskier Retailers “The bad news in the retail sector continued to pile up Thursday with the news that the default rate for riskier retailers has spiked in July. The trailing 12-month high-yield default rate among U.S. retailers rose to 2.9% in mid-July from 1.8% at the end of June, after J. Crew completed a $566 million distressed-debt exchange, according to Fitch Ratings. The overall high-yield default rate fell to 1.9% in the same period from 2.2% at the end of June as $4.7 billion of debt rolled out of the default universe.” (MarketWatch)
  9. Wyndham to Buy American Brand for $170M “Wyndham Hotel Group is about to experience a growth spurt. The company, a leader in the midscale lodging segment, has entered into an agreement to acquire the AmericInn hotel brand and its management company, Three Rivers Hospitality, from Northcott Hospitality. Wyndham will shell out $170 million on the purchase, which will enhance its holdings by 200 primarily franchised hotels totaling 11,600 rooms, and a pipeline of 23 projects.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Master of His Domain “Robert Silverstein’s office, buried in a large commercial building off of Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, has few of the trappings that one might expect of a space occupied by the most influential land-use attorney working in the thriving metropolis that is Los Angeles. The walls are mostly barren aside from a few thank-you notes from past clients. He has no prominently displayed awards, and upon initial meeting, he’s more interested in showing off an exotic Kaua’i Sugarloaf pineapple gifted to him than in boasting of his successes fighting City Hall.” (The Real Deal)
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