Times Square Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 26, 2016)


  1. Real Estate and the U.S. Economy: A Policy Discussion on 2017 & Beyond “The U.S. real estate industry generates more than 20 percent of America’s GDP, employs more than 9 million people, and produces nearly two-thirds of the taxes raised by local governments for essential public services. What is the relationship between the strength of the U.S. real estate market and the overall health of the economy? How do demographic shifts affect real estate trends? How will economic policy decisions in 2017 and beyond affect the strength of the real estate market?” (The Hill)
  2. The Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate on a Budget “These days everyone wants to be the next big-time real estate mogul. And why not? It entails a lifetime of partying with the Hollywood elite, flying on personal jets emblazoned with your name, putting out inspirational, ghost-written best-sellers, or maybe even getting yourself on a presidential ticket. It doesn’t sound half-bad, right? It’s no wonder the idea of flipping—buying low, fixing up, and selling high—has become a bit of a national obsession over the past decade or two. It’s led to a dozen or so fun, fantasy-tinged reality shows (yay!).” (Realtor.com)
  3. What the Changing Tenant List in Times Square Says About Retail “Wonder what the future of retail will look like? The changing tenant list in New York City's Times Square may offer the perfect case study. Just take a look at Hershey. The brand said last week said that it will trade in its current digs in the bustling district for a 6,000-square-foot-shop that's three times the size, to ‘create a destination where people of all ages can interact with our iconic brands.’ Though it has been mum on what exactly that will include, its "Chocolate World" attraction in Hershey, Pennsylvania, could serve as a template.” (CNBC)
  4. PIMCO Adds to Real Estate Team “Paul Vosper has joined PIMCO as an executive vice president and real estate strategist, said spokesman Michael Reid. The position is new. Mr. Vosper is based in the firm's New York office and reports to Jennifer Bridwell, managing director and global head of PIMCO's alternative products. PIMCO has a real estate team of 49 people. In a news release, firm officials say Mr. Vosper’s hiring is part of a continuing expansion of PIMCO’s alternatives business.” (Pensions & Investments)
  5. Feds Probe de Blasio’s Involvement in Brooklyn Hospital Sale “Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating whether Mayor de Blasio engaged in a fund-raising pay-to-play scheme over the controversial sale of a Brooklyn hospital for redevelopment into housing, The Post has learned. The corruption-busting federal prosecutor recently subpoenaed the State University of New York seeking a slew of records regarding de Blasio’s ties to its sale of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, sources said.” (New York Post)
  6. Starbucks’ Shultz to Step Back, Focus on High-End Strategy “I n a move that signals Starbucks’ increasing emphasis on the high end of the coffee market, Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz is stepping back from some of the more day-to-day operations of the coffee chain to focus on long-term global strategy and innovation. Starting Sept. 1, his priorities will be on Starbucks’ higher-end businesses, including the Roasteries, the high-end coffee shops Starbucks first opened in 2014; the Reserve Stores, which sell and brew Starbuck’s more premium, small-lot Reserve coffees; and Princi, the high-end bakery chain Starbucks just invested in.” (The Seattle Times)
  7. NorCal College Campus to Double Size with $1.3B Project “Just over 10 years old, the University of California, Merced, is the youngest and smallest of the UC campuses. By 2020, it will double in size, now that the UC Board of Regents has approved a major expansion and construction program for the campus in the San Joaquin Valley. A formal agreement is expected to be signed by mid-August and groundbreaking is scheduled for October. The $1.3 billion project will add approximately 1.2 million gross square feet of buildings and facilities adjacent to the existing campus.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Unable to Find a Buyer, Entertainment Retailer to Close All Stores “Hastings Entertainment is going out of business. The company, founded in 1968, filed Chapter 11 in June, with the hopes of finding a buyer, but none materialized. On June 20, Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group bought the company to oversee liquidation of the stores in a contractual joint venture. The partners started going-out-of-business sales at all Hastings locations on Saturday, July 23.’” (Chain Store Age)
  9. Sale of Majority Stake in Plaza Hotel Up in the Air “The sale of the majority stake in the Plaza Hotel may have hit another roadblock. Qatar Investment Authority and Prince Alwaleed bin Tal’s Kingdom Holding reportedly offered $550 million for a 75 percent interest in the hotel, the New York Post reported. The controlling stake is currently owned by the Sahara Group, which is headed by Subrata Roy, who has spent the last two years in prison for an alleged illegal bond sale. Roy’s family, however, is seeking at least $600 million for the Plaza, so it’s unclear if they will reject the Qatar Investment Authority’s bid.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Property Investor Confidence Remains High in U.S. Despite Global Market Volatility “According to a property report released this past week by Akerman LLP -- a top 100 U.S. law firm - real estate investors and lenders have a nearly unanimous view of the U.S. commercial real estate market in 2016. The Akerman U.S. Real Estate Sector Report found an overwhelming 92 percent of real estate executives had little or no change in their optimism compared to last year. After a six-year run of recovery, there also is a measured tone of cyclic expectancy and a gathering sense that a slowdown is a sign of a healthy market correction.” (World Property Journal)
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