10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 27, 2017)

The Federal Reserve indicated it will soon start reducing government and mortgage debt, reports MarketWatch. Whole Foods same-store sales continue to fall, according to Forbes. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed to Wind Down Bond Holdings ‘Relatively Soon’ “The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it will start to reduce its massive $4.5 trillion pile of government and mortgage debt ‘relatively soon,’ a long-expected move that reflects the central bank’s optimism in a steadily growing U.S. economy. In May the Fed said it would begin to wind down its balance sheet later ‘this year.’ The latest statement points to the central bank either announcing or launching the effort by September.” (MarketWatch)
  2. Ahead of Amazon Merger, Whole Foods Same-Store Sales Fall for 8th Consecutive Quarter “Whole Foods has released what could be its last earnings report before its $13.7 billion merger with Amazon is finalized, but the numbers aren't exactly paving the way for going out of the public market with a bang. The natural and organic grocery chain revealed Wednesday that despite edging above the Wall Street forecasts with its top- and bottom-line results, its same-store sales declined for the eighth consecutive quarter.” (Forbes)
  3. Pitch for Trump Tower Mumbai Plays Up Connection to Donald Trump “Promotional materials for the Trump Tower in Mumbai improperly featured a reference to President Donald Trump, showing how difficult it is to separate the president from a brand whose value is based on his name.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. 4 Hidden Gem REITs, Paying Up to 6.6% “Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are now a core source of income for investors and retirees. REITs represent more than $1.1 trillion worth of equity market capitalization. Their popularity has soared – the amount spent trading REITs is nearly double what it was just 10 years ago. The downside of fame? There aren’t nearly as many hidden gems in the sector as there used to be. At this point, companies like Simon Property Group (SPG), Realty Income (O) and even Public Storage (PSA) are widely known and covered – and their valuations show it.” (Forbes)
  5. Real Estate Investment Platform RealtyShares Buys Competitor Acquire Real Estate “RealtyShares, an online funding platform that lets investors buy fractional ownership of properties, has acquired competitor Acquire Real Estate. The deal marks the first acquisition in the online real estate investing industry and will help RealtyShares develop new technology, including a secondary market through which investors can trade shares of real estate equity or debt, RealtyShares CEO Nav Athwal said. Athwal declined to disclose financial terms of the deal.” (Inman)
  6. Williams-Sonoma Debuts New, Dual Concept in Seattle “Williams Sonoma's largest new concept store is now up and running in the Emerald City. Opening day was last Saturday for the company’s new Pacific Northwest flagship location, a 7,000 square-foot store located in University Village. The merchandise mix comprises Williams Sonoma Home furnishings as well as Williams Sonoma kitchen products and a curated offering of local foods.” (Home & Textiles Today)
  7. The 10 Best Cities for Getting a Job in Tech Beyond Silicon Valley “The verdict is out: While Silicon Valley is home to many of the most desirable tech companies, it is no longer the tech job mecca. New data research by jobs and recruiting website Glassdoor shows that in the past five years, the share of software-related roles in San Jose, California, the valley's biggest metro area, has declined. And it's not that there are fewer of these jobs in the United States. In fact, software engineers are the most sought-after employees today.” (CNBC)
  8. The EB-5 Program Has a Growing Problem. A New Fund Seeks to Tackle It “Greystone, investment advisor Capital United and fintech firm NES Financial on Thursday launched what they claim is the first specialized EB-5 redeployment fund. The firms hope to tackle a growing and underreported problem faced by developers who tap into the popular cash-for-visa program: what to do when a project is finished but the foreign investors who paid for it are still waiting for a green card?’ (The Real Deal)
  9. CBRE Arranges Largest Philly Office Sale “The 1.8 million-square-foot Centre Square, a prominent office complex in Philadelphia’s central business district, has come under new ownership in the largest office transaction in the city’s history based on square footage. Acting on behalf of Equity Commonwealth, capital solutions and investment sales provider CBRE Capital Markets orchestrated the sale of the seminal two-tower property to Nightingale Properties LLC for $328 million.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Indoor-Outdoor Lifestyle Goes High-Density “Upscale communities can offer concierge services out of their rec centers, while family-oriented projects sometimes feature arcade games for kids. To decide what features your community’s rec center needs, look at the demographic and design accordingly. The quality of these facilities is particularly important to mature buyers, such as empty-nesters looking for social interaction.” (Multifamily Executive)
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