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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 30, 2018)

The Federal Reserve will issue a statement promising more rate hikes, according to MarketWatch. Discount retailers continue to expand, reports Chicago Tribune. These are the must reads from around the commercial real estate industry today.

  1. Fed to Send Clear Message That More Rate Hikes Are Coming “The Federal Reserve will issue a statement declaring strong growth and inflation moving to its 2% target, making clear more interest rate hikes are coming. ‘All they need to do is to point to current growth and inflation numbers and it tees up the next rate hike in September,’ said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. The Federal Open Market Committee will release a statement at 2 p.m. Wednesday after two days of talks.” (MarketWatch)
  2. Investors Worry U.S. ‘Visas to Millionaires’ Program May Soon Be Overhauled “On Sept. 30, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program — under which foreigners have invested billions of dollars in the U.S. to obtain permanent resident status in the country — is set to expire. It has helped tens of thousands realize their American dream, but it is facing sharp criticism over misuse as politicians and government officials call for radical reforms and have even suggested scrapping the 28-year-old program.” (CNBC)
  3. Former Warehouse in Chelsea Sells for $900 Million “A joint venture of L&L Holding Co. and Normandy Real Estate Partners has agreed to pay about $900 million for a storied, former freight warehouse in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, tripling the property’s valuation from four years ago and underscoring the area’s dramatic changes over the last several decades. L&L and Normandy signed a contract to acquire the far West Side property known as Terminal Stores from the partnership of Waterfront New York and GreenOak Real Estate Advisors LP, according to people familiar with the deal.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Walmart Discovers Why the ‘Last Mile’ Is the Hardest “Standing before an audience of 14,000 people last year, Walmart executives described a radical plan to help it fend off Amazon and other online delivery services from stealing its customers. Walmart's own store employees would bring online orders directly to shoppers' homes after completing their usual shifts of up to nine hours on the sales floors. Aiming to lower the retailer's shipping costs by tapping its massive workforce, the program was part of a multi-pronged strategy to boost its $11.5 billion U.S. e-commerce business and tackle one of the biggest challenges in retail: the so-called ‘last mile’ of delivering goods to online customers.” (CNBC)
  5. Red Flags That Indicate a Real Estate Market Crash “The housing market is hot. Prices are up, inventory is down, and the market is active. Many people are starting to become cautious of a ‘real estate bubble.’ The past has revealed many red flags which would indicate a real estate market may very well crash. Professor Fred Foldvary wrote in 1997 that ‘the next major bust, 18 years after the 1990 downturn, will be around 2008, if there is no major interruption such as a global war.’ He successfully predicted the crash would occur and based his prediction on the past.” (Forbes)
  6. Sears Is Closing Stores. Carson’s Is Going Out of Business. But Discount Retailers Are Expanding and Racking Up Sales “As retailers scramble to find solutions to the e-commerce-fueled bricks-and-mortar crisis, department store chains like Nordstrom and Macy’s are embracing off-price models. Last Chance, Nordstrom Rack and Macy’s Backstage — along with traditional discounters like TJ Maxx — have continued attracting shoppers with the promise of a treasure hunt, something online merchants can’t quite replicate. Sears, Carson’s and other onetime retail giants are closing stores or going out of business, but off-price chains have plans to open hundreds of new stores in the coming years.” (Chicago Tribune)
  7. Behind WeWork’s Push to Capture the Elusive Mid-Size Tenant “When WeWork started off in 2010, it made a name for itself as a solution for freelancers and small companies in search of a desk. In recent years, it started targeting big corporations as customers. Now, the co-working giant is turning its attention to the office market’s forgotten middle class: firms with 10 to 250 employees. ‘You’re going to start to see us do more and more stuff that’s going to target this business segment,’ said WeWork’s chief growth officer David Fano.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Hines to Bring 1.5 MSF Logistics Park to Houston “Hines has acquired 107 acres in the heart of the northwest submarket of Houston from Maxaam Inc., which it will turn into Grand National Business Park, a two-phase logistics park that will total 1.5 million square feet when complete. ‘The development is located in the heart of Houston’s Northwest submarket and offers scale and Beltway frontage, which are very difficult to find in today’s land constrained northwest submarket,’ Palmer Letzerich, Hines’ senior managing director, told Commercial Property Executive.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  9. Aldi Expanding in the Garden State “German discount grocer Aldi is ramping up expansion in New Jersey. The company plans to add more than five additional stores in New Jersey by the end of 2018, reported Aldi currently operates more than 40 locations in the state. Last year, Aldi unveiled an ambitious $1.9 billion remodeling initiative, with plans to remodel and expand more than 1,300 of its locations by 2020.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. MetLife Investment Management Buys Boston Office Asset for $97M “The creative office building at 89 A St. in Needham, Mass., has come under new ownership, courtesy of a transaction orchestrated by NKF Capital Markets. Acting on behalf of Normandy Real Estate Partners and Westbrook Partners, the commercial real estate advisory firm sold the approximately 247,500-square-foot property to MetLife Investment Management for $96.5 million. 89 A St. sits within Founders Park, Normandy’s 41-acre redevelopment of the former General Dynamics campus in the Route 128 submarket.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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