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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 8, 2019)

Eastern Texas is losing out on the population boom of Dallas and Austin, according to The New York Times. WeWork plans to sell up to $4 billion in debt ahead of its upcoming IPO, reports Reuters. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The ‘Texas Miracle’ Missed Most of Texas “On the eastern plains of Texas, local leaders are trying to stop the bleeding of talent to the bright lights of Dallas and Austin. They are sprucing up downtown, completing 10 miles of walking trails, investing in parks and schools and making other improvements that they hope will entice young workers to stay and help this part of the state finally claim a share of the Texas Miracle.” (The New York Times)
  2. New York Condo Conversions Near the End, a Casualty of Rent Reform “A longtime New York City practice that promoted homeownership, transformed neighborhoods and enriched thousands of middle-class renters is effectively over. It ended on June 14, when a New York state law to strengthen tenant protections went into effect. A provision in the law requires that 51 percent of existing tenants agree to buy their apartments before a building can be converted into a condominium or a cooperative—a mandate that much of the real-estate industry says will be rarely reachable, at best.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. WeWork Will Reportedly Raise Billions Selling Debt Before its IPO “WeWork — the provider of co-working spaces — might make a stop in the debt market on its way to an inital public offering. According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, WeWork is looking to raise between $3 billion and $4 billion in debt before its goes public sometime in 2019 or 2020. The debt facility could swell to as much as $10 billion over the next few years and bring in more money than WeWork's expected IPO, according to the report.” (Reuters)
  4. Eight Things to Know About Industrial Real Estate “Everyone knows that retail is evolving, and common thought says that retail that is not customer-focused will fail. Brick-and-mortar retailers with exceptional customer service or experiential offerings and food-related retailers will thrive. Contributing to this transformation is the rise in e-commerce. The popularity of e-commerce is not just hype; it is real and only just getting started. Our internal research has found that industrial and logistics is the most attractive sector for real estate investment for three years in a row.” (Forbes)
  5. Chain Store Bans in San Francisco Leave More Shops Empty, Critics Say “San Francisco is home to some of fashion’s biggest names: Levi Strauss & Co., Gap and Old Navy. But in three neighborhoods — North Beach, Chinatown and Hayes Valley — those local companies are banned from opening new stores. That’s because the city forbids chains, defined as having more than 11 locations globally, in those areas. The bans were passed starting in 2004, after residents fought the encroachment of large corporations into neighborhood retail districts. Other areas require additional permits for such stores, also known as formula retail.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  6. People Are Spending $500 a Month to Avoid Their Co-Workers “Co-working spaces are typically seen as the arena of freelancers and startup founders, but now employees like Aliye are spending upwards of $300 a month on memberships to get away from their offices — and, in some cases, the people in them. The Wing offers plans starting at $215 a month. A “hot desk” at WeWork can go for anywhere from $250 to over $500 a month, depending on what city you’re in. The lowest priced desk at The Farm, a co-working space in SoHo, starts at $199 a month for the first three months before rising to $299.” (MarketWatch)
  7. Growing Pains, Housing Crunch Strain Town-Gown Relations in Berkeley, Palo Alto “The Bay Area’s top universities and their cities are quarreling — in court, as UC Berkeley faces lawsuits from elected officials and neighbors, and in City Hall, as Stanford engages in testy negotiations with Santa Clara County. ‘Town and gown’ tensions date back to the Middle Ages, when medieval universities first encroached on their host communities, which pushed back. The current discord — over enrollment growth, housing and whose rights are paramount — suggests little has changed over the centuries except the cash at stake: millions of dollars. Billions in Stanford’s case.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  8. California Tallies Damage from Quakes “The damage already caused and the possibility of more prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to ask President Trump for emergency aid. And it is fraying already-shot nerves here in Trona. The community, population about 2,000, has long been considered a gateway to Death Valley; last week it became the earthquakes’ epicenter. On Sunday afternoon, Trona residents were dealing with fallen chimneys and shattered windows as they waited for the earth to start shaking again.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. Opportunity Zones Attract Serious Money “In a new report—In the Opportunity Zone: Location. Timing. Capital—the company estimates that those funds are targeting an aggregate total of more than $44 billion in equity. And that total leaves out more than 200 smaller funds. Overall, capital inflows are expected to increase anywhere from $100 billion to more than $6 trillion. In fact, there’s enough money starting to flow into OZ investments that it’s beginning to have an effect on prices.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Three Questions to Determine How Much Wealth You can Build with a Rental Property “When you’re looking solely at how much money you’ll earn from a rental property, you’ll estimate how much you can charge for rent and how you can minimize property management expenses. These types of calculations are important, but they don’t offer a complete picture of how much value the property will create for you. A better question to ask is, ‘How much wealth can I build with my rental property?’ The answer to this question will give you a more comprehensive picture of your investment's worth.” (Forbes)
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