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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 11, 2019)

The real estate industry says too strict rent regulations would affect not only wealthy landlords, but also the working class, reports The New York Times. Luxury condos at the Waldorf Astoria hotel will hit the market as the supply of new luxury apartments is expected to be at a peak, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Inside the Stealth Campaign for ‘Responsible Rent Reform’ “The campaign has all the hallmarks of a grass-roots effort: boisterous rallies, emotional testimonials and appeals to remember working-class New Yorkers, as lawmakers weigh a total rewrite of New York City’s rent laws. But the campaign’s organizers are not tenant activists or community groups. Instead, they are a group often cast as the polar opposite: the real estate industry.” (The New York Times)
  2. Home Flipping Rate Hits 9-Year High—and That Could Foretell Troubles in the Housing Market “Home-flipping has rebounded by one key measure. But that’s doesn’t make it an easy path toward becoming rich. Just over 49,000 single-family homes and condos were flipped in the first quarter of 2019, according to a report released this week by real-estate data firm Attom Data Solutions. These homes comprised 7.2% of all home sales nationwide during that time period, representing the highest home-flipping rate since the first quarter of 2010.” (MarketWatch)
  3. A Strategy to Skirt the Real Estate Carnage: Hudson’s Bay Aims to Go Private “Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Co., owner of Saks Fifth Avenue, has tried everything to appease shareholders, from cutting costs to selling off assets. None of it has halted the stock’s steady decline, so chairman Richard Baker is stepping in with a cash bid valued at about $1.31 billion to take the company private. Baker is teaming up with investors, including Rhone Capital LLC and WeWork Property Advisors, to offer $7.12 a share for the remaining stock of Hudson’s Bay. The group owns about 57% of the company’s outstanding common shares, and the offer represents a 48% premium to the retailer’s closing share price on Friday, the investors said in a statement.” (Fortune)
  4. A $1,800 Apartment Became a $3,300 Corporate Rental. Is That Bad for Housing? “Last week, an upstart company started providing furnished apartments for business travelers on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood. Its website describes a “tastefully renovated” apartment complex with “laid back West Coast DNA” and a feeling of ‘whimsical Italian modern maximalism.’ Tony Diamond, the founder of the company behind the project, said the owner of the 30-unit, rent-controlled apartment building worked with him for a simple reason: A studio at the complex near the iconic corner of Hollywood and Highland previously was advertised at $1,800.” (Los Angeles Times)
  5. Readerlink Works Toward Higher Offer for Barnes & Noble “Book distributor Readerlink LLC is working toward making a bid for Barnes & Noble Inc. that would top the price hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. agreed to pay for the book retailer, a person familiar with the situation said. Barnes & Noble said Friday it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Elliott for $6.50 a share, or $475 million in cash. Including the assumption of debt, the deal is worth $683 million. Barnes & Noble shares were trading Monday afternoon at $6.68—above the purchase price, suggesting investors see potential for a higher offer.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. Embedding Sustainability in Real Estate Transactions “While the real estate industry has become much better at integrating sustainability into new development projects, owners and developers have been less successful at driving sustainability in existing buildings. The market is not collectively taking advantage of the period when a building changes hands as an opportunity to address the financing of energy efficiency and sustainability features.” (Urban Land Magazine)
  7. Amazon to Shutter Restaurant Delivery Service “Amazon has decided that home food-delivery isn't to the company's taste.” (The Street)
  8. Waldorf Astoria to Sell Condos, as Chinese Owners Shrug Off Glut “Luxury condos at the Waldorf Astoria hotel are expected to go on sale in the fall, as the historic property’s Chinese owner advances its redevelopment plans despite a market glut and political tensions with the U.S.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. Philadelphia, New Jersey Rank Among Top US Cold Storage Markets “The continued growth in online grocery sales is one factor that prompts CBRE to predict demand for up to 100 million square feet of cold storage space in the US over the next five years.” (GlobeSt.com)
  10. Tech Giants Moving to Manhattan’s Largest Office Space “Manhattan’s largest office building doesn’t enjoy a sexy public profile, but it sure knows how to charm new tenants.” (New York Post)
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