Skip navigation
10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 17, 2017)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 17, 2017)

A new project in Chicago will combine student dorms with regular apartments, Crain's Chicago Business reports. CNBC looks at the 138 locations J.C. Penney has said it will close. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.


  1. Your CrossFit and Equinox obsession could be helping to boost home prices “It only makes sense, then, that Crossfitters like her want to live near a gym. Real-estate agents are increasingly calling out proximity to gyms in real estate listings or when showing clients condos or homes — something previously only done with good schools and restaurants. The percentage of listings in luxury apartments that contained the words “gym”, “weight room” or “workout studio” rose to 11% in January 2016 versus just 7.4% in 2010, according to data from real estate site Redfin. (Redfin deemed “luxury” properties as those in the top 5% by sale price.) In all other apartment buildings and housing developments, the percentage of gyms rose to 6.7% in January 2016 compared to an increase of just 3.9% in 2010.” (MarketWatch)
  2. These are the 138 JC Penney stores that are about to close “J.C. Penney has released the list of 138 stores it plans to close in an effort to cut costs and grow sales at its strongest locations. The release comes a few weeks after Penney's said it would close up to 140 stores this year, following similar decisions from Macy's and Sears. Between the companies' four biggest chains, which include Sears' Kmart brand, more than 300 big-box stores will go dark this year alone. The closures highlight the pressures on traditional department stores, which are losing market share to off-price competitors and Amazon. They also underscore the deteriorating economics at lower-quality shopping centers, whose risk of failure rises when an anchor tenant exits. ‘We believe closing stores will allow us to adjust our business to effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers,’ J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement back in February.” (CNBC)
  3. Two states accounted for nearly 30% of grocery store openings last year “The Lone Star State and Golden State are ripe areas for grocery store expansion. In 2016, more than 440 grocery stores opened in the United States, adding 18.8 million sq. ft. of space. And 27% of those stores opened in two states: Texas and California. That’s according to JLL’s latest Grocery Tracker JLL’s latest Grocery explores four trends transforming the grocery shopping sector. After Texas and California, the next three largest states in terms of new grocery store space were North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey, which each accounted for 5% of total space delivered in 2016. Aldi and Grocery Outlet dominated California, while Kroger and H-E-B continued their push into the Texas market. Overall, Aldi and Whole Foods were the biggest movers in the sector, opening the most stores by count.” (Chain Store Age)
  4. Best Cities in U.S. Where Jobs, Affordable Housing Intersect Revealed “According to a new report issued this week by Zillow and LinkedIn, there's a good reason thousands of technology workers are flocking to Seattle: the math works out. Tech workers who rent in Seattle can expect to have around $5,500 left over each month after covering taxes and rental housing costs. In San Francisco, they're left with about $4,000. Zillow and LinkedIn both combined U.S. housing and employment data to analyze a common set of priorities: an affordable rental home and a good job. The two companies used job listings data, salary data, and the percent of workers hired in the past year in three industries: health care, technology, and finance. By analyzing income tax rates and Zillow's median rent data, they were able to find housing markets across the country where those workers can pocket the largest share of their income after paying rent. For technology workers who rent, Seattle, Austin and Pittsburgh, Penn. came out on top among the housing markets analyzed, with the Bay Area at #4. Finance workers will find job and rental housing harmony most easily in Charlotte, NC, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Phoenix. Healthcare workers' best bets are Phoenix, Indianapolis, Ind., and Boston.” (World Property Journal)
  5. HUD Sec Ben Carson champions program Trump budget aims to kill “Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson was not in Washington, D.C., today defending his administration's new budget proposal. Instead, he was touting a program that President Donald Trump's budget aims to obliterate. Carson was in Detroit, listening to citizens and visiting the city's HUD field office. He stopped for lunch at a restaurant funded by Motor City Match and tweeted that the program ‘is a wonderful example of community revitalization at work.’ Motor City Match is a program that pairs businesses in Detroit with available real estate options. It helps businesses locate and thrive in Detroit by providing competitive grants, loans and counseling to building owners and business owners, according to its website. Motor City Match is run by the city but funded in part by HUD's Community Development Block Grant program — the $3 billion program that the Trump administration's FY 2018 budget cuts entirely.” (CNBC)
  6. Sheldon Silver Appeal Looks to New Definition of Corruption “A lawyer for Sheldon Silver cited a unanimous Supreme Court decision that narrowed the definition of what kind of conduct can serve as the basis for a corruption prosecution, as he argued on Thursday that the disgraced former speaker of the State Assembly should be acquitted or granted a new trial. The lawyer, Steven F. Molo, invoked the 2016 Supreme Court decision — which was handed down seven months after Mr. Silver’s conviction and involved former Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Virginia Republican — in arguments before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Manhattan. But a federal prosecutor told the panel that the evidence at Mr. Silver’s trial “overwhelmingly established that Sheldon Silver abused the immense power that he had as the speaker of the Assembly,” and that his case was “nothing like the McDonnell case.” The McDonnell ruling has become a focal point of Mr. Silver’s appeal and the appeals of Dean G. Skelos, the former Republican majority leader of the State Senate, and his son, Adam, who last year were both also convicted of corruption charges. The Skeloses’ appeals have not yet been argued.”
  7. Portico Property Management, Crossbeam Capital Announce JV “Portico Property Management and Crossbeam Capital, a multifamily real estate investment firm, recently launched a joint venture that will runt its property management operations under the Portico brand, in the company’s Dallas and Houston offices. The firms will merge back-end operations and support services, creating ease of use for investors and clients. The partnership will house more than 6,200 multifamily units in Texas, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Portico’s President, Darren Williams, will lead combined operations and approximately 173 employees in the two firms will provide support to investors and clients.” (MultiHousing News)
  8. Miami’s Class A office space, already expensive, will likely get pricier: panel “Rents for Class A office space in Miami are high, at $50 or more per square foot, and will continue rising as the market tightens, real estate experts told attendees at a conference Thursday. Panelists also said that, despite the city’s increasing traffic problems, they expected sustainable demand growth for Miami commercial properties in the future, since the city is an appealing location and a gateway to Latin America.The market is tightening up,’ said Angelo Bianco, managing partner at Crocker Partners during the Bisnow panel event. ‘Developers are getting better rates and lower concessions.’ At the same time, he added, ‘Capital markets seem to be taking a break and people are more cautious. Deals are taking longer to close.’ Asked if office rents in Miami were becoming too expensive, W. Allen Morris, chairman and CEO of The Allen Morris Co., said that rents here were high compared to a city like Atlanta, “but they’re low compared to other global cities like New York, London, San Francisco or Chicago.” If developers can find any additional land – without condos – they would build more commercial space, Morris said.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Wanna live in a dorm? “A Chicago student housing investor is trying out something new in Lincoln Park: a dorm that caters to both college students and young professionals. A joint venture including the Scion Group bought a 580-bed student housing complex at 1237 W. Fullerton Ave. that now mainly rents to DePaul University students. Scion President Robert Bronstein plans to change that by marketing the property, called 1237 West, to recent graduates who aren't quite ready to give up the communal living of their college years. ‘I've had this idea for years, and I really want to test it,’ he said. Called "co-living" by some, it's an idea gaining currency in big cities where apartment rents have soared, offering a low-cost alternative for young grads who don't make enough money yet to afford their own place.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  10. Chinese investment is helping to fuel Downtown LA’s development boom “A development boom in Downtown Los Angeles continues to reshape the city’s skyline, and a new report from real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield shows that much of the growth in Downtown and beyond has been shaped by Chinese investment. Los Angeles trails only New York and San Francisco in terms of popularity with Chinese real estate groups looking for American investment opportunities. Seven percent of all Chinese investment in American real estate in 2016 was centered in the LA area, with over $1.5 billion of total spending. That’s a big dropoff from 2014, which saw $2.625 billion of total investment, but it’s a huge increase from 2012, when Chinese investors put just $74 million into the LA real estate market. 2015 also saw over $1.5 billion in Chinese investment. The visible effects of this uptick in Chinese investment are massive projects like Downtown’s Metropolis towers and the forthcoming Oceanwide Plaza. The report notes that both projects, backed by Chinese capital, ‘are transforming LA’s skyline, revitalizing neighborhoods and inspiring additional investment.’”
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.