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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 7, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 7, 2016)


  1. Blackstone's Gray Sees Lower Real Estate Returns as CMBS Falters “Volatility in financial markets and new regulations for commercial mortgage-backed securities make it much harder to bundle and sell real estate loans, said Gray, whose firm manages about $94 billion of investor capital in real estate.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Amazon to open second brick-and-mortar bookstore in San Diego “Last month, there was speculation that Amazon would be opening hundreds of brick-and-mortar bookstores after the chief executive officer of a large mall operator, General Growth Properties Inc. GGP, +0.00% said as much on the company’s earnings call.” (MarketWatch)
  3. Staples Is Closing Another 50 Stores “Staples, which is in the midst of a battle to win government approval to buy rival Office Depot, said on Friday it would close 50 of its 1,607 North American stores this year, as it looks to slow declining sales. In the last two fiscal years, Staples closed 242 locations in the U.S. and Canada.” (Fortune)
  4. Top 10 biggest real estate projects coming to NYC “February’s largest building permits were dominated by residential and office buildings in Queens, Harlem and the Bronx, along with a handful of industrial and retail projects, also concentrated in the outer boroughs. The new plans were big, making up for a lackluster, post-421a January, with all but one exceeding 100,000 square feet, and Chris Xu’s 79-story, 778,000-square-foot Long Island residential tower setting a high water mark, according to data from PropertyShark.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Why J.C. Penney CEO Isn't Closing More Stores “Penney has already eliminated 83 stores over the last three years to shake off some of its retail dead weight. But this year, in April, it will close only 7 seven locations, far fewer than the 36 stores Macy’s recently closed, the 50 closings Sears Holdings has planned, or even the 18 that Kohl’s  recently announced.” (Fortune)
  6. Fears Over U.S. Commercial Property Lending Surge “A surge in commercial property has fuelled the fastest annual expansion of US banks’ loan books since 2007, a sign of greater confidence that also raises concerns that lenders are taking on too much risk. Holdings of commercial real estate loans — an area regulators are scrutinising closely because of worries about risky lending practices — jumped about a tenth last year.” (Financial Times)
  7. Commercial real estate market continues growth: Expert: No sign of slowing economy on the immediate horizon “Persistent demand has driven rental rates on the commercial real estate market higher across most of the Peninsula, according to the most recent data available from Colliers International, and available space remains at a premium. The considerable scarcity and expense is most notable locally in downtown Redwood City, where vacancy rates have dropped to 1.63 percent, down from more than 2 percent the month before.” (The San Mateo Daily Journal)
  8. Despite slowing growth, US property values continue to rise: report “Green Street noted that cap rates ‘have flattened out over the past few months,’ with the firm previously forecasting that the current commercial real estate cycle may reach its conclusion in 2016. The cycle has seen property values surpass their pre-recession peak in 2007.” (The Real Deal)
  9. SoFi Said to be Exploring Launch of REIT as Range of Services Expand “SoFi, perhaps the fastest growing marketplace lending platform, is investigating the possibility of launching a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). This is according to a report in Bloomberg that cited people with knowledge of the preparations. SoFi is said to be considering the option as a method to raise capital at a low cost while lending it out long term.” (Crowdfund Insider)
  10. Hodges Ward Elliot Brokers $140M Bronx Multifamily Portfolio Sale Hodges Ward Elliott has brokered the sale of a 38-building multifamily portfolio in the Bronx. Harbor Group International in partnership with Emerald Equities and York Capital acquired the 1,000-unit asset for $140 million. (RE Business Online)


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