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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 7, 2017)


  1. Welcome, Airbnb Guest! Your Neighbors Are the Trumps “The apartment has spacious windows, a sleek kitchen and expansive views of Manhattan. It boasts a prime location close to Central Park and Rockefeller Center and promises all the excitement of a luxury apartment in Midtown Manhattan. And it was available for a substantial, but not completely unheard-of, price of about $300 to $450 a night through the home rental website Airbnb. Renters would just need to go through an extensive Secret Service screening downstairs. The rental was inside Trump Tower.” (The New York Times)
  2. Why the Fed’s Almost Certain Rate Hike Is an Even Bigger Deal than Normal “Instead of recoiling in terror at the thought that the Fed not only is ready to hike interest rates but also is prepared to do so on a regular basis, the market essentially has shrugged. No wailing, no gnashing of teeth, just a general recognition that higher rates are in the future and that doesn't spell looming catastrophe. Indeed, the notable part of the reaction was that there was so little reaction, even though the unmistakable momentum for a rate hike seemed to come out of nowhere.” (CNBC)
  3. Struggling Shopping Malls Let High Schools, Doctors Move In Where Penney’s Used to Be “Beneath some positive stats, shopping malls are facing serious problems that threaten their health, including a shift to non-retail tenants and forecasted rent declines, according to Wells Fargo analysts. Wells Fargo stresses a need to look deeper at high mall occupancy rates. Occupancy for the fourth quarter of 2016 was 93.6%, near the 93.3% for all of 2015, according to data from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, cited by the International Council of Shopping Centers. However, the type of tenants many malls have is shifting to a lower-quality occupant.” (MarketWatch)
  4. How This Real Estate Developer Went from Sweeping Floors to Making Millions “Sidney Torres got his start in real estate as an entry-level worker at a construction company. His job was to sweep the floors and clean the windows of newly-sold homes. As he worked his way up at the company, he became enamored with the idea of flipping houses. He wanted to purchase his first ‘fixer upper’ home, but there was a problem: He couldn’t afford it on his $25,000 salary. ‘So I went to my grandmother,’ he said.” (Fortune)
  5. Off-Pricer to Open 90 Stores in 2017 “Ross Stores continues to maintain an aggressive store expansion strategy. The retailer recently opened 23 Ross Dress for Less stores and five dd's Discounts stores across 15 different states in February and March. The new locations are part of the company's plans to add approximately 70 Ross stores and 20 dd's locations during 2017. With the new openings, Ross now operate a total of 1,561 Ross Dress for Less and 198 dd's stores across 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.” (Chain Store Age)
  6. REIT Property Acquisitions Fall Back to Earth “REIT acquisitions declined to a trickle while dispositions increased in 2016, and the signs are that the trend of weak net acquisitions may continue in 2017. Acquisition activity for equity REITs totaled $63.6 billion in 2016, down 35 percent year-over-year, and fourth quarter volume of $7.9 billion was the lowest quarterly total since 2Q10, according to NAREIT’s quarterly T-Tracker. Meanwhile, REIT dispositions rose 31 percent year-over-year in 2016 to $52.2 billion, the highest annual figure in industry history. Disposition activity was led by apartment and office REITs.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. If Your Property Tax is Sky-High, Challenge It. Here’s How “In recent years, property-tax hikes have been a preferred way for budget-strapped municipalities to generate additional revenue. This tax policy of soaking homeowners has grown worse, as home values rise during the current economic recovery. Keep in mind that properties typically are assessed only every several years or more, which means the designated values can be behind the curve and not in synch with reality.” (The Street)
  8. Jonathan Rose Purchases Forest City’s Federally Assisted Housing Portfolio “Forest City Realty Trust has executed a master purchase and sale agreement with Jonathan Rose Companies, which will acquire Forest City’s equity interest in a portfolio of 47 federally-assisted housing communities across nine states and the District of Columbia for $80 million. Forest City is set to receive $65 million in cash proceeds from the transaction. Given the size and scope of the deal, both companies are expected to begin closing separately in the second quarter and finish in the fourth.” (Multifamily Executive)
  9. Jared Kushner Looks to Still Be Tied Up in 229 West 43rd Street Retail Condo “The White House recently confirmed that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and perhaps his closest adviser, would hold on to some of his real estate assets. Kushner, who recently stepped down as head of Kushner Companies, has so far declined to provide a comprehensive list of what he will and will not keep. But a loan document reviewed by real estate attorneys for The Real Deal suggests that he is still tied up in at least one major piece of the Kushner Companies property empire: a retail condo at the base of the former New York Times building that the firm paid $295 million for.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Bankrupt Retailer BCBG Selling Fashion, Fixtures at 8 Stores Closing in Chicago Area “Bargain hunters can do a one-stop fashion and home makeover during store closing sales at bankrupt retailer BCBG. The glitzy fashion house is heavily discounting everything from strappy sandals and cocktail dresses to store fixtures and furniture at eight Chicago-area locations, which are closing as part of its court-approved reorganization strategy. Founded in 1989, the Los Angeles-based chain, long a favorite among Hollywood celebrities, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 28, listing liabilities of more than $500 million.” (Chicago Tribune)
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