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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 7, 2019)

Dollar Tree will close hundreds of Family Dollar stores, reports CNBC. A San Francisco program for affordable housing seems to be working, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Dollar Tree to Close Up to 390 Family Dollar Stores, Reports $2.3 Billion Loss “Discount retailer Dollar Tree plans to close 390 Family Dollar stores this year while renovating 1,000 other locations, the company said in releasing its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday. ‘We are confident we are taking the appropriate steps to reposition our Family Dollar brand for increasing profitability as business initiatives gain traction in the back half of fiscal 2019,’ CEO Gary Philbin said in announcing the results.” (CNBC)
  2. Here's the Share of Income That Goes to Rent in Cities Across the Country “When you browse rental listings in different spots across the country, you can come across both eye-popping high prices and equally surprising low ones. Whether any of them are actually affordable for you is another question. One way to measure rent affordability is to consider not just the price itself, but the share of your income that it devours. The above map shows how much of a city's average income goes toward rent for a one-bedroom apartment, using 2018 data from both real estate site Zillow and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” (CNBC)
  3. Amazon to Shut All U.S. Pop-Up Stores as It Rethinks Physical Retail Strategy “Amazon.com Inc. is shutting down all 87 of its U.S. pop-up stores, ending the retailer’s yearslong experiment with these small shops as the company tinkers with an evolving bricks-and-mortar strategy. ‘After much review, we came to the decision to discontinue our pop-up kiosk program,’ an Amazon spokeswoman confirmed to The Wall Street Journal. The closings are expected by the end of next month, some employees at Amazon pop-up stores said.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. More New Home Sales Are For Houses That Haven’t Even Been Started Yet. That’s Not a Good Thing “The percent of newly constructed homes sold that hadn’t even been started yet has climbed to a fresh one-year high. In late 2017, MarketWatch published a story called ‘More Americans are buying new homes that haven’t even been started yet.’ At the time, Rob Dietz, the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders called it ‘a real confirmation of strong demand.’ In the Commerce Department’s new-home sales release, out Tuesday, that metric just hit the highest since that story ran last year, at 34.3%.” (MarketWatch)
  5. MGM Resort’s Recent Moves Suggest It Could Be Planning an Acquisition “MGM Resorts International is looking for ways to drive growth. There are signs it could be eyeing an acquisition. The gaming company’s results were hurt in 2018 by a boxing fight cancellation and a relatively sluggish Las Vegas convention calendar. In addition, business got off to a slow start at MGM’s newest Macau casino, which opened in February 2018.” (Barron’s)
  6. Sam Zell Calls Gregory Meeks’ Amazon Plan a ‘Croc of S-t’ on Hot Mic “Billionaire real estate developer Sam Zell summed up Rep. Gregory Meeks’ explanation about renewed efforts to revive the Amazon deal as ‘a crock of s–t’ on live television. Zell was caught on a hot mic Wednesday morning on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ moments after a discussion ended with Meeks about the deal to build a second headquarters for the online retail giant in Long Island City.” (CNBC)
  7. Neighborhood-Preference Program for Affordable Housing Proves Effective “A San Francisco program meant to protect people in close-knit neighborhoods from being uprooted by gentrification and soaring housing costs appears to be working some two years after it began. City supervisors created the Neighborhood Resident Housing Preference plan in late 2015. It requires 40 percent of units in new affordable housing developments funded by the city and private sources to be reserved for people living in the supervisorial district where the projects are built or within a half-mile of them.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  8. Uptown Dallas Tower Changes Hands to Become Bank Headquarters “One of Uptown Dallas' first office towers has changed hands. The 17-story Advancial Tower at Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Akard Street has been purchased by a partnership of Dallas' Woodbine Development and First United Bank. The 147,000-square-foot high-rise, built in 1984, will be upgraded to serve as the Dallas headquarters for Oklahoma-based First United Bank.” (Dallas Morning News)
  9. Colony Capital Buys $1.2B Industrial Portfolio Spread Across US “Less than a month after unloading $136 million worth of assets, Colony Capital said it is buying a massive $1.2-billion portfolio of industrial properties spread across the country. The deal, which includes 54 buildings totaling about 11.9 million square feet, will expand the firm’s footprint by 25 percent in square footage terms, said Lew Friedland, managing director at Colony Capital.” (The Real Deal)
  10. U.S. Data Centers Enjoy Record Setting Leasing Year in 2018 “According to CBRE's latest U.S. Data Center Trends Report, demand from large cloud users drove U.S. data center leasing to record levels in 2018, providing momentum for new construction in the sector this year. The seven primary U.S. data center markets saw 303 megawatts (MW) of net absorption in 2018, up more than 16 percent from 2017's then-record total. That absorption nearly eclipsed the 322 MW of capacity added last year. Northern Virginia, the largest data center market in the world, accounted for 58 percent of net absorption in the primary markets.” (World Property Journal)
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