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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 18, 2017)

Lidl will open 20 U.S. grocery stores in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, creating 5,000 jobs, according to MarketWatch. Seated before the Senate Banking Committee, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin says 3 percent economic growth is achievable, CNBC reports. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.


  1. Germany’s Lidl to open its first U.S. stores in June, create 5,000 jobs “German grocer Lidl said Wednesday that it’s going to open its first U.S. stores on June 15. The company will open 20 stores this summer in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. By next summer, it plans to have up to 100 stores across the East Coast, and create a total of 5,000 jobs. Stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.” (MarketWatch)
  2. Sec. Mnuchin: 3% economic growth is achievable "[VIDEO] Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the Senate Banking Committee." (CNBC)
  3. The Seat Belt Is Tightening For Auto And Commercial Real Estate Lending “From manufacturing and sales to lending, the auto industry is skidding on some rough spots. The question is whether or not it’s looking at the commercial real estate market, another industry that revolves around debt, in its rearview mirror. Just a few months ago, Ford announced it was putting$700 million into its manufacturing plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, and adding 700 jobs there. This week, however, the auto manufacturer said it would cut 10% of its salaried jobs in North America and Asia -- over 1,400 positions, though factory jobs are currently unaffected -- to boost its profits and its stock price. And it’s not just Ford. Overall U.S. auto sales dropped 4.7% in April, marking the fourth consecutive month of slowed demand. In addition to Ford, Nissan, General Motors and Toyota also reported U.S. sales declines in April. At the same time, prospective auto consumers are facingtightened credit standards, with a May report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showing that drivers with low credit scores are having a harder time getting auto loans. But the trend of tightening lending standards is not limited to the auto industry.” (Forbes)
  4. At SALT, One of the Richest Real Estate Investors Alive Is Still Pitching Gloom and Doom "Billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell continues to pull no punches on the problems for commercial real estate developers, in large part caused by them sitting on scores of abandoned former retail sites. 'In the last 12 months the liquidity of the commercial real estate market has definitely been reduced,' Zell told a crowd of onlookers at the SALT conference on Wednesday. 'Twelve months ago we would be liquidating and put a property up for sale, we'd get ten buyers -- now we put a property up for sale and we look for a buyer. Again, the question is where is the demand? The demand is not growing commensurate with our ability to create new space.' Zell's comments are in line to ones he made to TheStreet just a few weeks ago. "I doubt they can find other viable tenants, other tenants that can generate the type of traffic that a Macy's (M) or a Sears (SHLD) have historically created," Zell told TheStreet about developers holding mall-based real estate." (The Street)
  5. David Beckham group unveils new Miami stadium plan “David Beckham’s Miami negotiators unveiled an airy, open-roof stadium for Overtown Wednesday night, a retooled design that still sticks with the central premise that the 25,000-seat soccer venue doesn’t need parking facilities. ‘We’re going to be encouraging the use of Metromover, Metrorail, water taxis, ride-sharing,’ said Spencer Crowley, a lawyer and lobbyist representing Miami Beckham United in its talks with Miami-Dade to buy a parcel needed for its nine-acre stadium site near the Miami River. ‘We view this as a paradigm shift for the county as to how people get to large events.’ The Beckham group needs an agreement to buy the county land before it can get formal approval from Major League Soccer to bring an expansion franchise to Miami — a quest Beckham began in early 2014, only to be foiled in bids for three other sites before settling on Overtown. The venture stalled last year when Beckham was unable to secure investor backing for a venture expected to cost more than $300 million.” (Miami Herald) 
  6. Why Millennials Are Interested In Real Estate Investing “Americans have stashed the majority of their investment dollars in the stock market over the years. But there may be a new trend on the horizon. In 2007, nearly two-thirds of Americans were investing in the stock market; last year, just over half did. A new generation of investors may be turning to real estate instead. RealtyShares recently teamed up with Harris Interactive to put out the Real Estate Investing Report, surveying Americans on their investment preferences. And according to the survey results, 55 percent of millennials are interested in investing in real estate, the highest percentage of all demographics questioned. Research from Fannie Mae supports these findings, reporting that 85 percent of millennials think real estate is a good investment. With such a strong preference for real estate, it is important to understand why millennials are interested and how they may invest in the future. Why is it important? Well, last year, millennials became the largest generation of Americans. According to arecent Pew report, there are 75.4 million millennials compared with 74.9 million baby boomers. As the largest age group in America, millennials will have the greatest ability to shift the market as their net worth builds, rendering it key to take note of millennials’ views on real estate and investment opportunities overall." (Forbes
  7. The world's first official Nutella cafe is opening in Chicago “Walking into the first-ever, brand new Nutella Cafe on Michigan Avenue is like walking into a jar of Nutella itself. The warm, creamy white color of the walls is complemented by the dripping Nutella-colored embellishments on the ceiling, accented by hanging lights in the shape of flowers of the hazelnut plant.  Everything in the cafe is inspired by a jar of the chocolate and hazelnut goodness. Red accents evoke the feeling of dipping a spoon into a freshly opened jar, the bright red ‘Nutella’ logo staring at you in the face.  ‘It's designed to make you feel like you're actually walking into a jar of Nutella,’ said Angela Baird, the director of operations at BIG Retail, who consulted with Ferrero USA, Nutella's parent company on creating the space. ‘Everything screams 'Nutella.'’ The ground floor of the restaurant has an open floor plan with communal tables and smaller cafe-style seating for pairs of people to sit and talk over the many options, ranging from sweet to savory.” (Chicago Tribune
  8. Bridge Housing Bridges Gap With Bay Area Affordable Community “Bridge Housing is helping bridge the income gap with the opening of Marea Alta, a mixed-use, transit-oriented, affordable housing development designed by Ankrom Moisan Architects. The company has completed the first phase of the project, which includes 115 affordable family apartments and a child care center, and has broken ground on the second phase: 85 adjacent units for low-income seniors. Located at 1400 San Leandro Blvd. in San Leandro, Calif., in-between interstates 880 and 580, the development is located on a former BART parking lot opposite San Leandro BART Station. The first phase targets households earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income ($31,290 to $57,365 for a family of four) and also includes 7,829 square feet of retail and more than 240 below-grade parking spaces for BART patrons. The property features studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments. The child care center will be operated by Davis Street Family Resource Center.” (MultiHousing News)
  9. New renderings for City Market, a Fashion District megaproject “New renderings for the Fashion District’s City Market project have surfaced, thanks to a presentation given this week to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee. The massive and transformative development would spread across a nearly 10-acre site roughly bordered by Ninth, San Pedro, 12th, and San Julian streets, with two additional sections off San Julian. The project site, formerly a produce market, would eventually be home to a host of new buildings ranging from three stories tall to 38 stories, along with open space both private and public. A 25-year build-out for the multi-phase project is projected. Designs by HansonLA offer a glimpse of the expansive planned development.” (Los Angeles Curbed)
  10. Avera to Develop Rail-Served Industrial Facility in Houston “Houston-based Avera Cos. will be developing a 143-acre industrial complex in Pasadena, Texas, Avera announced Tuesday. Bayport Logistics Park will feature 7,000 feet of frontage on a Union Pacific rail line and apparently is envisioned to eventually comprise three or four buildings. The site, on the east side of Underwood Road just south of Fairmont Parkway, is within the Bayport Industrial District and is also only about 5 miles from both the Barbour’s Cut and Bayport container terminals. The site also includes pipeline access and will allow for rail-served buildings between 200,000 and 900,000 square feet and non rail-served buildings of up to 1 million square feet.” (Commercial Property Executive


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