10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 18, 2018)

Brookfield Property Partners is in negotiations to buy a stake in Kushner Cos.’ 666 Fifth Avenue, reports Reuters. BJ’s Wholesale Club is about to become a publicly-traded company, according to MarketWatch. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Brookfield in Talks to Acquire Stake in Kushner-Owned Tower: Source “Brookfield Property Partners is in talks to acquire a stake in a Fifth Avenue office tower majority owned by a company that was previously run by Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump, a source familiar with a potential deal said on Thursday. Brookfield , one of the world's largest real estate companies, would oversee the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue.” (Reuters)
  2. BJ’s Wholesale Club Files for IPO; to List on NYSE Under Ticker Symbol ‘BJ’ “BJ'S Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. has filed for an initial public offering, saying it has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol "BJ." BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are underwriters on the deal, according to a regulatory filing. The company did not provide a size for the deal but said proceeds will be used to repay debt.” (MarketWatch)
  3. Blackstone to Sell Remaining Stake in Hilton “Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc said on Friday private equity firm Blackstone Group LP has decided to exit the hotel chain operator by selling about 5.8 percent, or 15.8 million shares, of its shares. Hilton said it will not receive any proceeds from the sale. Blackstone took the company public in December 2013, about six years after taking it private in a $26 billion leveraged buyout.” (Reuters)
  4. This Famous Las Vegas Casino Is Getting a $620 Million Makeover—Take a Look Inside “There was a time when Palms was the hottest place in Vegas. Opened in 2001, celebrities like Britney Spears and Michael Phelps famously partied there and it's been featured on reality TV shows from Bravo's ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ to MTV's ‘Real World: Las Vegas.’ But more impressive resorts begun opening on Las Vegas Boulevard, from 2005 to 2010, like Cosmopolitan of Vegas, Wynn and Palazzo, appealing to young crowds with swankier, bi-level suites, celebrity chef-helmed restaurants and glitzy bars and nightclubs on the casino floor — everything Palms lacked.” (CNBC)
  5. How Seattle’s New Tax to Fight Homelessness Could Ruin its Economy “In a shortsighted effort to fight homelessness, Seattle’s city council has approved a new employee ‘head tax’ on companies based in the city. The policy pits growth and progress against each other in a zero-sum game that will do far more harm than good. The head tax is exactly what it sounds like: a straight levy of $0.14 per hour per employee—about $275 a year for a full-time worker—targeting every business in Seattle with revenues of $20 million or more. The proposal’s backers aim to raise around $48 million per year to fund various affordable housing initiatives in order to combat homelessness and provide low-income families with affordable options in the city.” (Fortune)
  6. Trump’s New York Business Could Have Made More Than $100M Last Year “President Trump’s New York real estate operations could have grossed more than $100 million last year, according to his annual financial disclosure, which was released on Wednesday. It’s impossible to know exactly how much money was made because some properties give ranges for income, such as ‘>$5 million,’ but others, like the residential real estate brokerage Trump International Realty, give exact sums.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Sportwear-Maker Puma to Open New York Flagship on Fifth Avenue “German sportswear-maker Puma SE has signed a lease deal to open a flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue shopping corridor, creating a marquee location that will be the first of its kind for the company in North America. Puma is taking a three-level, 24,000 square-foot space at 609 Fifth Ave. at 49th Street, according to SL Green Realty Corp., the real-estate investment trust that owns the building.” (Wall Street Journal)
  8. 8 REITs Yielding 8% Plus “For several weeks, column readers have been watching me climb the dividend risk/reward ladder, from 6% yields, then 7%, using only REITs and the power of fundamental analysis. Today, we’re stretching to 8% yields and beyond! It’s important to survey the current economic environment, including record employment, a fresh Fed chair, new tax rates and rules, and a not-recently-seen, 10-year Treasury yield of 3%.” (Forbes)
  9. Paul Manafort’s Ex-Son-in-Law Takes Plea Deal in Real Estate Case “Paul Manafort's former son-in-law has reached a plea agreement with the US attorney's office in Los Angeles, which has been investigating Jeffrey Yohai's real estate deals for over a year, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Under the plea agreement Yohai will be required to cooperate with other investigators but one source told CNN it is unlikely he has much to offer to special counsel Robert Mueller.” (CNN)
  10. How Technology Is Creating Opportunities for Women in Real Estate “Women excel at being real estate brokers and property managers. However, being an investor in real estate has been a private club for men only. Financially, such investment was out the reach of many women, especially women of color. And because women weren’t part of the “club,” they didn’t learn about investment opportunities. Fintech, and more specifically crowdfunding, is changing that. Women can join together with their friends or others to invest.” (Forbes)
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