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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 22, 2017)

Forever 21 is partnering with General Growth Properties to open a new beauty retail concept just for the REIT’s malls, according to CNBC. Jared Kushner will keep nearly 90 percent of his real estate holdings, reports The Washington Post. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Forever 21 is bringing its new beauty boutique, Riley Rose, to malls “Teen clothing retailer Forever 21 is making moves to gives its shoppers a better overall experience in stores. Riley Rose, what's considered Forever 21's own "beauty boutique," is being rolled out at 13 GGP regional shopping center locations, creating an innovative brick-and-mortar concept, the two announced on Friday. Ten Riley Rose stores will open before the end of this year, and three will open in 2018, according to the retailer and its real estate landlord.” (CNBC) 
  2. Kushner keeps most of his real estate but offers few clues about potential White House conflicts “As chief executive of his family’s real estate empire, Jared Kushner planned two apartment projects across the street from each other in Jersey City. Both would be luxury skyscrapers, complete with retail space and sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. A new crosswalk would connect them, intended to link the two Kushner Cos. developments practically and visually. But when Kushner prepared an ethics plan ahead of joining the White House as a top adviser to his father-in-law, President Trump, he drew a curious distinction between the two projects. He sold his stake in one while keeping his share of up to $5 million in the other. Kushner, 36, who is emerging as a singularly powerful figure in the Trump White House, is keeping nearly 90 percent of his vast real estate holdings even after resigning from the family business and pledging a clear divide between his private interests and public duties. The value of his retained real estate interests is between $132 million and $407 million and could leave him in a position to financially benefit from his family’s business.” (The Washington Post)
  3. Why It’s Gotten Harder to Secure a Senior Housing Construction Loan “Across the U.S., some developers are finding it a little more difficult to get money to build new senior housing projects. And it’s not just the developers saying that. Some of those big national capital providers also agree that construction loans for senior housing are generally harder to come by these days. Issues like construction and labor costs, oversupply, and government regulations are causing lenders to open their wallets a little less freely. It used to be easier There was a day not too long ago when a senior housing construction loan was easier to come by, says Charles Turner, president at developer and operator PinPoint Senior Living, which has 13 communities open or under development. These days, things are tightening up, however. ‘It used to be easy to get construction financing if you had rate guarantor strength,’ he says. ‘Now, [lenders] are a lot more sophisticated on how projects should operate.’” (Senior Housing News)
  4. For Roger Ailes, A Vast Real Estate Portfolio “Since his death last week, friends and former colleagues have hailed Roger Ailes as a communications maestro who transformed television news and America’s political conversation by creating and running Fox News Channel for two decades. A former GOP operative to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Ailes was also a one-time adviser to President Donald Trump. Yet Ailes’ talents also extended to real estate, especially in New York State, where he owned a number of homes in Putnam County, a bucolic enclave of farm houses and turn-of-the-century estates about 50 miles upriver from Manhattan. He and his wife, Elizabeth, own at least three properties in the town of Philipstown that are currently listed for sale. A three-bedroom, 3½-bath home on nearby New York Route 9D initially was put on the market for $1.475 million in May 2014. The price has been reduced multiple times since, and its current asking price is $765,000. Another Ailes property on the market is a four-bedroom, six-bath home built in 1980. The home was renovated in 2014 and priced at $2.75 million.” (Forbes)
  5. Marijuana Real Estate: This isn't just another greenhouse “David Gelles reports that the spread of legalization, means the weed business is booming and with it demand for commercial, industrial space. The latest post-industrial trend in states like California, Colorado, Massachusetts or even New York, is a retrofitted industrial-scale "cultivation center". Related readings include; a 2005 look at how Pot Clinics (were) Grow(ing) Like Weed in SF and last year's photo essay of L.A.'s "Green Mile". Or back in February, the Marketplace Morning Report on how these new REITs could help grow the medical-marijuana business.” (Archinect)
  6. Own some rental properties, maybe a hotel franchise? “J.C. Penney wants to make you a customer  J.C. Penney has launched a new business for other businesses.  The company said it can supply linens, towels, mattresses, window treatments and major appliances to hotels, vacation rentals and apartment landlords. The Plano-based department store has had the soft goods, towels and beddings, forever and last year added laundry and kitchen appliances. This year it's expanded into improvement services including bath remodeling and heating and air condition installations. It's staffing an outside sales force with experience with targeting businesses, Penney said.” (Dallas News)
  7. Prominent real estate families band together to fund tech investments “Prominent real estate families like the LeFraks, Rudins and Wilpons are teaming up to look for new opportunities in the real estate technology sector. The families formed an informal network to streamline the investing process and provide a few promising tech companies with access to their industry relationships, customers and diverse portfolios, the Wall Street Journal reported. ‘We have generational assets and generational experience, and we can leverage that,’ said Jeffrey Berman, vice president of real estate company Berman Enterprises LP and director of its venture arm, Camber Creek. ‘Silicon Valley is running out of verticals to attack, and real estate is a big one,’ said Bill Field, who manages the LeFrak family’s general investment portfolio and affiliates through LeFrak Investment Holdings.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Become a Real Estate Investor With 3 Easy Investments “Becoming a real estate investor is much more feasible than most people think. There’s no question that real estate investing comes with risk, like any investment. But with risk can come reward, and real estate has that in spades. ‘Real estate is one of the few investments where your upside is truly unlimited,’ says Than Merrill, CEO of San Diego’s FortuneBuilders and CT Homes. ‘With the right property in the right location, you can make 15% to even 30% on your money.’” (
  9. Seattle Lands $670M Mixed-Use Project “A 214-acre master-planned community will soon take shape in Covington, Wash., now that Oakpointe Communities and Presidio Residential Capital have received a requisite thumbs-up for the development called LakePointe Urban Village. Covington’s City Council recently provided the joint venture partners with unanimous approval to move forward with the suburban Seattle waterfront project, which will cost $670 million to develop. With a 20-acre lake at its center, LakePointe will sprout up as a social focal-point on a site that had been home to a gravel mine and an asphalt plant. KTGY Architecture + Planning is behind the design of the development, which will ultimately feature an 850,000-square-foot regional entertainment and lifestyle center and as many as 1,500 single-family and multifamily residences.” (Commercial Property Executive
  10. Southblock will bring 507 apartments to Hollywood Boulevard “Southblock—a large apartment building on Hollywood Boulevard—is expected to open in the second quarter of 2018, a rep for the construction firm Morley Builders tells Curbed. Construction has been underway since early last year at the intersection of Argyle, next to the W Hotel and less than one block from the Pantages Theater. The five-story complex, developed by DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, will hold 507 market-rate apartments (including 10 townhomes and live/work units) and about 55,000 square feet of groundfloor retail space. The project was designed by the architecture firm Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh.” (Curbed Los Angeles)


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