construction Eugene Schuldinger

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 23, 2017)

American Dream Meadowlands malls has secured a loan of $1.67 billion in private funding which should enable it to finish construction and open in 2019, according to NJ Spotlight. The New York Times looks at examples of Jared Kushner’s other real estate holdings. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Jared Kushner’s Other Real Estate Empire  “The Townhouse on High Seas Court in the Cove Village development, in the Baltimore suburb of Essex, was not exactly the Cape Cod retreat that its address implied: It was a small unit looking onto a parking lot, the windows of its two bedrooms so high and narrow that a child would have had to stand on a chair to see out of them. But to Kamiia Warren, who moved into the townhouse in 2004, it was a refuge, and a far cry from the East Baltimore neighborhood where she grew up. “I mean, there were bunny rabbits all hopping around,” she told me recently. In the townhouse next door lived an older woman with whom Warren became friendly, even doing her grocery shopping once in a while. But over the course of a few months, the woman started acting strangely. She began accosting Warren’s visitors. She shouted through the walls during the day. And at night she banged on the wall, right where Warren kept the bassinet in which her third child slept, waking him up. Warren sent a letter reporting the problem to the complex’s property manager, a company called Sawyer Realty Holdings. When there was no response, she decided to move out. In January 2010, she submitted the requisite form giving two months’ notice that she was transferring her Section 8 voucher — the federal low-income subsidy that helped her pay the rent — elsewhere. The complex’s on-site manager signed the form a week later, checking the line that read “The tenant gave notice in accordance with the lease.” (New York Times)
  2. Developer Secures Key Financing For Long-Stalled American Dream Mall “Despite concerns that a series of financing delays had doomed the project for good, the developer of the long-stalled American Dream Meadowlands megamall has now secured $1.67 billion in private financing to help relaunch its construction. While the project is not out of the woods yet, another key element of its complicated finance plan — a $1.15 billion bond issue — could also be completed in a matter of weeks, officials said yesterday. That would put the behemoth complex, located on a state-owned site along the New Jersey Turnpike in East Rutherford, on schedule to open to the public in early 2019. What remains to be seen is whether this will be another false start for Triple Five, the project’s developer, or a major turning point. Two different state agencies provided final approval for American Dream’s bond financing last summer, only to see the project stall after the developer missed several key deadlines, including last year in November, and earlier this year in January. Still, Gov. Chris Christie, who brought Triple Five onto the project in 2011 after two prior developers failed, hailed the new developments yesterday, saying it was “about time.’” (NJ Spotlight)
  3. Industrial REITs Post Soft Performance Despite Surging Demand “Although industrial real estate investment trusts (REITs) led the pack with 30.7 percent total returns in 2016, the sector’s performance to date in 2017 has been relatively soft. According to NAREIT, industrial REIT returns are at 4.72 percent year-to-date, compared with 18 percent for data centers, 15.7 percent for infrastructure REITs, and 13.7 percent for single-family homes. This may come as a surprise to some, since industrial real estate fundamentals are particularly strong. According to research firm Zack’s, industrial REITs have more and more opportunities “amid economic expansion, [the] e-commerce boom, and heightened urbanization, [as] companies are shifting their strategy toward services like same-day delivery . . . propelling demand for warehouse distribution facilities. Further, with a wider customer base, these companies are opting for supply-chain consolidation, resulting in higher demand for logistics infrastructure and efficient distribution networks.” (Urban Land Institute)
  4. Lincoln Lands $6B Transit Center Management Assignment in SF “The project will stretch for five blocks along Mission Street, one block south of San Francisco’s Financial District. Transbay Transit Center is expected to be completed this December, with bus operations scheduled to commence in early 2018.” (Commercial Property Executive
  5. 3 Ways Technology is Impacting Commercial Real Estate “[With] technological advances and information being more available to the consumer there are a few significant trends to be aware of when you are considering an office space for your startup.” (
  6. The Inland Empire Expands “Rent growth in San Bernardino and Riverside counties continued its extremely fast pace over the past year, supported by a healthy job market and moderate inventory expansion. The metro boasts high occupancy rates—96.1 percent for stabilized properties as of the first quarter—and a pipeline brimming with new supply, though most deliveries are still a year or two away.” (MultiHousing News)
  7. Multifamily Housing Construction Starts Retreat Three Percent in April “According to Dodge Data Report “The value of new construction starts in April dropped 13% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $647.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.  The decline followed three straight months of gains, which saw total construction activity rising 20% from the lackluster amount reported back in December. Much of April's slide for total construction reflected a steep 39% plunge by its nonbuilding construction sector, which had been lifted in March by the start of two large pipeline projects – the $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio and Michigan, and the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 propane and natural gas liquids pipeline in Pennsylvania.” (Multifamily Biz)
  8. Orrico: ‘Developing today’s retail is a community thing’ “National Realty & Development Corp. has been in business for some 50 years, and privately held for all that time. It is one of the Northeast’s premier retail owners and developers, with a portfolio of 78 centers. But a ground-up development in Middletown, New Jersey, has served to crystallize what brick-and-mortar retail is all about for longtime president John Orrico. In The Shoppes at Middletown, ‘we are developing a very community-oriented center,’ Orrico told Chain Store Age. ‘The nationals still have their boxes, and they know what works within them. We have to figure out what the community needs are. What’s already there as part of the overall environment? What’s missing? We owe the local community more than the same old shopping center.’ Some of what Orrico and NRDC are giving the people of Middletown is brand new retail experiences. He knew that Wegman’s had been scouting this area of New Jersey for some time. He knew the operators of Wegmans, approached them about joining the project, and a 130,000-sq.-ft. Wegman’s with an open café will anchor the center." (Chain Store Age)
  9. NYC construction industry generated $66B in 2016: report “The construction industry in New York City generated $66.3 billion last year, thanks in large part to a record amount of spending. A new report by the New York Building Congress adjusts 2016’s total construction spending to $42.4 billion, slightly lower than earlier projections of $43 billion. Still, the figure represents the first time in the city’s history that spending crossed the $40 billion threshold. A majority of this spending — $17.1 billion — was in non-residential construction, which includes office, institutional and hotel projects. Government construction followed with $12.7 billion and then residential with $12.6 billion, according to the report. The total economic impact is up from 2015, when the industry generated $64.9 billion, and in 2014, when it generated $51.5 billion.” (The Real Deal
  10. Downtown Miami is getting its first new office tower in six years “Another piece in the ambitious Miami Worldcenter project has clicked into place. Hines, the privately-owned real-estate investment firm with a presence in 189 cities in 20 countries, will build a 45-story tower with 600,000 square feet of Class A office space at 110 NE 10th St. in downtown Miami. The tower, to be called 110 10th, will fill one of the last remaining parcels of vacant land at Miami Worldcenter, the $2 billion, 27-acre mixed-use development covering 10 blocks in downtown. In development since 2006, Miami Worldcenter aims to bridge the blighted gap between the Central Business District and Edgewater and Wynwood to the north with up to 450,000 square feet of retail, 2,000 residential units, 1,700 hotel rooms, 500,000 square feet of expo space and 100,000 square feet of parks and public spaces. The project will be within walking distance of All Aboard Florida’s Central Station, a Brightline train due this summer that will take riders from Fort Lauderdale to Miami in 28 minutes.” (Miami Herald)


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