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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 1, 2018)

Denny’s plan to sell its company-owned restaurants, reports CNBC. The Motley Fool considers whether it’s a good time to buy shares of Simon Property Group. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. New York Said to Woo Amazon: Bring HQ2 and We’ll Rename a Toxic Creek After You “Along with tax breaks, tax credits and public subsidies, add a toxic creek to the list of reported perks cities are offering Amazon.com Inc. as they vie to be the home of its massive second headquarters. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is going all-out to land the so-called ‘HQ2,’ the New York Daily News reported Tuesday, offering incentives said to include hundreds of millions of dollars in state subsidies and renaming Long Island City’s Newtown Creek the ‘Amazon River.’” (MarketWatch)
  2. Shares of Denny’s Skyrocket After Company Says It Will Sell Most of its Company-Owned Stores “Denny's shares skyrocketed by more than 25 percent Wednesday after the company announced plans to sell most of its remaining company-owned stores over the next 18 months. The company intends to sell between 90 and 125 restaurants in order to bring its total franchised locations to between 95 and 97 percent, Mark Wolfinger, chief financial officers for Denny's, told analysts on an earnings call Tuesday. About 89 percent of Denny's restaurants are currently owned by franchisees.” (CNBC)
  3. New Texas Real Estate Firm Will Target Healthcare Properties “A new Texas real estate company - Fidelis Healthcare Partners - plans to develop and purchased medical properties. The company with offices in Dallas and Houston will also target retail properties for use with healthcare tenants. The new firm is an affiliate of Houston-based Fidelis Realty Partners. ‘Fidelis Realty Partners owns a lot of retail property with strategically located developable land in both the Houston and D-FW markets,’ Fidelis Healthcare's CEO Kevin O'Neil said in a statement.” (Dallas Morning News)
  4. We Asked CRE Pros What Their Biggest Opportunity Zone Questions Were. Here Are Some Expert Answers “But with trillions in investment opportunity and a seemingly low barrier to participate in the benefits, the buzz has been generated by a combination of eagerness to capitalize and a need to learn reliable information about the program quickly. Bisnow has covered opportunity zones in the months since the program passed as a provision in the Republican tax reform package. In Washington, D.C., earlier this month, we hosted our first dedicated Opportunity Zones event. More are planned in the coming months in markets across the country.” (Bisnow)
  5. The Political Races Real Estate Pros Should Watch “As Democrats face off on several competitive House and Senate races in the midterm elections, there is a chance they could seize control of Congress and push through an agenda that prioritizes infrastructure and tax reform, shaking up real estate markets nationwide and in pricey cities like Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles. A group of Democratic legislators are already aiming to repeal and replace the $1.5 trillion Republican tax plan signed into law by President Donald Trump in December of 2017. That would probably mean higher corporate tax rates and a reversal of Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Slate, Carlyle Launch New $750M Lending Firm “Slate Property Group has partnered with The Carlyle Group to launch a new $750 million real estate lending company focused on the New York City market. The platform is called SCALE Lending, and it will provide bridge and transitional loans to real estate sponsors and operators throughout the New York City area, according to Slate. Carlyle is providing the majority of the $750 million, but Slate co-founder Martin Nussbaum declined to quantify the specific split between the two companies.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Simon Property Group: Buy at the High? “Retail real estate investment trust Simon Property Group recently jumped to a new 52-week high after releasing strong third-quarter results. While the stock is clearly not as attractive at $187 as it was when it was trading for about $145 earlier this year, don't think that the higher price means that Simon has become too expensive to justify buying. In fact, the exact opposite could be true.” (The Motley Fool)
  8. San Francisco Businesses Are Split on Tax Boost to Fight Homelessness “Christin Evans and Gwen Kaplan both run small businesses in neighborhoods they say have become overrun with homeless encampments. Like most San Francisco residents, they agree the problem has grown to an unprecedented scale, with homeless people taking drugs, using the streets as toilets and showing signs of mental breakdown.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. How CRE Firms Can Stay Agile in 2019 “Every year, Deloitte develops an outlook outlining trends for the next year in the CRE sector. Last year, we advised CRE firms to get on the innovation bandwagon to avoid being outcompeted (see our December 2017 column, “Catch the Wave: Three Tips from Deloitte for Success in 2018”). While the accelerating pace of disruption always demands attention, it’s important to note that investors are increasingly taking notice—upping the stakes for CRE firms to change their mindsets and embrace change in 2019.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. The Vast Majority of New NYC Apartments Aren’t in Manhattan “Nine of the 10 New York City neighborhoods with the most apartments under construction are in Queens and Brooklyn, according to a study released this week from Localize.city. Long Island City has the most units in the pipeline slated to be complete by 2020; it’s expecting 6,374. The waterfront neighborhood, which has come to be synonymous with tall residential towers along the East River and around Queens Plaza, is followed by Williamsburg (with 3,470 units on the way), Bushwick (2,537), Greenpoint (2,017) and Bed-Stuy (1,969).” (New York Post)
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