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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 12, 2019)

The emergence of new technologies might have a negative impact on the seniors housing sector, according to the Wall Street Journal. CNBC looks at a non-profit program to teach inner-city kids the fundamentals of real estate development. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Will Rising Treasury Yields Hurt Real Estate ETFs? “With investors piling into bonds, safe haven Treasury notes have been offering yields that are scraping the bottom of the barrel, but the recent uptick in stocks is causing yields to rise once again. Will this hurt real estate ETFs in the long run? Real estate investment trusts (REITs), in particular, offer investors a fixed income component by offering dividends to investors. With yields rising, however, this could put government debt in competition with REITS.” (ETF Trends)
  2. Amazon Will Launch New Grocery Store as Alternative to Whole Foods “Amazon on Monday said it plans to open its first new brand of grocery store in California next year, as it amps up its ambitious push to become a bigger name in food. ‘Amazon is opening a grocery store in Woodland Hills in 2020,’ an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNET on Monday morning, soon after the company published four new jobs postings for the location. Woodland Hills is a neighborhood in Los Angeles. The store will be different from Amazon-owned Whole Foods, the company said.” (CNET.com)
  3. Boomers Want to Stay Home. Senior Housing Now Faces a Budding Glut “The aging-in-place technology trend marks a challenge to the numerous real-estate developers who have been rushing to build senior housing to accommodate the roughly 72 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, representing about 20% of the U.S. population. In about one decade, boomers will start reaching their mid-80s, the typical move-in age for senior housing.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Revised Commercial Rent Stabilization to Be Introduced in City Council “A Brooklyn councilman wants to take another crack at passing commercial rent control next week with a revamped version of a bill loathed by the real estate community. Councilman Stephen Levin said that the revised legislation would be much different than last year's Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which sought to fix all commercial rents but did not distinguish between large office leases held by the likes of Goldman Sachs and the corner bodegas rented out to family businesses.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  5. ‘She Build’: Creating an All-Women Real Estate Development Team “As a highly successful woman in New York’s male-dominated development arena, MaryAnne Gilmartin has a ‘mini-obsession’: She wants to oversee a commercial real estate project in which every part of the process is headed by a woman. Ms. Gilmartin, the founder of L&L MAG, a real estate development company, knows from experience how to run a real estate project. As the chief executive of Forest City Ratner Companies, she oversaw such prominent projects as the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building in Manhattan.” (The New York Times)
  6. WeWork in Talks to Hire T-Mobile CEO John Legere “WeWork is in discussions with T-Mobile US Inc. Chief Executive John Legere to take over leadership of the troubled office-sharing startup, according to people familiar with the matter. WeWork’s parent, formally known as We Co., is searching for a CEO who can stabilize the company following the erratic tenure of its co-founder Adam Neumann. After WeWork’s failed attempt at an initial public offering, SoftBank Group Corp. bought a majority stake in the company last month in a bailout, severing most ties with Mr. Neumann.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Inner City Kids Are Learning the Art of Real Estate Investing from These Major Property Tycoons “On a cold and blustery afternoon in the South Bronx, about a dozen high school students were roaming the streets of their neighborhood, but they weren’t just hanging out. They were figuring out values, calculating capitalization rates on multifamily properties and scouting out investment opportunities. They are part of Project Destined, a nonprofit program that teaches inner-city students the fundamentals of real estate development and investing, right on their own streets.” (CNBC)
  8. Hudson Yards Scaffolding Collapse Injures Four Construction Workers “Four workers were injured Monday morning when scaffolding collapsed at a Hudson Yards construction site, authorities said. Three of the individuals suffered minor injuries, while a fourth was being treated for severe but non-life-threatening injuries, according to the FDNY. The injured workers were taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, authorities said.” (New York Post)
  9. Gen Z Shoppers Grew Up Online But Don’t Like to Shop There. This Holiday, They’ll Be at the Mall “Generation Z may be the first generation to have grown up with cellphones and laptops, but that doesn’t mean they’ll do their holiday shopping online. The young generation is less likely than millennials and Generation X to shop online, according to a report from The NPD Group based on online surveys of 3,485 consumers in September. This is in part due to the younger generation’s lack of credit cards and funds, as well as how they see shopping as a form of entertainment, said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor of The NPD Group.” (CNBC)
  10. Lower Rents, Social Media Propel Openings of New NYC Stores “Creative brands are seizing opportunities in repriced storefront spaces. Despite worries of retail doom and gloom, stabilizing rents along the city’s “high street” markets are putting store leases — now with brand-friendly pricing — back in play. According to Cushman & Wakefield, rents dropped in seven of 11 market strips at the end of 2019’s third quarter, paving the way for leasing velocity to rise 12.3 percent.” (New York Post)
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