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LIC Eugene Schuldinger

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 13, 2018)

Amazon made an official announcement that it was picking New York City and Virginia as the sites for its new office campuses, reports Reuters. The Wall Street Journal looks at Macy’s plan to save itself. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Amazon Picks New York City and Virginia for $5 Billion New Headquarters “ Inc picked America’s financial and political capitals for its $5 billion new headquarters, saying on Tuesday it will build offices for up to 25,000 people in New York City and close by Washington, D.C. Its move ends a frenzied year-long bidding war among cities across North America, splitting the location among two finalists. In addition, Nashville, Tennessee, will be home to Amazon’s new East Coast hub of operations, adding 5,000 corporate jobs.” (Reuters)
  2. Amazon’s Move to Long Island City Sparks Condo Frenzy “Even before Inc. decided to put a headquarters in Long Island City, the retail giant’s interest in the Queens neighborhood unleashed a condo gold rush. Amazon’s interest was made known scarcely a week ago, yet brokers say they are already selling units—sometimes sight-unseen—via text message. Others are renting vans and packing them full of clients eager to view multiple buildings, or holding group tours in Chinese. Now, with Amazon’s commitment to the New York City neighborhood, brokers are predicting the apartment market there will surge further.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Target to Open Smaller Stores in SF and Oakland “Target is planning to open two more Bay Area stores in 2019, one in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood and one in Oakland. Both locations will be ‘small-format stores,’ which offer most of what full-size stores have, including order pickup, the company said Monday. Target operates what used to be called TargetExpress or CityTarget stores in the Bay Area, but it now labels all of its stores Target.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  4. CRE Pricing Shows 1st Monthly Drop Since January “Commercial real estate pricing ebbed in October, posting its first monthly decline since January. The Ten-X Commercial All Property Nowcast fell 0.1 percent from September, resulting in muted growth of 0.9 percent from a year ago. The overall decline was only bucked by the Industrial segment, which showed modest growth on the month. The industrial sector was the only property segment that saw growth this month, rising 0.4 percent from September. However, the industrial index remains 2.9 percent below its year ago level following weakness early in the year.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  5. Macy’s’ Radical Plan to Save Itself: Shrink “Macy’s Inc., the iconic department store, has started a radical experiment aimed at revival. It is shrinking. Faced with too much space and too few shoppers, the 160-year-old retailer plans to reduce the amount of merchandise and the number of employees at its slower-performing stores—walling off entire sections at some locations and leaving the space empty. ‘If your store is too big and your dollars per square feet are too low and you can’t lease the space to someone else, then you’ve got to hive off a floor,’ Macy’s chief executive Jeff Gennette said in an interview.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. WeWork’s Rise: How a Sublet Start-Up Is Taking Over “Real estate titans have long scoffed at WeWork, which in eight short years has managed to attain a $20 billion valuation by selling short-term leases for shared office space with a mixture of stylish design and free-flowing alcohol. Derided by some as a real estate company masquerading as a technology company, it has been called everything from a ‘$20 billion house of cards’ to a ‘Ponzi scheme.’” (New York Times)
  7. One Part Store, One Part Lab: Mall Owner Debuts BrandBox, a New Way to Fill Vacant Space “One of the nation's biggest mall owners has come up with a way to fill empty storefronts, and it's offering young brands plenty of perks to move in. Macerich this weekend is launching a concept known as ‘BrandBox’ at Tysons Corner Center just outside Washington, D.C., one of the most valuable shopping malls in the U.S. There, it will house six brands, including apparel retailer Naadam and makeup company Winky Lux, for six to 12 months.” (CNBC)
  8. Real Estate Trends: No Heartbreak on New York Hotel Investing “When it comes to travel, if you ask anyone to list the top cities they’d like to visit, New York would invariably be included. Its compact 321 square miles attracts more than 62 million visitors each year, according to the Mayor’s Office and NYC & Company. To put this in perspective, the entire nation of China and its 3.7 million square miles hosts roughly 60 million tourists every year. Italy’s 116,000 square miles attracts 58 million people per year, according to global tourism data.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. End of Boom Times: The Impact of a Looming Slowdown in the Multifamily Market “A decade-long apartment boom may be coming to an end. Federal data shows that multifamily building permits have declined every month since March, suggesting that apartment construction could slow in the next two years, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to the latest Census Bureau data, permits were pulled to build 351,000 units in new properties with at least five units in September. That represented a 9 percent year-over-year decrease.” (Commercial Observer)
  10. Duke Energy Utility Issues $9B Green Bond Offering “Duke Energy Carolinas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has completed its inaugural issuance of $1 billion in green bonds that will finance eligible green energy projects in North and South Carolina. The action marks one of the largest green bond transactions issued by a utility. Duke Energy Carolinas has lowered its environmental impact over the past decade, retiring older coal-generating plants, increasing nuclear generation capacity and adding some 650 megawatts of built or purchased solar capacity.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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