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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 16, 2017)

Pass-through entities would get an even better deal with the Senate version of the tax reform proposal than with the House one, reports Forbes. Vitamin World wants to close 124 more stores, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Senate Juices Up Tax Cut for Pass-Throughs “In the Nov. 14 modified mark of the tax cut bill prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee On Taxation for the Senate Finance Committee, there are two significant improvements in the 17.4% deduction for pass-through businesses for taxpayers with taxable income up to $500,000 (married) and $250,000 (other individuals). Under this upper-income threshold, the Senate committee removed the 50% wage limitation and allowed specified service businesses to use the 17.4% pass-through deduction. There are phase-out rules over the limit of $100,000 (married) and $50,000 (other individuals).” (Forbes)
  2. L Brands Shares Drop on Victoria’s Secret Struggles “Shares of L Brands sunk about 6 percent before the opening bell on Thursday, after it continued to struggle with weakness in its Victoria's Secret business. The once high-flying brand now competes against a host of new competition including American Eagle's Aerie. The brand has also been hurt by a decline in mall traffic. Third-quarter comparable-sales at Victoria's Secret fell 4 percent. The decline was steeper, some 5 percent, when considering only Victoria's Secret's stores.” (CNBC)
  3. What to Expect from Real Estate Tech in 2018 “The real estate tech sector is being shaped by shifting market conditions and changes in consumer behaviors. Every year, my company tracks and analyzes emerging trends in real estate tech to better understand technology's impact on the industry. The purpose is to help prepare real estate professionals and organizations for the future by collecting, assessing and reporting the trends that will most impact them.” (Forbes)
  4. Brookfield, Park Tower Land $137M in Financing for Greenpoint Landing Tower “Brookfield Property Partners locked down $137 million in financing from the Bank of Nova Scotia for one of the apartment towers it’s developing at the massive Greenpoint Landing project in Brooklyn with the Park Tower Group. The Canadian lender provided the financing for 37 Commercial Street (also known as 37 Blue Slip), where the developers are building a 30-story, 373-unit residential tower spanning nearly 300,000 square feet, property records filed with the city Wednesday show.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Vitamin World Seeks Approval to Shutter 124 Stores “Vitamin World Inc. has hired Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC to immediately start going-out-of-business sales at 124 stores in more than 30 states. The Holbrook, N.Y., retailer on Tuesday asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., for permission to hire Gordon Brothers as its liquidation consultant and to approve a plan that would result in the closure of more than a third of its stores by the end of January, court documents show.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. Macy’s Pleasanton Men’s Store Building Bought by Mall Owner Simon Property “The building that contains the Macy’s men’s and children’s stores at Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton has been bought by Simon Property Group, the manager and principal co-owner of the upscale regional shopping center. What isn’t clear is what Simon Property intends to do with the building, which is perched on the west end of Stoneridge Mall. ‘This is not the kind of thing we would discuss,’ Les Morris, a spokesman for Indianapolis-based Simon Property, said in response to an inquiry from this news organization about the property sale.” (Mercury News)
  7. Zoning Change Won’t Stop Manhattan Tower “Opponents of a planned 800-foot-tall tower in Manhattan notched a win on Wednesday when the New York City Planning Commission approved a zoning plan that places height restrictions on new projects in the Sutton Place neighborhood. But it was a hollow victory because the commission also granted an exception for the 800-foot tower itself, despite the efforts of local legislators and neighborhood groups to stop it.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. Traditional Lenders Talk Subordinate Financing, Brokers and Tax Reform “Representatives from J.P. Morgan, CIT Bank and Bank of America as well as brokerage Meridian Capital Group and development firm TF Cornerstone weighed in on various topics such as the use of subordinate financing in transactions, the use of intermediaries and the subject du jour: tax reform. Bank of America Senior Vice President Brad Dubeck said the bank’s transaction volume has been down in 2017 compared with the last couple of years but that he’s still pleasantly surprised at the bank’s activity, 25 percent of which has been on the construction lending side.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Orange Country California Enjoys Highest Office Rent Growth in U.S. Over Last Two Years at 23 Percent “According to CBRE's annual Tech-30 Report, which measures the tech industry's impact on office rents in the 30 leading tech markets in the U.S. and Canada, the willingness of tech companies to pay a premium for office space in the hottest tech submarkets is spilling over into neighboring submarkets as available office space dwindles. As a result, adjacent submarkets and traditional downtowns with skylines--rather than the brick-and-beam buildings that tech companies have preferred--are primed to benefit, creating opportunity for commercial real estate investors.” (World Property Journal)
  10. Summit to Buy Four Hotels for $164 Million “The aggregate purchase price represents a 12.1x multiple on the hotels’ combined trailing 12-month EBITDA as of September 2017, and the portfolio achieved RevPAR of $124 during that period. The seller was not identified, and Summit did not reply to Commercial Property Executive’s request for additional information. The off-market transaction will bring Summit’s year-to-date acquisition activity to nearly $600 million, Hansen said, adding that the company’s acquisition strategy focuses on premium upscale hotels with efficient operating models.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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