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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 19, 2019)

Rents at single-family rentals are rising, reports CNBC. Bloomberg looks at the country’s new tech hubs. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. As Climate Risk Grows, U.S. Cities Try Saying ‘No’ to Developers “Glimpsed from a kayak on West Neck Creek, this swampy piece of land, a pocket of red maple and loblolly pine tucked behind growing subdivisions, doesn’t look like the stuff of existential debate. But this is where Virginia Beach, squeezed between the clamor for new housing and the relentlessness of flooding worsened by climate change, decided to draw its line in the mud.” (The New York Times)
  2. Renting a Single-Family House Just Got More Expensive “Anyone out shopping for an entry-level home knows the prices are high and the pickings are slim. Now, the same is holding true for rentals. As more Americans find it harder to afford a home, rental demand is soaring, especially for single-family homes. The supply of rental homes is shrinking, and that continues to push rent prices higher, particularly on the lower end of the market.” (CNBC)
  3. Oakland’s Biggest Office Building Is for Sale “The largest office building in Oakland is up for sale. Spanning nearly 1 million square feet, 300 Lakeside Drive, previously known as Kaiser Center, could set a record price as the city’s biggest property sale.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  4. New Arizona Development Bans Residents from Bringing Cars “A $140 million Arizona development is banning residents from bringing their own cars on site in favor of scooters, bikes and ride-sharing, testing demand for a new type of walkable neighborhood. The 1,000-person rental community, which broke ground this month in Tempe, won’t allow residents to park cars on-site or in the surrounding area as a term of their lease. The founders say it will be the first of its kind in the U.S. The scale will be modest, with mostly three-story buildings.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. These Are America’s New Tech Hubs “The synapses are sizzling in the Lawrence, Kansas, metropolitan area. The home of the University of Kansas climbed into the top 20 communities in the Bloomberg Brain Concentration Index -- advancing by 33 spots over the past three years. The bigger picture: smaller hubs are thriving too. America’s high-tech workers may still gravitate to the obvious spots, like Silicon Valley or the home of federal funding, Washington D.C.” (Bloomberg)
  6. The Suburban Office Park, an Aging Relic, Seeks a Comeback “When Research Triangle Park in North Carolina opened in 1959, its bucolic setting was considered a major selling point. With office buildings hidden behind grassy meadows and swaths of pine forest, the quiet development was viewed as a perfect spot for the thinkers who went to work at companies like IBM and RTI International. But tastes have changed, and in an effort to keep up, Research Triangle Park — the country’s largest corporate research park — is finally changing as well.” (The New York Times)
  7. Accused Chinese Spy from Hayward Linked to Real Estate Scheme “A Hayward man caught on camera spying for a Chinese intelligence agency has been linked to a Bay Area real estate scheme, federal prosecutors said. Edward Peng is charged with giving classified information to Chinese officials through so-called ‘dead drops’ at locations in Northern California and Georgia. Federal officials say he is linked to a real estate scheme through his sister, who bought millions of dollars’ worth of Bay Area property with money wired from China.” (CBS SF Bay Area)
  8. New Government Tool Opens Window into Nursing Home Abuse “The federal government has begun flagging nursing homes with a history of resident mistreatment, opening a new window into abuse and neglect in as many as one in 20 elder-care facilities across the U.S. The government’s database, Nursing Home Compare, has for years allowed the public to search and compare nursing homes nationwide. But last month, the government began adding a small icon—a red circle with a white hand inside—by the name of nursing facilities recently cited for abuse or neglect.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. In SF’s Mission District, Newbie Real Estate Developers Abound “The quirky wedge of Mission Street with vibrant signs screaming ‘THRIFT’ and ‘PAWNBROKERS MONEY LOANED’ may become decidedly blander in the coming years. The Kaplan Family Trust, the owners of 2316-2326 Mission St. — Mission Thrift and the shuttered Mission Jewelry and Loan — has submitted a preliminary application to build a five-story apartment building at the site. It would include 21 market-rate and three affordable units, and 4,840 square feet of commercial space.” (Mission Local)
  10. Seattle Office Park Lands $110M Refi “Lionstone Investments and Talon Private Capital have received $110 million in refinancing for the 513,385-square-foot Bellefield Office Park in Bellevue, Wash. JLL represented the joint venture and secured the loan through Bank of America. The finance will retire an existing $77.5 million loan the owners received in 2016 from Prudential Financial, Yardi Matrix data shows. Recently, in a similar transaction, JLL arranged a $140 million loan for GreenStreet, a 617,000-square-foot mixed-use asset in downtown Houston.” (Commercial Property Executive)    
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