10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 2, 2017)

Republican lawmakers released a more detailed tax reform plan, laid out by The New York Times. The Federal Reserve left the interest rate unchanged this month, but signaled a potential hike in December, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Republicans Release Tax Plan, Cutting Corporate and Middle-Class Taxes “Republican lawmakers unveiled the most sweeping rewrite of the tax code in decades, outlining a plan to cut taxes for corporations, reduce them for middle-class families and tilt the United States closer, but not entirely, toward the kind of tax system long championed by businesses. The bill, released after weeks of internal debate, conflict and delay, is far from final and will ignite a legislative and lobbying fight as Democrats, business groups and other special interests tear into the text ahead of a Republican sprint to get the legislation passed and to President Trump’s desk by Christmas.” (The New York Times)
  2. Fed Leaves Rate Unchanged, Cites “Solid Rate” of Economic Growth “The Federal Reserve left short-term interest rates unchanged Wednesday, but signaled it would consider lifting them before year’s end amid signs the economy is gaining momentum. Officials have penciled in one more move for 2017 if the economy stays on track. The Fed has one more meeting scheduled before the end of the year, in December.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Downtown’s Historic Grand Central Market Sold to a Local Investor Who Promises Few Changes “The bustling Grand Central Market, one of Los Angeles’ best-known cultural landmarks, has been sold to a Beverly Hills real estate investor who vows to preserve its historic charms. The sale that closed Tuesday included the 12-story Million Dollar Theater tower next door, home to the first movie palace opened by entrepreneur Sid Grauman, who went on to create the famous Chinese and Egyptian theaters in Hollywood.” (Los Angeles Times)
  4. LA Is the Priciest Place to Rent in the US but There are Good Deals in Other Cities “As home prices continue to rise, many Americans are sticking to renting. But not all cities are created equal. Money advice site Earnest determined the most and least expensive cities for renters across the U.S. by analyzing anonymized data spanning three years from tens of thousands of verified loan applicants in the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. The data looked at all types of renters, including those who live alone and share with roommates.” (CNBC)
  5. Real Estate Investing for the Tech-Minded “If you’ve spent a career in a tech field, you’re probably obsessed with data, risk-averse and skeptical by nature. But you probably also embrace change and applaud technology that disrupts antiquated, inefficient industries. You were probably excited when retail transactions began moving online. Perhaps you’ve even invested (or thought about investing) in cryptocurrencies. As such, the world of online real estate investing is probably both intriguing and beguiling.” (Forbes)
  6. What Do Apartment Renters Really Want in the U.S.? “According to the recently released 2017 National Multifamily Housing Council / Kingsley Renter Preferences Report, U.S. apartment renters now want more shorter-term leasing options combined with added online reviews to make more informed decisions. The NMHC report includes responses from more than 270,000 apartment renters across the U.S. to determine what apartment features and community amenities are most desirable, how renters are finding their apartments, and their top considerations for moving.” (World Property Journal)
  7. Department Stores Have One Thing Left to Sell: Real Estate “Selling off valuable real estate might indicate that HBC is in trouble, but to Garrick Brown, Cushman & Wakefield's director of retail research for the Americas, it looks more like a lifeline. ‘The reality is that some department store companies have real estate holdings that are more valuable than the retail business itself,’ says Brown. ‘Selling off real estate to get capital is the way to ride current challenges, upgrade stores, or try to innovate.’” (Racked)
  8. The Secret to Finding Real Estate Deals in a Hot Market “If you’re having difficulties with finding on-market deals at the price points that meet your investment goals, you aren’t alone. In today’s competitive market, relying on available listings as your sole source of new deals is not viable or effective, as an investment strategy. As of September 2017, the median list price of homes is up 10% year-over-year, while the number of days on market and inventory are down 10% and 9%, respectively, according to research by” (Forbes)
  9. $1B University of Oregon Science Campus Unveiled “The University of Oregon has set in motion its plans for the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact in Eugene, Oregon, a $1 billion vision by the college to create cutting-edge labs and open spaces in an effort to turn scientific discoveries into societal benefits. The $225 million, 160,000-square-foot construction of the project’s first phase is scheduled to begin in February 2018 along the north side of Franklin Boulevard, between Onyx Street and Riverfront Parkway.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Macklowe vs. Macklowe “Just after 5 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, Linda and Harry Macklowe packed up to leave the Tribeca courtroom where, for the previous seven hours, paid experts had testified in their $2 billion divorce. Linda exited first. Steeling herself for the tabloid photographer lying in wait, she stretched her lips into a wide, static smile. Harry — known to regale reporters with ‘take my wife’-style jokes — hung back, tapping away on his phone.” (The Real Deal)
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