10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (November 20, 2017)

A new study finds banks delayed foreclosures during the depth of the great recession to influence the direction of Dodd-Frank regulations, according to MarketWatch. Fortune argues this holiday season will be the test of long-term viability for Macy’s. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. 3-2-1 Boom! Georgia Dome Imploded in Downtown Atlanta “One of the nation's largest domed stadiums has been destroyed in a scheduled implosion in downtown Atlanta. Nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives were on hand to blast the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to smithereens Monday at 7:30 a.m. People gathered at windows of tall office buildings, at a nearby revolving hotel-top restaurant, in parking lots and at other areas around the scene downtown to watch the blast.” (CNBC)
  2. Banks Delayed Foreclosures to Influence Discussion of Dodd-Frank, Paper Finds “In 2009-2010, the housing crisis was at its worst: an average of nearly 300,000 new foreclosures were started every month during those two years. But those numbers should have been higher, according to a paper released in October. Banks that serviced delinquent mortgages held off on starting foreclosure proceedings on loans located in the electoral districts of members of the House Financial Services Committee in order to influence Congressional action on the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, researchers found.” (MarketWatch)
  3. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Knew of Lead Compliance Failure “New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has known the city’s housing authority wasn’t complying with lead-inspection regulations since last year, his office said Sunday. In a report issued last week, the city’s Department of Investigation said the New York City Housing Authority submitted false claims to the federal government showing it had conducted lead-paint inspections when the required work hadn’t been done for years.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. A Wide Open Lane for Commercial Brokerage IPOs “Newmark Knight Frank took one step closer to joining the ranks of its publicly traded rivals late last month when it filed paperwork for its hotly anticipated initial public offering. Newmark Group, as the new company is known, will trade under the ticker symbol NMRK and is looking to raise up to $100 million through the IPO, according to its red herring prospectus. And the commercial brokerage — which will spin off from Howard Lutnick’s BGC Partners — is heading to a public market with a rapidly growing appetite for real estate service firms.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Fed Speeches Show Readiness to Raise Rates Next Month and a Wariness about Next Recession “Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen began the week by complaining that sometimes her colleagues talk too much. But Fed watchers don’t seem to mind. They say they gleaned two important conclusions from a flurry of public appearances by central bankers this week. The first point is that the central bank is set to raise rates again in December. ‘We have pretty much hit the all clear for a December rate hike,’ said Thomas Simons, economist at Jefferies.” (MarketWatch)
  6. Why This Christmas Season is Make-or-Break for Macy’s “The Tale of Two Brochures epitomizes Macy’s long-standing identity crisis, and it’s one that the company needs to resolve soon. In November, the company, which also owns the 38-store Bloomingdale’s chain, posted its 11th consecutive quarter of declines in comparable or ‘same-store’ sales, a metric that strips out results from recently opened or closed stores. Its stock is down more than 70% from its 2015 peak. The task of reversing this slide falls to Jeff Gennette, Macy’s CEO since March and a 34-year veteran of the company.” (Fortune)
  7. JP Morgan Chase Commits $900K to Help Detroit Go Green “JPMorgan Chase will be kicking in a total of $900,000 to three nonprofits to support sustainable infrastructure projects in Detroit. In addition, more than two-thirds of Chase’s Detroit branches will be retrofitted with LED lights and new building management systems. One of the groups is The Nature Conservancy, which is working with the City of Detroit and other partners to create a first-of-its-kind Special Purpose District, rather like a Business Improvement District. The district’s creation would provide more cost-effective stormwater management services to local businesses, along with other benefits.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. On Business: Trump Selling Only South Carolina Property to Settle Squabble “President Donald Trump is looking to unload his only known South Carolina real estate investment, a former Lockheed aircraft-parts plant in an aging North Charleston business park. Usually not one to back down from a fight, the nation's commander-in-chief is in the market to sell in order to settle a landlord-tenant squabble, court documents show. Trump's involvement stems from an unusual string of events that led him to invest in a piece of real estate unlike any other in his glossy portfolio of hotels, condominiums and golf courses  — a vacant 1970s-era commercial structure on Pace Street in the aptly named Stark Industrial Park.” (The Post and Courier)
  9. Retailers Try New Pricing Tricks to Battle Amazon on Black Friday “Instead of copying Inc.’s playbook, retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. are coming up with new tricks to maximize sales ahead of Black Friday. Some are offering earlier discounts to attract crowds before competition heats up Thursday and emphasizing products not available on Amazon. Others are rewarding their most loyal customers or marking store prices lower than those online.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  10. Forest City to Begin Work on SF’s Pier 70 “Forest City Realty Trust Inc. is set for the first phase of Pier 70, a 28-acre mixed-use project in San Francisco. At full buildout, the project will consist of about 2,150 residential units, 30 percent of which will be affordable, up to 1.8 million square feet of commercial space and 450,000 square feet of retail, arts and light industrial/maker space. Additionally, it will include parks, transportation and infrastructure improvements and significant public benefits.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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