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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 11, 2019)

The Federal Reserve is rolling bank some post-crisis bank rules to ease liquidity, reports the Wall Street Journal. Victoria’s Secret is laying off a substantial portion of employees at its corporate headquarters, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Federal Reserve Gives Large Banks a Break on Post-Crisis Rules “The Federal Reserve is advancing some of the most significant rollbacks of bank rules since President Trump took office, setting up a new way of deciding which large banks are hit with its toughest regulations. The Fed on Thursday was set to complete rules aimed at easing liquidity and capital rules for large U.S. banks, signing off on a plan in an expected Thursday vote that may lower regulatory costs for regional U.S. lenders with less than $700 billion in assets.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Here’s a Look at How WeWork’s $50 Billion Pile of Office Leases Could Unravel “WeWork has become the biggest tenant in the booming ‘flexible office’ space sector where it holds leases on about 11 million square-feet of the total 70 million square-feet dedicated to the new breed of real estate nationally, according to real-estate brokerage firm CBRE. Tech-centric workforces have made New York and San Francisco the largest U.S. hubs for flexible workspace, with WeWork accounting for about 2% of New York City’s total office inventory at 8.9 million square-feet, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield.” (MarketWatch)
  3. WSJ Survey: Majority of Economists Say Manufacturing Sector in Recession “U.S. manufacturing is in recession, two-thirds of economic forecasters said in a survey, and overall growth in the second half of 2019 is expected to further slow. In a Wall Street Journal economic survey conducted in recent days, 65.3% of private-sector forecasters said the manufacturing sector was in recession, or two or more consecutive quarters of contraction. Forecasters’ estimates for economic growth in the second half of 2019 also ticked lower, with U.S. economic output to grow, on average, at a 1.82% pace in the third quarter and a 1.77% rate in the fourth quarter.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Victoria’s Secret, Under Siege, Lays Off Employees at Headquarters “Victoria’s Secret is laying off about 15 percent of the brand’s employees at its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters as the beleaguered lingerie chain struggles to reshape its image and the chief executive of its parent company remains under scrutiny for his ties to Jeffrey Epstein. The cuts, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, involved about 50 people and range from senior leaders to junior staff, according to three people with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.” (The New York Times)
  5. Vaping Fallout: Small Stores Suffer as Vapers Turn Away “The thousands of shops that sprang up in cities and towns across the country over the past decade to sell vaping products have seen a stunning reversal of fortune, with their sales plunging in just two months amid news reports that vaping has sickened nearly 1,300 people and killed 26. People who turned to vaping products to help them quit smoking have been turning away, even teenagers who used the products illegally, although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says most of the people who suffered lung injuries from vaping were using products containing THC, a component of marijuana.” (Associated Press)
  6. Who’s Afraid of a Transit Desert? “For a city crisscrossed with subway and rail lines, New York has its share of remote outposts — considered by some to be transit deserts, but to others urban oases. Now a growing number of bargain hunters, including real estate developers, are homing in on properties farther from the train — at least a 15-minute walk — in search of dwindling affordable options and sometimes a respite from the madding crowd.” (The New York Times)
  7. Low Consumer Inflation Opens the Door for Fed to Cut Interest Rates Further “The numbers: Consumer inflation in the U.S. was held in check in September by falling prices of gasoline and used vehicles, giving the Federal Reserve further cause to cut interest rates if the economy gets any weaker. The consumer-price index was flat in September, the government said Thursday, marking the smallest change since January. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 0.1% advance. The increase in the cost of living over the past 12 months was also unchanged at 1.7%.” (MarketWatch)
  8. American Girl Brings New In-Store Experiences to Flagships “Owners of sick dolls in New York and Chicago have a new treatment option. American Girl is introducing new retail experiences at its New York City and Chicago flagship stores, including a doll hospital in both locations. The hospitals offer a variety of free services, including a doll wellness exam with a specially-trained “doll doctor” who checks the pulse, temperature, and reflexes of each ‘patient.’ They also feature free interactive play stations, where girls can perform doll eye exams, take doll-sized x-rays, and give a dental checkup.” (Chain Store Age)
  9. Death at American Dream Mega-Mall in New Jersey Being Probed by Officials “Officials are investigating a worker’s death at New Jersey’s long-stalled American Dream mega-mall next to MetLife Stadium, it was revealed Thursday. The worker, who was employed by security firm Sentinel Services, died between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Wednesday at the American Dream mall, according to a spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The spokeswoman confirmed OSHA was looking into the incident.” (New York Post)
  10. Wellness Movement to Transform Hotels “The presence of the wellness factor in the hospitality industry is a trend that is on the rise. In the report, Avison Young points to statistics from the World Travel and Tourism Council, which notes that wellness tourism is the fastest growing segment of global tourism, accounting for more than 10 percent of the world’s GDP and 10 percent of jobs. Hotels and resorts are recording the strongest growth as a result of the rise in wellness tourism, outpacing, day spas and salons, health resorts, medical facilities and thermal/mineral springs.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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