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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 22, 2019)

Independent hotels struggle as big chains continue to grow, reports the New York Times. Opportunity Zone funds fall short of expectations, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial estate industry.

  1. Howard Hughs Corp. to Move HQ to The Woodlands Amid Restructuring "Howard Hughes Corp., the publicly traded real estate company that owns some of the country’s largest master-planned communities, is moving its headquarters to The Woodlands and has shaken up its leadership ranks, naming Houstonian Paul Layne its chief executive. The company, which had previously announced a strategic review, also said it plans to reduce overhead expenses by as much as $50 million per year, sell some $2 billion worth of properties and execute a growth plan for its master-planned communities." (Houston Chronicle)
  2. Independent Hotels Are Disappearing as Chains Grow “Independent hotels are up against huge hotel companies with deep pockets as well as competitors on Airbnb. The result? More independent hotels are either joining the big chains or shutting their doors.” (The New York Times)
  3. Opportunity-Zone Funds Are Off to a Slow Start, Lagging Behind Heady Expectations “Investors have been slow to embrace a new tax break meant to spur economic growth in distressed communities, leaving the amount of money raised for these programs well short of fund managers’ lofty expectations.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Shoe Guru Steven Madden Wants to Buy Barneys "Shoe guru Steve Madden was putting together an eleventh-hour bid to buy Barneys New York, sources exclusively told Page Six. Bids were due in the Barneys bankruptcy bonanza on Tuesday. It’s unclear whom Madden was partnering with in the bid. But a source told us: 'Steve’s from New York — of course he’s obsessed with Barneys. He’s obsessed with the brand.'" (New York Post)
  5. Should Secondary Markets Be Your Next Real Estate Investment Move? “There is no doubt about it: A migration is afoot. I see it every day, in every market my firm operates in: More and more young professionals, working-class families and senior citizens are choosing to move south to warmer climates with less expensive costs of living.” (Forbes)
  6. What Pre-Fab Construction Has Gotten Wrong “While there have been many variations of pre-fab construction, many use a similar construction method and suffer from the same problems.” (
  7. It’s Time to Embrace Flexibility as a Permanent Reality “Here are some real-time facts that prove that it’s time to embrace flexibility as a permanent reality.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. The Yard Presents Itself as a Co-Working Alternative “As some co-working operators face challenges, one company sees an uptick in tenant and landlord interest.” (
  9. Hotel Investors’ Wariness Rises Despite Record Travel Season “On the heels of a record-breaking summer travel season, the hotel sector continues to perform well, but investor confidence weakens as fears of an economic downturn persist, according to Marcus & Millichap’s new National Hospitality Research Report for the second half of 2019.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Chicago’s Ice-Cold Office Market is Finally Heating Up. But Don’t Get Too Excited “The year’s two biggest office tower sales have been announced in recent weeks, but Chicago investment sales brokers don’t believe it’s a sign that the market is roaring back.” (The Real Deal)
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