10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 4, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 4, 2016)


  1. Scrutiny of Commercial Real Estate Loans Chills Small Lenders “A shakeout in commercial real estate is under way as some banks unwind or sell off the loans that are under regulators’ microscopes, and bankers say they are wary of making new loans. Brokers say they are finding fewer lenders for some commercial property deals. Aaron Appel at Jones Lang LaSalle in New York said there was less competition for $5 million to $10 million commercial property deals, particularly loans that involve construction or redevelopment projects.” (The New York Times)
  2. Toys ‘R’ Us Is Selling Off Iconic FAO Schwarz Brand “FAO Schwarz, which closed its iconic New York City toy store in July 2015, has been sold off by parent company Toys ‘R’ Us after it owned the brand for a little over seven years. Fortune has learned that Toys ‘R’ Us, which remains the world’s largest specialty toy and baby products retailer, has sold the FAO Schwarz assets to California-based ThreeSixty Group—which manufactures and distributes toys and other consumer products for over 70,000 retail stores across the country. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.” (Fortune)
  3. Next Year May Spell End of Oil Downturn, but Houston Real Estate Will Take Longer to Recover “Bruce Rutherford, an international director with real estate advisory firm JLL  in Houston, said there will be more bad news for energy in the short run and as a consequence, for real estate. ‘But we are coming to the end of this cycle,’ he said. ‘And we will see a dramatic improvement in demand for real estate from energy companies probably in 2018, 2019.’” (Houston Public Media)
  4. Donald Trump’s Business Decisions in’80s Nearly Led Him to Ruin “Abraham Wallach thought he had scored a major career break when Donald J. Trump hired him in 1990 for a senior executive role. Based on Mr. Trump’s boasting and gaudy lifestyle, Mr. Wallach imagined he would soon be leading impressive construction projects around the globe. Instead, he found an array of failing enterprises, he recalled on Monday. Many top executives had departed the Trump Organization, and those who remained were often huddled in closed-door meetings with bankers and whispering worriedly among themselves.” (The New York Times)
  5. Eddie Lampert: Kmart Is Not Closing “Don’t believe the rumors. Kmart is not going out of business. That’s according to Eddie Lampert, the beleaguered  CEO of Kmart parent company Sears Holdings Corp.’Recent reports have suggested that Kmart will cease its operations,’ Lampert said in a blog post Monday. ‘I can tell you that there are no plans and there have never been any plans to close the Kmart format. To report or suggest otherwise is irresponsible and is likely intended to do harm to our company to the benefit of those who seek to gain advantage from posting these inaccurate reports.’” (Chain Store Age)
  6. REBNY Revives Fight Against Hotel-to-Condo Conversion Ban “The Real Estate Board of New York is continuing its fight against a law that bars certain hotels from converting space into residential condo units. The organization is appealing the dismissal of its lawsuit, which sought to overturn a law that — for the next two years — prevents hotels with more than 150 rooms from converting more than 20 percent of their space to non-hotel use, Politico reported. New York State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan ruled in June that the lawsuit didn’t have legal standing.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Convenience Retailers Experience Strong Q4 “Convenience retailer optimism picked up sharply as sales of both in-store items and motor fuels remained strong for the first nine months of the year, according to a new NACS survey. More than two in three convenience retailers (69%) say that in-store sales in the first nine months of 2016 were higher than the same period last year. And three in five (60%) say that motor fuels sales were higher compared to the same nine months of 2015. Only 9% of retailers say that in-store sales were lower.” (NACS)
  8. Here’s How Affordable Housing Lottery Rules Are Changing “New rules for the city's affordable housing lotteries, expected to be announced by city officials Tuesday, will protect applicants with low credit scores and people who have taken their landlords to court. The new rules, to be released in an online Marketing Handbook, are the first major changes to be implemented since the city launched its Housing Connect online lotteries in 2013. The changes came out of feedback from community groups who act as ‘housing ambassadors’ by helping New Yorkers apply for housing, officials with the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development told DNAinfo New York.” (DNA Info)
  9. First Hotel in Uptown Minneapolis Breaks Ground “Graves Hospitality has announced the groundbreaking of Moxy Uptown, the first hotel property in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. Scheduled to open in fall 2017, the six-story, 124-key hotel is part of the recently launched Moxy franchise by Marriott Hotels. GH is among the few exclusive companies designated by Marriott International Inc. as a developer and operator for this new brand that combines stylish design, approachable service and an affordable price for free-spirited travelers.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. A 100-Year Old Theater in Argentina Was Transformed into World’s Most Incredible Bookstore “Shakespeare wrote that ‘All the world's a stage,’ but this bookstore actually was a stage once. El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina, started out as a theater in 1919. It had a brief stint as a cinema before architect Fernando Manzone transformed it into the stunning bookstore it is today in 2000. Now, people come from all over the world to peruse its dramatically-lit shelves.” (Business Insider)
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