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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 7, 2019)

President Trump has been ordered to hand over his tax returns to the Manhattan D.A., reports The New York Times. WeWork’s purchase of the Lord & Taylor flagship location is becoming an issue, according to the New York Post.

  1. Trump Taxes: President Order to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A. “A federal judge on Monday rejected a bold argument from President Trump that sitting presidents are immune from criminal investigations, allowing the Manhattan district attorney’s office to move forward with a subpoena seeking eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns. The ruling issued by Judge Victor Marrero of Manhattan federal court does not mean that the president’s tax returns will be turned over immediately.” (The New York Times)
  2. WeWork’s Bet on the Old Lord & Taylor Building Has Become an Albatross “As WeWork tallies up the damage from its New York shopping sprees, the splurge it made at Lord & Taylor may prove to be the most costly of all. The office-sharing startup — which scrapped its IPO last month amid accusations of self-dealing that ousted its charismatic CEO Adam Neumann — is now scrambling to shore up a massive bet it made on the landmark Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue, The Post has learned.” (New York Post)
  3. Landlords Say State Rent Caps May Force Them to Raise Rents More Frequently “Prominent landlord attorney Dennis Block stood before a crowd of more than 200 at an apartment owners trade show in Pasadena and, to laughs, boasted of having evicted ‘more tenants than anybody else on the planet Earth.’ Block said he was proud to enforce what he said America was built on: property rights. He then talked about the ‘scourge of this new statewide rent control that is coming up’ and offered some ways that landlords could evade rules that as of Jan. 1 would cap annual increases for tenants at 5% plus inflation and require ‘just cause’ to evict.” (Los Angeles News)
  4. From the Rooftops, Big Box Stores Are Embracing Solar “Target’s famous bull's-eye is so cosmically linked with the brand that it’s hard to imagine the retail behemoth ever messing with the logo’s red color. But over the past decade — under pressure from customers, shareholders and employees — Target’s retail future is morphing into a very different hue: eco-green. The Minneapolis retailer best-known for its trendy, private-label brands and its millennial-friendly prices, has very publicly embraced the renewable energy passions of its millennial-heavy consumer base and is adding rooftop solar panels to its stores to generate renewable electricity at a breathtaking pace.” (The New York Times)
  5. Confidence in Housing Weakens Just as Homes Become More Affordable “Lower mortgage rates are making buying a home slightly more affordable, but financial concerns are outweighing that benefit and lowering overall confidence in housing. Consumer sentiment in housing fell in September from its August high, according to a monthly survey from Fannie Mae. While more respondents think now is both a good time to buy and sell a home, there was a much larger drop in the share of those who said they were not concerned about losing their jobs. It was the second straight month that the component of the survey fell.” (CNBC)
  6. In D-FW, We Build More Warehouses Than Any Other Commercial Space “That's right: Current warehouse construction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area totals almost 35 million square feet, according to a new report by commercial property firm Cushman & Wakefield. The volume of industrial building underway in the D-FW area is greater than all other commercial construction combined. Warehouse development is more than six times larger in square footage than office building and more than 10 times the amount of retail space being built in the area.” (Dallas Morning News)
  7. SF Housing Breaking Ground on Troubled Mid-Market Block That Housing Strip Club “Three years after winning approvals to develop 193 rental apartments at 1028 Market St., developers Olympic Residential Group and Tidewater Capital will break ground this week. It’s a long-awaited housing complex that Mid-Market boosters hope will improve a block that has struggled with drug dealing and crime, even as much of the neighborhood has seen a big influx of investment.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  8. Meatballs and DIY Bookcases: The Psychology Behind Ikea’s Iconic Success “With 433 Ikea stores in 53 countries and 2019 global retail sales of about $45.5 billion, everybody has an Ikea story. ‘It’s like the main name when I think about furniture,’ Archie, 34, from the Bronx, New York, told CNBC Make It in New York City’s Times Square in June. Shelby, 27, from New York City, recalls putting together an Ikea bookcase with her fiance. (Couples beware, Ikea is infamous for igniting relationship drama.) And when her family comes to visit from upstate New York, they often make a special trip to Ikea since there isn’t one near their home in Buffalo.” (CNBC)
  9. Understanding Real Estate Cycles to Find Profitable Investments in Any Market “I started my first semester of college in 2008. While I was blissfully enjoying university life, the U.S. economy was experiencing one of the worst recessions our country has ever seen. Approximately 8.7 million jobs were lost between 2007 and 2010. Mortgage delinquencies were skyrocketing, foreclosures were happening at an alarming rate, and investment and retirement accounts had been drained. While I am thankful to have not been personally affected by the downtown, it was a rude awakening as to what could happen, and likely will happen again in the future.” (Motley Fool)
  10. Transwestern Breaks Ground on 833 KSF Houston Industrial Park “Transwestern Development Co. has broken ground on Sam Houston Distribution Center in Houston, a three-building property with 833,720 square feet of Class A industrial space. The project is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2020. Located at the corner of Wind Mill Park Road and Fallbrook Pines Drive, the three single-story buildings are set to accommodate tenants looking for space between 35,000 square feet and the full size of the 833,720 square feet portfolio.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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