10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 1, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 1, 2016)


  1. The Mall Owners Strike Back “Call it the revenge of the malls. Mall operators Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties swooped in late Tuesday night with a $243 million offer to save Aerospostale, the ailing 800-store retail chain that filed for bankruptcy in May and seemed destined for liquidation. The pair is teaming up with licensing firm Authentic Brands Group and liquidators Gordon Brothers and Hilco Merchant Resources to keep 229 Aeropostale stores open.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Best Buy Slows Closures as Stores Seen Key to Digital Shopping “Best Buy is methodically shrinking its store base in the U.S. as it tries to operate more efficiently in the age of digital shopping. Unlike competitors such as Sears Holding Corp. and Macy's, though, the closures come with little hype and from a position of strength. The electronics retailer said Monday it will close two Baltimore-area locations that employ a total of 120 people, after closing one large box store and four Best Buy Mobile stores earlier this year.” (The Street)
  3. Record Number of City Jobs, Yes, but Are They Going to Fill Offices? “My post ‘City jobs set a record (again!)’ last week about the strong gain in jobs in July, which pushed the city’s employment to a new high of 4.3 million, has attracted some dissent for its bullish tone. ‘Yes, Greg David’s headline is correct,’ wrote Savills Studley economist Heidi Learner in a research note earlier this week, ‘but how strong has job growth been in the office-using sector?’ Her answer: not very. Learner notes that large, publicly held companies based in New York have seen very little increase in revenues in the past 12 months, which she sees reflected in the job numbers.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  4. The New Downtown: Lower Manhattan Reborn 15 Years After 9/11 “Fifteen years after the Sept. 11th attacks, Lower Manhattan has been reborn. The revitalization of the city's downtown, powered by $30 billion in government and private investment, includes not just the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, but also two new malls filled with upscale retailers, thousands of new hotel rooms and dozens of eateries ranging from a new Eataly to a French food hall, Le District. The statistics alone are stunning. There are 29 hotels in the neighborhood, compared to six before 9/11.” (Associated Press)
  5. Why it’s So Hard to Kill a Restaurant Chain “It’s really hard to kill a restaurant chain, which is why chains have continued to proliferate even amid growing concerns about industry oversupply. This became obvious with this week’s news that the owner of Fox & Hound and Champps narrowly avoided being shut down. First, a caveat: Shutting down restaurants should not be taken lightly. Each restaurant employs numerous workers, and an entire chain can provide for the livelihoods of hundreds or thousands of people.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
  6. City Hashes Out Plan to Allow Landmarked Property Owners in Midtown East to Sell Air Rights “The city is currently conducting an appraisal of unused development rights in midtown east. The result, which will become a part of the city's plan to rezone the area in order to construct more modern office towers, has been a point of contention in the past. In fact, it stymied an earlier rezoning attempt. One of the sticking points of a Bloomberg-era plan to rezone the area, bounded by East 39th and East 57th streets to the north and south, and Madison and Third avenues to the east and west, was exactly how much money landmarked property owners in midtown east would be able to get for their air rights.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  7. Midwest Office Portfolio Commands $417M “Hertz Investment Group has acquired a four-property office portfolio totaling 3.1 million square feet from Equity Commonwealth for $416.9 million. The acquisition, the largest in Hertz’ history, included the 19-floor North Point, an 878,000-square-foot office complex at 901 Lakeside Ave. in Cleveland, which is currently 78 percent occupied; and the 37-story, 100 E. Wisconsin in Milwaukee, which overlooks the Milwaukee River. The 435,629-square-foot building was 88 percent leased at the time of the sale to a tenant roster that includes Michael Best & Friedrich, Wells Fargo and the Marcus Corp.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. L.H. Charney Refis 1441 Broadway with $185M MetLife Loan “L.H. Charney & Associates refinanced its 460,000-square-foot office tower at 1441 Broadway with a $185 million loan from Metropolitan Life Insurance. The landlord, whose namesake founder died earlier this year at the age of 77, replaced $183 million in existing debt and landed a $2 million gap loan from the insurer, according to property records filed with the city Wednesday. Company president Bruce Block said the original loan’s term was coming due, and declined to comment on the rate secured with MetLife.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Vulcan Sells Land Under UW Research Buildings for $133 Million “Vulcan Real Estate continues its selling spree in South Lake Union, announcing on Wednesday it has dealt a block-length stretch of property to an investor for $133.6 million. The Shidler Group, based in Honolulu, purchased the 2.4-acre site on 850 Republican St., between Eight and Ninth avenues North. The sale is for the land only: The University of Washington School of Medicine owns 361,000 square feet of researchfacilities on the property, which was developed by Vulcan last decade.” (The Seattle Times)
  10. 63 Percent of GCC Wealthy Individuals to Invest in Global Real Estate in 2016 “According to international real estate consultant Cluttons, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC-based) high net worth individuals are set to continue investing in global real estate for the remainder of the year, with the 63% claiming that they are likely to invest in their most preferred real estate investment location during 2016. The third installment of Cluttons' 2016 Middle East Private Capital Survey, carried out in partnership with YouGov, shows that London, New York and Singapore; are the destinations of choice (outside of the Middle East) for the region's wealthy.” (World Property Journal)
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