10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 15, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 15, 2016)


  1. Sprawling Suburbs, Not Tall Towers, Lead to Affordable Housing, Study Finds “Building sprawling suburbs is better at making cities affordable than building tall towers, according to research released Wednesday. Environmentalists, urban planners and economists are pushing cities such as New York and San Francisco to build more housing to help combat rapidly rising rents and home prices that are crowding out the middle class. But trying to build upward in order to keep cities accessible to average families may be a losing battle, according to findings to be released Wednesday by BuildZoom, a website for contractors.” (MarketWatch)
  2. California Today: A Leaning Tower in San Francisco “For years, San Francisco was a famously low-rise city. Then came the tech boom and the race was on to build the glass and steel edifices that populate the world’s great cities. But in earthquake-prone San Francisco there’s a catch: many of the city’s new skyscrapers are concentrated in a neighborhood of squishy land reclaimed from the bay. One of the new buildings, the 58-story Millennium Tower, has now sunk by 16 inches. Worse, the condominium building is sinking unevenly.” (The New York Times)
  3. Reasons for Further Growth of U.S. Real Estate Prices “During the last several years, US housing prices have been gradually rising and that is reflected in the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. There are many reasons for price appreciation, including low mortgage rates and a significant decrease in housing prices after The Great Recession. However, current circumstances point out to another driver of price growth. This driver is simply a lack of homes for sale. Based on a comparison of Monthly Supply of Houses and New One-Family Houses Sold, one can easily see that demand for houses is rising but inventories are decreasing that is causing price growth.” (Seeking Alpha)
  4. Asking $200 Million for Prime Santa Barbara Coastline. No Development, Please “Wanted: One billionaire conservationist for four miles of untouched Santa Barbara coastline. Needs $200 million and willingness to part with the most valuable element of the properties—their development rights. That's the dream buyer of three adjacent ranches, totaling 2,214 acres just west of Santa Barbara, that have hit the market simultaneously. The listing agent is on the hunt for someone with the desire—and deep pockets—to preserve the historic coastline.” (Bloomberg)
  5. Not Your Grandma’s Retirement Home: Check Out This Luxe Living “Active adult communities have seen high demand in recent years, and builder confidence in the sector has been rising steadily, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Both demographics and the trend toward more active living are driving buyers to these developments. The homes in Toll's latest community in Aurora feature gourmet kitchens, luxury bathrooms with pedestal tubs, grandchildren suites and exercise rooms where walls lift automatically, opening onto outdoor kitchens with mountain views. Hundreds of upgrades are available, depending on what the buyers want to pay.” (CNBC)
  6. This Monument Could Be Manhattan’s Answer to the Eiffel Tower “It’s not just meant to be ogled, but trod upon. ‘Vessel’ is a sort of a towering jungle gym. Young and old alike will climb 2,500 steps over 154 flights of stairs, connected by 80 landings festooned with benches from which visitors can enjoy Hudson River views. Visitors will walk a full mile when making the round trip from the plaza to the summit and back. The cost, fully paid by the developers: $200 million.” (Fortune)
  7. Westwood Spins Two Thirds of its Holdings into New Streamlined Entity “Shopping center owner Westwood Financial Corp. recently completed an extensive restructuring of its holdings. The company is shaking up the ownership of 77 of its 120 retail assets into a $1.2 billion retail real estate company. The properties have been bundled with Westwood’s management company to form a separate entity. Set to operate as Westwood Financial, the new entity is poised to have easier access to capital, and will benefit from significantly streamlined operations.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. A Look at the New Wall Street Scheme to Make Money with Your Home “Do you want Wall Street to get a piece of your house? On Tuesday, famed venture capitalist Marc Andreesen announced that he’d invested in a startup called Point. Point casts itself as a solution to an intrinsic problem with homeownership: most Americans have most of their wealth tied up in their home. There are mechanisms for ‘taking out’ some of the equity built up as a mortgage is paid down, such as home equity lines of credit or home equity loans. But they require paying interest — not to mention having good credit.” (MarketWatch)
  9. GLP Grows U.S. Presence with $1.1B Buy “GLP, a Singapore-based provider of logistics facilities, is making its third industrial acquisition in the U.S. with plans to purchase a $1.1 billion portfolio from Hillwood Development Co. in several phases starting later this year. The first part of the deal is expected to close in December with the purchase of a $700 million portfolio. The remaining $400 million development portfolio will be acquired in phases upon completion and lease-up.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Red Hook Waterfront Might Be Getting a Major Facelift “It’s like Battery Park City ​​— only in Brooklyn. A sweeping redevelopment is being proposed for the Red Hook waterfront that would bring apartment buildings with up to 45,000 new homes — and some amazing views — to rundown piers on the Erie Basin. Global engineering firm AECOM unveiled ​the plan on Tuesday, which also includes ​an ambitious proposal to extend the 1 train from lower Manhattan via a new tunnel to the ​mass transit-starved neighborhood.” (New York Post)
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