10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 30, 2016) Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (September 30, 2016)


  1. Germany Says No Bailouts for Deutsche Bank or Any Other Struggling Lenders “Germany will not help ailing lenders such as Deutsche Bank, a senior lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc said on Thursday, as resistance grew to any possibility of staging a rescue. With Merkel meeting European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Thursday, Berlin has already flatly denied it is planning any repeat of the taxpayer-funded bailouts that Germany and other Western countries mounted during the global financial crisis. This followed a newspaper report earlier in the week that the German government had made provisional plans to rescue Deutsche, which is fighting a fine of up to $14 billion from the U.S. Department of Justice.” (Fortune)
  2. Walgreens struggling to sell stores “Walgreens is ready to shutter up to 1,000 stores, but no one is biting. In accordance with the closing of its deal to purchase Rite Aid, the Walgreens Boots Alliance must sell or close between 500 and 1,000 of its stores. However, there is a lack of interest among private equity firms, according to an Investopedia article. Walgreens still expects to move forward with the Rite Aid acquisition, which is slated to close in the second half of this year, the article said.” (Chain Store Age)
  3. EB-5 program extended with no reforms to December “Congress passed a continuing resolution, which included EB-5, to avoid a government shutdown before the end of the fiscal year. It was passed with no reforms, which many say it strongly needs. Congress kept the bill afloat in a similar situation last September at the end of the government’s fiscal year, and gave it two extensions before Wednesday’s vote. President Barack Obama signed the bill containing the continuing resolution into law Thursday – just about 36 hours before the end of fiscal 2016. Ronnie Fieldstone, an Arnstein & Lehr attorney who represents developers and EB-5 regional centers, expects the new bill to raise the minimum investment requirement from $500,000 to $800,000 in high unemployment areas and from $1 million to $1.2 million for low unemployment areas. The minimum investment hasn’t changed since 1992.” (The Real Deal Miami)
  4. No slowdown seen in commercial real estate “The commercial real estate market outlook for Miami-Dade: Sunny, as long as more mass transit is on the horizon, said industry experts on Thursday at the Building Owners and Managers Association of Miami-Dade’s 2017 Commercial Real Estate Outlook event. In the office market, rents are at an all-time high in certain sub-markets, said Brian Gale, Cushman & Wakefield’s vice chairman of Brokerage Services who represents nearly 5 million square feet of office space in South Florida. On Brickell, office space is hitting around $60 a square foot for Class A space; back in 2008 the high was in the upper $40s, said Gale, during the panel discussion at the East Miami in Brickell. Downtown Miami is just behind it, and Aventura and Airport West have also hit all-time highs, too, he said.” (Miami Herald)
  5. West Elm fine-tuning its stores for sound “Shoppers at select West Elm stores will soon have their very own listening rooms — with state-of-the art sound speakers. The home furnishings retailer announced a partnership with Sonos to sell the company’s sound speakers and components in its U.S. stores and website, and to install ‘Sonos listening labs’ in 16 West Elm stores. The listening rooms will be outfitted with West Elm’s signature modern furnishings and accessories and Sonos home sound system products. Sonos, a maker of high-quality “smart” home sound systems, recently opened its first store, in Manhattan. West Elm unveiled the prototype “listening lab” at its store on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, with others planned for select locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami and Seattle. The rooms will be tailored to provide custom, high-fidelity listening environments and built to accommodate each store’s varied and unique floorplan.” (Chain Store Age)
  6. SL Green Lands $1.5B Financing for One Vanderbilt “The final piece has fallen into place for SL Green’s One Vanderbilt, a 1.6 million-square-foot trophy office project that will sprout up just a stone’s throw from Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. The REIT just secured construction financing to the tune of $1.5 billion for the project, which has a development price of approximately $3.1 billion. This isn’t just any Class A office development. ‘One Vanderbilt is the most significant urban infill office building built in this country in the last 50 years,’ John Guinee III, managing director with brokerage and investment banking firm Stifel Nicolaus, told Commercial Property Executive. ‘Assembling a full city block adjacent to Grand Central Terminal is a fairly astounding feat.’ More than a few members of the lending community agree, apparently. A consortium of financial institutions provided SL Green with the billion-five boost, with Wells Fargo N.A. leading the pack as administrative agent.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. Developer buys sprawling LA Times plant near Arts District for $120M “The Tribune Company-owned printing plant south of the Arts District is now the property of a partnership lead by Harridge Development Group. The Real Deal reports Harridge spent $120 million to acquire the 26-acre property, which prints the Los Angeles Times. It sits between Eighth Street and Olympic Boulevard off of Alameda Street, and it came on the market in November of last year. Seven acres on the site are ‘immediately developable,’ says The Real Deal, which also reports that Harridge aims to use some of that space to put up some retail, including a ‘mid-level’ grocery store. (Does mid-level include Whole Foods?) Harridge is betting that in a sea of high-end residential projects and expensive shops, a nice, reasonable grocery store will pay off. Tribune’s media arm (tronc) still holds leases on four of the building on-site, and those leases are good until 2023. What’s coming after that is still undecided, though Harridge isn’t considering residential for that area either.” (Los Angeles Curbed)
  8. West Elm expands at Brooklyn complex as part of its hotel brand launch “The furniture and home decor chain West Elm has expanded at Industry City, in part to add design studios to create a new hotel brand. The Dumbo-based company has added about 40,000 square feet at the Sunset Park, Brooklyn, complex, nearly doubling its space to more than 100,000 square feet. West Elm has used Industry City as a warehouse for storage for several years, but more recently has expanded its operations there to include a photography studio and a workshop where designers create prototype furniture and other products. The additional space allows room for those operations to grow while providing the company with space in which to design its recently-unveiled hotel concept. West Elm will use the space to build mock-up guest rooms and common areas for the hotel and shape the new chain's decor and furnishings. Last week, West Elm announced it was launching a hotel brand in partnership with hospitality management and development firm DDK. The retailer will design, furnish and market the boutique hotels in a move to expand beyond brick and mortar shops. Hotel guests will be able to buy furniture from the hotels online. The properties are expected to open in 2018 in Savannah, Charlotte, Detroit, Minneapolis and Indianapolis. West Elm said it plans to open more locations, though it declined to specify whether it would open a hotel in New York.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  9. Tishman Speyer files plans for $3.2B Hudson Yards tower “The developer officially filed plans Thursday for the Spiral, an office skyscraper that is slated to cost $3.2 billion. Plans filed with the city’s Department of Buildings call for a 2.2 million-square-foot tower, but Tishman Speyer is marketing the property at 2.85 million square feet.  The Spiral, named after its design feature of a continuous band of terraces that wrap around the building, will rise 65 stories to a height of 1,005 feet, and has an alternate address of 509 West 34th Street. In 2014, Tishman Speyer, headed by Rob Speyer, paid about $438 million for the parcels that make up the site. Later that year, it applied for a $170 million, 25-year tax break at the project. According to the DOB plans, the ground floor will have retail space — Tishman Speyer has said in marketing materials there will be about 27,000 square feet of retail — while the second through 62nd floors of the building will be office space.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Inside the biggest new office building to go up in the suburbs in years “Welcome to the future,” Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson said as he greeted a gathering at yesterday's ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Zurich North America Headquarters in his suburb. But is the future, embodied in the 11-story-tall, 783,800-square-foot complex at the northwest corner of Meacham Road and Interstate 90 all that different from the recent past? On a stretch of well-traveled and much-reconstructed roadway between such distinctive architectural landmarks as the kitschy Medieval Times and the bright neon-blue-and-yellow big box of Ikea, Chicago-based Goettsch Partners has produced a shiny new corporate retreat with offices and related amenities for almost 3,000 employees of the insurance company that's been in the same northwest suburb since 1980. The Switzerland-based insurer chose to eschew the recent trend to downtown headquarters, and its architects tried to capture a bit of that intent in their design...The building's overall 11-story height is generally consistent with the taller buildings scattered throughout the nearby suburbs, but its composition of three interlocked horizontal volumes wrapped in a glimmering glass skin give it a distinctive presence. It doesn't read as particularly tall, since its tallest volume is only six stories.” (Crain’s Chicago Business
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