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Five Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 17, 2019)

The Fed is not likely to cut interest rates this month, according to Reuters. The New York Times looks at the potential impact of the new rent regulation laws. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed Likely to Resist Pressure to Cut U.S. Rates This Week “The U.S. Federal Reserve, facing fresh demands by President Donald Trump to cut interest rates, is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged at a policy meeting this week but possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year. New economic projections that will accompany the U.S. central bank’s policy statement on Wednesday will provide the most direct insight yet into how deeply policymakers have been influenced by the U.S.-China trade war, Trump’s insistence on lower interest rates, and recent weaker economic data.” (Reuters)
  2. Rent Laws’ Impact: Tenant Paradise or Return of the ‘Bronx Is Burning’? “When a neighborhood landlord named Stephanie Kirnon learned about the far-reaching changes to New York’s rent laws, she grew anxious: How would she afford the $29,000 in repairs to the leaky roof of the 26-unit apartment building she owns in the Bronx? A few miles away, Gloribel Castillo, a lifelong Bronx resident who works two shifts as a cleaner in Manhattan hotels, received a text message saying that the rent measures would be approved by the New York Legislature.” (The New York Times)
  3. Forget the Mall, Shoppers Are Buying Gucci at Airports “Makers of luxury goods from liquor to perfume think they have found the antidote to the fading American shopping mall: airport terminals. The world’s airports, drawing ever more travelers with time to kill, have become havens of high-end shopping, where stores sell $400 bottles of whiskey and $4,000 purses against the backdrop of day spas, hot springs and, in one case, a butterfly garden. For the first time last year, Estée Lauder Co. generated more revenue at airports globally than at U.S. department stores, which for decades had been beauty companies’ biggest sales driver.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. As Downtowns Prosper, Voters Ask Mayors: What About My Neighborhood? “The resurgence of downtown Kansas City, Mo., radiates from the luxury apartment towers with floor-to-ceiling windows and a rooftop pool. It is visible in the art galleries and clothing boutiques flanking the new 2-mile streetcar line, and in the open-air bar and restaurant promenade that is packed with people when the weather is nice. But in the shadows of the city’s thriving business and entertainment district are languishing East Side neighborhoods pocked with boarded-up homes and overgrown, trash-strewn lots.” (The New York Times)
  5. Macy’s Real Estate Assets Are Not Worth $21 Billion “It is often cited that Macy’s owns an estimated $21 billion in real estate assets, including recently in an article written by a SA contributor. The $21 billion is based on a property-by-property analysis done by hedge fund Starboard Value in 2016. Here is a link to that report. Starboard's $21 billion estimate for Macy’s real estate assets included Macy’s Herald Square location in New York, several stores in downtown locations such as Union Square in San Francisco and State Street in Chicago, other mall-based stores around the county, and distribution centers.” (Seeking Alpha)
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