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Five Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 31, 2019)

San Francisco passes legislation to double fees on office development, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. A bankruptcy judge will rule on the fate of Barneys today, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Deutsche Bank Approved Property Sale to Russian Businessman Despite Internal Objections “Deutsche Bank AG officials approved the sale of a chunk of Silicon Valley real estate to a Russian businessman despite objections from its U.S. reputational risk committee, according to documents and people familiar with the matter. The lender’s Germany-based global reputational risk committee approved the $72 million deal in May 2018, overruling concerns raised by executives including the one responsible for Deutsche Bank’s U.S. anti-money-laundering controls, the people said. He has since left the bank.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. New SF Fee on Office Buildings to Pay Affordable Housing Sails Through “In most cities, a proposal to double fees on office development would elicit dire warnings: visions of hemorrhaged jobs and empty office towers. But in San Francisco, which has seen jobs grow 38% since 2010, legislation to double a fee on office development over the next few years breezed through the legislative process, winning unanimous support on Tuesday from the Board of Supervisors.’ (San Francisco Chronicle)
  3. Goodbye Barneys. Hello Cheap Luxury Handbags for Christmas “It’s D-Day for Barneys New York — and, potentially, the entire high fashion retail world. On Thursday, a bankruptcy court judge in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., is expected to rule on the fate of the famed retailer. It’s a decision that could have repercussions far from the corner of 61st and Madison in Manhattan — and not just because Barneys’ flagship store may well disappear if Authentic Brands Group, which last week announced its bid had been accepted, is officially anointed the new owner.” (The New York Times)
  4. German Investment Firm Seeks to Sell Times Square Retail Space at a Huge Loss “A German real estate investor will likely lose tens of millions of dollars on a retail space it has owned for the past five years near Times Square - offering the latest glimpse of distress in the market for brick and mortar stores in the city. Munich-based GLL Real Estate Partners purchased the roughly 17,000 square foot space at 140 W. 42nd St. in the base of a Hilton Garden Hotel in 2014 for about $85 million when the outlook for retail was far rosier.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  5. Billionaire’s Ugly Divorce Ignites Battle Over Spectacular Art Trove “There is the $72 million apartment, so large it runs the full length of one side of the Plaza Hotel, with windows overlooking Central Park. A second Manhattan apartment is high up in one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere, along the so-called Billionaires’ Row. The $19 million house in the Hamptons on Long Island has neighbors with boldface names, including Martha Stewart and Steven Spielberg. The $23.5 million yacht is a 150-foot-long prizewinner.” (The New York Times)
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