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Seven Must Read Items for the CRE Industry Today (October 25, 2019)

The Trump Organization has hired JLL to market Trump International Hotel in D.C., reports the Wall Street Journal. The WeWork debacle could result in defaults in the CMBS sector, according to Fortune. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Trump Organization Exploring Sale of Washington Hotel “The Trump Organization is exploring a sale of the rights to the company’s opulent Washington, D.C., hotel, a move it says is motivated partly by criticism that the Trumps are flouting ethics laws by profiting from the property. President Trump’s family business has hired the real-estate firm JLL to market the Trump International Hotel, Eric Trump, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, told The Wall Street Journal.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Wegmans Has Come to Brooklyn. Why Are New Yorkers Losing Their Minds? “On Sunday, another beloved regional chain, Wegmans, which began as a pushcart vegetable business in 1916 on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, in New York, will open in the hipster industrial landscape of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This will be the company’s first store in the city and the news has been received with the excitement some New Yorkers might feel upon hearing that HBO has committed to 25 seasons of ‘Succession.’” (The New York Times)
  3. Another Wrinkle Emerges in the WeWork Saga “Thanks to a double-down bet by SoftBank, WeWork (which by some accounts was going to run out of money Friday) now has the funds it needs to continue operations. Employees may be outraged at the terms given to founder Adam Neumann, but on the bright side, thousands of planned layoffs have reportedly been postponed due to lack of funds to pay severance. But for all those that have escaped immediate peril, there are some investors that may have exposure to WeWork's declining fortunes without realizing it: buyers of the mortgage-backed bonds called commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBSs.” (Fortune)
  4. After 15 Years, Dream Mall Finally Becomes a Reality “But when the complex opens on Friday, visitors will not find anyplace to shop or much to eat. The property’s owner, the Canadian real estate firm Triple Five Group, is introducing American Dream in ‘chapters.’ The first consists of an ice-skating rink and a Nickelodeon amusement park that claims to have one of the world’s steepest roller coasters and will offer regular ‘slime’ shows.” (The New York Times)
  5. Barneys Sold to Authentic Brands as Rival Bids Fizzle “Luxury retailer Barneys has been sold to licensing firm Authentic Brands Group after several last-minute rival bidders failed to gain approval, The Post has learned. ABG, which makes money licensing brands like Fredericks of Hollywood, is acquiring Barneys intellectual property for $271.4 million. An auction scheduled for Monday has been canceled after the only other competing bid — from trade show executive Sam Ben-Avraham — was rejected by Barneys on Thursday.” (New York Post)
  6. Homeless Become More Visible in Austin, Sparking Political Clash “Some conservative state politicians say Austin is heading down the path of West Coast cities like San Francisco with large, highly visible homeless populations and are threatening to take action. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has said that if the city doesn’t show improvement by Nov. 1, the Texas Department of Transportation will begin clearing encampments under the bridges of state-owned roadways.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Long Delayed American Dream Mall Reportedly Doesn’t Have Permit Needed for Opening “The American Dream mall still doesn’t have the essential certificate of occupancy needed to open its doors to the public as planned on Friday, Oct. 25, the news website NJ.com reported this week. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is reportedly still reviewing permits for the park. ‘The American Dream facility does not have a certificate of occupancy at the present time,’ DCA spokeswoman Lisa Ryan told NJ.com on Wednesday.” (CNBC)
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