Real Estate Daily News Buzz is designed to give news snippets to readers that our (yet to be award winning) editors thought you could use to start your day. They come from various business perspectives, real estate, government, the Fed, local news, and the stock markets to save you time. Here you will find the headlines and what the news buzz of the day will be.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,388.77. The Dow Jones industrial average added 6.24 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 20,981.33. The Nasdaq composite rose 23.71, or 0.4 percent, to 6,048.94.
Benchmark U.S. crude dropped 65 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $48.97 per barrel, while Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 38 cents to $51.44 a barrel. Natural gas slipped 3 cents to settle at $3.24 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.51 per gallon and wholesale gasoline dropped 4 cents to $1.55 per gallon.
BAN ON HAND-HELD DEVICES IN MOVING VEHICLES TO BEGIN NEXT WEEK (VIDEO) Starting Monday, it will be against the law to use a hand-held device while driving. The Mayor and Tucson City Council voted in March to approve the ban. Violation of the new ordinance will be considered a secondary offense, meaning you must be pulled over for another reason before police can cite you. Texting while driving already is banned in the city, but the new rules expand that ban to phone calls and the use of other hand-held mobile communication and electronic devices. The new violation will be classified as a civil traffic matter, starting with a $250 fine for a first non-accident offense, and subsequent offenses will be $500. For violations involving a traffic accident, there will be a penalty of $500. Mayor and Council agreed to review the ordinance in six months to see how it’s working and whether it needs to be strengthened.
Watch a Tucson 12 PSA about the new ordinance:
RECYCLING SURCHARGE DECREASES – City of Tucson Environmental Services customers will receive a credit of 45 cents on their April Utility Services bill. The credit reflects a 15-cent reduction in the Recycling Surcharge for January, February, and March. As of Jan. 1, 2017, the surcharge was reduced to 30 cents. A surcharge of 45 cents was implemented in July 2016. As recycling revenues hit increments of $250,000, the surcharge is reduced by 15 cents. As of Jan. 1, recycling revenues have exceeded projections.
AWARDS CEREMONY TO SPOTLIGHT HISTORIC PRESERVATION – Individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to historic preservation in Tucson and Pima County will be recognized at the annual Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony hosted by the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission (T-PCHC). The ceremony will be held Saturday, May 13, from 9:30 a.m.-noon at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S. Scott Ave. The T-PCHC’s mission is to foster awareness and preservation of historic sites, structures, districts, and character in our community. The Mayor and Tucson City Council, City of South Tucson, and Pima County Board of Supervisors appoint its members.
HELP TUCSON GET A GRIP ON GRAFFITI – The swift abatement of graffiti discourages future vandalism, so when you see graffiti, please report it immediately. Graffiti Protective Coatings and the City of Tucson have a smartphone application for reporting graffiti. MyTucson is a free download on the iOS App Store and Google Play for Android. You also can report graffiti by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (520) 792-2489 and choosing option 1.
Sawmill Fire Kittens Saves by Good Samaritan – On Thursday, April 27, a good Samaritan brought 2 tiny kittens into the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA). He had heard the kittens crying in his yard as the fire got closer to his property, and went out to find them. With no mother in sight, the man decided he needed to take action. He caught the kittens and brought them into the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, where they will be fostered and cared for until they are ready to be adopted. “We want anyone affected by the fire to know that if they find a stray animal, they can bring that animal to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. This includes, not just dogs and cats, but smaller animals like domesticated rabbits, who may be displaced because of the fire,” says Brandy Burke, Chief Operations Officer. “It is thanks to the people who donate to our disaster relief fund that we are able to care for animals who are affected by disasters like the Sawmill Fire,” says Vanessa Ford, Director of Marketing and Communications. “We are currently on standby to assist with the domestic pet evacuees of the Sawmill Fire. We’re in close contact with Pima County and the Southern Arizona Red Cross Chapter, actively monitoring this situation.” If you find a stray animal in the area of the Sawmill Fire, please contact the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for further assistance at 520-327-6088 ext. 111.
JPMorgan Says the Economy Barely Grew in the First Quarter “JPMorgan Chase economists are forecasting first quarter growth of just 0.4 percent, barely a positive pulse. The economists cut their view from 0.6 percent on Wednesday, after reviewing annual revisions to retail sales data — reflecting a potentially worrisome trend of consumer weakening also seen in softer auto sales and retail sales data recently.” (CNBC)
Housing Finance Overhaul May Be Finally in the Cards, Mnuchin Says “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said the Trump administration would tackle housing finance reform after it addresses tax reform, setting the stage for Washington to lay to rest the last unfinished business from the financial crisis. Housing finance has been a prickly subject for Washington ever since the 2008 crisis, when the giant quasi-governmental agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reeling from credit losses, were made wards of the state.” (MarketWatch)
Trump’s Plan Calls for the Repeal of a Tax That Once Cost Him $3 Million “President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a tax plan on Wednesday that proposes lower taxes across the board and a number of alterations to the tax code. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn announced the plan during a White House press briefing. One proposal in the plan is the repeal of the so-called alternative minimum tax. The decades-old tax, which was enacted to make sure the rich pay their fair share, cost Trump $31 million in 2005.” (Business Insider)
KKR Real Estate Finance Trust to Offer 10 Million Shares in IPO “KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc. unveiled Wednesday the launch of its initial public offering, in which it will sell 10 million shares priced in a range of $20.50 to $21.50. The company, which originates and acquires senior loans secured by commercial real estate assets, is planning to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘KREF.’” (MarketWatch)
Rumors Circulate of Chinese Government Detaining Anbang Chief Wu Xiaohui “Chinese social media platform WeChat erupted Wednesday with reports that Wu Xiaohui, chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, has been detained by authorities in Beijing. Chinese authorities have also halted all of the insurance giant’s overseas investment, according to reports early on Wednesday. According to the media reports, the investigation into Wu is connected to a $14.5 billion loan the Anbang chairman allegedly obtained illegally from Minsheng Bank.” (The Real Deal)
ULI Forecast Predicts More Room to Run for CRE “The commercial real estate market may be in the late stages of its current cycle, but the sector still has some gas in the tank for more growth ahead according to the latest ULI Real Estate Consensus Forecast. The more than 50 economists and analysts surveyed have a generally positive outlook on economic and employment growth, which in turn will help to prolong the current real estate cycle at least through 2019. While the pace of that growth is decelerating, overall growth in key property fundamentals, values, and returns are still positive.” (Seeking Alpha)
Coffee Giant to Open Massive Location in Chicago “Starbucks Coffee Company is going big in the Windy City — in a space that is currently to home to one of the city’s iconic retail flagships. The coffee retailer will open a four-level, 43,000-sq.-ft. Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in 2019, in the building currently occupied by Crate & Barrel. The home goods chain, which has operated a store on the site for 27 years, is expected to close its door in early 2018.” (Chain Store Age)
New York’s Rent Freeze Is Over “Rent-stabilized tenants will not get another rent freeze next year, according to a vote by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. The board voted Tuesday night to set the range on rent increases on one-year leases between one and three percent. On two-year leases, the board voted for a range of two and four percent. Landlords and tenant advocates slammed the decision with both laying the blame squarely at Mayor de Blasio’s feet.” (New York Post)
Billion-Dollar Mixed-Use Project Kicks Off in DC “The Parks at Walter Reed, a $1 billion mixed-use project in Washington, D.C., gets underway as TPWR Developer LLC—a joint venture of Hines, Urban Atlantic and Triden Development Group—breaks ground on the 3.1 million-square-foot transformative undertaking. The Parks, which will include newly built space and the adaptive reuse of historic structures, is the largest master-planned community under development in Northwest D.C.” (Commercial Property Executive)
Power of Attorneys: The Lawyers Who Shape Everything in the World of Real Estate “Behind every power broker, power developer and power landlord is a power attorney. From Hudson Yards to the New York Wheel in Staten Island to the East River Science Park, these lawyers have been getting down and dirty in the details to make sure that all of these projects that are changing the city’s streets and skyline come to fruition. Here are seven of the legal world’s most powerful, most connected and most exciting players.” (Commercial Observer)