Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 23, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 23, 2017

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.

Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 24.14 points, or 1 percent, to 2,452.51 for its fourth-biggest gain of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 196.14 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,899.89. The Nasdaq composite gained 84.35, or 1.4 percent, to 6,297.48. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 27 cents to settle at $47.64 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 21 cents to settle at $51.87 a barrel. Natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil was virtually flat at $1.59 per gallon and wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.59 per gallon.

MAYOR LAUNCHES NEW MENTORING INITIATIVE Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild yesterday announced a new initiative calling for community volunteers to help mentor youth. Alongside representatives from several youth-serving nonprofits and the kids they serve, Rothschild encouraged nonprofit, business, and government representatives to become mentors. Depending on the program, the time commitment can be as little as a few hours a month, the mayor wrote recently in the Arizona Daily Star (link below). “Mentorship programs share a dedication to improving the lives of young people through positive interactions with adults,” he said. For a list of participating agencies in need of volunteers, please follow the links below. Mentor Tucson Youth volunteer opportunities from mayor’s website:

SELF-DRIVING SEMI TRUCK TECHNOLOGY BEING DEVELOPED IN TUCSON – A Chinese startup company is developing self-driving technology for commercial trucking at a recently opened facility in Tucson. Beijing-based TuSimple’s research and testing includes a planned Tucson-Phoenix trip with an autonomous truck. The company says it plans to hire as many as 100 employees in the next five years. TuSimple is leasing more than 6,800 square feet of warehouse and office space at 2551 N. Dragoon St., near West Grant Road and Interstate 10. Company Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Xiaodi Hou said Tucson’s logistics and friendly Arizona policies toward autonomous vehicle technology lured the company to Tucson. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild spoke at yesterday’s ribbon cutting, along with Pima County officials, and regional economic development partners. The City provided no incentives to bring the company to Tucson, with the mayor saying Tucson’s workforce and talent coming out of the University of Arizona will help the company succeed.

LEARN ABOUT FISHING AT URBAN LAKES – Do you need a license to fish at a City lake? Find out the answer to that question and many others in an episode of Sierra Says from Tucson 12 and the Tucson Parks and Recreation department (video link below). Send your parks questions to, and you could have them answered in the next installment of this TV and social media series.
Watch Sierra Says video:

WATERMELON WEDNESDAY TOMORROW AT REID PARK ZOO – Reid Park Zoo is giving its animals watermelon enrichment every Wednesday morning in August. From 8-10 a.m., guests can observe elephants, lions, tortoises, and other animals as they think about and work for this special treat. While watermelon may not be found naturally in an animal’s environment, it stimulates various behaviors. Zoo education staff will be on hand for chats about the enrichment activities and other exciting ways to explore Reid Park Zoo. Watermelon eegee’s will be available in the Zoofari Café. Reid Park Zoo:

Simon Property Reaches Settlement in Antitrust Investigation by New York “New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and retail property giant Simon Property Group Inc. reached an antitrust settlement that requires Simon to end practices that protected its wildly popular Woodbury Common Premium Outlets from competition, according to a statement released by the attorney general’s office.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

McDonald’s to close 169 outlets in India in franchise battle — McDonald’s India has announced it will close nearly 170 McDonald’s outlets in northern and eastern India after the American fast food giant decided to terminate a franchise agreement with its Indian partner. McDonald’s said its partner Connaught Plaza Restaurants violated the terms of the franchise agreement, including reneging on payment of royalties.

Americans Shift from Spending at Mall to Spending on Health Care “The brick-and-mortar retail industry is in crisis. For many old-line retailers, sales and market share are plunging fast. The most obvious explanation for their distress is the rise of online shopping, but some analysts mistakenly point to another trend: ‘Shoppers are choosing experiences over stuff, and that’s bad news for retailers.’ Instead of purchasing a couch, we’re going to Paris! Or maybe buying avocado toast.” (MarketWatch)

Chesapeake Real Estate Group Acquires 259 Acres in Curtis Bay “Chesapeake Real Estate Group has acquired 259 acres in Anne Arundel County and plans to develop up to 1 million square feet of industrial and warehouse space there. The Baltimore-based real estate company acquired the Curtis Bay property, known as Brandon Woods III, from Exelon Corp. Financial terms were not disclosed. Chesapeake and partner EverWest Real Estate Partners expect to break ground in September on the $75 million project’s first phase: a 500,000-square-foot industrial building.” (Baltimore Sun)

Famed Plaza Hotel Is on the Block “The Indian owners of the Plaza Hotel have hired a broker to sell the New York City landmark, a sign that a world-wide scramble among investors, celebrities and governments to acquire the property could be nearing an end. Sahara Group, a Lucknow, India-based conglomerate and the hotel’s majority owner, has enlisted JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, a unit of real-estate firm JLL, to find a buyer.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Heidi Klum Fashion at a Supermarket? Grocers Now Sell More than Food “Former supermodel Heidi Klum is known for glamour and her svelte physique, but her new women’s clothing line be sold under the same roof as candy, canned peaches and disposable diapers — at a supermarket chain. The leap from salad dressings to sun dresses is part of an industry trend. More grocery stores turning to products that have nothing to do with food.” (USA Today)

What Amenities Do Tenants Want? “Does your property have everything your tenants need? Commercial Property Executive and Kingsley Associates asked what would bring the most value to your asset. ‘Some additional amenities I would like to see are better walking trails, modern vending machines that accept credit cards and more common-area seating in the hallways for breaks or casual meetings.’ —Austin, Texas.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Ernst & Young Might Relocate to One Manhattan West “Negotiations are actively moving along for a possible relocation by Ernst & Young to Brookfield’s One Manhattan West. The professional-services giant is in talks for around 400,000 square feet, we’re told — a major commitment although not as large as previously reported. Ernst & Young is currently at 5 Times Square. Asking rents at One Manhattan West run to $105 a square foot, my colleague Lois Weiss recently reported.” (New York Post)

Ross Stores Remains the Big Winner of Brick-and-Mortar Retail “Most U.S. retailers produced better results last quarter than they did in the first few months of 2017. Nevertheless, the vast majority of them posted second-quarter adjusted earnings that were flattish or down on a year-over-year basis. Ross Stores was the biggest exception. The off-price giant reported strong sales growth and a 15% jump in earnings per share, outpacing its larger off-price rival TJX. With American consumers still laser-focused on getting the most bang for their buck, Ross Stores’ success is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.” (The Motley Fool)

Related Seeks $30M More in EB-5 Financing for Hudson Yards “Related Companies is seeking $30 million more in EB-5 financing for 35 and 55 Hudson Yards and the Western Rail Yards. The company is looking for $10 million each for 35 and 55 Hudson Yards — respectively, a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use tower and a 1.7 million-square-foot office building — after requesting hundreds of millions of dollars for the towers two months ago, New York YIMBY reported.” (The Real Deal)

NASA Opens 118 KSF Biomedical Lab “The Johnson Space Center at NASA in Houston has opened the Human Health and Performance Laboratory (Building 21), a 118,000-square-foot biomedical laboratory facility, designed by HDR based on NASA technical requirements. The facility is home for the JSC Human Health and Performance Directorate, the primary agency organization focused on improving the health of astronauts and their performance while mitigating the human system risks associated with spaceflight.” (Commercial Property Executive)