Real Estate Daily News Buzz December 6, 2016

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.

Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average added 45.82 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,216.24. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 12.76 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,204.71. The Nasdaq composite jumped 53.24 points, or 1 percent, to 5,308.89.

Benchmark U.S. oil rose 11 cents to $51.79 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 48 cents to $54.94 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline remained at $1.56 a gallon and heating oil was unchanged at $1.66 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 22 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $3.65 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Get used to it: Economists see “new normal” of slow growth — Americans should get used to a “new normal” of slow economic growth, business economists say. A National Association for Business Economics survey estimates the American economy to grow 2.2 percent in 2017, up from a forecast 1.6 percent this year and unchanged from the previous survey in September. But the improved number is still lackluster by historical standards. U.S. economic growth averaged 3.1 percent a year from 1948 to 2015, according to the Congressional Research Service. Business economists say Americans need to get used to slow growth as most of those surveyed believe the American economy will remain at 2.5 percent or lower over the next five years.

Tyson announces plans for $150 million venture fund — Tyson Foods Inc. announced plans Monday to create a venture fund aimed at developing innovations in food production. The meat company said it will make $150 million available for Tyson New Ventures LLC, which it said would complement Tyson’s continued investment in fresh meat, poultry and prepared foods. The venture fund’s first investment is a 5 percent ownership stake in Beyond Meat, a California-based company that makes “plant-based protein.” Tyson says the venture fund will concentrate on alternative proteins, as well as other startups aimed at eliminating food waste and finding other innovations. (SPRINGDALE, Ark. AP)

Amazon Go store is checkout free — Amazon is testing a grocery store model in Seattle that works without checkout lines. Called Amazon Go, shoppers scan their Amazon app when they enter the store, and then sensors register items that shoppers pick up and automatically charge them to the Amazon app. If a shopper puts the item back they aren’t charged. The store is open to Amazon employees on a trial run. It is expected to open to the public in early 2017. (NEW YORK AP)

Mega-Development Gets Under Way on Long Island “The project known as Garvies Point will include 1,100 apartments and condominiums along with parkland and waterfront access. It will be built on a Superfund site where a factory produced munitions decades ago. A cleanup that began in the 1990s is nearly done.” (The Wall Street Journal)

How Will a December Rate Hike Affect REITs? “The instinctual reaction to an anticipated hike might be apprehension because rising rates commonly hurt investments dependent on debt financing. However, the long-term performance of REITs correlates more with the economic well-being of the country than with rate increases, as shown by previous rate hike cycles.” (Urban Land)

Related Midwest provides $240 million of financing for 70-story luxury residential tower in Chicago “Related Midwest has closed a $240 million construction loan and completed the tower crane installation at One Bennett Park, a 70-story ultra-luxury residential tower located at 451 E. Grand Ave. in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. Designed by internationally renowned architecture firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the Art Deco-style building will offer 69 condominiums and 279 apartments adjacent to a new park by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. When complete in 2019, it will be the tallest all-residential tower in Chicago, topping out at 836 feet.” (

Trump’s Win Gives Stocks in Private Prison Companies a Reprieve “Mr. Trump’s surprise victory represented a radical change in fortunes for them — a boon for investors and a potential nightmare for critics. ‘It’s an extreme case of politics affecting the stock market,’ said Ryan Meliker, a senior analyst with Canaccord Genuity. ‘Politics drove down the shares of the companies over the summer — and now the situation is reversed.’” (The New York Times)

Lenders Growing Wary of Multifamily Construction Loans “Following the financial crisis, the multifamily and hotel sectors were the first to recover. But there are growing concerns that the multifamily sector might be topping out despite strong fundamentals.” (National Mortgage News)

SBE Closes Purchase of Morgans Hotel Group “Hoy Enterprise, has completed the acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, SBE announced late last week. The transaction more than doubles the number of hotels in SBE’s portfolio.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Cereal maker General Mills to cut as many as 600 jobs — General Mills plans to cut between 400 and 600 jobs around the world as it restructures its business. The company, like other processed food makers, has been hurt by American’s changing tastes. Sales of some of its core products, like yogurt and cereal, have suffered. General Mills Inc. had about 39,000 employees as of May. (NEW YORK AP)

Food-stamp cuts contribute to Dollar General’s woes in Q3 “Vasos said the chain was challenged by average unit retail price deflation and reductions in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits in the third quarter as compared to the same period last year. Among the states that implemented SNAP changes this year were Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee, all of which have a high concentration of Dollar General stores.” (Chain Store Age)

Las Vegas real estate developer Fred Nassiri offering another possible NFL stadium site option “The newly selected Stadium Authority Board will hold its first meeting Monday and will be headed by Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. At the meeting, Nassiri hopes to make a case for his land being the perfect future home of the Raiders, UNLV football and other major events. The location, further south down Las Vegas Boulevard than other options, is not only clear of all Federal Aviation Administration concerns but also has direct access to Interstate 15, the 215 Beltway and Blue Diamond Road.” (The Las Vegas Sun)

Commercial real estate and QR codes: Do they work? QR codes are an amazing way to communicate! I believe QR codes are very misunderstood and more importantly misused in the commercial real estate industry. I will attempt to explain why and share with you the ways using QR codes (or MS Tags) do work. (The Orange County Register)

New VW firm to focus on mobility services like ride sharing — Volkswagen is launching a new company dedicated to car sharing and other “mobility services” in which people may need a ride but don’t necessarily want to own the car. The German auto giant has set up a stand-alone enterprise, MOIA, which will be headquartered in Berlin and will “connect the car with the new mobility world.” It intends to challenge traditional notions of how to get around, particularly in cities. The company has already invested in a ride-sharing app and is also focusing on the pooling business. (LONDON AP)