Real Estate Daily News Buzz June 29, 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.

Wednesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 21.31 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,440.69. The Dow Jones industrial average added 143.95 points, or 0.7 percent, to 21,454.61. The Nasdaq composite rose 87.79 points, or 1.4 percent, to 6,234.41.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 50 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $44.74 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 66 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $47.31 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $1.48 per gallon. Heating oil also added 2 cents to $1.43 per gallon. Natural gas gained 3 cents to $3.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.

U.S. stock market makes biggest gain in 2 months — The U.S. stock market notched its biggest gain in two months Wednesday, bouncing back from losses a day earlier. Banks and other financial companies led the rally as investors bet on interest rates climbing further. Technology companies were among the big gainers, recouping some of their recent losses. Energy stocks also rose as the price of crude oil closed higher for the fifth straight day. Utilities and real estate companies were the only laggards.

Office supplies chain Staples sold for $6.9 billion — Private equity firm Sycamore is buying office supplies chain Staples for $6.9 billion. The companies said Wednesday that shareholders of Framingham, Massachusetts-based Staples will get $10.25 per share. Reports of deal talks emerged in early April, less than a year after Staples dropped a $6.3 billion merger with rival Office Depot because antitrust regulators opposed it. (ABC News)

Fed approves dividend, buyback plans of all 34 biggest banks — The Federal Reserve has given the green light to all 34 of the biggest banks in the U.S. to raise their dividends and buy back shares, judging their financial foundations sturdy enough to withstand a major economic downturn. It was the first time in seven years of annual “stress tests” that every bank assessed won approval for its capital plans. The Fed announced results of the second round of its annual stress tests.

Yellen: Banks ‘Very Much Stronger,’ Another Financial Crisis Not Likely ‘In Our Lifetime’ “Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that banks are “very much stronger” judging by how major institutions did in the recent stress tests. Speaking during an exchange in London with British Academy President Lord Nicholas Stern, the central bank chief said the Fed has learned lessons from the financial crisis and has brought stability to the banking system. Banks last week passed the first round of the Fed’s stress tests to see how they would perform under adverse conditions.” (CNBC)

Witness Says Real Estate Owner Schorsch Playes Role in Fraud Scheme “The chairman of a real-estate empire involved in one of the biggest accounting scandals in years participated in a key conversation the night executives finalized a quarterly earnings report at the center of the case, according to the government’s star witness. Testifying earlier this month in a federal courtroom in Manhattan, Lisa McAlister, the former chief accounting officer of American Realty Capital Partners, described a frantic, all-night session on July 28, 2014.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Plano’s Collin Creek and Lewisville’s Vista Ridge Malls May Soon Have New Owners “North Texas’ two big foreclosed regional shopping malls may soon have new owners. Dallas real estate investor Sam Ware’s Dreien Opportunity Partners has bid on Plano’s Collin Creek Mall. The same partnership purchased J.C. Penney’s Plano headquarters in January. Other offers may be pending. The mall, built in 1981 and located on the southwest corner of 15th Street and North Central Expressway, is being marketed by a real estate brokerage firm Avison Young.” (Dallas News)

Footwear Retailer Supersizes it with New Format “Skechers has debuted a new store format in its largest mall location to date. The company has opened a 24,000-sq.-ft. outlet store at Ontario Mills, Ontario, California, that houses one of the widest assortments of Skechers products under one roof, with dedicated departments for the brand’s various lifestyle and performance collections for men and women. The new Skechers Superstore also features a fun kids’ area, complete with a candy shop and a theater space screening Skechers cartoons.” (Chain Store Age)

NYC Construction Worker Wages Hit 10-Year High “Average wages for New York City construction workers rose more last year than they did in any year since 2007, a new report from the New York Building Congress found. Construction workers’ average annual wages shot up 5.4 percent last year, to $80,200 in 2016 from $76,100 in 2015. The uptick was the biggest annual increase since wages rose 6.4 percent in 2007. It also marks the first time in nine years that construction worker earnings increased by more than 3 percent in a year.” (Commercial Observer)

Need to Learn How to be a Property Landlord? Lake Worth May Show You “Lake Worth’s code compliance division has had its share of problems in recent years. But the city says it’s trying to address some of those problems. One of the things the city is considering doing is offering a class that teaches property owners how to be a landlord. At last week’s city commission meeting, Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell said West Palm Beach has one.” (Palm Beach Post)

Whole Foods New 365 Format Store Coming to Weehawken “It’s been called the next-generation Whole Foods — a new-format store designed to appeal to millennials — and the first New Jersey location will be on the Weehawken waterfront. Developer Hartz Mountain and Whole Foods broke ground Tuesday for a 365 by Whole Foods Market store in the Lincoln Harbor waterfront project. The 365 stores are smaller than a typical Whole Foods, and sell more pre-packaged foods, with an emphasis on the lower-priced 365 house brand.” (

Inside Edison Properties’ Plan for a Newark ‘Renaissance’ “The firm, founded by the Gottesman family in 1956, is currently developing Ironside Newark, a seven-story, $80 million speculative office project located at the corner of Edison Place and McCarter Highway (Route 21) in Newark, astride a burgeoning park that will be known as Mulberry Commons. (The City of Newark is developing the park on the site of the former Triangle Park, along with a pedestrian bridge that will connect much of the area. Edison is making another $20 million investment in the construction of the bridge and various park-related infrastructure elements.)” (Commercial Observer)

A Quarter of U.S. Companies Fail to Adopt New Lease Accounting Standards “According to a new survey from CBRE and PwC US, twenty-three percent of U.S. companies have not yet started to implement the new lease accounting standards, nearly 18 months after they were promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). Of those who say adoption is “in progress,” 52 percent say they are only 0 to 25 percent complete. The new lease accounting standards go into effect in 2019 for public companies.” (World Property Journal)

The Top 10 Properties for Online Reputation in the Top 26-to-50 MSAs “If there were ever any doubt as to how important property ratings and reviews are to residents of multifamily housing, this month’s ORA report should dispel them. In our latest research, more than 28,000 residents rated the impact of online ratings and reviews on their decision to visit a property at 7.33 (on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest), proving that apartment communities need to closely watch their digital curb appeal.” (Multifamily Executive)

ABC, meat producer settle in $1.9B ‘pink slime’ libel suit — ABC and a South Dakota meat producer have settled in a $1.9 billion lawsuit against the network over its reports on a beef product that critics dubbed “pink slime.” The terms of the settlement announced Wednesday are confidential. Beef Products Inc. sued the television network in 2012, saying ABC’s coverage misled consumers into believing the product is unsafe, is not beef and isn’t nutritious.