Real Estate Daily News Buzz – March 9, 2016


Reserve-White-house-domeReal 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 Dow Jones industrial average fell 109.85 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 16,964.10. The S&P 500 fell 22.50 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 1,979.26. The NASDAQ composite gave up 59.43 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 4,648.82.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.40 to $36.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell $1.19, or 3 per cent, to $39.65 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline fell less a penny to $1.388 a gallon, heating oil dropped 2.3 cents to $1.20 a gallon and natural gas rose 2.2 cents to $1.712 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Fry’s Height restriction at Houghton & 22nd Street Lifted — In a 6:1 vote Tuesday evening, Tucson Mayor and City Council approved the building height change for a Fry’s store at the corner of Houghton and 22nd Street. It was necessary to pass this change in the Houghton Eastside Neighborhood Plan (HENP) prior to the project being submitted for Rezoning. Several council members mentioned their surprise with the support for the project that will create 175 new jobs and relocate the Fry’s from 22nd & Harrison. There were 38 residents in support and 17 in opposition at the meeting Tuesday.

Dick’s 4Q stung by warmer-than-usual winter weather — Dick’s Sporting Goods fiscal fourth-quarter performance missed Wall Street’s view as warmer-than-usual winter weather crimped the sporting goods retailer’s sales. It also provided guidance below analysts’ estimates. Many people are wondering how Dick’s will fare now that rival Sports Authority has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Last week privately held Sports Authority announced its bankruptcy filing, saying that it planned to close or sell about a third of its 463 stores. Dick’s may be able to take advantage by grabbing some of the customers that had gone to Sports Authority stores that are going to be closed. (ABC)

U.S. Commercial Property Prices Drop for the First Time in Six Years “U.S. commercial real estate prices dropped in January for the first time since 2010, a sign of weakening demand by investors after a six-year rally that pushed values to records. The Moody/RCA Commercial Property Price Index slipped 0.3 percent from December, Moody’s Investors Service said in a statement Monday. The decline was led by office and industrial buildings, which each had a price drop of more than 1 percent.” (Bloomberg)

The Diamond District is a Playground for Extell Development and Foreign Investors “One of the city’s most prolific developers has been collecting parcels in Manhattan’s diamond district, perhaps signaling a major new development there. In December 2015, Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, the builder behind the ultraluxury One57 condo tower and One Riverside Park, bought control of 562 and 564 Fifth Ave., between West 46th and 47th streets. In January, Extell filed for demolition permits for six slender buildings next door to Nos. 562 and 564.” (Crain’s New York Business)

A Project Reclaims an Abandoned Stretch of New Jersey Coast “A bleak expanse of coastal New Jersey, polluted by paint pigments and abandoned for decades, is undergoing a makeover that will bring a major development of housing, retail space and office space a half-hour’s drive from Lower Manhattan. In coming weeks, the O’Neill Properties Group will officially break ground on the 5.8 million-square-foot project, The Pointe. The 418-acre site, south of Staten Island, is at the heart of a highway network that already carries some 400,000 vehicles a day.” (The New York Times)

Off-Campus College Dorms Now Resemble Spring Break Hotels “Purpose-built student housing such as the Stadium Centre apartments—the 710-bed complex described above, a short walk to Florida State University’s Tallahassee campus—has become increasingly upscale over the past decade, driven by rising enrollments and an infusion of new capital. Investors seeking recession-resistant assets poured an estimated $4.5 billion into the properties last year, up from $3 billion the year before.” (Bloomberg)

Guess Who Holds the World’s 3rd Largest Real Estate Fortune? Yup, He’s from O.C. “The vast real estate wealth of Donald Bren is hard to put into context. So let’s allow two lists of the world’s billionaires, compiled by Forbes magazine and Bloomberg News, to take a crack at sizing up Bren’s Orange County-bred fortune. The recently published Forbes lists of global billionaires pegged Bren’s worth at $15.1 billion. That’s the world’s 54th-largest personal fortune and the third most-valuable individual real estate empire on the planet.” (The Orange County Register)

Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals Keen on CRE “Knight Frank’s “Wealth Report 2016,” which it publishes annually, found that in 2015, ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNW) accounted for 25 percent of all global commercial property transactions. The UHNW population—which the company defines as people with at least $30 million in net assets—invested $178 billion in commercial properties, with a total of $902 billion since 2009.” (Commercial Property Executive)

KBS Seals Israeli Bond Offering at $249M “KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT closed its Israeli bond offering Monday after issuing nearly $33 million in debt through a public tender, bringing the first bond issuance by a U.S.-based REIT in Israel to roughly $249 million, sources said. KBS secured 127.7 million shekels, or more than $32.6 million, through the second phase of its bond offering – a public tender open to a wide array of Israeli investors.” (The Real Deal)

Why the Real Estate Boom in the Miami River is a Gamechanger “If you haven’t been to the Miami River lately, you may be in for a surprise. More than 7,500 residential units have been constructed along the river’s shores since 2000, with another 3,280 units and 11 single-family homes approved in 2015 alone, according to the Miami River Commission. Six restaurants and 550 hotel rooms were approved last year as well, and new sections of the public Riverwalk continue to be completed.” (OceanDrive)

Pace University Hopes to Capitalize on Fulton Street’s Transformation “Hoping to capitalize on the transformation, Pace University is putting its 15-story dormitory building at 106-108 Fulton St. on the market via a Newmark Grubb Knight Frank team led by Kenneth Zakin. The building’s 75,000 square feet above the retail ground floor are being marketed with an eye toward ‘mid-market luxury housing’ — probably for condo use. The property could fetch around $60 million for Pace.” (New York Post)

AFL-CIO HIT Invests $29.8 Million to Modernize 640-Unit Multifamily Community in Minneapolis “The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) announced a $29.8 million investment in the substantial renovation of two, high rise apartment buildings in Minneapolis, Seward Towers East and West. The project will rehabilitate 640 multi-family rental units, 98% of which are affordable to low income families. The project will create an estimated 270 union construction jobs.” (MultifamilyBiz)

Health law fines double for many uninsured at tax time — Many people who went without health insurance last year are now seeing fines more than double under President Barack Obama’s health care law, tax preparation company H&R Block said Tuesday. Among its customers who owe a penalty for the 2015 tax year, the average fine is $383, compared with $172 for 2014, the company said. Separately, among those who complied with the law and took advantage of its taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance, 6 in 10 are now having to pay back to the IRS some portion of their financial assistance.

Study: Renters’ rise extends beyond big US cities to suburbs — In the American imagination, suburbs are places to buy a house and put down roots. But a growing percentage of suburbanites rent, according to a new study. About 29 per cent of metropolitan-area suburbanites were renters in 2014, up from 23 per cent in 2006, according to a report being released Tuesday by New York University’s Furman Center real estate think-tank and the bank Capital One. The finances of home ownership since the mortgage meltdown might be a lead reason for the change, but the cost of renting also is rising in most of the biggest metropolitan areas, the study found.