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 fell 54.30 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 18,253.85. The S&P 500 index lost 7.07 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,161.20. The NASDAQ composite declined 11.13 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,300.87.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 57 cents to close at $48.81 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 70 cents to close at $50.89 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline edged up 1 cent to $1.47 a gallon, heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.55 a gallon and natural gas increased 2 cents to $2.923 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Stocks fall broadly, led by drops in real estate, utilities — Stocks fell in light trading Monday as investors dumped former darlings of the market, real estate companies and utilities. Indexes slumped from the start of trading and remained down throughout the day as investors continue to speculate about when the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates as the economy strengthens. A report earlier in the day showed U.S. manufacturing picking up. The selling was modest, but broad. Eight of the 11 sectors of the Standard and Poor’s 500 index closed down for the day. (AP)
In a tight market, stores lure holiday workers with perks — Retailers are dangling perks like higher pay, extra discounts and more flexible schedules to lure temporary holiday workers in a tighter labor market. They’re also more determined to lock in their workers earlier. Macy’s and Target are holding their first nationwide recruitment fairs, and others like consumer electronics chain Hhgregg Inc. are making it easier to apply for temporary holiday jobs via mobile devices. Some companies are also widening their standards. Significantly more companies said they would be more willing to hire temporary workers with criminal backgrounds than two years ago, according to job listing site Snagajob.com. (AP)
US construction spending fell again in August — U.S. builders trimmed spending on construction projects in August for a second straight month with housing, non-residential and government activity all seeing declines. Construction spending dropped 0.7 per cent in August after a 0.3 per cent slip in July, the Commerce Department reported Monday. It was the third decline in the past five months. Residential construction decreased 0.3 per cent, while non-residential activity was down 0.4 per cent. Spending on government projects fell 2 per cent, dragged down by a sharp drop in activity at the state and local level. That has fallen to the lowest point since March 2014. (AP)
Downtown Wellness Center to Occupy main floor at 1 West Broadway - Health On Broadway is set to open in January in leased space on the first floor of a building still under construction at 1 W. Broadway, a six-story structure on the southwest corner of Broadway Boulevard and Stone Avenue, along the streetcar line. The health center is a collaboration between Tucson Medical Center and El Rio Community Health Center. The joint venture will lease the space from One West Broadway LLC, a local investment group. Health On Broadway leaders say they are responding to the needs of city dwellers and a growing group of millennials who work downtown and often don’t have a primary care doctor. The 8,211-square-foot center will be open extended weekday hours and on Saturdays. The top three stories of the building above Health On Broadway will be rental apartments. Half of those units already are reserved. The second floor will be parking for residents. (Arizona Star)
US factory activity picked up in September — U.S. manufacturing rebounded in September after contracting in August. New orders and production at factories increased, although employment fell — a sign that manufacturers have yet to fully stabilize after a difficult year. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 51.5 in September from 49.4 in August. Any reading above 50 signals expansion. U.S. factories have faced a brutal slowdown over the past year. The strong dollar made their goods less affordable overseas, hurting exports. Lower oil prices caused energy companies to cut back on orders of equipment and pipeline. Auto sales have also levelled off this year after reaching a record level in 2015. The result has been layoffs and declining levels of production, with the ISM index being among the few signs of recovery until August when the index showed a manufacturing pullback. (AP)
US Treasury Awards $92M for Affordable Housing “The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) has granted 32 organizations roughly $91.5 million for the development of affordable housing and community facilities in low-income communities. Of the awardees, 23 are community development financial institutions and nine are non-profit structures. The recipients will collectively serve 37 states and the District of Columbia, while nine of them will invest 50 percent or more of their awards in non-metropolitan areas. The grants will impact thousands of families. “The program requires recipients to leverage $10 of housing and economic development investments for every $1 of federal funds, meaning the awards will support more than $900 million of investment in low-income communities,” Annie Donovan, CDFI Fund director, said in a prepared statement. The allocation represents the 2016 round of the Capital Magnet Fund, a federal financing program launched in 2010, which supports the preservation, rehabilitation, development or purchase of affordable housing for low-income communities, as well as related economic development and community service facilities such as day care centers, workforce development centers and healthcare clinics.” (MultiHousing News)
Report: Bass Pro Shops emerges as top Cabela's bidder “A consortium led by privately held outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops alongside Goldman Sachs Group's private equity arm and Capital One Financial Corp. is favored to acquire rival outdoor chain Cabela’s, sources told Reuters. The group’s bid outpaces a competing offer from private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which is working with credit company Synchrony Financial. Financial details of the offer, which is expected to come sometime this week, aren’t known, but Reuters says it would push Cabela’s valuation beyond $4 billion. The deal will likely invite scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission on antitrust grounds, considering the dominance of both retailers in the outdoor and sporting goods space. Cabela's has been under pressure to sell since investor Elliott Management last year disclosed an 11% stake in the Sidney, NE-based company.” (Retail Dive)
Trademark plans 82-acre mixed-use center in West Houston “What Trademark did north of Houston with Market Street Woodlands (above) it intends to do in West Houston with an 82-acre mixed-use town center at the junction of I-10 and Mason Road. ‘We believe this site is the next great opportunity in the country to develop a premier regional, mixed-use town center,” said Terry Montesi, CEO, Trademark Property Co. ‘There is a tremendous retail void in West Houston.’ Trademark will co-develop the as-yet-unnamed project in the town of Katy with Westside Ventures. The initial 60-acre phase will include restaurant, residential, hotel, and offices space along with retail.” (Chain Store Age)
New Jersey Office Market Enjoys Hottest Quarter in Recent History “According to new research from Cushman & Wakefield, large corporate relocations -- driven mainly by state incentives and steady yet modest employment gains -- propelled Northern and Central New Jersey into one of their best quarters of office leasing in recent history as vacant space tightened markedly in some market segments and particularly for Class A space. ‘At 1.8 million square feet, the third quarter of 2016 boasted the highest amount of square footage absorbed in any one quarter in the Garden State in the past fifteen years,’ said Andrew Judd, Cushman & Wakefield's New Jersey Market Leader. ‘The last two quarters combined have produced slightly more than 2.8 million square feet (SF) of net occupancy gains, as vacancy has fallen by 140 basis points (BPS) since the first quarter. The demand for quality, Class A space throughout the market was evident during the third quarter, as all of the occupancy gains were concentrated within Class A product.’ The overall 3Q office vacancy rate (17.4%) was at its lowest point since year-end 2007, with Northern and Central New Jersey both having seen declines in available space since the close of 2014.” (World Property Journal)
Incitec Pivot, Cornerstone Chemical Complete $1B Louisiana Plant Project “Incitec Pivot Ltd., the parent company of Dyno Nobel, alongside Cornerstone Chemical Co. have announced the opening of a $1 billion production plant at the 800-acre Fortier Manufacturing Complex in Waggaman, La. The production plant’s development project included the combined construction of Dyno Nobel’s $850 million ammonia plant and Cornerstone Chemical’s $175 million investment in upgrades and infrastructure. In order to help secure the project, the state offered a $3 million modernization tax credit and LED FastStart services. Construction on the plant started in August 2013 and ammonia production has already commenced at the facility. Dyno Nobel estimates construction employment to peak at 1,200 workers with 65 new direct jobs being created by the project. The development of the plant falls in line with Incitec Pivot’s plan to support its U.S. industrial business and external customers. The plant employs state-of-the-art technology and incorporates control technologies in order to produce the lowest air pollution of any ammonia facility to date.” (Commercial Property Executive)
Water St. retail plan could be under water “The city’s plan to allow landlords to transform underused public walkways on Water Street into retail spaces may have a wet blanket thrown on it. Building owners and bureaucrats are scratching their heads as to how retail spaces can be built to code according to federal flood regulations put in place after Superstorm Sandy, Crain’s reported. City law requires mostly glass fronts on retail stores. But on Water Street, which lies completely in a flood zone, those storefronts must be able to hold back floodwaters as high as 12 feet. ‘Until there are some solutions, whether or not property owners will act on this rezoning is a question,’ said a spokesperson for the Downtown Alliance, which manages the lower Manhattan business improvement district.” (The Real Deal)
The garment district explores its wild side with new art installation “In a pedestrian plaza in the garment district, a woman stopped to snap a photo on her iPhone of a vividly patterned steel bull towering over the pedestrian plaza. The sculpture is the creation of Taiwanese artist Hung Yi. A former restaurateur, Hung became a full-time artist at age 30. Now the 46-year-old sculptor’s beasts grace galleries, government buildings and Buddhist temples throughout Asia. The installation is part of an effort to increase foot traffic in the garment district. ‘People have thought of it as a single-industry neighborhood for years,’ said Garment District Alliance BID president Barbara Blair. The initiative supports a plan to raise the roadbed on Broadway, a $70 million project that will make the temporary public plazas between 34th and 41st streets permanent.” (Crain’s New York Business)
Fort Walton Beach may annex land to get a Wal-Mart “About six weeks after Wal-Mart failed to get land in unincorporated Okaloosa County rezoned, Fort Walton Beach is pondering whether to annex the property. Michael Beedie, the city manager of Fort Walton Beach, told the Northwest Florida Daily News that he recently met with Wal-Mart officials and owners of the property to discuss a possible annexation of the unincorporated property. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman declined to comment but issued a written statement stating that the company is ‘currently exploring opportunities to better serve our customers in Fort Walton Beach,’ where Wal-Mart has operated for more than 30 years. The Okaloosa County Commission in August voted down Wal-Mart’s proposal to rezone the land from residential to general commercial, which would have allowed Wal-Mart to build a small store and a gas station there. The proposal drew a firestorm of criticism from residents of the Bayview neighborhood in Fort Walton Beach.” (The Real Deal Miami)
What’s next for West LA’s big new development Martin Expo Town Center? “A big Westside project, the Martin Expo Town Center, won unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council last week, a decision that will usher in new retail, residential, and a 10-story office tower on the site of a car dealership at the northwest corner of Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive. The project has been tweaked and trimmed since we last saw it at the beginning of the year. The most notable reductions are on the retail and office front. Office space was shaved down from 200,000 square feet down to 150,000, and the grocery store, once 50,000 square feet, has been slimmed down to 35,000 square feet. (The project also includes 18,000 square feet of restaurant space and 46,000 square feet for general retail use.) The town center has also gained a few significant add-ons, namely an affordable housing component that will set aside 20 percent of the project’s 516 apartments for less-than-market rate rents. (Fifteen percent will be "workforce housing," where occupants median income can't exceed 150 percent of the area median income, and five percent will be for very low-income tenants.)” (Los Angeles Curbed)