Real Estate Daily News Buzz Sept. 21, 2016

Real Estate Daily News Buzz September 21, 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.

Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average picked up 9.79 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 18,129.96. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.64 points to 2,139.76. The NASDAQ composite edged up 6.33 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,241.35.

Benchmark U.S. crude picked up 14 cents to $43.44 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 7 cents to $45.88 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline sank 6 cents, or 4 per cent, to $1.36 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.41 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 11 cents, or 3.9 per cent, to $3.05 per 1,000 cubic feet.

US stocks creep higher as Federal Reserve meeting starts — U.S. stocks inched higher Tuesday in another cautious day of trading as investors kept an eye on central banks in the U.S. and Japan. Major market indexes were higher all day, but returned most of those gains at the close of trading. They rose just enough cancel out Monday’s small losses. Drug companies helped health care stocks make some modest gains, while Exxon Mobil fell on reports it’s being investigated by securities regulators. Bond yields slipped and the dollar was little changed as investors waited decisions from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan. (AP)

Wells Fargo CEO apologizes; senators heap criticism on bank — The CEO of Wells Fargo faced accusations of fraud and calls for his resignation Tuesday from harshly critical senators at a hearing over allegations that bank employees opened millions of accounts customers didn’t know about to meet aggressive sales quotas. Members of the Senate Banking Committee showed bipartisan outrage over the long-running conduct, unsatisfied by Chief Executive John Stumpf’s show of contrition. Stumpf said he was “deeply sorry” that the bank failed to meet its responsibility to customers and didn’t act sooner to stem “this unacceptable activity.” He promised to assist affected customers.

Portions of Tucson and Rosemont Boulevards to be improved – Roadway  improvements on Tucson Boulevard (from Fort Lowell Road to Grant Road) and on Rosemont Boulevard (from Speedway Boulevard to Winsett Street) are underway. Work hours on both roadway segments will be weekdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Milling (removing asphalt) operations on Tucson Boulevard began yesterday, and paving operations are scheduled to begin the first week of October. The project is expected to be finished by Nov. 11. Crews this week began lowering manhole and water valve covers on Rosemont Boulevard, while milling operations are scheduled to begin in mid-October. Paving work is set to begin in mid-November, with scheduled completion by Dec. 16. The projects are part of the voter-approved, $100 million, five-year Road Recovery street bond program.

Tucson Film Festival Underway – The 9th annual Arizona Underground Film Festival runs through Saturday at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress. Organizers call the event Arizona’s only premier genre cult film festival, and one  of the biggest underground film festivals in the country. Films being shown are from the genres of narrative, horror, documentaries, experimental, animation, and exploitation.

Tucson Symphony Orchestra Offers Ride & Dine on Sun Link – The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is presenting special Ride & Dine events this Friday and Sunday (various times). The progressive dinner begins at Mercado San Agustin where ticket holders park and then travel on the Sun Link streetcar to various eateries. Ticket prices include food, a streetcar pass, and admission to a concert at the Tucson Music Hall with conductor José Luis Gomez.

Sierra Vista artist wins West End mural contest Sierra Vista artist Joanne Berry’s mural design has been selected to appear on a prominent wall in the West End and garnered praise from members of the Sierra Vista City Council at Tuesday’s work session. Berry has lived in Sierra Vista since 1979 and her longtime love for the area inspired her to enter the contest sponsored by the City’s Leisure and Library Services Department and the Arts and Humanities Commission. The commission chose Berry’s design out of a pool of more than 30 entries. At the City Council meeting set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Berry will receive a $500 check for winning the contest and be recognized in a formal announcement. Berry is in the process of submitting a proposal to complete the mural itself. The mural will appear on the west-facing wall of the Century Link building located on the northwest corner of N. Garden Avenue and Fry Boulevard.

Deutsche Bank Was Fined $14 Billion. What Does That Mean for U.S. Commercial Real Estate? “Deutsche Bank shares continued falling Monday, after news broke late last week that the U.S. Department of Justice was fining Germany’s largest lender a whopping $14 billion to settle claims over its issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The shares dropped 2.6% in Frankfurt trading Monday and were 0.4% lower at 2:03 p.m., Bloomberg reported, bringing the loss for the year to 47%.” (Forbes)

Exploring Alternative Real Estate Investments with Your Clients “In my experience, for everyday investors, investing directly in multiple residential or commercial properties isn’t always the best option. In fact, if you’re advising clients on how to diversify their portfolios with alternative assets that include real estate, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) and real estate funds are good alternative investment channels that will allow their portfolios to be indirectly invested in property. I look at real estate funds for investors as ‘arm chair’ investments as there is no management requirement and no surprise maintenance issues.” (

If Donald Trump is Such a Great Builder, Why Aren’t Other Builders Backing Him? “If Donald Trump really is such a great builder, why isn’t he getting more support from other people in the industry? The construction and engineering trades are hardly famous hangouts for liberals anyway. You’d figure they’d lean right in any election year. And here is a guy in their actual industry, promising to throw tons of work their way. You’d think they’d be lining up behind him. Oops.” (MarketWatch)

The Contrarian Signal in the REIT Breakout “For the first time since 1999, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is being reconfigured. The last time was when technology was established as an independent sector. The current reconstitution of the S&P 500 involves breaking out real estate investment trusts (REITs) from the financial industry group. This is worth paying attention to, given how rarely these sorts of structural changes occur. Because of the unique characteristics of REITs — most income is passed through tax-free as dividends — it makes sense to categorize REITs separately from banks and brokerages.” (Bloomberg)

Here’s Where Uber Plans to Open a New Facility Soon “With ambitions of self-driving cars, Uber is headed to Motor City. On Monday, Sherif Marakby, the ride-hailing company’s vice president of global vehicle programs, announced that Uber will be opening a facility in the Detroit area ‘in the coming months,’ according to the Detroit News. The company hopes a presence in Detroit will help it work more closely with automakers and suppliers in the area.” (Fortune)

Shaping a Neighborhood’s Destiny from the Shadows “At a time when New York City couldn’t afford to maintain its parks, no new police officers were being hired and the number of workers on sanitation trucks was reduced to two from three, Biederman persuaded a group of midtown business leaders to take control of their neighborhood by pooling private funds to clean and restore the park and help rekindle a sense of law and order. In 1980, the Bryant Park Restoration Corp. was born, providing the blueprint for a series of business improvement districts—BIDs—that would help revitalize some of the city’s sketchiest neighborhoods over the ensuing decades.” (Crain’s New York Business)

Why Sears Going Out of Business Would Be Amazing News for J.C. Penney “J.C. Penney may be the biggest beneficiary from what is shaping up to be the eventual disappearance of Sears from malls across the country. Filings from mall owner Simon Property Group show there are about 59 properties that count both Sears and J.C. Penney as anchor tenants, or about 55% of the 108 malls Simon operates, according to a review by TheStreet. For General Growth Properties, 54 of the 131 malls it runs count Sears and J.C. Penney as anchors, or about 41%, according to TheStreet’s findings.” (The Street)

Jamestown Picks Up Watertown’s 88 Leonard Street in Tribeca for about $240M “Jamestown has acquired 88 Leonard Street from Waterton Associates in Tribeca for close to $240 million, Commercial Observer has learned. The 21-story 305,155-square-foot Costas Kondylis-designed residential rental building between Broadway and Church Street includes 352 apartments, 11,365 square feet of ground-floor retail and an attached 249-stall below-grade parking garage.” (Commercial Observer)

One in Four Real Estate Deals in Philly Area is a Restaurant “Driven by demand, a younger clientele, and a challenged retail landscape, restaurants are powering many of the region’s real estate deals. One in four commercial real estate transactions these days is for a spot to eat and drink. From trendy, chef-driven venues in Center City to outposts of national brands at suburban shopping centers and malls, restaurants have become go-to tenants, filling new spaces and former anchor stores and providing landlords with often-higher and more reliable rents.” (

Duke Realty Signs 1.4 MSF Savannah Deal “Duke Realty Corp.’s standing as the largest industrial/warehouse owner in Savannah gets reinforced with the industrial and medical office REIT’s agreement to develop a build-to-suit distribution center for Floor & Decor. The hard surface flooring retailer will lease the 1.4 million-square-foot property from Duke Realty. Atlanta-based Floor & Decor will occupy the facility under a long-term lease orchestrated on its behalf by commercial real estate services firm CBRE.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Macy’s to hire about 83,000 holiday workers — Macy’s plans to hire about 83,000 people for the busy holiday shopping season, about equal to the number of hires last year. The new hires will work at Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s department stores, call centers or at the company’s facilities that ship products to stores and to online shoppers. Macy’s Inc., based in Cincinnati, has about 880 stores. (AP)

Monsanto, Bayer officials defend proposed $66 billion merger — Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the deal would lead to greater investments in technology that could help American farmers. Monsanto, the American seed and weed-killer, and Bayer, the German medicine and farm-chemical maker, responded to concerns from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley warned that consolidation and competition in the U.S. seed and agrochemical industry could hurt American farmers who are already dealing with an economic downturn. (AP)