Real estate, commerce relationship between AZ and MX topic of ULI Arizona September Main Program

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – The importance of the relationship between Arizona and Mexico dates back to when former Gov. Paul Fannin was the state’s chief executive from 1959-1965. He proclaimed at the time that Arizona and Mexico were “neighbors for good.”

Today, Mexico is Arizona’s largest trading partner. In 2017, Arizona conducted $15.4 billion worth of business with Mexico, nearly $7.5 billion in exports and $7.9 billion in imports.

ULI Arizona’s September Main Program, “Arizona and Mexico: The Crossroads of Real Estate and Commerce,” will explore the state of real estate and commerce between Arizona and Mexico and what opportunities there are for companies and individuals in both regions.

The event is scheduled for Sept. 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at Scottsdale Museum of the West, 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale. Member registration is $75, private; $55, public/under 35/non-profit; and $40, student. Non-member registration is $100, $75, and $60.

Moderating the event will be Juan Ciscomani, Senior Advisor for Regional & International Affairs, Office of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. Panelists include Jose’ Pablo Martinez Buentello, Project Manager, Skybridge Arizona; Lyman A. Daniels, SIOR, FRICS, RPA, CPM, President, CBRE; and Carolynne Hunter, Vice President of Supply Chain and Logistics, St. Clair Technologies, Inc.

Register at

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Sept. 6, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz September 6, 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.

Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 18.70 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,457.85. The Dow Jones industrial average slumped 234.25 points, or 1.1 percent, to 21,753.31. The average had been down more than 277 points. The Nasdaq composite lost 59.76 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,375.57. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 13.92 points, or 1 percent, to 1,399.66.

Benchmark U.S. crude gained $1.37, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $48.66 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose $1.04, or 2 percent, to close at $53.38 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline dipped 5 cents to $1.70 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $1.75 a gallon. Natural gas slid 10 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $2.97 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Banks, technology companies lead US stocks lower — Escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula rattled nerves on Wall Street Tuesday, leading to the stock market’s worst day in almost three weeks. Bank stocks led the slide as bond yields slumped. Technology stocks, the biggest gainers this year, also pulled the market lower. Energy companies climbed the most as the price of crude oil rose.

US factory orders tumbled 3.3 percent in July — Orders at U.S. factories tumbled in July, dragged down by a sharp fall in orders for civilian aircraft. The Commerce Departments reports that factory orders declined 3.3 percent in July, mostly because of a 19.2 percent drop in orders in transportation equipment.

To get sales kicking, LL Bean renews focus on the outdoors — L.L. Bean is putting a renewed focus on the fun of being outside as it tries to invigorate sales in a fast-changing marketplace. The Maine-based retailer is urging consumers to “Be an Outsider” in a campaign that’s launching this month that celebrates the outdoors as something to be enjoyed with friends and family. It comes as L.L. Bean has faced flat sales of about $1.6 billion for two consecutive years and as the company takes a hard look at its generous, return-anything-at-any-time policy.

Round of NAFTA talks ends amid resistance over Mexico wages — The second round of talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement has ended amid resistance to talking about Mexico’s low wages. Few concrete proposals appear to have been made on issues like dispute-resolution mechanisms, seasonal farm tariffs and regional content rules during the Mexico City talks. The U.S. wants to eliminate the system of private arbitration panels, and tighten labor standards and local content rules. Business groups want to keep wages out of the talks.

Fed Should Be Cautious in Face of Weak Inflation: BrainardU.S. inflation is falling “well short” of target so the Federal Reserve should be cautious about raising interest rates any further until it is confident that prices are headed higher, an influential Fed policymaker said on Tuesday. In a dovish speech in the face of months of weak inflation readings, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said the U.S. central bank should go so far as to make it clear it is comfortable pushing prices modestly above the Fed’s 2-percent target.” (Reuters)

Are We Headed for Another Housing Collapse? Median home prices across the nation have been increasing with gusto, though perhaps not at levels as staggering as San Jose’s median price tag of $1,183,400. In the second quarter of 2017, prices jumped by 6.2 percent compared with the same period in 2016 to an average cost of $258,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. While trends diverge profoundly from place to place — for all sorts of economic, geographical and lifestyle reasons — a good many of the nation’s metropolitan locales have experienced record appreciation.” (New York Post)

Is Houston Still a Model City? Its Supporters Aren’t Backing Down “Houston is a prime example — of what depends on your point of view. It’s an example of development run amok, of how sprawl can devour nature. It’s what you get when everything as far as the eye can see is designed around cars instead of people. It’s an example, according to a very different interpretation, of how to create affordable housing. It’s proof that fewer regulations mean more prosperity, that the market knows better than any central planner.” (The New York Times)

Developer Lands Loan Deal to Turn Hospital Buildings into Apartments “The developer behind a planned conversion of historic former hospital buildings in upper Manhattan cut a deal to secure a construction loan to restore and transform the beaux-arts structures into apartments. Delshah Capital has entered into a nonbinding contract for a $130 million construction loan, paving the way for the conversion of five buildings at 30 Morningside Drive into 205 rental apartments.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

How the Kushner Family’s Real Estate Fumble May Entangle Trump’s White House “In 2007, near the peak of the real estate bubble, Kushner Companies made a huge leap from New Jersey apartments to Manhattan high rises. Using only a $50 million down payment against a $1.8 billion purchase price, with financing including short-term, high-interest loans, they purchased the office-and-retail tower at 666 Fifth Avenue.” (Fortune)

Carlyle Avoids $1 Billion Payout Tied to 2008 Bond Fund CollapseCarlyle Group LP was exonerated in a lawsuit tied to the collapse of a mortgage fund from 2008, avoiding $1 billion in damages sought by the pool’s liquidators. Billionaire Chief Investment Officer Bill Conway and other Carlyle entities acted in the best interests of Carlyle Capital Corp. during the 2008 financial crisis and the fund’s insolvency was due to an unforeseen liquidity crunch, the Royal Court of Guernsey ruled Monday.” (Bloomberg)

Banks Close $1.5 Billion Loan for Flagship Tower at Hudson Yards The developer of the Hudson Yards complex on Manhattan’s West Side has hit another milestone with a financing package for its flagship office building that will increase the money it has raised for the first phase of the sprawling project to more than $18 billion. A venture led by Related Cos. has closed a $1.5 billion construction loan for 50 Hudson Yards from a group of banks from Asia, Europe and the U.S.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

How Communities Can Unlock the Value of Federal Property “Towns and cities across the country seek development that promotes vibrant, people-oriented, mixed-use communities. The federal government, which owns significant tracts of land in prime areas for redevelopment, could be a key partner, but genuine collaboration between community leaders and federal officials is essential. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is the nation’s largest holder of commercial property, with more than 375 million square feet of space in 9,600 buildings housing more than a million federal employees.” (Governing)

Norway’s Wealth Fund Appoints Europe, U.S. Real Estate Investment Chiefs The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund’s real estate investment unit has appointed Per Loeken and Romain Veber as chief investment officers for the United States and Europe respectively, it said on Tuesday. Both come from senior positions in the real estate unit, known as Norges Bank Real Estate Management.” (Reuters)

Crystal Ball: Executives Size Up CRE Predictions “Forecasting market trends is a universal—and vital—exercise in commercial real estate, and throughout the decades, industry leaders have often provided smart predictions that have enabled their companies to capitalize on changing conditions and steer clear of hazards, as well. Inevitably, of course, not every one of these prognostications hits the bullseye, but those that are spot-on influence strategy in both their own time and the future. In this series marking CPE’s 30th anniversary, industry leaders are taking the measure of earlier prophesies and providing fresh ones for today.” (Commercial Property Executive)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Sept. 5, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz September 5, 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.

Friday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.90 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,475.55. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 39.46 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,987.56. The Nasdaq composite added 6.67 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,435.33. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 8.29 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,413.57.

Benchmark U.S. crude added 6 cents to $47.29 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, fell 11 cents to $52.75 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline prices, which have surged this week, declined 3 cents to $1.75 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $1.75 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $3.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.

US job growth slowed in August but economy still looks solid — Taken as a whole, Friday’s jobs report pointed to an economy that is still steadily generating jobs, though at a less brisk pace than it did earlier in the recovery from the recession. With fewer people looking for work, fewer jobs are being filled.

Humane Society Hosts Pet Safety and First Aid Class — If your best friend had an emergency, would you be prepared? It is important for pet owners to always be prepared because you never know when a disaster will strike. On Saturday, September 16th the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) will be hosting a Pet Safety and First Aid Class. This class was designed by HSSA in partnership with veterinarian Michael Lent of Pantano Animal Clinic. Participants will learn how to prevent emergencies, how to assist their veterinarian in treating their pet, keep animals safe from local environmental hazards, avoid poisonous plants, avoid household dangers, and identify and react to animal cruelty and neglect issues. Registration includes Pet Safety and First Aid manual, hands-on skills training with animal mannequins, video instruction, and certificate of completion. Registration is $50 and open to individuals ages 15 and up. Space is limited and registration closes Wednesday, September 6th. To register, visit For more information contact Dawn Miller our Community Outreach Coordinator at or give her a call at 520-321-3704 x125.

Mnuchin: We Have a ‘Very Detailed’ Tax Plan Ready “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the administration has a ‘very detailed” tax plan ready and couldn’t be more excited’ about its prospects. Mnuchin made the remarks to CNBC as the White House is looking to get its economic plan back on track after months of having to focus on other issues. He said the plan has been presented to members of Congress and will be released to the public by the end of September.” (CNBC)

Japan’s Mitsui Fudosan to Develop $3.6 Billion Office Tower in New York City “Japanese property developer Mitsui Fudosan Co (8801.T) said on Friday it would take a 90 percent stake in an office tower in New York that would cost more than 400 billion yen ($3.6 billion), its largest investment in a single building overseas. The 58-storey building, 50 Hudson Yards, in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards office and retail complex will be one of the largest standalone office properties in the area, Mitsui Fudosan said in a statement.” (Reuters)

Days After Sister’s Visa Pitch, Kushner Divested Asset Related to Jersey City Project “Kushner held a ‘contingent right,’ which allows an investor the chance to gain ownership if certain benchmarks of financial success are met — such as revenue targets. Kushner’s lawyer, Blake Roberts of WilmerHale, said that he stood by his initial statement that his client had divested from One Journal Square. He said that Kushner had sold his ownership stake in the project on March 7 to his mother’s trust and that the contingent right, which was discovered only after the public statement, no longer held any value because it was connected to a prior version of the project that had fallen through.” (The Washington Post)

U.S. Cities Have a Glut of High-Rises and Still Lack Affordable Housing “Perhaps nothing thrills mayors and urban boosters like the notion of endless towers rising above their city centers. And to be sure, new high-rise residential construction has been among the hottest areas for real estate investors, particularly those from abroad, with high-end products accounting for 8o% of all new construction. Yet this is not an entirely high-end country, and these products, particularly the luxury high-rises in cities, largely depend on a small segment of the population that can afford such digs.” (Forbes)

Coastal Wetlands Dramatically Reduce Property Losses During Hurricanes “With the Atlantic hurricane season well under way and Tropical Storm Harvey causing devastation in Texas, a new scientific study reports that coastal wetlands significantly reduce annual flood losses and catastrophic damages from storms. Led by a team of scientists from the engineering, insurance, and conservation sectors, including researchers at UC Santa Cruz, the study found that coastal wetlands in the northeast United States prevented $625 million in direct flood damages during Hurricane Sandy, reducing damages by more than 22 percent in half of the affected areas and by as much as 30 percent in some states.” (

This Grim Map Shows All the Places Working Class Americans Can’t Afford to Live “San Antonio is the only one of the top 10 most populated cities where a working class family can enjoy a decent living without taking on more debt. Out of the top 50, only 12 qualify. Geography obviously plays a big role as well. Newark, New Jersey, Chesapeake, Va., and Jacksonville, Fla., are the only coastal locations where a worker can support his or her family. How many on the West Coast? Shocker: Exactly zero. You probably don’t need a map to tell you, but the more landlocked, the more affordable.” (MarketWatch)

Morgan Buys Suburban DC Portfolio for $509M “Already having one of the largest multifamily footprints in Greater Washington, D.C., Morgan Properties has acquired the Mark Center apartment and retail portfolio in Alexandria, Va., for $509 million. The seller was JBG. Sited fewer than five miles from The Pentagon, the portfolio is regarded as one of the largest institutionally-maintained contiguous portfolios in the country.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Are Ulta and Home Depot the Next Victims of Amazon? “One of our most favored stocks, ULTA has recently been laid low leading into and following earnings. ULTA recently reported excellent same store sales comps of 12% and Home Depot was at 6%. Unfortunately, ULTA is part of a long list of companies in the retail sector that have been taken to the woodshed by investors this year. Home Depot was not rewarded for reaching their high water mark of 6% comps. What gives? Why is retail so hated?” (Forbes)

Five Reasons Why Westfield Hearts Uber “Each shopping center will come equipped with between one and ten Uber stations, according to a Westfield news release about the partnership. At Westfield Century City in Los Angeles, there will be an “Uber Lounge” with complimentary beverages and phone charging stations. The program will begin rolling out in Westfield locations starting in the fall (official dates have yet to be announced).” (Commercial Observer)



Real Estate Daily News Buzz Sept. 1, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz September 1, 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.

Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 14.05 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,471.64, its highest close in three weeks. That allowed the index to finish August with a tiny gain. The Dow Jones industrial average added 55.67 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,948.10. The Nasdaq composite gained 60.35 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,428.66, above the record high it set in late July. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 13.95 points, or 1 percent, to 1,405.28.

Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $1.27, or 2.8 percent, to $47.23 a barrel in New York as the rains hitting the Gulf Coast began to abate. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added $1.52, or 3 percent, to $52.38 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline prices surged 26 cents, or 13.5 percent, to $2.14 a gallon, its highest price since June 2015. Heating oil rose 8 cents, or 5 percent, to $1.76 a gallon and natural gas gained 10 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $3.04 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Report debunks retail apocalypse: More stores opening than closingDon’t believe the hype — physical retail is still growing, particularly in three key segments. Retailers are opening 4,080 more stores in 2017 than they are closing, according to a new research report from IHL Group, and they plan to open over 5,500 more in 2018. Mass-merchandisers, including off-pricers and value chains, are the fastest-growing retail segment (+1,905 stores), followed by convenience stores (+1,700 stores) and grocery retailers (+674 stores).  The research for the report, “Debunking the Retail Apocalypse,” reviewed more than 1,800 retail chains with more than 50 U.S. stores in 10 retail vertical segments. It found that for every chain with a net closing of stores, 2.7 companies showed a net increase in store locations for 2017. In one of the report’s most interesting findings, just 16 chains account for 48.5% of the total number of stores closing. And five of these 16 retailers (RadioShack, Payless ShoeSource, Rue21, Ascena Retail and Sears Holdings) represent 28.1% of the total closings.  See also CBRE Report here: CBRE Aug. 2017 Retail Report. pdf

Failure to Raise Debt Ceiling Would Be ‘More Catastrophic’ Than Lehman Collapse, S&P Says “Few think that Congress won’t at some point raise the debt ceiling, which is a good thing because the consequences could be disastrous. In fact, one economist believes the scenario would be worse than the lowest point of the financial crisis. ‘Failure to raise the debt limit would likely be more catastrophic to the economy than the 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers and would erase many of the gains of the subsequent recovery,’ said Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings.” (CNBC)

How Carl Icahn Made $1.4 Billion Playing the Booms and Busts of Las Vegas “On Tuesday, billionaire Carl Icahn announced he had sold the unfinished Fontainebleau resort in Las Vegas for $600 million, quadrupling his money in seven years. Just up the Las Vegas strip a few weeks earlier, in June, Golden Entertainment said it has agreed to buy the Stratosphere resort for $850 million from Goldman Sachs. These summer deals for the Fontainebleau and Stratosphere show Icahn at his best.” (Forbes)

Insurers Are Set to Use Drones to Assess Harvey’s Property Damage  “Property insurers are preparing to fly dozens of drones over homes and businesses to assess damage in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey, the first widespread use of unmanned aircraft to size up catastrophe claims. Insurers have been testing drones and using them on a small scale since getting Federal Aviation Administration approval in 2015 to use the technology for U.S. inspections. Drones provide aerial images that can help insurance adjusters inspect buildings faster and more safely, executives say, part of a larger industry effort to speed up time-consuming claims.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Nordstrom Warns Shareholders of the Risks of Going Private “Nordstrom kept quiet about the possibility of the family taking its namesake company private when reporting its last financial results, but company executives are warning of the potential risks in the latest documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. ‘The exploration of a possible ‘going private transaction’ by the Nordstrom family could impact our relationships with our customers, employees, suppliers and partners, operating results and business,’ the company wrote in its quarterly filing with the SEC.” (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Large Number of Vacant Apartments Will Help Houston in Harvey Aftermath “Houston, the fourth-most populous city in the country, has roughly 6.5 million people living in its metro area. It also has a huge supply of apartments—about 662,400 units as of mid-2017, according to RealPage calculations. Moreover, Houston has one of the lowest occupancy rates in the country, at 92.9%, down from its peak of 94.7% in mid-2015, according to RealPage. Due to the large number of apartments and relatively low occupancy rate, Greg Willett, RealPage chief economist, says the area should be able to accommodate a major influx of renters more easily than just about anywhere else across the U.S.” (Multifamily Executive)

Hyatt’s Wellness Program Is Going to the Next Level with Fitness Brand Exhale Spa “Hyatt Hotels & Resorts acquired Exhale Spa, a boutique fitness and spa brand, for an undisclosed amount. Exhale has grown from one studio in 2003 to 29 boutiques in 11 markets across the U.S. today. This is Hyatt’s second acquisition in the wellness space. In January, it acquired Miraval Group, a wellness resort and spa company, for $215 million. Both deals are part of a larger strategy to invest in what Hyatt CEO refers to as ‘adjacent spaces.’” (Fortune)

Asian Investment in Global Real Estate Picks Up Steam in 2017 “According to the latest research from CBRE, global real estate continues to serve as an attractive asset class for investors, with Asian outbound investment into the sector posting significant year-on-year gains in the first half of 2017. Approximately $45.2 billion of Asian outbound capital was directly invested into global property in the first half of 2017, representing a 98.4% rise year-on-year against $22.8 billion allocated in the first half of 2016.” (World Property Journal)

The Evolving Consumer and the Emphasis on Experience “Some will want to attribute the recent struggles of certain brick-and-mortar brands to the steady growth in online sales. The fact is, however, that it’s the consumers, themselves, who are evolving, not just the technology at their disposal. Twenty years ago, success for department stores could be traced back to some combination of product mix, brand, and real estate. In 2017, the mantra of ‘location, location, location” has been replaced by a focus on the customer experience — with a capital “E’ – that defines a brand’s narrative.” (Forbes)

U.S. Condo, Apartment Markets Bounce Back in Q2 “According to the National Association of Home Builders’ latest Multifamily Production Index, the U.S. Condo and Apartment market is enjoying a nice rebound this summer, as the MPI index posted a gain of eight points to 56 in the second quarter of 2017. The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that a number above 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse.” (World Property Journal)

Harry Macklowe and Estranged Wife Head for Public Divorce Trial After She Rejects $1B Payout “A billionaire Manhattan developer is headed towards a public divorce trial next week, despite a judge’s warnings that it’s going to get nasty. Harry Macklowe, 80, had boasted to reporters that he offered his wife half of his roughly $2 billion fortune to resolve their dispute, but that she rejected the eye-popping sum. During a pre-trial conference Wednesday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Drager said the estranged couple hardly could agree on anything.” (New York Daily News)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 29, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 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.

Monday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 1.19 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,444.24. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 5.27 points to 21,808.40. The Nasdaq composite rose 17.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,283.02.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.30, or 2.7 percent, to $46.57 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $51.89 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline futures rose 5 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $1.71 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.64 a gallon. Natural gas added 3 cents to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Harvey slams region’s economy, with damages in the billions — Flood damage from Hurricane Harvey is likely to reach into the tens of billions and the storm is expected to cause the region’s economy to shrink, at least in the near term. The storm has forced Gulf Coast refineries to shut down, leading to higher gasoline prices. Houston’s two airports will remain shuttered for days. Harvey will also affect other industries from banking to insurance.

Voting Options for Election Day Tuesday – If you missed last week’s deadline to mail back your ballot in time for it to be counted in the City of Tucson’s primary election tomorrow, you still have some options available. Four sites will be used as voting locations or drop-off sites on Election Day. They will be open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. The sites are: Tucson City Clerk Elections Center, 800 E. 12th St.; El Pueblo Senior Center, 101 W. Irvington Road; Parks and Recreation Administration, 900 S. Randolph Way; and the Donna R. Liggins Recreation Center, 2160 N. 6th Ave. If you don’t want to wait until tomorrow, you can return your ballot today until 5 p.m. at the 12th Street location. The contested races are in Wards 3, 5, and 6. For more information, call (520) 884-VOTE (8683).
Tucson City Clerk’s election page:

Tucson City Golf Community Workshop this week – The City of Tucson is hosting its third of four community workshops to discuss the future of Tucson City Golf courses. The workshops include a presentation on the financial history of Tucson City Golf and the various options that will be considered at each course. Each golf course has a unique set of circumstances that impact options. The next community workshop will focus on the Randolph golf courses, and attendees will have an opportunity to comment on the options. The workshop will start this Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Randolph Golf Complex (Copper Room), 600 S. Alvernon Way. For additional information, please contact Greg Jackson at (520) 837-8011 or Tucson City Golf:

Tickets on Sale Now for Tucson Roadrunners Games – Single-game tickets for the Tucson Roadrunners 2017-18 hockey home games went on sale today at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) Ticket Office. With tickets starting at just $15, fans can enjoy family fun in Downtown Tucson. The Roadrunners kick off the season on Saturday, Oct. 7, against the San Diego Gulls at 7:05 p.m. in the Tucson Arena. For more information, call 1-866-774-6253. You can also visit the website linked below to buy tickets, see the schedule, learn about promotions, follow game statistics, and more. The Sun Link streetcar has stops just west of the TCC (on Granada Avenue) for easy access to the games.
Tucson Roadrunners (and link to purchase tickets):

Walk dogs on Labor Day – Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) is recruiting volunteers to walk dogs on Labor Day next Monday. PACC wants up to 200 volunteer dog walkers for the event. Anyone 15 years of age and older can register by following the link below. Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. at 4000 N. Silverbell Road, and the dog walk will begin by 7 o’clock and run for about two hours. Walkers are encouraged to bring water, wear closed-toe shoes, and dress in clothing they don’t mind getting dirty.
Register for PACC community dog walk:
PACC news:

Download App to Track Streetcar – If you’d like to track the Sun Link streetcar and you have a smartphone, you’re in luck. The Tucson Streetcar Tracker, developed by Dallan Porter at the University of Arizona, is useful if you want to figure out how long it will take for the streetcar to show up at the stop where you’re waiting. The app was developed using open data provided by Sun Link. The free tracker is available for iOS and Android.
Tucson Streetcar Tracker (iOS):
Tucson Streetcar Tracker (Android):
Sun Link:

Office Spaces Focusing More on Communal Areas “Businesses are beginning to design offices spaces that are increasing the amount of square footage per employee when shared work settings are taken into account. That is one of the conclusions of a new report by architecture and design firm Ted Moudis Associates, which analyzed 2.4 million square feet of Ted Moudis’ office projects. Many companies are expanding the selection of alternative places to get work done.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

What Happens After the Real Estate Wave Crests? “Boston was flying high. New towers were transforming the downtown skyline, while growing companies couldn’t hire fast enough to fill open jobs. Home prices had been surging for half a decade, and condo builders were racing to keep up with the demand. The year was 1988. And what happened next was a real estate bust just as epic as the boom that preceded it. Jobs vanished. Banks failed. Unsold condos littered the market. It took most of a decade for Boston to dig out.” (Boston Globe)

Thousands of Homes in Houston Inundated by Tropical Storm Harvey “Heavy rains are continuing to fall on Houston as tens of thousands of homes in the city are being inundated by Harvey, a former category 4 hurricane that has been downgraded to a major tropical storm. Harris County sheriff’s spokesman Jason Spencer says flooding throughout the county that includes Houston and the region is so widespread that it’s ‘difficult to pinpoint the worst area.’ In all, more than 230,000 homes on the Texas coast are at risk of damage from storm surge, according to analytics company CoreLogic. The combined reconstruction value of is about $39.6 billion, Corelogic estimates. But many of the homes at risk are not in a designated flood zones.” (Forbes)

Here’s What Will Make Real Estate Investing Great Again “Profitable enterprises can be poor investments if you pay too much for them. That’s exactly what is happening now with publicly traded REITs. This development was forecasted in an article I wrote last February. With assistance from investment firm Research Affiliates, the article concluded that REITs would produce returns between 0% and 2% annualized on an inflation-adjusted basis over the next decade.” (MarketWatch)

How Stephen M. Ross’ Gift to the University of Michigan Ended Up in Tax Court “On his way to becoming the University of Michigan’s largest donor, Stephen M. Ross and a group of business partners donated a collective gift to his alma mater. In return, the partnership claimed a giant charitable tax deduction: $33 million. The Internal Revenue Service didn’t buy it. IRS lawyers flagged Ross and his partners as engaging in a ‘tax avoidance scheme lacking in economic substance … to the benefit of Mr. Ross and his associates at Related Companies.’” (Detroit Free Press)

Google Effect Unleashes Downtown San Jose Property Boom “Google’s effort to acquire a broad swath of downtown San Jose properties for a massive new tech campus is triggering a sharp jump in selling prices for commercial real estate in the area. The internet search giant’s plan to expand into San Jose with a new campus employing up to 20,000 Googlers near the Diridon train station and SAP Center could take years to become a reality, if the company moves ahead with plans to build.” (Mercury News)

Flooding After Harvey Too Much for Retailers, Grocers: Many Close Sunday Afternoon “Major grocers and retailers in the Houston area were forced to close most or all stores Sunday after Harvey slammed the city overnight. H-E-B operated some Houston-area stores until 3 p.m. Its store at Braeswood and Chimney Rock, however, remained closed as Brays Bayou overflowed, forcing residents to escape in boats and helicopters. It also closed its Central Market store on Westheimer.” (Chron)

The Closing: Joanne Podell “Joanne Podell, a veteran retail broker and executive vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield, was named the company’s top producer nationwide in 2016. She is the second woman in the history of the company to receive that designation. Podell, who has brokered more than 100,000 square feet in the past year, spearheaded the largest retail transaction in New York City in 2016 when she represented sports giant Nike in a 70,000-square-foot lease for its flagship store at 650 Fifth Avenue.” (The Real Deal)

Northwestern Mutual’s New HQ Opens in Milwaukee “The 1.1 million-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project along the Lake Michigan lakefront in downtown Milwaukee has celebrated its grand opening. Gilbane Building Co., of Providence, R.I., was the project’s construction manager, along with joint venture partner CG Schmidt, a Milwaukee-based construction management and general contracting firm. The 32-story tower adjoins a three-story, two-block-long space known as the Commons.” (Commercial Property Executive)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 28, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 28, 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.

Friday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 4.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,443.05. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 30.27 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,813.67, the Nasdaq composite dipped 5.68, or 0.1 percent, to 6,265.64. Benchmark U.S. crude added 44 cents to settle at $47.87 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 37 cents to $52.41 per barrel. Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $1.67 per gallon, heating oil was virtually unchanged at $1.62 per gallon and natural gas fell 6 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Stocks climb; S&P 500 breaks two-week losing streak — Stocks rose on Friday, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index cruised to its first winning week in the last three. It was a relatively quiet week, with fewer shares trading hands than usual. The S&P 500 barely budged off course after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave her highly anticipated speech in the morning. The day’s other headline event, a speech by European Central Bank head Mario Draghi, likewise did little to alter the course for stocks.

LAST-MINUTE VOTING OPTIONS – If you missed Wednesday’s deadline to mail back your ballot in time for it to be counted in the City of Tucson’s primary election next Tuesday, you still have some options available. Four sites will be used as ballot locations or drop-off sites on Election Day. The sites will be open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. You can also return your ballot today until 5 p.m. and Monday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Tucson City Clerk Elections Center, 800 E. 12th St. (extended hours on Election Day). The contested races are in Wards 3, 5, and 6. Voters in those wards should check their voting materials for the specific location of their drop-off site. For more information, call (520) 884-VOTE (8683). Tucson City Clerk’s election page:

Amazon Says Whole Foods Deal Will Close Monday, with Discounts to Begin Then “Amazon announced on Thursday that its acquisition of Whole Foods will close on Monday. As the two companies work to integrate their business, customers will immediately see ‘lower prices on a selection of best-selling staples across [Whole Foods] stores.’ And Amazon promises ‘more to come,’ as the internet giant begins to integrate Prime into the Whole Foods ecosystem. Eventually, Prime members will receive ‘special savings and in-store benefits.’” (CNBC)

Yellen: Any Change to the Regulations That Police Wall Street Should Be ‘Modest’ “Reforms put in place after the 2007 to 2009 crisis have strengthened the financial system without impeding economic growth, and any future changes should remain modest, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday in her fullest defense yet of the rules put in place after the Great Recession.” (Reuters)

WeWork Just Raised Another $4.4 Billion from SoftBank “WeWork has raised $4.4 billion in funding from SoftBank Group and SoftBank Vision Fund, the office sharing startup announced Thursday. SoftBank is investing $3 billion in WeWork itself, and putting another $1.4 billion into three new WeWork subsidiaries — WeWork China, WeWork Japan, and WeWork Pacific. As part of the investments, SoftBank will is naming two directors to WeWork’s board.” (Business Insider)

The Most Popular Cities Where House Hunters Want to Move Right Now “Homebuyers apparently have their eyes on Colorado. Colorado Springs, Colo., is the city that will likely have the most home sales in the third quarter, according to an analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions, a data firm that specializes in real estate, based in Irvine, Calif. Next on the list were Chicago, Washington, D.C., Reno, Nev., and Lexington, Ky. In some of the nation’s hottest housing markets, there was more interest in counties farther away from jobs but with more affordable homes, said Daren Blomquist, a senior vice president at ATTOM.” (MarketWatch)

A Third of Luxe Real Estate Deals Involve ‘Suspicious Activity’ “The Treasury Department said that 30 percent of high-end real-estate deals that were subject under a new watchdog program involved ‘suspicious activity’ and potential money-laundering. Treasury this week expanded and extended a program targeting luxury real estate deals in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and other big markets to prevent the use of real estate for money-laundering by overseas buyers. The program was designed to prevent buyers from using shell company’s or LLC’s to hide the identities of the real buyers.” (CNBC)

Judge Grants Pipeline Easements on Holdout Properties “A federal judge in Pennsylvania says a gas pipeline company can seize easements it needs from five final holdout property owners including land owned by nuns on which activists built an outdoor chapel to protest the project. Wednesday’s ruling means Transcontinental Pipe Line Co. has no obstacles to its Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project. An attorney for The Adorers of the Blood of Christ says he’s not sure whether the nuns will appeal Wednesday’s ruling.” (U.S. News & World Report)

SF’s Transfer Tax Revenue Jumps as Commercial Properties Change Hands “A concentration of high-value commercial properties changing hands in the last fiscal year helped San Francisco collect the highest amount of transfer taxes in the city’s history, San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu reported Thursday. Between July 1, 2016, and June 30, San Francisco collected $411 million in transfer taxes, which the city levies on transactions of taxable properties. That figure, which makes up 12 percent of the city’s general fund revenue, eclipsed the previous high for transfer taxes, set two years ago, by $97 million.” (SF Gate)

Data Center Construction in America Spikes 43 Percent in 2017 “A new report from global real estate consultant JLL reveals that as consumers turn to their smartphones for everything from streaming video to buying their groceries, the data center industry is stepping up to meet escalating demand for storage. Because of such, data center construction in North America is up 43 percent from 2016 and industry consolidation powered a $10 billion surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the first half of 2017. Meanwhile, cloud leasing activity started shifting to global markets.” (World Property Journal)

Economy Watch: U.S. Hotels to Grow at Slower Pace in 2018 “The U.S. lodging industry will continue to grow across all major metrics in 2018, but at a slower pace, according to a recent report by CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research. The company forecasts increases in occupancy, average daily room rate (ADR), revenue per available room (RevPAR), total operating revenue, and gross operating profits in 2018, compared with this year. CBRE is forecasting a 0.1 percent occupancy increase, along with a 2.3 percent rise in ADR for 2018. The net result is a projected 2.4 percent boost to RevPAR.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Ulta Beauty Beats Street; On Track to Open 100 Stores in 2017 “Ulta Beauty turned in another winning quarterly performance, besting analysts’ earnings and sales estimates. The beauty powerhouse also raised its fiscal 2017 guidance. One of the few specialty retailers with an aggressive store opening program, Ulta Beauty said it remains committed to opening 100 new locations in 2017. It will also remodel 11 stores and relocate seven others. Ulta Beauty earned $114 million, or $1.83 a share, in the second quarter ended July 29, compared with $90 million, or $1.43 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.78 a share.” (Chain Store Age)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 25, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 25, 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.

Thursday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.07 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,438.97. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28.69 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,783.40, the Nasdaq composite fell 7.08 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,271.33.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 98 cents, or 2 percent, to settle at $47.43 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 53 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $52.04 a barrel. Natural gas rose 2 cents to settle at $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil was close to flat at $1.62 per gallon. Wholesale gasoline futures rose 5 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $1.66 per gallon.

Amazon will close its $13.7 billion buyout of Whole Foods Market Inc. on Monday and plans to cut prices on grocery staples.Amazon to cut prices on Whole Foods staples like eggs, beef — Amazon is moving swiftly to make big changes at Whole Foods, saying it plans to cut prices on bananas, eggs, salmon, beef and more as soon as it completes its $13.7 billion takeover next week.

30-year US mortgage rate dips to 3.86 percent, 2017 low — The benchmark 30-year mortgage rate is at new low for the year, touching its lowest level since last November. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.86 percent from 3.89 percent last week. It was the fourth straight weekly decline for the key rate. The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, remained at 3.16 percent this week.

Stonemont Financial Group Buys Portfolio of 100 Properties for $1.3 Billion “Stonemont Financial Group, an Atlanta-based real-estate-management firm, is buying a 100-property portfolio of office, industrial and retail holdings across 20 states for $1.3 billion, saying demand for properties with investment-grade tenants remains strong. The deal, Stonemont’s largest acquisition ever, was fueled in part by debt capital seeking to finance strong real-estate portfolios, the company said Wednesday.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Sears Is Closing Another 28 Kmart Stores as Sales Tumble Again “The bleeding at Sears Holdings shows no signs of stopping. The long-struggling retailer said on Thursday it was closing another 28 Kmart stores, the latest in a string of recent announcements of store shutterings amid a severely deteriorating business. The company has already closed dozens of Sears department stores and Kmart discount stores this year. Sears Holdings said comparable sales fell 13.2% at Sears, and 9.4% at Kmart, for a companywide decline of 11.5% in the quarter ended July 29.” (Fortune)

Growth Lessons for Real Estate Investments in the Desert States “The historical West was a place of feast or famine, mainly the latter. Deserts, snow, water, mountains, mining, gambling – the West either had too much of them or too little. The dry climate prevented settlement because farming was too difficult, limited to narrow strips along rivers that could flood or run dry from one year to the next. Towns only appeared in places where other natural resources were found. The modern West isn’t really that different.” (Forbes)

In a Thriving City, SoHo’s Soaring Rents Keep Storefronts Empty “Now, with the city’s unemployment at near historic lows and the economy humming along, empty storefronts dot SoHo’s streets, with 16 in the six-block stretch of Broadway between Houston and Canal Streets, the area’s retail spine. More stud the Belgian-blocked side streets, dark gaps between boutiques selling high fashion and designer furniture and the occasional remaining art gallery.” (The New York Times)

The New Gated Community: More Land, Fewer Neighbors “Ty and Kady Hendrix live in a gated development that doesn’t have a golf course or a clubhouse—or a lot of neighbors. A half-mile of woodland separates the couple from their nearest fellow homeowners in the Reserve, an 1,100-acre community with only 57 home sites, just a few miles from North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest. ‘It’s almost like you’re camping,’ said Mr. Hendrix, 55, a financial adviser who spent over $1.09 million to build a 4,000-square-foot, board-and-batten home on 15½ acres there in 2003.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

At Contentious First Debate, Rival Slams De Blasio Ove r Real Estate Ties  “Bill de Blasio’s underdog Democratic primary opponent used the first televised mayoral debate Wednesday night to paint the mayor as having ‘turned the city over to big developers’ to make good on his promise of building record amounts of affordable housing. Former Brooklyn Councilman Sal Albanese also sought to make an issue of the now-folded probes into the mayor’s political fundraising. Albanese alluded to recently disclosed email exchanges between de Blasio and JSR Capital founder Jona Rechnitz, who pleaded guilty in a separate police corruption investigation.” (Crain’s New York Business)

Investor Demand Further Compresses Capitalization Rates for U.S. Commercial Assets in 2017 “According to global property advisor CBRE, increased investor demand from both international and domestic buyers contributed to further capitalization rate compression in the U.S. industrial real estate sector over the first half of 2017. Industrial remains the strongest performer out of the five sectors, given the especially robust fundamentals, record low vacancy rates, tangible rental rate growth and strong tenant demand. The CBRE North America Cap Rate Survey provides insights on movements for the major property asset classes.” (World Property Journal)

SL Green, Vornado Close on $1.2B Refi for 280 Park “SL Green Realty and Vornado Realty Trust closed on a $1.2 billion financing package to refinance the 43-story office tower at 280 Park Avenue.The financing replaces a $900 million loan from a group that includes Deutsche Bank and Bank of China, which closed in 2016, that was set to mature in 2023. The new interest-only loan will mature in 2024 and carries a rate of Libor plus 1.73 basis points. It’s not immediately clear who the lender is.” (The Real Deal)

Large Mixed-Use Houston Portfolio Changes Hands “A joint venture between H.I.G. Realty Partners and Lincoln Property Co. has acquired Greenspoint Place, a six-property, mixed-use portfolio located in the North Houston District of Houston. In total, the portfolio includes six office buildings totaling more than 2 million square feet and three adjoining retail centers. Built over a 14-year span between 1978 and 1992, Greenspoint Place once held a decades-long standing as the premier office portfolio in the region, and the new owners plan to transform it back to its glory days.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Demand for Medical Office Buildings Rises as U.S. Population Ages “According to a new report from CBRE, the aging U.S. population, pressure for healthcare providers to cut costs and new technologies have boosted demand for medical office properties in recent years. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the 65+ population will nearly double between 2015 and 2055 to more than 92 million and comprise nearly 23 percent of the country’s total population by that time.” (World Property Journal)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 24, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 24, 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 fell 8.47 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,444.04. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 87.80 points, or 0.4 percent, to 21,812.09, and the Nasdaq composite lost 19.07, or 0.3 percent, to 6,278.41.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 58 cents to settle at $48.41 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 70 cents to $52.57 per barrel. Natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil rose 3 cents to $1.62 per gallon and wholesale gasoline gained 3 cents to $1.62 per gallon.

TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES SUPERINTENDENT – The Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Governing Board last night voted to give Interim Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo the permanent job he’s been filling. Trujillo, who temporarily took over the superintendent’s post in March, beat out three other finalists for the position. He’ll be paid a base salary ranging from $180,000 to $230,000 to oversee more than 47,000 students in 89 schools and programs. The board hopes to have the terms of Trujillo’s contract worked out by next Monday’s meeting. In other TUSD news, U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima said yesterday that racism was behind an Arizona ban on ethnic studies that shuttered a popular Mexican-American Studies (MAS) program at TUSD. However, Tashima said he doesn’t know a remedy for the violation and has not issued a final judgment.
MAS story from the Arizona Daily Star:

CITY’S FLEET SERVICES RANKED AMONG THE NATION’S BEST – The City of Tucson’s Fleet Services Division once again is ranked in the top 100 by The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas. The City is ranked No. 52 this year, up from No. 83 last year. The program recognizes and rewards peak performing fleet operations in North America. Currently in its 16th year, 100 Best Fleets identifies and encourages ever-increasing levels of performance improvement within the fleet industry. This is the fifth consecutive year that Tucson’s Fleet Services has been included in the top 100. As a division of the Environmental & General Services Department, Fleet Services maintains and repairs a diverse fleet of 2,550 vehicles and equipment. Fleet Services is an active member of the Clean Cities Coalition.

US new-home sales fell in July, yet still ahead of last year — Sales of new U.S. homes plummeted by the most in nearly a year in July, yet the drop comes after strong sales in previous months. So far, this year’s sales are outpacing last year’s.

Converted Office Parks Try to Lure Millennials with Cheaper Rents “Developer National Resources has for several years been studying different office, retail and residential schemes for an underused corporate campus designed in the 1960s for International Business Machines Corp. in East Fishkill, N.Y. But now, as National Resources moves to close on a deal to buy a 300-acre site, the Greenwich, Conn.-based developer is recognizing that housing has got to be a central component of the plan.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Kohl’s to Reduce Floor Space in Half of its Stores by End of Year “There are some major changes going on at Kohl’s stores. The department store retailer announced plans to make nearly half its locations “operationally smaller through balancing inventory and adjusting fixtures” by the end of 2017. To date, the new interior layouts have been rolled out in 300 of Kohl’s 1,100 locations. In addition, Kohl’s plans to ‘right-size’ the physical square footage of its store in Warner Robbins, Ga., reducing it from an 89,000-sq.-ft. store to a 62,000-sq.-ft. one.” (Chain Store Age)

Latest Capital Controls Won’t Choke Off Chinese Overseas Real Estate Investments—CBRE “The impact of the latest round of capital controls announced Aug. 18 by China’s State Council in curbing Chinese overseas direct investment into real estate could be relatively light, said a report by global commercial real estate services firm CBRE Tuesday. Controls imposed since late 2016 to staunch capital flight and bolster the yuan in currency markets saw Chinese overseas direct investments to real estate for the first half of 2017 plunge 82% from the year before to $25.6 billion, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.” (Pensions & Investments)

Condo Owners Eye Cashing In on Rental Market “During real-estate booms developers often rush to convert rental buildings into condos to take advantage of skyrocketing prices. But in an unusual reversal, investors in Chicago are transforming condos into apartments. Dozens of stately Chicago condo buildings are or have recently been converted into rentals, real-estate agents say.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Whole Foods Shareholders Vote in Approval of Amazon Deal “Whole Foods shareholders have at last voted to advance Amazon’s acquisition of the grocery chain, moving the proposal one step closer to reality. Gathered at Whole Food’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, the retailer’s shareholders approved a merger with the internet giant on Wednesday morning. Amazon shareholders don’t need to sign off on the deal. Now, completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Whole Foods and Amazon are preparing to seal their $13.7 billion deal, which would also mark the biggest retail deal of 2017.” (CNBC)

Wal-Mart, Google Team Up to Battle Amazon “Google and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are joining forces in a partnership that includes enabling voice-ordered purchases from the retail giant on Google’s virtual assistant, challenging rival Inc.’s grip on the next wave of e-commerce. Wal-Mart said Wednesday that next month it will join Google’s online-shopping marketplace, Google Express. While the deal will add hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart items to Google Express, it will also give Wal-Mart access to voice ordering. The deal won’t alter how consumers receive their orders, because Wal-Mart will fulfill purchases made through Google Express.” (MarketWatch)

Valle Vista Mall Owners in Harlingen to Return Property to Lenders “The owners of the city’s premier mall say they intend to dump the property on lenders, apparently conceding profits from the mall will not meet expectations. City officials, however, expect new ownership will keep the 650,504-square-foot retail mall open. ‘With the continued growth of the Harlingen economy, this news is welcomed,’ Mayor Chris Boswell said in a statement. ‘What has been reported is that Washington Prime borrowed too much money against the Harlingen property, but during their ownership the lease revenues continued to perform reasonably.’” (The Monitor)

JW Marriott Chicago Lands $270M Natixis Refi “Nearly seven years after opening in the former Continental & Commercial National Bank Building in Chicago’s downtown Loop, the JW Marriott Chicago Hotel has been refinanced with a $270 million loan provided by Natixis, a French corporate and investment bank. The owners opened the premier luxury hotel at 151 W. Adams St. in the heart of the financial district in November 2010 following a $396 million restoration. Designed by noted architect Daniel Burnham in the early 1900s, the first 12 floors of the former bank building were transformed into a 610-key luxury hotel.” (Commercial Property Executive)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 23, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 23, 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.

Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 24.14 points, or 1 percent, to 2,452.51 for its fourth-biggest gain of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 196.14 points, or 0.9 percent, to 21,899.89. The Nasdaq composite gained 84.35, or 1.4 percent, to 6,297.48. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 27 cents to settle at $47.64 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 21 cents to settle at $51.87 a barrel. Natural gas fell 2 cents to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil was virtually flat at $1.59 per gallon and wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $1.59 per gallon.

MAYOR LAUNCHES NEW MENTORING INITIATIVE Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild yesterday announced a new initiative calling for community volunteers to help mentor youth. Alongside representatives from several youth-serving nonprofits and the kids they serve, Rothschild encouraged nonprofit, business, and government representatives to become mentors. Depending on the program, the time commitment can be as little as a few hours a month, the mayor wrote recently in the Arizona Daily Star (link below). “Mentorship programs share a dedication to improving the lives of young people through positive interactions with adults,” he said. For a list of participating agencies in need of volunteers, please follow the links below. Mentor Tucson Youth volunteer opportunities from mayor’s website:

SELF-DRIVING SEMI TRUCK TECHNOLOGY BEING DEVELOPED IN TUCSON – A Chinese startup company is developing self-driving technology for commercial trucking at a recently opened facility in Tucson. Beijing-based TuSimple’s research and testing includes a planned Tucson-Phoenix trip with an autonomous truck. The company says it plans to hire as many as 100 employees in the next five years. TuSimple is leasing more than 6,800 square feet of warehouse and office space at 2551 N. Dragoon St., near West Grant Road and Interstate 10. Company Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Xiaodi Hou said Tucson’s logistics and friendly Arizona policies toward autonomous vehicle technology lured the company to Tucson. Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild spoke at yesterday’s ribbon cutting, along with Pima County officials, and regional economic development partners. The City provided no incentives to bring the company to Tucson, with the mayor saying Tucson’s workforce and talent coming out of the University of Arizona will help the company succeed.

LEARN ABOUT FISHING AT URBAN LAKES – Do you need a license to fish at a City lake? Find out the answer to that question and many others in an episode of Sierra Says from Tucson 12 and the Tucson Parks and Recreation department (video link below). Send your parks questions to, and you could have them answered in the next installment of this TV and social media series.
Watch Sierra Says video:

WATERMELON WEDNESDAY TOMORROW AT REID PARK ZOO – Reid Park Zoo is giving its animals watermelon enrichment every Wednesday morning in August. From 8-10 a.m., guests can observe elephants, lions, tortoises, and other animals as they think about and work for this special treat. While watermelon may not be found naturally in an animal’s environment, it stimulates various behaviors. Zoo education staff will be on hand for chats about the enrichment activities and other exciting ways to explore Reid Park Zoo. Watermelon eegee’s will be available in the Zoofari Café. Reid Park Zoo:

Simon Property Reaches Settlement in Antitrust Investigation by New York “New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and retail property giant Simon Property Group Inc. reached an antitrust settlement that requires Simon to end practices that protected its wildly popular Woodbury Common Premium Outlets from competition, according to a statement released by the attorney general’s office.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

McDonald’s to close 169 outlets in India in franchise battle — McDonald’s India has announced it will close nearly 170 McDonald’s outlets in northern and eastern India after the American fast food giant decided to terminate a franchise agreement with its Indian partner. McDonald’s said its partner Connaught Plaza Restaurants violated the terms of the franchise agreement, including reneging on payment of royalties.

Americans Shift from Spending at Mall to Spending on Health Care “The brick-and-mortar retail industry is in crisis. For many old-line retailers, sales and market share are plunging fast. The most obvious explanation for their distress is the rise of online shopping, but some analysts mistakenly point to another trend: ‘Shoppers are choosing experiences over stuff, and that’s bad news for retailers.’ Instead of purchasing a couch, we’re going to Paris! Or maybe buying avocado toast.” (MarketWatch)

Chesapeake Real Estate Group Acquires 259 Acres in Curtis Bay “Chesapeake Real Estate Group has acquired 259 acres in Anne Arundel County and plans to develop up to 1 million square feet of industrial and warehouse space there. The Baltimore-based real estate company acquired the Curtis Bay property, known as Brandon Woods III, from Exelon Corp. Financial terms were not disclosed. Chesapeake and partner EverWest Real Estate Partners expect to break ground in September on the $75 million project’s first phase: a 500,000-square-foot industrial building.” (Baltimore Sun)

Famed Plaza Hotel Is on the Block “The Indian owners of the Plaza Hotel have hired a broker to sell the New York City landmark, a sign that a world-wide scramble among investors, celebrities and governments to acquire the property could be nearing an end. Sahara Group, a Lucknow, India-based conglomerate and the hotel’s majority owner, has enlisted JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, a unit of real-estate firm JLL, to find a buyer.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Heidi Klum Fashion at a Supermarket? Grocers Now Sell More than Food “Former supermodel Heidi Klum is known for glamour and her svelte physique, but her new women’s clothing line be sold under the same roof as candy, canned peaches and disposable diapers — at a supermarket chain. The leap from salad dressings to sun dresses is part of an industry trend. More grocery stores turning to products that have nothing to do with food.” (USA Today)

What Amenities Do Tenants Want? “Does your property have everything your tenants need? Commercial Property Executive and Kingsley Associates asked what would bring the most value to your asset. ‘Some additional amenities I would like to see are better walking trails, modern vending machines that accept credit cards and more common-area seating in the hallways for breaks or casual meetings.’ —Austin, Texas.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Ernst & Young Might Relocate to One Manhattan West “Negotiations are actively moving along for a possible relocation by Ernst & Young to Brookfield’s One Manhattan West. The professional-services giant is in talks for around 400,000 square feet, we’re told — a major commitment although not as large as previously reported. Ernst & Young is currently at 5 Times Square. Asking rents at One Manhattan West run to $105 a square foot, my colleague Lois Weiss recently reported.” (New York Post)

Ross Stores Remains the Big Winner of Brick-and-Mortar Retail “Most U.S. retailers produced better results last quarter than they did in the first few months of 2017. Nevertheless, the vast majority of them posted second-quarter adjusted earnings that were flattish or down on a year-over-year basis. Ross Stores was the biggest exception. The off-price giant reported strong sales growth and a 15% jump in earnings per share, outpacing its larger off-price rival TJX. With American consumers still laser-focused on getting the most bang for their buck, Ross Stores’ success is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.” (The Motley Fool)

Related Seeks $30M More in EB-5 Financing for Hudson Yards “Related Companies is seeking $30 million more in EB-5 financing for 35 and 55 Hudson Yards and the Western Rail Yards. The company is looking for $10 million each for 35 and 55 Hudson Yards — respectively, a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use tower and a 1.7 million-square-foot office building — after requesting hundreds of millions of dollars for the towers two months ago, New York YIMBY reported.” (The Real Deal)

NASA Opens 118 KSF Biomedical Lab “The Johnson Space Center at NASA in Houston has opened the Human Health and Performance Laboratory (Building 21), a 118,000-square-foot biomedical laboratory facility, designed by HDR based on NASA technical requirements. The facility is home for the JSC Human Health and Performance Directorate, the primary agency organization focused on improving the health of astronauts and their performance while mitigating the human system risks associated with spaceflight.” (Commercial Property Executive)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 22, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 22, 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.

Monday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.82 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,428.37. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29.24, or 0.1 percent, to 21,703.75. The Nasdaq composite slipped 3.40 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,213.13.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.14 to settle at $47.37 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost $1.06 to $51.66 a barrel. Natural gas rose 7 cents $2.96 per 1,000 cubic feet, heating oil fell 5 cents to $1.57 per gallon and wholesale gasoline lost 4 cents to $1.58 per gallon.

Get Started: FBI warns of spreading W-2 email theft scheme– The IRS is warning of a sharp increase in email phishing scams involving employees’ W-2 forms — scams that can put staffers’ Social Security numbers in the hands of thieves. The government says 200 businesses, schools and organizations were victimized by these scams during this year’s tax filing season. Cyberthieves send emails that appear to come from executives inside the organizations. The emails ask payroll or human resources staffers to send a list of workers and their W-2s.

OPEN HOUSE FOR NEW SALES TAX PROGRAM – The public is invited to the kickoff of Tucson Delivers – Better Streets, part of the voter-approved five-year, half-cent sales tax to fund street repairs. Nearly $100 million is expected to be generated, and the City’s Bond Oversight Commission wants input on the repair plan for neighborhood streets and major roads. Come meet the team, view the maps, and learn how streets are evaluated for repair. The open house is scheduled for this Thursday, Aug. 24, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Sabbar Shrine Center, 450 S. Tucson Blvd. For questions or accommodations, call (520) 622-9000. The remaining $150 million the sales tax generates will be used for vehicles, equipment, and facilities for the Tucson Police and Tucson Fire departments.

STREETCAR REACHES MILESTONE Sun Link reached another historic milestone last week, boarding its 3 millionth streetcar passenger. In celebration of the occasion, Sun Link is running a social media contest, asking passengers to identify a picture of a particular location along the streetcar line. Passengers will then be asked to take a selfie at the location and post it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #SunLinkSelfie. Those who participate could win prizes, including a new 3-Day Pass. Sun Link celebrated its third anniversary last month.

TUCSON ROADRUNNERS RELEASE PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE – The Tucson Roadrunners have plenty of special promotions and giveaways scheduled during their upcoming second year of play at the Tucson Convention Center. The American Hockey League (AHL) team has special promotions on food and drinks, as well as rally towels, bobbleheads, military appreciation night, T-shirt giveaways, free fidget spinners, superhero night, and more. For a complete list of the promotional and game schedules, please follow the links below. Opening night is Oct. 7 at the Tucson Arena. The Roadrunners will host the San Diego Gulls at 7:05 p.m.

China’s Great Wall considers bid for Fiat Chrysler Jeep unit — Spokespeople for Chinese SUV maker Great Wall Motors say it is considering making a bid to buy Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep unit, in a possible ambitious new step onto the global stage for China’s fast-growing auto brands. Great Wall has yet to formally declare its interest in Jeep but a possible acquisition would be in line with its chairman’s goal of becoming the top specialty SUV producer by 2020.

Here’s How Amazon-Proof These 13 Types of Retailers Are “It goes without saying that retail is evolving. More shopping is occurring online, but the pace of change is uneven. ‘You can’t paint retail with broad brush strokes,’ James Cook, JLL’s director of retail research, told CNBC in an interview. ‘You have to talk about the category changes … instead of saying retail is going down the tubes.’ JLL took a look at 13 retail categories using consumer opinion data gathered by the firm, store closure statistics, same-store sales growth and e-commerce penetration, to gauge how it will look in the future.” (CNBC)

Norway’s Wealth Fund Takes 48 Percent Stake in New York Property “Norway’s $975-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has bought a 48-percent stake in a New York City property, it said on Monday. Norges Bank Real Estate Management paid $223 million for the stake in the 93-year ownership interest of 375 Hudson Street from Trinity Church Wall Street, valuing the property at $865 million. The deal was done in a joint venture with Trinity Church Wall Street and Hines, the Norwegian fund added.” (Reuters)

WeWork and Other Firms Test Brooklyn’s Office Market “Samuel Rudin, the late patriarch of one New York’s oldest real estate dynasties, built the family’s real estate portfolio with a rule: if a property wasn’t accessible by subway, he wasn’t interested. Now the Rudin family is tweaking that rule, adding another mode of transportation—a ferryboat. The Rudin family and office giant Boston Properties Inc. are in the midst of building a 675,000 square-foot office building.” (Wall Street Journal)

How Is Commercial Real Estate Taxation Unfair to Other Investors? “Next up in Washington will be tax reform since an easy, no-brainer like infrastructure improvement has been put on hold until sometime later in 2018. Fixing roads and bridges awaits the findings of the new committee formed to study the subject — which really means a fight over which states deserve to receive the forthcoming pork. Where was I? Oh yes. Tax reform. But first, I’ll note that one aspect of returning to a summer home for vacation is that all the magazines lying around are from July and August of the previous year.” (Mercury News)

Republican Committees Have Paid Nearly $1.3 Million to Trump-Owned Entities This Year “The Republican National Committee paid the Trump International Hotel in Washington $122,000 last month after the party held a lavish fundraiser at the venue in June, the latest example of how GOP political committees are generating a steady income stream for President Trump’s private business, new Federal Election Commission records show. At least 25 congressional campaigns, state parties and the Republican Governors Association have together spent more than $473,000 at Trump hotels or golf resorts this year, according to a Washington Post analysis of campaign finance filings.” (Washington Post)

Walmart Wants to Take on Amazon with Flying Warehouses “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has opened a new front in its battle with Inc. The world’s largest retailer has applied for a U.S. patent for a floating warehouse that could make deliveries via drones, which would bring products from the aircraft down to shoppers’ homes. The blimp-style machine would fly at heights between 500 feet and 1,000 feet (as much as 305 meters), contain multiple launching bays, and be operated autonomously or by a remote human pilot. Amazon was granted a patent for a similar vessel in April 2016.” (Fortune)

Frank Sinito Has Sky-High Hopes for Real Estate Portfolio “Frank Sinito recently bought the 57-story Key Tower and the attached 400-room Marriott Cleveland Downtown in a $267 million deal. It’s a long reach for a Cleveland native who started out with a 14-suite apartment complex and a bar in the suburbs. But at 54 with a tireless devotion to work, he’s fine-tuning things at the Key Center complex and has his eye on another big downtown building and renovation project.” (Crain’s Cleveland Business)

CoStar Moves to Dismiss Xceligent’s Antitrust Countersuit “CoStar Group is asking a Missouri judge to dismiss the countersuit Xceligent filed against the data giant in late June alleging the company had engaged in years of anti-competitive behavior.  The D.C.-based commercial real estate data company filed a 27-page motion to dismiss with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Thursday, arguing Xceligent did not present adequate claims to merit a court judgment.” (Bisnow)

Sheldon’s Grey Cloud and Silver Lining “The recent overturning of Sheldon Silver’s 2015 corruption conviction raises key questions for both the real estate industry and those who police it: Do landlords and developers have clearer guidelines on what counts as corruption, or will heightened scrutiny and a likely retrial only bring more of them into the witness box? Although the former State Assembly speaker was sentenced to 12 years in prison for schemes involving real estate developers, he was spared last month by a Supreme Court decision that cleared former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell of corruption charges in 2016 — a ruling that redefined what could be considered an official act by a politician.” (The Real Deal)

Entrada Snags DFW Office/Industrial Portfolio “Entrada Partners recently snagged an office and industrial portfolio in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, thanks in no small part to HFF. The commercial real estate and capital markets services provider arranged a loan with Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Entrada’s purchase of the 508,800-square-foot group of properties. The financing came in the form of a floating-rate, non-recourse loan with a three-year term and the option for two one-year extensions.” (Commercial Property Executive)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 21, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 21, 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.

Friday, the S&P 500 lost 4.46 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,425.55. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 76.22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,674.55. The Nasdaq composite shed 5.39 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,216.53. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 1.15 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,357.79. The index has fallen 6 percent since July 25.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil jumped $1.42, or 3 percent, to $48.51 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, added $1.69, or 3.3 percent, to $52.72 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Heating oil added 4 cents to $1.62 a gallon. Natural gas lost 4 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

11 US states added jobs in JulyHiring increased in 11 U.S. states in July, while the unemployment rate tumbled to record lows in two states. The Labor Department says that unemployment rates were relatively stable in most states. They fell in 15 states and rose in 23, but many of the changes were statistically insignificant.

China to Limit Overseas Investments in Real Estate, Sports “China’s government is moving to curb domestic companies’ investments abroad in property, sports, entertainment and other fields, following a series of high-profile, multibillion-dollar acquisitions by Chinese firms. A document released Friday by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, was the latest move by regulators to tap the brakes on a string of foreign acquisitions, citing concerns that the companies involved may be taking on too much debt.” (Associated Press)

Apartment Fires Are Tied to Cheaper, Wood-Based Construction “Shortly after Independence Day last year, developer Rick Holliday got a call informing him his 105-unit apartment building, under construction in Oakland, Calf., had gone up in flames. Mr. Holliday suspected the fire was sparked by teenagers shooting off fireworks at the crucial point when the structure was fully framed with wood but the sprinkler system wasn’t yet installed. He began a $15 million rebuilding job, again using wood.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Real Estate Remains Largely Silent on Trump’s Charlottesville Stance, Even as Big Business Slams Him “Top business leaders, including the heads of General Electric and Apple, slammed Trump for equivocating. Real estate leaders, by contrast, have largely stayed mum. In an attempt to take the temperature of the industry, The Real Deal reached out to over 50 leaders of development firms, commercial and residential brokerages and public real estate investment trusts. Overwhelmingly, they either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment. Those who did, for the most part, offered up a more general denunciation of racism and bigotry but shied away from addressing the president’s comments.” (The Real Deal)

On Hard-to-Use Brownfields, Property Owners See a New Option Shining Down on Them “Now an alternative to commercial redevelopment is emerging: conversion into solar power installations. Brownfield advocates locally and around the country are touting the unique suitability of many former landfills to host solar panels, thereby wringing at least some value out of even the worst contamination sites. ‘Using capped landfills for solar development is something that has the potential to provide a great amount of energy to the country,’ said Joe Mahowald, a program associate with Minnesota Brownfields, a nonprofit group devoted to promoting the redevelopment of contaminated lands.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Gap’s CEO Just Had a Bizarre Rant on Why He Doesn’t Run a Mall Retailer “Gap is back, mall rats. But it wants to remind you that it’s not just a mall retailer. ‘Really, it’s just flat-out wrong,’ said CEO Art Peck on the Gap Inc. (GPS) earnings call Thursday Aug. 17, urging everyone to refrain from calling Gap a ‘mall-based apparel retailer.’ ‘We have clear points of advantage,’ he said, first and foremost including ‘our portfolio of iconic, profitable brands.’ Iconic? Eh, probably a stretch. But profitable isn’t far off.” (The Street)

QCP Seeking Receivership for HCR ManorCare Properties “Quality Care Properties (NYSE: QCP) has begun legal proceedings to have an independent receiver take over the operations of its skilled nursing and assisted living/memory care communities that currently are being operated by HCR ManorCare. Toledo, Ohio-based ManorCare operates more than 500 skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), assisted living communities, outpatient rehab clinics, memory care communities, and hospice and home health agencies.” (Skilled Nursing News)

GGP Starts Renovation of New HQ “Shortly after signing a lease agreement at River North Point, shopping mall owner GGP tapped Skender Construction to renovate its new headquarters. The developer will work together with design firms ARCHIDEAS and Environmental Systems Design as well as JLL to bring the project to completion by January 2018. GGP, formerly known as General Growth Properties, decided to relocate its 700 employees from its current office at 110 N. Upper Wacker Drive to 350 N. Orleans because developers are planning to tear down the five-story building.” (Commercial Property Executive)

How to Build a Real Estate Brand from Scratch in 9 Months “Figuring out the brand’s purpose and values before creating a logo (or even a name) can be fruitful for broker-owners building from the ground up. Finding the right space and creating an office look and feel that supports the brand can create a sort of community hub. Brand consistency can help put your brokerage at the forefront of your market if you’ve nailed the basics.” (Inman)

Number of Equity-Rich Properties Continues to Grow “ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q2 2017 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report shows that at the end of the second quarter of 2017, there were more than 14 million U.S. properties that were equity-rich – where the combined loan amount secured by the property was 50% or less of the estimated market value of the property. This figure was up by nearly 320,000 properties from the previous quarter and up by more than 1.6 million properties from a year ago. The 14 million equity-rich U.S. properties represented 24.6% of all U.S. properties with a mortgage, up from 24.3% in the previous quarter and up from 22.1% in Q2 2016.” (MortgageOrb)

Dominion Names Future HQ; May Unload Fan, Downtown Properties “With the first of potentially two new towers under construction on Sixth Street, Richmond’s resident utility giant has chosen a name for its forthcoming downtown complex – and it’s also mulling the future of two other sizable properties in the city. Dominion Energy this week announced that the 20-story, nearly 1-million-square-foot office building taking shape at its 111 S. Sixth St. headquarters will be called Canal Place, spokesman Ryan Frazier said. That building, being developed by Richmond’s Hourigan Construction and Chicago-based Clayco, will be dubbed 600 Canal Place, due to its address at 600 Canal St.” (Richmond BizSense)


Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 17, 2017

Real Estate Daily News Buzz Aug. 17, 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.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 3.50 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,468.11. The Dow Jones industrial average added 25.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,024.87. The Nasdaq composite gained 12.10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,345.11. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies inched up 0.30 points to 1,383.53.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 77 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $46.78 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 53 cents, or 1 percent, to $50.27 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 2 cents to $1.56 a gallon. Heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.57 a gallon. Natural gas shed 5 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

US stocks edge higher as retailers rally; oil companies fall — US stocks mostly rise as retailers like Urban Outfitters recover from their stumble a day ago. Energy companies dipped along with the price of crude oil. (AP)

US demands big NAFTA changes, setting stage for tough talks — The United States won’t settle for cosmetic changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the top U.S. trade negotiator said Wednesday, as the U.S., Canada and Mexico began to renegotiate the 23-year-old trade pact and fulfill one of President Donald Trump’s campaign pledges. In a statement at the opening of five days of talks, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said that Trump “is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and an updating of a few chapters. (AP)

On a chaotic day in DC, Trump goes after Amazon, again — President Donald Trump is renewing his attacks on Amazon, and he says the company is “doing great damage to tax paying retailers.” Trump, on Twitter, said that “towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost!” He’s often criticized the company and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. Many traditional retailers are closing stores and blaming Amazon for a shift to buying goods online. But the company has been hiring thousands of warehouse workers. (AP)

Protests at Google offices over worker’s firing are canceled — Protests planned at Google offices around the country over the firing of an employee who questioned company diversity efforts have been postponed. A statement on the “March on Google” website says Saturday’s protests are being canceled because of threats from what it called “alt left terrorist groups.” Protest organizers didn’t respond to requests for information about the alleged threats or which authorities were notified about them. (AP)

Walmart’s CEO Joins Group to Rebuke Trump Over Charlottesville “Walmart’s chief executive issued a strong rebuke of President Trump’s response to the protests that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va., saying the president ‘missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together.’ The criticism came in a statement that the retailer’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, emailed to employees Monday evening, which was reviewed by The New York Times. The statement was later posted on a company website.” (The New York Times)

Amazon Adds ‘Instant Pickup’ in U.S. Brick-and-Mortar Push “ Inc is rolling out U.S. pickup points where shoppers can retrieve items immediately after ordering them, shortening delivery times from hours to minutes in its latest move into brick-and-mortar retail. The world’s largest online retailer has launched ‘Instant Pickup’ points around five college campuses, such as the University of California at Berkeley, it said on Tuesday. Amazon has plans to add the program to more sites by the end of the year.” (Reuters)

In Chicago, Teaching an Old Site New Tricks “For more than 100 years, the A. Finkl & Sons Steel plant on the North Branch of the Chicago River was a big employer in Chicago as it supplied the world with a wide range of steel products. Today a real-estate developer is planning to convert the 22-acre former plant site into office, retail and residential uses as the third largest American city reinvents itself.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

More Than 500 Buildings Across NYC Are Likely Vacant “A title company has used open data to map more than 500 buildings across NYC that are likely vacant. Daniel Price, founder and CEO of OneTitle National Guaranty Company, analyzed 40,000 calls to NYC’s 311 line over the last six years and matched them with other data to identify 541 properties in 137 zip codes that could become targets for developers as well as for nonprofits and affordable housing.” (New York Post)

Kushner Companies Hit with Rent-Stabilization Lawsuit in Brooklyn Heights “Kushner Companies violated rent-stabilization laws at a building the company owns in Brooklyn Heights, a new class-action lawsuit alleges. The legal action comes at a time when the company is already facing scrutiny over its ownership and management of a massive multifamily portfolio with hundreds of rent-stabilized units across the city, and puts a further spotlight on Jared Kushner, the former CEO of the firm and top White House adviser who continues to hold a stake in the Brooklyn Heights property.” (The Real Deal)

In a Retail Storm, Strip Mall Provide Some Cover “Open-air shopping centers are on the upswing. Shares of real-estate investment trusts that own and operate the broad category of open-air shopping centers are up about 7% since June 30 after skidding 19.6% in the first half of this year, according to an index that tracks shopping center REITs by the National Association of Real Estate Investment.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)

Here’s Why Bigger, More Expensive Buildings Are Usually a Better InvestmentEver wonder why investors shell out billions for trophy office towers even if cap rates are minuscule? One reason is that they tend to be more profitable than smaller buildings in the medium run. Index provider MSCI dug into annual real estate return data and found that bigger, more expensive buildings outperformed their smaller peers globally in 17 out of the past 18 years (see chart). The catch: the one year they didn’t was 2016, and time will tell whether this is the beginning of a new trend.” (The Real Deal)

Retail Comeback, Or Just a Few Bright Spots? “Good news for retail came out of the Census Bureau yesterday. July turned out to be not just better than expected but also the month with the biggest rebound in retail sales all year, rising 0.6% for the month and 4.2% since July 2016. What’s more, revised data for May and June show a brighter picture than preliminary estimates had indicated, eliminating what had appeared to be a decline in retail sales.” (Forbes)

Understanding the HVCRE Bill “Reps. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) recently introduced H.R. 2148 in an attempt to clarify what qualifies as a high volatility commercial real estate (HVCRE) loan and what doesn’t. The bipartisan bill, titled Clarifying High Volatility Commercial Real Estate Loans, has since been co-sponsored by Republican representatives for North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and Colorado.” (Commercial Property Executive)

These Are the 10 Most Expensive NFL Stadiums Your Precious Tax Dollars Paid For “This season, as always, taxpayers are giving NFL owners money whether they watch football or not. If you live in a National Football League market that isn’t New York — where the owners of the Giants and Jets and their investors covered all of MetLife Stadium’s $1.6 billion cost — your tax dollars are likely paying for the home team’s facilities. It isn’t just a minor contribution, either.” (The Street)