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10 Must Read Items for the CRE Industry Today (July 18, 2019)

Toys “R” Us stores will open two permanent stores in November, reports CNBC. A San Francisco ballot measure would restrict office development in the city, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Life After Liquidation: Toys R Us Stores Will Be Back This Holiday Season, This Time with a Tech Partner “This holiday season, some shoppers will once again be able to shop in a Toys R Us store. The retailer will open two permanent stores in November – at Simon Property Group’s Galleria mall in Houston and at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey. The stores are product of a joint venture between software retailer b8ta and Tru Kids, the company that is helping to manage the brand names left in the wake of Toys R Us’ liquidation last year.” (CNBC)
  2. SF Ballot Measure Would Limit New Offices, Tie Development to Affordable Housing “San Francisco would restrict future office development if the city fails to meet its affordable housing goals under a proposed ballot measure. The measure would reduce the amount of office space allowed by a percentage equal to the city’s shortfall in approving affordable housing, based on state-mandated goals. The advocacy arm of South of Market nonprofit and affordable housing manager Todco is sponsoring the measure with the hopes of getting it on the March primary ballot.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  3. New York Mortgage Trust’s Stock Falls on Heavy Volume After Public Share Offering “Shares of New York Mortgage Trust Inc. slumped 2.6% in very active premarket trading Thursday, after the real estate investment trust announced a public offering of common stock, which represented about 9.5% of the shares outstanding. Volume topped 7.1 million shares, enough to make it the most actively traded stock ahead of the open, and already nearly triple the full-day average. The company said late Wednesday it was offering 20 million shares to the public, and said Thursday it expected gross proceeds of $122.2 million.” (MarketWatch)
  4. Mall of American to Open Walk-In Health Clinic This Fall “A walk-in clinic will open at the Mall of America in November, offering services for both workers and customers alike. The new clinic was announced Tuesday, and will be part of M Health Fairview, a partnership between Fairview Health Services and the University of Minnesota. To be located on the third floor of the Bloomington mall’s east end, the 2,300-square-foot location will have five examination rooms. There will also be a laboratory space for tests, a radiology room and a pharmacy.” (Twin Cities Power Press)
  5. Beach Towns That Soon Could Be Under Water “There are about 13,000 miles of coastline in the 48 contiguous United States, and by the end of the century, these contours will be greatly altered by climate change. By the close of the 21st century, about 2.5 million properties worth $1.07 trillion, in cities and towns along the coastline will be at risk of chronic flooding, according to a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy organization. Chronic flooding, as defined by the scientists group, means flooding that occurs 26 times a year or more.” (MarketWatch)
  6. Bad Sign for Commercial Real Estate: the Architecture Business Is Slowing Down “All aspects of the architecture business are suddenly slowing, indicating an overall weakening in commercial real estate demand. A key read on the industry, the Architecture Billings Index, fell into negative territory in June, according to the American Institute for Architects. Inquiries for new projects hit a decade low, while design contracts also fell. ‘With billings declining or flat for the last five months, it appears that we are settling in for a period of soft demand for design services,’ said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker.” (CNBC)
  7. Orlando, San Diego Fastest Growing U.S. Tech Job Markets “According to CBRE's latest annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, tightening availability of tech talent in leading office markets has spurred hiring momentum in smaller and upstart markets in the U.S. and Canada - such as Tucson, Ariz., and Waterloo, Ont. - as expanding tech employers seek additional labor pools. Overall, big markets continue to produce the largest volumes of jobs and tech degree graduates, with the San Francisco Bay Area, Toronto and New York City adding the most tech jobs in the past five years. But several years of low unemployment rates have dampened the momentum of many leading tech talent markets.” (World Property Journal)
  8. Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital Looks to Part with $5B Portfolio Amid Other Massive Industrial Deals “Colony Capital has sold a massive four-property industrial portfolio in the Inland Empire, the latest indication it is looking to sell its entire industrial holdings. Colony sold a 745,580-square-foot portfolio in Rancho Cucamonga to Lincoln Property Company for $104.6 million. CBRE, which represented Colony, announced the deal Wednesday. The buyer, Lincoln Property, recently put a sprawling office campus on the market for sale. Dubbed Campus @ Warner Center, the property is on the market for $215 million.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Will Venture Capital Venture into Opportunity Zones? “The newest version of the opportunity zones program was supposed to be a game-changer for venture capital. In April, the IRS released updated rules for the program, which clarified how operating businesses can qualify for opportunity zone benefits. The new guidelines seemed to indicate that start-ups made the cut. That was supposed to unleash a flurry of activity from venture capital firms and start-ups to join the fun the real estate industry was having.” (Commercial Observer)
  10. Here are the Five Sites Lori Lightfoot Wants to Study for the City Casino “The city of Chicago today released a list of five sites it wants to get a close financial look at as the possible location for the city’s new casino—the first real indication of where Mayor Lori Lightfoot may be headed on the highly competitive and potentially controversial issue. The five all are in outlying South and West Side neighborhoods and each has been previously considered for a prospective casino or other major development. None is in or near downtown, though one is relatively close to the McCormick Place convention complex, and four of the five sites are publicly owned.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
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