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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 1, 2019)

Members of Nordstrom’s founding family want to boost their stake in the retailer to more than 50 percent, reports the Wall Street Journal. Forbes looks at the 12 improvements that could create higher returns on commercial property sales. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Nordstrom Family Prepares New Proposal to Increase Stake in Retailers “The family behind Nordstrom Inc. is seeking to strengthen its grip on the department-store chain following a decline in its shares that has stoked tension on the board. Members of the founding Nordstrom family are in the early stages of discussing a proposal to boost their roughly one-third stake to over 50%, according to people familiar with the matter. It isn’t clear how the family would increase its stake—one possibility is through a share buyback at a premium, one of the people said—and there is no guarantee it will follow through.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. The Biggest Mall Owner in the U.S. Could Be the One to Save Retailers on the Cusp of Going Out of Business “The biggest mall owner in the U.S. Simon Property Group on Wednesday said it’s considering more opportunities where it would invest in a retailer to help keep it afloat. ‘I think it’s very possible — we’re going to be very smart about it,’ Simon CEO David Simon said on a post-earnings conference call when asked if he would consider investing in more of the landlord’s tenants. ‘We’re certainly as good as the private-equity guys when it comes to retail investment. And so, I wouldn’t rule it out.’” (CNBC)
  3. The 20 Best Cities for Millennials Who Want to Buy a Home, Where Housing Is Affordable and Jobs Are Strong “Millennials are delaying homeownership, but they might find house keys in their hands sooner rather than later depending on where they live. Clever Real Estate recently looked at the best cities for millennials to buy a home — with a focus on cities that are both affordable and appealing — by using data from the US Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Zillow.” (Business Insider)
  4. First Look: The Container Store Debuts New Retail Concept “The Container Store has set its sights on custom closets with a new store concept that offers a personalized design experience. The home storage and organization products retailer has opened a new format under the banner of The Container Store Custom Closets at its redesigned and remodeled location at the Farmers Market, adjacent to The Grove in Los Angeles. It is the chain’s first-ever store dedicated to closets and another is already in the works.” (Chain Store Age)
  5. Commercial Property Sales: 12 Improvements That Could Lead to Bigger Returns “When a property owner is considering selling a commercial property, then part of the process is looking at what can be done to make the site more attractive to buyers in order to help earn more through the sale. Improvements vary in complexity and cost, and not all of them make sense for every building. To find out more about which kinds of improvements are worth consideration, members of Forbes Real Estate Council discuss some of the changes owners can make in order to bring about the most return when reselling a commercial property.” (Forbes)
  6. Once a Retail Shrine, Flagship Stores Lose Their Shine “It used to be considered the retailer’s crown jewel — a large format store on a swank corridor that showed off the best of what a brand had to offer. But now the so-called flagship store is disappearing from high-profile shopping thoroughfares like Manhattan’s Madison Avenue and Chicago’s Magnificent Mile because of skyrocketing rents and the shift to online shopping.” (Associated Press)
  7. How Rising Rents and a Changing Population Are Changing Housing Trends in Naperville “For years, Naperville boomed as residents flocked to the suburb, seeking its desirable schools and upscale zip codes. But now, as the city’s growth slows and the population ages, some city leaders and advocates are worried about rising rents and the number of homeowners facing high housing costs. In recent years, more of the city’s residents are spending more on their rent than what the federal government considers affordable. And about one quarter of the city’s homeowners face costs considered not affordable.” (Chicago Tribune)
  8. 18 Colleges and Universities with the Coolest Dorm Rooms “When someone says the words, ‘college dorm room,’ the first things that come to is mind probably not luxury and comfort. More likely, the words evoke images of cramped rooms, beds resembling concrete slabs, and horrifying communal bathrooms. Some colleges are trying to change that. With the price of college rising, some schools around the country are trying entice new students with apartment style living, fancy recreational facilities, and even free laundry.” (Business Insider)
  9. Should You Sell Your Investment Property to Reach Your Goals Faster? “Taking the idea of trying to time the market out of the equation, how do you know the best time to sell a house with equity? I get this question from even the savviest investors all the time. I was just reading some articles from an experienced investor who I know well and have a high level of respect for. He mentioned something that got me thinking — I don’t know for sure if I agree or disagree, but it is an interesting topic.” (Forbes)
  10. One Bryant Park Lands $1.6B CMBS Refi “Bank of America is leading a $1.6 billion refinancing on the One Bryant Park office tower in Midtown, according to a Kroll Bond Rating Agency report. The deal is set to close on August 21, according to KBRA. It will combine a $950 million commercial mortgage-backed securities loan from the bank with $650 million in previous public-assisted financing from 2009 on the collateral located at the intersection of West 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas.” (Commercial Observer)
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