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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 30, 2020)

NMHC President Doug Bibby announced he’s stepping down in 2021, reports Multi-Housing News. Mortgage Professional America looks at a fraud case involving a New York-based multifamily developer. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Federal Reserve Holds the Line on Interest Rates “The Federal Reserve opted to leave benchmark interest rates unchanged, as expected, at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Wednesday as officials continue to monitor for signs that last year's interest rate cuts are beginning to have an effect. In a unanimous decision, the Fed's interest rate-setting policy committee, called the Federal Open Market Committee, opted to leave the benchmark fed funds rate unchanged in a range of between 1.5% and 1.75%.” (The Street)
  2. Amazon Scoops Up More Warehouse Space on Staten Island “ Inc. is expanding its warehouse operations in Staten Island as the online retail giant pushes to speed delivery to its New York-area consumers. The company signed a lease to take 450,000 square feet of warehouse space at Matrix Global Logistics Park, where it already has a massive 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center, an Amazon spokeswoman confirmed. The company plans to open a delivery station in the new space for the last legs of the customer-order process.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. California Bill to Allow Denser Housing Faces Make-or-Break Vote “After a year of heated debate, state Sen. Scott Wiener’s bid to boost housing construction in California faces a critical deadline this week. SB50, which would clear a path for denser housing around public transit and in wealthy suburbs, must pass the Senate and advance to the Assembly by Friday to stay alive.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  4. Doug Bibby to Step Down as NMHC President in 2021 “Doug Bibby will step down as president of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) next year, the longtime leader of the apartment industry association has announced. NMHC has tapped search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to help identify a successor and aims to introduce the new president at its Annual Meeting in January 2021.” (Multi-Housing News)
  5. Les Wexner, Billionaire Behind Victoria’s Secret, in Talks to Sell Brand “Leslie Wexner, the billionaire behind Victoria’s Secret, is in discussions to step aside as chief executive officer of his retail empire and is exploring strategic alternatives for the lingerie brand, according to people familiar with the matter. The discussions are ongoing and could result in a full or partial sale of Victoria’s Secret, some of the people said. The chain, with about $7 billion in annual sales, has long dominated the U.S. lingerie market but has struggled in recent years with falling sales.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. How to Underwrite Commercial Real Estate: A Beginner’s Guide “You're excited about a commercial real estate property, but you need a real estate loan. If you're involved in real estate investing, it's a good idea to understand how to underwrite real estate. Getting this loan approved won't be easy. That's because the lender's underwriter will carefully review your creditworthiness. They scrutinize things like the borrower's credit history, debt service coverage ratio, net operating income, effective gross income, and more.” (Million Acres)
  7. Between Two Super Bowls, Downtown Miami Real Estate Development Boomed to Record Levels “When South Florida hosted its last Super Bowl in 2010, downtown Miami was still reeling from the great recession and the real estate market crash. Ten years later, as downtown Miami takes center stage for Super Bowl LIV, the city’s urban core has rebounded with an unprecedented building boom that has added more than a dozen new skyscrapers, including the Zaha Hadid-designed One Thousand Museum Miami, CMC Group’s Brickell Flatiron and the massive mixed used project Brickell City Centre.” (Forbes)
  8. KBS Sells NJ Suburban Office Campus for Over $300 Million “KBS Real Estate Investment Trust II (KBS REIT II) has sold an office campus in Florham Park, New Jersey for $311 million in the largest New Jersey suburban, multitenant office sale since 2008. The buyer of the seven-building property, Park Avenue at Morris County, is a private New York City based investor backed by offshore capital. Jeffrey Dunne, Jeremy Neuer, Steve Bardsley, David Gavin, Gene Pride, Travis Langer and Zach McHale of CBRE Institutional Properties represented the seller, KBS, and also procured the buyer.” (Real Estate Weekly)
  9. CRE Stakeholders Clamp Down on Data Privacy and Cybersecurity “Commercial real estate stakeholders aren’t leaving data privacy and cybersecurity to chance in 2020. Stakeholders across the industry are clamping down as both become a pressing challenge among connected buildings, Arie Barendrecht, CEO of WiredScore, a CRE tech firm and creator of a digital connectivity rating system for the sector, tells ‘In a hyper-connected world, no company will stake its success on occupying a building with an un-secure digital infrastructure,’ he said.” (
  10. Multifamily Developer Ordered to Pay $63 Million in Fraud Case “Federal authorities alleged that Morgan ran a Ponzi scheme, financing his real estate projects in part through the sales of securities to more than 200 investors. Morgan allegedly told investors that their money would be used to improve multifamily properties. Instead, authorities said, Morgan diverted investor funds to pay off earlier investors. He also allegedly lied to later investors about prior fund performance.” (Mortgage Professional America)
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