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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 24, 2019)

WeWork might go public as soon as September, reports Reuters. GNC will close up to 900 of its stores, according to Chain Store Age. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Three Ways to Become a Millionaire Using Commercial Real Estate “There is a lot of money to be made in commercial real estate. In many positions in our industry, people can earn from $80,000 to almost $250,000 between salary and bonuses. That’s certainly a lot of money. But when you’re talking about going into seven figures in commercial real estate, there are only three tried-and-true roles where you can create real wealth: investor, developer and broker.” (Forbes)
  2. WeWork Looking to Go Public as Early as September: Source “Shared office space manager WeWork is looking to go public as soon as September, earlier than previously expected, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. The company is expected to make its initial public offering paperwork public in August, the person said. The developments were first reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal. WeWork declined to comment.” (Reuters)
  3. It's Not Just San Francisco: Urban Housing Markets All Over the World Are Far Too Expensive “Consider a trendy city, beloved by tourists and home to a thriving economy and plenty of industry. Its housing market is starting to feel a bit strained. As an academic who grew up there put it, “Prices here began to take off and within a few years were growing at annual rates of over 15%,” after the housing crisis bottomed out. Sound familiar? No, it’s not San Francisco — nor is it New York, or even Austin, Texas.” (MarketWatch)
  4. GNC to Close Up to 900 Stores, Cutting Mall Shops by Half “GNC plans to close up to 900 stores, which may cut its mall locations in half. As part of the retailer’s “store optimization” effort, CEO Ken Martindale said it’s likely the health-and-wellness retailer will end up closer to the top end of its original optimization estimate of 700 to 900 store closures, as a result of ‘current mall traffic trends.’ Sixty-one percent of GNC’s store base is located in strip centers, while 28% reside in malls.” (Chain Store Age)
  5. Why Life Insurers’ Market Share Is Blooming Amidst Intense Competition “Twice in the last 12 months, the principals of Cardinal Point Management, a real estate investment firm based in Tampa Bay, turned to the debt markets for acquisition mortgages on office buildings the company was buying in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In August of 2018, it was looking for a $41 million floating-rate deal to fund its purchase of Coastal Tower, a 262,000-square-foot building it was hoping to renovate and reposition. And in March, Cardinal came back to lenders with a similar request, searching for a $34.4 million financing with which to buy Trade Centre South, another Fort Lauderdale commercial property.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Newark Sees Uptick in Commercial Real Estate Sales “The Newark commercial real estate market has heated up in recent months with five properties – three of them University of Delaware student housing complexes – and $105.7 million changing hands. Jenkintown, PA-based Galman Group bought the Park Place and Studio Green apartment complexes for nearly $41 million in May and will sink $30 million into a total renovation of the 702 units and market them to non-students, said Jeff Gopshtein, vice president of acquisitions for Galman, which describes its strategy as ‘luxury living at affordable prices.’” (Delaware Business Times)
  7. From Former Mental Hospital to Recreational Hub “The South Carolina Lunatic Asylum admitted its first patient in 1828. Ever since, its impressive brick wards surrounded by nearly 200 acres of leafy lawns and gardens served as landmarks in Columbia, the state’s capital. Almost 200 years later, and three decades after the last patient was discharged, the old brick buildings and expansive open space are being steadily converted into one of the largest downtown mixed-use real estate projects in the nation, a 181-acre development known as the BullStreet District.” (The New York Times)
  8. NIMBYs Beware: Latest Bold SF Plan Asks Every Neighborhood to House the Homeless “How many times have we heard our fellow San Franciscans gripe about the city’s worsening homeless crisis and then reject a proposal to help if it’s too close to their comfortable homes? You know, the ones with warm beds and stocked refrigerators and functioning bathrooms? We really want to help, they say. It’s just that our neighborhood isn’t the right place for this. Find somewhere else.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  9. Manhattan Office Rents Hit Record-Breaking $80 Per Square Foot Rates “According to new quarterly research from Transwestern Commercial Services, for the first time in history, the average rent in Manhattan's office market topped $80 per square foot, closing the second quarter at $80.37, in a strong reporting period that also saw 8.5 million square feet of leasing activity. The FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) sectors were key to the quarter, accounting for 37% of all leasing activity, with the coworking segment representing 10%.” (World Property Journal)
  10. Forever 21 Is Sending Diet Bars with Plus-Size Orders “Forever 21's online customers have begun opening the packages that land on their doorstep to find the clothing they ordered—and a diet bar that they most certainly did not. The fast-fashion retailer has started sending sample Atkins lemon bars, which proudly advertise three grams of carbs, along with online orders. It isn’t clear just which orders receive this unsolicited weight loss nudge, but judging from a growing number of complaints on social media, most of the impacted customers appear to have ordered from the company’s plus-size collections.” (Jezebel)
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