After years of strong commercial property markets, many entrepreneurs are turning attention to giving away their fortunes. Companies that once made ad hoc donations have developed foundations and systematic giving programs.
In self-storage markets, scattered signs hint of a slowdown. In cities such as Columbus, Ohio, customers can get the first month's rent for $1. Shares of the average self-storage REIT lost 3.4% in the first four months of 2007, according to the FTSE NAREIT Equity index. With housing sales falling, some investors worry that fewer homeowners will be storing lawnmowers and computers.
When Centro Properties Group, a publicly traded Australian company, acquired New Plan Excel Realty Trust for $6.2 billion in February, it sent a message to the real estate investment world that REITs with weak growth prospects are vulnerable.
Private equity is pouring into hotels, and RLJ Development has joined the flood. Controlled by Robert L. Johnson, the Bethesda, Md.-based real estate company last month closed its RLJ Lodging Fund II at $743 million.
To attract active retirees, plenty of rental developments offer spiffy clubhouses or classes in conversational Italian. But a new California project goes one step further, focusing on a single theme — the arts.
The office market in Midtown Manhattan is blazing hot, with asking rents at prime buildings topping $100 per sq. ft. That has sent some tenants heading for Northern New Jersey where it is possible to find rents in Class-A buildings for less than $35 per sq. ft.