1. Blackstone, Gaw Capital Said to Weigh Ascendas Hospitality Bids “Blackstone Group LP and Gaw Capital Partners are weighing bids for Ascendas Hospitality Trust, people with knowledge of the matter said. The private equity firms are studying the Singapore-based hotel owner, which has a market value of S$838 million ($584 million), the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Ascendas said last month it is reviewing strategic options after receiving unsolicited interest.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Crow Holdings Looking for Deals with New $1.85 Billion Real Estate Fund “Dallas-based Crow Holdings is likely to be a big buyer of properties in the months ahead. The investor and asset manager just closed a new private real estate equity fund with $1.85 billion in capital commitments. The new Crow Holdings fund plans to purchase a portfolio of properties including industrial, retail, office, multi-family, convenience stores and gas stations, hotel and self-storage.” (The Dallas Morning News)
  3. What Does All the Land in Manhattan Cost? “What is all the land in Manhattan worth? Economists Jason Barr, Fred Smith, and Sayali Kulkarni think they know the answer based on a data set of vacant parcel sales in Manhattan. By recording all the vacant sales and doing a little math, you can interpolate the value of all the land and conclude that in 2014 the island's land was worth about $1.4 trillion — almost 10 percent of the annual income of the entire United States.” (Vox)
  4. How Bad Will the Next Recession Be? Two Market Experts Survey the Economy “Trying to predict the markets is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, but each year two investment heavyweights give it their best with highly anticipated annual predictions lists: Blackstone's Byron Wien and TheStreet's Doug Kass. Both expect an economic downturn next year, but disagree on its depth. Kass suggests that the U.S. will fall into a recession as stocks tank in 2016.” (The Street)
  5. Will Store Closings and Layoffs Fix What Ails Macy’s? “Macy's, Inc., like many of its department store peers, found tough going in 2015. In response, the owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's has announced that it will close 40 stores (four were previously announced) and eliminate more than 4,500 positions as part of its corporate restructuring. The company saw same-store sales decline 4.7 percent in November and December, which it blamed primarily on unseasonably warm temperatures in much of the U.S.” (Retail Wire)
  6. Blackstone Captures $625M of Air Rights “As part of its world record $5.46 billion purchase of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Blackstone has tucked away air rights that could be worth some $625 million. While the majority of the air rights — roughly 1 million square feet — will be transferred somewhere over the city’s rainbow through a new entity, Blackstone also retained 250,000 feet of air rights within a Stuyvesant Town associated LLC.” (New York Post)
  7. San Diego’s Center Gets the Big City Treatment “San Diego has long been a car-centric city, dominated by suburban-style subdivisions and gated communities. Now, that’s changing. Cranes downtown mark where new office towers, luxury condos and hotels will soon join the skyline. Restaurants with upscale comfort-food menus and hidden speakeasy bars line revitalized street fronts. Though downtown’s revitalization has had several waves over the years, the latest is higher-end, and picking up quickly post-recession.” (Wall Street Journal)
  8. Why People Are Flocking to Oregon “If it's cheaper, they will come. That thinking has been behind a major real estate boom in Oregon, as workers flee California, where housing is among the priciest in the nation. The question is, how long will Oregon, especially its largest city, be cheaper? Demand is outstripping supply, and pushing both home values and rents significantly higher.” (CNBC)
  9. Why Low Gas Prices Are Not Helping Retailers “Gasoline prices will remain low in 2016, but that doesn’t mean retailers can count on a big windfall from the extra cash left in shoppers’ wallets and there are three key reasons why. The limited benefit of low gasoline prices to retailers — especially food and mass retailers — is the result of three key factors shaping household spending behavior.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. Marriott Moves Forward with CO Convention Center “Development on the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center is set to begin after the closing of a $500 million construction contract. GaylordRockiesResort1Development of the long-awaited $824 million Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in Aurora, Colo., will begin following the closing of a $500 million construction from Wells Fargo Bank as lead agent on an eight-bank consortium.” (Commercial Property Executive)