1. Big Risks as Landmarks Preservation Commission Moves to Prune Proposed Gems “What makes a landmark? The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is about to decide the fate of 95 properties that have been languishing, some of them for decades, on its calendar. Late in 2014 the commission’s chairwoman, Meenakshi Srinivasan, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced that the slate would simply be cleared.” (The New York Times)
  2. Next Wave of Store Closings May Hit This Sector: Real Estate Pro “It isn't every day you see a sign boasting 40 percent off in the window of a luxury shop. But as real estate executive Andy Graiser walked past one of Prada's New York City boutiques a week before Christmas, that's exactly what he encountered. Though the design house is working through some internal issues, Graiser, founder of A&G Realty, said such deep discounting at a luxury shop is indicative of broader woes across the luxury space — troubles that could result in the segment being next in line to trim its store fleet.” (CNBC)
  3. Former L.A. Times Printing Plant in O.C. May Become Creative Office Space “Kearny Real Estate Co. plans to spend more than $100 million to turn a former Los Angeles Times plant in Costa Mesa into 300,000 square feet of the kind of trendy, open office space many companies desire but that's in short supply in Orange County. ‘Tenants like a lot of volume, they like a lot of light, they like a lot of interaction between the indoors and outdoors — that's hard to find,’ said Jeff Dritley, managing partner of the Century City developer.” (L.A. Times)
  4. Vornado Closes $700M Refi of 770 Broadway “Vornado Realty Trust has cemented a $700 million loan to refinance existing debt on 770 Broadway in Noho, executives at the firm announced during its earnings call this morning. The 1.2 million-square-foot office property sits between East 8th Street and Wanamaker Place. The identity of the lender was not immediately clear. The interest-only financing package carries a five-year term at Libor plus 1.75 percent, which was swapped for four and a half years to a fixed-rate of 2.56 percent.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. 6 Risks of Buying Real Estate Overseas “When buying real estate overseas, your primary source of information on the market and the specific properties you consider will be the real estate agent. And, while certification requirements and rules of conduct are formal and reliable in North America, this is not the case many places overseas. It's important to prepare and protect yourself before setting off to shop for a new home in the foreign country where you're considering retiring.” (U.S. News & World Report)
  6. Shared Office Space – The “Uber” of Commercial Real Estate? “Cosharing is the wave of the future. In fact, some say it has already become a fixture in the commercial real estate market. The numbers are impressive. For example, in June of 2015, WeWork, New York City’s largest commercial real estate tenant and a leader in the coworking space, received a valuation of $10 billion. A recent survey of over 200 major commercial real estate organizations found that 40% are considering coworking spaces.” (The National Law Review)
  7. America’s First Shopping Mall is now a Bunch of Gorgeous Micro-Apartments “Providence, Rhode Island has a hot new development in an elegant old building. When it was built 188 years ago, the Arcade Providence was America's first shopping mall, hosting 48 different boutiques. Now those shops are being transformed into 48 tiny apartments. Redesigned by Northeast Collaborative Architects, the three-floor building boasts classical Greek architecture: ionic columns, stone walls, and a large central atrium lit by skylights.” (Business Insider)
  8. Commercial Banks and Commercial Real Estate: How Healthy?  “Concern continues to grow about the commercial banking sector as the yield curve flattens out and as price disinflation seems to be spreading. Furthermore, more and more attention is being given to the exposure of commercial banks to derivatives with total outstanding derivative contracts exceeding a little more than twice world assets.” (Seeking Alpha)
  9. 1,131 City-Owned Lots Have Languished For Decades: Stringer “City officials are feuding over (the lack of) development at more than 1,000 vacant lots owned by the city. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has allowed as many as 1,131 properties lie idle, with some sites largely abandoned, and many others where projects have been severely delayed, according to an audit by the office of Comptroller Scott Stringer.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Here’s a First Look at U of C Medicine’s $270 Million Trauma Center, Expansion Plan “University of Chicago Medicine expects to pony up nearly $270 million to reopen an adult trauma center and expand services on its South Side campus. The plan, called Get Care, aims to fill a gap in programs the community has called for and boost access in other areas.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)