1. Rouse Agrees to be Acquired after Brookfield Raises Bid “Rouse Properties Inc. agreed on Thursday to be acquired by real estate asset management company Brookfield Asset Management Inc. in a deal valued at $2.8 billion, after Brookfield raised its per-share bid by 7.4%. Under terms of the deal, Brookfield will pay $18.25 for each Rouse share outstanding, up from the original offer made in mid-January of $17 a share, and 2.8% above Wednesday's closing price of $17.75. The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of 2016.” (MarketWatch)
  2. The Reality of the Commercial Real Estate Boom “Most of the good news is restricted to multifamily units, downtown offices, hotels and a couple of specific manufacturing structures. Investment in natural gas infrastructure is skyrocketing, and railroad capex has also shown strong growth. But the vast majority of manufacturers, hard-hit by the rising dollar, are cutting back. In the industrial sector at large, commercial property price indexes have plateaued.” (Forbes)
  3. NorthStar Realty Hires UBS to Advise on Possible Recombination “NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., a U.S. mortgage real estate investment trust, hired a division of UBS Group AG to advise on a potential recombination with NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc., the company from which it was spun off in 2014. The REIT’s board formed a special committee that will be composed of independent directors who aren’t also on the board of NorthStar Asset Management, including a new director to be appointed shortly.” (Bloomberg)
  4. Kohl’s to Dip its Toes into Outlet Stores, Smaller Formats “Kohl's plans to make a lot of interesting moves this year with new formats and underperforming stores after the company reported another lackluster quarter of financial results. As part of the company’s efforts to find new and innovative ways to drive sales, in 2016, Kohl’s plans to: pilot a new smaller format Kohl’s store, opening seven of these stores in various regions around the country; add two additional Off-Aisle pilot stores in Wisconsin; and open 12 Fila outlet stores, which will mark Kohl’s first entry into the outlet space.” (Chain Store Age)
  5. Best Cities for Originator Investor Clients “Real estate is often a good investment and that is no truer than in a number of American markets. HomeUnion, a real estate investment management firm, crunched the numbers and determined the top 10 American markets to invest in real estate based on cap rate (rents minus expenses in relation to property value). ‘Other asset classes underperformed in 2015, while single-family rental investors saw healthy returns in terms of income and appreciation in markets across the country,’ Steve Hovland, manager of research services at HomeUnion, said.” (Mortgage Professional America)
  6. 5 Things to Know Before Buying Land “Just because somebody is willing to sell you land doesn’t mean you can do anything you want with it. From zoning issues to water rights and surveying, along with tests to ensure a septic system can be built on the land, an undeveloped plot of land is full of opportunity and risks. Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re buying a plot of land.” (MarketWatch)
  7. JLL Reshuffles Management, Appoints Christian Ulbrich President “Global commercial brokerage powerhouse JLL is separating the roles of president and CEO. Christian Ulbrich – who heads the JJL’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – will serve as the company’s new president. Ulbrich will take charge of managing the company’s regional operations across the world, and will seek to grow the firm through acquisitions, according to a news release.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Broker Dealers That Sold UDF REITs to Face Investor Claims “Independent broker-dealers that sold the distressed series of UDF real estate investment trusts could soon be facing arbitration claims from angry investors, according to Alan Rosca, a plaintiff's attorney.  The firms that have been most prominent in Mr. Rosca's discussions with UDF investors are: IMS Securities Inc., Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc., Centaurus Financial Inc. and VSR Financial Services Inc. Those four firms were not the only ones that sold the UDF REITs, but are the most widely named in discussions with investors, he added.” (Investment News)
  9. Miami’s Building Boom Might Be Cooling, but Certain Developers Will Turn Out Fine “The data bear out that Miami’s real estate market has cooled. Last year, construction starts in the Miami metropolitan area slowed 8 percent year-over-year, according to a Feb. 4 Dodge Data & Analytics report. For Class A office space, vacancy dropped 700 basis points, and rents topped out at more than $40 per square foot for the last three quarters of 2015, Cushman & Wakefield’s fourth-quarter 2015 report for Miami-Dade County indicates.” (Commercial Observer)
  10. Assessing Ways to Establish the Value of Philadelphia’s Vacant Land “When Gillen and Meyers Research partnered with the Philadelphia Land Bank to find a way to develop a model to predict prices for 12,000 vacant parcels in the city, how close a property was to a dry-cleaning establishment was just one of 10 variables that affected it. Those variables change with location of the vacant parcel, of course, Gillen told an audience of developers and others this week at the Pyramid Club in Center City.” (Philly.com)