1. Real Estate's Ticking Bomb: Who Gets Hurt "Commercial real estate had a banner year in 2015, and the fundamentals of high demand and low vacancies are still driving rents higher. There is, however, a catch that could cool the market quickly, at least when it comes to financing. Investors are insisting on high yield, and the bonds backing commercial mortgages are not giving them that, so they are moving on to other products, leaving a big crack in commercial financing." (CNBC)
  2. ONE57 tower linked to global money-laundering probe "New York’s first billionaires’ building, ONE57, was funded by a subsidiary of an Abu Dhabi company linked to a global money-laundering investigation, The Post has learned. Gary Barnett, of Extell Development, started to build the 75-story skyscraper, at 157 W. 57th St., during the height of the recession when Western funding was scarce." (The New York Post)
  3. Surging Dollar General to open record number of stores in 2016 "Opening 900 stores a year is a daunting challenge, but Dollar General will likely exceed that figure in 2017 and beyond based on a new long-term financial guidelines the company shard with investors. Plans call for annual sales growth in the range of 7% to 10% driven by the combination of square footage growth between 6% and 8% and same-store sales growth of 2% to 4%." (Chain Store Age)
  4. Americans' Home Wealth Recovers $7 Trillion as Prices Firm “Home-price appreciation is a welcome development for households whose nest eggs were shattered by the residential real-estate bust that began a decade ago. The 2006-2009 housing slump reduced wealth by $7 trillion. Since then, the value of homeowners’ equity in real estate has more than doubled from a low in the first quarter of 2009, a Federal Reserve report today showed. What’s more, housing wealth is poised to reach a new record as early as the second quarter, say economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and Pantheon Macroeconomics Ltd.” (Bloomberg)
  5. Men's Wearhouse Parent Company is Closing 250 Stores “The parent company of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank is closing 250 stores, unable to stanch chronic sales declines after an ill-advised merger two years ago. Tailored Brands Inc., known as Men’s Wearhouse until last month, said it will close 80 to 90 Jos. A. Bank stores, as well as 58 outlet stores. What’s more, it will shut 100 to 110 MW Tux locations, as it shifts its tuxedo rentals business to Men’s Wearhouse stores and partner Macy’s. No Men’s Wearhouse stores will close given the strong performance of that chain.” (Fortune)
  6. Manhattan Luxury Rents Slide as Condo Buyers Seek Tenants “A condo-development boom that added thousands of luxury homes to the Manhattan market is benefiting renters willing to pay up for high-end accommodations. Buyers—in many cases out-of-town investors—are taking possession of their new apartments and seeking to become landlords. That’s swelling the number of upscale rentals available and pushing down leasing costs for wealthy tenants.” (Bloomberg)
  7. Detroit Offers an Urban Lifestyle With Affordable Luxury Homes “Last year, Kirsten Iverson and her husband, Marcus, bought a new riverfront home on the east side of Detroit, an area once obscured by junkyards and abandoned industrial buildings. Their 5,050-square-foot home in the gated Morgan Waterfront development has water views, five-bedroom suites, two garages, and a marble foyer with 18-foot ceilings. The couple paid $580,000...” (The Wall Street Journal)
  8. Why these retailers flocked to new north San Jose shopping center “Less than 18 months after acquiring the 14-acre site, the company has the project mostly leased up, with strong soft- and hard-goods interest. Its four mid-box spaces leased quickly to Sprouts Farmers Market, Ross, Homegoods and ULTA; shop space also found takers in Sleep Train, Wells Fargo, Banfield Pet Hospital and The Joint Chiropractic.” (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
  9. The Most Expensive Cities in the World to Live “A stronger dollar has propelled New York and Los Angeles into an annual ranking of the world’s 10 most expensive cities. Singapore took the top spot in the ranking from the Economist Intelligence Unit for the third straight year, followed by Zurich and Hong Kong.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. Inside Vornado’s Penn Plaza ‘War Room’ "The company is investing hundreds of millions of dollars into properties in the vicinity of the Penn Plaza district to give the buildings and public spaces “a little TLC,” as company CEO Steven Roth has put it. (The company’s properties span from Fifth to Ninth avenues between 31st and 34th streets). The portfolio is one of the largest concentrations of office space owned by one landlord in the city. All told, it’s about on par with the Related Companies’ Hudson Yards, the World Trade Center site and Tishman Speyer’s Rockefeller Center. Rents in the Penn Plaza office submarket currently average about $55 per square foot." (The Real Deal)