Here are some news and notes on retail and retail real estate from around the Web today.
- Citybiz posted two stories on the ongoing battle between CoStar and LoopNet. The first story looks at documents released by California Superior Court that seem to be unfavorable for CoStar. The second story features CoStar's rebuttal.
- A bankruptcy judge okayed Chrysler's plans to shutter 789 dealerships. For more on the possible effect of car dealership closures, check our story from last week.
- A few stories in today's Wall Street Journal are of interest to the sector. One story looked at possible relief from Treasury Department as it considers issuing rules that will make it easier for property developers and investors and their loan servicers to restructure debt. A second story explores how regional mall REIT Macerich is looking to sell assets. Company management prefers this tactic for raising cash as opposed to issuing stock or bonds, as other REITs have done. Lastly, there is a brief item about a General Growth mall closing its doors.
- In other GGP news, Reuters looked at how a ruling on the treatment of some of the REITs special purpose entities could be dangerous for the market. According to the story, some investors, lawyers and others are concerned about copycats — borrowers who would try to use bankruptcy as a negotiating tool. This would make lending riskier and could raise borrowing costs. "If GGP gets what they want this could be very dangerous for the market. A lot of people will kind of 'me too' file as well," said Lisa Pendergast, managing director of CMBS research and strategy for Royal Bank of Scotland. We also posted an update on General Growth's bankruptcy yesterday.
- In an excellent viewpoint, Linda Lowell at HousingWire explores in depth the implications that S&P's rating cuts on CMBS have for the market. There have been a lot of short stories and blurbs on this since news broke last week. But this is the first really meaty analysis I've seen.
- Llenrock Blog asks, "Does this loan look familiar?" in a post looking at how the underwriting on loans in 2005 and 2006 is coming back to bite lenders today. It's worth a look with some nice screengrabs to boot.
- Square Feet blog alerts us to the possibility of another looming commercial real estate bankruptcy--Opus West. Another Opus subsidiary, Opus South, filed for bankruptcy in April.
- A Reuters story reports that commercial real estate mortgage servicers are seeking to extend maturing loans for up to five years in a bid to stave off defaults and having to deal with distressed property.
- USA Today reported that Eddie Bauer may be headed into bankruptcy as soon as this week. Three consecutive years of losses and a high debt load may be too much for the company to overcome. The big liquidator names--Hilco and Gordon Bros.--are mentioned as potential bidders for the company's assets.
- According to an Associated Press piece, one analyst sees luxury sales starting to revive in 2011.