Each Wednesday, The Wrap
presents a compilation of recent noteworthy commercial real estate stories from
a variety of publications. Below are five stories that caught our eyes in
recent days.

“Economists
Expect Continued Improvement in Commercial Real Estate”
by Carisa Chappell
of REIT.com.

Commercial real estate industry fundamentals are expected to
improve significantly over the next few years, according to respondents in the
Urban Land Institute/Ernst & Young Real Estate Consensus Forecast for April
2013.

Equity REITs are projected to post double-digit returns in
2013 and 2014, according to the semi-annual survey.

The foundation for the projected improvement is the
expectation that GDP growth will re-accelerate to 3 percent or more in 2014 and
2015 and that the unemployment rate will decline steadily to 6.5 percent in
2015, according to survey contributor and NAREIT vice president Calvin
Schnure. 

“Tax
Plan May Provide Boost"
by Sarah Krouse of The Wall Street Journal.

As part of his budget proposal, President Obama has proposed
changes to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (Firpta) that would
exempt foreign pension funds from paying taxes on gains in real-estate sales,
Krouse reports.

It’s a move the U.S. real-estate industry has been seeking
for years and one that would likely lead to more U.S. investments by foreign
pension funds, according to Krouse.

However, Congress still has to approve the proposed
exemption. As part of a larger package of incentives for infrastructure
investment, it would cost $2.2 billion over the next 10 years, according to the
2014 budget.

The move is showing for the first time that the White House
understands the impact of Firpta, Jim Fetgatter, chief executive of the
Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, told The Wall Street Journal.

“Tied
to the Mall, J.C. Penney and Macy’s Need Each Other”
by Diane Brady of
Bloomberg Businessweek.

As Macy’s and J.C. Penney battle it out in court over their
respective deals with Martha Stewart’s retail line, the lawsuit is indicative
of the idea that although the two retailers are competitors, they need each
other to survive, Brady reports.

The two chains are under the same roof in some 400 malls
nationwide, and as anchor tenants, they drive foot traffic to each other.
Almost half of Macy’s stores are in malls with a J.C. Penney’s store. A drop in
traffic to one store could curb sales throughout an entire mall, Brady notes.

“Hotels
Find Partner in Retail Space”
by Hotel Management.

The hotel industry is revisiting the pre-recession trend of building
hotels as part of mixed-use developments and master-planned urban lifestyle
centers, Hotel Management reports.

Recent examples of the trend include the 140-room Cambria
Suites at Rockville Town Center in Rockville, Md., and the 300-room Hyatt Regency
at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va., both of which broke ground last year,
Hotel Management reports.

Successful hotel-retail combinations involve large regional
shopping centers that provide a sense of “destination,” according to Jim
Butler, founding partner of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, which worked
on the Tysons Corner Center project.

VIDEO:
“Disappointing Jobs Report At Odds With Other Indicators”
from REIT.com.

In
this clip
, Matt Brechard of REIT.com sits down with Calvin Schnure,
NAREIT’s vice president of research and industry information, to discuss the
most recent jobs report and its impact on commercial real estate. Schnure also
examines the varying reports coming out on the overall economy’s recovery.