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.

“Grocery
Chains Buy Up Shopping Centers in a Defensive Play”
by Jennifer Popovec for
Retail Traffic.

Grocery chains are taking defensive action to protect
themselves and control their futures by buying the shopping centers they anchor,
Popovec reports.

Large grocery chains in the United States have invested
nearly $450 million in grocery-anchored centers in the last year, according to
Real Capital Analytics. Publix has been the most active and now owns 17
shopping centers and 170 of its stores overall. Kroger, Safeway and Wal-Mart
also have followed suit.

The centers typically end up being good investments for the
grocery chains, Popovec notes, because they already understand the centers and gain
control over things they normally wouldn’t have had, like parking lot
conditions.

“Health
Care REIT Acquiring Sunrise Senior Living Portfolio for $1.9 Billion”
by
Mark Heschmeyer of CoStar.

Health Care REIT Inc. will purchase Sunrise Senior Living
Inc. for $1.9 billion. The firm will pay $950 million in cash, Heschmeyer
reports.

Health Care REIT will gain Sunrise’s 20 wholly owned seniors
housing communities and its interest in join ventures for 105 other projects. The
wholly owned communities mostly reflect Sunrise’s “mansion” prototype and are
concentrated in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C.,
Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and London.

“Start-Ups
Shake Up Office-Leasing Space”
by Laura Kusisto of Wall Street Journal.

Office-leasing business is going online, led by up-and-coming
Internet companies looking to modernize the brokerage business, according to Kusisto.

Some sites allow tenants to bypass brokers altogether and go
straight to landlords for small deals. One, called CompStak, offers access to a
database of confidential details about leases in exchange for similar information,
challenging the control of information employed by brokerage firms like CBRE
Group and Jones Lang LaSalle and data companies like CoStar, Kusisto writes.

Brokers insist that they continue to offer services that
technology can’t replace, Kusisto notes.

“U.S.
REITs Enjoy Strong Access to Capital”
by Carisa Chappell of REIT.com.

U.S. equity REITs have experienced strong funding and access
to capital in 2012, according to a report from Fitch Ratings that Chappell
details.

REITs are taking strategic advantage of the approximately
$43 billion in funding that has been raised in the first half of 2012.
“Typically, they are using the capital to fund development pipelines, pay down
lines of credit, fund acquisitions and, to a lesser extent, fund expiring debt
maturities,” Steven Marks, managing director with Fitch, told Chappell.

The retail sector has been the most active this year,
whereas the industrial sector has done the worst in terms of raising funds.

Fundraising activity is expected to be strong, but factors
like an economic slowdown and the upcoming election could cause volatility in
the capital markets, Marks noted.


VIDEO:
“Tenants Are Getting Picky About Amenity, Curb Appeal”
from Globe St.

In the clip below, Jack McNutt of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
discusses trends in tenants’ use of office space.