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.

“Apt.
Building Boom Drives Recovery in Commercial Construction”
by Randyl Drummer
of CoStar.

Signs point to a significant increase in commercial and
residential construction in most regions of the United States, led mostly by
development in the multifamily and single-family housing markets, Drummer
reports.

In October, builders started construction on the most homes
and apartments since July 2008, according to the Commerce Department. Apartment
construction rose 10 percent in October when compared to the preceding month. Furthermore,
building permit applications for single-family homes rose to their highest
level in more than four years in October.

The demand for building design services also saw a boost in
October, with the Architecture Billings Index reaching 52.8 (anything above 50
indicates an increase in demand).

“Fourth
Quarter Retail Investment Sales Volume Promises a Spectacular End to the Year”

by Elaine Misonzhnik of Retail Traffic.

The fourth quarter is looking to be an extremely strong
period for retail investment sales, and this year’s overall transaction volume should
represent a significant increase over last year’s, Misonzhnik reports.

In October, there was a 10 percent year-over-year increase
in the sale of significant retail properties, according to Real Capital
Analytics.

“Fourth quarter is looking outstanding for this industry,”
Bill Rose of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services told
Misonzhnik. “It’s a combination of things: a) the Fed has engaged in
quantitative easing for quite some time now and b) real estate is proving to be
the favorable investment vehicle over bonds or equities.”

VIDEO:
“Storage, Lodging REITs Enjoy Strong November”
by Carisa Chappell of REIT.com.

In this
video clip
, Brad Case, NAREIT’s senior vice president for research and
industry information, discusses the impact of the holiday season on the retail
REIT market. He also explains why the self-storage and lodging sectors had
strong performances in November, and why mortgage REITs have performed weakly
recently. Case also touches on the looming fiscal cliff.

“Iowa
Fields Attract Google”
by Maura Webber Sadovi of The Wall Street Journal.

Google Inc. has just invested an additional $200 million in
a $300 million data center under construction in Council Bluffs, Iowa, bringing
the company’s investment in the state to more than $1 billion since 2007,
Sadovi writes.

As the needs of Internet users grow, mega data centers have
proven to be a fast-growing commercial real estate niche, Sadovi notes. John
Boyd of the consulting firm Boyd Co. projects global annual investments in data
centers and their equipment to rise to about $200 billion in two years, as growth
in smartphones, apps and streaming video will increase demand.

Government incentives, low-cost power, cheap land and
relatively predictable weather make rural areas like Iowa attractive for data
centers, according to Sadovi’s report. Iowa was able to entice Google with a
$9.6 million package of state-tax incentives.

“Simon,
Tanger to Partner on Two New Outlet Centers”
by Robert Carr of National
Real Estate Investor.

Simon Property Group and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers have
partnered for two new outlet centers in Charlotte, N.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Charlotte Premium Outlets is set to open in spring of 2014,
and the Columbus center, being branded as Tanger Outlets, will open in time for
the 2014 holiday season, according to Carr.

Tanger will provide site development and construction
supervision for Charlotte Premium Outlets, while Simon will handle management
services and marketing. Those roles will be reversed for Tanger Outlets in
Columbus. Both firms will provide leasing services for the two centers.