February 13, 2013

The Wednesday Wrap: Feb. 13, 2013

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

Deliquencies Reach 11-Month Low”
by Carisa Chappell of REIT.

CMBS delinquencies fell in January to their lowest level in
11 months, according to data from Trepp LLC.

The delinquency rate dropped 14 basis points in January to
9.57 percent, the lowest level since February 2012, when the rate was 9.38
percent. Delinquencies hit an all-time high in July 2012 at 10.36 percent. 

Resolutions had a slight uptick in January, as more than
$1.2 billion in loans were resolved with losses; this helped drive the
delinquency rate down, according to Manus Clancy of Trepp.

• “Commercial
Properties Lead the Charge for EV Stations”
by Jennifer V. Hughes of
National Real Estate Investor.

Landlords are installing electric vehicle (EV) charging
stations at office, retail, hotel and other commercial properties in order to
gain a competitive edge and attracts tenants and customers, Hughes reports.

Data shows that EV drivers return to a retail location once
a month, while traditional drivers might return once a quarter, and the EV
driver also stays twice as long, according to Brian Koontz of ECOtality Inc.,
the company that manages the Department of Energy’s EV Project initiative to
expand EV infrastructure nationwide.

“REITs are always looking at how they can get a competitive
edge, how they can strengthen their sustainability, how they can attract key
tenants and how they can make their property more attractive to customers,” Koontz
told Hughes. “This is one way to do that.”

Hotel-Condo Revival”
by Kris Hudson of The Wall Street Journal.

Although they were hit hard during the economic downturn,
developments that combine luxury hotels and condominiums have started again, Hudson

Trying to avoid past mistakes, developers are only building
in top markets and are incorporating fewer condos into each project.

One such project is Starwood Capital Group’s plan to convert
the former Ganservoort Hotel in Miami into a luxury, eco-conscious hotel with
417 hotel rooms and 163 for-sale condos. Starwood Capital and its partners
intend to spend more than $1 billion on a total of four luxury hotel-condo
projects in the United States.

Another example is Marriott International Inc., which has
eight hotel-and-residence projects under planning and construction in the United
States and the Caribbean.

JCPenney Store Closings on the Horizon?”
by Elaine Misonzhnik of Retail

It’s been more than a year since former Apple exec Ron
Johnson took over as head of J.C. Penney Co., and the results so far haven’t
been heartening, Misonzhnik reports. It is being reported that the company
might announce a new round of layoffs at its headquarters, and analysts are
wondering whether store closings will follow.

In third-quarter 2012, same-store sales declined 26.1
percent, and total sales fell 26.6 percent, according to J.C. Penney reports.
Fourth-quarter results have not been released.

With 1,102 stores totaling 111.2 million square feet, the
company can’t sustain itself with such limited sales, said Howard Davidowitz of
the retail consulting and investment banking firm Davidowitz & Associates

• VIDEO: “Survey
Shows International Investors Favor U.S. Commercial Real Estate”
by Carisa
Chappell of REIT.com.

In this clip, REIT.com’s Carisa Chappell sits down with Jim
Fetgatter, chief executive of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real
Estate (AFIRE), to discuss the findings of AFIRE’s recent annual survey.
Chappell and Fetgatter hit on topics including international investor sentiment
about the United States, other markets of interest around the globe and the
popularity of the multifamily sector.

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