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.

“Retail
Real Estate Cheer Momentum for Online Sales Tax On Capitol Hill”
by Randyl
Drummer of CoStar.

Many of those in the retail real estate industry see the
advancement of the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 as a critical step in
equalizing the battle for shopping dollars between bricks-and-mortar stores and
online retailers, Drummer reports. 

Last week, the U.S. Senate approved a procedural measure to
allow debate to move forward on the legislation. If passed, it would allow
states to require Internet retailers with $1 million or more in annual out-of-state
sales to collect sales taxes for the state and local governments of the buyers,
Drummer reports.

“Why should online retailers be able to take advantage of a
tax-free situation?” Greg Maloney, president and CEO at Jones Lang LaSalle
Retail, told CoStar.

“Entertainment
Tenants Can’t Save All the Struggling Retail Centers”
by Elaine Misonzhnik
of National Real Estate Investor. 

As online retailers drive sales away from traditional big-box
chains, retail landlords are increasingly looking at entertainment and
restaurant tenants to fill vacant space left by closed large-format retailers,
Misonzhnik reports.

Landlords are looking for tenants with natural protection
against online competition, such as the growing number of dine-in movie theatre
chains. These non-traditional tenants offer an experience that landlords say
can’t be duplicated online, Misonzhnik reports. 

Movie theaters aren’t expanding rapidly enough to fill holes
in every struggling shopping center, however, and a movie theater isn’t enough
to make or break a center, Misonzhnik notes.

“DLA
Piper: Executives Feeling Bullish”
by Brian J. Rogal of GlobeSt.

Eighty-five percent of the nearly 200 top executives
surveyed in April by DLA Piper feel bullish about the real estate market, according
to the law firm’s 2013 State of the Market survey. The firm’s previous survey
in October 2011 found only 30 percent felt optimistic, Rogal reports.

Although the economy has been slow to recover, executives
seem to be encouraged by easier access to capital, according to DLA Piper.

In contrast to the 2011 survey, respondents now see
healthcare facilities as the most attractive investment, in part because of the
growth of the sector under Obamacare, according to the survey.

“Home
Prices Score Highest Annual Gain Since 2006”
by Nick Timiraos of The Wall
Street Journal.  

Home prices rose 9.3 percent in February from a year ago,
the largest growth rate in nearly seven years, according to Standard &
Poor’s/Case-Shiller’s home-price index report.

The index tracks 20 cities across the United States, all of
which posted an increase in prices versus one year ago for the second straight
month.

The rise in prices was driven by sharp drops in the number
of homes listed for sale and the growing demand for home purchases, Timiraos
reports.

Atlanta’s prices rose 16.5 percent, the largest increase in
that market in the 21-year history of the Case-Shiller series. Prices were up
23 percent in Phoenix, 18.9 percent in San Francisco and 17.6 percent in Las
Vegas, Timiraos notes.

“Private
Real Estate Fundraising Declines to 10-Year Low in First Quarter”
by Carisa
Chappell of REIT.com.

Fundraising for private real estate investment reached its
lowest level in 10 years in the first quarter of 2013, according to data from the
research firm Preqin.

Private equity funds raised $5.2 billion in the first
quarter, the lowest quarterly total since third quarter 2003. This compares to
the $22.6 billion raise in fourth quarter 2012, according to the firm. 

Funds with a primary focus on North America raised the most
capital in first quarter 2013, Chappell notes.