February 19, 2014

Wednesday Wrap: Feb. 19, 2014

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

30 Percent Jump in U.S. Hotel Rooms under Construction by World Property Channel.

Key excerpt:

“The number of rooms in the total active pipeline — construction, final planning and planning stages — increased 17.6 percent from January 2013.

‘Upscale and Upper Midscale segments continue to dominate all phases of the active U.S. development pipeline,’ said Bobby Bowers, senior VP of operations at STR. ‘With nearly 64,000 rooms currently under construction, the two segments combined accounted for more than two of every three U.S. hotel rooms currently under construction.’”

Best Practices for Managing Tight Time Frames for Design-Construction Projects by Chris Harvey for Student Housing Business.

Key excerpt:

“Quick turnaround times for dormitory projects are certainly nothing new in the student housing industry. While new projects are spurred by demand for more living space, deadlines are often driven by the start of classes in the fall. This means planning, architectural and construction teams often have little time and little room for error to bring a school's vision to fruition before students arrive on campus.”

Commercial Mortgage Options Expanding – Borrowers to Benefit? by Katheryne Zelenock for National Law Review.

Key excerpt:

“The market expansion comes at an opportune time, not just because we all need relief from the difficult economy, but because a significant number of loans will mature in 2015-2017. Almost 35,000 loans, or around $400 billion, of CMBS loans will mature in that period. These loans date back to the peak CMBS years of 2005-2007, when rising property values and favorable interest rates led to a veritable ‘feeding frenzy’ of lending.”

Mall REITs React to E-Commerce Through Delivery, Experiences by Sarah Borchersen-Keto of REIT.com.

Key excerpt:

“Mall REITs and their tenants are responding to the growth of e-commerce by exploring new distribution systems and offering an experience that cannot be replicated online, according to an analysis of the U.S. mall industry by Green Street Advisors.

Lower-end malls, however, appear increasingly vulnerable to obsolescence in the evolving retail landscape. In fact, Green Street is predicting that about 15 percent of mall stock that hasn’t been able to react to new market trends will close or be repurposed in the next 10 years.”

Robust Leasing Drives Strong Year-End Performance for Major CRE Brokerage Firms by Randyl Drummer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“Leasing activity among businesses has finally joined the commercial real estate recovery, with publicly traded CRE services companies reporting a sharp increase in leasing demand at year-end 2013 from tenants across all property types and geographic regions.

While the major CRE service providers reported a rebound in their business as strong investment sales emerged as a revenue and income driver in recent quarters, leasing activity largely lagged as occupiers continued to burn-off under-utilized 'shadow' space to handle near-term expansion and postponed long-term business decisions to gauge the impact of the federal budget resolution and the impact of rising interest rates on their [businesses] and future space requirements.”

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