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:  

Staples Finds New Use For Its Stores: Office Space by Drew Fitzgerald and Suzanne Kapner, Wall Street Journal

Key excerpt:

“The retailer is joining other chains including Sears Holdings Corp. and Macy’s Inc. that have carved off sections of their stores to other companies in an effort to improve store productivity and to give shoppers, increasingly tempted to buy online, another reason to stop by.”

• Dead, Ugly Malls Turned Into Productive Real Estate Again by Dallas Duo by Maria Halkias, Dallas Morning News

Key excerpt:

“They talk about turning malls inside out, running a street through the middle and bringing in tenants that people want. There’s no magic formula, because each property has a different set of circumstances, they say. The common thread is their willingness to do the local homework required to find out how to turn a dying mall into a vibrant, productive place again.”

High M&A Volume in Manufacturing Creates Opportunities for Industrial Owners by Robert Carr, National Real Estate Investor

Key excerpt:

“Savvy industrial property owners and investors can win business that will come from the mergers by helping firms understand the compatibility and inherent value of their real estate footprints early on in the due diligence phase, and determine the potential operational cost savings for the merged portfolios, Matter notes. This would involve placing real estate executives on the initial deal team, identifying redundancy risks and markets where dispositions might be called for, and then acting quickly on integration.”

• Office Property Market Posts Strong First-Quarter Growth by Eliot Brown, Wall Street Journal

Key excerpt:

“The amount of occupied office space grew by 10 million square feet in the quarter, and 45 million square feet over the prior 12 months, the strongest yearlong period since 2007, according to real-estate research firm Reis Inc.”

• Higher CMBS Defaults Expected in 2016 by Elaine Misonzhnik, National Real Estate Investors

Key excerpt:

“Between lower overall issuance, the adoption of regulatory changes by banks, the high probability of a second interest rate increase in 2016 and property fundamentals being negatively affected by low oil prices in certain markets, “the outlook becomes slightly dubious for the more-than-$200 billion in non-defeased, non-delinquent loans coming due between now and the end of 2017,” Trepp researchers write.