April 9, 2014

Wednesday Wrap: April 9, 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.

Building Healthier Master-Planned Communities by Patricia Kirk of Urban Land Magazine.

Key excerpt:

“Randall W. Lewis, executive vice president and director of marketing for the Lewis Operating Company, which has developed planned communities throughout California and Nevada, said his company adapts to meet evolving best practices for creating sustainable, healthy living environments. ‘We address change at the community level,’ he said, noting that all development is viewed through the lens of health and education.

Healthy amenities have changed over time, with dog parks and community gardens being added to the list, he said. ‘Walking and jogging trails have been the most important amenity for the past 20 to 30 years, and still are,’ he said. ‘But the design has changed to a soft-surface trail system and greenways that used to be just pedestrian walkways but now connect to community amenities.’”

Why The Seniors Housing Sector is Poised for a Great Run by Michael Bull for REBusinessOnline.com.

Key excerpt:

“During the next 10 to 20 years, a large number of baby boomers will be moving into these various types of seniors housing properties, explained George Yedinak, publisher of Seniors Housing News. Assisted living is one of the service types growing at a fast pace and adding more dementia and Alzheimer’s care, he added.

‘Owners and operators have to consider how we are going to service them and the various demographics of this group coming into retirement. This presents opportunities as well as some challenges for seniors housing developers, owners and operators,’ said Yedinak.”

Although Still Just a Ripple, Condo Development Continues With Big Urban Projects Across the U.S. by Randyl Drummer of CoStar Group.

Key excerpt:

“With apartment rents rising quickly in many markets and the single-family home market on the mend, the spreading housing recovery is reviving interest in the long-dormant condominium market. Although still a novelty in most markets, multiple large condo projects are under way in Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, especially New York City — and even in former housing bust markets such as South Florida and Phoenix.

While still well below historical construction levels, the new interest in condos is attracting interest from high level investors, who are keeping an eye on the growing condo construction and conversion market both to see if the trend may produce opportunities in more markets, and to gauge its effect on apartment property pricing.”

Sky-High Prices for Land Force Developers to Get Creative by Bendix Anderson of Multifamily Executive.

Key excerpt:

“Developable sites in the strongest apartment markets are now trading for prices that can be twice the price they traded for during the last housing boom. Some buyers may simply be hoping that the strong apartment market becomes even stronger with a fuller economic recovery.

With prices so high, developers like Mill Creek are being very careful before they commit to an opportunity. ‘We are being a little choosier about the specific sites,’ says Mill Creek’s McDonald.”

Commercial Property Deals Heading for 10-Year High by ThinkAdvisor.com.

Key excerpt:

“The issuance of commercial mortgage-backed securities, a key source of financing for commercial real estate, is expected to continue its rebound with consistent growth through 2016. Hotel occupancy rates are also expected to continue improving, while vacancy rates will decrease modestly for office, retail and industrial properties.

In addition, the forecast expects retail rental rates to rise this year for the first time since 2007.”

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