December 18, 2013

Wednesday Wrap: Dec. 18, 2013

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.

OUTLET WARS: Retailers, Developers Compete Against Malls and Each Other in Battle for Shopping Dollars by Randyl Drummer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“During the decade-long period in which almost no new regional malls have been built, development and expansion of retail outlet centers has blossomed as growth-minded store chains seek to open new locations and attract more value-conscious shoppers.

Over the last two years in particular, outlet center development has taken off within markets already heavily served by retail space as retailers have relaxed or abandoned agreements with landlords preventing them from opening outlets within the same trade area as stores carrying full-price merchandise.”

New Supply Outpaced by Obsolescence, According to Harvard Joint Center by Linsey Isaacs of Multifamily Executive.

Key excerpt:

“The aging stock has heightened the need for maintaining and investing in more supply. Smaller apartment buildings are more likely to be older; this year’s Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies’ America’s Rental Housing report indicates that 13 percent of rentals built before 1960 have some structural issues that will be difficult to rectify by rehab. Overall, about 3.1 percent of the nation’s rental stock is considered ‘severely inadequate.’”

Owners Ask More from Managers by Rob Cord for Globe St.

Key excerpt:

“Today, the tide has turned, and owners have focused on acquiring and holding assets while sustaining and maximizing value.

As a result, today’s market calls for a higher level of management — one that is more comprehensive than the touch-and-go real estate management of the recession.

The difference lies in scope and depth of services. Today’s managers must be able to provide a myriad of services that go beyond traditional property management.”

A Murky Real-Estate Market Comes Into Focus by Robbie Whelan of the New York Times.

Key excerpt:

“The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-regulator, is planning rule changes that would require so-called nontraded real-estate investment trusts to improve disclosure on fees and to more quickly report on changes in the value of properties in their portfolios.

The move comes amid a boom in demand for these types of funds, which buy office buildings, stores and other commercial real estate and send most of the properties’ income to shareholders. Unlike typical REITs, shares in these funds don’t trade on public exchanges, making them less liquid.”

Energy-Efficient Buildings Can Pay Off With Tax Credits by Dori Eden for Student Housing Business.

Key excerpt:

“Developers in the multifamily industry are faced with the decision of whether to build their projects to more energy-efficient standards. The focus to date for many has been on whether the prospective tenants will pay more in rent for that ‘green’ project. Findings have indicated that residents, especially students, prefer to live in a community that is environmentally focused and energy efficient, but they are not willing to pay more for these types of features. With that in mind, developers may need a more compelling reason to build more energy efficiently, and aside from good public relations, and lower operating costs, there is another very irresistible reason to have their projects designed with energy efficiency in mind.”

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