February 12, 2014

Wednesday Wrap: Feb. 12, 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.

Federal Govt. Getting Out of Warehouse Business by Mark Heschmeyer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“The federal government’s main acquisitions and supply services group is revamping the way it does business, a move that could see it exit millions of square feet of warehouse distribution space.

The move comes as the U.S. General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) has been coping with reduced budgets.

‘In this new environment, GSA must find new ways to provide better, faster and more efficient services to our military and civilian customers,’ said Tom Sharpe, Commissioner, FAS. “To that end, we are preparing to make important changes to our business model which will transform the way we provide supplies and services to the government.’”

Study Says REITs More Strategic About Sustainability by Sarah Borchersen-Keto of REIT.com.

Key excerpt:

“REITs are starting to target their sustainability investments more strategically to boost energy savings and maximize returns, according to an analysis of sustainability data.

RealFoundations, a real estate management consultancy firm, reviewed data provided as part of the NAREIT Leader in the Light survey by 27 REITs in the period from 2011 to 2013. The firm found that investment in energy efficiency increased 42 percent during that time. Meanwhile, annual savings on energy costs rose 39 percent. The return on investment (ROI) from sustainability projects gained 48 percent between 2011 and 2013.”

When Doctors Leave the Building by Constance Rosenblum of the New York Times.

Key excerpt:

“Forget images of hulking X-ray machines and pocket-size exam rooms framed by cinderblock. Forget the lingering odor of rubbing alcohol. New York doctors’ offices have come a long way over the years. And in their latest incarnation, these spaces are increasingly attractive as residential properties, enticing buyers with their prime locations, sometimes-lofty ceilings and unrivaled privacy.

Often found in rental buildings turned co-op, these properties are typically on the first floor, with limited light and minimal views. They were originally sold as doctors’ offices. But in an era of rapidly shifting medical economics combined with scant inventory, a growing number are becoming available and drawing residential buyers, according to brokers who specialize in this market.”

Economy Watch: Debt Ceiling Lumbers Back Onto National Stage by Dees Stribling of Multi-Housing News.

Key excerpt:

“According to published reports on Monday, the leadership of the House majority was working on a bill that would raise the debt ceiling, as well as make a few politically popular adjustments to government spending, such as a bump up in a cost-of-living increase for veterans’ pensions. Meantime, the House minority is insisting on a debt ceiling measure with no strings attached. A House vote could come as soon as Wednesday on some version of the debt ceiling measure, and most observers expect the ceiling to be raised again, probably with votes from both sides of the aisle, as happened last year. Investors didn’t seem to be too worried about the whole matter on Monday, with equities markets moving only tepidly.”

Consolidation Trend Just Getting Started? by Linsey Isaacs of Multifamily Executive.

Key excerpt:

“As the upturn matures, and the low-hanging fruit of distressed acquisitions disappears, owners are trying to find different ways of adding value to their enterprises, and portfolio buys are one big way of doing so.

‘We’re in the part of the cycle where major owners of properties and investors are doing more creative ways to extract value,’ says Dan Fasulo, managing director of New York-based market-research firm Real Capital Analytics. ‘It’s not 2 or 3 years ago where prices are depressed, there are distressed properties, etc. … that game is over. So your next thing is what do you do?’”

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