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

“Kroger
buys Harris Teeter grocery chain for $2.4B”
by Jayne O’Donnell of USAToday.

Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery store chain, has purchased
Harris Teeter Supermarkets for $2.4 billion, O’Donnell reports. 

The deal is the fourth-largest acquisition of a North
American food retailer in the past decade, according to O’Donnell, and means
that Kroger will now have a presence in three additional states.

Kroger is getting a group of fairly new stores in good
locations that it won’t have to remodel or upgrade, O’Donnell notes.

Harris Teeter will continue to operate its stores as a
subsidiary of Kroger. Together, the companies will operate 2,631 supermarkets
across 34 states and in Washington, D.C.

“Era
of the Smaller Office at an End? Perhaps Not”
by Glen Marker of CoStar.

With the Gen Y preference toward collaboration and
technology innovation, there has been a lot of discussion lately about smaller
office space. But data shows the change to smaller leases signed could simply be
part of a cyclical pattern, Marker reports.

Small businesses tend to shed jobs earlier in recessions
than midsize and large companies do, meaning the recent smaller office leases
have a lot to do with the business cycle as well as current trends in
efficient, collaborative spaces, Marker reports. 

As the volume of new leasing has steadily improved over the
past few years, the size of the average office lease has also grown, Marker
reports. 

“Retail
Vacancies Lowest in 4 Years”
by Dawn Wotapka of The Wall Street Journal.

The average vacancy rate for U.S. retail property fell to
its lowest level in more than three years in the second quarter, inching down
from 10.6 percent to 10.5 percent, according to a new report from research firm
Reis Inc. 

Vacancy still remains well above the lows seen before the
economic downturn; for example, the overall vacancy rate was 7.7 percent in
first-quarter 2008, Wotapka notes.

Asking rent increased from $19.13 a square foot in the first
quarter to $19.19, Wotapka reports.

“When you see home prices starting to grow again, when you
see the job market slowly recovering, all those things have come into play to
add more stability” in the retail sector, Jim Schutter, a retail expert with
brokerage Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, told The Wall Street Journal.

“Rapidly
Advancing Multifamily, Home Markets Leaving Manufactured Housing Far Behind”

by Mark Heschmeyer of CoStar.

As the multifamily and single-family housing markets rebound,
the manufactured housing segment continues to struggle, Heschmeyer reports. 

“Since peaking in 1998 at 374,000 units, manufactured home
placements have fallen by nearly 90 percent,” said Patrick Simmons, director of
strategic planning of the Economic and Strategic Research Group at Fannie Mae.

Dollar value per unit for manufactured homes is still lower
than during the crash of 2008 and per-acre values have barely moved since 2010,
according to CoStar COMP data.

During that time, there has been ongoing consolidation of
manufactured housing community owners, Heschmeyer reports.

VIDEO:
“Job Growth, Supply Top Concerns in Apartment Sector, Analyst Says”
from
REIT.com.

In this clip, Carisa Chappell of REIT.com sits down with
Dave Bragg, managing director with Green Street Advisors, during REITWeek 2013
to discuss trends in the apartment sector. They discuss the impact of housing
recovery on apartment REITs, the biggest threats to the housing market and
trends in the single-family rental market.