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: 

Underground Atlanta to Get Denser and Taller, Renderings Suggest, by J. Scott Trubey, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Key Excerpt:

“New renderings of the project by South Carolina developer WRS show two glass and steel towers and mid-rise structures over a grocery store and the existing tiered downtown shopping mall.”

U.S. REITs Outpace S&P 500 in First Half, by Sarah Borchersen-Keto, REIT.com

Key Excerpt:

“Turning to specific REIT segments, data center REIT returns for the year were 37.8 percent, returns for free-standing net lease retail were 34.5 percent, and returns for single-family home REITs were 25 percent. Returns for industrial REITs were 22.9 percent.”

Retail REITs Luring Customers with Rewards Programs, by Sarah Borchersen-Keto, REIT.com

Key Excerpt:

“In a bid to push foot traffic across their portfolios, retail REITs are now turning to loyalty programs that gives customers instant access to promotions and cash-back rewards around their malls and shopping centers.”

Commercial Tenant Demand for U.S. Office Sector Shows Signs of Cooling in 2016, by Michael Gerrity, World Property Journal

Key Excerpt:

“The U.S. office sector absorbed 14.7 million square feet of space in the second quarter of 2016, up 24.9 percent from the levels observed in the prior quarter but down 36 percent from a year-ago. In the first half of 2016, net absorption was off by 34 percent from the strong levels registered in the first half of 2015.”

Open-air Retail Rents, Vacancies Improve in Second Quarter: Report, ICSC

Key Excerpt:

“U.S. mall vacancies increased slightly to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, the first quarterly increase since the fourth quarter of 2014, Reis says. High-end malls are performing particularly well. Second-quarter asking rents slipped by 0.4 percent at malls, while effective rents rose by 0.5 percent.”