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.

Affordable Multifamily Housing: Paths to a Painless Solution by Myron Curzan and Marta Lopez of Urban Land Magazine.

Key excerpt:

“How does one build or rehabilitate housing for these income levels while getting the appropriate returns for a successful development? How does the country provide housing for teachers, firefighters, police officers, health care workers, and first responders who earn no more than the median income?

The solution is not that complicated. Combining a small amount of local government subsidies with developer-led programs can make housing affordable to people with a spectrum of incomes, ranging from half the median income to the median income. And it can be done without use of federal subsidies.”

 

Shrinking Office Spaces Slow Recovery by Eliot Brown of the Wall Street Journal.

Key excerpt:

“Employers have only reoccupied about 52 percent of the 142 million square feet that went vacant amid the economic downturn, with occupancy in the second quarter growing by 2.8 million square feet, according to numbers set for release Tuesday from real-estate-data firm Reis Inc.

The office vacancy rate remained unchanged in the second quarter at 16.8 percent, still near its post recession peak of 17.6 percent in 2010 and well above the 12.5 percent rate in 2007.”

 

Hotels Bring Unique Brand Experiences to New Travelers by Keith Simmel and Rob Uhrin of Cooper Carry for Hotel Business Review.

Key excerpt:

“Technology has become very engrained in society and is a huge priority for next generation travelers. Connectivity to the Internet and social media is considered by many to be a necessity. Hotel brands are responding to technological demands both through operational adjustments and a host of amenities. The process of designing and constructing a new ground-up hotel can often take three to five years, from start to completion. This can create challenges because technology is evolving at an even faster pace. What is new one year may become obsolete by the next. Hotel developers, owners and designers are finding that it is increasingly important to be on the cutting edge in order to keep up with changing technology and to be one step ahead of the traveler preferences and demands.”

 

Investment Strategist Pleasantly Surprised by Health Care, Net Lease REIT Sectors by Allen Kenney of REIT.com.

Key excerpt:

“Tim Pire, managing director with Heitman, joined REIT.com for a video interview during REITWeek 2014: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York. Pire serves as chief investment strategist of Heitman’s global real estate securities group.

Looking at the performance of the REIT market, Pire said the health care and triple-net lease REIT sectors represent pleasant surprises in their performances in 2014. Pire attributed some of their success to interest rates trending lower than expected.”

 

Pace of Commercial Development, Construction Picking Up Speed by Randyl Drummer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“‘Overall, it appears that activity has recovered from the winter slump, and design professions should see more positive than negative numbers in the coming months,’ AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker noted.

That said, some U.S. regions and industry sectors are reporting stronger growth, while others are seeing continued weakness, and ‘volatility continues to be the watchword in the design and construction markets,’ Baker said.”