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.

“Restaurants
Find Less is More (Profitable) When it Comes to Square Footage”
by Mark
Heschmeyer of CoStar.

As rents for the best available spots rise, more casual and
fast-casual restaurants are seeing the value in smaller concept stores,
Heschmeyer reports.

“The smaller footprint provides an overall reduction in
rental cost and construction cost but also reduces energy use,” said Bill Spae,
CEO and president of MOOYAH Burgers, which has two restaurant models that
incorporate larger spaces for Tier 1 and 2 markets and smaller ones for Tier 3
markets.

Fast-food restaurants also are seeing the value in
downsizing, according to Jason Ryals, principal with Colliers International. They’ve
realized the drive-thru window is their main revenue source and have been
reducing seating and parking space, Ryals told CoStar.

“Close
to Its Home, Walgreen Tests Energy-Saving Ideas”
by Bruce Japsen of The New
York Times.

The addition of items like fresh salads, Redbox DVD rentals
and digital photo scanners has Walgreen’s consumption of power rising, so the
company is looking at ways to reduce its electricity use, Japsen reports. 

It is building an experimental “net zero energy store” in
Evanston, Ill., just north of Chicago, that the retailer hopes will create more
energy than it uses, Japsen reports.

The store will include more than 800 solar panels, two wind
turbines and a geothermal energy system underneath the store’s foundation. The
building planners and engineers estimate the store will use about 200,000
kilowatt-hours of electricity in a year while generating 256,000
kilowatt-hours, Japsen reports.

Although the cost of the new store will be much more than for
an average store, Walgreen hopes to recoup those extra expenses through
reductions in energy use, tax credits and government incentives, Japsen
reports.

“Lease
REITs Take a Big Turn”
by Kris Hudson of The Wall Street Journal.

Net-lease REITs—those that own properties leased to single
tenants such as fast-food restaurants and convenience stores—are seeing stocks
suffer after the Federal Reserve first hinted May 21 about policy changes that
would lead to higher interest rates, Hudson reports.

From early 2012 to last month, stocks for net-lease REITs
grew rapidly due to lower interest rates increasing REITs’ dividends. The
stocks of the five largest net-lease REITs increased anywhere from 57 percent
to 103 percent from the start of 2012 to last month. However from May 21 to now,
those stocks had declined anywhere from 11 percent to 18.5 percent, Hudson
reports.

When interest rates are low, stocks of net-lease REITs tend
to rise because they generate better yields than bonds issued at such low
rates, Hudson reports.

“Analysts
Say REIT IPO Activity Likely to Lag in Second Half”
by Carisa Chappell of
REIT.com.

The REIT initial public offering (IPO) market got off to a
strong start in 2013, but analysts are skeptical that the number of companies
going public in the next six months will match the first half of the year,
Chappell reports.

The recent sell-off in the REIT market may discourage some
companies from going ahead with plans to hold IPOs, according to Marty Cicco of
Evercore Partners.

The five REIT IPOs that have take place since the beginning
of the year generated $1.2 billion, compared to $4.5 billion raised in 2004,
which was the banner year for equity REIT IPOs, noted Jason Lail of SNL
Financial.

• VIDEO:
“Landlords Gaining an Upper Hand”
by Ian Ritter of GlobeSt.com.

In this clip, Ian Ritter of GlobeSt.com sits down with David
LaPierre, executive vice president of CBRE’s Global Retail Services Team, at
the firm’s Manhattan office. The two discuss the position of the landlord
versus the tenant in the retail market, rent increases, whether sales can keep up
and LaPierre’s takeaway from last month’s RECon show in Las Vegas.