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.

“Expect
at Least $2B in Medical Office Portfolio Sales in 2013”
by Robert Carr of
National Real Estate Investor.

After reaching a sales volume of $2 billion in 2012, the
sales volume of large medical-office portfolios is poised to reach that mark
again this year. That’s according to a new Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) study. 

“There’s
more capital out there chasing deals than there
are properties,” Mindy Berman, managing director of JLL’s Healthcare Capital
Markets, told Carr. “It’s been a record year and a half for medical office.”

“Global
Economy, Tech Demands Reshaping Skillsets of CRE Brokers”
by Mark
Heschmeyer of CoStar.

Brokerage firms are seeking out new hires who possess highly
specialized experience and skillsets to address the real estate needs of firms
in the technology, finance, REIT and CMBS sectors, Heschmeyer reports. 

Young brokers have to have skillsets such as a thorough
knowledge of social media, e-marketing and interior building design to help
secure new business, according to David J. Rubenstein of Cresa Atlanta and
Rachel Maman of Boston Investment Realty.

Commercial brokers today also are expected to possess considerable
financial expertise, according to Chris Gary, vice president of industrial
services at NAI Hiffman. 

“Data-Center
REITs Lose Favor”
by A.D. Pruitt of The Wall Street Journal.

Data center REITs are beginning to fall out of favor with
investors, Pruitt reports. 

The two largest data center REITs — Digital Realty Trust and
Dupont Fabros Technology — underperformed the REIT market as a whole in the
first quarter. The four publicly traded data center REITs have seen returns
decline more than 6 percent over the past three weeks, Pruitt reports. 

Analysts are growing more worried about the rising capital
expenses and declining rent at properties owned by data-center REITs. They’re
also concerned that more technology companies will go the way of Amazon and
Google by building their own data centers rather than rent space from REITs,
Pruitt reports. 

Still, executives say the outlook for the REITs is positive
and point to strong dividends, cash flow and demand from small- and
medium-sized tenants, Pruitt reports.

“REIT
Exec Pay Faces 2013 Plateau”
by John Salustri of GlobeSt.com.

Although compensation for public commercial real estate
executives increased 7 percent in 2012, its highest since FPL Advisory Group
began studying compensation levels 11 years ago, the major hikes may be coming
to an end, according to the firm.

The firm predicts a plateau in executive pay growth for
REITs in 2013, according to senior managing director Jeremy Banoff.

Banoff says the REITs that are using “Say-on-Pay” provisions
that allow shareholders to vote on executive compensation could be depressing
the growth.

“Staples
to Close More Stores After Tweaking Criteria for Lease Renewals”
by Mark
Heschmeyer of CoStar.

Office supply chain Staples plans to close 40 stores this
year based on its new formula for determining whether to renew soon-to-expire
leases, Heschmeyer reports.

The chain also plans to relocate or downsize 45 stores this
year, Ronald L. Sargent, Staples chairman and CEO, told analysts this month.