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.

New "Tenant Star" Measures Gain Legislative Backing in House, Senate by Randyl Drummer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“The House of Representatives last week overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2126, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, which would create a ‘Tenant Star’ program modeled on the successful Energy Star labeling program for building owners. The program would establish best practices and set up a voluntary certification system for efficiency in commercial tenant spaces.”

 

Getting the REIT Tax Treatment May Get Harder by Robbie Whelan of The Wall Street Journal.

Key excerpt:

“The growth in nontraditional REITs has caught the attention of lawmakers, who are trying to raise revenue by closing tax loopholes. The intention of the REIT-related measures in the draft tax-overhaul bill ‘was to preserve the original intention of REITs and to prevent manipulation for tax purposes,’ according to a spokeswoman for the House Ways and Means Committee.”

 

MIPIM Special Report: Office & Historical Buildings to Hotel Conversions by Adriana Pop of Commercial Property Executive.

Key excerpt:

“A hotel conversion is a renovation project that involves complexity and contingencies. Complexity because there are multiple challenges that need to be addressed (architectural and design issues, technical specifications, regulations, tax and legal matters, etc.), and contingency because it’s about risk management. You’ll need the agility to foresee and manage good and bad surprises on a daily basis.”

 

Modern Medicine: How Fundamental Health Care Changes are Reshaping the Medical Real Estate Game by Al Barbarino of Commercial Observer.

Key excerpt:

“The increased prevalence of such ads is no coincidence, as hospitals and other health care groups compete for market share, medical professionals and patients. All the while, health care provider costs are increasing, as the Feds grapple with skyrocketing health care costs and, due to the Affordable Care Act, have substantially decreased Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements to hospitals.

As a result, hospitals are pushing to become more specialized and efficient, which is evident as new, and often state-of-the-art, ambulatory care and outpatient clinics spring up across New York City. The private practice all but disappears as individual doctors bogged down by new paperwork join group practices. And hospital groups scramble for the millions of people now required to be insured under the ACA.”

 

Bargain Retail Lifts U.S. Shopping Centers as Big Names Stumble by Tim McLaughlin of Reuters.

Key excerpt:

“The shift may reflect some consumer pain, but it has brought plenty of winners, too. Commercial real estate rents are rising, and many retailers, especially bargain chains, are in better shape than they have been since the Great Recession in 2008, analysts say. Shopping center vacancy rates in 60 major U.S. markets fell to 8.6 percent at the end of last year from 9.5 percent a year earlier, reflecting 38 million square feet of occupancy growth, according to Cassidy Turley research.”