Each Wednesday, The Wrap presents a compilation of recent noteworthy commercial real estate stories from a variety of publications. Below are links to four stories that caught our eyes in recent days.

Consumer Confidence Advances to Second-Highest Since 2008 by Jeanna Smialek of Bloomberg.

Key excerpt:

“Confidence among U.S. consumers rose in May to the second-highest level since 2008 as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy and labor market.

The Conference Board’s index climbed to 83 from 81.7 a month earlier … the New York-based private research group said today. The reading matched the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 62 economists.”

 

Commercial Real Estate: Time for Real Estate Companies to Take a Hard Look at Technology Budgets by Jennifer McLean for New York Real Estate Journal.

Key excerpt:

“As CFO of GFI Capital, a multifaceted real estate and investment firm, I'm working to nudge the classic 80/20 IT budget to a 50/50 split between maintenance and business analytics. Indeed, this means allocating significantly more capital to our technology initiatives – a concept at which many C-level real estate executives have historically balked. But, it's becoming clear that the long-term benefits of creating a sophisticated cloud-based infrastructure to create and share information in real-time far outweigh the upfront costs.”

 

Winners and Losers Emerge as Debt, Equity Capital Flowing Back Into Retail Real Estate by Randyl Drummer of CoStar.

Key excerpt:

“Malls and strip centers alike are seeing continued improvement in pricing power, as evidenced in rising re-leasing spreads and attractive buyer capitalization rates. REITs are recycling capital while private buyers are showing stronger demand for assets, a theme echoed by REIT CEOs during quarterly meetings in the days leading up to the Las Vegas retail conference.”

 

Doing More with Less Office Space by Laurie Harper of High-Rise Facilities.

Key excerpt:

“Higher density can cause considerable issues with the flow of people coming in and out of the building. A building constructed in 1980 at 500,000 square feet was designed to accommodate density of 225 square feet per worker or higher. Many of today’s occupiers are looking at 150 square feet per worker at the maximum. The building that was designed for 2,200 people coming and going each day will now need to accommodate 3,333. This increase in daily traffic can place a burden on the infrastructure of the building, particularly with traffic flow in the lobbies, elevators, and parking, not to mention the additional stress on the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems which were designed for lower occupancy.”