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.

U.S. Chains Continue to Up Store Opening Plans by Elaine Misonzhnik of National Real Estate Investor.

Key excerpt:

“RBC researchers estimate that the chains in their database have increased the number of stores slated to open over the next year by 2.5 percent since January, to 41,918 new locations. The same retailers also increased the number of stores they plan to open over the next two years by 2.8 percent, to 78,647 locations. Restaurant operators, discount department store chains, children’s apparel retailers and gift sellers accounted for a significant portion of additional planned openings.”

 

New "Tenant Star" Label to Provide Energy Savings Perks for Occupiers by Randyl Drummer of CoStar. 

Key excerpt:

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first launched Energy Star for Buildings in 1995 to provide landlords and facilities managers with an incentive to improve energy performance and cut operating costs. Efforts to make tenants larger stakeholders in energy savings date back several years and have encountered a number of hurdles in the politically divided Congress.”

 

REIT Returns Slide in April by Sarah Borchersen-Keto of REIT.com. 

Key excerpt:

“Brendan Maiorana, an equity research analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, noted that REITs did well in the beginning of the year, ‘so there’s been a little bit of retrenchment relative to other equity sectors.’ He added that some investors also see the potential for future equity issuances, which may have been another factor in their hesitation during April.”

 

Why Apartment Investors Should Write off the Popular Jobs-per-Demand Metric by Jay Parsons and Shane Squires for Property Management Insider.

Key excerpt:

“There’s another reason why the jobs-to-demand ratio fails as a rough estimator of future trends. The apartment industry’s traditional demand metric measures absorption of available units. Absorption occurs when a renter leases an apartment unit. That’s one unit absorbed. But that metric doesn’t tell us how many people wanted to rent that same unit. In undersupplied markets like San Francisco, pent-up demand pushes potential demand capacity far beyond actually achievable absorption. Because absorption depends not only on tailwinds like job growth but also on the availability of units, the ratio is heavily skewed.”

 

Economy Watch: Will the Economy’s Continuing Slow Growth Affect Real Estate Development? by Dees Stribling of Multi-Housing News.

Key excerpt:

“Indeed, some parts of the residential business remain fairly optimistic, such as seniors housing developers. Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market remains in positive territory for the first quarter of 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ 55+ Housing Market Index, which also came out in Monday.”