September 11, 2013

Wednesday Wrap Sept. 11, 2013

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.

Off-Campus Housing Is Back-to-School Bargain”
by Dawn Wotapka of The Wall
Street Journal.

Operating on the belief that schools were having trouble
building enough housing, the student-housing market has swelled to the point of
oversupply, which means cheaper rents for students, Wotapka reports.

record 51,000 new off-campus beds are expected to be delivered in college towns
nationwide this year … ,” Wotapka writes. “But developers appear to have
overshot the mark in numerous markets. Some of them failed to take into account
other construction that was planned, say experts. Others misjudged future
enrollments or the willingness of students to pay up for off-campus living at
the time when many families are still pressed in the aftermath of the economic

Fashion Retailers Trimming the Fat from Store Portfolios”
by Mark
Heschmeyer of CoStar. 

Many women’s clothing retailers are looking to reduce their
store portfolios, Heschmeyer reports.

Among those that have recently announced major real estate
restructurings are Abercrombie & Fitch and The Jones Group. The Jones Group
plans to close approximately 170 underperforming stores by mid-2014, and
Abercrombie & Fitch will shut down about 40 to 50 stores by the end of the

Michael S. Jeffries, Abercrombie &
Fitch’s CEO, has said the reason for the slowdown in sales isn’t totally clear.
"Our best theory is that while consumers in general are feeling better
about the overall economic environment, it is less the case for the young
consumer," Jeffries told Heschmeyer. "In addition, we believe youth
spending has likely diverted to other categories. We assume that these effects
will abate at some point, but until we have seen clear evidence of that, we are
planning sales, inventory and expense levels on a conservative basis.”

Still, retailers like Chico’s FAS, Ann Taylor and Victoria
Secret are planning on opening 50 or more stores this year, according to a new
CoStar report.

Completes $1.1B Office Buy”
by David Phillips of

Cousins Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust
based in Atlanta, has completed its purchases of Greenway Plaza, a 10-building,
4.4 million-square-foot office portfolio in Houston, and 777 Main, a
980,000-square-foot, Class-A office tower in Fort Worth, Phillips reports.

Crescent Real Estate Holdings LLC sold the properties for
$1.1 billion. 777 Main is “one of Forth Worth’s largest office properties and a
significant piece of the city’s skyline,” Phillips reports.

Expands Manufacturing in Jackson County”
by Douglas Sams of the Atlanta
Business Chronicle.

Jackson County, a rural area located 45 minutes northeast of
Atlanta, is continuing to enjoy economic development wins because of its
location and the amount of available land, Sams reports.

Toyota Industries Compressor Parts America Co. and TD
Automotive Compressor Georgia are partnering on a new $190 million manufacturing
facility that is expected to create 120 jobs, Sams reports.

The two companies already have developed more than $600
million of manufacturing facilities in the county, Sams adds.

“Quick Study: REITs Dip in August”

In this
, Brad Case, NAREIT’s senior vice president for research and industry
information, discusses the REIT market’s underperformance in August and its
outlook for September.

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