It's a tumultuous time for traditional department stores, and Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette put together a team last year called What's New, What's Next to help guide the retailer's future. "It may be smaller, it may be more virtual, but I'm committed to bricks, and it's our job to figure out what to do with them," he said.
Commercial mortgage-backed securities issuance likely will hit $90 billion in 2017, according to Kroll Bond Rating Agency. Commercial real estate capital flows are healthy, and the danger of large numbers of defaults under the expected wall of maturities is passing, Kroll noted.
Two buyers are snapping up 14 of Piedmont Office Realty Trust's office buildings for a minimum gross sales price of about $425.9 million. When the sales close, the REIT will have exited the Detroit, Nashville, Phoenix and South Florida markets.
Retail centers are investing in an array of offerings, such as gingerbread-making classes and temporary skating rinks, to attract foot traffic during the holidays. They are also investing as much as $150,000 to $500,000 per center in holiday decorations, according to JLL.
Houston-area apartments had a wave of new renters after the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. However, these renters are expected to move out next year as homes are repaired, and the market may not see enough demand to fill the vacancies or support the newly heightened rent levels.
The retail industry is being painted with a broad brush in the stock market, says Kimco Realty CEO Conor Flynn. Kimco's strategy is to focus on location, he says, noting that retailers tell him that while there is a lot of space available to rent, there is not a lot of good space.
US retail property owners are spending more to dress up properties and add features such as ice skating, gingerbread-making classes and winter castles to bring in customers this holiday season. Retail centers often spend $150,000 to $500,000 apiece on holiday decor, says Greg Maloney of JLL.
Retail property managers in Aurora, Ill., are upbeat about the upcoming shopping season, noting that retail is part of the holiday tradition. At Fox Valley Mall, General Manager Scott Samson says retailers at the property are hoping for as much as a 40% rise in sales during the holidays.
The 1.1 million-square-foot Colorado Mills shopping center is open after completing significant repairs after a May hailstorm. The property could remain competitive because it has a large concentration of specialty and outlet stores, plus a Super Target and a movie theater.
Investors are parking cash in exchange-traded funds to stay out of overpriced equities and fixed-income securities that pose interest-rate risk. "It's clear that investors continue to hum along and remain unfazed by geopolitical tensions and Washington rhetoric, evidenced by the $40.4 billion deposited into equity funds in October," Matthew Bartolini of State Street Global Advisors said.
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