Two suburban Chicago Sears stores that opened as traditional mall anchors in the early 1960s now illustrate two possible fates for the retailer. One store appears unkempt and shabby, while the other has been remodeled into a smaller space with modern features and tidy shelves.
The US Treasury has released new rules for investment in the Opportunity Zones that were introduced in last year's tax measure, answering many questions about the program. The rules are favorable for real estate and developers, and Michael Novogradac, an accountant for fund managers, said the rules provide "sufficient clarity for many more investments to go forward."
A slowdown in the housing sector has given apartment and home-rental stocks a boost in recent months, with REITs such as AvalonBay Communities up 9% and rental-home companies such as American Homes 4 Rent up 4.8% over the last six months. "Having pressure on home sales is a positive for the rental side of the industry," said American Homes 4 Rent CEO David Singelyn.
As Amazon gets closer to selecting the location for its second headquarters, funds are being raised to invest in the area once it is known. Other companies are investing in such firms as JBG Smith Properties, which owns a concentration of buildings in Crystal City, Va., where many believe the new headquarters will be.
Popular online brands such as Bonobos, Casper and Warby Parker have come to the conclusion that a physical presence is necessary to make a mark in retail. "You will definitely see more of these insurgents coming into brick and mortar," Jared Blank of Bluecore, said.
Office tenants are working to comply with the new generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, lease accounting standards, with some considering five-year or two-year leases instead of the usual 10, writes Anchin, Block & Anchin accounting firm partner Zurab Moshashvili. For landlords, these shorter leases can negatively affect valuations.
Sears Mexico has 95 retail locations spanning 9 million square feet of retail space and is seeing growth across the country, including the reopening of a store in Galerias Coapa, a retail center in Mexico City. Sears Mexico's e-commerce sector expects to see sales grow 65% this year.
Town Center, a retail center on the west side of Detroit, is getting new life with the addition of discount retailer Forman Mills. The property is also attracting startup local businesses taking advantage of the very low rent.
With a foreclosure lawsuit filed against it, Madison Properties USA has stalled on the renovations of Desoto Square in Bradenton, Fla. The developer purchased the property in 2017 with plans to redevelop it and change public perception about the struggling retail center, but vacant stores and slow-moving renovations concern locals.