Shopping mall operator Westfield is implementing mobile-centric retail technology in its London location to attract more shoppers back to stores. The London location is the first of Westfield's 34 shopping malls to test out technology such as navigation that works in multilevel buildings and inventory searches that tell shoppers where they can pick up a product.
If the economy and labor market stay on track, an interest rate increase would be "appropriate" in the coming months, according to comments made by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Friday. She noted that growth is picking up and the unemployment rate is nearing full employment. Still, the rate increases will be gradual to keep from triggering a downturn, she said.
Holdings of listed REIT equities among the largest managers of U.S. institutional tax-exempt assets rose 5.4% to $85 billion by the end of 2015, according to Pensions & Investments' annual survey of money managers. The survey also found that real estate equity assets under management rose 3.3% to $385.4 billion and timber assets were up 8.6% to $15.3 billion. In general, these were smaller gains than the preceding year, according to P&I.
The Finance Committee of Norway's parliament approved additional study on whether the country's sovereign wealth fund should invest in infrastructure, responding to a government white paper. In the white paper, the government ruled out the infrastructure investment. The committee also recommended a review of expectations for investments listed in tax havens, another position rejected by the government in the white paper. The $850 billion fund has asked to expand its mandate to invest 5% of its portfolio in infrastructure.
Carrefour's retail center property unit, Carmila, may launch an initial public offering, depending on the wishes of the shareholders. No decisions have been made, according to Carmila CEO Jacques Ehrmann, but the company wants to be ready. "Technically the company is working to have an (asset) extension pipeline that can be valued from the end of 2017, regardless of the decision of the shareholders," he said.
Many advisers believe that REITs are still poised to deliver strong returns for investors, even as interest rates rise due to strong property fundamentals and the market's long-held expectation that rates will rise. Once real estate becomes a stand-alone category classification later this year, interest and investment could further increase.
The growing number of foreign retailers participating in the International Council of Shopping Centers' annual convention ReCon highlights the interest they have in the US market. There were 20 foreign-based exhibitors this year at ReCon, double the number in the 2015 show. One example is Primark, which is opening a store in Pennsylvania REIT's Willow Grove Park retail center in July.
The sale of two downtown office buildings for about $50 million in Grand Rapids, Mich., indicates a healthy economy, local real estate experts say. One expert calls the fully leased buildings "super-attractive" due to recent renovations and location.
US Army veteran and broker John Jackson is helping guide fellow veterans, as well as business owners, through what he calls "the commercial real estate battlefield" with "Warehouse Veteran: Your Tactical Field Guide to Industrial Real Estate," his new book. Jackson examines leasing and owning commercial properties, as well as buying or building.
A developer is busy gobbling up properties and planning projects in Dayton, Ohio. Elway Group has made several acquisitions and anticipates making several announcements in the near future. An entertainment district may be part of those plans, with many multistory buildings featuring retail tenants on lower floors, with apartments above.
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