Wells Fargo Bank, owner of Sunnyvale Town Center in California, told the city it plans to sell the property to a joint venture among Hunter Properties Inc., J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the Sares Regis Group of Northern California. The 36-acre property's sale could help move it forward after the project stalled when previous owners defaulted on the loan.
A REIT spinoff should be a company-specific decision despite the currently high real estate prices, says Jim Sullivan, managing director at Green Street Advisors. A spinoff could be the right path for one company, while a sale-leaseback or traditional financing could be better options for others, he says.
Nippon Life Insurance Co. hopes to raise $2.4 billion from pension funds and banks in what could be the largest REIT in Japan. It is targeting returns of 4% to attract investors dismayed by the zero yields of government bonds. The fund is expected to open next year.
Chinese families have become the largest group of overseas homebuyers in the US for the first time this year. They are having a disproportionate impact in some markets, such as San Francisco, and have bought high-end properties in New York. Now, their attention is shifting to the middle of the US.
Activist investor Jonathan Litt has acquired a 7.4% stake in American Residential Properties, according to a regulatory filing. He said the company is poorly managed and could need new directors to increase shareholder value.
This shopping season's trends will not focus on specific must-have gifts, as no one item emerged as a must for shoppers. The unseasonably warm temperatures have left department stores with a surplus of warm clothing, which could lead to discounting for shoppers. And, Fung Business Intelligence Center reports that the top 20 toys this year will be 36% more expensive than they were last year, with many toys costing more than $100.
Mobile showrooming or mobile pre-shopping is more important to retailers this year than ever. Companies need to make sure that physical locations and mobile work together, especially with more brands providing special promotions via smartphones and using lookbooks, Alex Samuely writes. Smartphone-specific deals and exclusive items are one way companies are drawing customers, as mobile pre-shopping will not likely replace, but rather augment in-store traffic, he writes.
California retail landlords may see increased tax bills as some tax revision advocates push to stop government budget shortfalls by applying taxes separately to commercial properties, resulting in a higher rate. If the change occurs, it could affect other states as well.
Black Friday deals for Target and Amazon are bundling Micron memory cards with GoPro cameras thanks to information derived from online sales. Micron studied the attachment of its products' sales with a variety of camera options and showed retailers they were missing out on increased revenue opportunities. "The irony here is we actually used online data to drive an in-store promotion," said Micron's Wes Brewer.
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