Cousins Properties and Parkway Properties will merge, resulting in a combined company with 41 properties in the Sun Belt. Cousins CEO Larry Gellerstedt will lead the company. The REITs will spin off five Houston-area properties into a new firm called HoustonCo.
Analysts expect REITs to benefit when real estate takes on its own classification within the S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI stock indexes. The change could reduce volatility and raise valuations for real estate stocks. "This change will have a far-reaching impact, as nearly everyone in the investment community uses GICS as a framework for portfolio planning and analysis," said Cohen & Steers portfolio manager Thomas Bohjalian.
Retail investors are increasingly interested in Japanese REITs, in part because of the Bank of Japan's negative interest-rate policy. REITs are buying properties farther from Tokyo, which increases risk. Some worry that the market is overheating.
A recent Self Storage Investor Survey from CBRE's Valuation & Advisory Services reports strong fundamentals for the sector, with increasing income and occupancy and manageable new supply. "Investor confidence in the sector remains high," said R. Christian Sonne of CBRE.
Washington REIT is shifting its focus from the cooling office market to the still-hot apartment sector, one reason for its plan to acquire an Alexandria, Va., asset for $245 million, according to CEO Paul McDermott. "We continue to see demand outpacing supply," he said about multifamily. "We don't see that changing in the near term."
Demand for trophy assets in New York City has dropped off because of financial-market uncertainties, but pricing is high and fundamentals such as occupancy, rental rates and absorption remain strong, said CBRE CEO Robert Sulentic. The growing technology sector will sustain the office market, which Sulentic predicts will see supply increase only 3% in the coming years.
A South Dakota law effective May 1 requires online retailers selling at least $100,000 of products into the state or completing 200 transactions to collect sales tax. The law authorizes the state to sue retailers who fail to register, and officials could pursue such a case to force courts to consider overturning federal tax policy.
Millennial dads like shopping with their kids, a Mintel report states, and retailers need to begin marketing to this often overlooked demographic. Some stores are catering more to these men, ages 18 to 34, by offering in-store experiences, such as a Portland, Ore., retailer that offers free Wi-Fi and classes for dads.
Mid-America Real Estate's "Chicagoland 2016 Shopping Center Report" shows that development activity in the area is relatively low compared with a decade before, and expectations are that a 27% decrease will occur in 2016, at just 1.51 million square feet planned. However, smaller-footprint locations and those anchored by grocers are desirable.
City Ventures plans to redevelop the long-vacant Brentwood Shopping Center in La Vista, Neb. The developer may build a $200 million "urban destination" featuring 200,000 square feet of retail space, 100,000 square feet of office space and 350 apartments. Construction could begin this fall on the project, which will also feature dining and transform La Vista Falls golf course into a public park.
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