Posts Tagged ‘finance’
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Mensch of the Week:
Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors
Back in January, the Philadelphia Business Journal announced that Allan Domb, a local realtor specializing in luxury condominiums, had been appointed the 88th president of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors.
As usual, I’m about two months late in congratulating Mr. Domb, but better late than never.
Allan Domb is a major force in Philly’s luxury residential niche, marketing and leasing properties in the city’s most desirable locations: Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square, the Delaware waterfront, etc. As a longstanding member of Philly’s real estate community, he was a clear choice as new leader for GPAR, which calls itself “The voice of real estate in Philadelphia.”
Unfortunately, high-demand neighborhoods like those of Center City are generally rare for Greater Philadelphia. A trade organization such as GPAR is essential to this city, where the commercial and residential markets have significant room to grow–provided the right conditions are in place. Read the rest of this entry »
Thankfully, I don’t fly nearly as often as I used to. I’m okay with flying–it’s the airports I have a problem with. No matter how uncomfortable a four-hour flight on Southwest may be, it’s still preferable to the endless, serpentine Security line.
Though waiting and finally getting through the metal detectors is rarely an airport highlight, I can think of one group of people who are extremely grateful for the work the TSA does (no matter how many water bottles and toenail clippers the TSA confiscates). That group is the retail sector.
After all, the TSA keeps airline passengers captive until (hours later) their plane finally begins boarding. For retailers, few things are more desirable than a captive audience. Where but airports (okay, and movie theaters, and theme parks) can you find sodas selling for $5 apiece?
While the freedom to charge exorbitant prices for simple comestibles provides a great advantage for companies that operate airport terminal retail, it hasn’t caused these operators to become complacent. In fact, some are now working to emulate the strategies of North America’s most successful, high-end shopping malls, bringing in the sort of luxury retail associated with Fifth Avenue. Read the rest of this entry »
Last fall, Philadelphia-based Brandywine Realty Trust (NYSE: BDN) raised a few eyebrows when it announced a new joint venture with luxury home builder Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL). Since it’s known as an owner/operator of office properties in the Mid-Atlantic (and to some extent Texas and California), the REIT’s decision to embark on a major multifamily venture in the suburbs suggests the company has realized the current limitations of the office sector since the real estate downturn.
The foray into multifamily is a reassuring move from an investors’ perspective. Since markets and asset types vary so widely, a little diversification within a REIT’s portfolio seems ideal for any stability-minded investor. Since Brandywine brought Toll Brothers on board (which itself is venturing into newish territory by developing apartments), the REIT has an experienced partner for the project. This is essential, since inexperience is a common liability when diversifying.
Now, Brandywine is upping the ante, moving from the mainstream–multifamily–to something more specialized: student housing. Read the rest of this entry »
Week in Review for February 2 – 8:
- The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”), signed into law last year, will likely help more investors participate in real estate ventures formerly restricted to high net worth investors, reports Commercialappeal.com. This securities act, intended to boost American start-ups, will likely promote a “crowdsourcing” approach to fundraising among some real estate companies.
- Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni provides a look at the brand-new, Philadlephia-area headquarters of Endo Health Solutions (NASDAQ: ENDP). The 320,000-SF property was developed by Trammel Crow Co. and IMC Construction.
- Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LRY) announces a new office development for the Great Valley Corporate Center, close to Endo Health Solutions’ new property. Liberty will develop a 200,000 SF office for financial giant Vanguard Group in a $55 million project slated for completion in the summer of 2014.
- As New York City’s multifamily market grows increasingly competitive, developers seeking higher returns pursue multifamily opportunities in the Bronx, New York’s poorest (but least expensive) borough. The borough saw a 63% increase in investments in 2012, reports Ariel Property Advisors.
- Real Estate Investment Today reports fundraising for retail REITs throughout the world grew by 80% in 2012, based on data from SNL Financial. Retail REITs raised a total of $22.5 billion last year, the majority of this capital going to publicly traded American retail REITs. Read the rest of this entry »
In Saturday’s list of the Top 10 International Markets for Hospitality Acquisitions, which I shamelessly pilfered from Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), I glossed over one of the more striking markets on the list. For 2013, say the investors responding to JLL’s survey, the number one international market for hospitality investment is Vancouver, British Columbia.
Indeed, while the U.S. commercial real estate industry has fixated on investor favorites like New York City and Washington, D.C., and newly thriving CRE markets like Austin and Houston, this cosmopolitan city on Canada’s west coast has seen increasingly strong activity among a variety of asset types. Obviously, hotels (especially of the high-end variety) are looking especially promising to foreign funds and investors, which means such properties are yet to reach an expected peak in valuations. But other property classes are looking quite strong as well. Read the rest of this entry »
Obsessively tracking and compiling lists of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, I’ve been told, is “such a guy thing.”
Either way, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), an organization dedicated to such a guy thing, has lots of great lists and features on their website. Here’s their current ranking of the Top 10 Future Tallest Buildings in the World:
10. Manara Warisan Merdeka, Malaysia (height: 1,969 ft.)
9. Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Saudi Arabia (1,972)
8. Lanco Hills Signature Tower, India (1,982)
7. Triple One, S. Korea (2,034)
6. Shanghai Tower, China (2,073)
5. Wuhan Greenland Center, China (2,087) Read the rest of this entry »