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EB-5: CRE’s Favorite Political Quagmire

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There are programs at both the state and federal levels designed to encourage investment and development in economically sluggish neighborhoods--in both major cities and rural areas. These programs range from state tax-incentive programs such as Pennsylvania's Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ)…

Poor Door No More

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  The staggering value of Manhattan's residential assets has created a fairly surreal real estate market, an economy of "too much of a good thing." Consider some of the ways in which Manhattan's residential scene, particularly its upscale/luxury market, has…

Footing the Bill for Affordable Housing

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  As a general rule, real estate development, whether residential or commercial, takes place in response to demand. Sure, we all know that isn't always the case--in the Philadelphia/South Jersey areas, we've seen a few hotels and casinos built with considerable financing…

Lessons from the Private Sector

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Retail mega-REIT Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) owns or has a stake in 264 million square feet of real estate worldwide. By contrast, the General Services Administration–the government agency responsible for federal property and logistics–manages 354 million rentable square feet. Considering the fact that it operates almost 100 million SF more than the world’s largest real estate company, I’d say the GSA is a pretty big landlord. However, in the public sector as much as the business world, enormity has its liabilities. In the case of government agencies, the GSA very much included, this includes inefficiency and waste.

As the federal government struggles with budget shortfalls and a perennial threat of spending cuts for just about every agency, a great deal of attention has come to the age-old problem of doing more with less. In the business world, this is a necessity; inefficient companies are outdone by competitors and lose the confidence of investors. Historically, the government has faced much less pressure to streamline its operations. After all, the U.S. government has no competition and its investors (by which I mean U.S. taxpayers, not China) have gotten used to the status quo. 

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