hen Texas State Sen. Paul Bettencourt took his seat at the panel focused on tax laws, he did so having finally achieved a long-sought success: property tax reform. “We were chasing New Jersey to be the highest tax rate in the nation. We decided to pull out and let Illinois and New Jersey stay Nos. 1 and 2,” said Bettencourt. “We’re actually going to start reducing our tax rate next year.” To understand how necessary the solution was, one must first understand the impact of the problem. To highlight it, Bettencourt cited the Harris County Appraisal District. “For almost all the major business properties, there’s actually a model of your property, specifically if you’re on income and you’re multi-tenant,” he explained. “They’ll actually estimate your income and your expenses. They’ll do a reconciliation of their models, and then they do quality control before they send out the value notices. “ Click to read more at www.rednews.com.
When the 28-acre mixed-use Hudson Yards opened in New York City this past March, many heard the term “megadevelopment” for the first time. The behemoth $25 billion project — home to luxury retail, residential and office offerings, with a public plaza anchored by an acclaimed interactive sculpture — is the nation’s largest private real estate development. When completed in 2024, it will house 16 structures and include a new school. Hudson Yards is far from alone in bringing a massive real estate development to life. In downtown Nashville, Los Angeles-based CIM planned The Gulch for a 15-city-block area with between 7 and 12 million square feet of new construction, including new streets and parks. Click to read more at www.forbes.com.
The July employment report was on par with expectations, adding 164,000 new jobs to the U.S. economy, including 148,000 in the private sector. The national labor force hit a new record total with the additional hires. The growth bodes well for commercial real estate and should help the industry avoid overheating. The national office market has shadowed the slow and steady growth of the economy. According to Transwestern research, the national office vacancy rate held steady at 9.7% in the second quarter. However, office leasing activity through mid-year was 24% lower than one year ago. Despite this decline, employment growth should keep demand for office space stable. Specifically, the office market will be driven by solid new jobs in the professional services, technology, and financial services sectors. Click to read more at www.transwestern.com.
We’re seeing digital and tech transformation in all areas of our lives. In general, this is a welcome transformation. Not only does technology save us significant time it also ensures much greater accuracy, which is imperative for improved decision making. Not surprisingly slow manual processes can be a breeding ground for human error. The tech revolution is making its presence known in the real estate world, too (albeit, with some hesitation). We’re seeing more and more brokerage firms adopting a technology-first mindset. That said, the idea of what it means to be a tech company is still loosely-defined when related to real estate. Brokerages that are self-proclaiming as tech companies rather than real estate companies allow for a wide variety of interpretations. As we watch this transition, it’s helpful to understand what this “name game” means, and how it might impact brokers, brokerages, and customers at scale. Click to read more at www.realmassive.com.
Mixed-use developments, by definition, include competing and often mutually exclusive interests. A developer wants to attract customers to the corner bistro, but those in the rental properties may not be thrilled with commotion later in the evening. Parking and traffic flow must accommodate differing demands from visitors, employees, and residents. In short, complexity is inherent in designing, developing, and operating mixed-use properties. As these developments grow in popularity – both in cities and suburbs – what are the key considerations for commercial real estate professionals? While every situation is unique, the following hypothetical case study highlights the do’s, don’ts, and a few maybes associated with mixed-use. Click to read more at www.ccim.com.
The retail sector faces well-documented struggles today. But despite these challenges, several grocery store chains are thriving. Some are doing so well, that they not only provide a boost to the retailers around them, they are helping to increase the value of neighboring homes. ATTOM Data Solutions recently studied the financial impact of grocery stores on nearby homes. To do this, ATTOM researched 1,859 U.S. zip codes that had at least one Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and ALDI store. ATTOM found that homes located near a Trader Joe’s saw an average home seller return on investment of 51 percent. Homes near a Whole Foods saw an average home seller return on investment of 41 percent. That figure stood at 34 percent for homes near an ALDI. Click to read more at www.rejournals.com.