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Not Done Yet: Blackstone To Acquire Excel Trust for $2 Billion
In its second multi-billion dollar deal of the morning, The Blackstone Group agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Excel Trust for $2 billion. As of year-end 2014, Excel owned 38 retail properties totaling 7.2 million square feet of GLA, which...

Walgreens Stepping Up Cost Reductions; To Close 200 Stores
In its first earnings announcement since the year-end combination of Walgreen Co. and Alliance Boots GmbH, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. disclosed plans to close 200 stores. The new closings follow the company's previously announced $1 billion cost...

Pier 1 Imports Begins Reducing its Store Count
With 60% of its store leases expiring in the next three years, Pier 1 Imports is looking to close slightly more than 9% of its store base. The Fort Worth-based retailer ended 2014 operating 1,065 stores. In its first quarter earnings conference call...

Have Money, Will Partner
With more money chasing fewer deals, institutional investors are increasingly turning to joint ventures (JVs) as a popular alternative ownership structure for selling, buying and developing commercial real estate assets. An abundance of deals for all...

Sweden’s Akelius Invests First $12 Million of $1 Billion Buying Plans for U.S. Apartments
Swedish investment firm Akelius Residential Property bought the first of what it expects will be many more U.S. multifamily properties. Headquartered in Stockholm, Akelius is one of the largest real estate companies in Sweden, with a portfolio of...

Updated: Luxury Retail Chains Saks, Nordstrom Relying on Off-Price Stores to Lead Growth
Luxury department store operators Hudson’s Bay Co., which owns Saks and Lord & Taylor, and Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. are increasingly relying on their discount operations to drive growth this year as both announced plans for new store openings. Hudson...

Market for Single-Family Rental Bonds Growing at Home and Abroad
Single-family rental (SFR) property owners and lenders have noticeably stepped up their activity in the capital markets in order to monetize their sizable investments in the sector. Year-to-date single-family rental bond issuance is $2.7 billion vs....

Given Green Light, Fannie and Freddie Begin Selling Non-Performing Loans to Private Investors
It did not take Freddie Mac long to take advantage of the new enhanced requirements issued by its overseer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), allowing the sale of non-performing loans announced just last month. At month’s end Freddie Mac executed...

New Breed of Coworking Firms Aims to Rethink Traditional Creative Office, Executive Suite Concepts
Don't call them "executive suites" any more. The outdated term no longer seems to fit the remarkable make-over of shared workspace concept in its latest incarnation as a location and also lifestyle venue for today's young entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups...

Latest ULI Consensus Forecast Sees Stage Set for Sustainable Growth into 2017
Describing growth projections in U.S. real estate markets as 'sustainable' and 'solid, a survey of 46 leading real estate economists and industry analysts said they expect the current economic expansion to continue at healthy and steady levels over the...

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