In the News—Week of February 28, 2022

 In The Title Trove


Attention Kmart shoppers: Chain is down to four stores

Kmart, which once operated about 2,400 stores in the United States and Canada, is about to close two stores, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports via That will leave the chain with just four stores in the U.S. Two are in northern New Jersey, one is on New York’s Long Island, and one is in Miami. At its peak, Kmart employed about 350,000 and was the parent company for PayLess Drug Stores, the Borders bookstores and Sports Authority. “It’s amazing to remember that (Kmart) started out the same year as Walmart and Target in 1962. Kmart had its day but wasn’t able to define its market as clearly as the other two discounters,” said Vicki Howard, author of From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store. 

Energy & Efficiency

Energy efficiency company in Seattle raises $7.5M in funding

Seattle-based Allumia, which provides energy-efficiency resources and loans customers the money to pay for them, has raised $7.5 million in a “Series A2” round, Geek Wire reports. CEO Aaron Block started Allumia in 2013. The company underwrites loans 5 to 7 years for its services and equipment, which cost between $50,000 and a $5 million. Companies have little or no upfront costs. The new funding was led by JW Asset Management. American Electric Power and Duke Investments also invested.


Foreign investors bet nearly $1 billion on Houston industrial real estate

Foreign investments in industrial real estate in the United States rose 152% in 2021 — and a good chunk of that wound up in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. Figures from JLL Capital Market show a record $19.5 billion of investment from outside the country went into the industrial market, with $950 million flowing to Houston. Other markets showing big jumps as well were Memphis, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Indianapolis, as well as traditional industrial markets such as Dallas and Chicago. 


Dallas-Fort Worth multifamily market attracted almost $30B in investment 

The Dallas-Fort Worth area led the nation in multifamily residential real estate investment in 2021, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Figures from CBRE show the United States saw records in multifamily sales. North Texas saw $27.9 billion in sales, making up 8.3% of the U.S. total. Dallas ranked third in units added, with 15,300 new units in 2021. Fort Worth ranked 17th, with 6,200 new units. “While supply headwinds are strong in some markets, overbuilding is not a concern, since vacancy rates remain persistently low,” the report says.


Tempe Council gives OK on $1.8 billion development on the lake 

The Tempe City Council voted unanimously to authorize a $1.8 billion mixed-use development project on Tempe Town Lake, AZ Big Media reports. South Pier at Tempe Town Lake will include apartments, condos, retail, a hotel and offices. The plan is to build it in seven phases over 15 years. The site has had multiple failed development projects.


Mexico leads the way in hotel pipeline for Latin America   

Mexico leads the way for Latin America in the hotel construction pipeline, reports. Figures from Lodging Econometrics show Mexico had 207 hotels and 38,671 rooms in the construction pipeline at the end of 2021. Brazil, which is usually the region’s leader, saw record-low projects and rooms with 97 hotels and 15,901 rooms. Peru (32 hotels and 3,903 rooms), the Dominican Republic (21 hotels and 4,874 rooms) and Columbia (19 hotels and 2,913 rooms) rounded out the top five counties. They accounted for about two-thirds of the rooms and projects in the region. Overall, the region’s pipeline experienced an 11% decline in projects and a 7% drop in rooms.

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