In the News—Week of October 12, 2020
Around the Nation
As Halloween nears, seasonal chain moves in to fill retail vacancies
Spirit Halloween, the seasonal retailer that opens up outlets in vacated storefronts, has increased its locations for this year, The Real Deal reports. The company has opened more than 1,400 stores, even though Halloween festivities look iffy in a lot of areas. Meanwhile, rival Party City, which operates pop-up stores under the Halloween City banner, reduced its seasonal locations by 91%. The National Retail Federation predicts Halloween-related spending will drop about 8% ($8 billion) this year.
Energy & Environment
NYC buildings getting report cards, expect complaining about grades
By the end of the month, building owners in New York City will be required to post a letter grade on how they did in the New York City Department of Buildings’ rating for energy use, Commercial Observer reports. About half the buildings are expected to get a D, because any of the median buildings in other cities with similar climates get a D. People in the real estate industry are unhappy about the system. “Unfortunately, the city’s energy grade program should receive a failing grade,” Zach Steinberg, vice president of policy at the Real Estate Board of New York, says.
Hines is launching multifamily property management operation
Hines has started a new firm called Willowick Residential to manage multifamily properties, the Houston Chronicle reports. Willowick takes its name from the first apartment building developed by fonder Gerland D. Hines, who passed away in August at age 95. “We did it for all the reasons an owner-manager would want to do it. We feel we can elevate the experience of our residents,” says Lisa Newton, Hines senior vice president of multifamily operations. “Managing our product has kind of been in our DNA.”
Developer announces four-building industrial project in Lewisville
Houston-based Hines has filed plans for a four-building project near State Highway 121 in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Lewisville, The Dallas Morning News reports. The project would contain almost 900,000 square feet of space and is valued at more than $32.5 million. This adds to the more than 23 million square feet of industrial space construction in the metro area.
Optima opens 12-story, luxury apartment building in Kierland
Optima, which builds modernist multifamily dwellings, has opened a 213-unit luxury apartment building in the Kierland area near the Scottsdale airport, Multi-Housing News reports. This is the second tower of the $500 million project. The tower has one-, two-, three-bedroom apartments, as well as penthouses. Amenities include a Skydeck with a pool, spa, steam room and a running track. Optima says the tower is already 40% leased.
AMLO announces investment in urban projects in Quintana Roo municipalities
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says the federal government will invest in urban projects in Quintana Roo municipalities on the Maya Train route, Mexico News Daily reports. Playa del Carmen, Cancún, Felipe Carillo Puerto, Bacalar and Chetumal will benefit from these projects. Beyond that, López Obrador was vague about how much would be spent and what the projects are, except to say the projects will help “marginalized neighborhoods without services and with constant growth.”