Archive for August, 2011

Gehry Takes Manhattan

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Renowned architect Frank Gehry has taken the island of Manhattan by storm (pls pardon the pun) with the opening of his new 76-story apartment tower.
The curvy but pricey tower, known as 8 Spruce Street, is Gehry’s first skyscraper. Other notable projects include the Guggenheim Museum in Balbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Noted Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin published a great writeup/review on Gehry’s efforts in the Big Apple here.

CalPERS to Test $200M Emerging Manager Program

Friday, August 12th, 2011
America’s largest public pension fund is set to approve a plan to identify new “emerging managers” for its real estate investment program in a board meeting on August 15.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) will likely approve a five-year plan to invest up to $200 million in urban-oriented California-based commercial real estate with a new crop of investment managers.
The plan was formulated by Los Angeles-based consulting firm Crosswater Realty Advisors, led by Olena Berg Lacy and Ted Leary.
Click here to see the Crosswater recommendation to the CalPERS investment committee.

Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City Opens with a Bang

Monday, August 8th, 2011
If you live in Oklahoma City then you probably know about the city’s biggest retail story in many years, the grand opening on Friday August 5 of the new Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City.
CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE: CBL) and Horizon Group Properties, Inc. (HGPI) (OTC:HGPI.PK), joint venture partners in the project, ladled on the kudos after a successful grand opening weekend, which they noted, “Represented the tremendous strength of the project and its future” in a formal statement.
Shoppers flocked in record number to enjoy the fully leased center throughout grand opening weekend.
“In our more than 33 years of operation, CBL has never experienced a grand opening quite like this,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president and chief executive officer of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. “Shoppers from as far as 200 miles have come to enjoy a selection of stores that was not available in Oklahoma before now. We are pleased The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City opened to such a tremendous reception and anticipate this positive momentum will continue.”
“The crowds over grand opening weekend were unbelievable,” said Gary J. Skoien, chief executive officer of Horizon Group Properties. “Reports from our retail partners indicate that sales levels have handily beat plans and expectations. The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City has already proved to be a great addition to the market and we are confident in its continued success.”
The center features a wide variety of well-known designer outlets, including Nike, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Polo Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Guess, Chico’s, Coach, Banana Republic, DKNY, J. Crew, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour, Levi’s and Carters.
Located at the intersection of Interstate 40 and Council Road, The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City is the only outlet center in the state. Over 112,000 cars pass by the site daily. The center is expected to draw over six million visitors a year from a three-state area and travelers on Interstates 35, 40 and 44. In addition, following the grand opening weekend, The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City has garnered more than 40,000 Facebook friends and continues to gain in popularity.

Institutions Harvesting Bumper Crop of Returns

Saturday, August 6th, 2011
If time does indeed heal all wounds, then certainly the first half of 2011 has been most generous to the real estate returns of many institutional investors.
For example, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the nation’s third largest public pension fund, reported a 26.7% return on its real estate portfolio for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. That performance topped every other asset class in which the fund invests.
There were even glimmers of light at the end of a long tunnel of losses for the nation’s largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).
For the 12-month period ended March 30, the CalPERS’ real estate portfolio posted a 10.2% gain, the first since 2007, but that figure still lagged behind the performance of other key asset classes.
Click here for the rest of the story from National Real Estate Investor magazine online.