Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, August  21 – August 25

Commercial property pricing increased 0.3% in July compared to June.MSCI Real Assets

Regional stories from across the U.S. comprised the top five most read on Connect CRE for the week ending August 26. Leading the roster was a story on one of the consequences of a natural disaster, namely Tropical Storm Hilary.

As reported in Rent Caps Take Effect in 12 Counties Amid Tropical Storm Hilary, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s declaration of a state of emergency in those counties triggered Penal Code Section 396, the state’s anti-price gouging law. The law prohibits increasing prices for many consumer goods and services, including rental housing, by more than 10% above pre-emergency levels. Since these 12 counties include some of the most populous in the state, it’s safe to say a lot of rentals could be affected by the declaration. 

TV personalities crossing over from residential into hospitality served as the basis for the week’s second most-read story. Chip and Joanna Gaines designed the interiors for a new hotel opening in Waco, TX; readers got the details in Fixer-Uppers to Open Waco Hotel. Located within the former Grand Karem Shrine Building in Waco, the property is accepting reservations ahead of a Nov. 1 opening. 

Moving back into the residential sector, a property acquisition in downtown Chicago was the basis for the past week’s third most-read story, European Billionaire Buys Apartment Tower for $232M. Investment firm Ponte Gadea USA, the real estate venture of Zara founder Amancio Ortega, acquired the 45-story apartment tower at 727 W. Madison St. in Chicago’s West Loop from its developers, a joint venture of Los Angeles-based Ares Management and locally based F&F Realty. It’s one of the largest multifamily trades the city has seen in recent years. 

Connect CRE readers returned to California for the second time in the past week’s fourth most-read story. In a way, it also represented the second story in the top five to focus on a crossover between sectors. With the formerly high-traffic San Francisco Centre now losing anchor tenants and in the process of being handed back to lenders, Mayor London Breed has a plan for the shopping center.

Breed Discloses “Preliminary Design Work” for Soccer Stadium to Replace Mall stemmed from a gathering at the offices of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Providing that preliminary design work is architecture firm Gensler, working with the Breed administration. The plan is far from certain to reach fruition, though, since the city doesn’t own the mall and doesn’t have a soccer franchise to occupy the proposed stadium. 

Another regional story with a stadium and a Bay Area connection rounded out the top five. Having announced earlier this year that the team would leave Oakland, the Athletics are now moving ahead with plans for a new home in Las Vegas. Readers learned in A’s Hire Construction Manager for $1.5B Las Vegas Ballpark that the facility would be a 30,000-seat retractable-roof stadium with a projected 2028 opening. The construction manager, Mortenson | McCarthy, did the honors a few years ago for another major-league franchise relocating to Vegas from Oakland, the Raiders. 

Conspicuously absent from the past week’s top five was the office sector, which yielded no blockbuster transactions in the last full week of August. However, readers looking for in-depth analysis of the office market, which offers a surprising number of opportunities as well as pitfalls, can find it in a guest piece provided by EY and leading the latest edition of Weekender. 

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 16-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 7-10 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).