Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, November 27 – December 1

The economy is now slowing from the otherwise robust first estimate of third-quarter growth.Doug Duncan, chief economist, Fannie Mae

A pair of forecast stories, a successful fundraise, development plans and a good-sized acquisition comprised the five most-read stories on Connect CRE for the post-Thanksgiving week. At the top of the list was a story that was also at the top of the week: a Fannie Mae economic forecast that greeted readers on Monday morning. 

Fannie Mae Sees Return to Economic Growth in 2025provided the latest iteration of what has been a consistent message from the GSE’s Economic and Strategic Research Group. That message has been a prediction of a mild recession in 2024, and the ESR Group has continued to sound that theme even as some economists have begun arguing that a recession next year isn’t inevitable. 

Recession or no recession, JLL is forecasting a good year ahead for the construction industry. The past week’s second most-read story, JLL: Construction Sector Poised for Success in ’24summed up the basis for the bullish projection: stabilizing costs for most (but not all) construction materials, and continuing development despite high interest rates. 

On the subject of success stories, Blackstone scored another fundraising win with the latest in its series of real estate secondaries funds. Blackstone Closes Real Estate Secondaries Fund at $2.6Bquoted the firm’s Mark Burton as expressing excitement over “the real estate secondaries market opportunity ahead of us.” 

The story was our third most-read last week, and reportedly the new fund is the fourth largest of its kind on record. For additional details on the fund and on Blackstone’s current position in the marketplace, Connect CRE’s sister website Connect Money also carried the news

Two regional stories completed the past week’s top five. TMGOC Ventures and Ritz-Carlton have plans for the historic “Savannah Skyscraper,” and those plans entail adaptive reuse. Connect CRE reported in Ritz-Carlton Eyeing “Savannah Skyscraper”, our fourth most-read story with both regional and national interest,that developer TMGOC has gotten approval to transform the former bank building into a hotel and residential space that will be operated by Ritz-Carlton. 

A story with another household name (Hines) and another sector (industrial) came in at number five last week. Hines Acquires 1M SF Chicago Industrial Campus told of the Houston-based owner-developer’s acquisition of the Chicago Prime Portfolio, a two-building property located in suburban Melrose Park, IL.  

Although the 1.1-million-square-foot campus is currently 100% leased, Hines plans a value-add capital improvement plan. The story resonated with readers both in the Chicago area and nationwide. 

Continuing our well-received Weekender series that looks beyond the dire headlines about the office sector, the fifth in the series looks at the truth about “give-backs.” To wit: owners of distressed properties aren’t simply handing the keys over to lenders nearly as often as one might suppose.  

We assembled a group of experts who go into detail about the numerous alternatives that lenders and borrowers are pursuing to avoid foreclosure and avoid getting the lender into a business line it doesn’t really want: property management. This and three other timely stories can be read in Weekender. If you’re not already receiving this mailing, you can sign up here

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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).