Activist investors continue to hammer companies on earnings strategies despite high stock prices, and in the first half of the year they honed in on 136 companies with a $40 billion spend, according to Lazard. During that same period, they won 119 directorships, a 75% year-over-year increase.
Retailers and grocery stores are moving rapidly to open more fulfillment centers to respond to consumers' expectations and in some cases are converting closed stores into distribution centers. According to a National Retail Federation survey this year, 42% of retailers cited faster delivery of online orders as a chief priority.
Fundraising for nontraded REITs has increased for the last three quarters as newcomers enter the market, according to Robert A. Stanger & Co. The investment banking company estimates that sales could reach $5.1 billion this year compared with 2017's $4.2 billion.
Cousins Properties has a 90% stake in a joint venture with real estate investor Hines that will develop a 251,000-square-foot office building in a mixed-use development in north Atlanta. AXIS Reinsurance is taking a 15-year, 76,000-square-foot lease to serve as an anchor tenant.
Net lease retail cap rates rose a quarterly 10 basis points in the second quarter to 6.2%, according to a Boulder Group report. More owners are listing assets to sell before cap rates rise further, and deal flow has slowed.
New York REIT is under contract to sell its final asset, the Viceroy Central Park hotel, for $41 million to Arden Group. Once this deal is finalized, "the liquidation of the company's assets will be substantially complete," says CEO Wendy Silverstein, who is reportedly in talks to join WeWork in a senior role.
PREIT is beginning to see positive results from investors' perception of the REIT as a high-quality mall owner, says Joe Coradino, chairman and CEO. As it fills empty space, it is seeking "exciting, new credit-worthy tenants that meet the demands of the consumer," he says.
Consumer sentiment fell to a six-month low of 97.1 at the beginning of the month, according to the University of Michigan's monthly survey of consumers. The decline "is due to rising concerns about the potential negative impact of tariffs on the domestic economy," Richard Curtin, Surveys of Consumers chief economist, says.
The luxury retail location is transforming to a "less, but better" design, says Ana Andjelic, Rebecca Minkoff's chief brand officer. The industry is moving toward fewer small retail center locations and focusing on larger flagship locations that tell a brand story, provide experience and communicate culture.
Though the national vacancy rate at retail centers was 8.6% in the last quarter, Dayton, Ohio-area locations are lower, such as the Mall at Fairfield Commons' 5% vacancy rate. The property focuses on repurposing vacated spaces into mixed-use, consumer-focused areas and ensures that locations offer retail, entertainment, events and dining.
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