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Institutional Real Estate Americas

February 1, 2015: Vol. 27, Number 2

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  • The golden age of corporate HQs returns: Technology fortunes have triggered a resurgence in architectural grandiosity

    Years ago, skyscrapers such as Rockefeller Center, Sears Tower and the Chrysler Building were testaments to the financial might of the iconic companies that helped build America. They reached high above their respective city centers, as if to embody both their financial superiority and limitless aspirations. It was not unusual for major corporate headquarters to also acquire exquisite collections of art to embellish the interior of those landmark buildings.

  • BlackRock report shows appetite for real estate still rising

    Unusual times call for adaptive measures. In response to incredibly low interest rates, slow economic growth and continuing economic uncertainty since the global financial crisis, institutional investors have had to rethink how they construct their portfolios — and which bricks will be best to build around.

  • Construction starts forecast to climb 9% during 2015

    If you need any more evidence that the U.S. economy is gaining momentum and that its recovery is durable, look no further than construction statistics.


  • Apartment rents forecasted to rise during 2015

    More for less. That is a great economic equation. Restaurants do it all the time, gradually raising prices while giving diners progressively smaller portions of food until the falsetto begins. In the apartment business, it is working a little differently. Reis has reported that U.S. apartment vacancies have risen for the first time in five years, but rent growth has not subsided, nor will it subside during 2015, according to a 2015 multifamily forecast from Pierce-Eislen.

  • Through traffic: London's Crossrail project demonstrates how infrastructure can reshape a city

    With 40 stations linking Reading in the west through London’s city center and out to Essex in the east, the Crossrail project is transforming the real estate landscape around the British capital. The boom in projects along the line demonstrates the transformative powers of infrastructure investment, and the project will be a yardstick for western nations when they consider upgrading their own transport networks. 

  • In memoriam: Ashlee Lambrix: There's a hole in the world tonight

    Sometimes in life you meet someone who is so young, so beautiful, so full of life, so positive and so upbeat that they make you feel brighter and more alive simply by being in their presence. Ashlee Lambrix was that sort of person. 


  • Hotel industry on six-year winning streak

    Even though institutional investment dollars travel the globe, hotels have not traditionally been the kind of accommodations they seek — at least not in a big way when compared with other property types. But the hotel business has been making a stronger case for itself. A new report from PKF Consulting, a hospitality industry research firm, says that 2014 makes six consecutive years of increasing hotel room occupancy, the longest such stretch since 1983–1988.

  • State of the cycle: Assessing where real estate investments stand

    The years following the Great Recession were excellent vintage years for real estate investing. Managers that were well capitalized to take advantage of those opportunities have made great returns for their investors. Now things become more difficult. Market timing is not a sustainable strategy, but neither is ignoring the cyclic supply and demand fundamentals of the real estate markets. While it may feel premature to consider whether we are nearing an economic downturn before the economy has experienced a palpable recovery, this question is on our minds. We also question whether we are nearing an inflection point in the commercial real estate cycle. 

  • Demand for U.S. office space highest since 2006

    The weak has become strong. Office space, one of the slowest property types to recover from the economic crisis, is finally running hot. U.S. businesses absorbed 21.4 million square feet of office space during 2014, the most aggressive expansion in eight years. That strengthening demand has boosted lease rates by 70 percent.


  • Pearlmark enters JV with Resource America

    Stephen Quazzo is one of those rare Christmas Eve babies, and he received a rare birthday gift this time around. There was not a new Mercedes in the driveway. There were no keys to a new summer cottage. The CEO of Pearlmark Real Estate Partners got something better — a joint venture deal with Resource America Inc.

  • Shadow demand in U.S. housing: When living with the in-laws gets old

    The financial crisis and resulting wave of homeowner foreclosures has had long-reaching behavioral effects not easily captured in standard demographic metrics. It is not strange then that many people have missed a fundamental change in demand for rental housing, which has created an opportunity unlike any we have seen in more than three decades of investing and operating U.S. rental properties.

  • Shop Talk: A conversation with Joseph Williams

    As a founder of Brazil-based merchant bank InDev Capital, Joseph Williams is dedicated to increasing Brazil’s participation by facilitating direct joint ventures between institutional investors and large real estate developers in Brazil. Williams, an experienced entrepreneur in the real estate sector, was asked to discuss this growing direct investment trend.