DAILY READS: Jan. 2, 2020

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How Can Real Estate Companies Prove Their Commitment to ESG?

“The longest-standing and most basic reason to pursue ESG-related goals—the moral or altruistic angle—has rarely been enough to shift a company’s focus away from its profit goals. In recent years, more arguments have been made that ESG-focused behavior can improve returns. Perhaps just as important to corporations is fear of negative perception, which has grown at least as much as the profit argument.”

Cuomo Signs Design-Build Bill to Speed Up City Construction Projects

“Mayor Bill de Blasio cheered Cuomo’s approval late Tuesday of the NYC Design-Build Act, which allows about a dozen city agencies to issue a single contract for the design and construction of major infrastructure projects. De Blasio says the method could save the city hundreds of millions of dollars on upcoming public-works projects.”
—Crain’s New York Business

Bankers, Builders to Open 85,000 S/F Queens Industrial Center

“With its 85,000 s/f of space across three buildings occupying an entire city block, the newest building from GMDC is poised to reinvigorate the local economy.”

—Real Estate Weekly

Quantum Real Estate Advisors Brokers Sale of a Multi-Tenant Retail Building in Melrose Park

“’This was an outstanding opportunity for the buyer to acquire a 95 percent occupied shopping center at a favorable yield with significant upside. The property benefits from an increase and upgrade in tenancy, making it one of the more desired locations in the market,’” said (Quantum Vice President Jason) Lenhoff. “’The buyer has potential opportunities with an outlot development(s), leasing some vacancy and increasing rents over time. This was an all-around excellent opportunity for all parties involved.’”
—Real Estate Journals

Editorial: California Finally Acted on the Housing Crisis; Will 2020 Be Even Better?

“There has been some grumbling that (Governor Gavin) Newsom’s results don’t match his rhetoric. That’s true. The governor does have a penchant for overpromising. But we prefer to cut him some slack on this one because it’s unrealistic to think a governor can reverse decades of political and NIMBY intransigence on housing in one year. And the fact is, California did make real progress.”
—Los Angeles Times

Warburg Pincus-Backed Retail Platform Buys 5 Indonesian Malls for $123M

“Nirvana Wastu Pratama, better known as NWP Retail, has agreed to buy the set of shopping centres from entities affiliated with Indonesia’s Lippo Group, according to announcements by the company and its partners in the transactions on 31 December, as the four-year-old operation expands its holdings in the Southeast Asian nation of over 270 million people.”

21 Boston-Area Projects to Watch in 2020

“The new year is upon us, and these 21 projects in particular are worth following during the next 12 months. They are either large in scope or ambitious in purpose—or both—and are set to collectively add thousands of housing units to a region starved for the stuff and hundreds of thousands of square feet of office, lab, and retail space.”
—Curbed Boston

Will the Lehigh Valley Become a Hip Hub in the Next Decade? Business Leaders Predict That and More for the Region

(Don Cunningham, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.:) “I foresee the Lehigh Valley finally garnering national recognition for our spectacular economic renaissance in all three cities and throughout the region and Billy Joel being forced to rewrite his 1980s song ‘Allentown,’ declaring that the only ‘standing in line’ occurring here is to get into the Chamber’s annual meeting to see [Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO] Tony Iannelli’s cannon entrance.”
—The Morning Call

Gary Barnett Gets Candid About the Condo Boom of the 2010s and What’s to Come

“One significant difference is we’ve never had such a [sustained] period of time where capital was so cheap. Essentially, if you had money in the bank you got 0 percent return. So we had a flood of cash into the real estate business. It was viewed as very safe. You might not make 15 percent, but you made a few percent, and that caused a tremendous surge of development.”
—The Real Deal

Art Is Fast Becoming Miami’s Must-Have Amenity in Luxury Real Estate

“Shahab Karmely, CEO of KAR Properties, the developer behind 2000 Ocean just north of Miami in Hallandale Beach recently announced a comprehensive art curator program. “It is part of our lifestyle services offerings. Art is part of mainstream culture today and Miami is at the center. Today incorporating lifestyle factors including professionally managed art programs are necessities if you want to be in the true luxury sector,” Karmely explained. 2000 Ocean ranges in price from $2.6 to $8.7 million.”