REBusinessOnline

Hunter Conference Recap: Hospitality Industry’s Run on Soft Brands Will be ‘Limited,’ Say Lodging Executives

ATLANTA — Somewhere between a branded hotel like Holiday Inn and a truly independent hotel lies the “soft-branded” hotel. These properties are pseudo-independent in that they don’t adhere to hotel brand standards but their owners can tap into the networks of established chains for resources like reservation software, loyalty programs and distribution channels. Owners franchise the hotel properties for a fee, but the operations and look more resemble an independent hotel, which is an …

Developers Can Rely on Wetlands Mitigation Banking to Offset Environmental Risks with New Projects

BATON ROUGE, LA. — Wetlands mitigation banking has established a track record of success in restoring and preserving crucial ecosystems in many states during the past several decades, while helping smooth the way for commercial development. And as the proven system is positioned to grow and expand, it deserves to be more widely known and recognized, according to a leader in the field overseeing restoration of thousands of acres throughout the South. A mitigation bank is a site that has …

Communities’ Appetite for Food Halls Grows But Risks Abound, Says IEDC Panel

ATLANTA — Five years ago, there were about 30 food halls across the entire country. By 2020, Cushman & Wakefield predicts there will be 300. “I agree we have a lot of food halls coming,” said Jamestown president Michael Phillips. “In some regards it signals the end of the food hall.” The comments from Phillips came Monday morning during a panel discussion at the annual conference of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The four-day conference, which ends …

Seniors Housing Development Costs Dictate Market Entry, Says InterFace Panel

ATLANTA — The pace of seniors housing development has accelerated sharply in recent years. Approximately 396 seniors housing properties came online or opened in the top 100 metro areas in the country from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017, according to data from Plante Moran Living Forward, a senior living development consulting firm. During the two years prior, about 596 communities opened. What’s more, approximately 65 percent of those newly added properties were …

Market Studies Are ‘Just One Piece of The Puzzle’ for Seniors Housing Developers, Says InterFace Panel

ATLANTA — Investing in a quality market study is an important step for a developer to take before breaking ground on a new seniors housing community, but the analysis alone cannot predict the success of a future property. “The report gives you a point-in-time idea of where you’re at, but it doesn’t take into consideration what’s really happening within the marketplace, on the ground, in competing communities each and every day,” said Joe Jasmon, CEO and managing partner of …

Economist: Hotel Sector Benefitting from Strong Consumer Confidence, Uptick in Income and Corporate Profits

ATLANTA — Roger Tutterow, director of Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center, encourages hoteliers to be optimistic about today’s historic level of consumer confidence because it directly impacts the leisure travel side of the hospitality sector. In late August, the consumer confidence index increased to 133.4, its highest level since October 2000, according to The Conference Board. The index gauges consumers’ confidence levels about business and labor conditions. “This …

Retailers Ramp Up Industrial Presence to Service Their Stores, Customers, Say InterFace Panelists

ATLANTA — While the development pipeline for industrial real estate is at peak capacity, retail’s new store inventory is taking a back seat. Paul Xhajanka, division real estate manager of Kroger, said that his company is breaking from the past when it would open hundreds of stores a year. “If you look at our store count for the next three to five years, we're only going to open 20 to 25 stores across our various platforms,” said Xhajanka, referring to Kroger’s portfolio of grocery …

Healthcare Systems, Physicians are ‘More Sophisticated’ When it Comes to Real Estate, Says InterFace Healthcare Panel

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Healthcare systems and physicians groups once viewed their real estate operations as a line item on a ledger and not as high a priority as staffing, education or equipment. In the years since reimbursements from Medicare began tightening as it went from a fee-for-service model to an outcome-based one, healthcare systems and physicians are getting more savvy when it comes to their real estate strategies. “With respect to real estate, healthcare systems used to be …

Competition Intense Among Real Estate Lenders, Says InterFace Carolinas Panel

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Capital One Multifamily Finance’s Chad Thomas Hagwood kicked off with a fastball. When prompted with the often used “what inning are we in?” question, Hagwood’s response was indicative of how competitive commercial real estate lending is today. “I don’t know what inning we are in of the cycle, but I know I want to play ball,” says Hagwood, senior vice president of Capital One Multifamily Finance. “People are after it, and we intend to fight it out tooth …

‘Broadening’ Economy on Track for Longest Expansion Cycle in U.S. History, Says Wells Fargo’s Mark Vitner

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s been nine years since the Great Recession ended, and if the economy can make it to June 2019 without suffering a relapse, it will be the longest business cycle in U.S. history. Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist of Wells Fargo Securities, believes that will happen because of how broad-based the recovery has been. “For the most part, over the last nine months to a year all 50 states have been growing, which is something that hasn’t happened …

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