CNN Ranks Naperville in Top 100 Best Places to Live


Top 100 rank: 54
Population: 152,600

In its list of America’s best small cities, CNN Money ranks Naperville at No. 54

Community is king in Naperville, which adds a local 1% tax on food and beverages to fund events and heritage celebrations. Come summer, residents converge on Centennial Beach, a huge quarry purchased by the city during its 1931 centennial celebration, or stroll along the 1.75 miles of brick paths on the DuPage Riverwalk in the heart of town. Top schools and lots of jobs at firms like OfficeMax and Alcatel-Lucent round out this picture of near perfection — marred only by some congestion on nearby highways and a lengthy commute for those who work in downtown Chicago.

Source: CNN Money

1717 Park St

Naperville office building sells for 5.7 million

A 114,016-square-foot office building in Naperville owner Omaha, Neb.-based Quarter Circle Capital LLC sold for more than $5.7 million. DuPage County records show the buyer of the property at 1717 Park St. was a venture of a Farida Tazudeen, a local real estate investor who could not be reached. The venture financed the Jan. 15 purchase with a $4 million loan from New York-based Garrison Realty Finance LLC, according to county records. It was the last remaining building owned by an approximately eight-year-old fund that also had included 1755 Park, which previously sold for $2.5 million to Riverwoods-based Podolsky Circle CORFAC International, Quarter Circle Principal John Martin said.  A Podolsky venture also agreed to buy 1717 Park, but Quarter Circle sued the venture in December, saying it failed to close on the deal. The lawsuit is still pending, Mr. Martin said.

Source: Chicago Real Estate Daily January 28th, 2014

CREConsult 1

The Top 10 Challenges Affecting Real Estate

While housing marches to the slow, steady drumbeat of recovery, the grass is getting greener and optimism is creeping back into the hearts and minds of both real estate professionals and homeowners. But the wild ride isn’t over, and hiccups remain as the sector struggles to find its footing yet again.

At the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Conference and Expo in San Francisco, real estate consultant Scott Muldavin outlined what he believes the top 10 issues affecting real estate currently are, and by issuing a statement to the press on the topic, NAR agrees.

1. Interest Rates. Muldavin indicated, and our recent news coverage supports, that the top issue affecting real estate is interest rates. They were historically low for so long that as rates begin to rise, capitalization rates are likely to follow, which could spark anxiety about investing in real estate.

2. The Aging Population. As the population ages, there will be greater demand for senior housing, requiring a change in the configuration and size of available housing, and for greater medical care, resulting in an expansion in medical facilities.

3. Tight Credit. The capital market resurgence has positively impacted real estate – credit has become less restrictive for the commercial sector and transaction volume is up, and while underwriting remains a challenge for residential markets, interest rates are low and affordability remains high.

4. New Developments for Future Homeowners. Future housing demand from echo boomers, the 80 million Americans born between 1982 and 1995, will also impact real estate markets, he said. “We are the only developed country that has had an echo boom, and that’s a positive thing if the country can react and respond to it,” Muldavin said. This segment of the population prefers an active urban lifestyle, relies on public transit and often chooses location over size – suburbs are catching up, Muldavin notes, with better mass transit, new bike paths and the like.

5. Climate Change and More Extreme Weather Patterns. These will also continue to have a strong impact on coastal homes and many other properties across the country. Muldavin cited the impact of recent storms like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and how property owners in these markets are now dealing with changes in code and zoning standards and paying significantly higher insurance premiums.

6. Global Events, Including Crises. Like weather and geologic events, major global events can also impact real estate markets, such as acts of terrorism, war, the global debt crisis and financial and economic downturns, he said. “The risk of future events is high, and while it’s always hard to anticipate these risks, they need to be considered because their impact is often great,” Muldavin said.

7. The Gas and Oil Industry. Natural gas and oil production is on the rise in the U.S., and though that is creating greater employment opportunities and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil, it’s also contributing to climate change, environmental degradation and contamination.

8. Other Countries’ Economies. Muldavin also cited globalization, foreign investment and the economies of other countries as variables that will continue to have a greater impact on the U.S. economy and real estate market.

9. Tech. Another issue is how technology will continue to impact office spaces. Muldavin said many corporations are employing work-from-home policies and other mobility solutions that are allowing individuals to work when and where they want, significantly reducing office space requirements.

“Many people are replacing physical items with electronics and free or virtual products, such as e-books and smartphones enabled with cameras, GPS and flashlights. This means businesses will continue to require less retail space, so I believe the trend in the future will be for fewer and smaller stores,” he said.

10. The Demand for Actual Storefronts. Muldavin said the impact of the Internet on bricks-and-mortar retail stores is also a growing issue. He said retail demand is down across the country due to an increase in Internet sales, which are expected to rise from the current 6.5 percent to nearly 15 percent by 2020.

Source: ChicagoAgent Tara Steele, 2013

Geneva Commons

Stiff Competition for Shopping Center Acquisitions

Dennis Gershenson, president and CEO of Ramco- Gershenson Properties Trust (NYSE: RPT), joined for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2013: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

Gershenson provided an overview of the acquisition market in the shopping center industry.

“It’s very interesting, because we were in a very frothy market in the first five months of 2013,” he said. “When Mr. Bernanke came out with his prognostication that things might change, the market just crushed. It took most of the summer for both the buyers and sellers to feel that there was some normalcy coming back into the marketplace. Now, here we are in the fall (Editor’s Note: video was recorded in November 2013), and we’re seeing the high quality shopping centers, as well as the B shopping centers, back on the market. What we find is, that as far as the highest quality assets are concerned, the institutional buyers are still paying approximately the same cap rates that they were paying before, and there is a tremendous amount of competition for those.”

Gershenson described his company’s involvement in in development and redevelopment activities.

“Development takes one of two forms,” he said.” Either it’s legacy property that we purchased in the go-go days of 2004 to 2007, and we’re now redeveloping those properties. We will not be greenfield developers going forward, but what we have been doing is acquiring land adjacent to our most recent acquisitions – that gives us the opportunity to expand on a very successful asset.”

Gershenson also talked about his anchor tenants, and what changes he is seeing in terms of occupancy.

“We’re very focused on improving the quality of our anchor tenants, as well as the whole spectrum of retailers in our shopping centers,” he said. “We have filed our shopping centers where we had vacancies, either that existed before the debacle of the recession, or as a result hereof, with high-quality, national retailers. One of the exciting things about bricks and mortar retailing, is it’s always refreshing itself. So, with the problems that Circuit City and Linen’s had, along comes retailers like BuyBuy Baby.”

Source: 1/3/2014 Mitch Irzinski

Apartment Building

Pent-up Demand Moderate Income Apartments Millennials & Fewer Homeowners

Ella Shaw Neyland, president of Steadfast Income REIT, recently joined for a video interview at REITWorld 2013: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

Neyland was asked to comment on demographic trends and their impact on Steadfast Income’s growth prospects in the multifamily sector.

“I think we’re going to see an outsized demand for our type of apartments in the next two to seven years for a variety of factors,” Neyland said. One such factor is the millennial generation’s preference to live in apartments as opposed to homes, Neyland explained.

“For one thing they can’t afford it…the second thing is that they’ve seen their parents either lose equity in their homes or lose their homes,” she said. The millennial generation, which totals about 68 million, also wants to have flexibility to be able to move for a new job, Neyland added.

Other factors influencing growth include pent-up demand for household formation, Neyland said. She also pointed to the potential for more foreclosures coming from a percentage of homeowners who are current on their payments, but underwater in terms of the value of their home. A drop in the homeownership rate of just one percent translates into a million new entrants into the rental pool, Neyland remarked.

Meanwhile, Neyland pointed to baby boomers wanting to downsize, and legal immigration of around a million individuals per year, as other potential growth factors.

The combination of all these demographic trends is good for the apartment sector overall, but “it’s great” for Steadfast Income’s particular niche, according to Neyland.

Looking back at Steadfast Income’s active pace of acquisitions in 2013, Neyland noted that “it’s been an amazing period for Steadfast Income REIT.” She explained that the company chose to focus on the central corridor of the U.S., and “we are increasingly finding they are not ‘flyover states’ they are ‘go-to states’ because that’s where jobs are being created.”

Neyland also mentioned that Steadfast Income apartment rents are priced at a point that is in line with salaries for the majority of new jobs being created.

Source: 12/20/2013 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto