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Some hotel rooms to reopen at former Radisson as apartment conversion begins

Keeping the hotel rooms is a 'trial balloon' for development team......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 25th, 2023

China-Controlled Condo Conversion At NYC"s Waldorf Astoria Faces Mounting Problems

China-Controlled Condo Conversion At NYC's Waldorf Astoria Faces Mounting Problems The Waldorf Astoria is one of the most historic hotels in the US. It's history includes a stretch of ownership by President Donald Trump (long before the start of his political career) and more recently, it became emblematic of the impact of foreign money on American real estate when Chinese insurer Anbang bought the property in one of the most richly valued American commercial real-estate deals in recent memory (the company bought the property for nearly $2 billion back in 2015). Now, WSJ reports that the Chinese developer's attempts to turn the property around by converting it into luxury condos has hit a wall, the latest indication that the problems facing Chinese developers aren't limited solely to the domestic market. Just last week, the American CEO/frontman for the project abruptly quit, leaving the conversion - which is already two years behind schedule - to flounder. According to the report, the Chinese company that's now in control of the Waldorf (having taken over after Anbang's founder was imprisoned for nearly two decades in China a few years ago during an anti-corruption crackdown/political purge) is aiming to finish the conversion before the end of next year, although they acknowledged that work may continue into 2024. Costs now are expected to run to more than $2 billion, company insiders told WSJ. That means the total acquisition and conversion costs could potentially exceed $4 billion if cost overruns rear their ugly head.   But even if they don't, the conversion of the Waldorf is already expected to be one of the largest, most intricate and most expensive condo conversions and hotel rebuilds ever undertaken. On top of the run-of-the-mill issues pertaining to the supply-chain crunch, high materials costs and general permitting insanity, the conversion of the Waldorf has faced other issues unique to it: demolishing rooms in the century-old hotel has been a difficult process, and the fact that it's a designated landmark has led to other complications. As if all these issues weren't enough, the Chinese state-controlled company running the conversion opened a sales office to market the converted condos just before the pandemic hit and sent the real-estate market in NYC into a tailspin (although real-estate prices have rebounded substantially since). One luxury real-estate agent told WSJ that no sales have been reported for any of the properties soon-to-be-completed units. On the hotel side, when the property does reopen, it will feature 375 guest rooms and 375 residences. Prices are expected to start at $1.8 million for a studio apartment, before soaring to tens of millions of dollars for a penthouse. Residents will have separate entrances and amenities from hotel guests, including a 25-meter Starlight Pool overlooking Park Avenue. While a new sales incentive for brokers allowing them to collect their commission once a contract is sign has led to a frenzy of traffic, Donna Olshan, a luxury real-estate agent whose firm publishes a weekly report on the state of the luxury real-estate market in NYC, said the uncertainty in the global economy was likely giving many buyers second thoughts. "Now we don’t just have Covid, which people have gotten used to, we have war. Inflation. Rising interest rates. And China is all upside down," Olshan said. "When you put that cocktail together, that can be daunting for a developer." Tyler Durden Tue, 05/03/2022 - 21:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 3rd, 2022

FirstService Residential Appointed Property Manager of The Axel at 545 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn

FirstService Residential, New York’s leading residential property management company, has been appointed manager for The Axel, a high-end rental tower in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Located at 545 Vanderbilt Avenue, the 29-story building houses 284apartments, 30,000 square feet of hotel-inspired amenity spaces, and 60,000 square feet of prime retail space... The post FirstService Residential Appointed Property Manager of The Axel at 545 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. FirstService Residential, New York’s leading residential property management company, has been appointed manager for The Axel, a high-end rental tower in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Located at 545 Vanderbilt Avenue, the 29-story building houses 284apartments, 30,000 square feet of hotel-inspired amenity spaces, and 60,000 square feet of prime retail space with frontage along Vanderbilt and Atlantic Avenues. To-date, the building has rented 60% of its units, a record time for a new development. FirstService Residential was selected to manage the property by Hopestreet Capital, a New York City-based real estate investment group that completed the tower in December 2022. The appointment recognizes the management company’s legacy of delivering luxury-line services to some of the highest-end properties in New York City. “Hopestreet Capital has delivered one of the most coveted new rental properties in the Clinton Hill-Prospect Heights area and we are excited to welcome the first wave of residents to the building,” said Calynne Oyolokor, senior vice president of FirstService Residential’s Multifamily Rental Division. “High-end design should be matched with impeccable service. FirstService Residential is one of the only companies in New York City that can properly retain, train, and retrain managers and building staff in hospitality principles retooled for multifamily buildings, and we look forward to making a difference for every resident at The Axel.” Designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, The Axel sits at the convergence of Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights, two of Brooklyn’s most pristine, historic neighborhoods. Set atop a four-story podium, the residential tower features a gentle, cantilevered form that maximizes views of the Downtown Brooklyn skyline, One World Trade Center, and as far north as Midtown, Manhattan. Within the building, apartments range from studios up to spacious three-bedroom floorplans. Each home offers floor-to-ceiling windows, premium finishes, high-end appliances, a washer and dryer, and generous closet space. “FirstService Residential’s deep understanding of building operations, high level building personnel and exceptional customer service to our residents was really the reason why we retained them for the project,” says Sha Dinour of Hopestreet Capital. The Axel’s amenity collection begins with an outdoor pool and sundeck above the retail podium. At this level there is also an outdoor terrace with grilling stations, communal seating, and tables for small gatherings. The building’s fitness center features state-of the-art equipment, dedicated yoga and Pilates studios, and direct connection to the outdoor terrace. Additional spaces include a co-working suite, private conference rooms, a virtual sports simulator, and a residents lounge. FirstService Residential has observed significant growth in its property management portfolio across all asset types including multifamily rentals, condominiums, and cooperatives. In 2022, the company added 7,200 units to its New York City management portfolio and continues its expansion into Westchester County. Among the company’s new clients are some of the city’s most iconic multifamily properties, including Madison House, an 805-foot-tall skyscraper in NoMad; 100 Eleventh Avenue, designed by Pritzker Prize laureate and renowned architect Jean Nouvel; American Copper Buildings, an award-winning, dual-tower rental property in Murray Hill; One Boerum Place, home to the most expensive rental apartment in Brooklyn history; and Parkway Village, a 675-unit garden-style community in Briarwood, Queens. Last year, FirstService Residential also announced a national expansion of its energy consulting and advisory services across the U.S. and Canada. Provided through its energy advisory affiliate FirstService Energy, the expansion will bring the benefits of the company’s sustainability advisory services to more than 1.7 million homes across 8,600 residential communities as well as the company’s own corporate offices. The post FirstService Residential Appointed Property Manager of The Axel at 545 Vanderbilt Avenue in Brooklyn appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyJan 10th, 2023

Asylum Seekers Overwhelm Shelters In Portland, Maine

Asylum Seekers Overwhelm Shelters In Portland, Maine Authored by Steven Kovac via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Facing an impending humanitarian crisis, Portland Family Shelters Director Mike Guthrie has a simple message to anyone who will listen, “We need help!” Families of asylum seekers warehoused outside of an overcrowded family shelter in Portland, Maine, on May 25, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times) Guthrie, a hands-on, frontline worker in the effort to feed, clothe, and house a continuous flow of foreign nationals arriving in Portland by airplane or bus from the U.S. southern border, told The Epoch Times, “Our family shelter facilities, our warming room, and even area hotel space is at capacity. We have maxed out our community resources. “The time is coming when I’m going to have to look a dad in the face and tell him and his family that I don’t know where they’re going to sleep tonight.” The Portland Family Shelter is a complex of four rented buildings in various states of renovation located in the heart of downtown. Some of the structures are gradually being converted into small apartments where up to four families will share a single kitchen and bathroom. All four buildings are overflowing their present capacity. “The intake is greater and faster than we can process,” Guthrie said. Mike Guthrie, director of the family shelter in Portland, Maine, on May 25, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times) To accommodate the stream of new arrivals, the family shelter program has in recent months placed 309 families (1,091 people) in eight hotels located in five neighboring municipalities spread over three counties of southeastern Maine’s prime tourist and vacation region. Those moves, with their attendant complications and problems, have resulted in some pushback from the local Mainers who fear their prized relaxed lifestyle may never be the same. And they resent not having a voice in any of it. “It’s just part of the state government’s plan to bring the slums to the suburbs,” said a Mainer from the resort and tourist community of Kennebunkport, a small town about 28 miles down the Atlantic coast from Portland. “The United States cannot rescue Africa.” Coming out of the Kennebunkport post office, long-time Mainers Virginia and Robert shared their opinions on what the locals see as the “invasion” of Maine by immigrants. Virginia commented, “We have sympathy for the asylum seekers, but resources are over-extended and now it’s going beyond Portland.” “Eventually, it’s going to impact our quality of life,” Robert said. A view of Dock Square in Kennebunkport, Maine, on May 25, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times Pressures on Portland’s homeless shelter capacity last year inspired a York County community action group to obtain a federal grant to help house the city’s regular homeless population. The plan included renting half a dozen large motels in a three-mile corridor in the heart of southeastern Maine’s Atlantic-shore tourist region. Motels within walking distance of shopping opportunities were selected. The motels close in the off-season, so it appeared to some people to be a win-win arrangement. Included in the plan was the small, quiet, resort town of Wells, located about six miles from Kennebunkport. Though the program sheltered hundreds of individuals from the brutal Maine winter, the resulting wave of never-before-seen vandalism, burglaries, and other property crimes in the commercial district forced the city of Wells to evict every tenant for violations of several municipal ordinances. It is unclear where the evicted people were relocated. Homeless Victimized and Intimidated A motel in Wells, Maine, that was used to shelter the homeless of Portland on May 26, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times) According to Captain Gerald Congdon of the Wells Police Department, the crimes were not committed by foreign asylum seekers, Wells residents, or by the many legitimate, disadvantaged, and debilitated people housed in the motel. “The perpetrators arrested were mostly ‘couch-surfers’ spending time with homeless friends staying legally at the motel. However, the bulk of grant-qualified motel dwellers had drug problems,” Congdon said. One small business operator, whose sweetshop was burglarized, told The Epoch Times, “The thieves were druggies in need of a fix. They came in through a window, stole the cash from the register, and took our digital scales. “These people were brought in around Christmastime. It was like an invasion. We never had a crime at our store before they came in and ruined things. “It’s not fair. We now think differently. They changed the whole landscape of how we do business. We don’t want to see them come back.” Congdon told The Epoch Times, “There was shoplifting at the bigger chain stores and car break-ins going after loose change in the strip mall parking lot. “A small bike shop was burglarized twice, losing thousands of dollars-worth of high-end bicycles—never happened to them in 42 years of business. “Our officers spent a lot of time on disturbance calls and enforcing warrants. We made quite a few arrests and recovered some stolen property. “The management of the area’s motels got tired of seeing us there. They were tired of their legitimate businesses being associated with crime. “The nice tenants, many of whom are truly deserving of help, were being victimized and intimidated. They were afraid to call us.” Congdon said his department was not consulted and was given no advance notice on the plan to bring hundreds of homeless people—including many known drug-addicts—into their city. The City of Wells was not compensated for the additional hours of policing. A broad, sandy, beach in the tourist region of southeastern Maine, on May 26, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times) ‘Feeder Sources’ On May 1, a hotel in the resort town of Old Orchard Beach, located about halfway between Portland and Kennebunkport, evicted all of its residents for a different reason. This time, they were asylum seekers evicted in order to make room for the arrival of legally permitted temporary seasonal workers to lodge there. These special visa-holders make up the majority of the workforce needed by the region’s thriving hospitality industry. The asylum seekers were relocated to motels in three other southern Maine communities, according to Portland city officials. In Portland, 500 single asylum seekers are housed in a municipal shelter separate from the family shelter, according to a spokesperson for the city. It too is at capacity. Guthrie told The Epoch Times that city authorities have publicly notified what he calls “the feeder sources” at the southern border and in Washington D.C. about the immigration crisis unfolding in Portland. The city administration asked Border Patrol, Health and Human Services, and participating non-profits to stop sending asylum seekers to Portland until sufficient resources become available to adequately care for them. But the force of the city’s request was blunted when it announced immediately after the notification that it would not turn anybody away, acknowledged Guthrie. Maine Gov. Janet Mills in 2019. (Rebecca Hammel/U.S. Senate/Public Domain) Guthrie stated that the city asked Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, to call out the National Guard to set up emergency shelters and feeding stations but has not yet received an answer. On June 2, in remarks before the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mills committed the state to building a new emergency shelter in the city and said she was working to create additional housing for asylum seekers in the area. She also spoke of the desirability of the in-migration as a source of labor to fill many existing job openings. Speaking of the migrants, Mills said, “We need the workforce here. We want them to be available for work. Some of them come with incredible skills and experiences that we can employ.” One long-time Maine resident, who visited the Portland Family Shelter to see the situation for himself, told The Epoch Times, “Mike Guthrie is like a man frantically trying to bail out a sinking rowboat, while his superiors continue to drill holes in it.” During the month of May, the family shelter took in 79 families consisting of 262 individuals with no slowdown in sight, Guthrie said. “220 people turned up in just 20 days. We’re trying to help anybody that comes to the door. Thus far, nobody coming to us has had to sleep outside but we can no longer guarantee shelter upon arrival,” he said. “We need the state of Maine to step in and create safe places for these people. We need a facility to be created and run like a FEMA camp. “Our legislators are talking about buying and renovating older apartments throughout the region that could house 140 families. That’s great in the long-term, but the problem is now! “At the rate things are going, we’d have those places filled in two months. Then what?” Guthrie asked. Portland’s pastors, church members, and its citizens have been stepping forward to do what they can. “Local churches and those in Cumberland are offering space for people to sleep and some Portland residents have even opened up their homes,” Guthrie said. A surge in asylum seekers crossing the border in the Rio Grande Valley has put a strain on the immigration system. Here, migrants are on the move, in Mission, Texas, on March 17, 2021. (Los Angeles Times via TCA) Where Are the Asylum Seekers Coming From? The vast majority of the new arrivals at the family shelter in Portland have come from Angola and the Congo in Africa, with some coming from Haiti in the Caribbean. They make the arduous and often dangerous journey any way they can—largely on foot. Guthrie told of a father and child who recently showed up at the shelter. “The man said that his wife, the young child’s mother, died on the way. She was swept away while crossing a river.” Guthrie explained that the route to Portland for most of the asylum seekers begins in chaos-torn western equatorial Africa. “They cross the Atlantic to South America. They go up through South America and then north through Central America, ending up in northern Mexico, from which they cross the southern border into the United States. “At that point, they present themselves to Border Patrol. “A new arrival tells Border Patrol ‘I am here to seek asylum. If I go back home, I will be killed. I fear for my life.’ That’s the difference between an asylum seeker and an immigrant,” he said. Those three short sentences guarantee a person’s admission for a lengthy stay in the United States as his or her claim is adjudicated. Guthrie went on to explain, “After some additional questioning, the individual is issued minimal paperwork by immigration authorities and told they will be contacted about a formal hearing on their asylum plea. They are then turned over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.” Most are given cell phones. Public servants with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and representatives of various American non-profit, philanthropic organizations, ask the asylum seekers where they want to go in the interior of the United States to await their asylum hearing. For many, their answer is “Portland.” “They are then put on buses or airplanes and sent on their way,” Guthrie said. Lobsterman Tucker Soule unloads a trap at Cape Porpoise near Kennebunkport, Maine, on May 23, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times) Why Portland? Guthrie said that Portland is often recommended to people enroute to the United States by relatives who are already living in the city. “Once they get here, the majority of the new arrivals want to stay in Portland. They tell their relatives and friends about us,” he said. Jessica Grondin, the city’s director of communications and media, told The Epoch Times in a phone interview, “Portland is happy about and proud of our good reputation as a ‘Welcoming City.’ We presently have a large Somali population, as well as many Iraqis and Afghans who arrived here previously.” Grondin said that several busloads of asylum seekers recently shipped off to Washington D.C. by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, ultimately made their way to Portland. She stated that, along with the lack of housing, one of the biggest problems facing the city is a shortage of staff to care for the volume of new arrivals. Guthrie said that the influx asylum seekers has exceeded the city’s ability to offer basic services. “As we outgrow our past limits, we are being forced to prioritize what we are doing for these people. We are no longer able to help them connect with local immigration attorneys, nor help them learn English,” he said. Effective May 7, a policy change took effect forbidding the shelter’s staff from assisting asylum seekers in finding an apartment. “Instead, these folks, who are complete strangers to this community and speak no English, are being qualified for a state General Assistance housing voucher. “They are given a sample lease, a rental form, and an explanation of the GA process, and are then sent out on their own to find a place to live,” Guthrie said. While most of the new arrivals speak Portuguese, some speak French, Lingala, or another tribal language. Many are bilingual, but none speak English. Weary of waiting around, some of the French-speakers asked to be sent to Quebec, but the strict Canadian rules concerning COVID-19 prevented them from entering, Guthrie stated. Condition and Needs of Asylum Seekers Guthrie described the migrants’ situation, saying, “Understand, the majority of these people arrive here with no money. They spent their life savings during their trip and have to start over. They need everything. “They come from hot climates wearing summer clothes. We have given away about 97 percent of our clothing stock to help them cope with the colder weather here in Maine. “We have to keep many people outside during the day and then pack them into our warming room for the chilly Maine nights, or on rainy days,” he said. Fathers, mothers, and their numerous small children are kept outside all day long. They stand on the sidewalk across the street from the shelter or sit in an alley between two old houses passing the time until the next meal. The grimy concrete and stony gravel of the alley serve as furniture. There are no chairs or tables. They sit or recline on whatever is at hand, or on the bare dirt. The shade formed by the receding shadow of the walls of the surrounding old buildings is their only comfort. Antsy and bored small children have no toys with which to amuse themselves, except for one little boy who rides a plastic big-wheel tricycle around the alley. A small bathroom is available to people upon request in one of the shelter’s buildings, or at a nearby city-owned singles’ shelter around the block. “For showers, we team up with a local church that comes by with a bus and offers showers to any of them that want to go,” Guthrie said. When asked if the asylum seekers are Christians, Guthrie answered that many ride a bus to church services on Sunday morning. The shelter provides families with three meals a day, prepared off-site by “community partners.” “We pick up the meals and bring them here and serve them indoors. The food is decent. A typical lunch is a sandwich, salad, soup, granola bars, snacks, milk and water,” Guthrie said. Guthrie told The Epoch Times that the family shelter is providing standard baby formula for the young children, but one baby is intolerant to it. This infant requires a specialty brand that is hard to get—a fact that is upsetting to the mother and her child. The Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC) is providing asylum seekers residing in hotels and motels with some culturally appropriate foods such as fufu (an African staple), goat meat, greens, chicken, and rice, he said. A lot of the accommodations do not have kitchens. According to Guthrie, the cost per motel room is between $250 and $350 dollars per night and rising as the tourist season begins. MIRC is part of a network of 85 statewide organizations involved in the care of the thousands of asylum seekers already here and those that are arriving daily. Guthrie said the state is footing 70 percent of the family shelter’s expenses, with the city making up the remaining 30 percent. But Guthrie says that getting the children into school is among the best assistance that can be provided. “The schools offer all kinds of different programs. They have community resource officers. They keep the kids busy while giving them two meals a day,” he said. More than 60 different foreign languages are spoken by students at Portland area schools, further complicating every task associated with education. When asked about the overall health condition of the asylum seekers, Guthrie replied, “They are exhausted and scared. They haven’t travelled a safe route. Though clearly traumatized, very few will talk about the details of their experience. Counselling is available if requested.” Teams of health care workers are performing what Guthrie calls “health outreach.” They have set up clinics at some of the motels to perform triage and make any necessary medical referrals. The city of Portland has a busy public health clinic helping to provide treatment, but some people with more serious conditions end up in emergency rooms. To overcome the language barrier, the city provides interpreters, and health care workers make use of cell phone translation apps. On the whole, Guthrie said most of the people under his supervision are physically “very healthy.” “Pregnancy is the families’ most urgent medical concern, and their most pressing medical need is OBGYN (obstetrics and gynecology) care,” he said. He also said there is some sickle cell disease among them. A young Angolan mother and child outside the family shelter in Portland, Maine, on May 25, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times) City Hall allowed The Epoch Times access to several families being warehoused outdoors and a number of parents were eager to talk about their current plight. Speaking through an interpreter provided by the shelter, and in the presence of shelter director Guthrie, Samantha, a young Angolan woman with a 10-month-old baby on her hip and a toddler in tow, was not shy about sharing her dissatisfaction. When asked if her family’s basic needs were being met, Samantha replied, “We just need a place to sleep. We stay outside in the sun and the elements because there is not enough space for us indoors. There are not enough clothes for my family. “Being outside all day is not good for my baby. Some of us have caught colds. Some had fevers. Some were so sick they went to the hospital. “My son eats a special baby formula. I have to ration his feeding. “What we are fed is very different than what we are used to. We are receiving no culturally appropriate food. There was no way for us to take a shower for five days. “We endured a seven-month journey to come to this! We are not happy. Conditions are not good! We really need help.” When asked if she felt welcome, Samantha said with a look of disbelief, “No! I do not feel welcome. Look at us. We are outside.” A Congolese family seeking asylum in Portland, Maine, on May 25, 2022. (Steven Kovac/Epoch Times) Landry, a housepainter and electrician’s helper, brought his wife Sylvie, two-year-old daughter, and 12-month-old son to Portland from the Congo. When asked why he risked the journey, Landry answered, “I left my country because of political issues and insecurity. There we could be sure of nothing. Here, it’s different.” Sylvie said, “We came from Texas unprepared for this Maine weather. I am not happy for how I am living here. I don’t feel welcome!” Tyler Durden Sun, 06/05/2022 - 20:30.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 5th, 2022

Sales Launch for 393 West End Avenue, a Historic Building Reimagined by CetraRuddy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Manhattan’s Upper West Side reached a pivotal residential milestone today with the announcement that sales have commenced for the homes at 393 West End Avenue, a storied building that has been tastefully transformed for the modern era. Located at the corner of 79th Street, 393 West End Avenue features a... The post Sales Launch for 393 West End Avenue, a Historic Building Reimagined by CetraRuddy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Manhattan’s Upper West Side reached a pivotal residential milestone today with the announcement that sales have commenced for the homes at 393 West End Avenue, a storied building that has been tastefully transformed for the modern era. Located at the corner of 79th Street, 393 West End Avenue features a collection of 75 upscale residences that merge old-world charm with contemporary comforts, and a series of garden-level amenities reminiscent of a private social club, signifying what is likely the last condominium conversion to come to market in the neighborhood.   Situated within the landmark West End Collegiate Historic District — a quiet enclave that exudes the cinematic charm of iconic New York films such as When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail — the 16-story building was originally designed by architects Goldner & Goldner and constructed in 1927. The building features Collegiate Gothic architecture and original 1920s details that are now being skillfully preserved by CetraRuddy, the award-winning architecture and interior design firm known for its sophisticated approach to modernizing historic properties. “The Upper West Side — the West End Collegiate Historic District, in particular — is one of Manhattan’s most coveted residential destinations,” said Stephen Kliegerman, President of Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing (BHSDM), the exclusive sales and marketing firm for 393 West End Avenue. “Due to the neighborhood’s landmark status, newly constructed luxury residential developments are exceedingly rare. Without compromising on character, 393 West End Avenue offers the best of both worlds — impeccably preserved Pre-war details that convey a sense of history, paired with the modern layouts, high-end finishes and thoughtful amenities that buyers demand of new developments today.” Making an impression at first sight, 393 West End Avenue features a restored limestone portal with a contemporary bronze-and-glass marquee, antique bronze entry doors with one-of-a-kind lion medallions that showcase its 1920s heritage, and eye-catching plaster tassels that harken back to the great opera houses of the era. Inside, the 24-hour attended lobby, a sculptural stone concierge desk anchors the space, which features Bianco Spino and Grigio Collemandina mosaic floors, lacquered paneling and a soaring nickel leaf ceiling. Custom bronze-and-glass art screens inspired by the building’s historic architectural details lead to the elevator bank that ascends to the residential floors.   Here, a collection of 75 residences — many with captivating views of the Hudson River — respect the provenance of the late 1920s, with graceful layouts ranging from one to four bedrooms, and details that include wood floors with a French Chevron style in the living and dining areas. The open plan kitchens boast Naica Quartzite countertops and backsplashes, along with custom cabinetry composed of handpicked variegated smoked oak wood in a walnut tone and fluted glass. A suite of paneled Miele appliances echoes the cabinetry, while the stove’s brushed light antique bronze hood rounds out the warm, modern look.  “From the beginning, the design vision for 393 West End Avenue has been to create a unique and elevated residential experience that celebrates historic sensibility while introducing a modern vernacular,” said Nancy J. Ruddy, Founding Principal of CetraRuddy. “It’s an attitude of refined constraint, and a contemporary revival of romantic styles that brings a bit of magic back to this special part of the Upper West Side. Whether the bespoke mosaic floor in the lobby, or the custom club room mural and hand-picked marble in the kitchens and bathrooms, every element that you see and touch is crafted and curated with a focus on material richness, balanced proportions, and an eye towards creating a sense of home and wellbeing that fits how we live today. Engaging creatively and respectfully with historic buildings is part of our DNA at CetraRuddy, and 393 West End Avenue is truly an expression of everything we love about the juxtaposition between past and present.”  Envisioned by CetraRuddy as a light-filled private retreat, the primary bedrooms convey a sense of warmth through tone-on-tone natural materials and restored tray ceilings. Reminiscent of Parisian dressing rooms, the primary baths offer a striking combination of honed Pacific White Marble walls and mosaic floors; Calacatta Black Marble accents and vanity countertops; and custom white lacquer vanities with polished nickel accents and textile drawer fronts — all complemented by bespoke sconces. Secondary baths include Calacatta Gold Marble mosaic floors in a diamond pattern characteristic of the 1920s and polished nickel trim. Powder rooms feature a Breccia Capraia Marble slab accent wall that is unique to each residence. Taking inspiration from private homes, 393 West End Avenue features a series of garden-level amenities that seamlessly flow from one room to the next and accommodate every stage of life. Offering the privacy of an in-house club and spanning 4,000 square feet, these inviting spaces include a Great Room equipped with banquettes and private nooks for study or remote work, as well as direct access to a serene landscaped courtyard. Ideal for private dining or hosting intimate gatherings, the Club Room features a custom artisanal tile mosaic, a plush nine-foot sofa and a fully-equipped bar. There is also a state-of-the-art fitness center with private movement studio, a junior lounge with a gaming station and hangout space, and an enchanted forest-inspired children’s playroom known as “The Cottage,” which opens onto its own dedicated outdoor space — aka the porch and secret garden. Bicycle storage and a laundry room with extra-capacity washers and dryers are also available. 393 West End Avenue is being redeveloped by Rabina, a New York-based real estate investment and development firm that has been family-owned and operated for three generations. While Rabina has acquired and developed more than 25 million square feet of real estate throughout its 60+ year history, the firm’s early years were dedicated to repositioning residential properties on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. With its carefully considered transformation of 393 West End Avenue into a collection of Pre-war homes with a fresh perspective, Rabina has returned to its roots. Nestled among tree-lined blocks dotted with picturesque cafes and parks teeming with greenery, 393 West End Avenue offers a premier location just one block from Riverside Park and the Hudson River in the West End Collegiate Historic District. This coveted enclave represents 60 years of architectural evolution and features many of the Upper West Side’s most acclaimed row houses and apartment buildings.   Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing is the exclusive sales and marketing firm for 393 West End Avenue. Sales are being led by Louise Phillips of The Louise Phillips Forbes Team, who has launched and managed successful campaigns for many of the neighborhood’s most esteemed residential conversions including 498 West End Avenue, 220 West 93rd Street and 905 West End Avenue. Pricing for initial inventory begins at $3.718 million for a three-bedroom residence. To learn more about current availability or to schedule a tour of the building’s on-site design studio, please call the sales office at (212) 319-4393 or visit www.393westend.com  The post Sales Launch for 393 West End Avenue, a Historic Building Reimagined by CetraRuddy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyApr 6th, 2022

Futures, Global Markets Start 2022 With A Bang

Futures, Global Markets Start 2022 With A Bang If 2021 ended with a whimper, then 2022 is starting off with a bang, as futures on all major U.S. equity indexes rise on the first trading day of the year amid light volumes with markets including the U.K., Japan China, Australia and New Zealand closed for holidays. Europe’s Stoxx 600 rose 0.6%. In Hong Kong, property shares dropped and China Evergrande Group halted trading without an explanation. The dollar rose, as did bond yields and bitcoin, while oil erased earlier gains.  At 745am, emini S&P futures traded 29 points, or 0.61% higher, and rising as high as 4,790, just inches away from all time highs of 4,799.75; Dow futs were 172 points or 0.48% higher and the Nasdaq was also in the green by 29 points or 0.6%. Investors continue to weigh the impact of the rapid spread of the omicron Covid-19 variant on the economic recovery, even as it appears less severe than earlier strains. Investors are also focusing on the policy trajectory of the Federal Reserve and other central banks into 2022, particularly as inflation continues to present a challenge. In premarket moves, Tesla’s shares climbed 6.8% in U.S. premarket trading after the company reported record quarterly deliveries.  Alibaba ADRs dropped in premarket trading with shares listed in Hong Kong on concern that some investors may pare stakes amid data showing the conversion of company’s ADRs into Hong Kong shares has picked up pace. And with the new year, broad, sweeping assessments are hitting the tape, such as this one from Jefferies strategist Sean Darby who wrote that last year “was simply a period of ‘risk on,’” adding that “peering into 2022, we expect volatility to rise, meaning that the return per unit of risk comes to the forefront." European equities rose on the first day of trading in 2022 and headed for a record on bets that the global economy can weather the impact of the omicron coronavirus variant. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.5% to 490.47, above the record closing level set in November, led by gains by automakers and chemical sector companies. Meanwhile, the Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.9%. U.K. markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. European stocks had climbed 22% last year and have posted seven consecutive quarters of gains -- the longest winning streak since 1998. Most strategists expect this year’s returns to be more muted, with an average target of 506 index points for the Stoxx 600. Among individual movers, Vestas Wind Systems A/S dropped after the company announced details of its fourth-quarter order intake. Sydbank AS said the order tally was “weak.” Asian stocks were mixed on their first trading session of 2022, with Hong Kong’s benchmark gauge dropping on concerns over the spread of the omicron variant and the financial health of China’s real estate sector.    The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed after rising as much as 0.3%, weighed down by consumer discretionary and health-care firms. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid 0.5%, with Chinese developers tumbling on media reports that China Evergrande Group has been ordered to tear down apartment blocks in Hainan province. Read: Property Stocks Sink After Demolition Order: Evergrande Update Shares in Hong Kong also dropped amid a fresh wave of infections tied to an outbreak at a local restaurant. The city administered more than 7,000 initial injections on both Saturday and Sunday, the most since the end of November. “Any further restrictions to curb virus spreads remain a key risk to watch, and more clarity will be sought from economic data over the coming weeks to validate the resilience of the economy” of the U.S., said Jun Rong Yeap, a strategist at IG Asia Pte in Singapore. Malaysia’s stock index was the region’s worst performer, dropping 1.2%, while South Korea and Taiwan equities rose. Markets in mainland China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand were closed for holidays. Asia’s stock benchmark capped an annual loss of 3.4% in 2021 in its worst performance since 2018, lagging behind the U.S. and Europe. India’s key equity gauges posted their best gain in nearly four weeks, led by a rally in banking and software stocks as investors shift focus to the upcoming corporate earnings season for the latest quarter.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.6% to 59,183.22 in Mumbai, the most since Dec. 8. The benchmark also posted its biggest advance on the first trading day of a new year since 2009. The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained by a similar magnitude on Monday. All of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. climbed, led by gauges of banking and financial companies. The corporate earnings season for the December quarter will start with Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services announcing results on Jan. 12. Investors will be focusing on the software exporters’ commentary on demand amid rising cost pressures. HDFC Bank contributed the most to the index gain, increasing 2.7%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 25 rose and five fell With much of Europe including the U.K. on bank holiday, Treasuries reopen around 7am ET with yields cheaper by 2bp to 4bp across the curve and losses led by belly.  U.S. 10-year yields around 1.535%, cheaper by ~2bp vs Friday’s close, while 5-year yields are higher by more than 3bp; 5s30s is flatter by ~1bp. Gains for most European stock benchmarks add to cheapening pressure on yields, as S&P 500 futures trade above Friday’s high.  Ahead of the cash open Treasury futures edged lower during Asia session European morning on light volume as S&P 500 futures advanced toward last week’s record highs. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched up and the dollar traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers in thin trading, with Japan, Australia and New Zealand markets shut for holidays. The Canadian dollar was the worst performer while the New Zealand dollar climbed against all of its Group-of-10 peers. The euro slipped to trade around $1.1350 and Bund yields rose, led by shorter maturities, while European peripheral spreads narrowed. In commodities, in early trading oil rose towards $79 a barrel on Monday supported by tight supply and hopes of further demand recovery in 2022 spurred in part by a view that the Omicron coronavirus variant is unlikely to significantly dampen the outlook. Libyan oil output will be cut by 200,000 barrels per day for a week due to pipeline maintenance. OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, are expected to stick to a plan to raise output gradually at a meeting on Tuesday. Brent crude rose 95 cents, or 1.2%, to $78.73 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude added $1.03 or 1.4%, to $76.24. Last year, Brent rose 50%, spurred by the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and OPEC+ supply cuts, even as infections reached record highs worldwide. "Infection rates are on the rise globally, restrictions are being introduced in several countries, the air travel sector, amongst others, is suffering, yet investors' optimism is tangible," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM. "It seems that the current strain produces less severe symptoms than its predecessors, which might just help us to struggle through the fourth wave of the pandemic." Some see more gains in 20222: "Crude and oil product prices should benefit from oil demand moving above 2019 levels," said a report from UBS analysts including Giovanni Staunovo. "We expect Brent to rise into a $80–90 range in 2022." Key U.S. events this week include minutes of the December FOMC meeting and non-farm payrolls; on deck today is the Flash Markit Manufacturing PMI read for December as well as the November construction spending data. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.5% to 4,781.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 490.21 MXAP little changed at 193.17 MXAPJ little changed at 630.24 Nikkei down 0.4% to 28,791.71 Topix down 0.3% to 1,992.33 Hang Seng Index down 0.5% to 23,274.75 Shanghai Composite up 0.6% to 3,639.78 Sensex up 1.6% to 59,208.86 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.9% to 7,444.64 Kospi up 0.4% to 2,988.77 Brent futures up 1.6% to $78.99/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,827.19 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 95.80 German 10Y yield little changed at -0.18% Brent futures up 1.4% to $78.83/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is vowing to bring a revised version of the $2 trillion tax, climate and spending package to the floor for a vote as soon as this month, despite unresolved differences within his party that have stalled the legislation President Joe Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty on Sunday in a call with the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the new government is working on tax relief measures of more than 30 billion euros ($34 billion) Turkish inflation surged to a 19-year high in December, propelled by a slump in the lira and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s push for cheaper borrowing Asia’s factory activity continued its expansion in December, lifted by resilient demand and easing supply-chain bottlenecks as the omicron strain begins to spread in the region Top Asian News North Korean Defector Likely Crossed DMZ Twice, Seoul Says Property Stocks Sink After Demolition Order: Evergrande Update Alibaba Drops on Concern Over Conversion of ADRs to H.K. Shares Hong Kong’s Stock Benchmark Marks Its Worst Start in Three Years Star China Stock Fund Manager Suffers a Disastrous 2021 Tokyo Finds 103 New Covid Cases, Most in Nearly Three Months Top European News Nordea Analysts Who Wrote Retracted Report to Leave Bank Iveco Valued at $4.4 Billion in Spinoff to Navigate Truck Shift Germany Heads Toward New Pandemic Measures as Omicron Threatens US Event Calendar 9:45am: Dec. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 57.7, prior 57.8 10am: Nov. Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.7%, prior 0.2% Tyler Durden Mon, 01/03/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 3rd, 2022

Here"s Why Investors Should Hold on to Choice Hotels (CHH)

Choice Hotels International (CHH) benefits from expansion efforts, acquisition, loyalty program and solid growth of its Cambria Brand. Choice Hotels International, Inc. CHH is benefiting from expansion efforts, acquisition, loyalty program and solid growth of its Cambria Brand. Improving RevPAR is also aiding the company’s growth.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has an impressive long-term earnings growth rate of 11.6%. The company’s sales and earnings in 2023 are expected to witness growth of 8.9% and 13.3%, respectively.Let’s delve deeper.Growth DriversChoice Hotels relies heavily on expansion in domestic and international markets. In third-quarter 2022, the company awarded 123 domestic franchise agreements (representing 10,551 rooms) compared with 89 franchise agreements reported in the prior-year quarter. CHH reported sequential increases in its business and group travel demand, driven by a rise in extended vacations, household relocations and temporary remote work assignments.Coming to the extended-stay portfolio, the company witnessed rapid expansion, reaching 468 domestic hotels as of Sep 30, 2022. This marked an increase of 45% on a year-over-year basis. During the third quarter of 2022, the company unveiled its first extended-stay hotel in Corona, CA.Along with domestic growth, the company continues to expand its international footprint in new countries. Key international operating markets include Spain, Colombia, the Caribbean and Canada.Relatively new to the midscale portfolio, Clarion Pointe — part of the popular Clarion brand, is experiencing great success. Clarion Point brand resonates well with guests. The brand has 50 hotels open in the United States and 10 additional hotels awaiting conversion this year. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe company is also focusing on its loyalty program to drive growth. During third-quarter 2021, the company announced a collaboration with a trusted digital-asset marketplace – Bakkt. The initiative enables Choice Privileges loyalty members to unlock new redemption opportunities by converting their rewards points to cash and for purchasing Bitcoin.Also, it allows guests to transfer their points to a friend or even redeem them online or in-store through Apple Pay and Google Pay. Backed by solid revenue contributions along with new customer additions, the company remains optimistic for growth in the upcoming periods.CHH is gaining from acquisition of Radisson Hospitality. During third-quarter 2022, the addition of the Radisson upscale brands increased Choice's global footprint in the upscale segment to over 74,000 rooms. The Radisson Americas portfolio contributed $40.2 million to total revenues and $6.8 million in adjusted EBITDA.Given growth prospects with respect to penetration in the upscale market and value creation efforts, the company is optimistic in this regard. The acquisition-backed enhancements with respect to the company’s long-term asset-light strategy (of growing its business in higher revenue travel segments and locations) and strengthening of Cambria’s growth prospects are likely to add to the positives.As of Sep 30, 2022, the Radisson Hotels Americas brands had 69 franchised hotels with 8,756 rooms under construction, awaiting conversion or approval for development in its global system.Shares of the company have increased 7.4% in the past six months compared with the industry’s increase of 15.5%.Key PicksSome better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. WWE, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL and Manchester United plc MANU.World Wrestling Entertainment currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). WWE has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.2%, on average. The stock has increased 70.4% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for WWE’s 2023 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a rise of 4.9% and 10.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s estimated levels.  Royal Caribbean Cruises sports a Zacks Rank #1, at present. Shares of RCL have surged 84.7% in the past six months.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RCL’s 2023 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 43.6% and 138.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s estimated levels..Manchester United currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. MANU has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 34.4%, on average. Shares of MANU have gained 63.4% in the past year.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MANU’s fiscal 2024 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 11.4% and 27.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s estimated levels. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL): Free Stock Analysis Report World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE): Free Stock Analysis Report Choice Hotels International, Inc. (CHH): Free Stock Analysis Report Manchester United Ltd. (MANU): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 17th, 2023

Walker & Dunlop’s NY Capital Markets Team Closed Nearly $300 Million in December

Walker & Dunlop Inc.’s New York Capital Markets team ended the year strong, securing financing up and down the capital stack and closing four deals totaling nearly $300 million. The team, led by Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz, and Mo Beler, provides the expertise and relationships within the market to assist clients with... The post Walker & Dunlop’s NY Capital Markets Team Closed Nearly $300 Million in December appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Walker & Dunlop Inc.’s New York Capital Markets team ended the year strong, securing financing up and down the capital stack and closing four deals totaling nearly $300 million. The team, led by Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz, and Mo Beler, provides the expertise and relationships within the market to assist clients with all types of financing needs. Their continued success in this difficult capital markets landscape reflects their multi-faceted ability to source aggressive capital for every asset type across the country, making them the go-to “one-stop-shop.” “Our expertise and deep relationships with the market’s most active lenders and equity providers make us a top advisor for many of the industry’s leading developers, owners, and operators and a trusted resource for our capital providers,” said Aaron Appel, Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of NY Capital Markets for Walker & Dunlop. “A big differentiator for us is our focus on delivering that personalized service that you would only expect from a boutique firm.” Select recent transactions include: Northern Liberties – $134.6 million: Walker & Dunlop structured construction financing to facilitate the development of Northern Liberties, located along Spring Garden and North 2nd Street in Philadelphia, PA. The team acted as the exclusive advisor to Kushner Real Estate Group and National Real Estate Advisors in arranging the construction loan with Ullico. Northern Liberties is primed to become an urban mixed-use, transit-oriented residential building comprised of 360 apartment units and 23,070 square feet of retail space. Amenities will include a full-service health club and fitness center, a resort-style pool, a co-working space, a conference room, a party room inclusive of a game area, and a private residential landscaped deck. JFK Logistics Center – $100 million: Walker & Dunlop arranged $100 million in loan proceeds to facilitate the refinancing of JFK Logistics Center, a premier industrial asset 100% leased to Amazon and located in the high-barrier-to-entry JFK Airport submarket of Queens, New York. The multi-story property contains nearly 423,000 rentable square feet and features 36’ clear heights, 16 loading positions, 54’ x 50’ column spacing, and two floors of parking across a 10.75-acre site. The site’s premier location offers access to over 12 million consumers within a one-hour drive. Walker & Dunlop acted as the exclusive advisor to a joint venture between Wildflower LTD and Amstar. The financing was provided by J.P. Morgan Investment Management. Lincoln Logistics – $37.7 million: Walker & Dunlop acted as exclusive advisors to Lincoln Equities Group and PCCP in arranging $37,732,000 in construction financing to facilitate the development of Lincoln Logistics Center located in Valley Cottage, NY. Upon completion, the property will span 220,000 square feet of Class A industrial warehouse and distribution space, complete with 55 loading dock doors, two drive-in doors, 123 parking spaces, and 36’ ceiling heights. Lincoln Logistics demonstrates functional demand drivers for Class-A industrial real estate, combining a strong local labor pool with proximity to 12.3 million people within a 30-mile radius. Hotel Peter Paul – $12.7 million: Walker & Dunlop arranged approximately $12.7 million in loan proceeds to facilitate the refinancing of Hotel Peter & Paul, a full-service boutique hotel located in the historic Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. The team acted as exclusive advisors to ASH NYC to arrange the refinancing of the property, which includes 71 guest rooms and features exquisite amenities including a highly acclaimed bar and restaurant, lounging alcoves, and convenient accessibility to the French Quarter and downtown offerings. The financing was provided by Planters Bank. Through the third quarter of 2022, the Walker & Dunlop Capital Markets segment sourced capital for transactions totaling over $21 billion from non-Agency capital providers. This vast experience has made them a top adviser on all asset classes for many of the industry’s top developers, owners, and operators. To learn more about Walker & Dunlop’s diverse financing options, visit our website. The post Walker & Dunlop’s NY Capital Markets Team Closed Nearly $300 Million in December appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyJan 12th, 2023

Choice Hotels (CHH) Boosts Ascend Line-up With New Agreement

Choice Hotels (CHH) announces agreement with The Brittano Group, Inc. to develop The Rook Hotels in South Boston, Virginia. Choice Hotels International, Inc.’s CHH Ascend brand recently announced an agreement with The Brittano Group, Inc. to develop The Rook Hotels in South Boston, Virginia. The company expects to open the property in the summer of 2024.Nestled in the heart of South Boston's downtown district, the four-story, 37-room boutique property will offer a range of experiences along with Ascend brand’s services and amenities. This includes a full-service restaurant, rooftop bar and event center. It also offers convenient access to leisure attractions.Concerning the property, John Lancaster, vice president, emerging markets, franchise development and owner relationships, Choice Hotels International, stated, "We look forward to working with The Brittano Group, Inc. as we celebrate another milestone for this important initiative with the first Ascend hotel being developed through this one-of-a-kind program."Emphasis on Franchise Business & ExpansionsChoice Hotels gains from economies of scale associated with the franchise business. Accordingly, higher fees from franchisees and transference of cost burden to franchises provide the company with operational advantages. Apart from royalty fees and procurement-services revenues, Choice Hotels also collect marketing and reservation system fees to provide support activities to the franchise system. We believe that franchising will facilitate ROE expansion and earnings growth over the long term.During the third quarter of 2022, the company awarded 123 domestic franchise agreements to legacy Choice brands compared with 89 franchising agreements reported in the prior-year quarter. As of Sep 30, 2022, the company’s total domestic pipeline of hotels awaiting conversion, under construction or approved for development reached 1,017 hotels (representing over 98,000 rooms), up 16% rise on a year-over-year basis. Year to date (through Sep 30, 2022), new applications for domestic franchise agreements increased 23% year over year.The company is optimistic with respect to its expansion strategies through acquisitions and franchise agreements. The company revealed plans to open additional Ascend hotels in destinations including Orlando, Florida; Sutter Creek, California; Lake Charles, Louisiana and Puerto Rico.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past six months, shares of Choice Hotels have gained 6.6% compared with the industry’s 11.8% growth.Zacks Rank & Key PicksChoice Hotels currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. WWE, Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. HGV and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL.World Wrestling Entertainment currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. WWE has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 25.2%, on average. The stock has increased 70.9% in the past year.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for WWE’s 2023 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a rise of 4.9% and 10.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s estimated levels.  Hilton Grand Vacations carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). HGV has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 3.7%, on average. Shares of HGV have declined 16.4% in the past year.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HGV’s 2023 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 4.7% and 24.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Royal Caribbean currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. RCL has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of negative 1.8%, on average. Shares of RCL have declined 29.1% in the past year.  The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RCL’s 2023 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 43.6% and 138.3%, respectively, from the year-ago levels. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL): Free Stock Analysis Report World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE): Free Stock Analysis Report Choice Hotels International, Inc. (CHH): Free Stock Analysis Report Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 12th, 2023

An architect bought a crumbling 19th-century French château and restored it to match the original owners" plans. Now you can rent it for up to $600 a night — see inside.

Sibylle Thomke rents out Château de Sibra in Lagarde, France, through the boutique-hotel company Welcome Beyond and the outbuildings on Airbnb. The courtyard and the château.Thierry Kleiner Bern Switzerland Sibylle Thomke, a Swiss architect, bought a 19th-century château in France with her savings in 2017. She spent three years renovating it and the outbuildings on the property, which she lists on Airbnb. After opening the château in June 2021, she now rents out rooms for between $190 and $600 a night. Sibylle Thomke, a Swiss architect, first set eyes on the Château de Sibra in Lagarde, Occitanie, France, in January 2017. When she told her French friends that she was looking for a holiday home, they said they knew of the perfect property for her — if she was willing to put in the work. Her plans for a simple vacation spot changed when she saw the building.Sibylle Thomke.Courtesy of Sibylle Thomke"The garden hadn't been taken care of for the last 50 years," Thomke told Insider. "The grounds had turned into a jungle, and the lakes had dried up." When she stepped into the the 19th-century château's hallway, she found it was just as dilapidated — the wallpaper peeled off the walls, and owls lived in the roof.Despite all this, Thomke saw potential. "Everything was original," Thomke said. "Even though the château was in bad shape, it was a huge archive, which was quite amazing."Thomke declined to share the purchase price, but she said that the property was a bargain. "You could buy a three-bedroom apartment in Zurich for the price that I paid for this property," Thomke said. "It was in a sad shape. A lot of people were afraid of it." Thomke bought the Château de Sibra that spring with her savings and started renovating the property in fall 2018.On June 18, 2021, Thomke and her team opened the grounds for guests, and she now rents rooms in the château and the apartments for between $190 and $600 a night. She shared what the renovation process was like with Insider.Finding a 'red thread' to tie it togetherThe outbuilding, which now houses three apartments.Thierry Kleiner Bern SwitzerlandThomke decided to turn the two outbuildings on the property into holiday apartments first so she could spend more time working on the château. "My biggest concern was how to make sense of the château," Thomke said. "At the beginning, it looked like a collage of so many different disparate elements. I needed to find that 'red thread' that would tie it all together."She took time to analyze the building. In her research, Thomke learned that the railway baron Joseph Villary de Fajac and his wife, Pauline, had turned a tiny 13th-century estate into a grand estate with the château when they bought the land in 1878. Their aim was to marry agriculture and beauty — they wanted a practical farm in a picturesque parkland. Thomke's goal soon became taking the tired property and turning it into a place that the De Fajacs would've recognized.While Thomke had a strong network of artisans at home, she had to find new contacts in France. "It became an adventurous journey, and I met some really amazing people," Thomke said. From the local plasterer, Monsieur Denis — who Thomke said became the "house ghost" because he spent 18 months walking from room to room always covered in white plaster — to the mural restorer Madame Lafitte, the renovation was a joint project from the start.Getting started on renovationsA renovated room in the château.Courtesy of Sibylle ThomkeThomke started by reworking the flow of the château and giving it a lobby, rather than using the kitchen door as the entrance. She also wanted to make sure that the footprint and changes were as light as possible to keep the property close to its original form — for example, when she installed bathrooms in the suites, she chose to place the shower, basin, and toilet in freestanding structures that can be removed in the future if someone wanted to return the property to its original state.As a collector of furniture, it didn't take Thomke long to furnish the château. She restored two sofas each of her grandmothers once owned, which she brought from Switzerland to France and blended with more modern furnishings from Switzerland, France, and Italy. The purchase of a wood-fired heating system surprised her most. "I thought it was outrageously expensive, as it cost 50% more than it would've cost in Switzerland," she said. She bought it anyway because it's environmentally friendly.The library.Courtesy of Sibylle ThomkeThe dining room in the château.Courtesy of Sibylle ThomkeOne of the most unique parts of the château is a mural in the dining room that the De Fajacs commissioned an artist to paint in 1883. The De Fajacs asked the artist to paint a landscape image of how the park could look in the future, Thomke said.Seeing it as a blueprint for her renovation, Thomke chose the Berlin-based landscape architect Thilo Folkerts to bring the painting to life. The team took three years to turn the 37-acre grounds back into an elegant park complete with the foliage represented in the painting. "We found a heritage tree that Joseph Villary de Fajac had written about planting," Thomke said. "We also found a small pavilion that was completely overgrown, which we restored."Staffing upThe château.Courtesy of Sibylle ThomkeThe château is available for bookings through the boutique-hotel company Welcome Beyond, and the apartments are listed on Airbnb. As they offer the luxury of a dinner service four nights a week at the château, Thomke chose not to place it on Airbnb. To publicize the launch, Thomke said, she spoke to French and Swiss publications, ran campaigns on Instagram, and worked with tourist offices in the region.She found the property's housekeeper, gardener, chef, and host via referrals. To boost staffing numbers during the busy summer months, she also reached out to the local hotel schools in the area to offer internships to their students.During the first three months, the Château de Sibra welcomed 150 guests. Thomke said that as COVID-19 numbers started to rise during July and August 2021, there was a looming that fear lockdown might happen again, so their apartments seemed to be the suites of choice. However, now the château's rooms are full again, she said, and the property only currently has spaces available in the apartments.It's not just the guests who have seen what a difference Thomke has made. "My neighbor came by a couple of weeks ago when I was at the property for the summer and he said, 'I get this feeling that it's not just you who found this property, but this property found you.'"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 4th, 2023

Billionaire Developer Li Zhang Arrested in London for Bribery in San Francisco, Facing Extradition

Billionaire Developer Li Zhang Arrested in London for Bribery in San Francisco, Facing Extradition Authored by Lear Zhou via The Epoch Times, Li Zhang, a Chinese billionaire who is cofounder and CEO of Guangzhou R&F Properties, was arrested in London on Nov. 30 under a provisional warrant issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern California District. Zhang was accused of “participating in a scheme to bribe public officials” between 2015 and 2020, according to Reuters. Zhang, 69, is worth $2.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine. He was granted bail under 15 million pounds (approximately $18.4 million) ahead of a legal battle against extradition to the United States. He did not show up at a Dec. 12 hearing. As part of his bail conditions, Zhang will be confined to an apartment 24 hours a day and subject to CCTV and security monitoring by a London investigation and security risk firm. He will be handcuffed to a representative of the security firm when he leaves the apartment to attend court hearings, according to South China Morning Post. Guangzhou R&F Properties issued an announcement in its official WeChat channel, stating: “Li Zhang was accused of bribery for hosting a banquet in China and providing hotel accommodation for the former San Francisco Public Works Director.” This was the first time R&F Properties responded on the alleged bribery accusation against Zhang. The announcement confirms that the person called “DEVELOPER 1” in the corruption case of Mohammed Nuru, the former San Francisco Public Works Director, is Zhang. In December 2021, Nuru pleaded guilty to the charge of honest services wire fraud, including a string of briberies and corruption during his years in office, and was sentenced to seven years by U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick in August 2022. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California, Nuru admitted in the plea agreement that he “received free travel, gifts, and benefits, for working with Walter Wong to use Nuru’s official position to benefit a billionaire developer from China.” Zhang (referred to as “DEVELOPER 1”) first surfaced in the FBI investigation into the Nuru case in the fall of 2018, when Nuru was talking on his cell phone about his then-upcoming trip to China, according to the affidavit of FBI agent James A. Folger. On a phone call with his girlfriend, official Sandra Zuniga, in November 2018, Nuru described how he was flattered by a luxury hotel: “We get there, they take us to our rooms and everything, and everybody’s in their room, and then as soon as I come out, they’re like still outside our room. I’m like, ‘Oh man, what’s going on?’” Nuru also said in the phone call that he did not realize how rich Zhang is before this trip to China. He said in the call: “I’m helping him with a project here, San Francisco. So whenever he comes, I always go to see him. I didn’t know … he has this plane; I didn’t know that, how big he was, until I got to China.” The project Nuru mentioned is 555 Fulton Street in San Francisco, developed by R&F’s U.S. affiliate Z&L Properties Inc., which was referred to in the complaints against Nuru as “Multimillion-Dollar Mixed-Use Development.” Wong was working as a consultant of that project. The building project 555 Fulton Street in San Francisco on Dec. 20, 2022. (Lear Zhou/The Epoch Times) On the same phone call with Zuniga, Nuru said, “He [Zhang] had a whole list of things that we need to get done.” Nuru also mentioned that the project couldn’t get a certificate due to a possible defect in the glass windows made in Mexico. He added, “Yup, and he’s very upset about [it] because he’s, you know, he thinks he’s lost, he’s spent so much money and … can’t see the end of the tunnel.” The glass issue was mentioned by one of Nuru’s employees when Nuru was in China in 2018. In a phone call, Nuru directed one of his managers to solve the problem and expedite the process. According to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2019, 555 Fulton St. was in the “finalizing construction” stage after a massive delay. More than one year of the delay was caused by the developer redesigning the building’s exterior without city permission. The builder was forced to go back to the approved yet more expensive design, which had a glass exterior. Tom Hui, former director of the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), who went to dinner with Zhang and Wong in February 2019, stepped down in March 2020 following internal investigations by then City Attorney Dennis Herrera. It was not clear whether Hui helped with the 555 Fulton Street project’s permit. In early 2020, after Nuru was arrested and indicted, the FBI raided the DBI’s server room, according to Mission Local. Hui was not charged with any federal crimes. The Epoch Times reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern California District for comment but did not receive a response. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/28/2022 - 03:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 28th, 2022

A band of immigrant tenants went to war with their $31 billion landlord. It"s a sneak peek at what"s to come across America.

As apartments become an investment of choice, tenants are taking a page out of the union playbook to stop evictions and other profit-driven moves. Activist Sami Bourma at a Southern Towers tenants' meeting in July 2022.Alex Nicoll/Insider, Tyler Le/Insider In Alexandria, Virginia, $31 billion landlord CIM Group bought a massive apartment complex in 2020. Tenants, fed up with eviction threats and neglect, pressured the company through its investors. CIM is meeting demands of tenant leaders after a long, drawn out battle. Sami Bourma was girding for the battle of his lifetime.It was a July evening in 2021, and three to four dozen of Bourma's neighbors had assembled in a courtyard of their home at Southern Towers, a 60-year-old complex of five apartment buildings in Northern Virginia on the outskirts of Washington, DC. The group was organizing against CIM Group, the landlord they said had upended their lives."This is our time to fight back," Bourma, a Saudi-born immigrant whose parents were from Sudan, told the crowd. "Corporations don't come here to help us. They come here to take an opportunity to invest their money, make a couple of dollars out of hardworking people, and then leave."CIM, a $31.3 billion Los Angeles-based real-estate owner-operator run by a pair of former Israeli paratroopers and Richard Ressler, a veteran of the junk-bond pioneer Drexel Burnham Lambert, bought Southern Towers in August 2020. It was one of the largest apartment deals of the year, and in keeping with one of the hottest trends in real estate: big investors buying multifamily properties for their rent potential at a time of faster inflation.CIM had a vision to meet the needs of the greater Washington community with the Towers joining a range of office, hotel, and apartment assets owned by the firm in the area, a representative said.But instead of improvements and upgrades, tenants received eviction notices during a nationwide ban on evictions — and mold, pest, and other maintenance issues went unresolved. The tenants, many of them African immigrants who have grown to love the community, were worried by their new landlord's agenda. They wondered whether CIM wanted them gone, in favor of the 25,000 Amazon employees who would soon work at the company's planned second headquarters just 5 miles away."They want us to get tired so we quit and move, but we love this area," Bourma told Insider in December.So Bourma and his neighbors forged alliances they hoped could prevent their landlords from brushing them aside. First, they made political appeals, joining Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe's failed 2021 gubernatorial campaign, and engaged in public protests in front of the Towers, to little effect.The Sherwood at Southern Towers in Alexandria, Virginia.Alex Nicoll/InsiderThen they saw a fresh strategy: Follow the money.African Communities Together, an immigrant advocacy group working with the tenants, began sending letters to pension funds that have billions of dollars tied up in CIM projects. At pension board meetings, Bourma spread the word about landlord neglect and tenant hardships."Public pensions are a critical funding source for private institutional investors," and hold tremendous influence over the money managers, said David Webber, a Boston University law professor who focuses on shareholder activism.The tactic has started to pay dividends. In July, residents of Southern Towers had their first private meeting with CIM and an observer from the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System pension fund, which had invested with CIM and — according to a PSERS representative — is responsive to "citizens' concerns."Two more meetings led to some concessions from CIM, including a temporary rent cap and a timeline for repairs to broken elevators and playground equipment. Tenants say these are half measures, but also signs of progress.Insider spoke with 10 Southern Towers tenants. Some are identified in full, while others asked that their last names be withheld for fear of professional consequences. Insider also spoke with two former CIM property managers and two witnesses to discussions between CIM and investors at a professional conference, with each asking for anonymity to avoid the possibility of retribution. Their identities are known to Insider.The tenants have a long road ahead of them, with many of their demands outstanding. But capturing the attention of the company has been a major feat in a state with relatively weak rent laws. Landlords have no obligation to bargain with tenant associations anywhere in the country except for San Francisco. "For a landlord with billions of dollars, making them come to the table is a win," Bourma said in December. "To have them sit with us to hear our complaints, that's a win."Tenants across the US are feeling increasing pressure, as rents hit all-time highs just as inflation added to the cost of everyday items.Meanwhile, multifamily investment hit a record high of $335 billion invested in 2021, according to CBRE. Big-money investors are pumping billions into the sector, leaving many renters to find that their new landlord is a Wall Street giant practiced in extracting as much income as possible from its investments. That has put tenants and landlords on a collision course. The battle between the Southern Towers tenants and CIM could presage what's to come across America.Hidden gems in Alexandria's gold rush Southern Towers' five 16-story buildings in Alexandria, Virginia, about 10 miles from the US Capitol, are a haven for the working class. They comprise their own census tract, and as of 2020, three-quarters of tenants were people of color. More than 60% are immigrants, most from Africa. CIM — a major player in the Northern Virginia area with 5,500 apartment units — wants to keep Southern Towers as "quality workforce housing" in an area saturated with luxury housing, according to the company representative. It's part of CIM's strategy of enhancing communities with properties from affordable housing to data centers, the person added.Southern Towers was already in a bad way. Tenants had been demanding a rent freeze from their previous landlord Bell Partners. When CIM snapped up the properties, it did so at a discount because of unpaid rent. The investor planned to make a "significant investment" into the "deteriorated" properties when it struck the deal, according to the representative.The deal was financed with the help of a 10-year, $346 million loan with a 2.2% interest rate from Freddie Mac. The Korean Teachers' Credit Union, which also participated in the deal, put the total size of the deal at $700 million: $506 million to acquire the Towers, with almost $200 million earmarked to redevelop the property.The terms of the deal were favorable, with borrowing costs near record lows. The same couldn't be said for the condition of the property. "They bought a lemon," a former property manager said of the situation faced by CIM at Southern Towers. "They didn't realize it wasn't just a lemon. It was a rotten lemon."The former manager used to visit a family member in the Towers during the 1990s. Little had improved, and most things seemed worse, with leaks, moldy rooms, and "infestations" of roaches and mice so large that they looked like inflatables, the manager said. "When I walked into some of those apartments, it was almost like a death scene in a scary movie," the former manager said. "It's like someone would come out of the closet and kill you."Black mold on a heating/cooling unit in the Sherwood at Southern Towers.Alex Nicoll/InsiderInsider visited Southern Towers in July and witnessed borderline living conditions, including what appeared to be dark mold around heating units of five apartments. In one, the 6-year-old autistic son of Laila, a woman from Morocco who was then pregnant with another child, was sick for much of the past winter, the mother said.The CIM representative told Insider in October that an environmental assessment done at the time of the purchase found no campus-wide mold issue.Tenants, especially immigrants who weren't native English speakers, complained that CIM didn't take their complaints seriously. One property manager told Laila that if she didn't like the conditions in her apartment, she could move to a more expensive apartment, or leave, she said.Evictions pile upMany tenants faced difficulties in paying rent early in the coronavirus pandemic because their service-industry jobs were disrupted or they felt forced to quit. Bourma, who was a cafeteria chef, was laid off in March 2020. Sami Bourma and Roslyn Gadley, two tenant leaders at the Southern Towers.Alex Nicoll/InsiderThe US government scrambled to mitigate the economic pain. By March 2020, the regulated housing enterprises Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae adopted a range of anti-eviction policies. By June 2020, Virginia had launched its Rent Relief Program, which would pay landlords back for unpaid rent.But CIM forged ahead with eviction measures, filing proceedings across 255 households in its first six months of ownership, or more than 10% of all households, according to an Insider evaluation of a study commissioned by African Communities Together, the activist group helping the tenants. Many of these households had multiple proceedings filed against them, bringing the total number of measures filed to 541. According to the study, the Towers represented 21% of the filings in Alexandria during the period, even though Southern Towers was just 6% of the city's rental stock.CIM did not dispute the eviction-related activity but noted that the Towers had actual eviction rates of just 0.43% and 0.78% in 2021 and 2020, compared with the city's 2021 rate of 1.62%. Still, even though CIM was barred from actually kicking anyone out for not paying rent, the eviction notices still had a significant impact on the community, according to tenant leaders and the two former property managers. Many tenants, perhaps unaware of their rights or terrified of going to court, left the Towers after receiving a notice, they said."There's a lot of immigrants in this community, and if you tell them they have to go to court, they get scared," Bourma said.Turn to investorsCIM has been hired by pension funds to invest billions in real estate. ACT sent some of these funds a letter earlier this year, asking them to intervene and make sure that CIM not "displace immigrant residents" and that it provide "livable conditions."Bourma started to speak out at pension-fund meetings, including at a PSERS public forum in June. PSERS wasn't a direct investor into Southern Towers but had given the group $250 million for an infrastructure fund earlier in 2022. He explained why the tenants were fighting."They're pushing us out of our city — they're pushing us out of the place we've built for years," Bourma said, according to an excerpted recording of the meeting, provided by ACT.The pressure appeared to pay off. By July, the tenants and ACT had won a seat at the table with CIM executives. There, they demanded a pause in evictions, better maintenance, and a more compassionate attitude from the building staff.Disagreements ensued. At the first meeting, CIM said it had filed evictions only to help tenants apply for Virginia's Rent Relief Program. Tenants blasted the explanation because eviction filings weren't required for them to collect state rent relief. Their credit was unnecessarily tarnished, they said.The back and forth continued over two more meetings, culminating with some concessions from CIM: a short-term cap on rent increases, more money for pest removal and lobby staff, frequent efforts to gather feedback from tenants, and repairs for leaky windows and roofs that may have caused some mold growth.Still, Bourma kept up with the pressure. Sometimes, the tension has boiled over in public forums.In September, Bourma joined a panel about ethical housing investment at a gathering of the Council of Institutional Investors, where CIM investors would be in attendance. He described the issues he said he and other tenants had faced in an appeal to the conscience of investors who he hoped were factoring social and governance issues into their investments.For Jerry Thomas, a managing director of CIM's on-site property team who showed up unexpectedly, it was time to set the record straight, as he saw it. After distributing three-page flyers with CIM's position, Thomas disputed Bourma's characterizations in a tone so aggressive that it jarred some audience members, according to two who attended and were not affiliated with CIM or the tenants.A CIM representative dismissed Thomas' behavior as unsurprising given what the person called the "unfair characterizations" of his staff and their work."We're not going to leave"The Southern Towers tenants aren't the only ones following the money. Minnesota tenants of HavenBrook Homes, which is ultimately owned by the investment firm Pretium — asked the Minnesota State Board of Investment in 2021 to review its relationship with Landmark Partners, a private-equity real-estate firm that has worked with Pretium, because of poor living conditions and high fees. Similar scenes have played out in California as well. The tenants' actions come at a time of growing tension between renters and landlords with close Wall Street connections. In Cincinnati, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority stepped in to buy properties to stop them from falling into the hands of out-of-town investors. In November, Southern Towers resident Roslyn Gadley joined a group of dozens of tenants from across the country organized by advocacy group People's Action to push the White House to pass a pro-tenant executive order that would boost federal oversight of institutional landlords, with the help of progressive Congresspeople like Elizabeth Warren and Cori Bush. And tenant movements from New York State to Orange County, Florida, have helped pass rent control and tenant rights laws.Bourma told Insider in December that he had seen some improvement since the tenant meetings. His air-conditioning unit, and those of a few other tenant leaders, have been cleaned of mold. The broken back door entrance to the Sherwood at Southern Towers.Alex Nicoll/InsiderCIM, most likely eager to put the issue behind it, says it worked "individually" with its renters over "specific issues." It cited a high level of recent lease renewals and a building survey as signs of contentment, though responses to the survey totaled just 117, a fraction of a complex with 2,300 units.But Bourma and the tenants are far from satisfied. He said less-vocal tenants continued to have issues, and a back door to one of the buildings remains broken since Insider's visit. This, he said, means the fight will drag on."We're not going to leave," Bourma said. "We're going to continue to put pressure on. You can make your money, but we need a peaceful place to live."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 27th, 2022

I toured Fisher Island, a private island in Florida that"s only accessible by yacht or private ferry, and saw why it attracts some of the wealthiest people in the world

From a $90 million penthouse and megayachts to the Vanderbilt mansion and a members-only club, these photos show how affluent Fisher Island really is. Fisher Island.franckreporter/Getty Images Fisher Island, a 216-acre oasis off the coast of Miami, is one of the wealthiest zip codes in the US. I toured the island and was blown away by its elite beach club and multi-million dollar condos. See photos of one of the exclusive enclave that only residents and guests can enter. Fisher Island is less than two miles from Miami's coast, but the exclusive community might as well be on a different planet — or some alternate utopian universe that only millionaires can enter.Google MapsThe 216-acre island is home to approximately 800 families from 40 different countries. In 2018, it was ranked by Bloomberg as America's wealthiest zip code, with an average annual income of $2.2 million.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtySource: BloombergCarl Fisher, the developer behind Miami Beach, bought the island from Dana A. Dorsey, Miami's first Black millionaire. In the 1920s, Fisher gave the land to William K. Vanderbilt II in exchange for his 250-foot yacht.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtySource: Fisher Island ClubThe Vanderbilt family built a winter estate on the island named "Alva base" to match his new yacht, the "Alva." After William's death, the island changed hands several times until development began in the 1980s.The Vanderbilt family on their yacht 'Alva' in Miami circa 1930.FPG/Getty ImagesSource: Fisher Island ClubCompletely disconnected from the Florida mainland, Fisher Island is only accessible by a registered boat or ferry. But the most fashionable means of transport is by megayacht, of course.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtyFor yachtless visitors like me, a private ferry shuttles local residents and their pre-approved guests across Biscayne Bay every 10 minutes.Hannah Towey/InsiderThe ferry runs 24 hours a day and takes seven minutes.Hannah Towey/InsiderMost passengers spent the journey inside their vehicles, so I had the newly renovated interior to myself.Hannah Towey/InsiderUpon arrival, one of the island's 400 employees picked me and a few others up on a golf cart — the go-to mode of transportation on the island.Hannah Towey/InsiderMy tour guide for the evening was Elena Bluntzer, a Fisher Island resident who is also one of the island's top realtors. She represented the buyer of a $21 million apartment earlier this year, a local record.Hannah Towey/InsiderSource: Mansion GlobalI met Bluntzer at the ultra-exclusive Fisher Island Club. To join, property owners must pay a one-time $250,000 equity contribution and a $22,256 annual fee.Fisher Island beach clubJeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtySource: InsiderAdvertised as "South Florida's most exclusive golf and private club," its crown jewel is a secluded, one-mile beach with sand imported from the Bahamas.Hannah Towey/InsiderSource: Fisher Island ClubResidents ate dinner and grabbed drinks at the outdoor bar. I quickly learned my money was no good here — the only way to purchase anything on the island is through a club member's tab.Hannah Towey/Insider"Even a black Amex card can't buy you a drink here," the bartender told me, laughing. "I love saying that."Hannah Towey/InsiderThe entire neighborhood felt like a five-star luxury resort — only 30% of Fisher Island residents live on the island year-round.Hannah Towey/InsiderBut what I was most impressed with during the tour was the club's seemingly endless amenities.Hannah Towey/InsiderMembers have access to professional-quality racquet courts and a nine-hole golf course ...Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International Realty... as well as the Vanderbilt Mansion pool ...Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International Realty... and a wellness center with a spa, pool, gym, and salon.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtyThe spa was formerly Vanderbilt's private airplane hangar.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtyThe original Vanderbilt mansion was renovated as part of the island's $60 million restoration project that began in 2007.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtyIt now serves as the hub of the island's only resort, a 45-room boutique hotel comprised of Mediterranean-style villas and cottages.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtyFor dining, there are a total of seven options, ranging from high-end restaurants to casual lounges.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtyThe "Snooker Club" is located on the upper-level of the Vanderbilt mansion and is only open to members and their guests.Hannah Towey/InsiderPrivate dining rooms are also available to members for an even more intimate setting.Hannah Towey/InsiderThe wood-paneled rooms were originally the Vanderbilt mansion's two bedroom suites.Hannah Towey/InsiderThe Snooker Club's pool room is decorated with historic photos of the Vanderbilt family, who were known for hosting high-society gatherings at the estate.Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International RealtyThough the club was definitely the heart of all social activity on the island, there was plenty more to explore as we drove down the impeccably manicured golf cart paths.Hannah Towey/InsiderMost buildings on the island are luxury condos, each designed to mimic the Mediterranean-style architecture of the original Vanderbilt estate.Hannah Towey/InsiderWhile the older buildings were smaller and more traditional, there were also modern high-rises overlooking the Miami skyline ...Jeff Miller with ONE Sotheby's International Realty... like the 10-story luxury condo building "Palazzo Della Luna," where apartments start at $6.5 million.Hannah Towey/InsiderSource: Pallazo Della LunaBut new buildings won't be popping up for much longer. The last development parcel on Fisher Island was purchased by the Related Group in September.Renders of the last new condominium buildings to be built on Fisher Island.The Related GroupThey plan to build a 10-story, 50-unit property where apartments are expected to sell for an average of $24 million each.Renders of the last new condominium buildings to be built on Fisher Island.The Related GroupThe penthouse will be listed $90 million, which would make it the most expensive apartment ever sold in the entire Miami area.Renders of the last new condominium buildings to be built on Fisher Island.The Related GroupBy the end of the tour, it was clear why the small, secluded island is able to attract some of the wealthiest people in the world. As is the Vanderbilt way, what's the point of owning a yacht if you don't have a private island to match?Hannah Towey/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 26th, 2022

Choice Hotels (CHH) Expands in Georgia With New Hotel Opening

Choice Hotels (CHH) boosts upscale brand presence In Georgia with the Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District opening. Choice Hotels International, Inc.’s CHH Cambria brand recently announced the addition of the Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District in Georgia. This marks the brand’s first property in the region.Located at Montgomery Street in Savannah, the six-story (101-room) upscale hotel provides guests access to fitness centers, on-site dining and multi-function indoor-outdoor meeting spaces. It also offers convenient access to leisure attractions such as the SCAD Museum, Forsyth Park and Savannah Civic Center. The property is close to several corporations like Georgia Ports Authority, Gulfstream, Hunter Army Airfield, St. Joseph's Hospital and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System's North American headquarters.Janis Cannon, senior vice president, upscale brands, Choice Hotels, stated, "The opening of the Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District represents another proud moment for the brand, as we continue to thoughtfully expand Cambria's modern, design-forward accommodations to new markets.”The Cambria Hotels brand has been a major growth driver for the company. Cambria has significantly outperformed the upscale soft brands (and the segment on the whole) in terms of year-over-year RevPAR change. The brand has been well received on account of smart-conversion opportunities. During third-quarter 2022, the company’s domestic hotel openings increased 5.2% year over year. The company anticipates ramped-up expansion across the United States with properties in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, Portland and Phoenix. Also, it stated that it has additional 69 domestic properties in the pipeline.Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchComing to price performance, shares of Choice Hotels have declined 27% in the past year compared with the industry’s fall of 15.6%. The coronavirus crisis continues to cause disruptions to the global economy and the hospitality industry. Reduced travel and demand for hotel rooms have affected the company for some time. Although the company commenced the recovery process, we believe that the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant will likely create volatility in demand. The company is cautious, as rising infections may trigger disruptions again. Earnings estimates for 2023 have declined in the past 30 days, depicting analysts’ concern regarding the stock growth potential.Zacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderChoice Hotels currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. HGV, RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. RICK and Hyatt Hotels Corporation H.Hilton Grand Vacations currently has a Zacks Rank #1. HGV has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 3.7%, on average. The stock has declined 25.2% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HGV’s 2023 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a rise of 4.7% and 24.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.RCI Hospitality currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). RICK has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 6.1%, on average. The stock has gained 27.3% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RICK’s 2023 sales and EPS indicates growth of 12.7% and 10.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Hyatt currently has a Zacks Rank #2. H has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 652.3%, on average. The stock has declined 3.3% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for H’s 2023 sales and EPS indicates a surge of 7.4% and 136.6%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 5 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How To Profit From Trillions On Spending For Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H): Free Stock Analysis Report Choice Hotels International, Inc. (CHH): Free Stock Analysis Report RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. (RICK): Free Stock Analysis Report Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 23rd, 2022

Le Meridien opens second hotel in New York City on Fifth Ave.

The hotel features 165 guest rooms and 17 apartment-style residences......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsDec 19th, 2022

One of New York"s largest commercial landlords is spending $1.5 billion to convert office buildings into apartments as office vacancy rates remain elevated

Silverstein Properties CEO Marty Burger sees a $10 billion opportunity in conversion projects as more companies shed their office space. The Manhattan skyline from the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building.ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images Silverstein Properties has opened up a $1.5 billion fund to convert unwanted offices into housing. The move comes at a time when several major cities are grappling with high office vacancies in their downtown core. Silverstein is targeting acquisitions in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, D.C. That empty high-rise office building in your neighborhood may soon be turned into housing. Silverstein Properties, one of America's largest commercial landlords, announced in the first week of December that it is raising more than $1.5 billion to convert unwanted office space into residential housing in markets ranging from New York to San Francisco. Prior to the pandemic, office buildings were the lifeblood of central business districts across the country. Central offices were the reason that employees braved traffic congestion, hopped on public transportation, and bought their morning coffee and bagel at a local bakery. But in the two-plus years since the start of pandemic, office occupancy rates have not fully recovered as remote work continues to gut downtown areas. For example, data from commercial real estate giant CBRE shows that about 25% of all New York's offices remain available for lease while other markets, like San Francisco and Boston, face similarly high vacancy rates. These figures are well-above their pre-pandemic averages and seem unlikely to change given the high demand for remote and hybrid work opportunities. Silverstein's move also comes at a time when commercial real estate property values are declining. Data from Green Street, a commercial real estate market analysis firm, shows that commercial property values have declined by 13% over the past 12 months, which lowers the financial barrier to entry for developers who want to take on conversion projects. Silverstein CEO Marty Burger told Bloomberg in a recent interview that these market conditions have created an estimated $10 billion opportunity to convert unwanted offices into new residential housing.  "Now is the perfect storm where office is not in favor, and the residential market is very hot,"  Burger said. "Hopefully we can acquire some of these office buildings that may be obsolete or may not be their highest and best use as an office building, and convert them to residential use, which the city desperately needs."Such conversion projects — also described as adaptive reuse — became a go-to tactic for many residential developers during the pandemic as banks, hotel chains, and even some churches shed their real estate holdings in order to maintain stable financial footing. According to a November study from RentCafe, developers created more than 28,000 apartments through conversion projects in 2021, an increase of 25% when compared to 2020. The same study estimates that roughly 77,000 new apartments will be added nationally via adaptive reuse conversions by the end of 2022. Should pandemic conditions linger and companies continue to allow employees to work from home, this figure could grow even more in the coming years. Doug Ressler, a business intelligence manager at Yardi Matrix, which helped RentCafe compile the report, said that larger office buildings in central business districts and downtown areas are better suited for conversion projects because they're in dense areas with high demand for housing compared to buildings in more suburban markets. And having already been down a similar path before, Silverstein Properties is positioning itself as a leader in the emerging market. The company converted an office at 116 John Street in New York's Financial District into a 416-unit market-rate apartment complex in 2021, rental listing site StreetEasy indicates. Then in May 2022, Silverstein and Metro Loft acquired a 30-story tower at 55 Broad Street, also in the heart of New York's Financial District, for roughly $180 million and plans on turning the building into market-rate apartments, Commercial Observed reported in May. Other developers, such as Emily Hubbard, co-founder of Sage Investment Group, which specializes in multifamily conversion projects, suggest that conversions are a cheaper alternative to building new homes from the ground up given that the cost of borrowing money and construction materials have both skyrocketed over the past two years. Conversions can also be profitable, Hubbard said. Sage acquired Econo Lodge and a Travel Lodge in Tacoma, Washington for $14.2 million and plans to convert both buildings into apartments. Hubbard told Insider in September that Sage is expecting each building to produce a return rate of around 40%, similar to other conversion projects that Sage has completed.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 10th, 2022

Choice Hotels (CHH) Boosts Ascend Portfolio With New Hotel

Choice Hotels (CHH) boosts upscale brand presence In Georgia by opening a five-story Victorian-style property, The Windsor Hotel. Choice Hotels International, Inc.’s CHH Ascend brand recently announced the addition of The Windsor Hotel in Georgia to its global line of hotels and resorts. The property will be owned and operated by Choice Hotels franchise - Edgewater Group LLC.Nestled in the heart of downtown Americus, the five-story Victorian-style hotel will offer a range of experiences along with Ascend brand’s services and amenities. This includes fitness centers, on-site dining, a business center and a private veranda. It also offers convenient access to leisure attractions.With respect to the addition, Janis Cannon, senior vice president, upscale brands, Choice Hotels, stated, "We're thrilled to debut the Windsor Hotel in Americus, Georgia for travelers looking to immerse themselves in the abundant local history. With more than 200 distinct locations nationwide, we look forward to welcoming even more guests at Ascend hotels, so they can experience our exceptional service and upscale offerings that enhance their one-of-a-kind stay.”Increased Focus On Franchising Bode WellChoice Hotels gains from economies of scale associated with the franchise business. Accordingly, higher fees from franchisees and transference of cost burden to franchises provide the company with operational advantages. Apart from royalty fees and procurement-services revenues, Choice Hotels also collect marketing and reservation system fees to provide support activities to the franchise system.The company’s solid commitment toward franchisee profitability is driving incremental revenues. During the third quarter of 2022, the company awarded 123 domestic franchise agreements to legacy Choice brands compared with 89 franchising agreements reported in the prior-year quarter. As of Sep 30, 2022, the company’s total domestic pipeline of hotels awaiting conversion, under construction or approved for development reached 1,017 hotels (representing over 98,000 rooms), up 16% rise on a year-over-year basis. Year to date (through Sep 30, 2022), new applications for domestic franchise agreements increased 23% year over year. We believe that franchising will facilitate ROE expansion and earnings growth over the long term.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn the past three months, shares of Choice Hotels have gained 3.3% against the industry’s 1.5% fall.Zacks Rank & Key PicksChoice Hotels currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. MCRI, Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. HGV and Crocs, Inc. CROX.Monarch Casino sports a Zacks Rank #1. MCRI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.1%, on average. The stock has gained 17.3% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MCRI’s 2022 sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates growth of 21.1% and 29.2%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Hilton Grand Vacations sports a Zacks Rank #1. HGV has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 652.3%, on average. The stock has declined 18.6% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HGV’s current financial year sales and EPS indicates a surge of 63.8% and 60.9%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Crocs currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). CROX has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Shares of Crocs have plunged 39.2% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CROX’s 2022 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 51.5% and 23.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Choice Hotels International, Inc. (CHH): Free Stock Analysis Report Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (MCRI): Free Stock Analysis Report Crocs, Inc. (CROX): Free Stock Analysis Report Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 9th, 2022

Futures Rise As Nervous Traders Await Powell Speech

Futures Rise As Nervous Traders Await Powell Speech US futures rose on the last trading day of November as anxious investors awaited a potentially monkey-hammering speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell (although as JPM said, most of the downside is already priced in) and assessed a softer stance from China on Covid curbs. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% by 745a.m. ET while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.3%. The underlying indexes have closed lower for three consecutive days amid Covid restrictions and unrest in China. In Europe, shares climbed the most in more than a week as data showed eurozone inflation slowed for the first time in 1-1/2 years. Benchmark Treasury 10-year yields slipped and are down more than 25 basis points in November. In premarket trading, NetApp plunged 14% after the data-management company cut its guidance for earnings and revenue growth, while cybersecurity stocks fell after CrowdStrike’s forecast for fourth-quarter revenue fell short of estimates with analysts noting that macro headwinds have started catching up to the business as clients pull back on tech spending, while deals are taking longer to close amid an economic slowdown. HP Enterprise shares rose after sales beat forecasts on strong demand. Here are some other premarket movers: Cryptocurrency- exposed stocks climb as Bitcoin rose to a two-week high, before a keenly awaited speech by Fed Chair Jerome Powell that is expected to signal a slower pace of interest rate hikes in the US. Marathon Digital +4.8%, Riot Blockchain +5%, Coinbase +2.9% and Silvergate +2.4% Horizon Therapeutics stock rises 33% after the company confirmed it’s in “highly preliminary discussions” with Amgen, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi about a possible sale. Such a deal would be accretive, analysts said, estimating a takeout price range between ~$110 and $135 a share. X4 Pharmaceuticals shares fall 18%, weakness that Stifel (buy) said is likely “balance-sheet driven” after the company disclosed in a presentation that it has sufficient cash to fund operations into 3Q next year. AST SpaceMobile shares decline 5.8% after offering of $65m of its Class A common stock via B. Riley, with net proceeds to be used for general corporate purposes. Keep an eye on LPL Financial stock as Morgan Stanley downgrades it to equal-weight and removes the broker-dealer from its ‘Financials’ Finest’ list, with private-equity group Blackstone (BX US) added. Watch Fisker stock as it was initiated with an outperform rating at Evercore ISI, with the broker positive on the firm’s “unique” business model. Lucid and Rivian which both gain in US premarket trading, are started at inline. Workday shares jumped 8.5% in US postmarket trading on Tuesday as the finance and human resources cloud software provider narrowed its subscription revenue guidance for the full year, with analysts saying that demand is holding up even against a tough macroeconomic backdrop. US equities have been consolidating over the past 20 days, with the S&P 500 hovering around the 4,000 point-level, as volumes have collapsed heading into the year-end. “The reality is that as we approach year-end, people’s appetite to add new risk will severely diminish,” said James Athey, investment director at Abrdn. “Indeed, with a recession the base case for 2023, investors who have made a quick profit on this recent rally are increasingly liable to want to book profit before liquidity dries up. That probably means we will continue to drift without much force in either direction.” As previewed yesterday, Fed chair Jerome Powell is expected to speak about the state of the economy and the labor market at 1:30pm ET. Investors will pay attention to any clues about future policy, with the Fed Chair widely expected to signal lower rate hikes, but also warn that monetary tightening has further to run. He is widely expected to signal that the next Fed rate hike will step down to 50 basis points, though he will also likely warn that policy tightening has further to run. Those hopes of slower interest rate rises, alongside mounting optimism over China’s reopening, pushed the dollar lower and put the greenback on track for its worst month since 2009. A degree of caution remains among traders before the Fed chair’s remarks, given still-high global inflation and a robust jobs market.  “The market is hesitating a bit,” Societe Generale strategist Kenneth Broux said. “I would be very surprised if it is a dovish speech.” Some may hold the view that “the dollar has peaked and that the Fed Funds rate will peak at 5%, but I fear Powell will tell them it’s too soon,” he said. “Where we think markets need to be cautious and where we would like to see a bit of tempering in optimism is over the pivot,” said Geoffrey Yu, senior strategist at Bank of New York Mellon. “What we are looking for is higher for longer.” In Europe, the Stoxx 600 rose, led by consumer, auto, technology and energy shares. The benchmark is on course for a back-to-back monthly gain for the first time since August 2021. Here are the biggest European movers: Swedish biopharma company BioArctic jumps as much as 13% after its partner Eisai said the treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that they’re developing, lecanemab, isn’t to blame for two deaths involving brain bleeding of patients in a clinical trial. VGP gains as much as 6.6% after KBC Securities reinstated its buy recommendation, highlighting the Belgian real estate developer’s “strong management,” robust demand and good positioning in taking advantage of macro trends. Argenx rises as much as 7.4% after the biotech company agreed to purchase another FDA Priority Review Voucher, a move that KBC (buy) says can “significantly” accelerate regulatory review in the US, reducing times from about 12 months to six. Adyen climbs as much as 3.1% after New Street Research initiated with a buy rating, saying expectations over the payment firm’s margins have now been reset and it’s well positioned to create long-term value versus competitors that slowed investments amid macro uncertainties. Catena falls as much as 7.5% after the Swedish logistics property firm offered 4.5 million shares at SEK362, a 7.4% discount versus Tuesday’s closing price. Rexel falls as much as 6.9% in early Paris trading, the worst performance in the SBF 120 index, after the company was downgraded to underperform by Exane. Telenet slides as much as 5.3% after Oddo BHF downgraded to underperform just over a month after it cut the telecom operator to neutral, saying the company will face significant earnings pressure in 2023, while its fiber joint venture with Fluvius will take years to unlock the value. Pennon falls as much as 8.4% after the UK water company’s 1H results, which Jefferies said imply downside risk to earnings estimates. Sanofi declines as much as 3% after Horizon Therapeutics disclosed that the French company is among potential suitors it’s holding “highly preliminary discussions” with about a possible sale. Amgen and Johnson & Johnson are others. Earlier in the session, Asian equities rose, supported by a rally in Chinese shares amid speculation that unrest in China would pressure authorities to speed up the loosening of Covid restrictions, while traders awaited a speech from Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Meanwhile, China’s economic activity contracted further in November amid a record Covid outbreak, with growth likely to remain weak and the central bank expected to add more stimulus to bolster the recovery. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index erased a drop of as much as 0.5% to rise 0.9% on Wednesday, led by consumer discretionary and technology shares. Benchmarks in South Korea and Taiwan gained while Japanese key gauges capped a fourth day of losses. Chinese equities rose for a second day, buoyed by optimism from the removal of lockdown curbs in some districts of Guangzhou which added to hopes that the nation is laying the ground for an eventual Covid-Zero exit. Economic data released earlier Wednesday showed China’s factory and services activity contracted further in November due to Covid curbs. “I think the direction of reopening is quite clear,” said Vey-Sern Ling, managing director at Union Bancaire Privee. “Government is taking baby steps which is to be expected. It is also doing the right things, such as encouraging vaccination for the elderly.”   Powell’s comments will provide traders with more clues on the Fed’s tightening path going forward. Market watchers recently have been expecting slower interest rate hikes, though hawkish remarks from some officials continue to temper optimism. Asian equities have seen stellar performances in November with multiple benchmarks capping their best months in years. The key MSCI Asian measure has jumped nearly 15%, set for its best month since 1998. Japanese equities dropped, capping a fourth day of losses, as investors monitored the Covid situation in China and awaited Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech.  The Topix fell 0.4% to close at 1,985.57, while the Nikkei declined 0.2% to 27,968.99. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix decline, decreasing 2.2%. Out of 2,165 stocks in the index, 573 rose and 1,496 fell, while 96 were unchanged. “Caution remains as the risk of inflation has not gone away, and with US stock prices having difficulty rising significantly, Japan’s stock prices have recently been moving sideways,” said Tomo Kinoshita, a global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management Australian stocks rose: the S&P/ASX 200 index reversed an earlier loss to close 0.4% higher at 7,284.20 after data showed inflation unexpectedly decelerated in October. The print sent government bond yields lower and suggest the Reserve Bank may be approaching the peak of its policy tightening cycle. Mining and energy shares contributed the most to the benchmark’s rise, with a gauge of materials stocks notching its biggest monthly gain ever as iron ore eyed its own record surge. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.4% to 11,552.04 In FX, a gauge of the dollar fell for a second day. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is poised to end this month around 4.5% lower, which would be its worst performance since May 2009. Investors continue to bet that China will reopen its economy after authorities on Tuesday adjusted virus restrictions in Zhengzhou, a city that’s home to Apple Inc.’s largest manufacturing site in China. Norway’s krone led gains as oil rose. The onshore yuan advanced 1% versus the dollar as hopes over a relaxation of China’s Covid curbs stoke optimism about the country’s economy. Onshore yuan rallies to 7.0830 vs dollar; offshore currency up 0.8% to 7.0840. In rates, treasuries were slightly richer across the curve with gains led by belly out to long-end, flattening 2s10s and 2s5s spreads with 2-year yields little changed on the day. Treasuries are on pace for their third monthly gain of 2022 and the biggest since March 2020, as inflation moderated and Fed policymakers remained committed to additional rate increases to reinforce the trend. US 10-year yields around 3.72%, richer by 2bp on the day and outperforming bunds and gilts by 3bp and 4.5bp in the sector; after the data and Powell’s speech and Q&A at the Brookings Institution at 1:30pm in Washington, long-end could draw support into the month-end Treasury index rebalancing at 4pm New York time. Expected month-end duration extension is larger than average at 0.13yr for Dec. 1. Dollar issuance slate empty so far; 11 borrowers priced just over $17b Tuesday, led by Amazon multi-tranche offering. Focal points of  month-end session include 3Q GDP revision, JOLTS job openings data and Fed’s Powell speaking on the economic outlook and labor market. In commodities, OPEC and its allies are increasingly expected to hold production levels steady after the group opted to meet online amid an uncertain market outlook. Earlier this week, OPEC+ delegates signaled that Saudi Arabia and its partners would consider new output curbs at its gathering on Sunday, which was scheduled to take place at the cartel’s Vienna headquarters. But with the group’s decision to hold a virtual session, views are changing, and oil analysts and OPEC+ officials widely predict that the alliance will keep output unchanged. In futures, West Texas Intermediate rose for a third day, climbing above $80 a barrel after industry data pointed to a large decline in US crude stockpiles, while traders weighed the outlook for Chinese demand and the forthcoming OPEC+ meeting.  For spot oil prices from around the world, see BOIL.   IN THE NEWS The dilemma facing OPEC+ members is that the potential demand slowdown going into next year -- especially in China --coincides with an “exceptionally tight” crude market, according to Bank of America’s Karen Kostanian. Here’s what other analysts are saying we should expect from this weekend’s meeting. European diplomats trying to reach a deal to curb Russian oil prices are wrestling with an awkward truth: Moscow’s main benchmark crude is already trading below the levels proposed for the cap. Saudi Aramco may reduce the official selling price of its flagship Arab Light crude by $2.10 a barrel on-month to Asia for January, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which has already suffered two major stoppages this year, is warning of the potential for more because of a lack of spare parts. China’s ongoing battle with Covid-19, which sparked street protests and conciliatory moves from the government after citizens balked at the latest lockdowns, continues to crimp oil demand in the world’s biggest importer. Chevron Corp. found almost half of employees and contractors in Australia have been bullied in the past five years and a third experienced sexual harassment, according to a survey led by an external consultancy   Binance has acquired Sakura Exchange, entering the Japanese market as a JFSA regulated entity. Looking to the day ahead now, one of the key highlights will be Fed Chair Powell’s speech at the Brookings Institution. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Bowman and Cook, the ECB’s Makhlouf and BoE chief economist Pill. The Fed will also be releasing their Beige Book. When it comes to data releases, today will  we will get the November ADP employment change (8:15am), second estimate of 3Q GDP and October wholesale inventories (8:30am), November MNI Chicago PMI (9:45am), October pending home sales and JOLTS job openings (10am). Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 3,969.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 439.99 MXAP up 0.9% to 156.52 MXAPJ up 1.5% to 508.23 Nikkei down 0.2% to 27,968.99 Topix down 0.4% to 1,985.57 Hang Seng Index up 2.2% to 18,597.23 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,151.34 Sensex up 0.3% to 62,898.19 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,284.17 Kospi up 1.6% to 2,472.53 Brent Futures up 2.2% to $84.89/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,761.34 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.36% to 106.44 German 10Y yield up 0.4% to 1.92% Euro up 0.4% to $1.0371 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Zhengzhou shuttered hundreds of buildings and apartment blocks hours after lifting broader lockdown measures, as officials strive to make their Covid controls more targeted in line with Beijing’s directives Strong demand for goods and services may be starting to overtake supply constraints -- from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine -- as the driver of US prices, according to new gauges built by Federal Reserve economists Currency traders hoping to enjoy a quiet run up to Christmas may be in for a shock. One-month implied volatility for major currency pairs -- a gauge of expectations for FX moves over that period -- are sitting well above their 10-year average for this time of year Jiang Zemin, the Chinese leader who presided over more than a decade of dramatic economic growth following the bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, has died. He was 96 A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks eventually traded mostly higher at month-end although gains were capped following the subdued handover from Wall St and after disappointing Chinese PMI data. ASX 200 was positive with the index led by strength in the mining-related sectors and with initial losses pared alongside a slew of data releases including better-than-expected Construction Work and softer monthly Australian CPI. Nikkei 225 slipped beneath the 28,000 level after Industrial Production further deteriorated which prompted the government to cut its relevant assessment. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were indecisive as recent optimism from hopes of an easing of COVID controls was clouded by disappointing Chinese PMI data which slipped into a deeper contraction. Top Asian News Fullerton Health Said to Mull Stake Sale at $1.1 Billion Value Hong Kong Dollar Strengthens Past Strong Half of Trading Band Asian Stocks Gain for Second Day on China Reopening Hopes NDTV Founders Resign From Holding Firm Board Amid Adani Takeover Chinese Stocks in Hong Kong Jump, Capping Best Month Since 2003 Binance Re-Enters Japan With Sakura Exchange Purchase GoTo Shares Fall to Record Low as Major Holders’ Lock-Up Expires European equities trade on a firmer footing following mixed leads from Wall St, with eyes set on Fed Chair Powell on month-end, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.5%. Sectors in Europe are mostly positive but to a lesser extent than at the cash open; Autos, Consumer Products and Energy outpace while Real Estate and Telecoms lag. US futures are trading a touch above unchanged following yesterday’s session which was characterised by notable tech selling amid a pick-up in US yields, ES +0.2%. Top European News BoE Chief Economist Pill says inflation expected to decline rapidly in H2 2023, demand is easing as household incomes are squeezed, the labour market remains very tight. Hungary gets initial green light from the European Commission for its EUR 5.8bln recovery plan, according to Bloomberg; recommends withholding separate EUR 7.5bln in fund. Hungary’s Russia-Designed Nuclear Reactors Survive Legal Attack Viceroy Target Home REIT Hits Back at Latest Short Report Houseboats Get Fresh Look in London’s Brutal Real Estate Market Turkish Economy Stumbles, Risks Bigger Downswing Before Election Germany Nov. SA Unemployment Change +17K M/m; Est. +13.5K M/m BOE Chief Economist Assumes UK Inflation Will Fall Next Year FX DXY is under pressure in early European hours after failing to top 107.00 overnight, having printed an APAC peak of 106.90, matching the Tuesday high. Antipodeans lead the charge amid the positive risk move and despite the softer-than-expected Aussie CPI overnight and weak PMIs from China. EUR gains were somewhat stalled after EZ headline CPI printed softer than expectations but the core metrics topped forecasts while Cable has managed to attain a foothold on 1.20. CNH is the EM outperformer on hopes of looser Chinese COVID restrictions. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 7.1769 vs exp. 7.1790 (prev. 7.1989) Japanese FX intervention amounted to 0 between October 28th-November 28th, according to MoF. Fixed Income Core bonds dented as core EZ inflation fails to decline, USTs directionally in-fitting but little changed overall pre-Powell. Bund Dec’22 slipped from 141.24 to 140.70 (vs 140.50 low) on the EZ inflation release, with market pricing between 50bp & 75bp remains on a knife-edge. Gilts are lower by circa 40 ticks on the session in sympathy and were unphased by largely familiar remarks from Chief Economist Pill. Commodities WTI and Brent futures are firmer intraday as the risk tone remains constructive and the Dollar declines. Spot gold grinds higher as DXY softens and the risk tone turns less constructive, with the yellow metal rising north of USD 1,750/oz and towards Monday’s USD 1,763/oz peak. Base metals are firmer across the board on hopes China will ease its Zero-COVID parameters, with 3M LME copper extending on overnight gains to levels north of USD 8,100/t during the European morning. US Private Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -7.9mln (exp. -2.8mln), Gasoline +2.9mln (exp. +1.7mln), Distillate +4.0mln (exp. +1.5mln), Cushing -0.2mln. OPEC+ decision to meet virtually on December 4th signals that there is little likelihood of a change in policy and the virtual meeting puts focus on the pending Russian oil price cap decision on December 5th, according to a source with direct knowledge cited by Reuters. OPEC+ cancelled the 2nd Dec JTC meeting, according to Argus sources. China covid updates Beijing City reports 2,378 new local COVID cases (prev. 2,126) during 15 hours to 3pm on Wednesday. China's Guangzhou will gradually resume normal operations of subway stations and Haizhu trams as of November 30th, according to the Municipal government. Beijing is set to allow some residents to skip mass COVID testing, according to Bloomberg. China is reportedly mulling rolling out a 4th round of COVID vaccines, according to Bloomberg. Geopolitics China and Russian warplanes temporarily entered South Korea's air defence zone, according to Yonhap. Russian Foreign Ministry says Moscow does not intend to discuss the New START treaty with Washington as long as it supplies Ukraine with weapons, via Al Jazeera. US Event Calendar 07:00: Nov. MBA Mortgage Applications -0.8%, prior 2.2% 08:15: Nov. ADP Employment Change, est. 200,000, prior 239,000 08:30: 3Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 2.8%, prior 2.6% Personal Consumption, est. 1.6%, prior 1.4% PCE Core QoQ, est. 4.5%, prior 4.5% GDP Price Index, est. 4.1%, prior 4.1% 08:30: Oct. Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$90.5b, prior -$92.2b 08:30: Oct. Retail Inventories MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4% Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.6% 09:45: Nov. MNI Chicago PMI, est. 47.0, prior 45.2 10:00: Oct. JOLTs Job Openings, est. 10.3m, prior 10.7m 10:00: Oct. Pending Home Sales YoY, est. -35.2%, prior -30.4% Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. -5.7%, prior -10.2% 14:00: U.S. Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book Central Bank speakers 08:50: Fed’s Bowman Discusses the Future of Small Banks 12:35: Fed’s Cook Discusses the Economic and Policy Outlook 13:30: Powell Discusses the Economic Outlook and the Labor Market DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Markets bent a little yesterday but didn’t break as US stocks rallied around half a percent off their European closing lows into the NY final bell. The S&P 500 (-0.16%) still ultimately lost ground for a third day running though. Interestingly, that came in spite of several positive developments yesterday, with the latest European inflation data surprising on the downside, just as there were fresh signs pointing towards a potential reopening in China. However, the focus is now turning back to the Fed once again, with investors eagerly awaiting Chair Powell’s speech at the Brookings Institution later on today. That’s an important one since the Fed’s blackout period ahead of the next meeting begins this weekend, so this is the last chance Powell will have to give a steer on policy beforehand. In addition, today will bring the latest data on job openings and the quits rate for October, which have recently been cited by the Fed and others as a key gauge of inflationary pressures from the labour market. With that in mind, it’ll be a big day for Fed watchers, but we shouldn’t forget the ECB as we’ll also get the flash CPI release for the Euro Area at 10am London time. Markets will be paying close attention, but European government bonds were already rallying ahead of that yesterday after the country-specific releases surprised on the downside. For instance, Spanish inflation came in at +6.6% in November using the EU-harmonised measure, which was down from +7.3% in October and also beneath the +7.1% reading expected. Later in the day, we got further signs that inflation might be moving lower, with German inflation down from +11.6% in October to +11.3% in November, whilst Belgian inflation was down from +12.3% in October to +10.6% in November. That trend has continued overnight as well, with Australia’s CPI for October unexpectedly falling to +6.9% (vs. +7.6% expected). Those signs of decelerating inflation led investors to price in a growing chance that the ECB would slow down the pace of their hikes to 50bps in December. Indeed, the hike that overnight index swaps are pricing in for the next meeting came down by -5.2bps on the day to 56.5bps, suggesting that investors were pricing out the chances of another 75bps hike. In turn, European government bonds rallied across the continent, with yields on 10yr bunds (-6.6bps), OATs (-6.9bps) and BTPs (-8.3bps) all falling on the day. When it comes to Fed Chair Powell’s speech today, he’s set to be giving remarks on the “economic outlook, inflation and the labor market”, so it should be relevant for policy. It’s widely expected the Fed will downshift their rate hikes to a 50bp pace in December, but our US economists expect Powell to shift the focus away from a downshift towards the Fed’s broader tightening campaign, and to reiterate the key messages from the November press conference. Ahead of that, we had some fresh signs that the Fed’s tightening cycle was impacting the economy, with the Case-Shiller index of 20-cities’ home prices down by a further -1.24% in September, building on its -1.30% decline in August. Bear in mind as well that all 20 cities in the index posted a monthly decline, so this is a very broad-based move lower. Elsewhere, the Conference Board’s consumer confidence numbers also fell back in November, falling to their lowest level since July at 100.2 (vs. 100.0 expected). Ahead of Powell’s remarks, US Treasuries followed a very different path to their counterparts in Europe, with yields rising at all maturities. The 10yr yield was up +6.3bps on the day to 3.74%, with the move entirely driven by a +6.7bps rise in the real yield. And those moves have only slightly retraced overnight, with the 10yr yield down -2.1bps at 3.72%. With the pickup in real yields, equities were always going to struggle, even if the S&P did recover into the close. The rate-sensitive Nasdaq underperformed, falling -0.59%. Sentiment was similar in Europe, with the STOXX 600 (-0.13%) experiencing its third consecutive decline for the first time since early October. Over in China, there were some important developments on the Covid situation shortly after we went to press yesterday. First, officials said that they would seek to raise vaccination rates among the elderly, which was good news for markets since stronger levels of immunity are seen as increasing the chances of the economy reopening. Second, there was also a comment that local officials should avoid excessive Covid restrictions, which again was seen as taking the direction of travel further in favour of reopening following the weekend protests. Chinese assets performed strongly on the back of these developments, and in US hours the NASDAQ Golden Dragon China index surged by +5.04%, building on its +2.83% gain over the previous session. The prospect of a future reopening in China offered further support to oil prices as well, with Brent crude up +0.61% to $83.70/bbl. That boost has continued into Asian markets this morning, with the CSI 300 (+0.10%), the Shanghai Composite (+0.05%) and the Hang Seng (+0.69%) all seeing further gains. That’s in spite of some downbeat data on the economic situation in China, with the manufacturing PMI falling to its lowest level since April at 48.0 (vs. 49.0 expected). The non-manufacturing PMI also deteriorated to 46.7 (vs. 48.0 expected), and the composite PMI fell to a post-April low as well at 47.1. Markets elsewhere in the region are a bit more mixed however, with the Nikkei shedding -0.35%, whereas the KOSPI (+1.18%) has seen solid gains. Looking ahead, US and European equity futures are pointing to gains at the open, with those on the S&P 500 up +0.18%. Elsewhere yesterday, UK gilts underperformed their European counterparts after comments from the BoE’s Catherine Mann, who’s been one of the more hawkish members on the MPC. Mann said that inflation expectations were becoming “increasingly embedded”, and 10yr gilt yields only fell -2.6bps on the day, a smaller fall than seen for the other big European economies. In the meantime, the latest data on mortgage approvals for October came through, which is the first release entirely after the UK’s mini-budget in late-September. That showed a dip in approvals to 59.0k (vs. 60.0k expected), which is their lowest level since the initial wave of the pandemic. To the day ahead now, and one of the key highlights will be Fed Chair Powell’s speech at the Brookings Institution. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Bowman and Cook, the ECB’s Makhlouf and BoE chief economist Pill. The Fed will also be releasing their Beige Book. When it comes to data releases, today will bring the Euro Area flash CPI release and German unemployment for November, whilst in the US there’s the ADP’s report of private payrolls for November, the second estimate of Q3 GDP, the JOLTS job openings for October, pending home sales for October, and the MNI Chicago PMI for November. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/30/2022 - 08:09.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 30th, 2022

A 37-year-old making $85,000 a year is struggling to find a place to rent or buy in California, and it"s a sign of how hard it is to find housing that feels affordable

Brittany Phillips has tried roommates, housing earmarked for people with lower incomes, and moving back in with her mom in a cheaper state: Florida. Brittany Phillips in Panama City Beach, Florida, where she moved back in with her mother.Brittany Phillips Brittany Phillips made $85,000 a year in California and still struggled to find an affordable home. She tried low-income housing, having roommates, and living in hotels. Her story shows how hard it can be to secure stable housing in certain areas despite a good salary. After living in California for 22 years, enduring steadily increasing rents and consistently out-of-reach home prices, Brittany Phillips finally reached her breaking point.The single mom of one packed her bags for Florida and moved in with her mother in Panama City Beach, Florida, in August."I wanted a better life for my daughter," Phillips told Insider. "I loved California for so many reasons, and I built my life there. I've struggled and climbed mountains there, but at the end of the day, I was like, 'Is it worth it?'"Before she decamped to Florida, Phillips, 37, moved regularly to find more affordable places to live. She said relocating so often took a toll on her mentally and financially. She went from what she described as a multimillion-dollar home she shared with her then-husband in Calabasas, a mountainous city outside Los Angeles home to the Kardashians and other celebrities, to paying $1,125 a month in rent for a 1,353-square-foot house in a more modest Southern California city an hour away.But she ultimately found it too difficult to balance working enough hours to pay for adequate housing for herself and her 13-year-old daughter, Aniston, while also being present as a parent."It was really hard to work there and actually make enough money — unless you had a nanny or something — to even rent anything, because you had to choose: Do I want to be a parent, or do I want to work to pay off my bills?" she said.Phillips works as a hairstylist and made about $85,000 a year when she lived in California. Her journey demonstrates just how difficult and unforgiving securing a roof over your head can be, even for those who make a good salary.Do you make a decent salary and still struggle to afford housing? Reach out to the reporter Jordan Pandy at jpandy@insider.com with your story.She chased affordability around Southern CaliforniaPhillips was a self-described Army brat who lived all over the US and beyond while she was growing up. Born in Valdosta, Georgia, roughly a 30-minute drive north of the Florida border, Phillips lived in Maryland, Rhode Island, Germany, Virginia, and Hawaii before moving to Santa Clarita, California — a city 30 miles north of Los Angeles — in 2000.Her parents divorced and left California, but, at just 17, she decided to stay. After bouncing around Los Angeles neighborhoods including Studio City and Hollywood — and even a short stint living out of her car — she eventually moved to a 4,200-square-foot home in swanky Calabasas with her eventual husband in 2005. (The median listing price in the area is $1.8 million, according to Realtor.com.)In 2009, Phillips and her husband divorced. After living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Woodland Hills, she found herself back in Calabasas in 2015. She was able to secure a two-bedroom unit for $1,600 because she qualified for low-income housing as a single mother. However, her rent increased to $2,300 after one year.Unable to afford the $700 jump, Phillips moved into a two-bedroom house with her daughter in Ventura, a city 40 miles west known for its beaches, for $1,749 at the start of 2019.COVID-19 caused another setbackUnable to work as a hairstylist early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Phillips briefly moved to Florida with her mother, as she could no longer pay rent. She started receiving relief payments and an EBT card, commonly known as food stamps, for her and her daughter. That helped her get back on her feet and back to Ventura."If I didn't have that, I don't know what I would've done," she said. "I would've been on the streets."In Ventura, Phillips split half of a three-bedroom, 1,353-square-foot house with a roommate. While not an ideal, she was finally able to save."I started making like $6,500 to $8,000 a month depending on how many people came in" to get haircuts, she said. "I started finally getting my credit up."But that security vanished after her landlord decided to sell the house. For weeks she jumped between Airbnbs and hotel rooms ranging from $1,400 for two weeks to $150 a night — which drained her savings and wrecked her credit, making it challenging to apply for an apartment in California."It was impossible to survive anymore," she said. "I'm making good money, but I don't have anything to show for it."Phillips' mother's house in Panama City Beach, Florida.Brittany PhillipsAs she grew tired of scratching and clawing just to stay afloat, Phillips moved in with her mother in Florida.Phillips made over the median salary of $78,672 in California, and she, like many others, still struggled to make it work."I had to survive since I was 17 years old there by myself, and it was hard," she said. "And at 37, to just have it all ripped from underneath me, I feel like I failed. How? I did everything right."Do you make a decent salary and still struggle to afford housing? Reach out to reporter Jordan Pandy at jpandy@insider.com with your story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 26th, 2022

Here"s Why You Should Retain Marriott (MAR) in Your Portfolio

Marriott's (MAR) emphasis on new development and multiunit conversion opportunities bodes well. However, constrained RevPAR in Greater China and Asia Pacific is a concern. Marriott International, Inc. MAR is likely to benefit from unit-expansion efforts, acquisition initiatives and solid leisure demand. Also, its focus on the loyalty program bodes well. However, constrained RevPAR in Greater China and Asia Pacific is a concern.Let us discuss the factors highlighting why investors should retain the stock for the time being.Growth CatalystsMarriott is consistently trying to expand its presence worldwide and capitalize on the demand for hotels in international markets. During the second quarter of 2022, the company announced an agreement with Vinpearl to open eight hotels in Vietnam. The deal is expected to add 1,700 rooms to the system. The company is focused on hotel conversion opportunities to mitigate the impact of construction delays caused by the pandemic. Conversions during the third quarter represented 21% of room signings and 27% of room openings. The company expects positive development trends to continue on the back of new development and multiunit conversion opportunities. For 2022, the company anticipates gross additions to reach 4.5%.The hotel company is also trying to strengthen its presence outside the United States, especially in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. In October 2022, the company announced an agreement to acquire the City Express brand portfolio comprising 152 hotels (with over 17,000 rooms). The initiative paves a path to strengthen its presence in the CALA region. Through this addition, the company anticipates its 2022 gross rooms growth to be around 5.5% and net rooms growth of approximately 4%. Much depends on the closing of the transaction prior to the year-end. Given the attractiveness of its portfolio of global brands, loyalty program and momentum around conversions, the company remains optimistic about the moderately priced mid-scale space.Marriott has been gaining from reopening international borders and leniency in travel restrictions. Throughout the third quarter of 2022, the company witnessed a steady increase in demand in the United States, Canada, the Middle East and Africa regions. The company benefited from robust leisure demand and business and cross-border travel improvements. Also, it reported a strong RevPAR recovery in Europe. Group demand in the United States and Canada increased sharply during the quarter, leading to improved occupancies and strength in ADR.With global trends improving, the company expects the recovery momentum to continue in the future. Attributes such as pent-up demand for all types of travel, the shift of spending toward experiences versus goods, sustained high levels of employment, lifting of travel restrictions and opening borders (in most markets) are likely to aid the company in the upcoming periods.The company is benefiting from the robust growth of its loyalty program. With nearly 173 million members globally, the company’s loyalty program Marriott Bonvoy is supporting its marketing strategies. During the third quarter of 2022, the program reported solid penetration levels of 60% in the United States and Canada and 53% globally. Also, the company is engaging its customers with promotional offers such as grocery and retail spending accelerators on its co-branded credit cards. During the third quarter of 2022, the company reported increased sign-ups following the addition of new benefits to its U.S. cards. Backed by solid customer acceptance for credit card programs coupled with a rise in credit card average spending, the company anticipates higher contributions from credit card fees in 2022.  ConcernsImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of Marriott have gained 1.2% in the past six months compared with the industry’s 2.7% growth. The coronavirus crisis continues to cause disruptions to the global economy and the hospitality industry. During the third quarter, strict COVID policies in China weighed on travel demand. RevPAR remained constrained in Greater China and Asia Pacific (excluding China). During the third quarter, comparable system-wide RevPAR in the Asia Pacific (excluding China) fell 14.1% (in constant dollars) from 2019 levels. Occupancy declined 11.3% from 2019 levels. Comparable system-wide RevPAR in Greater China fell 23% from 2019 levels. The company expects demand to remain uneven in the near term.Zacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderMarriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are Hyatt Hotels Corporation H, Crocs, Inc. CROX and Boyd Gaming Corporation BYD.Hyatt currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). H has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 652.3%, on average. The stock has increased 16.1% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for H’s current financial year sales and earnings per share (EPS) indicates a surge of 92.6% and 121.8%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels.Crocs currently has a Zacks Rank #2. CROX has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. Shares of Crocs have plunged 43.7% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CROX’s 2022 sales and EPS indicates a rise of 51.5% and 23.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s levels.Boyd Gaming carries a Zacks Rank #2. BYD has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12.8%. The stock have declined 3.4% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for BYD’s 2022 sales and EPS indicates growth of 4.5% and 12.7%, respectively, from the year-ago period’s reported levels. Free Report Reveals How You Could Profit from the Growing Electric Vehicle Industry Globally, electric car sales continue their remarkable growth even after breaking records in 2021. High gas prices have fueled his demand, but so has evolving EV comfort, features and technology. So, the fervor for EVs will be around long after gas prices normalize. Not only are manufacturers seeing record-high profits, but producers of EV-related technology are raking in the dough as well. Do you know how to cash in?  If not, we have the perfect report for you – and it’s FREE! Today, don't miss your chance to download Zacks' top 5 stocks for the electric vehicle revolution at no cost and with no obligation.>>Send me my free report on the top 5 EV stocksWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Marriott International, Inc. (MAR): Free Stock Analysis Report Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H): Free Stock Analysis Report Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD): Free Stock Analysis Report Crocs, Inc. (CROX): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 25th, 2022

The Georgian, Santa Monica Appoints Rob Ciancimino as Managing Director & Melissa Volpert as Director of Sales and Marketing

Rob Ciancimino and Melissa Volpert have been appointed to Managing Director and Director of Sales and Marketing, respectively at The Georgian; the soon-to-reopen historic hotel located on Ocean Avenue.   Set to unveil in January 2023, The Georgian has been a fixture of the Southern California coastline since it first opened... The post The Georgian, Santa Monica Appoints Rob Ciancimino as Managing Director & Melissa Volpert as Director of Sales and Marketing appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Rob Ciancimino and Melissa Volpert have been appointed to Managing Director and Director of Sales and Marketing, respectively at The Georgian; the soon-to-reopen historic hotel located on Ocean Avenue.   Set to unveil in January 2023, The Georgian has been a fixture of the Southern California coastline since it first opened in 1933 under the leadership of the renowned female hotelier, Rosamond Borde. Seeing several iterations over the years, regular guests to the hotel and historic restaurant, the Red Griffin (and later The Georgian Room), ranged from Hollywood stars Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and Marilyn Monroe to the First Mother Rose Kennedy. A hospitality impresario and vintage motorcycle aficionado, Rob Ciancimino comes to The Georgian, most recently serving as Managing Partner at both Verse Restaurant and Intro Art Gallery & Chef’s Table. Rob is a true hospitality veteran with over 25 years of restaurant and hospitality experience including time at the world renowned live music venue The Sayers Club as well as time overseeing Bars & Restaurants at The W. Rob has a deep passion for leadership and teambuilding, and his unique hands-on approach to the overall hospitality experience will be crucial for building the high touchpoint, luxury service model that guests will experience at The Georgian. “With years of experience overseeing globally recognized hospitality and culinary venues, Rob C’s wide reaching experience married with his deep rooted passion for all things hospitality make him the guiding lighthouse for The Georgian team. We’re so excited to watch as he continues to build and evolve both our team and hotel culture as we reopen our doors to Ocean Ave,” says Nicolo Rusconi, co-founder, and President of BLVD.  Melissa Volpert brings over 30 years of experience in hospitality sales and marketing, with a focus on entertainment, fashion, and art. In 1997, she was the very first employee of the Standard brand and, alongside Andre Balazs, played a key role in the creation of the iconic hotel company that revolutionized the industry.  In her role as the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Standard, Hollywood, she managed all sales and marketing initiatives with an emphasis on building and maintaining guest relationships, strategic planning, cultural programming, partnerships, and market positioning.  “Melissa is the perfect representation of the culture and community we are looking to build at The Georgian – one that crosses all culturally relevant art, fashion, and design communities around the world. She is deeply passionate and inspired to make The Georgian one of the preeminent destinations for global tastemakers and her personal taste in global culture sets the standard here at The Georgian.” shares, Jon Blanchard, Founder of BLVD.  A full-service real estate and hotel development company, BLVD alongside ESI Ventures acquired the landmark hotel in August 2020 with the intent to restore one of Los Angeles’ most recognizable and photogenic hotels to its former glory. The next chapter for The Georgian will see a restoration of the 84 guest rooms and 28 suites, alongside new and refreshed offerings including the famous ocean-view Sunset Terrace, Dining Room, and Sunset Bar. In addition to The Library and gymnasium, The Georgian will also be home to two private meeting and dining spaces, The Gallery and The Writer’s Room. The Gallery will showcase an evolving curation of work by international artists on a quarterly basis.  BLVD and ESI Ventures are proud to work with renowned international design firm, Fettle; local architect, HLW; California General contract, BCCI; and numerous other industry-leading design, development, and hospitality firms on the historic restoration of The Georgian. www.linkedin.com/in/rob-ciancimino-2b51b2201/ www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-volpert-315459207  The post The Georgian, Santa Monica Appoints Rob Ciancimino as Managing Director & Melissa Volpert as Director of Sales and Marketing appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyNov 24th, 2022