Friday, November 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Zydeco Fundraiser / Tishman Speyer Tree-Lighting Party / RCA U.S. Capital Trends / Million Dollar Quartet / Fortune Cookie Fortune

Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser...Tonight
A fundraiser is being held tonight to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  I've heard that the feature artist, Rosie Ledet and The Zydeco Playboys are amazing!  Opening act:  Actor Michael Cerveris' and his band, Loose Cattle.

What:  Hurricane Sandy Victims Benefit 
When:  November 30, 2012 (That's tonight!)
Where:  Connolly's, 121 West 45th Street (Between 6th and Broadway, 3rd Floor), New York
Doors:  6:30pm for dinner, drinks or socializing and at 7:15pm a Zydeco dance lesson!
Show: 8:00-Midnight
Admission:  $25 
Come on out...I'll buy you a drink!

Tishman Speyer Tree-Lighting Party
One highlight of the week was the Tishman Speyer party at Rockefeller Center for the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.   I ran into a bunch of  former colleagues and industry friends.  The tree is big, bold, bright and beautiful.  Try to see it, even if it's just a drive-by.  

Following that party, a friend and I were hungry and walked over to the Russian Vodka Room for some of their excellent food.  The pianist, who I have gotten to know over the years, wrapped up his evening and I went over to the manager and asked if I could play a little.  It's a big old grand piano with a lot of character. I can't imagine my life without music in it.  Playing the piano has been an outlet for me forever and the times in-between having a piano or keyboard to play have not been easy ones.  Having spent so much time alone, on the road, looking for a random piano in some unused hotel ballroom, it's special to be in a situation like the other night, playing and being able to see a friend, who had never heard me before, across a modestly crowded bar, listening and smiling.  It's really those small moments in life that are the essence.

RCA U.S. Capital Trends-October 2012
Highlight about each property type pulled from this report which was delivered to RCA subscribers the other day:

Hotels:  Nationwide, cap rates for hotels have remained relatively flat in 2012 at an average of 7.7%.

Apartments:  The capital shift to higher yielding markets has caused national cap rates to rise in the mid/high-rise sector, although average yields for garden properties have held firm and changed little over the past six months.

Retail:  While average cap rates on strip centers have fallen to 7.6% nationally, properties with the right anchor and location can command well below that.

Industrial:  Nationally cap rates continue to witness compression and, at an average of 7.6%, have reached lows not seen since late 2008.

Office:  Average cap rates nationally, on CBD (Central Business District) acquisitions, have risen since Q1'12 with fewer trophy sales to pull down the average and more secondary market sales that push the average up.

A long time ago, I figured out how to have fun doing almost anything.  It continues to be something that I am able to do.  Yes, there are some things in life that are simply not fun to do but you have to do them anyway.  But those things are in the minority when you look at each day, each week, each month and say, "Did I have fun or what?"  Try it.  It's all in our heads.

Million Dollar Quartet
This Broadway show produced by my friend, Jerry Kattell, is opening at Harrah's in Las Vegas on February 4th for an unlimited run.  I saw it a couple of years ago.  Not only is the music great but it's….fun!  I encourage you to check it out.  

Speed Kills  
That has been a slogan referring to the use of amphetamines for many years.  But I'm beginning to wonder:  are we simply moving too fast for our own good?  My drive to and from New York and Fort Lauderdale last week reminded me of the speed on our highways, regardless of the posted speed limit (I won't even start on the horrible, rude and unsafe and crazy driving I observed so many times).  But I fear that we are moving at warp speed with everything and it just seems like it causes too many mistakes, too many typos, too many acts that require apologies.  As Paul Simon wrote in "Feelin' Groovy."

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.

Hello lamp-post 
Whatcha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in doo-doo
Feelin' groovy

I've got no deeds to do
No promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy 
And ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all it's petals on me
Life I love you
All is groovy.

Lyrics provided compliments of the Susan Hudson-Wilson Memorial Music Spot

Saying of the Week
"I'm on the back-side of responsibility."  When my friend Gary said these words to me the other night I said, "I have to write that down".  He was referring to a stage that he's gotten to in his life where his children are grown, he's got a good job and he is taking more time to do things that he (and his wife) care about including giving back and paying it forward.  Gary and I have known each other through the industry for a good number of years; more than 10 but not quite 20.  He and I have talked about both business and life.  As with any friendship, the longer you know someone and the more time you spend together, the more you get to know that person's values, passions and dreams.  And, as we've developed our friendship, I've said to myself, "Gee, why didn't we get to know each other better, sooner."  But, as things go in life, they happen when they are supposed to, or at least that's what I believe.  It's never too late for something wonderful to happen. 

Fortune Cookie Fortune of the Week
"If it is meant to be, who are you to change that.  Time to believe it." 

Asset Management Roundtable
Yesterday, my good and great friend, Ed LaGrassa, held his monthly Asset Management Roundtable.  Here are some of the more memorable comments made around that table:

-"My job is not to create disasters, it's to revel in disasters."  Real Estate Attorney
-"The concept of distress is already antiquated."  Broker
-"There are virtually no portfolio loans left to sell in New York."  Broker
-"We're scared of the world."  A broker stating what a wealthy foreign real estate investor said to him talking about why they're investing so much money in NY and London real estate.
-"With all the tumult in the world, New York is seen as a safe haven for real estate investing."
-"Lenders are not scared anymore.  We're not kicking the can down the road anymore and are willing to foreclose, put the property on the market because we're certain we'll do better."  Commercial real estate banker.

Tom Klugerz who joined UBS as Executive Director, Portfolio and Client Services, Global Real Estate-U.S.  

Restaurant of the week
Cassa Nonna, 310 W. 38th St. (Bet. 8th and 9th Avenues), New York.  A very nice room with good food and not too pricey.  

On the road....

Dec. 3-4:  Chicago to attend the NAREIM Capital Raising and Investor Relations Council Meeting

Dec. 5:  Global Women's Partnership (GWP) Holiday Cocktail Party in New York. GWD seeks to empower women in the developing world with limited to no access to basic life-saving resources.

Dec. 13:  Real Capital Analytics Holiday Party, New York (Invitation only).

Dec. 15-Jan.3:  Liberia, West Africa.  Return trip to see the progress made by The MacDella Cooper Foundation and the country in general since my first visit there in 2006.

Jan. 23-25:  Laguna Beach, CA to attend IMN's Tenth Annual Winter Forum on Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing.

Feb. 27-Mar. 1:  Phoenix, AZ to attend the NCRIEF Winter Conference

Mar. 12-15:  Cannes, France to attend MIPIM.

Apr. 28-May 1:  New York for the CRE (Counselors of Real Estate) Mid-Year Meetings

June 4-5:  London to attend the PERE Summit: Europe

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