The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: Fed follows through with plan to raise interest rates … & more

By Maya Rajamani | June 14, 2018 03:00PM

Clockwise from top left: Fed raises interest rates, Sam Zell apologizes for using vulgarity, Blackstone triples fundraising goal for its REIT, and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump report at least $82 million in outside income.

The Federal Reserve is following through with its plan to raise interest rates
Last month, the Federal Reserve indicated it would gradually increase interest rates, and on Wednesday, it followed through with its plan. Interest rates will rise by a quarter-percentage point, the Wall Street Journal reported. The increase will be the second one this year, and will likely be followed by two more before the end of 2018. “The economy is doing well,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said, according to the outlet. “Most people who want to find jobs are finding them, and unemployment and inflation are low.” [TRD]

Sam Zell apologized for using a vulgarity in response to a question about diversity
Equity Group Investments chairman Sam Zell said he regretted using a vulgarity in response to a question about gender diversity and the #MeToo movement at a conference last week. “I never promoted a woman because she was a woman. I never demoted a woman because she was a woman,” he said at the conference. “I don’t think there’s ever been a, ‘We gotta get more p—y on the block, OK?” he went on to say. On Monday, conference organizers sent an email to attendees saying Zell apologized to them after the event. [TRD]

Blackstone has tripled the fundraising goal for its real estate investment trust
Blackstone Group’s new real estate investment trust has been selling its shares quickly, and the company is increasing its fundraising goal for the trust as a result. Blackstone had planned to raise $5 billion for the trust, but is now aiming for $15 billion. The trust launched last year, and companies like Starwood Capital Group and Oaktree Capital Management LP are now planning to follow in Blackstone’s footsteps and start nontraded REITs of their own. [TRD]

Trump’s daughter and son-in-law reported at least $82M in outside income last year
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner may be unpaid advisors to President Donald Trump, but that hasn’t stopped them from raking in millions in outside income. The pair reported at least $82 million in outside income last year, including $3.9 million from the president’s investment in the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. They also continue to own parts of their respective private real estate businesses. While their financials have raised conflict of interest concerns, Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, has said he feels that “no matter what [the family] did, there would have been some kind of potential or perceived conflict.” [TRD]

Pebblebrook ups its offer for LaSalle Hotel Properties in wake of Blackstone bid
Last month, Blackstone Group made an all-cash bid for luxury hotel owner LaSalle Hotel Properties that LaSalle’s board preferred to Pebblebrook Hotel Trust’s proposal. Not to be outdone, however, Pebblebrook has upped its offer from $35.89 per share to $37.80 per share. The trust has also offered to pay the $112 million breakup fee that LaSalle will have to cough up if it terminates its deal with Blackstone. Pebblebrook will need a two-thirds vote from LaSalle shareholders for its proposal to succeed. [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

New York City to pay more than $2 billion over NYCHA health and safety issues
New York City will shell out more than $2 billion as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors over health and safety issues at New York City Housing Authority buildings. Federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York started investigating issues including the use of lead paint and faulty, decrepit boilers at the public-housing authority a few years ago. Last year, the city’s Department of Investigation found that NYCHA had shirked its legal duty to conduct lead-paint inspections. [TRD]

Jeff Greene says he’s willing to spend anything to win the Florida governor nomination
Real estate tycoon and billionaire Jeff Greene has vowed to spend as much money as he needs to to secure the Democratic nomination for Florida governor. Greene, who threw his hat into the ring at the beginning of the month, described himself as “a Kennedy-Rockefeller billionaire that really is intent on making a difference — not a Donald Trump billionaire who basically comes up with phony universities to rip people off and doesn’t pay his workers and just is kind of the wrong guy.” [TRD]

Climbing gym to anchor new retail and commercial park on Chicago’s Near North Side
An approximately three-acre retail and commercial park on the Near North Side of Chicago will be anchored by what’s set to become one of the largest private climbing gyms in the country. Planet Granite signed a lease for a 40,000-square-foot space with Structured Development, which is developing the park. Work on the facility, which is slated to have 55-foot climbing walls, will kick off next spring and last for around two years. [TRD]

Bel Air neighbors sue Mohamed Hadid over illegally-built, unfinished spec home
Neighbors who live near Mohamed Hadid’s unfinished spec home in Bel Air are suing the developer and the city of Los Angeles in a bid to get the structure torn down. The father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid illegally built the home, known as the Strada Vecchia, and it’s been vacant since 2014. The plaintiffs say the spec home “will come toppling down onto their land and their persons at any time due to the destabilized hillside.” [TRD]

Michigan home where Muhammad Ali lived part-time hits the market for $2,895,037
The 3,900-square-foot house in Berrien Springs, Michigan where Muhammad Ali lived part-time for decades has hit the market for $2,895,037 — a figure that pays tribute to the number of knockouts the boxing legend had, according to the real estate agent representing Ali’s widow. Along with the house, the 81-acre property is home to a gym built by Ali himself. [TRD]