The Real Deal New York

National Cheat Sheet: Payless files for bankruptcy, 1M accounts hacked on StreetEasy … & more

By Maya Rajamani | February 22, 2019 07:30AM

Clockwise from top left: Amazon realized bringing HQ2 to NYC would be ‘difficult at best’: report, StreetEasy data breach lands a million user accounts on the dark web, CRE brokerage scoops up Industrious’ spare-office-space platform and Payless will shutter thousands of stores amid second bankruptcy filing.

Payless will shutter thousands of stores amid second bankruptcy filing
Payless ShoeSource has filed for bankruptcy and plans close all of its remaining 2,500 stores, Reuters reported. The Kansas-based chain, which first filed for bankruptcy back in 2017, wasn’t able to find a buyer; it now plans to hold liquidation sales at all of its outposts. Payless has already closed hundreds of stores, including the approximately 700 stores that shuttered after its first bankruptcy. Chief Restructuring Officer Stephen Marotta told the outlet its first bankruptcy “left the company with too much remaining debt, too large a store footprint and a yet-to-be realized systems and corporate overhead structure consolidation.” [TRD]

StreetEasy data breach lands a million user accounts on the dark web
An “unauthorized party” hacked one million StreetEasy accounts and is selling them on the dark web, the company said Tuesday. As part of the hack, “email addresses, usernames, and encrypted passwords” were stolen, StreetEasy’s communications director Emily Heffter said in a statement, adding that “phone numbers, the last four digits, card type, expiration dates and billing addresses of some mostly expired customer credit cards may also have been accessed.” The hacker didn’t actually obtain full credit card numbers or CVV/CVC codes, she noted, adding that the company was working to “strengthen [its] internal safeguards” to avoid future hacks. [TRD]

Declining housing sales and increased inventory could be good for buyers: report
The U.S. housing market has now seen declining sales for six consecutive months, according to Re/Max’s National Housing Report for January. At the same time, the market saw a 6.4 percent increase in inventory year-over-year — the highest increase in ten years, the report said. Those factors combined could lead to a more affordable market for homebuyers, the report concluded. The increase in inventory is “a positive for homebuyers, as the market continues to swing their way,” Re/Max CEO Adam Contos said. “The spring selling season shapes up to be as interesting as any we have seen in years,” he added. [TRD]

CRE brokerage scoops up Industrious’ spare-office-space platform
Manhattan-based startup SquareFoot has snapped up Industrious’ commercial subletting platform, PivotDesk. The flexible office space company first bought PivotDesk back in 2017 when it was expanding, but the platform “wasn’t really central to the strategic priorities of the company,” Industrious’ chief executive Jamie Hodari explained. “So when we got an offer we liked, it made sense to find a home that was a tighter fit for what PivotDesk wanted to accomplish,” Hodari added, without providing exact numbers. SquareFoot’s purchase is part of its effort to become a “one-stop shop for all small- and medium-business office space needs,” its chief executive Jonathan Wasserstrum said. [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Amazon realized bringing HQ2 to NYC would be ‘difficult at best’: report
As the New York real estate industry continues to reel over news that Amazon has abandoned its plans for a headquarters in Long Island City, more details are surfacing about its seemingly abrupt decision, with a source telling the New York Times that the tech behemoth grew concerned about local politicians’ anti-Amazon crusade. “Amazon had to think about what a long-term relationship with New York City would look like, and based on the experiences with local and state politicians to date, concluded it would be difficult at best,” the source said. A company executive also reportedly called the political climate “really rough.” [TRD]

Host Hotels’ $610M purchase sets record in Miami-Dade County
Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group and LeFrak have sold a luxury beachfront hotel to Host Hotels for $610 million — the highest per-room hotel sale on record in Miami-Dade County. One Hotel South Beach has 429 rooms, which means that each room went for approximately $1.42 million as part of the deal, which was brokered by Hodges Ward Elliott. Host Hotels currently owns 88 properties across the country, as well as five international properties, for a total of 52,000 rooms. The previous per-key sale record in the county was the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach, which sold for $103 million, or $1.24 million a key. [TRD]

Billionaire Ken Griffin donates another $1M to Chicago mayoral campaign
Fresh off the heels of his record-breaking Manhattan penthouse purchase, billionaire Ken Griffin has donated another $1 million to Bill Daley’s mayoral campaign in Chicago, Crain’s reported. Griffin already donated $1 million to Daley’s campaign earlier this month, at which point he said in a statement that he was “proud to support Bill Daley.” Daley, a former investment banker and U.S. Secretary of Commerce, has also received contributions from Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group owner Thomas Meador and Equity Commonwealth chairman Sam Zell. [TRD]

JLo and A-Rod shell out $6.6M for Jeremy Piven’s Malibu beach house
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have bought actor Jeremy Piven’s beach house in Malibu, Yolanda’s Little Black Book reported. The singer-actress and former Yankee, who recently celebrated their second anniversary, paid $6.6 million for the three-story home, which has a number of amenities, including a sauna and a screening room. The couple recently re-listed a Park Avenue condo they bought last year. They also own two other homes in Los Angeles, according to Yolanda. Piven purchased the home for $3.5 million back in 2004. [TRD]

RedfinNow and Zillow Offers make their way to Texas
Texas has two new direct-to-consumer home buying and selling programs. Redfin has launched RedfinNow in Dallas and Zillow has launched Zillow Offers in Houston, the companies said in separate statements on Monday. Zillow had already expanded its program to a number of cities, including Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Redfin, however, hadn’t expanded its program beyond California. The two companies will face competition in Texas from platforms including Opendoor and Offerpad. Zillow is working with Mark Dimas Properties in Houston. [TRD]

New Orleans condo market takes a hit amid short-term rental legislation
Regulations that ban whole-home rentals in most of New Orleans’ French Quarter have “really screwed up” the area’s condo market, Patrick Knudson, broker at Dorian Bennett Sotheby’s International Realty, told the Financial Times. The regulations have resulted in price chops in the area. But in other parts of New Orleans, prices are actually rising. An eight-bedroom home seeking $9.25 million is the French Quarter’s priciest listing right now, according to the outlet. [TRD]