Macy’s prepares to unlock the doors

Jeff Gennette, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Macy's (Credit: Paulo JC Nogueira/Wikipedia)

Jeff Gennette, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Macy’s (Credit: Paulo JC Nogueira/Wikipedia)

In the latest sign of a post-coronavirus retail world, Macy’s will reopen all its 775 locations by the end of June.

The company will begin on Monday with 68 stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, according to the New York Times. CEO Jeff Gennette said in a presentation that the retailer expects to only bring in about 20 percent of its typical business at its stores, and “slowly build” from there, according to the Times.

Gennette said Macy’s wasn’t sure how many shoppers would return, but hoped that data from the reopened stores would indicate what sort of business could be expected moving forward.

Macy’s closed all of its stores on March 18 and furloughed the majority of its employees at the end of March. It also suspended its dividend, froze hiring, and drew down its credit line. The move comes as at least 31 states have indicated they will partially reopen in the coming days, after stay-at-home orders shuttered nonessential businesses, according to CNN.

The retailer kept open its online shopping portal and Gannette said that April sales were “stronger than expected.”

About a quarter of Macy’s stores that will open Monday are part of the 49 malls that Simon Property Group said it will reopen over the weekend.

Shoppers who visit Macy’s stores should expect a different experience from what they have had. Employees will be issued masks and sometimes gloves. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the stores and plexiglass barriers will be put up at cash registers.

Macy’s also plans to open a limited number of fitting rooms, and items that customers try on will be put aside for at least 24 hours before going back on the racks. [Bloomberg]Dennis Lynch

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Florida to begin reopening on Monday, but not South Florida

Florida to begin reopening on Monday, but not South Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida will begin reopening on Monday, but South Florida will remain under a shelter-in-place order until further notice.

Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined the state’s phased reopening plan during a press conference Wednesday. Due to the high number of cases in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, the tri-county region will remain excluded from the first phase of reopening, starting on Monday.

In other parts of the state, including the Florida Keys, as part of phase one, retail and restaurants will be able to operate at 25 percent capacity. Restaurants will be able to operate outdoor dining with tables set six feet apart. Elective surgeries will be allowed to resume. Movie theaters will remain closed throughout the state, DeSantis said, and no changes will be made to closures of bars, gyms and personal services, such as hairdressers.

Throughout the state, social distancing guidelines will remain in place, including avoiding gatherings of 10 people or more.

Next week, the state plans to open more testing centers, including a hybrid drive-thru and walk up testing site at the Miami Beach Convention Center and another site in Fort Lauderdale.

DeSantis issued a statewide shelter-in-place order in early April that was set to end Thursday, limiting access to essential services, including grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Parks have started to open in Miami-Dade County and parts of South Florida.

The post Florida to begin reopening on Monday, but not South Florida appeared first on The Real Deal Miami.

Florida to begin reopening on Monday, but not South Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida will begin reopening on Monday, but South Florida will remain under a shelter-in-place order until further notice.

Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined the state’s phased reopening plan during a press conference Wednesday. Due to the high number of cases in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, the tri-county region will remain excluded from the first phase of reopening, starting on Monday.

In other parts of the state, including the Florida Keys, as part of phase one, retail and restaurants will be able to operate at 25 percent capacity. Restaurants will be able to operate outdoor dining with tables set six feet apart. Elective surgeries will be allowed to resume. Movie theaters will remain closed throughout the state, DeSantis said, and no changes will be made to closures of bars, gyms and personal services, such as hairdressers.

Throughout the state, social distancing guidelines will remain in place, including avoiding gatherings of 10 people or more.

Next week, the state plans to open more testing centers, including a hybrid drive-thru and walk up testing site at the Miami Beach Convention Center and another site in Fort Lauderdale.

DeSantis issued a statewide shelter-in-place order in early April that was set to end Thursday, limiting access to essential services, including grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Parks have started to open in Miami-Dade County and parts of South Florida.

Restaurateurs have ideas on how to get cooking again

Restaurateurs have ideas on how to get cooking again

Who isn’t longing for a meal at a favorite eatery?

Michael Stillman of Quality Branded — the restaurant group behind Quality Meats, Park Avenue and Smith & Wollensky New York — is craving a meal at classic Upper East Side Italian restaurant Elio’s.

Bill Bondrest, COO of TAO Group, is missing the food at any of the hospitality company’s many restaurant brands, be it Beauty & Essex, LAVO or TAO.

Post-Covid, though, the experience could be a bit different.

The restaurateurs joined hospitality consultant Steven Kamali and The Real Deal’s James Kleimann on Monday to discuss how food and beverage concepts are being altered by the pandemic and what the future of dining services could look like.

Potential changes include strictly timed seatings, meal kits for some TAO Group signature dishes and partnerships between restaurant operators and landlords.

Stillman said he’s mulling the idea of reservations that also have an end time, so restaurants can more accurately gauge the amount of business they will have each night.

Kamali predicted an increase in real estate owners entering into management contracts or joint venture agreements with restaurants, as opposed to offering a lease.

“Most landlords are going to find that participating in these ventures with these food and beverage operations is the best opportunity for success,” he explained. The consultant later noted that most restaurants do not have access to capital or loan facilities alone. That’s where, he hopes, the real estate community can lend a hand.

“The last thing we want to see is these landlords having to replace all of these tenants at some point in the near future,” he said. “Unfortunately, the outlook is rather grim.”

Kamali, who founded The Restaurant Network to help restaurant owners negotiate rent with landlords, said his firm surveyed 2,000 eateries this month and found 20 percent had shuttered for good.

He predicted the number of establishments to fold could rise as high as 50 percent, particularly if customers aren’t ready to patronize restaurants once they can reopen.

Bondrest and Stillman agreed that whenever dining can resume, it will be with a reduced capacity, which makes fully reopening economically risky.

“The scary part for us is, to an extent, whoever opens up first for à la carte dining at least is going to lose,” said Bondrest.

With prospects for normal service so uncertain, Bondrest said TAO Group is beginning to explore takeout and delivery service and preparing meal kits that would come from one centralized kitchen.

The company shut all its restaurants March 23, laying off more than 4,000 employees. Bondrest said the reception from landlords in terms of rent relief has been “a mixed bag” and said the pandemic has meant many owners are now “getting a look at the reality of what our business is really like.”

Stillman said he sees property owners and managers playing a key role in the survival of restaurants — if they still believe in “the power of restaurants.”

“We’re focused a lot on trying to make deals that make sense for both parties over the long term if they believe that restaurants can still be the new anchor tenant in the new world — and I believe they can be,” he said.

Stillman noted that he expects the pandemic’s fallout will mean years, not months, of pain for restaurant operators. However, he said, he is still betting on restaurants over retail. He pointed to his father, TRI Fridays founder Alan Stillman, as an example of why dining out will bounce back.

“My father finally figured out how to use Amazon. How many other guys his age can suddenly use Amazon?” said Stillman, whose father is in his 80s. “But he’s still going to go to a restaurant in the long run, I believe.”

Write to Erin Hudson at ekh@therealdeal.com

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Crestron CEO to pay $7.6M for Delray Beach condo

Randy Klein and Ocean Delray (Credit: LinkedIn)

Randy Klein and Ocean Delray (Credit: LinkedIn)

The CEO of Crestron, the automation company that makes everything from smart lighting controls to audio and video technology and motorized shades, is buying a luxury condo in Delray Beach.

Randy Klein, president and CEO of Crestron Electronics, is under contract to pay $7.6 million for a unit at Ocean Delray, a boutique condo project under construction. When it closes, the sale is expected to mark a record for Delray Beach at more than $2,000 per square foot, according to a press release. The deal went under contract in April, during the pandemic.

National Realty Investment Advisors and U.S. Construction are developing the 19-unit building at 1901 South Ocean Boulevard. Units range from 3,373 square feet to more than 4,400 square feet, with three to five bedrooms each, and terraces ranging from 682 square feet to more than 2,600 square feet.

Klein’s unit will have 3,721 square feet of indoor space with a 682-square-foot covered terrace, three bedrooms, a den and five-and-a-half bathrooms. It will also have a three-car air-conditioned garage. He and his wife are based in New York and will use the condo as a second home, according to the release.

The three-story development, to be built on a 1.8-acre property, will feature over 200 feet of ocean frontage, a pool and cabanas. Randall Stofft is the architect.

The Delray Beach City Commission granted final site-plan approval for Ocean Delray last year.

New Jersey-based NRIA acquired the site, previously home to the Wright by the Sea Hotel, in 2018 for $25 million.

IMI Worldwide Properties, the exclusive sales and marketing firm for the project, has presold 45 percent of the units for a total of $53 million. It’s expected to be completed next year.

Kylie Jenner pays $37M for Gala Asher’s Beverly Hills spec mansion

Kylie Jenner pays $37M for Gala Asher’s Beverly Hills spec mansion

Gala Asher and Kylie Jenner (Credit: J. Vespa/WireImage, and Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Gala Asher and Kylie Jenner (Credit: J. Vespa/WireImage, and Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

 

UPDATED, April 27, 4:08 p.m.: Kylie Jenner made another luxury home purchase in Los Angeles, dropping $36.5 million for a Holmby Hills spec mansion built by developer Gala Asher.

The Mapleton Drive property hit the market in August 2019, asking $55 million. Marketing materials emphasized its security and privacy features — a listing called it a “modern fortress” complete with “massive walls” along the lot’s perimeter and a dedicated guard house.

The sale was recorded in Redfin, and TMZ first reported Jenner as the buyer. Several sources also confirmed the celebrity purchase. Compass’ Ginger Glass, who is Asher’s wife, had the listing and declined to comment on the sale.

The 15,350-square-foot main house at 145 N. Mapleton Drive is built around a large courtyard with a pool at its center, flanked by a dining room and leisure spaces. It has seven bedrooms and 14 bathrooms. There are two more guest suites with private patios and entrances on the courtyard.

After eight months on the market, the asking price was dropped earlier this month to $46 million. Until coronavirus began to take hold, L.A.’s housing market seemed poised for a strong year. Price growth and sales slowed in 2019, leading to a correction and more deals in the first quarter of 2020. A recent report from Douglas Elliman found a 12.6 percent increase in sales year-over-year, and a record $1.6 million median sales price for downtown and Westside homes, despite the pandemic-related slowdown late in the quarter.

Asher spent two years building the Holmby Hills home. He bought its 0.8-acre property in October 2017 for $12 million, knocked down a 6,000-square-foot home and started work on the spec project. A year before that, he sold another spec home in the neighborhood to Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores for a record $100 million.

This is at least the second L.A. property billionaire Jenner has purchased from Asher. In March 2019, a trust linked to Jenner paid $3.25 million for an undeveloped lot in La Quinta’s Madison Club community. The seller was a trust tied to Asher; Glass, who was a broker for Coldwell Banker at the time, also had the listing.  Plans for a 15,000-square-foot home were also included in the deal. The land, which is just under one acre, is located about a half-mile from an 11,000 square-foot home that was purchased by a trust tied to her mother, Kris Jenner.

In 2018, Jenner and rapper Travis Scott paid $13.5 million for a 9,680-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hill Post Office.

This story has been updated with Kylie Jenner as the buyer.

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Testing sites for Florida real estate licenses reopen on a limited basis

Florida testing sites for essential services exams – including real estate – begin to reopen (Credit: iStock)

Florida testing sites for essential services exams – including real estate – begin to reopen (Credit: iStock)

For those looking to become a real estate agent in Florida, testing is back up and running on a limited basis after shutting down nationwide in mid-March.

Pearson Vue, which administers all Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation licensing exams, is operating some testing sites statewide for essential services, including real estate and real estate appraiser exams, according to a spokesperson for DBPR.

Ten locations in Miami, Deerfield Beach, Plantation, Tallahassee, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville and Port Charlotte began offering exams April 16, and the remaining Pearson Vue testing centers are expected to reopen beginning May 1. All testing centers are required to operate at 50 percent capacity and follow social distancing guidelines.

The essential services exams offered also include building code, community association manager, construction (except plumbing), electrical and landscape architect. Outside of real estate, exams are also offered for asbestos contractors; auctioneer; barber; cosmetology; veterinary medicine; and drugs, devices and cosmetics.

Pearson Vue shut down testing nationwide in mid-March as local and state governments began to order non-essential businesses closed.

Candidates have to schedule exams in advance, and the testing centers are not accepting walk-ins. Once DBPR approves a candidate’s application and sends a test authorization to Pearson Vue, Pearson Vue will reach out to the candidate to schedule the exam, the spokesperson said.

“We’re trying all we possibly can to not disrupt people trying to get into the profession,” said Christina Pappas, vice president of Florida Realtors and vice president of operations for the Keyes Company.

Earlier this month, the Florida Real Estate Commission approved video conferencing of in-person continuing education courses for licensed agents, allowing them to watch classes via platforms such as Zoom and GoToMeeting through June 8.

The state also pushed the renewal deadline for real estate licenses to the end of April, from March 31, waiving late fees during that period.