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Ray’s Pizza

Filed under: — 2:58 pm

Their are so many companies out there who people believe are taking over the world because they have such a large presence everywhere. Some examples are Walmart and Starbucks. You should be able to go anywhere and find yourself a Starbucks.

However, no one is keeping their eye on the real threat to this global economy….Ray’s Pizza. Within the block that I work on in Manhattan there are three Ray’s Pizzas. I see the store everywhere I go. Even Hollywood recgonizes this threat because Santa Clause in the movie “Elf” talks about the over saturation of Ray’s Pizzas’ in New York.

Watch out for a possible Rays’ Pizza-Starbucks merger anyday now.

In all seriousness though, there are a lot of them. Who is this Ray and why does he have so much pizza?


Simon Property, Morgan Stanley to build Chinese Malls

Filed under: — 11:19 am

The New York Times is reporting a $700 million real estate venture in China:

The Simon Property Group, one of the biggest real estate and shopping mall developers in the United States, has formed a partnership with Morgan Stanley and a state-owned Chinese company to develop about a dozen shopping centers in China

The two companies are just a couple of the many trying to capitalize on China’s booming growth right now. This deal would be one of the largest foreign real estate investments ever made in China. Here’s some (barely) surprising news: Wal-Mart will be the anchor store for the malls.


Condo Conversions Are Up

Filed under: — 11:51 am

USATODAY - The number of apartments being renovated and sold as condos is escalating at a time when single-family homes are beyond the means of many Americans.

Last year 70,800 apartment units were sold to condominium developers nationwide. Will those conversions hurt the apartment market? Experts suggest that they won’t, but, they certainly will affect apartment prices in the short run.


Dilbert’s Ultimate House

Filed under: — 12:20 am posted a link to Dilbert’s Ultimate House (duh?). The tagline describes the house as being a collaboration of ideas from Dilbert readers and strives to answer the question “What kind of house would a guy like Dilbert want to live in?”. We assume that Dilbert is a Silicon-Valley guy, thus it’s located in sunny California. The house includes a home-theatre and a greenhouse among many other things. The virtual tour is certainly worth checking out.

This reminded me of when The Simpsons’ house was re-created a number of years ago. Fun, but fake. Sorry folks, can’t buy this house… yet.


Existing home sales at record high

Filed under: — 2:48 pm

Yahoo! reports:

Sales of existing U.S. homes rose unexpectedly to a record high in November and prices surged as low mortgage rates fueled home-buying, a trade association report showed on Wednesday.

These lowering mortgage rates coupled with job expansion and economic growth have meant good conditions for the housing sector. “NAR’s Lereah said while the price jump may raise some eyebrows, he was not concerned about a housing bubble…” That’s interesting, Fortune most certainly is.

Activity has been so strong that sales of new and existing homes hit all-time records last year … What’s more, we’ve seen record growth in mortgage refinancing, and annual home-price increases between 6% and 8% nationally for three years in a row. “That’s unsustainable by any measure,'’ says David Levy…

Hopefully we’ll see a slow-down in the coming months… never thought I’d be saying that.


Las Vegas plans to expand

Filed under: — 10:26 pm

…well, it may not be the city that’s planning on expanding, but the New York Times reports that James Murren, President and CFO of MGM Mirage, has plans to develop 66 acres on the strip into a “mini-Manhatten”. What’s this plan all about? Murren is aiming at the goods and services that provide better margins…

“If you were to look at our company - putting all the pieces of it together - 10 years ago about 65 percent or maybe more of our revenue would have been from gaming and 35 percent would have been everything else,” Mr. Murren said. “Today, only about 44 percent is gaming. And I bet that if you give us less than 10 years, the whole thing will have completely reversed: 35 percent will be gaming and 65 percent will be nongaming.”

Thus, expect to see “condominiums, boutiques, restaurants and movie theaters” in the near future. That’s right, if all goes to plan, Las Vegas may no longer be merely a weekend stop.

But, raise your hand if you didn’t see this coming. As the article hints at, do you see Mr. Trump putting in new slot machines? The casino market is more than saturated. Think about the future implications: can you say urban sprawl? I really hope they get traffic sorted out between now and then.

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