Landscape Architect & Specifier News

MAR 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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"So the American Dream is back, and we are going to create an environment in small business like we haven't had in many, many decades."—President Trump, Jan. 30, 2017 Trump executive actions are happening at a dizzying rate. On Jan. 30, he signed one to rollback federal regulations on small businesses. The order states: "…it is important that for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination, and that the cost of planned regulations be prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process." "We'll be reducing them big league and their damaging effects on our small businesses, our economy, our entrepreneurial spirit," Trump said at the time of the signing. He said the order was the "biggest such act as our country has every seen." The president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business tweeted it welcomed the executive order to "cut back on burdensome regulations." (#smallbiz) Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer group that defines itself as "standing up to corporate power and holding government accountable for 45 years," called the order "radical" and "unworkable." 94 Landscape Architect and Specifier News I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 7 2 Massive Cuts of Federal Regulations on Small Businesses Promised Mall Foreclosures Echo Housing Crash The mall business is, well, going the way of the dodo. Sears and Macys just announced closing 150 and 100 outlets respectively. As anchor retailers depart malls, mall owners face declines in their property value. And when mall landlords see their property values go below their loan balances, some see the advantage in just walking away from their debt instead of restructuring it, leaving creditors "in the lurch," a scenario played out large scale during the housing crises. Morningstar Credit Ratings reports that from January to Nov. 2016, 314 retail property loans totaling $3.5 billion were liquidated, an increase of 11% from the same period the previous year. This is only good news for those looking to acquire mall properties. Mall lenders left with "distress properties" are being forced to sell at rock bottom prices, and endangering property values of nearby real estate. The Wall Street Journal cites as examples "mall giant" Simon Property Group, which last year defaulted on a $45 million mall loan, and Georgia-based Hull Property Group, which acquired 5 malls from foreclosures sales in 2016.

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