UPDATE


Local mall owner sells off portion of Beavercreek restaurant property

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 10:03 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 10:14 AM


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FILE

The parent company of the Mall at Fairfield Commons has sold a restaurant outparcel near the Beavercreek shopping center.

Washington Prime Group, which owns both Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons, announced it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of 41 restaurant outparcels to Four Corners Property Trust Inc. for more than $67 million.

» RELATED: The Greene adds new tenant through pop-up shop program

The 10 enclosed properties with outparcels included in the transaction are: Colonial Park Mall, located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Lindale Mall located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Longview Mall located in Longview, Texas; Mall at Fairfield Commons located in Beavercreek, Markland Mall located in Kokomo, Indiana; Melbourne Square, located in Melbourne, Florida; Mesa Mall located in Grand Junction, Colorado; Orange Park Mall located in Orange Park, Florida; Southern Park Mall located in Youngstown, Ohio; and Sunland Park Mall located in El Paso, Texas.

» RELATED: Holiday sales expected to increase this season

The outparcels included in the transaction are currently occupied under leases with a weighted average term of eight years, representing approximately $4.5 million of annualized net operating income, the company announced. The deal is expected to close in two tranches beginning in the fourth quarter of 2017 with the second tranche expected to be completed in the first half of 2018, pending closing conditions.

“Four Corners Property Trust is better suited to own the aforementioned outparcels. Deploying proceeds from this transaction to invest in other opportunities is prudent as it allows us to concentrate upon continued financial improvement,” said Lou Conforti, CEO and Director of Washington Prime Group.

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State lawmakers pick sides on UAW efforts at Fuyao

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 1:57 PM

Fuyao Glass America workers Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and quality check windshields in the Moraine plant in this 2016 photo. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Fuyao Glass America workers Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and quality check windshields in the Moraine plant in this 2016 photo. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Groups of state legislators are drawing battle lines over the United Auto Workers’ campaign to unionize 1,500 workers at Fuyao Glass America’s Moraine plant. 

In an “open letter” released Monday, 15 Republican lawmakers said in part:

“Unfortunately, we understand that there are outside forces trying to come into Fuyao. We are confident in Fuyao’s leadership in being able to work out all issues with you internally and quickly. This choice is up to you as employees to make. As those who represent you every day and fight for you, we urge you to reject these outside forces.”

RELATEDFuyao labor relations board hearing set for possible UAW vote

“We will stand with you and Fuyao as the company continues to grow and develop,” the letter adds. “Please do not hesitate to reach out to us.”

The letter appears over the signatures of Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miami Twp.), Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City), Bill Dean (R-Xenia) and 11 other members of the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. 

RELATEDFuyao workers seek union election: What we know now

But that letter follows an earlier one, dated Oct. 16, signed by 10 state legislators and 22 others, to Jeff Liu, Fuyao Glass America president.

That letter supports the UAW’s efforts at the plant.

“We believe that Fuyao has an obligation to pay fair wages, ensure a safe workplace, comply with all applicable laws, and respect workers’ right to form a union and collectively bargain, if that is what they choose,” said that letter, which is signed by State Rep. Fred Strahon, D-Dayton, and others. 

“We stand with the workers at Fuyao Glass, and are prepared to stand with them every step of the way as they join together to make positive changes at the plant,” adds that letter.

The letter is signed by Warren Copeland, Springfield mayor, State Sen. Joe Schiavone, D-Boardman, Ohio, and others. 

The UAW provided that letter when a reporter from this news outlet asked for a response to the letter critical of unionzation efforts. 

As this news outlet first reported last week, workers at Fuyao’s Moraine plant filed with the National Labor Relations Board for a vote on whether to accept representation by the UAW.

Some workers have said the company’s management and disciplinary policies are arbitrary and unpredictable while other workers have pointed to what they say are safety problems at the plant.

Company leaders have said the plant is just starting to become profitable and they prefer a “direct” relationship with their workforce.

Fuyao has about 2,000 workers at the the West Stroop Road plant, which the company says is the world’s largest automotive glass production operation.

In an interview Monday, Antani said he wrote the letter, which springs from “conversations we’ve had with Fuyao’s leadership regarding the situation.”

Beyond that, it’s up to workers whether to accept or reject the union, Antani said.

“Our job here is not to be directly involved with the election,” he said. “It is the workers’ choice.”

He recalled that at the plant’s groundbreaking ceremony last October, Sen. Sherrod Brown in public remarks endorsed efforts to unionize the plant. Antani said he felt that was inappropriate.

“Democrats came out with this first,” Antani said. “We’re being much more light-handed.”

Messages seeking comment were sent to Fuyao management and Brown’s office. 

Kroger announces executive leadership changes

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 1:57 PM


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FILE

Kroger Co. announced new leadership changes within its executive leadership branch.

The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain announced the retirement of Central division President Katie Wolfram and the promotion of Pam Matthews, currently the QFC division president, to succeed her. Suzy Monford will join the company to serve as the president of the QFC division.

“Both leaders bring successful and distinguished retail experience to the roles and will help with the execution of the Restock Kroger Plan that will bring valuable changes to our customers, associates, communities and shareholders,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO.

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Wolfram will retire from the company after 38 years of distinguished service, effective on Nov. 4. Wolfram was named to her current role in 2016 and has been spearheading an “aggressive growth strategy in the Central division since joining the region as the vice president of merchandising in 2014,” Kroger said in statement.

In the last two years, the company has invested nearly $329 million in the central Indiana market, adding five new Marketplace stores and 12 new gas stations, remodeling and/or expanding 14 existing stores, building a regional training center and adding more than 1,400 new jobs to the region.

The Central division operates 138 stores with more than 19,500 associates.

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5 surefire ways to get to retire earlier than you thought

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 11:27 AM

The following are five surefire ways to get to retirement quicker Set clear goals for yourself and track your progress Working hard and being disciplined is the most reliable ways to retire early Streamline your spending and scale back on luxuries Cut your housing expenses Put your money to work - wisely

Retirement can seem like a difficult goal to reach, so the thought of achieving it early may seem downright impossible.

But getting to retirement quicker doesn't require genius-level investing knowledge or extreme deprivation. With a plan, hard work and discipline, you may be able to get there sooner rather than later.

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The following are five surefire ways to get to retirement quicker:

Set clear goals for yourself

Consumer adviser Clark Howard recently shared advice from Chris Reining, who decided in his late 20s that he wanted to retire early. By the time he turned 37, he was able to reach this goal.

Howard said he thought setting clear goals was one of the most important things that Reining did. He labeled his investment account "Retire early" so he could see the words every day. In addition, Reining tracked his progress by using a spreadsheet you can get on his website. He wanted to save up 25 times his annual expenses before retiring.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Work hard

The Forbes Finance Council recommends working hard and being disciplined as the most reliable ways to retire early.

This can be achieved through a high-paying job combined with saving as much of your income as possible. Another path is starting your own business.

Reduce spending

Forbes quotes a blogger who retired early and says that streamlining your spending is an important step toward achieving this goal. It's not glamorous or complicated, but it works.

He suggests scaling back on luxuries and investing your savings in a low-cost index fund. When you accumulate 25 to 30 times your annual spending in this type of account, you can quit working for the rest of your life.

This Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, photo shows a new home for sale in a housing development in Raeford, N.C. On Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates.

Cut your housing expenses

If you're like most people, your home is your biggest expense, so it's also your biggest opportunity to save, according to Money.

Housing costs take up about a third of the average budget, so Money recommends not taking out the biggest mortgage you can get. Live in a more modest-sized home when possible, and in some cases, homeowners can purchase a two-family home, living in one side and renting out the other.

Put your money to work - wisely

CNBC talked to Scott Alan Turner, who had more than $70,000 in debt at age 25, yet managed to turn things around and retire by age 44.

He put his money to work and although he made some mistakes in the beginning, he evolved into what he calls a boring investor. His savings are automatically funneled into low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffet calls a surefire way to build wealth.

7 easiest ways to get into real estate investing now

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 12:59 PM

When most others are afraid to act...economics shows that's when you should seize the opportunity. Clark discusses the "get rich slow" tack of real estate investing.

Only 15 percent of Americans are investing in real estate other than their primary residence, according to a real estate investing study by Realty Shares. In fact, two-thirds of Americans believe that investing in real estate is too difficult, too costly or beyond their capabilities. This might be true if they were considering commercial real estate investing, which can be a risky move for new investors, but there are safer options.

What is real estate investing?

Investing in real estate means buying property to earn income and build wealth, either on your own or with the help of real estate investment companies. Many investors own more than one property, and their earnings include rent paid by tenants and the equity they build through appreciation. Investment-property owners have different tax considerations for their investment properties than they do for their primary residence.

Investing in real estate doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are seven ways to start investing in real estate now:

Rental properties

Buying rental property is one way to get started in real estate investing. Buying a rental property starts with choosing the right property, and then finding renters, maintaining the property, dealing with tenants and collecting rent each month.

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One stumbling block might be locating an affordable property worth investing in. “Traditional real estate investing is alive and well, although it’s largely dependent on geography,” said Aaron Milledge, founding partner and chief compliance officer of Targeted Wealth Solutions, LLC. “In some places, home prices have appreciated so much that it may be difficult to find a lucrative deal.”

Rental properties not only provide rental income but also tax benefits not available with other investment opportunities. An additional advantage is that you have more control over your rental property than you do over investments such as the stock market.

Live-in flips

House flipping involves buying a property at a discount, improving it for the purpose of appreciating its value, and then selling it at a profit. A live-in flip is a property the investor lives in while renovating it.

Living in your flip benefits you in two ways: First, you can make money when you sell the house later. Second, you avoid having to pay for a separate home to live in.

“Flipping a house — acquiring, repairs, and selling — can be completed in six months and result in a substantial payday,” said Lucas Machado, real estate investor and founder of Home Heroes, LLC. “Flips can earn tens of thousands of dollars in a short time frame. It’s the best strategy for those that need capital in the near future.”

Multifamily homes

Multifamily properties are buildings that house more than one family. The fact that people always need a place to live results in consistent demand for rental units regardless of the overall economic environment.

Investing in multifamily homes can be lucrative if it’s done properly. Justin Taber, real estate investor and a licensed realtor in Ohio, recommends living onsite. “While you live in this property, you will be living either for free or heavily subsidized by renters,” he said. “When you move out, you will be making money. In about 30 years, once this property is paid off, your cash flow will be quite substantial — just in time for you to start thinking about retirement.”

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Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is one of the newest and easiest ways to access the real estate markets. Rather than buying an entire property or financing a development project on your own, you can buy into a very small share of a property or project using a real estate crowdfunding platform.

Not all platforms are created equal. Look for one led by real estate professionals qualified to screen investments. From there, you can choose which specific real estate investments you want to buy into. Distribution of future gains is proportionally based on the ownership shares investors purchased. “These private placements are illiquid, though, meaning that you may have a hard time selling your investment if you need to raise cash quickly,” said Milledge.

REITs

Real estate investment trusts are a special form of security that invests in real estate. Unlike most other investment vehicles, REITs must pay out at least 90 percent of their taxable income as dividends to investors. When you invest in a REIT, you’re essentially paying a professional management team to do the work of investing your money in real estate while you reap the profits of REITs.

REITs are an easy way to invest in real estate because you don’t need tons of money. “The initial contribution to invest in a REIT is very low,” said John Barnes, certified financial planner and founder of The Annuity Assistant. “For example, you could buy shares of a REIT which manages apartment complexes for $500. Contrast this with a direct purchase in an apartment building, which might cost you $500,000 and the many risks that go with it.”

Real estate wholesaling

Real estate wholesaling is when there is a middleman involved in the transaction between the seller and the buyer, with the wholesaler serving as the middleman.

Kyle Alfriend, owner of Alfriend Real Estate Group, sums up what it’s like to be the middleman. “You focus on only finding the property, negotiating the price, and then selling that agreement to another investor,” he said. “This is called wholesaling and requires no out-of-pocket money from you.”

The fine line of separation between real estate wholesaling, which doesn’t require a real estate license, and real estate brokering, which does require a license, has led some states to set guidelines for wholesaling activities. Texas law, for example, requires that unlicensed wholesalers disclose their financial interest to prospective buyers.

Rent out a space in your home or on your property

Renting out part of your home or property is probably the most immediately lucrative investment you can make, and you won’t need outside funding or a new piece of property. Instead, find opportunities within the property you already own.

Perhaps you’re a homeowner with a garage apartment that only needs a bit of TLC to make it ready for renters. Or maybe you have a spare room in your home that’s sitting empty. With a little bit of money up front, you can start renting it to a tenant almost immediately. Alternatively, advertise the room as a vacation rental on an online booking site such as Airbnb.

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(Michael McDonald contributed to the reporting for this article.)