NEW YORK CITY—It might be summer, but June was still coming upGray.

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That's because Jonathan Gray, global head ofreal estate for the Blackstone Group, led allstories this month with the firm's take on the economic climate.Speaking at the NYU International Hospitality IndustryInvestment Conference, the executive shared his thoughtson everything from the hospitality industry to how Blackstone wasable to survive and thrive during the economic downturn.

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“We wrote a check for $800 million to buy debt at a discountduring the crisis because we saw what happened after 9/11 and weknew that there would be a rebound,” Gray says in the story.

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On the outlook for the second half of 2014, Gray sees positivesigns for commercial real estate: “I think there'll be even betterperformance than expected in the second half of the year because,in almost every market, demand is outpacing supply for hotels.”

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He goes on to discuss how the lack of distressedproperties is effecting CRE, and describes in detailBlackstone's process behind acquiring Hilton. To read the story,"Jonathan Gray Sees the Future," click here.

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We met with another expert for our second top story of June,this time our own Net Lease Insider JonathanHipp, and his read on a sub-5 cap rate for aTyson's Corner, VA, CVS. As Hippsees it, "Buyers are willing to pay aggressive cap rates forbuildings they plan to own long term."

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And owning long term makes sense, as the CVS is the onlydrugstore to serve Tyson Corner's "117,000 daytime workers and20,000 full-time residents," as well as "6-million-square feet ofretail and 27 million square feet of office," as the storyreports.

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To read the full details on the deal, "CVS Trade PostsNew Cap Rate Low," click here.

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Economic concerns were at play on the third most viewed storyfor the month. In "Debt on Large CMBS Loans Raises RedFlag," GlobeSt.com looked at a recent FitchRatings report voicing concern over the debt class. As thestory reports, "The ratings agency is concerned that ratings of'BBB−sf' through 'Bsf' on a substantial number of 2014 large loantransactions are not warranted given the significant amount of debtat those ratings."

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To read the full analysis, click here.

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Did we say we were done with Blackstone? Recently publicHilton was the co-headliner for our fourth mostread story: "Hilton, Marriott Look to New Concepts forGrowth." We looked at the new direction of Hilton's newCurio brand and Marriott plans for 200 more luxury and lifestyleproperties. To read, click here.

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But what about apartments, you ask? "Even as'new supply is flooding the market,' occupancy has reached levelsnot seen since Axiometrics began tracking data ona monthly basis, says the firm's StephanieMcCleskey." That was one of the key points for our fifthmost-read story: "Apartment Occupancy Hits Six-YearPeak." To read the full article, click here.

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Geoffery Metz

Geoffery Metz is the content manager for ALM's GlobeSt.com, Credit Union Times and Treasury & Risk. Before joining ALM, he spent several years overseeing the newsroom at the financial wire service Business Wire, with special focus on multimedia presentation for the web.