MasterCraft buys Florida boat plant and more business news

MasterCraft buys Florida boat plant

MasterCraft Boat Co. has agreed to buy a boat manufacturing plant located in Merritt Island, Florida, to support its recently introduced Aviara brand.

Aviara, a premium designer, manufacturer and marketer of luxury day boats ranging from 32 to 40-feet in length is a de novo brand which began production in July of 2019 in MasterCraft’s Vonore, Tennessee manufacturing facility. The new Merritt Island facility will provide more than 140,000 square feet of dedicated manufacturing space.

Situated on 38 acres of land, including water access, the new facility provides ample room to grow the Aviara brand, and will allow the opportunity for additional vertical integration.

“The Aviara brand is a critical component of the company’s long-term strategy to deliver our customers and their families the best experience on the water,” said Fred Brightbill, chief executive and chairman of MasterCraft. “The purchase of a well-established boat manufacturing plant will allow us to increase overall capacity and productivity for our Aviara brand, while simultaneously providing increased capacity and productivity for our MasterCraft brand.”

The new Aviara manufacturing facility is expected to begin production in early calendar 2021.


Office rents headed lower because of the pandemic

Businesses hunting a new office location may be in for some bargains.

Real estate execs are expecting a decline in office rents and more giveaways by landlords thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than half of property company professionals recently surveyed by commercial firms Transwestern and Devencore said they expect lower office rents during the rest of 2020. Only 2% thought office rents would rise.

And 77% of execs polled said they expect more lease concessions as landlords try to lure tenants to buildings.

“Traditional office space is expected to lag as occupiers pause leasing decisions until the pandemic is under control,” Elizabeth Norton, senior managing director of research services at Transwestern, said in the report. “Work-from-home strategies could offer cost-saving alternatives to select tenants, increasing the possibility of space reduction.”

Transwestern and Devencore quizzed property brokers in 43 North American markets for their midyear industry report. The study confirms that nationwide office leasing and construction slowed as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the U.S.


Japan economy shrank by 27.8%

Japan’s economy shrank at annual rate of 27.8% in April-June, the worst contraction on record, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed consumption and trade, according to government data released Monday.

The Cabinet Office reported that Japan’s preliminary seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product, or GDP, the sum of a nation’s goods and services, fell 7.8% quarter on quarter.

The annual rate shows what the number would have been if continued for a year.

The world’s third largest economy was already limping along when the virus outbreak struck in China late last year. It has weakened as the pandemic gained ground, leading to social distancing restrictions and prompting many people to stay home when they can.

“In April, May, a state of emergency was issued, it was a situation where the economy was artificially stopped so to speak, and the impact was severe,” said Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy.


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