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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Dec. 3, 2020)

The FTC is filing a complaint against CoStar’s planned acquisition of RentPath, reports Commercial Observer. The Real Estate Roundtable published its most recent economic sentiment index, which found optimism growing among industry executives. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Why the FTC Is Trying to Block CoStar’s $600M Acquisition of RentPath “The FTC complaint, which is not public yet, alleges that CoStar’s $588 million acquisition of RentPath would ‘significantly increase concentration in the already highly concentrated markets for internet listing services advertising for large apartment complexes’ across 49 major U.S. cities, the agency said in a press release Monday.” (Commercial Observer)
  2. Commercial Real Estate Executives Optimistic Despite Serious Current Market Challenges “Commercial real estate executives expressed a modest increase in optimism about future market conditions, according to The Real Estate Roundtable’s Q4 Economic Sentiment Index, released today. A majority of respondents to the annual survey noted that general conditions one year from now will be either ‘somewhat better’ or ‘much better’ than today.” (Real Estate Roundtable)
  3. Leadership shake-ups hit Vornado, Cushman & Wakefield and Howard Hughes “Vornado Realty Trust’s chief financial officer Joseph Macnow is stepping down from the role and will be replaced by Michael Franco, the company’s president, the real estate investment trust announced Tuesday…. Another major commercial firm, Cushman & Wakefield, will also see its CFO step down: Duncan Palmer, who joined Cushman in 2014, is leaving the company…. And finally, the Howard Hughes Corporation announced two changes to its executive leadership team: The company’s interim CEO David O’Reilly will now take on that role officially.” (The Real Deal)
  4. Nobody Is Going to Conventions. Convention Centers Are Growing Anyway. “To keep its slate of shows — and steal others from rival cites — a convention center must frequently upgrade, expand or remodel. And the arms race keeps accelerating, even with most experts predicting that it could be at least two more years before attendance fully bounces back from the coronavirus pandemic.” (The New York Times)
  5. Vornado Shakeup as REIT Cuts 70 Jobs, CFO Steps Down “Aside from the change in the C-suite, Vornado also said it would start a $35 million program to reduce its annual overhead, which includes cutting some salaries and laying off 70 of its employees. Vornado said that the moves will cause a $23 million reduction in net income for the fourth quarter.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Family offices are gearing up to pounce on distressed real estate “Now with the pandemic and economic downturn taking their toll on real estate, many family offices are looking for a fresh chance to buy at steep discounts.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Bankrupt NPC International cancels bidding for hundreds of Wendy’s and Pizza Hut restaurants “The cancellation essentially paves the way for stalking-horse bidder Flynn Restaurant Group LLC to buy NPC’s assets, according to sources cited this week by the Wall Street Journal. In early November, San Francisco-based Flynn Restaurant Group, a large multi-unit restaurant operator, made a $816 million bid to buy substantially all of NPC’s assets.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
  8. Once Bustling, Boston's Commercial Real Estate Now Fuels Fears Of A Slow Economic Recovery “Several months into the pandemic, many companies have vacated their leased offices, pushing the office vacancy rate to a seven-year high of over 10% in downtown Boston, and 13.5% across the metro region, according to a recent report by Newmark.” (WBUR)
  9. Mapped: The Top 30 Most Valuable Real Estate Cities in the U.S. “Using the latest data from LendingTree, this graphic ranks the top 30 most valuable real estate cities in America. We’ll also evaluate the top cities based on median value of homes, and how COVID-19 has impacted the market.” (Visual Capitalist)
  10. Walmart to Open Health Superstores: What It Means for Real Estate Investors “In September, one year after opening its first Walmart Health center in Dallas, Georgia, Walmart announced that it will be expanding its health-focused superstores on a national level and investing millions to make that happen. Right now, the company has six active Walmart Health locations -- five in Georgia and one in Arkansas.” (MillionAcres)
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