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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Feb. 26, 2020)

San Francisco will put to vote whether to tax landlords for empty storefronts, reports the Wall Street Journal. Amazon opens a cashierless grocery store, the most recent move of the company to upend the grocery industry. These are today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Venture Firm’s New Fund Helps E-Commerce Retailers Go Offline “A real-estate-focused venture-capital firm said it has closed a $100 million fund to invest in companies born online that are looking to join the bricks-and-mortar world.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. San Francisco Voting Whether to Tax Landlords for Empty Storefronts “San Francisco will put to vote next Tuesday a punitive new approach to ending the blight of empty storefronts. On the ballot is a tax on property owners or leaseholders whose storefronts stay vacant for six months or more. If two-thirds of voters approve the measure, San Francisco would become one of the first big U.S. cities to tax landlords for store vacancies when it goes into effect next year.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. No Checkout Needed: Amazon Opens Cashier-Less Grocery Store “Amazon wants to kill the supermarket checkout line. The online retailing giant is opening its first cashier-less supermarket, where shoppers can grab milk or eggs and walk out without waiting in line or ever opening their wallets. It's the latest sign that Amazon is serious about shaking up the $800 billion grocery industry.” (Associated Press)
  4. Miami-Dade Industrial Real Estate Sales Topped $1 Billion In 2019 “Institutional investors are gorging on industrial properties in Miami-Dade. In it’s Q4 2019 market report, Avison Young noted industrial investment sales totaled nearly $1.4 billion last year, representing a 27.5% increase from 2018. Close of half of the buyers were institutional investors.” (Forbes)
  5. Silicon Valley Office Rents Jump, Construction Surges “A big jump in office rents and a modest shrinkage of vacancy levels has spurred a dramatic increase in construction of new office buildings, according to a new commercial property report.” (The Mercury News)
  6. Amazon Plans Big Distribution Centers in Downers Grove, Palatine “Showing that it hasn’t sated its voracious appetite for Chicago-area real estate, Amazon has cut two deals for new warehouses in Downers Grove and Palatine.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  7. Idaho Falls Development: What to Watch in 2020 “With 2020 already underway, Idaho Falls business and development leaders are expecting big things on the horizon in terms of economic development. New construction, new development and a steadily rising population have led residents to prepare for growth in a variety of ways.” (Idaho State Business Journal)
  8. Chicago Co-Working Space to Nearly Triple By 2023: Forecast “Fueled by rising demand for shared workspace with low-risk, short-term leases, the amount of co-working space in downtown Chicago will grow to more than 9 million square feet by the end of 2023—almost three times as much as there is today—according to a new forecast from real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  9. CBS Wants to Sell its NYC Headquarters for More Than $1B “CBS is looking to sell its 38-story headquarters in New York for more than $1 billion as a result of the company’s merger with Viacom, according to a Friday report from the commercial real estate publication CoStar News.” (Fox Business)
  10. Half of U.S. Homes Located in Opportunity Zones Saw Price Increases in 2019 “ATTOM Data Solutions has reported this past week that about half U.S. opportunity zones, where there was sufficient sales data, saw median home prices rise more than the national increase of 9.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019.” (World Property Journal)
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