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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Feb. 7, 2020)

Banks that financed rent-regulated apartment buildings in New York now face questions about the impact of new regulations, reports MarketWatch. Amazon plans to build its biggest tower in Bellevue, Wash., according to CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Lenders Are Getting a Barrage of Questions About Likely Fallout from Tighter New York Rent Caps “Community banks that financed swaths of New York City’s rent-regulated apartment buildings in recent years now face questions about potential fallout to their loan portfolios seven months after state legislators overhauled tenant-protection regulations. The changes make it harder for landlords to hike rents, charge tenants for property improvements or convert protected rentals to market-rate prices.” (MarketWatch)
  2. Buffing Up San Francisco’s Historic Piers to Survive Sea Level Rise “When the now-historic finger piers along San Francisco’s Embarcadero were built, you can bet the builders never expected that a century later, there would be engineering studies on how to prepare the gaunt sheds for seas that could rise nearly 7 feet. But that’s what the port has done — spending more than $100,000 on conceptual scenarios, such as raising the floors inside the sheds above flood level. Or adding solid railings around the edge of the piers.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  3. Amazon Says It Will Create 15,000 Jobs in Bellevue, Washington, and Build its Biggest Tower Ever “Amazon will hire more than 15,000 employees in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, the company said Thursday. Many will work out of the new tower the company is building there. Planning for the 43-story tower, its tallest yet, is currently underway. Amazon’s plans for the proposed building, referred to as Bellevue 600, were unveiled last July. The building will have about 1 million square feet of office space and is expected to be completed by 2024.” (CNBC)
  4. New NAIOP Report Tallies CRE’s Contribution to U.S. Economy “The latest report from the NAIOP Research Foundation on the contributions of commercial real estate development, construction and operations is an in-depth look at just how much money those factors pump into the U.S. economy. Quick preview: It’s a lot. This annual study, The Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2020 U.S. Edition, measures the contribution to U.S. GDP, salaries and wages generated, and jobs supported by CRE. In broad strokes, those figures for 2019 were $1.14 trillion, $396.4 billion and 9.2 million (both new and existing jobs), respectively.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  5. 50 Stores You Once Loved That Don’t Exist Anymore “From declining foot traffic to the rise of e-commerce, countless stores have permanently closed their doors for a number of reasons. In 2020, more than 2,200 stores are already set to close across the United States. In 2019, more than 9,300 stores closed. But even when shopping malls were in their heyday, many stores still shuttered for various reasons.” (Business Insider)
  6. DeBlasio’s Affordable Housing Plan Includes Tiny Houses and Basement Pads “Mayor de Blasio’s new affordable housing plan takes a page out of the millennial-living handbook by updating the city’s zoning laws to allow for tiny houses in backyards. ‘We will begin work on a citywide zoning text amendment that gives homeowners the flexibility they need to add a basement apartment, apartment over the garage, or other accessory dwelling on their property,’ the mayor said in a policy paper related to his State of the City address being delivered Thursday.” (New York Post)
  7. Global CRE Leaders Acknowledging Impact of PropTech “The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is hitting a critical tipping point, as leaders in the industry are recognizing the disruptive impact of Proptech. According to the CRE innovation report by Altus, it’s the first time in five years that the majority of commercial real estate leaders are acknowledging the shift that many new technologies have the ability to solve current challenges.” (Mortgage Professional America)
  8. A Netflix Series Tackles Gentrification in L.A. Some Say It’s Part of the Problem “Netflix’s new series ‘Gentefied’ explores the gentrification battles that have roiled Boyle Heights in recent years. But the story of how the series came to be starts a few miles northwest, in East Hollywood. Co-creator Marvin Lemus moved into a studio apartment there roughly five years ago, looking for a sense of home in the predominantly working-class Latino neighborhood after graduating from the Art Institute of California.” (Los Angeles Times)
  9. 6 Predictions for Co-Working in 2020 “After coworking took the real estate industry by storm in the last few years, people are left wondering what the years following the sudden boom will look like. While WeWork accounts for nearly half of the flex office space in major U.S. markets, the company’s appetite for office space has slowed down and other companies have gained momentum. With so many changes in the developing market, JLL’s Senior Director for Office Research Scott Homa broke down six predictions for how the coworking world will develop in 2020.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Amazon Plans First Fulfillment Center in Iowa “Amazon will open a facility in the city of Bondurant, Iowa, in late 2020. The e-tail titan intends on employing 1,000 full-time workers at the 645,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center. Employees will work alongside Amazon robotics to pick, pack and ship small items to customers, such as books, electronics and toys.” (Chain Store Age)
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