10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 23, 2019)

Amazon enters the real estate industry, launching a new home-buying program with real estate services company Reology, reports the New York Times. A new start-up in Silicon Valley aims to upend the traditional window industry, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today's must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. How to Get a $5,000 Amazon Credit: Buy a House Through Realogy “Over the past year, the decidedly analog business of buying and selling real estate has been upended by a flurry of new money and start-ups trying to usher in a world where homes are bought and sold online. Now, Amazon is creating a partnership that goes in the opposite direction by using its gigantic retail platform to facilitate phone calls with human real estate agents.” (The New York Times)
  2. New Smart Glass Cuts Glare, Alerts Police if There’s a Break-In “Like many startups in and around Silicon Valley, View Inc. believes its mission is to disrupt a stale product. That product is glass.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Meet the Other Man Who Bought the Chrysler Building “New York property mogul Aby Rosen is the public face of the group that bought Manhattan’s famed Chrysler Building. But to get it done, he teamed with the high-school dropout behind a European real-estate empire. That partner is Rene Benko, 42-year-old founder of Austria’s largest privately held real-estate company.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Retail Stores Get a Bad Rap, as Closures Pile Up. But Here’s How Stores Boost Online Sales “But a new study from the International Council of Shopping Centers shows real estate shouldn’t be looked at like a glaring liability, but instead stores are giving a significant boost to online sales.” (CNBC)
  5. Is OmniChannel Retailing The Way of the Future? “Customers want brands representing their values. So says Rick Chichester, president and CEO of Faris Lee Investments, who recently talked with about all things omnichannel and the impact it has on financing.” (
  6. Why Playa Vista Is the Hot New Workplace Destination for LA’s Growing Tech Scene “Last year alone, venture capitalists invested over $6 billion in more than 400 tech companies in Greater Los Angeles.  The city is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the country, and it needs a workplace to support its growth.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. The City That Never Deletes: How New York City Became a Real Estate Data Mecca “Data, the fuel on which so much of the technology and appraisal of real estate runs, is up-to-date and in abundant supply in Gotham, but still living in the dark ages in the rest of the country.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Institutional Investing And Affordable Housing: A Brief History And Vision For The Future “In the past several years there has been a sizeable increase in investors who specialize in “impact investment,” “mission-related investment” and other closely related specialty practices with nuanced differences. But all subscribe to the theory that making investments that contribute to society’s well-being will also benefit their bottom line.” (Forbes)
  9. Appetite Strong But Cautious for Cannabis Real Estate “The legalization of cannabis in California has been followed—and in some ways even preceded by—a rush of real estate investment to supply the new demand. However, while there is excitement and strong appetite for cannabis-related assets—which includes retail storefronts as well as industrial facilities for manufacturing—investors are also preceding with caution as the new asset class also poses significant challenges.” (
  10. Los Angeles Has the Third Largest Pool of Tech Workers on the West Coast “Los Angeles has the third largest pool of tech workers on the West Coast, after Seattle and San Francisco, according to a report released last week by commercial real estate firm CBRE.” (Curbes Los Angeles)
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