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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 17, 2020)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says business will pick up when the crisis ends, reports CNBC. New York apartment building managers are dealing with new responsibilities, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. New York Residential Building Managers Scramble as Everyone Stays at Home “Most co-ops, condominiums, rental buildings and public housing developments across the city have developed protocols to try to prevent the spread of virus at home. Some playrooms and gyms have been locked for the duration. There are contingency plans to cope in the event that New York is locked down and building employees can’t get to work. Decisions are being made on what to do if and when a resident falls ill. Managers say they are checking in on the most vulnerable residents and are halting evictions. ‘This is going to have a large impact on communal living,’ said Mr. D’Angelo, a real estate lawyer.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. A Frantic Few Days for Restaurants Is Only the Beginning “Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are full of appeals to diners to funnel restaurant workers a little cash by buying gift certificates or branded T-shirts, or by sending money directly or indirectly. Restaurants are for-profit operations, at least in theory, but, for those of us who can’t imagine life without them, they act more like cultural institutions. If you’d give money to keep the opera going, why not pay a little to keep the restaurant workers afloat?” (The New York Times)
  3. NYC’s Economy Could Be Ravaged by Outbreak “The coronavirus pandemic is all but bringing life to a halt in the nation’s largest city, slamming the brakes on what had been a robust economy and leaving New York, which has more than 25,000 restaurants and 120,000 hotel rooms, confronting a dire threat that experts say will surely lead to sweeping layoffs and business failures.” (The New York Times)
  4. San Francisco Bay Area Ordered to ‘Shelter in Place’ Until April 7 as the City Attempts to Contain the Coronavirus Outbreak “The San Francisco Bay Area will be directed to "shelter in place" at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday until April 7 in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The order will require residents to remain indoors except for essential travel, like going to get groceries. The shelter-in-place order is different from a full lockdown, which would prohibit people from leaving their homes without government permission.” (Business Insider)
  5. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Tells Cramer There Will Be a Lot of ‘Pent-Up Demand’ When Crisis Ends “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Monday there will be a surge of demand for stocks once the coronavirus threat abates. ‘There will be a huge amount of pent-up demand when this is done. And it will be done,’ the Treasury secretary told CNBC’s Jim Cramer. ‘Look for companies that have a ton of liquidity. An Apple will have customers,’ Mnuchin added. ‘That’s just a given. The goal is not to bail out companies.’” (CNBC)
  6. New York, Seattle and Other Cities Are Telling Landlords to Halt Evictions During the Coronavirus PandemicThe consequences of the novel coronavirus are relentlessly wide-ranging. And for many in the workforce, the mass closures it's caused have resulted in lost income. Local officials are stepping up. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco and states like New York have temporarily suspended evictions to support residents who've been sidelined by the coronavirus and can't pay rent.” (CNN)
  7. A Coronavirus Disaster Story from the Movie Industry “Few stocks have been hit as hard by the coronavirus crisis as Cineworld, the world’s second-largest operator of movie theaters. Its troubles follow a script that will be played out many times and in many ways across the leisure industry in coming months. The shares have fallen 71% since the start of last week as cases of Covid-19 have mounted in the U.S., where Cineworld owns the Regal Cinemas chain. On Thursday, investors took particular fright when the company included an auditor’s ‘going concern’ warning in its annual results: A total loss of revenue for between two and three months across its entire chain.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. CIT Bank, BlackRock Originate $163M Loan Package for Industrial Portfolio “The Arden Group is the recipient of a two-part, $163 million loan package from CIT Bank and BlackRock to help it assemble a 2.1-million-square-foot, 12-property industrial portfolio across multiple states. Both the $134.3 million senior loan from CIT and the approximately $29.2 million in mezzanine debt from BlackRock carry floating rates. The debt covers Arden’s $96 million purchase of 10 assets from Avistone LLC, as well as a recapitalization of two sizable industrial properties that Arden purchased about 18 months ago.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  9. Retailers Close Stores Around Globe to Curb Coronavirus Spread “Retailers have been closing stores around the globe to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus, which has killed over 6,500 and infected more than 174,000 while disrupting supply and production chains.” (Reuters)
  10. MGM and Wynn to Close Casinos Amid Coronavirus Pandemic “MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts will both shutter their Las Vegas casinos and resorts starting Monday as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread its deadly and unprecedented health and economic impact around the world. MGM said in a statement Sunday that it will shut down all of its casino operations on Monday, followed by its hotel operations. It said it will not accept reservations before May 1.” (The Street)


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