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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 30, 2020)

New York City construction sites have started to reopen, reports The New York Times. More than 50 percent of U.S. malls might close by 2020, according to CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. N.Y. Building Sites Reopen, Carefully, In Sign of Life Gearing Back Up “The construction industry, an engine that has helped power New York City’s tremendous growth in recent years, is slowly starting to reawaken, offering one of the first optimistic economic glimmers as the city struggles to recover. And it also provides a glimpse of how the coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the workplace in the nation’s largest city and the epicenter of the outbreak.” (The New York Times)
  2. Mall Owner Pyramid Sees 6 CMBS Loans Slip into Special Servicing “Retail owner Pyramid Cos. now has had six CMBS loans transferred to special servicing, with two more added this week. All of the properties associated with the loans have been shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has put intense pressure on loans tied to retail properties as mall revenue dries up.” (Bisnow)
  3. Cetera “Temporarily” Halts Sales of Non-Traded NAV REITs and Interval Funds “Cetera Financial Group, a network of independent broker-dealer firms, has halted sales of certain real estate based alternative investment products, including net asset value real estate investment trusts and interval funds, due to the uncertainty surrounding real estate valuations during the coronavirus pandemic, a Cetera spokesperson told InvestmentNews.” (The DI Wire)
  4. Over 50% of Malls Are Predicted to Close by 2021, Real Estate Services Firm Says “First, the department store closes. Then, the apparel shops try to scoot out of deals. This is a one-two punch that could trigger a wave of malls shutting for good over the next 12 months. More than 50% of the department stores anchoring America’s malls are going to close permanently by the end of next year, a new report by Green Street Advisors predicts.” (CNBC)
  5. These Real Estate Execs Will Help Cuomo Reopen New York “Some familiar names from the real estate industry are on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newest panel to help reopen New York’s economy. The advisory board announced Tuesday will be headed up by two former top aides to Cuomo: Steve Cohen, general counsel at MacAndrews & Forbes, a private equity firm run by Ronald Perelman; and Bill Mulrow, who was hired as a senior managing director at Blackstone Group in 2017.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Glittering Hudson Yards Dulled by Coronavirus Pandemic “Barely a year ago Hudson Yards, the new $25 billion neighborhood of tall glass towers on Manhattan’s West Side, was celebrating its grand opening. It featured a seven-story retail mall, as well as stylish restaurants, a park, a huge climbing structure and two towers of expensive condominiums. Now condominium sales have slowed, and the shops and restaurants have shut down following the shelter-in-place guidelines triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. In the biggest blow, Neiman Marcus Group, the anchor tenant in the mall, is said to be on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, raising fears that it could eventually shut down at Hudson Yards.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. The Victoria’s Secret Contract That Anticipated a Pandemic “Sycamore faces unusually daunting odds, thanks to clever drafting by L Brands’ lawyers at Davis Polk & Wardwell. In the acquisition agreement, the lawyers carved out specific exceptions to those acts of God, including a pandemic. That meant that even if a pandemic struck, Sycamore would be legally obligated to complete the deal. ‘I’ve never seen a reference to a pandemic in that context,’ said Charles Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, the state where the L Brands-Sycamore case is being litigated. “(The New York Times)
  8. Institutional Investors Curb Real Estate Projections for 2020 “Institutional investors expect to reduce the amount they commit to real estate funding by an average of 11% this year, according to a survey released this week by Institutional Real Estate Inc. and Kingsley Associates. The 24th annual Institutional Investors Real Estate Trends report found that pension funds, endowments, foundations and other large-scale investors plan to commit $70 billion of new capital to real estate this year, down from $75 billion in 2019.” (GlobeSt.com)
  9. Prologis: Balancing Disruption Versus Efficiency in Supply Chain Decisions “Current economic weakness and shelter-in-place orders have brought about new sources of demand. This sudden shift has emphasized the crucial role that logistics real estate plays in everyday life, according to Prologis’ proprietary data. Conversely, this new landscape is also highlighting the pre-coronavirus strategies that may no longer work going forward.” (GlobeSt.com)
  10. Atlanta Real Estate Completes Atlanta Office Investment “Invesco Ltd. today announced that Invesco Real Estate, the company's global real estate investment business, has acquired Edison Windward, a newly-built office project in the desirable Atlanta real estate submarket of Alpharetta for an undisclosed sum on behalf of one of its separate account clients. Edison Windward benefits from design elements that differentiate it within the local office market, demonstrated by the property's rapid lease-up with investment grade tenants.” (PR Newswire)
  11. NYC Could Lose ‘Sizeable Portion’ of Tech Startups Due to Coronavirus Pandemic “New York City could lose a “sizable portion” of its technology startups as the coronavirus pandemic cut their revenues, delayed product launches and canceled much-needed fundraising rounds, a new report found. A report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) and Tech:NYC found that while some tech companies in the city have been able to weather the coronavirus pandemic — with some even actually growing during this time — most are struggling to survive.” (Commercial Observer)
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