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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 26, 2020)

Smaller real estate lenders—credit unions and community banks—face a hit to their bottom lines from falls in asset prices, reports Mortgage Professional America. The IPO of grocery chain Albertson’s will be the first major IPO for the New York Stock Exchange since it reopened, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Credit Unions, Community Banks That Saved Commercial Real Estate Face a Big Risk “’Community banks and credit unions were the heroes of the program, stepping up to support businesses in their communities,’ says Carl Streck, CEO of MountainSeed Real Estate Advisors. With significant portions of their earnings and balance sheets taken up by loans on commercial real estate assets whose revenues have been wiped out by COVID-19 – hotels, neighborhood retail centers, restaurants – Streck says these smaller lenders, who account for around 95 percent of the financial institutions in the U.S., are now facing risks to their bottom lines.” (Mortgage Professional America)
  2. Blackstone and Hudson Pacific to Spin Off Film Studious in Roughly $1.4B Deal "Call it Blackstone’s blockbuster deal, in more ways than one." (Commercial Observer, subscription required)
  3. Chuck E. Cheese Parent Seeks Bankruptcy Amid Extended Restaurant Closures “Chuck E. Cheese parent CEC Entertainment Inc. said it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it grapples with the financial strain of prolonged closures sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. CEC, owned by private-equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc., said it plans to use the bankruptcy process to continue talks with its financial backers and landlords on a balance-sheet restructuring that supports its reopening and longer-term strategic plans.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. New Survey: Without Federal Support, Hotels Face a Grim Future “A new survey released June 24 by the American Hotel & Lodging Association found that just 18 percent of respondents had taken an overnight trip since March, a good indicator of how the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the hospitality industry. The survey of 2,200 adults, conducted by Morning Consult from June 16 through 19, also asked respondents whether they planned to take at least one vacation or overnight trip not related to business during the rest of 2020. The results? Not many Americans are planning pleasure trips this year.” (Real Estate Journals)
  5. Macy’s to Slash 3,900 Company Positions and Furlough Far More Store Personnel “Macy’s stated it will axe 3,900 corporate employees on Thursday as it struggles to recover from coronavirus lockdowns nationwide. The section-retail outlet giant said it has also eliminated an undisclosed number of keep employees, who could be rehired as the company’s revenue get better. Many furloughed workers will be requested to return to their careers starting up in July, in accordance to a statement.” (The Press Stories)
  6. NYSE to Host Albertson’s IPO with Coronavirus Restrictions “The New York Stock Exchange is looking to show it’s back in business as it hosts the initial public offering of Albertsons Cos., the first major IPO since its famed trading floor reopened. Shares of the grocery-chain operator are expected to start trading Friday at the Big Board, which was closed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shareholders of Idaho-based Albertsons are set to sell as much as $1.3 billion of stock in the deal, making it one of the largest IPOs at the NYSE so far this year.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Office Occupancy Varies Widely as Workers Trickle Back: Report “The Kastle Back to Work Barometer is an average based on millions of aggregated, anonymous daily building access data points from Kastle-secured properties in 10 major metro areas: Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Jose and Washington. It stood at 22.7 percent on June 17, having risen steadily, from 19.8 percent on June 3, to 21.9 percent on June 10. The Barometer will be released weekly as cities around the nation continue their phased re-openings.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. LA Approves Major Renter Relief Program “he Los Angeles City Council this week approved a $100 million emergency relief program for renters and landlords suffering from the economic shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders due to the spreading coronavirus.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Mall Owners Offer Micro Distribution Hubs for E-Commerce Fulfillment “In an era where e-commerce fulfillment has become a competitive differentiator, mall owners are evolving their operations to work with tech-enabled logistics companies to establish micro-distribution hubs in their retail centers. Today more than 60% of mall-based retailers have ship-from-store capability, with malls averaging 950 to 3,200 packages shipped daily, according to Fillogic, the logistics-as-a-service platform.” (GlobeSt.com)
  10. Retailers Who Use RFID Are a Smart Choice for Mall Owners “The attractiveness of a tenant will depend on several factors. One is the popularity of its brand. Is it a perennial favorite, an up and comer, or one whose best days are clearly behind it? Another is the strength of its balance sheet and its access to cash. A third factor is the range and sophistication of its omni-channel capabilities. How many years have they had “click and collect” (also called BOPIS) up and running?  How long have they offered same-day delivery? There are other considerations, too.” (Forbes)
  11. Apple Will Reclose 14 Stores in Florida Because of Rising COVID-19 Rates, Bringing Total Reclosings to 32 “Apple will re-close 14 stores in Florida as Covid-19 cases rise in the state, the company said on Thursday. The stores will re-close on Friday. The shutdowns come after Apple re-closed seven retail stores in Texas on Wednesday, and 11 stores across Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arizona last week. Apple has now announced the re-closing of 32 stores in the United States.” (CNBC)
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