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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 22, 2020)

CNBC looks at what going back to the mall might look like. The commercial real estate sector in Houston is expected to be disrupted for months, according to the Houston Chronicle. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Coronavirus Widens Retail Divide, Leaving Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret Behind “The coronavirus pandemic is widening the divide between retailers that are drawing shoppers and those that are losing business, accelerating a split that had been playing out before the health crisis forced some chains to temporarily close stores. Department stores and apparel retailers are feeling the most pain. Their stores were closed from mid-March through April, and while some buying shifted online, it wasn’t enough to offset the lost sales in physical locations.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Commercial Real Estate in Houston Seen Struggling for Months to Come “Houston's already high commercial real estate vacancy levels will rise in the coming months as the market absorbs the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a briefing from the local office of NAI Partners. While some deals are getting done, companies are slowing down the pace of office lease transactions for various reasons. Many are waiting to see how social distancing will affect their work and how they occupy their space, Boyles said at an online first-quarter press briefing Wednesday.” (Houston Chronicle)
  3. Home Mortgage Delinquencies Spiked a Record Amount in April “Delinquencies on US home loans jumped by a record amount in April as the coronavirus pandemic led to massive job losses and government programs began offering payment delays without penalties. There were 3.6 million homeowners past due on their mortgages in April, a 1.6 million increase from the previous month, according to data from Black Knight. It's the largest one-month surge on record, and brings total to the most since January 2015.” (Business Insider)
  4. Order Delivery from the Food Court and Shop by Appointment: Here’s What Going Back to the Mall Might Look Like “oon you might be shopping by appointment at the mall. One of the biggest retail shopping center owners in the U.S., Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is preparing to reopen its properties across the country in phases, with a slew of new initiatives to try to help visitors, retailers and restaurant operators feel safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors to URW’s malls will now be able to make an appointment via Westfield’s mobile app to visit a specific retailer’s store.” (CNBC)
  5. Kimco to Monetize Albertson’s Investment, Lower Stake to 7.5% “Kimco Realty Corp. has decided for partial monetization of its investment in Albertsons Companies, Inc., in association with Albertsons’ $1.75 billion sale of convertible preferred stock. As liquidity is important amid the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant impact on the economy and financial markets, the move to monetize Kimco’s Albertsons investment seems a strategic fit. According to Albertsons announcement, the proceeds from the preferred stock sale will be utilized for repurchasing part of common stock owned by its current shareholders.” (Nasdaq)
  6. Real Estate Firms Are Raising Billions in Debt and Equity. Here’s Why “As the economy starts to re-open, real estate players are hungry for cash. On Tuesday, CoStar said it would sell $1.25 billion worth of stock.” (The Real Deal)
  7. How the Pandemic Is Changing Shopping “Retailers that spent years trying to get customers to linger are reimagining their stores for a grab-and-go future to make shopping faster, easier and safer amid long-term shifts in consumer expectations and habits. (Washington Post, subscription required)
  8. At Least Three People Shot at Arizona Shopping Center “At least three people were shot at a shopping center in suburban Phoenix on Wednesday evening, police said, in one of the first shootings at a public space in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began. The suspected shooter, who has been taken into custody by police, used what appeared to be an AR-15 at the Westgate Entertainment District, according to Arizona State Sen. Martin Quezada, who said on Twitter that he had witnessed the event.’ (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. TJX Says Sales Recovering After Coronavirus Slump “TJX Cos Inc. said it was seeing very strong sales at its stores reopened post-coronavirus lockdowns, offering hope of a swift recovery after a huge quarterly loss due to closures and a resulting decline in sales, sending its shares up 6% on Thursday. The discount chain is seen as among the better positioned retailers as its value-priced goods are attractive to shoppers looking to save money in the face of increased uncertainty about jobs and household finances.” (Reuters)
  10. Victoria’s Secret Parent L Brands Is Set to Close 250 Stores, and That Could Just Be the Start “Victoria’s Secret’s parent company L Brands is about to shut more than 200 stores in malls and shopping centers across the country this year. And it expects even more closures for its struggling bra business are looming. When it released its fiscal first-quarter earnings Wednesday evening, the Ohio-headquartered retailer said it plans to shut permanently about 250 Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores in the U.S. and Canada in 2020, or roughly a quarter of its shops in North America.” (CNBC)
  11. First-Time Real Estate Developer Moves Forward with $370M South Florida Project “A first-time real estate developer is moving forward with his large scale, mixed-use development in Broward County. Guiseppe Iadisernia broke ground on the 10-acre, $370 million project Oasis Hallandale at 1000 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd. in early May. Located five minutes away from Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, the development includes five commercial buildings — with a total 59,219 square feet of retail and restaurant space — 34,691 square feet of office space, and 1,486 parking spaces, according to a press release.” (Miami Herald)
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