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12 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Sept. 23, 2020)

The Blackstone Group closed on the largest real estate debt fund ever, according to the Wall Street Journal. A new study finds companies are failing to follow through on pledges to elevate social concerns, reports The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Blackstone Ready to Lend After Raising Record Property Debt Fund “Blackstone Group Inc. closed this month on the largest real-estate debt fund ever, giving the investment firm plenty of cash to lend to property investors looking to go shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.” (Wall Street Journal)
  2. Stakeholder Capitalism Gets a Report Card. It’s Not Good. “The pandemic and the movement for racial justice have tested corporate pledges to elevate social concerns alongside shareholder interests. A new study finds companies are failing to follow through.” (The New York Times)
  3. As Concerns Over Climate Change Rise, More Developers Turn to Wood “With environmental benefits and lower labor costs, mass timber has grown into a market that could rival steel and concrete in the construction industry.” (The New York Times)
  4. Real-Estate Investors Buying Studio Home of ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Sex and the City’  “Hackman Capital leads group that has signed a contract to pay $500 million for New York’s Silvercup Studios.” (Wall Street Journal)
  5. Brookfield Properties’ Retail Arm is Laying Off 20% of its Workforce, as Pandemic Hits Malls “One of the biggest retail real estate owners in the country, Brookfield Properties, is going through a major round of job cuts, CNBC has learned, as the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on its business and new leasing activity at its malls dries up.” (CNBC)
  6. Roosevelt Island Building Proposal Has ‘Air-Scrubbing’ Feature “A behemoth air-scrubbing high-rise that looks straight out of a sci-fi flick has been designed for the middle of Roosevelt Island.” (New York Post)
  7. Walmart to Test Drone Delivery of COVID-19 Test Kits “Walmart Inc said on Tuesday it would run a pilot project to deliver self-collection test kits for coronavirus through automated drones at customers’ doorsteps.” (Reuters)
  8. Sizzler, One of America's First Steakhouse Chains, Files for Bankruptcy “Sizzler USA, one of the country's first casual restaurant chains, has filed for bankruptcy.” (CNN)
  9. Simon Says Trust Us: How the Mall Giant Has Navigated the Pandemic “America's largest mall owner has been flirting with Amazon and buying up retailers as shoppers trickle back — but is it just buying time? (Commercial Observer)
  10. Huge California Wildfire Threatening More than 1,000 Homes “A wildfire scorching its way through brush and timber from the mountains to the desert northeast of Los Angeles threatened more than 1,000 homes on Tuesday as crews across the West battled dozens of other major blazes.” (Associated Press)
  11. VICI Properties Provides $400M Mortgage to Caesars Entertainment “VICI Properties Inc., the “experiential REIT” that was spun off from a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp. just about three years ago, has provided a $400 million mortgage loan to a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Inc.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  12. Party City to Open only 25 Halloween Pop-Ups “With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a crimp in Halloween celebrations, Party City Holdco has scaled back its own plans.” (Chain Store Age)
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