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14 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 14, 2020)

Lenders are suing property owners falling behind on interest payments, reports The New York Times. J.C. Penney landlords are nearing a deal to acquire the department store chain’s retail business, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Worried Lenders Pounce on Landlords Unable to Pay Their Loans “Some hedge funds and private equity firms that lent money to property owners are now suing them for falling behind on interest payments.” (New York Times)
  2. J.C. Penney Landlords Nearing Deal to Buy Bankrupt Retailer “Two of J.C. Penney Co.’s largest landlords have emerged as the leading contenders to acquire the department-store chain’s retail business out of bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. For Americans Waiting on Virus Aid, No New Relief in Sight “With talks on emergency coronavirus aid having stalled out, both sides played the blame game Thursday rather than make any serious moves to try to break their stalemate.” (The Associated Press)
  4. Empty Apartments in Manhattan Reach Record High, Topping 13,000 “The number of empty apartments for rent in Manhattan soared to their highest level in recent history, topping 13,000, as residents fled the city and landlords struggled to find new tenants.” (CNBC)
  5. Colony Capital Hands 36 Senior Housing Properties to Lender Due to Default “Colony Capital (NYSE: CLNY) has transferred ownership of 36 senior housing properties to a lender, as a step toward resolving a default.” (Senior Housing News)
  6. Indoor Malls Take ‘Stores’ Outdoors to Keep Cash Registers Ringing “Three malls owned by Simon Properties — the shops at Mission Viejo, Ontario Mills, and Del Amo Center in Torrance — are holding what amount to street-fair-like shopping.” (Orange County Register)
  7. With Unemployment Twice As High As The Great Recession’s Peak, New York City Rents Have Further To Fall “It’s no secret that rents in New York City are falling, but a new report predicts that they could fall much farther over the next year, prompted by a combination of job losses and rising inventory.” (Forbes)
  8. Fatburger Owner to Acquire Johnny Rockets for $25 Million “Fat Brands Inc. is buying burger chain Johnny Rockets Group Inc., expanding its stable of restaurant brands in a bet that casual-dining demand will bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  9. With Test Delays Across Country, Kroger and CVS Health Say They Can Help Businesses, College Campuses “Kroger and CVS Health are pitching Covid-19 testing programs to employers, such as colleges and manufacturing plants.” (CNBC)
  10. A Polluted SF Garage Is Being Turned into Condos. Neighbors Say the City is Violating State Law to Clean it Up “A group of San Francisco residents is accusing city officials of obstructing public oversight and violating the state’s environmental protection law in the cleanup of a polluted auto repair garage being readied as the site for new condos.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  11. Eviction Pause Extended To October 1st For NY Tenants Facing Pre-COVID Evictions “Tenants in New York State facing eviction from cases before the COVID-19 pandemic could begin getting booted from their homes as soon as October 1st, according to updated guidance from the courts system.” (Gothamist)
  12. They’re Desperate to Reopen Their Gyms, No Matter What the Law Says “New Jersey is one of seven states where health clubs have been barred from reopening. The governor says it’s too soon, but some gym owners are rebelling.” (The New York Times)
  13. CEO Paul Layne Reorients Howard Hughes Towards Suburbia “His focus on master-planned suburban communities is proving prescient during the pandemic.” (Commercial Observer)
  14. Face Masks Force a Facial Recognition Reckoning “In a landmark ruling issued Tuesday, the UK Court of Appeals said a British Police force violated human rights by unlawfully using facial recognition technology. Already mired in controversy with civil rights and privacy violations stacking up, facial recognition is facing its biggest challenge yet: face masks.” (Propmodo)
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