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16 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 5, 2020)

Facebook leases all the office space in the former main post office at Penn Station in Midtown, reports The New York Times. Department stores are struggling to survive in the current retail landscape, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Once the Innovators, Department Stores Fight to Stay Alive “Decades of complacency led to stores that are stale and slow to adapt.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Facebook Bets Big on Future of N.Y.C., and Offices, With New Lease “Despite the pandemic, the social media giant leased all the office space in the former main post office at Penn Station in Midtown.” (The New York Times)
  3. Brookfield Ends Redevelopment Plans for Mall, Sparks Feud With City “Brookfield Property Partners is canceling plans to redevelop a former Vermont mall as an office and residential development, a sign that the slumping economy could be upending the firm’s strategy of buying and repurposing faltering malls.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Investors Are Dismissing the Risk of an Inflation Spike. Morgan Stanley Says that Could Be a Mistake “There is one big difference between the current coronavirus-led economic downturn and the 2008 global financial crisis and it could drive up consumer prices in a way that most investors are not expecting, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.” (CNBC)
  5. Manhattan’s Office Leasing Sees Busiest Month Since January “Manhattan’s office leasing activity in July was the strongest since January, but that doesn’t mean the market is on its way to recovery.” (The Real Deal, subscription required)
  6. Mall Owner PREIT Pares Executive Salaries and Suspends Dividend Payments in Deal With Lenders to Avoid Default “PREIT, owner of the former Gallery at Market East and other big malls, is trimming the salaries of its chief executive and chief financial officer while suspending dividend payments as part of a deal with its lenders to stave off default as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the troubled company.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  7. Recent Report Shows Both Significant Spikes And Decline In Rental Markets Across The Country “The national pandemic, paired with more remote working and relatively high unemployment, are dramatically impacting where people are choosing to live.” (Forbes)
  8. With Data Transparency Improving, Niche Real Estate Sectors' Prospects Are Good Amid Pandemic “REIT indices for cold storage, self-storage, data centers and life sciences have outpeformed all-property indices in the US in the first six months of 2020.” (GlobeSt.com)
  9. America Needs a Bar and Restaurant Bailout “Congress should consider bailouts of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, and states and cities that need tax revenue.” (Vox)
  10. 6 Key Takeaways From CBRE's Earnings Call “CBRE Group (NYSE: CBRE) reported a sharp falloff in business and income in the second quarter as a result of the pandemic, knocking its stock for a bit of a loop. That's not a big surprise given that the commercial real estate services conglomerate has exposure in hundreds of global markets across a wide range of activities.” (MillionAcres)
  11. What's the Future of Office Real Estate? Flexibility “A new survey of 126 companies by CBRE notes the tension between the cost of maintaining their office space with the cost of supporting employees who are working remotely.” (GlobeSt.com)
  12. Howard Schultz: U.S. Could Lose ‘the Next Starbucks’ Without More Aid to Small Businesses “Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, on Tuesday urged Congress to provide additional financial support to small businesses, saying that the now-iconic coffee chain would have struggled to weather the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in its early years.” (CNBC)
  13. Covid Will Force Us to Reimagine the Office. Let's Get it Right This Time “The much more interesting debate is about what kind of office we would like to return to. Now is exactly the right time to think ahead, and understanding history is instructive. Two particularly pioneering ideas of the past on the spatial organisation of workplaces offer valuable lessons.” (The Guardian)
  14. Manufactured Housing Powers Through “Marcus & Millichap Senior Vice President Michael Glass talks about how the sector is weathering the current economy.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  15. Home Depot Opening 3 New Facilities in Metro Atlanta Creating 1,000 New Jobs “There’s some good news for people looking for work in metro Atlanta. The Home Depot is opening three new warehouses in the metro area and it needs 1,000 people to fill the new positions.” (WSBTV.com)
  16. “Blank-Check” Companies Make a Comeback in Real Estate “SPACs, long associated with penny stocks, are seen as a cheaper route to go public. And property investors are curious.” (The Real Deal, subscription required)
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