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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Dec. 28, 2020)

New York City has implemented a policy of grading buildings to help incentivize more efficient energy usage and most structures received D’s and F’s in initial evaluations, reports Gothamist. Forbes examines considerations for how malls will need to adapt in a changing retail climate. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. NYC Now Requires Energy Efficiency Grades For Big Buildings, And Most Are Getting D’s and F’s “The new policy is intended to compel building owners to take a closer look at their properties’ energy use, and although there are currently no fines attached to the grades, some property owners with low grades are already worried about their reputations…. Roughly half of the approximately 40,000 buildings that had to post the grades received a D or lower (F scores were only given to buildings that failed to comply).” (Gothamist)
  2. Grand Mall Overhaul: Top Ten Considerations For Reimagining Today’s Malls For Tomorrow’s Needs “As a culture and a society there are many new and pressing demands that are vying for our time and money. Many of the needs that malls long fulfilled are now being met in more efficient and effective ways. It’s inevitable that many will have to shutter, and estimates vary as to how many and how soon, but the B-, C, and D malls are most vulnerable. The good news is that, with great imagination, the best temples of the ‘shop ‘til we dropped era’ can be reengineered to meet tomorrow’s needs.” (Forbes)
  3. Is Amazon Becoming a Real Estate Company? “According to the company's 2019 annual report, Amazon leased slightly over 318 million square feet, making up 95% of its real estate activity and owned just 15 million square feet, a mere 5% of its total portfolio. But a recent development by SunCap Property Group for a 278,000-square- foot distribution center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that is supposedly being built for Amazon is making investors wonder if Amazon is transitioning into becoming a real estate company.” (Millionacres)
  4. The Real Estate Collapse of 2020 “In just nine months, the coronavirus has reversed a decade of rampant rent growth in New York, as soaring vacancies and deep discounts have attracted a range of renters to neighborhoods that previously would have been unaffordable. But the cuts have not been universal, nor have they been sufficient to quell a wave of evictions bearing down on the city’s most vulnerable.” (The New York Times)
  5. Chicago Attracts a Flock of Law Firms During Pandemic “Among other things, 2020 will be known for shutdowns, rather than openings. Still, multiple law firms defied the odds and opened offices in the Windy City during the COVID-19 pandemic, including New York-based Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Detroit-based Dickinson Wright; Milwaukee-based von Briesen & Roper; Washington, D.C.-based Venable; and New York-based financial services boutique Murphy & McGonigle.” (
  6. The built environment will be one of tech’s next big platforms “From a purely engineering perspective, integrating these new technologies into a single site to be a test case made some sense. From a community development perspective, it was a nightmare. Toronto residents began to see the development as little more than a showroom for a slew of privacy-invading innovations that Sidewalk could then spin up into companies — or a space where startup companies could test their tech on a potentially unwitting population.” (TechCrunch)
  7. Caesars divesting Indiana casino to Cherokee tribe for $250M “The property will keep its name and Caesars branding and will participate in the Caesars Rewards loyalty program through a new $32.5 million annual lease agreement between the tribe and the Caesars-affiliated real estate investment trust Vici Properties Inc., which owns the property’s land.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
  8. Jamestown buys first Atlanta apartment property for $145 million “Known for such landmark projects such as Ponce City Market, Jamestown LP made its first move into Atlanta's multifamily market with one of the largest deals in the city this year.” (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
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