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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 18, 2020)

In its twice-yearly financial stability report released Friday, The Federal Reserve warned on significant asset price declines, with commercial real estate potentially being among the most affected, Bloomberg reported. Legislation introduced in California could make it easier for small businesses to break their leases, according to a story from California Globe. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed warns of ‘significant’ hit to asset prices if pandemic grows “The Federal Reserve issued a stark warning Friday that stock and other asset prices could suffer significant declines should the coronavirus pandemic deepen, with the commercial real estate market being among the hardest-hit industries. The Fed made the assertion in its twice-yearly financial stability report, in which it flags risks to the U.S. banking system and broader economy.” (Bloomberg)
  2. California Small Businesses Could More Easily Leave Leases Under New Bill “On Wednesday, a new California law was proposed in the Senate that would allow all small businesses financially hurt by the coronavirus pandemic to be able to renegotiate their lease and leave the lease more easily, as well as halting all small business evictions until the end of the state lockdown.” (California Globe)
  3. Canadian retail tenants hopeful over federal relief plan, but landlords reluctant to join “The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will allow landlords to apply for government funds to cover half of rent payments for small businesses, up to $50,000 a month, with tenants paying 25 per cent. Landlords would forfeit the remaining 25 per cent.” (AirdrieToday.com)
  4. Pandemic Will Spur Hotel Industry Consolidation, Real Estate Conversions “The industry will face imbalances of room supply and demand that lead to consolidation and the conversion of hotel assets into new uses, according to a top Greater China hotel industry leader. Business ‘is going to be very challenging’ from oversupply created in an era of low interest rates and easy financing around the world, said Steven Pan, chairman of Taiwan-listed Formosa International Hotels. ‘There will be a huge – probably the biggest—consolidation’ of hotel assets in the coming decade, he said.” (Forbes)
  5. Twin Cities co-working spaces to redefine shared offices as they prepare for workers “Wellworth plans to reopen Monday at 50% capacity, or about 50 people. Membership fees, which are mostly paid monthly, have been frozen. Staff has removed some chairs, installed floor decals to signify distancing and put X’s on some desks with tape to encourage people to spread out. Visitors will remain limited to the lobby or conference rooms. Rissi and one other manager will handle most of the daily cleaning duties.” (StarTribune.com)
  6. Pelosi calls on San Francisco’s largest corporate landlord to return PPP loan “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement Saturday calling on Veritas Investments, a property management company in San Francisco, to return its $3.6 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Pelosi said the loan is made to help small businesses struggling during the coronavirus crisis. Businesses that really need the assistance, particularly minority, women and veteran-owned businesses.” (KRON4.com)
  7. A massive real-estate scam could force counties to give cash rebates to giant commercial landlords “California counties could be required to give immediate tax rebates – that is, cash payments – to private commercial property owners who say that the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt their property values.” (48Hills.org)
  8. SIMA Management Calls Santa Barbara’s COVID-19-Related Commercial Rent Deferral Unlawful “Attorneys for SIMA Management have sent a letter to Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo alleging that the COVID-19-related rent moratorium for commercial tenants is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, and amounts to an illegal taking. Friday's letter, obtained by Noozhawk, was signed by Robert A. Curtis of the firm Foley, Bezek, Behle & Curtis… SIMA and the firm are trying to stop the Santa Barbara City Council from continuing the rent deferral policy past May 31.” (Noozhawk.com)
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