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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Nov. 12, 2020)

After a week of uncertainty, enough votes have been counted in California to confirm that the contentious Prop 15 measure that would have instituted a split roll property tax system was defeated. Deutsche Bank has suggested a five percent tax on people that work from home to subsidize those who cannot, reports BBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. California voters reject revamp to property tax system “California voters rejected a proposal to partially dismantle the state’s 42-year-old cap on property taxes, a move that would have raised taxes for many businesses in a pandemic-hobbled economy. Following Tuesday’s update to the vote count, Proposition 15 had only about 48% support and was trailing by more than a half-million votes.” (The Associated Press)
  2. Deutsche Bank Research: Tax home workers 'to help those who cannot' “Deutsche Bank Research suggests a tax of 5% of a worker's salary if workers choose to work from home when they are not forced to by the current pandemic. The tax would be paid for by employers and the income generated would be paid to people who cannot work from home.” (BBC News)
  3. Corporate Tenants Dump Excess Office Space, Sending Shivers Through the Market “Corporate tenants put a record 42 million square feet of space on the office market in the second and third quarters, according to data firm CoStar Group Inc. That increased the total sublease space in the U.S. to roughly 157 million square feet, or 1.7% of the total office inventory. It is the highest rate since CoStar began measuring it in 2005.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. As Retail REIT Losses Deepen, Optimism Returns With Vaccine News, Spending Rebound “While the bottom lines of some of the largest publicly traded retail REITs continued to deteriorate in the third quarter, many executives say they are finally emerging from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic with renewed momentum.” (Bisnow)
  5. Blackstone Invests $1.1B in China Logistics Park “Blackstone has expanded its logistics presence in China by about one-third of its portfolio size with a majority stake acquisition of a logistics development. The company spent $1.1 billion on a 70 percent interest in R&F Group’s logistics park in Guangzhou, China.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. What Subway Tunnels Can Contribute to Making Buildings More Efficient “The subway tunnels are home to a large quantity of unwanted hot air. The question has been asked by many, ‘How can we lower the temperature in the tunnels?’ One possible solution could lower temperatures while simultaneously providing low-cost heat to nearby buildings. The question is if this tactic is practical or just a clever idea?” (Propmodo)
  7. Attorney General's Office secures relief for investors in real estate joint venture “Pathmaker Solutions LLC and its managing member, Jared Guckenberger, agreed to pay restitution to several investors in a real estate flipping business. According to the Delaware Department of Justice, from June 2014 until December 2015, Pathmaker sold investments to several investors. Those investments, though styled as interests in ‘joint ventures,’ they said, had the characteristics of securities that should have been, but were not, registered with the IPU.” (Coastal Point)
  8. New York Announces New Curfew For Restaurants and Bars “Restaurants and bars across the state have been ordered to close indoor and outdoor dining nightly at 10 p.m. starting on Friday, according to the governor’s office. Takeout and delivery is still allowed after 10 p.m., but only for food orders. Takeout and delivery alcohol orders after 10 p.m. will be off limits, according to the governor’s latest guidelines.” (Eater)
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