CoolSprings Galleria mall Brett Carlsen/Stringer/Getty Images
CoolSprings Galleria shopping mall

Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 6, 2020)

CBL & Associates said it may not be able to continue as a going concern, according to CNBC. The Bellagio resort in Las Vegas has installed sinks between slot machines to limit virus spread, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Mall Owner CBL Issues ‘Going Concern’ Warning After Skipped Interest Payment “Mall owner CBL & Associates said Friday that its ability to continue as a going concern is in doubt after the retailers in its properties have skipped rent payments during the Covid-19 crisis, forcing CBL to miss its own interest payment. The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based real estate company, which owns 108 properties primarily in the Southeast, had said earlier in the week that it did not pay an $11.8 million interest payment due June 1.” (CNBC)
  2. Will the Rush to E-Grocery Recede After the COVID-19 Crisis? “COVID-19 has completely changed the grocery industry, challenging supply chains and product on hand as demand soared. E-grocery has seen a massive boost as shoppers have been concerned about going out. Many grocers had already begun investing in ecommerce solutions, but COVID-19 pushed it up to a need-to-have priority. With states and localities reopening for business, experts wonder how grocers will continue to adapt, and how ingrained online buying patterns will be.” (MultichannelMerchant)
  3. Norway’s SFW to Diversify Real Estate Portfolio and Remain a Net Buyer “Despite reining in its real estate investment operation last year, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) said it expects to diversify the Government Pension Fund Global’s property portfolio and to remain a net buyer of assets. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is likely to move into new sectors such as residential and life sciences, according to a review of its unlisted property investments published this week, marking a decade since the fund was first given a mandate to invest in the asset class.” (IPE Real Assets)
  4. Las Vegas Casinos Reopen with Social Distancing, Sinks by Slot Machines “During the pandemic-induced closure of casinos here, the Bellagio resort installed a new feature in between the twinkling slot machines: plumbing. Hard-wired hand-washing sinks branded ‘Vegas Safely’—complete with dispensers for gloves and masks—are among many reminders of the delicate balance being attempted by Strip operators like MGM Resorts International as properties began to reopen Thursday morning after restrictions were eased.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. Apple Is Reportedly Giving Coronavirus Tests to Staff as They Return to the Office “Apple is offering employees Covid-19 nasal swab tests as they return to work, according to a Bloomberg report which cited people familiar with the process. Employees will also have their temperature taken and they’ll be required to wear masks around the office, the report Thursday stated. Apple reportedly intends to keep many of its break-room kitchens closed and it will limit the number of people gathering in confined spaces like elevators.” (CNBC)
  6. China Takes First Step Toward $3 Trillion REIT Market “China kicked off a real estate investment trust trial in late April that will initially focus around pooling capital to fund infrastructure projects like highways and airports. If successful, the program may be expanded to include traditional real estate, exposing individual investors to a market Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates could one day be worth as much as $3 trillion.” (Bloomberg)
  7. Is Your J.C. Penney Store Closing? Check the List “J.C. Penney Co. is closing 154 of its department stores after filing for bankruptcy protection, as the embattled chain tries to shrink to survive a years-long slump. Penney had roughly 850 stores and 90,000 part-time and full-time workers as of Feb. 1. Here is the list of locations from Shreveport, La., to Bozeman, Mont., that are permanently closing.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. Trump Administration Mulls Extending the Opportunity Zone Program. Observers Fill in the Blanks. “In late May, NPR reported that the Trump Administration was looking at an extension for The Opportunity Zone program in the wake of COVID-19. Currently, investors can defer and lower their capital gain taxes through 2026 if they invest in an Opportunity Zone. White House adviser Ja’Ron Smith told NPR that the administration is looking “at ways that we can extend the legislation.” (
  9. Investors Sue WeWork Over Botched IPO “A group of investors filed a class-action lawsuit against WeWork claiming the coworking giant duped them in the run-up to its botched initial public offering last year. The suit includes investors who bought shares in the troubled coworking company between 2017 until September 2019 — when its IPO was withdrawn — and accuses WeWork of fraud by using “fanciful accounting metrics to obscure its true financial condition” to them, Bloomberg first reported.” (Commercial Observer)


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