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Six Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 4, 2020)

Neiman Marcus has advanced in its bankruptcy preparations, reports Reuters. A Brooklyn apartment building landlord has cancelled April rent for his tenants, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around commercial real estate industry.

  1. Grand Central Restaurants and Stores Refuse to Pay Rent Amid COVID-19 Shutdown “It’s not yet clear how many of the 20 businesses that are refusing to pay rent are food vendors, but among the businesses that have raised concerns are Li-Lac Chocolates, cocktail bar the Campbell, and Lady Gaga’s dad’s food court operation Art Bird and Whiskey Bar. The terminal has dozens of food vendors, including Magnolia Bakery and Shake Shack.” (Eater New York)
  2. Struggling Borrowers Want to Pause Their Mortgage Payments. It Hasn’t Been Easy “Struggling homeowners are flooding their mortgage companies with requests for help as the coronavirus pandemic wrecks the economy. Many are having a hard time getting it. Homeowners say they are waiting hours on the phone just to reach a real person. When they do, some are told that getting an answer could take weeks. That is a troublesome timeline for the many borrowers whose mortgage payments are due in the first half of April.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. This Brooklyn Landlord Just Cancelled Rent for Hundreds of Tenants “A few days after losing his job in March, Paul Gentile was throwing away trash outside his Brooklyn apartment building when he noticed a new sign hanging near the front door. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought life to a near standstill in New York City and caused an untold number of people to lose their jobs, tenants in the building did not need to pay April rent, it read.” (The New York Times)
  4. Neiman Marcus Reportedly Advances Bankruptcy Preparations “Neiman Marcus is stepping up preparations to seek bankruptcy protection, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the debt-laden U.S. luxury department store chain to close its stores, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Neiman began holding confidential discussions this week with bondholders about possible financing that would help the company continue operating while under bankruptcy protection, the sources said.” (Reuters)
  5. Nursing Home Linked to 37 Coronavirus Deaths Faces Fine of $600,000 “A nursing home linked to dozens of coronavirus deaths in the Seattle area faces a fine of more than $600,000 and other sanctions after federal and state inspectors found a range of problems in how the facility handled the outbreak. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a letter on Wednesday to the facility, Life Care Center of Kirkland, that it may be terminated from Medicare and Medicaid participation if it is unable to come into compliance with federal regulations by September.” (The New York Times)
  6. COVID-19 Could Change the Face of Commercial Real Estate in Pittsburgh “As offices empty out and social distancing becomes the norm, the COVID-19 pandemic could bring big changes to the commercial real estate market. With so many people now working from home, some local real estate experts believe the new norm could prompt companies to re-evaluate the need for all of that office space they are renting in Downtown skyscrapers or elsewhere.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
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