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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry (March 4, 2021)

Declining property values, and the resulting drop in taxes, are threatening to blow a hole in state and local budgets, reports the New York Times. Sands is selling its Las Vegas properties in a $6.3 billion deal, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Empty Office Buildings Squeeze City Budgets as Property Values Fall “For states, property taxes account for just about 1 percent of tax revenue, but they can make up 30 percent or more of the taxes that cities and towns take in and use to fund local schools, police and other public services. The coming fiscal strain has local officials from both parties pleading with the Biden administration and members of Congress to quickly approve relief for local governments.” (The New York Times)
  2. Sands to Sell Las Vegas Properties for $6.25 Billion to Apollo Global, REIT “Sands plans to keep its headquarters in Las Vegas, a company spokesman said. The company has been considering expansion opportunities in New York and Texas, Sands executives have said, and it will also explore opportunities in online gambling.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Commercial Property Giant Moves Into Rental Houses “The commercial property giant known as JLL has struck a pact with Roofstock, which manages rental properties for big investors and operates an online marketplace on which income-producing single-family homes trade.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Crafts retailer Michaels will go private in $3.3 billion deal with Apollo Global “Apollo is betting the momentum Michaels has seen during the pandemic — with many Americans stuck at home, redecorating and searching for ways to entertain themselves — will continue. Michaels’ sales during the third quarter rose 15% year over year, to $1.41 billion, while its online sales more than doubled.” (CNBC)
  5. Return-to-Office Plans Are Set in Motion, but Virus Uncertainty Remains “The course of the pandemic has largely dictated office attendance. That number crashed in March and April last year as the pandemic took hold and started slowly rising in the late spring, according to Kastle. Another surge in infections after Thanksgiving drove occupancy down but it appears to be on an upswing.” (The New York Times)
  6. Alamo Drafthouse files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will sell assets to Altamont Capital and Fortress Investment “Alamo Drafthouse — which runs around 40 locations around the U.S. — will close down a few underperforming locations and restructure its lease payments as part of the bankruptcy.” (CNBC)
  7. Ahold Delhaize USA completes step one in shift to self-distribution “Ahold Delhaize USA said Monday that its Freetown Grocery DC in Assonet, Mass. — supplying the Stop & Shop supermarket chain — has transitioned procurement from a third-party vendor to a self-managed network. The move gives the 1.1 million-square-foot facility direct control of inventory and replenishment.” (Supermarket News)
  8. Law Firms Take Short-Term View of Leasing “Bethany Schneider, Newmark director of research and report author, noted that for the past five to 10 years law offices have been downsizing as they focused on space efficiency, often choosing to take less space in newer and/or nicer buildings. Now that their employees have been working remotely for a year, these firms are realizing that they may not have been using their space as efficiently as they could.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  9. Shopping Malls Lose $4 Billion In Value After Reappraisals “Following reappraisals, some 118 retail mall properties lost $4 billion in value compared to 2019, according to Bloomberg data. The reappraisals were prompted by late payments, defaults or foreclosures. The decline represents the value drop since the mortgage debt originated, which could understate losses when it comes time to sell, since physical retail has been struggling for years.” (
  10. Real estate title firm Doma, backed by Lennar, to go public in deal with SPAC “Founded in 2016, Doma uses machine intelligence to replace large portions of the antiquated residential real estate closing process with instant technology solutions, according to a press release. It accelerates title and closing timelines while also greatly benefiting lenders, real estate professionals and title agents with significant time and cost savings.” (CNBC)
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