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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 1, 2021)

The New York Times reports on how visits at nursing homes after a year of isolation are full of unexpected emotions. Interest in SPACs seems to be waning, reports The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. ‘Mom Is Really Different’: Nursing Homes Reopen to Joy and Grief “Nursing homes now offer an early glimpse at what everyone may face in trying to go back to normal after a year of separation and stillness. Some reunions may be tinged with grief, others with reminders of all that has changed.” (New York Times)
  2. SPAC Excitement Fades as Historic Quarter Ends “In a sign of how the frenzy has calmed, SPACs are rising an average 0.1% on their first day of trading so far this month. That is down from average gains north of 5% in January and February, according to data through Monday from University of Florida finance professor Jay Ritter.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Amazon says it expects some employees to return to the office this summer, most will return in fall “The plans signal that Amazon doesn’t intend to follow in the footsteps of other tech companies, by allowing employees to continue to work remotely or via a hybrid model. Microsoft, Facebook, Salesforce, Twitter and Square have all embraced the possibility of more remote work after the pandemic.” (CNBC)
  4. Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, explained “The plan includes $621 billion in infrastructure spending dedicated to rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges, ports, and rail systems. It also contains $300 billion to bolster manufacturing, $213 billion for affordable housing, and a collective $380 billion for research and development, modernizing America’s electricity grid, and installing high-speed broadband around the country. The plan also includes $400 billion for home- and community-based health and elder care.” (Vox)
  5. What WeWork Going Public — For Real This Time — Could Mean For The Office Market “A source familiar with WeWork's strategy said the company plans to continue rightsizing, and that will likely include more exits. But the source said WeWork is also looking at potentially growing in select locations based on market demand. WeWork declined to comment.” (Bisnow)
  6. Cerberus raises nearly $3B for new real estate fund “The fund, known as Cerberus Institutional Real Estate Partners, will focus on investing ‘opportunistically,’ according to a release. That means looking at direct assets as well as entities with significant real estate exposure and debt, including non-performing or defaulted loans.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Survey: Online sales keep booming as store shopping picks up “Overall spend per trip remains elevated compared to prior years across channels (up 12% vs. 2020 and 13% vs. 2019), mostly driven by in-store trips. Consumers are still buying bigger baskets (larger orders) in 2021 compared to 2020 and 2019, a dynamic that Numerator expects will likely soften as consumers return to pre-pandemic behaviors.” (Chain Store Age)
  8. ‘Cool but weird.’ Macy’s store transformed into school “The building underwent a $3.5 million retrofit supported by the state that added partial walls for classrooms while keeping some Macy’s remnants, like the sparkly white tile floors, bright red carpeting, and Calvin Klein and Michael Kors signs and a large-scale Levi’s jeans photo on a classroom wall. The library is housed in the former Macy’s china department, with books displayed on under-lit shelves, while the gym is in a former store’s warehouse and is still unfinished.” (Associated Press)
  9. UWS Bankruptcy Case Concludes With Chapter 11 Sale, Removal of Owner “After an entangled legal battle that lasted roughly a year, a court-appointed Chapter 11 trustee — acting to maximize the value of the estate and protect its creditors — managed to secure a court order to remove Mortimer from the property. The turnover order granted is a bankruptcy mechanism whereby the court orders a debtor to hand over a property for resolution.” (Commercial Observer)
  10. Pizza Hut is launching a digital pickup window at 1,500 restaurants “When placing orders online, customers can simply select the Hut Lane option when they’re checking out, and if it’s not available, they will be able to pick up their order via contactless curbside pickup.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
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