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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 22, 2021)

Propmodo looked at nine examples of real estate firms adopting artificial intelligence to help optimize processes. looks at how force majeure clauses in leases have evolved in the wake of COVID-19. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Nine Firms Changing Real Estate With Artificial Intelligence “A growing list of technology companies are finding ways to use AI to help make real estate more efficient and, of course, make the people in real estate a lot of money by doing so. Here are some of the leading AI firms in real estate pushing the industry forward.” (Propmodo)
  2. Force Majeure: Allocating Risk in Commercial Real Estate Agreements in the Wake of COVID-19 “Because force majeure clauses, perhaps until now, are viewed by most as boilerplate, these terms have not been extensively litigated in New Jersey. But courts having considered the issue will strictly enforce force majeure clauses as written, therefore highlighting the importance of careful drafting.” (
  3. Car Washes Shine as CRE Investment Coming Out of COVID “Real estate investors looking for a safe place to park money coming out of COVID might consider the humble car wash. The sudsy byproduct of the automotive age has, in just a few short years, become an unusually durable commercial real estate asset.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. What would Oracle’s proposed project mean for Nashville’s real estate market? “The demand for housing in Nashville is only growing, with home sales accelerating to the fastest rate on record for the month of March, dropping inventory to nearly half from what it was last year. It comes on the heels of a major jobs announcement from tech giant, Oracle, which has recently proposed bringing a whopping 8,500 jobs to the area, with a $1.2 billion investment. The new project, if approved, would be built on Nashville’s East Bank.” (
  5. Just because you can work from home doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to “The most flexibility will go to knowledge workers. These high-skilled workers, whose jobs are mediated by computers, will be much more likely than before the pandemic to be allowed to work from home at least some of the time in what’s called the hybrid work model. But everything from which employees can work from home to the number of days they can do so will depend on a number of factors, including their job, company, and industry.” (Recode)
  6. New Yorkers are using public transit at their highest rates in over a year “In New York City, ridership levels as of April 19 are 36% below their pre-pandemic levels but have more than doubled since last year’s lows, according to data from Moovit, a mobile app owned by Intel  that helps 950 million daily users around the world plan and book trips using public transit.” (Marketwatch)
  7. Fending Off the Package Pirates “In 2019, an analysis conducted for The New York Times found that 1.7 million packages are stolen or go missing across the country every day, with 90,000 packages disappearing in New York City alone. In 2020, 43 percent of respondents to a national survey conducted by C & R Research reported being victims of package theft, up from 36 percent in 2019.” (The New York Times)
  8. Athleta to open 20 to 30 stores annually; to enter Canada “Athleta plans to open between 20 and 30 stores annually across North America in line with its goal of doubling the business by 2023. As part of the expansion, the brand will enter the home turn of rival Lululemon. Athleta will launch online in Canada this summer, and will open its first-ever Canadian stores this fall, at Yorkdale Shopping Center in North York, Ontario, and Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver, British Columbia.” (Chain Store Age)
  9. SPAC transactions come to a halt amid SEC crackdown, cooling retail investor interest “The drastic slowdown came after the Securities and Exchange Commission issued accounting guidance that would classify SPAC warrants as liabilities instead of equity instruments. If it becomes law, deals in the pipeline as well as existing SPACs would have to go back and recalculate their financials in 10-Ks and 10-Qs for the value of warrants each quarter.” (CNBC)
  10. A Florida McDonald's Is Paying $50 Just to Come in for an Interview “The shortage apparently stems from many factors: As the pandemic eases, large numbers of businesses are reopening at once, increasing competition for workers, yet at the same time, some people may be reluctant to take frontline jobs at a fast food restaurant due to continued COVID-19 concerns.” (Food & Wine)
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