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robot nursing home PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 22, 2022)

The New York Times looks at whether robots can help ease the labor shortage at nursing homes. Corporate travel is coming back as business executives get tired of Zoom meetings, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. If Biden’s Plan Is Like a ‘New Deal,’ Why Don’t Voters Care? “As Chris Frelke surveyed the Thomas B. Smith Community Center, he conceded that the beige-and-green cinder block structure was not much to look at. But Mr. Frelke, the parks director in Virginia’s capital, spoke with excitement describing the image in his mind’s eye: One day, there would be a pristine new complex capable of providing services from child care to community college classes. That dream complex is not some remote fantasy. The city of Richmond intends to build it in the next few years using $20 million from the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s trillion-dollar coronavirus-relief law.” (The New York Times)
  2. Can Robots Save Nursing Homes? “Later this year, pending approval from the university’s institutional review board, 16 of Dr. Khan’s robots will go to eight nursing homes around the state — though without the off-color jokes. The robot program in Duluth is just one of several newly energized efforts to use robots and other technology to solve some of the problems in nursing homes and assisted living facilities — or to help people stay out of them. The trend began before the pandemic, but Covid-19 gave it new urgency.” (The New York Times)
  3. Back to the Office? It’s Here for Many Workers, At Least a Few Days a Week “People are going back to the office. Not in the same everyday slog they did before the pandemic, but many are back at least a few days a week. In-office presence varies by industry in Los Angeles County, with tech and entertainment-related businesses in the forefront, but the easing of pandemic safety restrictions in early March has clearly led to an increase in work getting done at the office instead of at home, landlords said.” (Los Angeles Times)
  4. Zoom Fatigue Boosts the Recovery in Corporate Flying—for Now “Corporate travel is finally back in business. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will end up as big as before the pandemic. The Omicron variant of Covid-19 made a traditionally low season much worse. On Thursday, American Airlines said it lost $1.6 billion in the first quarter, similar to the $1.4 billion loss reported late Wednesday by United Airlines. Yet airline stocks surged when the market opened, as investors latched onto hints of a strong summer season.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. Pricey Land Market Confounds Developers “The pursuit of land and its price is rising, putting a strain on developers in nearly every market and industry segment. In 2021, the land market had its best year in nearly a decade as sales rose 6% and outperformed the pace of acquisitions of other commercial real estate types, according to the 2021 Land Market Report from the REALTORS Land Institute (RLI) and the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).” (
  6. California’s Radical Plan to Defend Homes from Sea Level Rise: Move Them “California is beginning to adopt a bold and controversial proposal to protect its coasts from sea level rise and erosion: uprooting buildings and infrastructure near the ocean and relocating them farther inland. This concept, called ‘managed retreat,’ represents a radical departure from decades of coastal development philosophy.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  7. Office Investment Sales on the Rise in Los Angeles “Over the first two months of the year, office investment sales across metro Los Angeles totaled $659 million, according to CommercialEdge data, spiking significantly from just $86 million recorded as of January. The average price per square foot was $420 as of February, 48 percent higher than the national figure and almost double on a month-over-month basis (from $223 in January).” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. How a Chicago Suburb Became the ‘Data Center Capital of the Midwest’ “Plentiful electricity and fiber optics, along with an enticing state tax break, have made Elk Grove Village and its northwest suburban neighbors a hub of the booming market.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  9. Wawa ‘Actively Looking for Sites’ for Sites as It Plots Store Expansion in Southeast “Wawa is spreading its wings southward. The convenience store retailer plans to expand its footprint into the Florida Panhandle region, along with adjacent markets in South Alabama, during the next few years. Wawa said it is actively looking into potential sites for new stores in the Florida markets of Pensacola, Panama City, and Tallahassee, along with Mobile, Alabama. The retailer plans to open up to 40 stores in these markets, with the first locations expected to open in 2024.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. A Warehouse Made of Wood? It’s Happening Near I-20 in Dallas “From the street, one of the newest Dallas industrial projects looks more like Noah’s Ark than a warehouse.” (Dallas Morning News)
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