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

A group of Apple workers is pushing back against the company’s recent mandate for employees to return to offices three days a week, reports Insider. Movie theaters are expecting slow business for the fall movie season, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Construction Material Prices Starting To Cool, But Demand Concerns Are Creeping In “Builders and experts are expecting to see prices stabilize further, but are concerned that the still-high cost of building, coupled with the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes could lead to canceled deals and further declines in demand.” (Bisnow)
  2. Apple workers hit back against the company's return-to-office plans, saying they have carried out 'exceptional work' from home “A group of Apple workers called Apple Together tweeted a petition on Monday, arguing that employees have shown over the past two years that they can do ‘exceptional work’ from home. The petition claimed that workers asking for flexible arrangements may have ‘compelling reasons and circumstances’ such as disabilities or care responsibilities.” (Insider)
  3. McDonald’s Orders a Board Shake-up “McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain, today is announcing a major shake-up of its board of directors as the company faces inflation, war in Europe and tensions with franchisees. Sheila Penrose will retire after more than 15 years, and three new executives will join.” (The New York Times)
  4. Dem Candidates for Governor Bring Housing Costs to the Forefront in Florida Primary “Rental rates in Florida’s largest metropolitan areas have risen by at least 16.5 percent during the past year, according to the latest figures from In South Florida, the figure balloons to 37.5 percent, consigning the region to the fastest rising rents in the country.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. Can SF’s “trophy” offices lure staffers back to work? “Agents said they have noticed this trend throughout San Francisco’s still-struggling downtown: Even as rents languish and vacancy rates remain high in much of the office market, the creme de la creme office properties are able to command top-tier rents with limited availability.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Movie Theaters Brace for a Rough Intermission “The smashing success of “Top Gun: Maverick,” which has now grossed nearly $1.4 billion worldwide, has helped the industry close some of the gap with its prepandemic performance. The domestic box-office for this year’s summer season has totaled about 72% of the average for the same period during the years 2015-2019, according to Box Office Mojo.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. What was Adam Neumann's big pitch? “One noble aim of Flow is to help renters earn equity. But rent-to-own models have been around for decades, and they are often seen as a better deal for the landlord than the tenant. Blackstone entered this market last year with its $6 billion purchase of Home Partners of America.” (PitchBook)
  8. Activists aim to spread rent control across New York “The first step in the process is for the government to conduct a vacancy survey; state law permits rent stabilization for older rental buildings if a housing emergency is declared, which requires a vacancy rate in those buildings below 5 percent.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Private-Equity Firms Look to Foreign Cash as U.S. Pension Funds Struggle “But sovereign-wealth funds—which are typically state-owned and whose assets rise and fall with national wealth—have stepped in to partly fill the fundraising gap created by the struggles of U.S. pension plans, say private-equity firms and people who help them raise capital.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. NYC officials blame city’s sinkhole surge on ‘climate crisis’ “This past fiscal year saw a 38% rise in sinkhole sightings to a total of 3,920. Among other factors, including infrastructure issues, climate change is significantly to blame, Aggarwala said at the meeting.” (New York Post)
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