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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 7, 2021)

Amazon is committing more than $2 billion to create affordable housing near some of its hubs, reports the Wall Street Journal. CVS announced that its first round of vaccine doses in skilled nursing homes would be completed by Jan. 25, according to Marketwatch. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Amazon Pledging More Than $2 Billion for Affordable Housing in Three Hub Cities “ Inc. said it would commit more than $2 billion to create and preserve affordable housing in three of its employment hubs, the latest tech giant to make a large investment in easing the U.S. housing shortage. Amazon said it intends to invest in affordable housing over the next five years in three regions where it is a major employer: Seattle, Arlington, Va., and Nashville, Tenn.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. CVS projects first round of vaccine doses in skilled nursing homes to be completed by Jan. 25 “The program allows both residents and employees of the facilities to get one of the two authorized COVID-19 vaccines right now; both groups are considered by the U.S. government to be at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.” (Marketwatch)
  3. Walgreens in $6.5 billion deal to sell pharmacy wholesale operation “Walgreens said it will sell the wholesale unit, Alliance Healthcare, to AmerisourceBergen in a $6.5 billion cash and stock deal. The deal would also expand Walgreens’ nearly 30% stake in AmerisourceBergen, which makes it the largest shareholder of the company.” (Chain Store Age)
  4. Developer buying Fenway’s Landmark Center in $1.52b deal “Alexandria Real Estate Equities disclosed late Tuesday that it has a $1.52 billion deal in place to buy Landmark Center — the former Sears complex on the corner of Brookline Avenue and Park Drive — to continue developing it as a life science hub. The site is one of several in the Fenway that has been repositioned in recent years to house drug makers, researchers, and other health care-related firms that want to be near the Longwood Medical Area.” (Boston Globe)
  5. Macy’s is shuttering 45 more locations this year, as part of its 3-year store closure plan “As of November, Citrus Park in Tampa owed nearly $128 million to its lenders and Countryside in Clearwater nearly $150 million. Both malls had loans issued by Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings. The lender said in the lawsuits it was seeking to take over the malls’ titles and have rent payments turned over.” (Tampa Bay Times)
  6. Will 2021 Bring Property-Tax Relief? “How long it takes for cities to bounce back from the events of 2020, and for property values to recover, will depend upon each community’s economic vibrancy. Because property tax is a state tax, any relief from this tax burden depends upon each state’s statutory date of value and whether its tax law contains a force majeure clause, which frees a party from a contract’s obligations when an unforeseen event prevents their performing its terms.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. Bridge Over Troubled Water: The Evolution of Transitional Lending “For some who retrenched, their sources of secondary financing (or leverage) had become volatile overnight, or dried up completely. The collateralized loan obligation (CLO) market — which several bridge lenders funneled loans into — had dissipated, and warehouse lines were abruptly cut off. Margin calls rang out, some more publicly than others.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. How a socialist on City Planning Commission would affect real estate “The appointment of a socialist tenant advocate to the City Planning Commission won’t by itself block development in New York City, but it could be a thorn in the side of an already wounded real estate industry.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Frank Gehry’s Luxury New York City Skyscraper Has Everything—Except Enough Tenants “Nearly one-quarter of the units at the roughly 900-unit apartment building called New York by Gehry became vacant during the Covid pandemic, according to data company Trepp LLC. Apartments are now advertised with three months of free rent on 12-month leases. Tenants renewing leases have negotiating power over the building’s owner, residents say.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. Sources: Line 204 to Sell LA Studio Development “Line 204, a boutique studio and production rental company, is set to unload a 10-acre studio development in the San Fernando Valley, according to a source familiar with the deal. Separately, a financial analyst familiar with the sales effort told Commercial Observer off-the-record that Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) will acquire the property for $28 million.” (Commercial Observer)
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