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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 16, 2022)

SFR rents rose by a record 12.6 percent in January, a new report from CoreLogic shows. Marijuana legalization in California hasn’t worked out as expected for many cannabis sellers, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. In Houston, Most Companies Are Back in Office but Floors Are Half Empty “Houston has set the standard for bringing workers back to the office during Covid-19. About 85% of its businesses have employees at their desks or have plans to do so, one of the highest rates in the nation, according to firms that track the return-to-office trend. But Houston office floors are barely half full. While the number of workers showing up at their desks has been steadily rising, the office crowds are far smaller than those showing up at restaurants, basketball games and other traditional gathering spots.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Single-Family Rent Prices Are Surging at a Record Rate, Led by Homes in Sun Belt Cities Like Miami and Phoenix “Demand for single-family rental homes is soaring, pushing prices to record highs, as Americans begin to emerge from two years of pandemic hardship and return to big cities. Single-family rents gained a record 12.6% year over year in January, according to a new report from CoreLogic. That compares to an increase of 3.9% in January 2021.” (CNBC)
  3. Blackstone Buys 49% Stake in One Manhattan West “Brookfield and the Qatar Investment Authority sold the stake in a deal that values the 67-story office tower at $2.85 billion.” (The Real Deal)
  4. The SPAC Craze Came and Went. The Leftovers Are In for a ‘Bloodbath’ “Public markets soured on SPACs with hundreds of billions of dollars in privately raised capital still looking for merger targets. Experts say it could get ugly.” (Bisnow)
  5. Coworking Giant in Venture to Create the Airbnb of Office SpaceEntrepreneurs have long sought to create a big online listing site for office space similar to how or Airbnb offer lodging options. Now the Covid-19 pandemic is breathing new life into these efforts. Flexible-office operator IWG PLC. said last week that it is investing around $350 million into a venture with the Instant Group, which runs an online listing site for office space. The companies say the business will be the world’s largest online marketplace for flexible office space.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. More Landlords Invest in New Amenities, Services and Technologies “Office landlords are utilizing new strategies to adapt and win in this post-pandemic era. While maintaining and renewing tenants remains at the top of the list, investing in new amenities, services, and technologies to entice tenants back to the office has gained incremental steam.” (
  7. Amazon Is the Latest Big Tech Firm to Plant a Flag in Miami Office Market “Amazon. com Inc. is establishing a new foothold in Miami, the latest sign that the city is succeeding in its efforts to become an expanding East Coast tech hub. The e-commerce giant is renting nearly 9,000 square feet of office space at a WeWork Inc. building in Coral Gables, a city in Miami-Dade County, according to a person familiar with the matter. The space is occupied by employees in the Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Web Services teams, this person said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  8. IBM Will Consolidate 9 New York City Offices in One Skyscraper “IBM, headquartered north of the city in Armonk, began searching for space in New York City in 2020 where it could consolidate its city offices. This is the space the company has decided on.” (New York Business Journal)
  9. Starbucks to Expand ‘Community’ Store Footprint to 1,000 Locations by 2030 “Starbucks is ramping up the global expansion of its ‘community’ store concept as part of a new commitment to make its stores more inclusive — and accessible. Ahead of its annual shareholder meeting, the coffee giant announced plans to expand its community store footprint to 1,000 locations globally by 2030, both by opening new stores and rebranding existing ones. It currently has 150 community stores.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. Oakland Cannabis Sellers, Once Full of Hope, Face a Harsh Reality “The nation’s emerging cannabis industry is being shaped by the broader push for racial justice and the belief that creating business opportunities for Black individuals will help lift communities. But interviews with more than 30 cannabis business owners, investors and regulators in California, an early adopter of equity licenses, show how the hope of fixing historical wrongs is being challenged by the reality of an industry facing troubled business conditions, including issues like high taxes and volatile sales.” (The New York Times)
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