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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 13, 2021) looks at how rental assistance from the federal government is being paid out to tenants. Blackstone acquired 66 apartment buildings in San Diego, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. New Rental Assistance Guidelines Releases Money Directly to Tenants “In response to industry concerns, the Biden administration has also released new guidelines to local agencies administering the programs to ease the rental assistance process. Most notably, for the first time, emergency rental assistance from the American Rescue Plan must be offered directly to renters when landlords don’t participate in the program.” (
  2. Blackstone Group to buy 66 apartment complexes in San Diego for more than $1 billion “New York-based Blackstone is purchasing roughly 5,800 apartment units from the Conrad Prebys Foundation. It said it intends to spend $100 million to improve the new assets. The deal makes Blackstone one of the biggest real estate holders in San Diego County. It already owns $4.5 billion in assets here — including Legoland and the Hotel del Coronado.” (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
  3. US casinos raked in $11B in first quarter to match best-ever ‘win’ “America’s commercial casinos matched their best quarter ever in the first three months of this year, as customers continued returning amid the COVID-19 pandemic and internet and sports betting money helped boost revenue numbers.” (The Associated Press)
  4. Amazon releases new images of HQ2 as it ramps up hiring in Virginia “Amazon also shared new renderings of a proposed plaza located near the edge of the Arlington campus. It said the plaza will have space for retail shops and will serve as a public gathering place, including for things like ‘special neighborhood events.’” (CNBC)
  5. More than 100 Subway franchisees slam executives and demand lower fees in open letter to 'multi-billionaire' owner “Currently, Subway franchisees pay the corporate office 8% of gross sales every week in royalties — one of the highest royalty fees in the restaurant industry. For comparison, McDonald's royalties are 4% of gross sales.” (Insider)
  6. Housing-Market Surge Is Making the Cheapest Homes the Hottest “U.S. ZIP Codes where the median home cost less than $100,000 in early 2018 have had a 42% rise in prices in the three years since then, according to a CoreLogic Inc. analysis for The Wall Street Journal. That is about double the rise for ZIP Codes where the median was between $150,000 and $200,000, and triple the rise in locales with $300,000-plus price tags.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. How $1 Billion in Investor Money Was Wiped Out By a Property Pitch “After operating since 2008, the real estate company at the center of the scandal filed for bankruptcy last year. Investors are now questioning whether any of it — from the early returns to the developments displayed in slick marketing material — was real.” (Bloomberg Wealth)
  8. What the Single-Family Rental Boom Has Taught Multifamily Operators “Institutional investors are hands-off. They need investments that can be easily managed and scaled. Institutions are also focused on profitability, as they often have to pay a dividend to their limited partners. This posed a problem for detached, disbursed single-family rentals. When compared to larger buildings they do not have the same ROI; managing and maintaining two hundred units under one roof is much more cost-effective than doing the same for two hundred homes scattered throughout a metro.” (Propmodo)
  9. Bill Ackman reveals 6% stake in Domino’s Pizza, shares jump “The hedge fund manager has been betting big on the restaurant, retail and hotel industries coming back. His top holdings at the end of 2020 included Lowe’s, Hilton, Restaurant Brands and Chipotle.” (CNBC)
  10. Air Travel Is Back, Including All the Things You Hated “Fares are rising, middle seats are no longer empty and everything from parking lots to security lines is getting more congested. Meanwhile, some airports are understaffed to handle demand, many airport restaurants are still closed or at limited capacity, some terminal seating remains blocked for social distancing, and passengers scuffle with airline staff over not wearing masks.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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