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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 6, 2022)

U.S. bank regulators proposed the first major changes to fair housing laws in more than 25 years, reports CNBC. Office buildings are losing value because of the still widespread remote work, according to The Real Deal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Manhattan Springs Back to Life “During the worst months of the pandemic, Manhattan’s once teeming sidewalks were ghostly footpaths, but it was never a ghost town. Ghost towns are abandoned for good. But New York stalwarts held fast, groping their way into the light as restaurants, bars, theaters and other venues got off to wobbly starts when vaccines made it feel less fraught to venture out. And now, suddenly, it seems, Manhattan — especially around Times Square and in neighborhoods below 42nd Street — has barreled back to life with all the things that have always lured visitors.” (The New York Times)
  2. Feds Propose First Major Revamp to Fair Housing Rule Since 1995 “Bank regulators on Thursday proposed the first sweeping changes in more than 25 years to a controversial law aimed at increasing lending to low- and moderate-income communities. The changes would tailor the Community Reinvestment Act’s approach to making sure banks are not engaging in ‘redlining,’ or refusing to put money in areas often populated by minorities and lower wage earners.” (CNBC)
  3. Boing Plans to Move Headquarters to Washington, D.C. from Chicago “Boeing Co. is expected to move its headquarters to Arlington, Va., from Chicago, people familiar with the matter said, a shift that would place the aerospace company’s senior executives closer to key government decision makers in the nation’s capital. An announcement of the move, details of which haven’t been finalized, is expected as soon as next week, according to some of these people. The Arlington region is already home to many of the largest U.S. military contractors, and the local property and labor market has been fueled further by Inc.’s decision to locate one of its satellite headquarters there.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Evidence Suggests Office Buildings Are Losing Value Due to Remote Work “Blackstone is handing back the keys to an outdated office building north of Times Square. In Chicago, Alliance HP walked away from the leasehold on a West Loop office. A loan on Jamison Properties’ Equitable Life Building in Los Angeles is on a watchlist of properties in danger of defaulting. Office landlords across the nation, hammered by the work-from-home revolution, are coming to terms with the first signs of distress.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Colliers to Buy Majority Stake in Rockwood Capital “CRE services powerhouse Colliers has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 65 percent stake in Rockwood Capital LLC, a U.S. real estate investment management firm with more than $12 billion of assets under management. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals and is expected to close in the third quarter. Financial terms were not disclosed.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. Not Everyone in CRE Was Ready for the Fed to Raise Rates “Economic shocks this year have caused the Fed to ramp up tightening measures faster than anyone expected last year, which could catch some flat-footed.” (Bisnow)
  7. Real Estate Is Gearing Up to Defend 1031 Exchanges Yet Again “Real estate investors may remember the Biden administration's proposal to put a cap on 1031 exchanges last year, but the proposal never made it very far.” (Propmodo)
  8. Brookfield Uses Blockchain Technology to Verify ESG “At least one real estate company isn’t waiting for the SEC to clarify its new climate-related ESG disclosure rules to up its game when it comes to transparency of carbon emissions. Brookfield Property Partners recently announced a five-year agreement with its sister company, Brookfield Renewable Partners, to supply renewable energy to the flagship office tower at its mammoth Manhattan West development.” (
  9. Study: Consumers Prefer Shopping In-Store “More than half of all U.S. consumers would rather shop in-store than by any other method. That’s according to new  research from customer engagement specialist Emarsys, which found that 54% of consumers prefer bricks-and-mortar retail to any other channel, with more than twice as many preferring it to shopping via a mobile phone (21%) or via laptops/computers (18%).” (Chain Store Age)
  10. Newark Launches Initiatives to Stop Corporations from Buying Homes “Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on Wednesday announced wide-ranging initiatives to combat large corporations from purchases of private homes. The proposed initiatives are in addition to the mayor's numerous programs to increase homeownership, prevent evictions, avoid gentrification and make housing in Newark more equitable. Baraka said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a dangerous decade-long national trend in residential real estate, and in cities and suburbs, corporations are buying up millions of owner-occupied homes and turning them into rentals.” (ABC7)
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