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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Sept. 28, 2022)

U.S. home prices cooled at the fastest rate in history in July, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index. Car dealership sites now offer attractive opportunities for infill development, reports The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. At Car Lots, the Best Deal May Be the Real Estate “Strategically located on busy intersections, dealerships offer some of the last — and largest — parcels of relatively easy infill development. Most consist of a few single-story buildings and large asphalt lots, and they require relatively minor environmental cleanup. Converting sprawling dealerships into dense developments represents a sort of urban upgrade; car-centric space can become something more walkable, transit-connected and ideally more sustainable.” (The New York Times)
  2. Home Prices Cooled in July at the Fastest Rate in the History of the S&P Case-Shiller Index “U.S. home prices cooled in July at the fastest rate in the history of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index, according to a new report out Tuesday. Home prices in July were still higher than they were a year ago, but cooled significantly from June gains. Prices nationally rose 15.8% over July 2021, well below the 18.1% gain in the previous month, according to the report.” (CNBC)
  3. Lumber Prices Fall Back to About Their Pre-COVID Levels “Wood prices crashed in the early days of the 2020 lockdown, but they exploded that summer when stuck-at-home Americans remodeled en masse and suburban home sales surged. Two-by-four prices nearly tripled the prepandemic record in an early sign of the inflation and broken supply chains that would bedevil the economic reopening. But lumber has led the way down for commodities since the central bank took aim at rising consumer prices and the overheated housing market.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Chinese Company Aims to Sell 3 U.S. Resorts for $1.3 Billion “A Chinese company is looking to sell three major U.S. resort hotels at a combined price tag of $1.3 billion, seeking to cash out these holdings during a powerful surge in leisure travel and resort business. Dajia Insurance Group Co. is putting up for sale the Montage in Laguna Beach, Calif., the Four Seasons resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Ariz., according to people familiar with the matter. BofA Securities Inc. and real estate banking and brokerage firm Eastdil Secured LLC are marketing the hotels on behalf of the seller, these people said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. In Pasadena, Houses of Worship Can Build Affordable Housing “Housing in Pasadena can now be planted in ‘God’s backyard.’ The City Council has voted to allow churches, synagogues and mosques to develop affordable housing under a new zoning amendment, the Pasadena Star-News reported. Most religious institutions in the city are zoned for commercial use, allowing no room for residential development. Under the ordinance, affordable housing projects can be built on land with an existing religious facility. Housing can also be built in commercial or multi-family residential zones next to land developed with ‘an existing religious facility use.’” (The Real Deal)
  6. Cyxtera to Become Public Data Center REIT “Miami-based Cyxtera Technologies, a data center colocation and interconnection service provider that operates a portfolio of 60 data centers in 30 markets, has decided to convert to a publicly traded REIT by the end of the year. ‘Following a thorough analysis of the impact a REIT election would have on our business, we are confident the REIT structure will best position us for continued growth while maximizing long-term shareholder value,’ said Carlos Sagasta, Cyxtera CFO, in a statement.” (
  7. The New Jersey Office Market Struggles Coming Out of COVID “All over creation, the imperatives of the post-COVID office market are taking hold. That includes a lingering second look at suburban office markets, long a less desirable alternative to snazzier central business districts. Except relatively few companies are lingering over New York’s New Jersey suburbs. Not yet at least.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Hurricane Ian Is About to Crash into a Very Vulnerable Florida “Hurricane Ian is barreling toward the Florida coast and is expected to reach Category 3 strength by Monday night, with winds reaching upward of 129 mph. Mandatory evacuations have already begun. But wind and rain alone aren’t what’s making Ian a threat; Florida’s population has been growing in recent years, with some of the largest increases in vulnerable coastal cities like Tampa and Miami. Forecasters are getting better at predicting hurricanes. However, these storms are capturing more people and property in their swaths of destruction as they become more damaging and as more people move to risky areas.” (Vox)
  9. Brodsky Sues to Challenge City’s Method for Cracking Down on Airbnbs “The developer's argument is that tenants should be punished and not landlords.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  10. Modular Construction Technology Comes Far and Fast During the Pandemic “Six years ago, 461 Dean Street — then and now the nation’s tallest modular apartment building at 32 stories — opened its doors on Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. The 363-unit tower had been plagued with four years of delays, lawsuits and leaks, and disputes with the project’s contractors almost derailed construction completely. Despite 461 Dean’s troubled history, low-rise modular construction has expanded quickly over the past few years in the Western U.S. and Canada, serving areas where detached homes and three-story apartment buildings are the norm.” (Commercial Observer)
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