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

Publicly-traded REIT Columbia Property Trust will be acquired by PIMCO and taken private, the firms announced. The once hoped for Labor Day mass return to offices did not come to fruition, reports Bisnow. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Columbia Property Trust to be Acquired by Funds Managed by Pacific Investment Management Company LLC in a $3.9 Billion Transaction “This transaction with PIMCO is the culmination of a comprehensive strategic review process undertaken by Columbia’s Board of Directors which was publicly announced in the spring of this year. As part of this process, Columbia’s Board and advisors invited nearly 90 potential counterparties to participate, including strategic acquirers, private equity firms and other investment management firms.” (Via press release)
  2. There Was No Great Return To The Office On Labor Day “Two-thirds of companies have delayed return-to-office plans as a result of the delta variant, according to a survey of 238 executives conducted in late August by human resources consulting firm Gartner. One popular real-time measure for worker occupancy in offices, the Kastle Systems Return to Work Barometer, showed a decline in each of the first three weeks of August before a mild uptick the week of Aug. 24, which could be attributed to some employees returning from vacation in the last weeks before Labor Day, Kastle CEO Haniel Lynn told Bisnow.” (Bisnow)
  3. How Office Culture Changed in the Pandemic—From Workers Who Went Back Ages Ago “Some workers returned because their job descriptions required it, others because their bosses feared company culture would erode if they didn’t. Some never left. Many say they have learned to live with constant uncertainty as they navigate shifting safety protocols, sudden quarantines and occasional outbreaks. Despite the fits and starts, they say their experience is evidence that offices can function amid Covid-19 risks. In some cases, they say pandemic office life has brought them and their colleagues closer.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. There’s Amazon and Then There's Everyone Else in Industrial “Of the ten largest industrial projects underway in the US this year, Amazon accounts for eight of them, with a total footprint of 28.3 million square feet—an area about the size of New York City’s Central Park, according to CommercialEdge.” (
  5. For Port NOLA, Service Restoration Under Way “The Port of New Orleans’ (Port NOLA) Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal is resuming service Sept. 7, following the Port’s restoration of limited cargo and vessel operations beginning Sept. 2—just four days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in southeast Louisiana as a category 4 storm.” (Railway Age)
  6. American Realty Advisors wants to diversify real estate industry “American Realty Advisors executives are trying to diversify the institutional commercial real estate industry by exposing underrepresented minority high school students to the various facets of the industry before they have selected their career paths.” (Pensions & Investments)
  7. 14 Important Factors Impacting Commercial Real Estate In 2021 And Beyond “As experts in their field, the members of Forbes Real Estate Council keep their eye on growing industry trends that might influence potential investment and real estate deals. Below, 14 of them share some important factors impacting CRE investments in 2021 and beyond, and how investors can prepare.” (Forbes Real Estate Council)
  8. CalSTRS approves $2.5bn real estate commitments in first half of 2021 “The $311bn pension fund said it placed around $712m into CP Logistics Canada Platform joint venture through a separate account investment with manager Principal Real Estate Investors and operating partner Panattoni Development Company.” (IP&E Real Assets)
  9. Wall Street Can’t Get Enough Fixer-Upper Houses “Just 2.7% of home sales were flips—sales within a year of a prior sale—during the first quarter, according to property data firm Attom. That is the lowest portion of sales since at least 2000, when Attom started counting flips. The number of flipped houses and condos were the fewest in a quarter since 2003.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. New York malls’ foot traffic still has not recovered “Rockefeller Center is also on thin ice with foot traffic 47 percent lower than 2019 levels. However, overall retail foot traffic in the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District is up 65 percent. The president of the Fifth Avenue Association, Jerome Barth, attributes that to a return in local and domestic travelers, in addition to the openings of new retailers such as the Lego Store.” (The Real Deal)
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