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10 Must Reads for CRE Investors Today (Jan. 23, 2023)

Amazon Web Services said it will invest $35 billion through 2040 to build multiple data center campuses in Virginia. Big U.S. banks are pulling back on lending volumes on office and apartment properties, reports CoStar. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Amazon Web Services Investing $35B in Virginia Data Centers “Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing division of Amazon, will invest $35 billion through 2040 to create multiple data center campuses across the state of Virginia, according to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.” (Commercial Observer)
  2. $9B plunge in NYC commercial real estate sets up brutal political fight over shrinking tax pie “It’s not just a drop in the property-tax take: The Finance Department projects revenue from taxes on commercial transactions to fall nearly 43% this fiscal year — about $465 million. The take from residential transfer taxes will drop 27.3% — down hundreds of millions more.” (New York Post)
  3. Big US Banks Pull Back on Office and Apartment Lending “The data resulted from a review of 2022’s largest financed property sales by the biggest U.S. banks as tracked by CoStar, and additional lending activity could have occurred last year that wasn’t picked up in the data. Based on last year’s totals, retail and data center loans are shaping up to be possible bright spots for the finance industry in 2023.” (CoStar)
  4. Rigged Rent? Residents Allege Massive Price-Fixing Scheme in Miami Apartment Market “The class action claims that some of the most powerful residential property owners and building managers in the nation perpetrated a price-fixing scheme that exacerbated housing affordability crises in metro areas of Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa.” (Miami New Times)
  5. Sizing up LA’s new transfer tax “The tax is expected to have a widespread impact on the city’s luxury residential market, and its commercial sector as a whole. About 70 percent of offices, 62 percent of multifamily and 64 percent of industrial property sales would be subject to the tax, according to CBRE.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Tishman Speyer Looks Eager to Invest in Chinese Buildings “Tishman Speyer first entered the market in 2006 and has since raised 32 billion yuan from domestic investors through 11 funds and co-investment vehicles with a Chinese yuan as the dominant currency. Currently, Tishman Speyer is in the midst of liquidating its Tishman Speyer China Fund (established in 2008 to seek opportunistic purchases in China), but plans to launch more Chinese-yuan denominated funds in the future to invest in both nontraditional and traditional asset classes in Chinese real estate.” (Propmodo)
  7. Landlords To Be Hit By $200M In LL97 Fines Next Year, Study Estimates “Property owners will have to report their emissions levels to comply with Local Law 97 starting in 2024, and more than 3,700 buildings are expected to exceed their caps, according to a study by engineering consulting firm Level Infrastructure commissioned by the Real Estate Board of New York.” (Bisnow)
  8. How pickleball is invading the real estate world “Some brokers have gone so far as to brand themselves as pickleball realtors. Steve Hise, a broker with eXp Realty in Simi Valley, California, calls himself ‘The Pickleball Realtor.’ It landed him an appearance on A&E’s Pickleball Storage Wars, where he used his experience as a former professional pickleball player to appraise a set of paddles.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Grocery Store Merger Faces Long Road Before Approval “The legal challenge to the dividend was the first in what will likely be a long and arduous process for Kroger and Albertsons, and their plan to create a behemoth with $200 billion in annual revenues and 5,000 stores across the country operating under well-known chains like Safeway, Ralphs and Vons.” (The New York Times)
  10. Office-to-Residential Conversions: What’s Not Being Discussed “The frenzy for office-to-residential conversions has turned adaptive reuse — as a potential messiah for both solving the housing crisis and tackling hybrid work’s effects on central business districts and municipal tax rolls — into a quasi-religious quest coast to coast. Article after article and analysis after analysis will suggest that the changeover is both inevitable and desirable.” (Commercial Observer)
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