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10 Must Reads for CRE Investors Today (March 6, 2023)

The New York Times analyzed the barriers Black and Latino developers face, including lack of access to capital. Amazon’s HQ2 delay is “not a concern” according to Northern Virginia officials. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. ‘Excuse After Excuse’: Black and Latino Developers Face Barriers to Success “Out of roughly 112,000 real estate development companies in the United States, about 111,000 of them are white owned. Those numbers are bad, but at the top of the market, they’re even worse: Of 383 top-tier developers that generate more than $50 million in revenue annually, one is Latino; none is Black, according to a new report.” (The New York Times)
  2. Chicago weighs LaSalle’s $1.2B office-to-resi pitches “Lightfoot started the program last year hoping to revitalize the struggling LaSalle corridor, whose office buildings are faring even worse than the downtown average vacancy rate of more than 20 percent, a record high. So far, it’s unclear where Vallas and Johnson stand on continuing the initiative — some locals and real estate players believe the city can get more bang for the buck by investing in neighborhoods farther from the Loop, given a multitude of challenges and high costs associated with office-to-residential conversions.” (The Real Deal)
  3. Starwood CEO Sternlicht Wants To Make Property Loans. Here's Why He's Doing ‘Virtually Nothing’ Instead. “Instead, Starwood is ‘going to play defense’ for the time being and do ‘virtually nothing’ to protect the REIT’s liquidity. Sternlicht blamed the Federal Reserve raising interest rates seven times last year and one time so far this year for creating ‘incredibly tight conditions.’” (CoStar)
  4. Amazon HQ2 Delay Isn’t a Concern, Northern Virginia Officials Say “Specifically, Arlington County’s incentives to Amazon are tied to the company’s occupying a certain amount of office square footage and to local hotel tax revenue hitting specific levels, Mr. Dorsey said. He said Arlington County has yet to pay the company any incentives.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. How Remote Work Has Affected Real Estate Values “Research from Columbia Business School suggests that the shift to hybrid working has affected not just the commercial real estate market but even the housing market itself, with suburban rents rising alongside house prices in comparison to urban locations.” (Forbes)
  6. Heightened Industrial Demand Boosts New Lease Rates “Of the 63 markets covered, 44 had a lease spread of over 10 percent, and 16 markets hovered above the 20 percent mark. Port markets and logistics hubs had the largest spreads, with Los Angeles ($7.26 more per foot) and the Inland Empire ($6.06) recording the highest differences.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. Groundbreaking study shows suburban tenants are facing more evictions across the US “Researchers compiled eviction judgment records from 74 U.S. metropolitan areas and found that as the number of evictions in city centers held steady from 2000 to 2016, the share of evictions in suburban areas increased in 58 of the metropolitan areas.” (USA Today)
  8. There's No New Supply For The Little Guy As Data Center Rents Soar “The sharp increases are due in part to global inflationary pressures and rising construction costs, which are forcing operators to raise prices in order to remain competitive. But experts suggest that the changing pricing dynamics are driven primarily by a growing imbalance between a tightening development pipeline of new supply and demand for data center space that continues to surge.” (Bisnow)
  9. Best Buy plans to open more outlet stores selling used and refurbished items as consumers pull back on buying new electronics “The outlet stores are equipped to handle more repairs than a traditional Best Buy store as well, which means customers can bring in broken devices or appliances to be repaired by technicians.” (Insider)
  10. Macy’s and Nordstrom Have a Fashionable New Look: Going Small “Such sustained losses call for a smaller but more profitable business model, one that Macy’s is already achieving with a smaller store base. Notably, it is the only company out of the three that managed to expand operating margins last year compared with 2019.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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