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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 11, 2023)

Dodge Momentum Index registered an increase in planning for commercial building in December 2022. Multifamily owners in Los Angeles would like to sell their properties, but the offers they are getting aren’t matching expectations, reports Bisnow.

  1. Top Office Owners Don’t Want to Own Only Office Buildings Anymore “Many of the most prominent office developers in the U.S. are shifting gears, looking to buy or build real estate that isn’t office. Boston Properties Inc. is planning to develop 2,000 residential units up and down the East Coast. The firm, which owns more U.S. office space than any other publicly traded company, also is developing millions of square feet of lab and life-science space. New York office owner SL Green Realty Corp is teaming up with Caesars Entertainment Inc. in a bid to convert a Times Square office tower into a casino.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Dodge Momentum Index Wraps Up 2022 with December Growth “Commercial planning in December was supported by broad-based increases across office, warehouse, retail and hotel planning. Meanwhile, institutional growth focused on recreation and public building, with education and healthcare planning activity remaining flat. On a year-over-year basis, the DMI was 40% higher than in December 2021; the commercial component was up 51%, and institutional planning was 20% higher. A total of 15 projects with a value of $100 million or more entered planning in December. The leading commercial projects included a $500 million Vantage Data Center in Sterling, VA and a $183 million mixed-use building in Chicago, IL.” (Dodge Data & Analytics)
  3. Disney Is Bringing People Back Four Days a Week “Robert A. Iger, who came out of retirement in November to retake Disney’s chief executive reins, said in a memo to employees on Monday that a return to mostly in-person work — for the first time in nearly three years — would benefit the company’s culture in general and movie and TV creative processes in particular. Since his return, Mr. Iger has been trying to boost morale and galvanize Disney’s creative engines.” (The New York Times)
  4. LA Apartment Owners Want to Sell, But Offers Aren’t Matching Expectations “During a recent attempt to acquire a property in North Hollywood, New Standard Equities CEO Edward Ring, whose company buys, upgrades and operates apartment properties in California and in the Pacific Northwest, said he saw firsthand how some who are attempting to exit the market before Measure ULA, the city of LA’s new real estate sale tax, goes into effect are butting up against an uncertain market and a buyer pool that expects to get an urgency discount.” (Bisnow)
  5. Trump Executive Weisselberg Prepares for Jail on Rikers Island “A longtime executive for Donald Trump is expected to be sent to New York's notorious Rikers Island jail after being sentenced on Tuesday for helping engineer a 15-year tax fraud scheme at the former president's real estate company. Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's former chief financial officer, pleaded guilty in August, admitting that from 2005 to 2017 he and other executives received bonuses and perks that saved the company and themselves money.” (Reuters)
  6. NNN Pro Group Separates from Marcus & Millichap “NNN Pro Group, a triple-net investment sales team at Marcus & Millichap, has separated from the national brokerage company effective Jan. 1, 2023, NNN Pro Group announced on Friday, Jan. 6. Notwithstanding the departure, the two companies reportedly ‘will continue to maintain a strong working relationship moving forward.’ Financials on the separation were not disclosed, and neither company replied to Commercial Property Executive’s inquiries after further information.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. More Than 1,000 NYC Buildings Aren’t Heated Enough, Comptroller Says “The report found that roughly 1,077 buildings are considered underheated, which means tenants complained about a lack of heat more than five times each winter between 2017 and 2021. While those buildings account for just 1.5 percent of the buildings that have received heat complaints, they represented 30 percent of the nearly 1 million heat-related 311 calls made in that time period, the report found.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Bed, Bath & Beyond Plans More Layoffs as Cash Dwindles “Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. said it plans more layoffs and cost cuts after the home-goods retailer’s cash pile and sales dwindled in the most recent period. The retailer’s operations burned through about $300 million in cash in the quarter ended Nov. 26 and closed the period with about $200 million in cash and equivalents. The company said last week that it was running low on funds and considering several options, including seeking relief in bankruptcy court. The retailer is in the early stages of planning for a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, which could come within weeks, according to people familiar with the situation.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. Startups’ Hard Lessons from the Proptech Apocalypse “What real estate technology unicorns learned as giddiness turned to survival mode for proptech startups in 2022.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Husband of Ana Walshe Investigated in Disappearance “Authorities probing last week’s disappearance of Tishman Speyer executive Ana Walshe have arrested her husband on charges of misleading their investigation. Walshe, a 39-year-old general manager at the commercial real estate firm, has been missing since the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, when she left her suburban Boston home for a flight to Washington, D.C., where she regularly commuted for work, according to police.” (The Real Deal)
  11. Babies R Us Attempts Comeback, Plans to Open Store at American Dream Mall in New Jersey “Babies R Us is trying to make a comeback. The baby product retailer, which went out of business in 2018, will open a new flagship store this summer at the American Dream mega mall in New Jersey, its new owners announced Tuesday. ‘Since acquiring both the Babies R Us and Toys R Us brands in 2021, our mission has been laser-focused on bringing them back to America,’ Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of WHP Global, said in a news release.” (CNBC)
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