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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 19, 2021)

Bisnow analyzes Brookfield Asset Management’s recent decision to take Brookfield Property Partners private. The Associated Press writes about how bars and restaurants have been scrambling to stock up propane to keep outdoor service going amid COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Out Of The Spotlight, Brookfield Can Carve Up Its Global Property Giant “If the deal to take Brookfield Property private goes through, it would be one of the largest corporate real estate deals since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It could also begin a process that entails the sale of a significant number of assets and the creation of new funds — it could catalyse a flurry of deals with one of the world's largest property investors.” (Bisnow)
  2. Restaurants, bars scramble for propane amid pandemic winter “Propane long has been a lifeline for people who live in places too remote to get natural gas piped to their homes for heat, hot water and cooking. This winter, 5-gallon propane tanks have proven a new necessity for urban businesses, too, especially in places like the Rocky Mountains, where the sun often takes the edge off the chill and people still enjoy gathering on patios when the heaters are roaring.” (The Associated Press)
  3. Valuable Real Estate Tax Benefit Should Escape The Chopping Block, But For How Long? “However, with COVID-19’s recent resurgence, the focus of the new administration will likely be on health and economic stabilization. At the same time, infrastructure will be a heightened focus, especially for the first two quarters of 2021. And even if a proposal to narrow or eliminate 1031 exchanges was brought forward, it seems unlikely (though anything can happen), that Congress will take on efforts to cancel or modify Section 1031 of the Tax Code for now.” (Benzinga)
  4. Amazon’s Record Renewables Offtake “Following its 3.4-gigawatt buying spree, Amazon’s total renewable energy supply portfolio now amounts to 6.5 GW—eclipsing the next largest purchaser, Google, which reports 5.5 GW of renewable energy purchases under contract around the world.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  5. Business Makes the Case for a Post-Trump Reset “The memo comes from an under-the-radar group of global boldfaced names that act as a private advisory committee to JPMorgan Chase. They include Tony Blair, the former British prime minister; Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger, two former secretaries of state; Robert Gates, the former secretary of defense; Alex Gorsky, chief executive of Johnson & Johnson; Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH; and Joseph C. Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba, among others.” (The New York Times)
  6. Apple temporarily closes more US stores over COVID-19 situation “The new Apple Store closures occurred in North Carolina, Texas, and Georgia, all of which have reported a growing number of COVID-19 cases. Around a dozen of the closed stores are in additional Texas locations, namely Austin, Houston, and San Antonio; these closures follow similar actions taken in the Dallas/Fort-Worth region.” (SlashGear)
  7. Stock Market Rally Spurs Investment in New Tax-Saving Funds “Bridge Investment Group said its strategy of developing real estate in designated “opportunity zones” hauled in almost $2 billion from investors by the end of last year. That’s roughly double the amount the Salt Lake City-based firm had raised through 2019.” (Bloomberg)
  8. Pandemic Turbocharges Demand for Medtail “Tether’s recently issued 2021 Retail Healthcare Outlook study found that nearly 80% of private equity, commercial real estate and retail healthcare respondents believe medtail investment will increase in the coming year and that COVID-19 bolstered the sector’s outlook. That’s driven by investors who are looking for safe bets amid a pandemic-induced recession as well as consumers increasing emphasis on preventative care as they work to stay ahead of the coronavirus and other ailments.” (Connect Real Estate)
  9. Kroger Joins Amazon In The Race To Add ‘Smart’ Grocery Carts “Customers can swipe rewards cards, weigh produce right at the cart, scan the bar codes on items as shoppers plunk them off of shelves, and even put things back and remove them from the tab. The cart gives shoppers a running subtotal of purchases as items are added, helping people stay on budget.” (
  10. Buyout giant Blackstone sets eyes on Butlins' owner Bourne Leisure “The US buyout giant is said to be in exclusive discussions to invest in the company, which also owns the Haven chain and Warner Leisure Hotels. Bourne Leisure is the biggest leisure firm in the UK, employing around 14,000 members of staff. The investment would secure thousands of jobs at Bourne, which has suffered since the coronavirus pandemic closed its sites across the country. (Yahoo Finance)
  11. NYC COVID testing sites may soon expand into empty commercial real estate “New York's commercial real estate sector has taken a massive hit during the coronavirus pandemic, but the Real Estate Board of New York is planning to put some of that empty space to good use by placing rapid testing sites in vacant buildings.” (Fox5 New York)
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