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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 13, 2022)

Brookfield has estimated the value of the asset management unit it plans to spin off at $80 billion, reports Bloomberg. WeWork reported a smaller loss as desk sales in the first quarter reached pre-pandemic levels, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Brookfield Values Asset Management Spinoff at $80 Billion “Brookfield Asset Management Inc. said it plans to publicly list one-fourth of its asset-management business in a transaction that would value the new entity at $80 billion. The firm expects to publicly distribute 25% of the asset manager to its shareholders before year-end, Chief Executive Officer Bruce Flatt said in a letter to shareholders as the firm issued first-quarter earnings. The special distribution of shares will be around $20 billion, or $12 per share, he said.” (Bloomberg)
  2. WeWork Loss Narrows as Desk Sales Reach Prepandemic Levels “WeWork Inc.’s first-quarter loss narrowed sharply as gross desk sales reached prepandemic levels with the gradual return of employees in the U.S. to in-person work. The shared-office company said Thursday its top line rose 28% from a year ago, with 166,000 desks sold, the highest level since the first quarter of 2020. Revenue was higher than WeWork’s forecast for the period and the company raised the low end of its revenue outlook for the year.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Troubled Student Housing Firm Would Pay Tens of Millions to Investors “Hundreds of investors in a troubled luxury student apartment building near the University of Texas at Austin are close to recouping much of the $75 million they committed to the project, with most of the bill footed by a management firm that has drawn complaints from tenants across the country. Nelson Partners Student Housing will pay $50 million to the investor group that includes doctors, lawyers, teachers and engineers under a preliminary settlement approved by a Texas state judge.” (The New York Times)
  4. At Current Rate, Available Logistics Space in U.S. Would Dry Up in Record 16 Months: Prologis “Vacancies will remain at historic lows and rents will climb another 22%, Prologis says.” (Bisnow)
  5. Why Real Estate Needs Location Data Technology More Than Ever “After two tumultuous years for real estate, things are beginning to improve. People are headed back into the “real world.” Office spaces are leasing again. Businesses can start opening new brick-and-mortar storefronts, as data shows foot traffic is returning to restaurants, shops and movie theaters. Even urban areas are seeing somewhat of a comeback, with multifamily homes filling up again and rent costs expected to rise this year.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Trump Organization Closes $375 Million Sale of D.C. Hotel “After six years as a site of pro-Trump celebrations and anti-Trump protests, the Trump International Hotel near the White House has changed hands.” (Forbes)
  7. Victims of Deadly Champlain Condo Collapse Reach $1 Billion Settlement “The defendants embroiled in the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium reached a $997 million settlement, lawyers for the plaintiffs announced in court Wednesday. The funds — mostly from the defendants’ insurance policies — will go toward compensating the personal-injury plaintiffs, injured survivors and family members of the 98 victims.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Instacart Files Confidentially for IPO “Instacart Inc. said it filed confidentially to go public, a long-awaited move that comes after the company recently cut its valuation by 40%. The San Francisco-based grocery delivery company said late Wednesday that it submitted a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had no additional comment. The filing comes as Instacart’s growth slows following a pandemic-fueled boom, when people turned to the company’s app to order groceries online rather than going to physical stores.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. Union Drive Hits Target “Workers at a Target store in Western Virginia have joined the union organizing wave. Employees at Target’s store in Christiansburg, Va., on Tuesday filed paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election. The workers are seeking representation through the New River Valley General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. California Ranks Worst in Personal Space, But San Francisco Isn’t as Bad as You’d Think “California's average space per apartment renter ranks as one of the worst in the nation, but San Francisco's numbers may come as a surprise.” (Bisnow)
  11. How Preservationists Are Losing the Fight Against Luxury Real Estate “As city dwellers have flocked to this area of rural New York, several ambitious developers have taken notice, as have local governments in need of broader tax bases. This has put intensifying pressure on the historic preservation commissions of these towns and small cities. Commissions can be scrupulous when reviewing development proposals. Lately, their requests to slow down and study certain projects before jumping into construction have pitted them directly against the local governments they serve.” (The New York Times)
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