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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 4, 2021)

Manhattan store owners are suffering from the still limited presence of office workers, reports The New York Times. Moody’s predicts that urban multifamily properties will rebound this year. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. ‘We’re Suffering’: How Remote Work Is Killing Manhattan’s Storefronts “A big shift toward working from home is endangering hundreds of locally owned Manhattan storefronts that have been hanging on, waiting for life to return to the desolate streets of Midtown and the Financial District. The fate of these stores, and by extension the country’s two largest business hubs, will hinge in large part on how long landlords will keep offering the rent breaks that have kept many retailers afloat.” (The New York Times)
  2. ‘Theme Parks Are Built for Density’: Disneyland Finally Reopens, But It’s Now Make or Break for the Industry “Theme parks are facing another rollercoaster ride as it finally re-emerges from its COVID-19 shutdown — and it’s not the type of ride the industry wanted to take. Friday marked a major milestone for the theme-parks business, as Disneyland Resort DIS, 0.96% finally reopened its gates to the public after being closed for over a year as a result of the global pandemic. Before the pandemic, Disneyland was the No. 2 most-visited theme park in the world, behind the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World in Florida.” (MarketWatch)
  3. Lumber Prices Threaten Viability of Sustainable Timber Towers “Timber towers were the hottest commercial building design trend but a spike in lumber prices threatens their viability.” (Propmodo)
  4. Office Space for Rent: Sublease Offers Rise Amid Pandemic Uncertainty “The amount of office space available for sublease in metro Atlanta is the highest it’s been since the Great Recession, and nearly double what it was before the pandemic, according to industry estimates. Among those still cautiously weighing their next step is OS National. The company never closed its mortgage-title office near Gwinnett Place Mall because the public visits for real estate closings and some employees must be there in person.” (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)
  5. Blackstone Asks Its Companies to Regularly Report on Sustainability “The world’s largest manager of alternative assets such as private equity and real estate has been seeking to bolster its sustainability credentials as investors increasingly question companies on their impact on the environment and workers. Blackstone said in the letter to the portfolio company CEOs that they should report to their boards on climate risks, environmental certifications such green building ratings, diversity among employees and commitments to human rights.” (Reuters)
  6. Financing NYC: The Lenders Putting Their Money Where Their Mouth Is “‘The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.’—E.B. White. There’s only one New York City. And there always will be only one New York City. But even Batman couldn’t save Gotham from the battering that COVID-19 unleashed on its residents, and on its real estate.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. That Vacated Sears Store May Reopen as a Public School “Mall owners have hit on a new way to fill gaping holes left by failed department stores and other departing big-box tenants: hosting public schools in need of more space. Landlords are focused in particular on the nation’s 7,500 charter schools, which are public-funded institutions run independently of school districts. These schools usually have to find and finance their own buildings.” (Wall Street Journal)
  8. Broadway, Restaurants and Shops Will Return with ‘Most Capacity Restrictions’ Lifted on May 19, New York Gov. Cuomo Announces “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that Broadway shows and a slew of other venues will be close to fully reopened by May 19. Cuomo described the initiative as a ‘major reopening’ and that ‘most capacity restrictions’ will be lifted across industries, including theaters, gyms, museums, restaurants, bars, amusement parks, and shops.” (Business Insider)
  9. In New Orleans, a Preview of a Possible Summer Travel Boom “Other U.S. cities that rely heavily on tourist dollars are seeing an uptick in travelers. Las Vegas, where tourism represents close to 50% of the region’s gross product, saw a 45% month-over-month increase in visitors this March. Hotel occupancy in Nashville’s Davidson County is at 59% for March, up from 47% in February. New York City’s April hotel occupancy rates are at 54%, up from 49% in March, according to hospitality analytics company STR.” (Wall Street Journal)
  10. Commercial Real Estate Forecast: Urban Multifamily Properties Will Rebound in 2021 “Moody’s Analytics today announced new forecasts for commercial real estate (CRE) rents and vacancies covering eight property types and more than 3,000 submarkets across the United States. These forecasts reflect the latest Q1 data on US CRE markets available via the REIS platform, the cornerstone of Moody's Analytics CRE Solutions. The outlook for the apartment sector has taken a positive turn, with effective rents expected to return to near pre-pandemic levels in 2022.” (Business Wire)
  11. Tanger Chooses Fillogic to Handle Online Fulfillment for its Outlets “After testing a Fillogic micro-distribution hub at its Deer Park Center in Long Island, Tanger Factory Outlets has announced it will expand the third-party logistics company’s system across its entire portfolio. Fillogic forward-stages store inventory to meet online demand, resupplies stores in malls, and performs ground shipping ranging from bulk to next day. The company will pack orders in retail stores or can take bulk orders to its own hub location to pack, sort, and ship.” (Chain Store Age)
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