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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Oct. 20, 2021)

Private equity giant Apollo is trying to catch up to rival Blackstone by aiming to double its assets under management by 2026, reports The Wall Street Journal. Investors continue to flood the single-family rental market, according to CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Apollo Targets $1 Billion in Assets, Aiming to Outpace Blackstone “Apollo Global Management Inc. said it expects its assets under management to double to about $1 trillion by 2026, setting up a race with fellow investment behemoth Blackstone Inc., which has set the same lofty target. Apollo expects the merger with its insurance affiliate Athene Holding Ltd., which is scheduled to close in January, to power much of the projected growth. The firm released new financial guidance ahead of a planned investor day Tuesday. Apollo managed $472 billion in assets as of the end of the second quarter.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. App Deal Highlights a Push to Lure Workers Back into Offices “Real-estate software and data firm VTS has agreed to acquire an app company that aims to simplify office life as more workers are heading back to their desks. VTS, whose primary business is providing online tools to landlords for managing leases and tenant data, said it is buying Toronto-based Lane Technologies Inc. The price is about $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter, making it one of the largest proptech acquisitions ever.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Most Housing Units Under Construction Since 1974 “Census will release data next year on the length of time from start to completion, and that will probably show long delays in 2021. In 2020, it took an average of 6.8 months from start to completion for single family homes, and 15.4 months for buildings with 2 or more units. Combined, there are 1.426 million units under construction. This is the most since 1974.” (Calculated Risk)
  4. Single-Family Rents Are Surging and Investors Are Flooding the Market “Demand for single-family rental homes is showing no sign of easing up, and that is pushing rents through the roof, especially for the highest-priced properties. As a result, investors are now flooding into the market again, after falling back a bit during the first year of the Covid pandemic. Nationally, rents rose 9.3% in August, year over year, up from a 2.2% year-over-year increase in August 2020, according to CoreLogic.” (CNBC)
  5. One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Employees Needs Are Changing Work Spaces “To make offices attractive to those who choose to work there either occasionally or full-time — rather than at home — companies are creating spaces for employees to socialize and meet, either in person or virtually. For the headquarters in London’s Chiswick Business Park of pladis, a global confectionary company whose brands include McVities and Godiva, Gensler created what it calls a ‘heart space, bakery meets hotel.’” (The New York Times)
  6. Fixing What Ails the E-Commerce Supply Chain Like ‘Turning an Aircraft Carrier’ “The lack of truckers and warehouse workers is plaguing the holiday shipping season as officials warn to shop early.” (Bisnow)
  7. Mass Timber an Increasingly Bigger Plank of Proptech “Wood, or more specifically mass timber construction, is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of proptech. Yet, as much as any algorithm, mass timber engineering is being used increasingly as a technological solution in the construction industry, particularly in low- to mid-rise buildings. ‘I would definitely put mass timber under the umbrella of construction technology, and I think all construction technology fits under proptech,’ said Henry D’Esposito, construction research lead for JLL, a global real estate services firm.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Walmart Takes on Kroger with Next-Gen Grocery Fulfillment Center Plans “The retailer giant said it will build a high-tech distribution center for fresh and frozen groceries in Spartanburg County, S.C. Set to open in 2024, the new 720,000-plus-sq.-ft. facility will rely on a combination of human associates, automation technology, robotics, and machine learning to process grocery perishables – such as produce, eggs, dairy, flowers and frozen goods – and deliver them to nearby stores.” (Chain Store Age)
  9. ESG Proptech Trends for a Sustainable Future in Real Estate “Financial investors are more and more interested in sustainability and carbon footprints. Long-term investors such as pension funds view their investments through a 30-plus year lens and to them it is a no-brainer: if we don’t take care of the planet, this will have an adverse effect on their long-term investments, as climate change does massive damage to the global economy. When these large investors focus on a problem, real estate owners and operators have a strong incentive to focus as well.” (Forbes)
  10. A Billionaire Grocery Store Owner Predicts Food Prices Will Surge 10% Over the Next 2 Months “John Catsimatidis, the billionaire supermarket owner, has predicted that food prices will spike 10% in the next two months. Catsimatidis, the owner and president of the New York City supermarket chain Gristede, told Fox's ‘Mornings with Maria’ that food prices were ‘going up faster than anybody expected.’ ‘I see over 10% in the next 60 days,’ he said, per a Fox Business report.” (Insider)
  11. Kushner Companies Names Laurent Morali CEO “Kushner Companies tapped former president Morali as the first leader of the real estate firm from outside of the Kushner family.” (The Real Deal)
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