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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Oct. 27, 2021)

Real estate investors are increasingly focusing on green buildings, according to The New York Times. argues that lifestyle centers might be one of the more undervalued retail assets right now. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. As Risks of Climate Change Rise, Investors Seek Greener Buildings “When the developer Lendlease opens its $600 million residential and office complex in Los Angeles, expected in 2025, the site will have the typical hallmarks of sustainable development: proximity to a light-rail stop, an all-electric residential tower, solar panels and a pedestrian plaza. But those features are considered commonplace these days. What makes this development more striking is how sustainability isn’t simply an amenity or signifier of corporate responsibility, but a core feature of its financing plan.” (The New York Times)
  2. The Democrats’ Tax Plan Would Sink Real Estate “The most lasting effects of government policies are often the unintended consequences. Americans learned this lesson the hard way in the aftermath of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. The tax proposals in the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget-reconciliation bill have the potential to kick off economy-crippling events similar to the savings-and-loan crisis of the late 1980s. The landmark 1986 Tax Reform Act reduced the top personal income-tax rate from 50% to 28%. The politically divided Congress paid for these cuts, in part, by raising the rate on capital gains from 20% to 28% and limiting the deductibility of real estate losses for passive investors.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Lifestyle Centers Have Become One of the Most Undervalued Retail Asset Classes “Lifestyle centers may be one of the most undervalued retail asset classes currently. According to JLL, increased customer foot traffic, declining vacancies coupled with growing rental rates and broad-based expansion plans from retailers are bolstering confidence and signaling that lifestyle centers will come back strongly. While smaller grocery-anchored retail has dominated investment demand recently, the increase in vaccinations and re-openings is motivating shoppers – and investors – to return.” (
  4. Wuthering Heights: Rent Control Proposals Make the Rounds “A unique characteristic of the current real estate cycle is that it’s arguably been in the recovery phase since about 2010. Even while the events of 2020 put a pause on the economy, creating a significant downward shift in the labor market, many would agree that commercial real estate has not had a classic economic downturn since the Great Recession. That is important to consider in business planning generally, and specifically as apartment rents increase across the country.” (Mortgage Bankers Association)
  5. Big Retailers Becoming Big Property Owners with Warehouse Deals “Retail giants like Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. think they have found a way to boost their e-commerce operations and save money: Own the warehouses where they stack piles of products. While most retailers still tend to lease the shops where they sell products, more firms are calculating that they will save money in the long run and have more control by owning the warehouse where they store and distribute their goods to online customers.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. Has COVID-19 Changed Cities Forever? Probably Not “Two important recent discussions don’t see a massive urban restructuring, even while recognizing the potential for long-lasting pandemic impacts.  Cities will remain at the center of our global economy.  But the pandemic will hit different industries and parts of the workforce unevenly, with consequences for cities’ economic and social health, and inequality. The Milken Institute’s recent global conference in Los Angeles featured a fascinating discussion of these issues.  Experts, including LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, argued that the pandemic’s duration is altering how businesses and people view traditional urban downtowns and density.” (Forbes)
  7. Prologis CEO: Industrial Tenants ‘In Panic Mode’ When It Comes to Snapping Up Space “Prologis had a powerful Q3 as tenants rush to lock down space amid supply chain issues.” (Bisnow)
  8. Federal Realty CEO: A Nice Office Doesn’t Cut It Anymore “Don Wood talks about why one Maryland company decided to move its headquarters and why the office must change.” (Baltimore Business Journal)
  9. How Employer-Employee Negotiations Could Change the Future of Office “The intangible benefits of being in the office include unscripted conversations where employees learn something or overhear something of value, the ability to give and receive advice, and even the ability to see body language that could help to identify a struggling employee. ‘So much of the learning in the office is unscheduled activity,’ McCarron said. ‘I don’t know how you replicate that.’ Even so, McCarron admits that the hybrid and remote work models have been successful for certain tasks and projects, particularly at the height of the pandemic.” (Urban Land Magazine)
  10. CBRE’s Howard Fiddle on Pandemic Lease Clauses, Tech’s Rise and More “Howard Fiddle has been back in the office for so long, he says he can’t really pinpoint exactly just when he returned. Nor is Fiddle, a CBRE vice chairman and co-head of the brokerage’s New York City agency department, quite sure offhand how long he’s been involved with some of Manhattan’s topmost buildings, including 787 Seventh Avenue, 40 West 57th Street and 55 Water Street — the last, at nearly 4 million square feet, the largest office building in the borough.” (Commercial Observer)
  11. Peloton or the Gym? More People Are Choosing Both. What That Means for the Fitness Industry “Those in Yuryev’s situation are increasingly opting for a hybrid approach. That could come as a surprise for some investors who bet that consumer fitness options were an either-or choice. Either consumers would break a sweat at home, as they had during the pandemic. Or they would revisit the gym once they received their Covid-19 vaccinations.” (CNBC)
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