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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Oct. 8, 2021)

The delay in office returns has led to a high number of vacant storefronts in Midtown Manhattan, reports CNBC. The end of the eviction ban has not so far resulted in the expected spike in evictions, according to The Associated Press. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Short-Stay Housing Companies Are Confident Even as Workers Return to the Office “Even as some employers command workers back to the office, a handful of housing providers, flush with new venture funding, are betting that one pandemic trend is here to stay—the demand for flexible, short-term apartment rentals. Companies such as Blueground, June Homes and Landing have been expanding this year to new cities and adding thousands of units to their platforms. They have been raising tens of millions of dollars each in recent funding rounds, and in some cases much more than that.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. An Entire Block of Empty Storefronts: Delayed Office Returns Stymie Midtown Manhattan’s Recovery “Many of the businesses that pledged to bring employees back to the office after Labor Day put those plans on ice, potentially into 2022, with the spread of the delta variant and a looming flu season. The delay has been particularly harsh on businesses in midtown, which has the largest inventory of office space in New York City. As of this summer, nearly 30% of the retail storefronts in Midtown East and around Grand Central were vacant, according to a new report from the Real Estate Board of New York, or REBNY.” (CNBC)
  3. Eviction Confusion Again: End of U.S. Ban Doesn’t Cause Spike “Sperling credited rental assistance and an increase in eviction diversion programs as key reasons the tidal wave predictions didn’t come through, adding that it was important to keep speeding relief money to landlords. On Wednesday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a new rule barring landlords from evicting tenants in HUD-subsidized public housing without providing them 30 days’ notice and information about available federal emergency rental assistance.” (The Associated Press)
  4. America Is Running Out of Everything “The global supply chain is slowing down at the very moment when Americans are demanding that it go into overdrive.” (The Atlantic)
  5. Boston Mayor Signs Law Requiring All Buildings Over 20K SF to be Net Zero Within Thirty Years “Boston's new emissions ordinance will apply to buildings 20K SF and larger, and impose fines up to $1K a day for reporting and/or emissions penalties.” (Bisnow)
  6. Restaurants Spend Big for Upgraded Outdoor Dining with Quicker Service, Elaborate Décor for Winter “Restaurant owners say they are better prepared this winter for the mass of pandemic-weary diners who still want an outdoor option. A year ago, restaurants threw together improvised tents, finicky propane heaters and utilitarian patio furniture. Diners showed up, but even some who were eager for a safe way to dine felt like they were overpaying for a subpar experience. With more time to make arrangements, owners are making expensive bets on what diners want when temps go down.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Real Estate Showers Mayoral Shoo-In Eric Adams with Cash “Employees of SL Green Realty, the Durst Organization, Tishman Speyer and other real estate firms donated $500,000 in 11 weeks.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Pacific Urban, Hanover Real Estate Merge “A merger has been announced between multifamily owner-operator and investment manager Pacific Urban Residential (PUR) and multifamily private equity investor Hanover Real Estate Investors. The blended company will operate under the name Pacific Urban Investors LLC. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., the combined company will operate regional offices in Los Angeles and Irvine, Calif.; Seattle; Denver; Manhattan and Washington, D.C.” (Multi-Housing News)
  9. Could Hotels Become the New Hub for Hybrid Work? “The past 18 months have blurred the line between home and office as kitchen tables become boardrooms and closets become offices. Remote employees have carved out pieces of their homes to create workspaces wherever they could. Hybrid workplaces must adapt in kind, bringing a touch of home into office design. The unique opportunity for office landlords to make hybrid workspace feel warmer and welcoming is already being seized by the hotel industry, bringing a formidable.” (The Real Deal)
  10. IBM Says All U.S. Employees Must Be Vaccinated by Dec. 8 or Face Unpaid Suspension “Unlike some companies, such as United Airlines, IBM’s vaccination policy stops short of firing unvaccinated employees. But those who decline to be vaccinated will not be paid after Dec. 8 until they complete their vaccinations. An IBM spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that the company will consider religious and medical exemptions for employees who can’t get the vaccine.” (CNBC)
  11. Trump’s New Debt Totals an Estimated $1.3 Billion “Donald Trump’s business owes an estimated $1.3 billion, nearly $200 million more than it did when he left office. But that doesn’t mean that he’s under more financial pressure. In fact, Trump’s balance sheet is in better shape today than it was months ago. The reason: Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase helped loan $1.2 billion against a San Francisco office complex in which Trump holds a 30% minority interest.” (Forbes)
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