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11 Must Reads for CRE Investors (July 31, 2023)

U.S. office space is on track to shrink for the first time on record, according to JLL. The commercial real estate sector has slowed its efforts on DEI initiatives, reports Bisnow. These are among the must reads from around the real estate investment world to start the week.

  1. US Office Space Is on Track to Shrink for First Time on Record “A lack of new construction and a plethora of aging office space being repurposed or destroyed will lower the amount of office space, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Less than 5 million square feet (465,000 square meters) of new offices broke ground in the US so far this year, while 14.7 million square feet has been removed, often to be converted into buildings for other uses.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Retail rents rise in Q2 as availability tightens: CBRE “Net absorption of U.S. retail space in Q2 — vacancy at the start versus the end of the period — was 5.9 million square feet, the lowest demand since Q3 2020, according to a report from real estate investment firm CBRE.” (Retail Dive)
  3. Missing Millions and a Rabbinical Arbitrator: Real-Estate Deal Gone Bad Hits Popular Crowd Funder “One of the biggest platforms that promised to give small investors access to major real-estate projects missed red flags and funneled cash into firms that fabricated their past. Now it is facing deals gone bust where $63 million of customer cash has gone missing.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Affirmative Action’s End Is Already Testing CRE’s Resolve To Diversify Its Ranks “Corporate hesitation or even reversal on DEI is coupled with a societal movement pushing back against the programs and representation of some groups, at the same time that many companies are looking to cut costs.” (Bisnow)
  5. CMBS Loans Give Insight Into Ongoing CRE Credit Crunch “Combined with double-digit drops in asset values, many owners will need to either add equity to refinance or sell off properties. Given that office, retail, and hotel sectors represent about 85% of the coming CMBS maturities, owners in these sectors have some tough sledding ahead.” (
  6. Blackstone Fund Shifts Focus from Property to Data Centers in AI Boom “Blackstone is preparing for a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to build properties that can cater to the increasing computing demand driven by the AI boom. The company has committed to spending over $8 billion on new data centers for large-scale technology companies. Blackstone’s acquisition of QTS Realty Trust, a real estate trust focused on data centers, for over $10 billion in mid-2021, is driving this investment push.” (Fagen Wasami Technologies)
  7. Invitation buys rental portfolio for $650M “Dallas-based Invitation Homes, whose CEO is Dallas Tanner, paid $650 million for almost 1,900 single-family homes, including $495 million in cash, the Dallas Morning News reported. The sale equated to about $340,000 per home.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Commercial Real Estate Market In San Francisco Shows Signs Of Economic Recovery “This recent uptick in demand signifies that companies may be reconsidering a return to the physical office or are expecting future growth at their firms. This resurgence is a positive development for property owners that have been dealing with these record vacancies, and it could be a sign of a commercial real estate revival in other cities.” (All Work)
  9. Investments In Nontraded REITs Up 39%, But Still Far Outpaced By Withdrawals “Fundraising shot back up in June for nontraded REITs after a moribund start to 2023, but the money raised was still far less than investors pulled out of the alternative investment vehicles, according to a new report.” (Bisnow)
  10. That Cool New Bookstore? It’s a Barnes & Noble. “It also has been the site of a grand experiment for much of the past year. The chain invested millions of dollars to rebuild this Barnes & Noble into a model for its other stores to emulate as the company transforms into a bookseller for the modern age.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  11. Nareit Joins United Nations Decarbonization of the Built Environment Meeting “On July 25, the UN-Habitat held a roundtable on decarbonizing the built environment. Nareit SVP of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Jessica Long joined representatives from UN member states and public and private sector real estate stakeholders to discuss the urgency to accelerate efforts reducing the impact from the building sector.” (Nareit)
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