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12 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 17, 2022)

Large investment firms are forming funds targeting power plants, telecom towers and data centers, reports The Wall Street Journal. An increasing number of homebuyers are pulling out of their contracts as they worry about rising mortgage rates, recession, according to CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Money Pours into Funds Targeting Solar Power, Cell Towers and Data Centers “Investment companies such as KKR and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. are raising money at a record clip to invest in power plants, telecom towers, and data centers—businesses that can thrive even as inflation runs rampant. Infrastructure funds have raised about $130 billion this year, already outpacing the record of $125 billion set last year, according to Preqin, a data provider. Contributing to that total were a $17 billion fund raised by KKR, a $15 billion equivalent from Brookfield and a $14 billion fund from Stonepeak Partners LP.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Proptech Mortgage Companies Cope with Spiking Interest Rates “The fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage is around 6 percent, while annual inflation, despite a recent unexpected dip, is still high at 8.5 percent. However, even as those economic factors have throttled some proptech mortgage and title companies, other startups in the sector see opportunity for real estate tech in such a challenging economy. ‘Real estate cycles will always have an impact, as companies of every size and tenure must adapt to best serve their customers within these tenuous market conditions,’ said Patrick Burns, CEO and co-founder, of Spruce, a Manhattan-based title and closing services proptech company.” (Commercial Observer)
  3. Industrial Leasing Reaches Record Volumes “Of the top 100 industrial leasing transactions for the first half of 2022, 37 were for 1 million square feet or more, according to a report from CBRE. This is more than a 54 percent increase from the 24 leases of that volume by the first half of 2021. On average, the top 100 leases in the first half of 2022 had a size of 931,860 square feet.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  4. New York Developers Rush to Reduce Emissions as Hefty Fines Loom “Worried about higher temperatures, more frequent and intense rainfall and rising seas that are nibbling away at New York’s coastal edges, the City Council enacted Local Law 97 in 2019 as part of a pioneering legislative package aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. The law zeros in on large buildings in New York, setting limits on their emissions. The city’s one million buildings generate nearly 70 percent of its carbon emissions because much of the energy for their heating, cooling and lighting comes from burning fossil fuels.” (The New York Times)
  5. Real Estate Entrepreneur Bets RV Storage Is the Next Big Thing “Thousands of recreational-vehicle owners are hitting the road this summer. Gary Wojtaszek’s new business is about what happens to them when they get back. The real-estate entrepreneur, best known for building and selling a data-center company for about $15 billion this year, has a new niche commercial-property business. This one focuses on storing recreational vehicles, or RVs, when they aren’t in use. RV sales boomed during the pandemic as people opted for vacations that allowed for social distancing.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. Homebuyers Are Backing Out of More Deals as High Mortgage Rates Persist and Recession Fears Linger “Rising costs and falling confidence in the U.S. economy are fast becoming a toxic cocktail for the housing market. As a result, a growing number of buyers are backing out of deals they’ve made with homebuilders and sellers of existing homes. Homebuilder cancellation rates have more than doubled since April, according to surveys by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. In July, 17.6% of builder contracts fell through, compared with 8% in April and 7.5% in July 2021.” (CNBC)
  7. This Time for Sure? Apple Mandates 3 Days in the Office “Apple picks post-Labor Day for a three-day return to office for its workers.” (Bisnow)
  8. NYC Resumes Leasing Hotels for Homeless “With busloads full of migrants from the US border in Texas arriving each week in midtown Manhattan, swelling an already surging homeless population, New York City has disclosed that it is renting 11 hotels in the city for use as shelters. The hotels being leased to the city as homeless shelters include the Marcel in Gramercy, the Apollo in Harlem and the Ellington in Morningside Heights, according to a report in City Limits.” (
  9. Real Estate Could Have a Role to Place in Alleviating Medical Staffing Squeeze “Panelists at Bisnow's Healthcare & Life Sciences Real Estate event discussed issues facing the healthcare industry and how CRE can lighten the load.” (Bisnow)
  10. The U.S. Supply Chain Is Now Facing Two Trade Hurdles “Two of the major trade lanes for U.S. shippers are under strain this peak season. The heatwave in China has shut down key manufacturing and the growing backlog of European imports is expected to spill over into the first quarter of 2023. Negotiations between the trade union verdi and the Central Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS) remain inconclusive. This is the tenth round of negotiations. The last date set by the courts is August 22nd.” (CNBC)
  11. Adam Neumann Is the Ultimate Case Study in ‘Failing Up’ “Adam Neumann is riding high on a unicorn, and Masayoshi Son is apologizing for vaporizing billions of dollars. It’s beginning to feel a lot like 2019 again.” (Fortune)
  12. A Construction-Themed Amusement Park Answers the Question ‘Can You Dig It?’ “The park was opened in 2014 by Ilya and Yan Girlya, Moldovan American brothers who worked for their father’s construction firm and opened Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor & Outdoor Water Park in the 2000s in a lot adjoining what became Diggerland. At Diggerland, the owners have worked with construction equipment manufacturers like JCB and Ventrac to modify dozens of models for safe use by children starting at 36 inches tall (some rides require children to be 48 inches tall, but all children can be lap passengers).” (The New York Times)
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