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12 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Feb. 24, 2021)

COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities have drastically declined since the U.S. vaccination campaign got underway, reports Axios. Marriott International has named a new CEO, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. As Buildings’ Life Span Shrink, Developers Try to Adjust “A century ago, developers didn’t give the future much thought, but today, they don’t have the same luxury. A combination of pandemic disruptions and constantly changing technology has brought the hazy, distant horizon much closer. As a result, a growing number of projects are racing against the clock as profitability and utility are squeezed into the ever-shortening life of a commercial building.” (The New York Times)
  2. Marriott Names Tony Capuano as New CEO “Marriott International Inc. has tapped Tony Capuano as its new chief executive officer, picking a longtime veteran of the world’s largest hotel company to steer it through the industry’s most crippling period in memory. Mr. Capuano, 55 years old, has been with the company for 25 years and was most recently a group president responsible for leading Marriott’s global development, design efforts and operations.” (Wall Street Journal)
  3. Nursing Home COVID Cases Have Drastically Declined “The number of coronavirus cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities has drastically declined over the last two months, almost certainly an effect of vaccinations. Why it matters: Nursing homes have been devastated by the virus, which is why residents were among the first Americans to be vaccinated. The big picture: Nursing home vaccinations began in the second half of December, and around 4.5 million residents or staff have received at least one dose of the vaccine so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” (Axios)
  4. Victoria’s Secret Reaches Out to Private Equity Again “Less than a year after the pandemic doomed an effort to sell Victoria’s Secret to the investment firm Sycamore Partners, the lingerie chain’s owner, L Brands, will again test private equity’s appetite for the business, DealBook has learned. L Brands’ bankers at Goldman Sachs will begin formally pitching buyout firms about a potential takeover as soon as this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.” (The New York Times)
  5. Commercial Property Firm CBRE Beats Wall Street Expectations with Record Income “Dallas-based commercial property firm CBRE Group Inc. significantly out-performed analysts’ expectations with record quarterly earnings in the final months of 2020. The company – which last year relocated its headquarters from California to Dallas – reported that net income rose by more than 9% to $491 million, with all-time high quarterly earnings per share.” (Dallas Morning News)
  6. Group Seeks to End NY State, City Opportunity Zone Tax Break "More than two dozen groups are seeking to get rid of New York state and city tax breaks tied to the federal Opportunity Zone program." (The Real Deal)
  7. SoftBank Reportedly Approaching $1.5 Billion Settlement with Adam Neumann, Other Early WeWork Employees and Investors “Softbank is reportedly drawing closer to finalizing a deal to buy out the shares of WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann and the firm’s early employees for just half what the Japanese tech investing giant previously agreed to, which would remove a key barrier to trying again to take the flexible working space company public.” (Forbes)
  8. Higher Levels of Liquidity Improve Commercial Real Estate Lending Momentum at Year-End “Higher levels of liquidity, tighter credit spreads and a modest loosening of underwriting standards contributed to a sharp improvement in commercial real estate lending momentum in Q4 2020, according to the latest research from CBRE. The CBRE Lending Momentum Index, which tracks the pace of commercial loan closings in the U.S., reached a value of 221 in December, up by 38.2% from September. As of December 2020, however, the index was still down 16% from a year ago.” (CBRE)
  9. Baltimore Welcomes First Timber Office Building “Downtown Baltimore’s office market will soon have a first-of-its kind offering, courtesy of a new project by 28 Walker Development. The company has just announced plans for 40TEN, a 125,000-square-foot building that will be the only office property in the area built entirely of heavy wood timber materials.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Atlantic City Housing Market Heats Up as Investors Look Beyond Casinos “The demolition of Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino last week was a reminder that the city’s heyday as a gambling mecca has long since passed. But the recent surge in home prices there raises the prospect that the city could reclaim its status as a desirable seaside getaway. Atlantic City home prices rose 30% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, making the New Jersey city one of the country’s biggest gainers, according to the National Association of Realtors.” (Wall Street Journal)
  11. CVS Says It Will Reach Millions of New Customers as it Administers COVID Vaccine “CVS Health Inc. is looking forward to the chance to meet tons of new shoppers in the coming months as it administers the COVID-19 vaccine, offering the pharmacy retailer a unique business opportunity. CVS has provided COVID-19 testing, with about 15 million tests administered at its 4,800 locations across the country, according to Karen Lynch, chief executive of CVS.” (MarketWatch)
  12. Steak n’ Shake Dodges Bankruptcy, Sues Lender for Alleged Takeover Scheme “Steak 'n Shake on Friday repaid the remaining balance of the $220 million loan it owed its debtors, including Fortress Investment Group, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people with knowledge of the payment. By paying off its debt, which had been reduced to $153 million and was due March 19, the burger chain avoided a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, which it had been preparing for with advisers FT Consulting Inc. and Latham & Watkins while negotiating its debt with Fortress.” (Restaurant Dive)
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