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12 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 23, 2021)

California will attempt to pay all of the past-due rent that accumulated as a result of the pandemic, reports The Associated Press. Retail and hospitality companies are facing challenges keeping existing workers. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. California Will Pay Off All Past-Due Rent Accumulated During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Newsom Says “Gov. Gavin Newsom says California will pay off all the past-due rent that accumulated in the nation's most populated state because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, a promise to make landlords whole while giving renters a clean slate. Left unsettled is whether California will continue to ban evictions for unpaid rent beyond June 30, a pandemic-related order that was meant to be temporary but is proving difficult to undo.” (The Associated Press)
  2. Blackstone Bets $6 Billion on Buying and Renting Homes “Blackstone Group Inc. has agreed to buy a company that buys and rents single-family homes in a $6 billion deal that’s a sign Wall Street believes the U.S. housing market is going to stay hot. The giant investment firm has reached a deal to acquire Home Partners of America Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. Home Partners owns more than 17,000 houses throughout the U.S., which it bought, rents out and offers its tenants the chance to eventually buy.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Behind the Surge in ESG Commitments “Environmental, Social and Governance—known in the industry as ESG—practices aren’t new. Over the last decade, commercial real estate players have increasingly considered the environment and sustainability when underwriting investments and operating properties, but the pandemic has catalyzed rapid growth in ESG adoption. In 2020, public funds, private equity firms, high net worth investors and nonprofit companies aggressively increased ESG commitments, and many are acknowledging the critical role that ESG practices will play in the future of real estate investment.” (
  4. Atria to Acquire Holliday Retirement as Welltower Buys 86 Properties for $1.6B “Atria Senior Living is acquiring the management services business of Holiday Retirement, while Welltower (NYSE: WELL) is buying the 86 properties that Holiday owned and self-managed. Welltower’s acquisition is valued at $1.58 billion. The deal represents the combination of two senior living heavyweights: Winter Park, Florida-based independent living giant Holiday, which ranked no. 3 in Argentum’s 2020 Largest Providers Report; and Louisville, Kentucky-based Atria Senior Living, which took the no. 7 spot.” (Senior Housing News)
  5. So, You’re Ready to Return to the Office: Five Questions to Help Renters Evaluate Their Needs “As cities and states around the country drop their mask mandates and announce new timelines to reopening, employers are trying to figure out when and how they’ll ask their employees to return to the office. While folks in commercial real estate aren’t quite business advisors, they are well-positioned to ask a few simple questions in order to provide their clients with the clarity they need to find the right space for their office experience.” (Forbes Real Estate Council)
  6. Resorts World to Open in Las Vegas as Business Recovers After COVID-19 “The first new megacasino on the Strip in more than a decade, the $4.3 billion Resorts World, opens here this week as throngs of mostly maskless tourists indulge in the city’s famous casinos once again. Malaysia’s Genting Group developed the 3,500-room hotel with 117,000 square feet of gambling space, 250,000 square feet of meeting space, a 5,000-seat theater where Celine Dion and Katy Perry begin residencies later this year and seven swimming pools overlooking the north end of the Strip.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. New McWhinney CEO Shares Growth Plans for Colorado-Based Real Estate Firm “McWhinney is primarily known for its work along the Front Range, and has planned and developed more than 11 million square feet of commercial and mixed-use properties. In this article, its new CEO discusses the company's strategy and a reorganization of leadership.” (Austin Business Journal)
  8. Alamo Drafthouse Emerges from Bankruptcy with Refreshed Ambitions “Americans have spent more than a year home alone with unlimited viewing options, the digital world at their fingertips. But there's an emptiness to all of that possibility. What is an incredible artistic experience enjoyed in isolation? Might we all once again be hungry for shared experiences? That’s what leaders at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema are banking on as the movie theater chain emerges from bankruptcy with ambitious expansion plans.” (Houston Business Journal)
  9. What Quitters Understand About the Job Market “More Americans are telling their boss to shove it. Is the workplace undergoing a revolution—or just a post-pandemic spasm?” (The Atlantic)
  10. Hotels Desperate for Staff Are Giving Out $1,300 Fitness Machines, Free Rooms, and Knife Sets to Stop Employees Leaving for Rival Chains “Hotels are scrambling to find perks to both recruit and retain employees amid a US labor shortage that's causing some businesses to cut operating hours, slash production, and raise prices. Some hotels are offering long-term perks, such as expanded healthcare access and higher wages, while others are turning to one-off quick fixes, such as free fitness machines, cash bonuses, and a set of knives for kitchen staff.” (Insider)
  11. Retail Workers Are Quitting at Record Rates for Higher-Paying Work ‘My Life Isn’t Worth a Dead-End Job’ “The retail industry faces a reckoning as workers quit at record rates: ‘These were never good jobs.’” (The Washington Post)
  12. LVMH Opens $894 Million Luxury Shopping Destination in Paris “Part luxury department store, part hotel and promising to feature over a dozen eateries, the €750 million ($894 million) restoration of La Samaritaine, by French luxury conglomerate LVMH, is one of the most anticipated openings of the year in the French capital: On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the building, calling it a ‘wonderful French treasure.’” (CNN Style)
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