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12 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 11, 2021)

The standardization of multifamily leasing language nationally may leave more renters subject to eviction, reports Marketwatch. Citigroup is testing at-home COVID-19 tests to employees in some markets as it tinkers with its return to office strategy. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. America has seen a ‘nationalization of leases’ — and it could leave renters vulnerable to eviction amid the COVID-19 pandemic “In the past, leases varied extensively based on where a rental was located. Landlords often relied on local landlord associations to provide them with templates of how to draft a rental agreement. Today, thanks in large part to the internet, this variation has dissipated.” (Marketwatch)
  2. Citigroup offers rapid at-home COVID-19 tests to some U.S. staff “Citi said it has offered employees at its Chicago area branches and those working on its trading floors in New York a chance to participate in the home testing program. The bank said it would use the learnings from this initial pilot for its broader plans around at-home testing and future return to office strategy.” (Reuters)
  3. Nareit’s Total REIT Industry Tracker Series “Funds from operations (FFO) continued to recover from the sharp declines during the shutdowns in the spring. FFO rose 11.3% from the third quarter, to $13.9 billion. FFO in the third quarter was also revised higher, to a 10.3% increase over the prior quarter. FFO in the fourth quarter was 16.0% lower than one year earlier. FFO has retraced half of the declines experienced in the first half of the year, however, even before rollout of the vaccines was fully underway.” (Nareit)
  4. Renters’ Priorities Shift With Ability To Pay Rent Nearing Pre-Pandemic Levels “The top consideration for renters who are moving in early 2021 is finding a better deal, such as a better location for the same money, a similar location for less money or a better apartment for less money. That consideration was cited by 29% of the respondents. Only 8% of respondents said that in early 2020.” (Bisnow)
  5. States Expected Covid-19 to Bring Widespread Tax Shortfalls. It Didn’t Happen. “Analysts still expect states to confront budget gaps as the pandemic enters its second year, but they are projecting smaller shortfalls partially filled in with federal aid. A Democrat-led Congress is now debating another massive round of federal aid, amid objections from Republicans.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. CVS locations in Target stores will begin administering COVID-19 vaccinations “Target and CVS have already partnered for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccinations. The retailer will also make fitting rooms available for appointments. Target provides pay and Lyft transportation in order for employees to be vaccinated.” (Marketwatch)
  7. Does taxing the wealthy really drive them away? “So-called millionaires’ taxes sometimes draw howls from sellers of high-end real estate. But this one drew no great protest, in part because the pandemic has already put the market for larger New Jersey homes into overdrive. Moreover, Kolsky-Assatly said, the state’s high taxes are well known to homebuyers.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Downtown San Jose office towers project might launch this year: city report “The project would add a pair of 20-story office towers to the downtown San Jose skyline and sprout a short distance from Interstate 280 near the corner of Woz Way and South Almaden Boulevard, according to a city report now being made available to the public.” (The Mercury News)
  9. Disneyland will reopen in late April, Disney’s chief executive says. “Some furloughed employees have already returned; the Downtown Disney retail district, for instance, reopened over the summer. Mr. Chapek said that roughly 10,000 additional furloughed employees would be called back for the April limited reopening of rides and hotels.” (The New York Times)
  10. Opportunity from crisis: how investors are playing the post-pandemic property market “Following a year in which remote working and social distancing have become well entrenched, leaving city-centre offices, retail and hospitality venues deserted, the richness of the deal may seem counterintuitive. But market participants say it illustrates a confidence among investors that the top end of office real estate will withstand the coronavirus shock - even as questions hang over the viability of shabbier and less well-located spaces.” (Reuters)
  11. Dick’s Sporting Goods to open experiential prototype; Q4 sales rise 19.8% “On the company's earnings call, executives said Dick's will open its first ‘experiential’ prototype store next week, in Rochester, New York. Called Dick's House of Sports, the store will focus ‘on service and community and allow us to innovate and deliver elevated experiences to our athletes,’ said Dick's president and CEO Lauren Hobart. It will include an outdoor field to host sports events and promote product try-outs, a rock climbing wall and health and wellness spaces for in-store programming.” (Chain Store Age)
  12. Palisades Mall Owner Says It’s Adding Residential Projects Across Its Portfolio “Another example of revitalizing an aging retail property with multifamily that’s in the works is at Alderwood, a 1.3 million-square-foot retail center in Lynnwood, Wash. Brookfield Properties is collaborating with AvalonBay Communities to revitalize the 41-year-old regional mall in the Seattle suburb. Rising on the former site of a Sears store, Avalon Alderwood Place will encompass 328 units and 64,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space.” (Rockland County Business Journal)
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