12 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Sept. 27, 2021)

Blackstone announced the sale of the Cosmopolitan casino and hotel in Las Vegas for $5.65 billion. The Real Estate Roundtable and 22 other real estate organizations sent a letter to the Senate and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressing concerns on potential tax changes. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Blackstone Selling Vegas Casino, Firm’s Most Profitable Property Deal “Blackstone acquired the two-tower property for about $1.8 billion seven years ago and spent an additional $500 million on upgrades, including renovating the nearly 3,000 guest rooms, building luxury suites and adding new restaurants and bars. Total profits after the sale would be about $4.1 billion, including cash flow from the property’s operations, according to a Blackstone letter to fund investors reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Real Estate Industry Weighs in Against Potential Partnership Tax Changes as House Lawmakers Prepare Next Steps for Infrastructure, Tax Bills “The Real Estate Roundtable and 22 other national real estate organizations wrote today to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden expressing significant concerns regarding his draft legislation to overhaul partnership tax rules. The letter was sent after congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen yesterday announced they had agreed on a framework for moving forward with human infrastructure legislation, which includes a list of tax issues for discussion and potential inclusion in a final reconciliation bill.” (The Real Estate Roundtable)
  3. Renters Now Rule the Suburbs in DC, Miami and Los Angeles “It was only a decade ago when homeowners ruled the suburbs, but a new report by RENTCafé reveals that over the past decade, renters have begun to dominate in 103 suburbs that were historically homeowner territory. Additionally, the report, which looked at figures from 2010-2019, projected that 57 other suburbs would follow suit in the next five years.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. Multifamily Market Musings: a Conversation with Fannie Mae’s Kim Betancourt “Kim Betancourt is Fannie Mae’s Senior Director of Economics and Multifamily Research. She manages a team of real estate economists that focus exclusively on the multifamily sector. They analyze current economic conditions at both the national and local level, determining their impact on the multifamily sector and identifying future trends.” (MBA Newslink)
  5. Convention Center-Adjacent Hotels Set To Open Next Year Face Uncertain Landscape “Though the project only got about three months into construction before the city of Los Angeles locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic, developer Lightstone avoided major negative impacts to the building of the hotel. But the property will be coming on the scene in Downtown as there is much uncertainty around when business travelers and conventions will bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.” (Bisnow)
  6. Evergrande Worries Help Fuel Selloff at Chinese Developer Sunac “The shares and bonds of another major Chinese property developer have dropped sharply, as investors fretted that the company could run into similar troubles as China Evergrande Group. Investors sold down securities from Sunac China Holdings Ltd. over two trading sessions, after a document circulated online showing a Sunac unit asking for government help to ease its liquidity difficulties.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Risk Reduction For Mezzanine Loan Borrowers “Quick and streamlined mezzanine loan foreclosures are great for mezzanine lenders. But they expose mezzanine borrowers to the risk of losing their equity so quickly that they can’t possibly have enough time to find new investors, new lenders, or some other way to recapitalize their project and save their investment.” (Forbes)
  8. City landlords’ tax delinquencies approach Great Recession levels “Data produced by the comptroller’s office show the preliminary delinquency rate across all city properties averaged 2.1 percent for fiscal year 2021, which wrapped at the end of June. That’s a few ticks higher than the 1.93 percent calculated for fiscal 2020, which ended three months into the pandemic. For fiscal 2019, it was 1.69 percent.” (The Real Deal)
  9. New Green Infrastructure Mitigates Stormwater Runoff “Chicago, like many other U.S. cities, is trying to cope with one of the many problems caused by worsening climate change—increasingly intense downpours that inundate the urban landscape with stormwater that sometimes overwhelms sewer systems designed many years ago. In contrast with the hurricanes that threaten to overwhelm the shorelines of coastal cities, inland rainstorms cause a phenomenon called urban flooding, in which excess rainfall causes sewers to overflow, flooding streets and homes around them.” (Urban Land)
  10. Complicated Web Of Eviction Protections Becomes More Difficult To Navigate “Landlords and tenants in the state have spent the past 18 months navigating a complex and confusing patchwork of rules and regulations surrounding evictions and rent repayment, and with the state’s protections expected to sunset and some LA-area municipalities coming up on the expirations of their own protections, renters and owners are once again re-evaluating what they can and can’t do.” (Bisnow)
  11. Phase out of flood insurance subsidies could upend coastal real estate markets “For the first time, the government will also take into account a home’s size, which means the owners of large beachfront properties are in for even larger rate hikes. Federal officials say the changes are meant to emphasize the true risk homeowners face in flood-prone areas and to potentially encourage them to move to less vulnerable areas.” (The Real Deal)
  12. Costco is renting 3 container ships and 'several thousand containers' to shield itself from supply chain delays and rising costs “Each ship could carry between 800 to 1,000 containers at a time, he said. The company had also leased "several thousand containers for use on these ships," he said. Costco expected to make about 10 deliveries over the next year using these ships, accounting for around 20% of its imports from Asia, he said.” (Insider)
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