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Barry Sternlicht PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO, Starwood Capital Group

13 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Dec. 8, 2022)

Starwood head honcho Barry Sternlicht dismissed concerns about recent withdrawal limits on non-traded REITs, reports The Real Deal. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are on pace to fall short of their target allocations for 2022, according to Multi-Housing News. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. “This isn’t FTX”: Sternlicht waves off REIT withdrawal worries “Barry Sternlicht said limits on withdrawals from non-traded REITs like the ones run by his Starwood Capital Group and the Blackstone Group aren’t cause for a major freak-out. ‘We’re not a hedge fund. We can’t liquidate our properties overnight at attractive prices,’ he explained. ‘We have to manage liquidity.’” (The Real Deal)
  2. GSEs Unlikely to Meet Allocations “Through the end of October, Fannie and Freddie were nowhere near the $78 billion in allocations they were granted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Fannie originated $54.7 billion and Freddie $51.2 billion in the first 10 months of the year, according to the agencies’ public filings.” (Multi-Housing News)
  3. Housing Costs, Inflation’s Biggest Component, Are Poised to Ease “The end is in sight for one of the biggest sources of inflation. Surging housing costs helped keep inflation high this year but have likely already swung into reverse, economists say. The signal comes from private-sector indexes of rents on new leases, which tend to lead the consumer-price index measures by a little less than a year, said Alan Detmeister, economist at UBS. ‘Last year we saw huge increases in these market rent measures in June, July and August, but they’re now coming in at or below their prepandemic pace,’ he said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. CRE Beware: Niche Markets, Specialized Talent Will Win Big In 2023 “In the weeks following a tough round of cost-cutting and layoffs, there’s plenty to lament in the commercial real estate industry, but for certain niche markets, property types and service lines, these recessionary market conditions present a set of opportunities in the coming yea.”(Bisnow)
  5. How CRE Brokerages Are Responding to i-Sales Slowdown “Commercial real estate brokerages like CBRE, JLL and Cushman & Wakefield are cutting costs to weather lower capital markets revenue.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Democrats ramp up investigation of Kushner family business dealings “Democrats on a pair of congressional committees have launched an aggressive new effort to obtain information about whether Jared Kushner’s actions on U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf region as a senior White House adviser were influenced by the bailout of a property owned by his family business.” (The Washington Post)
  7. Dealmakers Eye Logistics M&A To Continue Pace in 2023 “As the year winds down it is time to look toward 2023 to see where M&A dealmakers are anticipating chips being placed. The logistics sector is one that is poised for continued M&A interest as supply chain issues are still rampant. ATL Partners and Blackstone are two firms keeping an eye on the logistics and supply chain industry.”(Mergers & Acquisitions)
  8. Deep Pockets and Powerful Allies: How a Hotel Union Shapes New York City “A nonprofit was planning to convert the hotel into apartments for people facing homelessness. But after 18 months of negotiations, the plan collapsed this year when a powerful political player intervened: the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, the union representing about 35,000 hotel and casino workers in New York and New Jersey. The union blocked the conversion, which threatened the jobs of the workers waiting to return to the 597-room hotel. Under the union’s contract, the deal could not proceed without its consent.” (The New York Times)
  9. JLL: Prime Urban Retail Corridors Are Booming with Luxury, Digitally Native Tenants “Luxury, digitally native and athleisure retailers are driving demand in existing and emerging prime urban corridors. That’s according to JLL’s just-released City Retail 2023 report, which found that office occupancy remains down 48% and international visitors are down 66% from 2019 levels in cities like New York and San Francisco. The stagnation is leading luxury and pricey clicks-to-bricks retail tenants to enliven new prime urban retail corridors in major metros nationwide.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. In White Plains, N.Y., the Long Death of an Old Man “The long-decaying White Plains Mall is dead and buried, with developers set to break ground this week on the first phase of a $650 million project to build hundreds of apartments in its place. It is an outcome that is widely welcomed, but has taken years to come to fruition. There is no shortage of dying malls in the U.S., where aging shopping centers, in particular, have declined due to changing shopping habits, e-commerce and competition from newer malls. These large, well-located properties attract interest from developers, and town officials are typically eager to see them revitalized.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  11. What employers get wrong about Gen Z and remote work “The disconnect between employers and workers over remote work has been particularly pronounced when it comes to Gen Z, but members of the youngest generation say there are some misconceptions fueling the fire.”(The Business Journals)
  12. Musk Confirms He’s Installed Employee Beds at Twitter HQ “The city of San Francisco warned it might crack down on Elon Musk’s latest gambit to save his $44 billion investment in Twitter from potentially declaring bankruptcy. On Tuesday, the serial entrepreneur running five different companies confirmed a report in Forbes that he brought beds into the social media company’s headquarters, after city officials said they planned to launch an inspection of the premise. Musk claimed he was helping staff recuperate, before seemingly deflecting with an attempt to reframe the discussion around the failure of the tech mecca to address an ongoing narcotics crisis.” (Fortune)
  13. Black Friday Status Dims as Sales in Stores Fall Short “Unlike in previous years, when shoppers would rush out after Thanksgiving dinner to start deal hunting, most retailers didn’t offer significant promotions pegged to Black Friday this year, said Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser for retail at the NPD Group Inc., a global market-information company. Instead, retailers tried to lure shoppers with discounts earlier in the season.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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