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13 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 14, 2021)

New research suggests that the COVID-19 economic crisis will cause twice as much homelessness as the Great Recession, reports Marketwatch. Dollar General announced that it will pay its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. COVID-19 will cause twice as much homelessness as Great Recession, researchers say “Over the next four years, the COVID-19-related recession is expected to cause chronic homelessness to increase some 49% nationwide, according to new research from the Economic Roundtable, a non-profit urban research organization based in California. The homelessness crisis is expected to peak in 2023, researchers found, with an additional 603,000 working-age adults without a place of their own to sleep.” (Marketwatch)
  2. Dollar General Will Pay Workers to Get a Covid-19 Vaccine “Many hourly workers face challenges in getting to vaccine appointments, from child-care needs and transportation limitations to scheduling constraints from holding multiple jobs. Some retail workers are wary of seeking medical services because they receive the minimum wage and often lack access to work-sponsored health insurance coverage or paid time off.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Defiance of virus dining bans grows as restaurants flounder “But even as coronavirus deaths soar, a growing number of restaurants in states across the country are reopening in defiance of strict COVID-19 rules that have shut them down for indoor dining for weeks, or even months. Restaurants can serve people outside or offer carry-out, but winter weather has crippled revenues from patio dining.” (The Associated Press)
  4. Airbnb canceling and blocking DC reservations during inauguration week “Guests who had reserved a place will be refunded in full, Airbnb said. It will also reimburse the hosts with the money that would have been earned from the canceled reservations. HotelTonight reservations will also be canceled, it said. The FBI has warned of armed protests being planned for Washington, D.C., and state capitals in the run-up to the inauguration.” (CNBC)
  5. Cuomo announces plan to get workers back to offices “In the second installment of his 2021 ‘State of the State’ address, Cuomo announced that rapid testing would be used in state-designated orange zones to open office buildings, along with restaurants and theaters.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Former CEO Of Real Estate Private Equity Investment Firm Charged With Securities Fraud “Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the arrest of ERIC MALLEY, the founder and former chief executive officer of real estate private equity investment firm MG Capital Management L.P.  on charges of securities fraud and wire fraud for his role in a scheme to fraudulently induce hundreds of individuals to invest a total of more than $50 million in two real estate investment funds by, among other things, lying about his own prior experience and investment track record and about the nature and characteristics of those funds.” (The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York)
  7. Surprise! This chart shows holiday shoppers did rush to malls in final weeks of 2020 “A surprise came in December, however, as visits rebounded again. Some procrastinators had no choice but to head to the mall in the final days leading up to Christmas to snag last-minute gifts. The uptick shows, for some consumers, malls still serve a role as a convenient shopping option.” (CNBC)
  8. Air Cargo Construction Is Booming, Thanks to Amazon “The new building is a signal measure of Amazon’s influence as the largest online retailer and its dedication to fast delivery. Both have helped generate a wave of air cargo construction at airports across the United States.” (The New York Times)
  9. Sustainable housing is focus of Damien Dwin’s social justice effort “The minority-owned Lafayette — named after the square that President Donald Trump cleared of police–brutality protesters for a photo op last year — will focus on flexible capital investments in sustainable housing and small businesses. It launched late last year.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Remote-Work Boom During Covid-19 Pandemic Draws Real-Estate Startups “A number still plan to return after their offices reopen, leaving them reluctant to buy homes or sign long-term apartment leases. That situation is creating fresh demand for furnished housing on a short-term basis, a fast-growing niche that many property startups and their venture-capital backers are rushing to fill.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  11. Thrasio Raises $500M to Expand Amazon Rollup Juggernaut “The latest round featured a virtual who’s who in finance, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, RBC Capital Markets, Oaktree Capital Management, Bain Capital Credit, Barclays, BlackRock, BofA Securities, Credit Suisse, Monroe Capital, Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities. The funding will be used to pursue larger targets, including up to $200 million dollar sellers on Amazon, and to step up its own product development to a couple hundred new items in 2021, from a few dozen last year.” (Multichannel Merchant)
  12. New York City Will End Contracts With Trump Over Capitol Riot “The decision by Mayor Bill de Blasio was another blow to Mr. Trump’s prestige in New York, and hammered home the depths to which the president — once viewed as a mischievous real estate celebrity — has become a political and social pariah in his hometown.” (The New York Times)
  13. Brookfield Hands 1.3M SF Georgia Mall Back To Lender “Brookfield Property Partners has transferred the deed to the 1.3M SF North Point Mall to its lender, New York Life Insurance Co. New York Life has tapped Trademark Property Co. to manage and operate the mall and take over plans to redevelop it.” (Bisnow)
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