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13 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 28, 2021)

As the race to find survivors continues, engineers are also searching for the explanation for the collapse of Champlain Towers South in Miami. SL Green announced that it has completed a $3 billion refinancing of its One Vanderbilt Avenue office tower in New York City. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Possible Failure Point Emerges in Miami-Area Building Collapse “Called ‘progressive collapse,’ the gradual spread of failures could have occurred for a variety of reasons, including design flaws or the less robust construction allowed under the building codes of four decades ago, when the complex was built. But that progression could not have occurred without some critical first failure, and close inspections of a grainy surveillance video that emerged in the initial hours after the disaster have given the first hints of where that might have been.” (The New York Times)
  2. Engineer raised red flags more than 2 years before Surfside condo collapsed “A 2018 report raised major red flags about the structural integrity of the Champlain Towers South, the Surfside condo building that partially collapsed this week, killing at least nine and trapping more than 150 people.” (The Real Deal)
  3. SL Green Completes $3 Billion Refinancing of One Vanderbilt Avenue “SL Green Realty Corp (NYSE: SLG), Manhattan’s largest office landlord, today announced that it has closed a $3.0 billion 10-year, fixed-rate financing of One Vanderbilt Avenue, the skyline-defining tower in the heart of East Midtown, which is owned in a joint venture between SL Green, National Pension Service of Korea and Hines Interests, LP. The loan was securitized in a single asset, single borrower (SASB) agented CMBS transaction.” (Via press release)
  4. Kennedy Wilson Launches $1.5 Billion Multifamily Platform With Global Institutional Investor “The platform was seeded with an $800 million portfolio, including nine multifamily properties located in the Western U.S. that were previously wholly owned by Kennedy Wilson. As part of the transaction, Kennedy Wilson sold a 49% interest in these wholly owned assets to its partner. Kennedy Wilson will continue to have a 51% ownership stake in the new joint venture that will target approximately $700 million in additional core-plus acquisition opportunities.” (Via press release)
  5. Where Jobless Benefits Were Cut, Jobs Are Still Hard to Fill “Work-force development officials said they had seen virtually no uptick in applicants since the governor’s announcement, which ended a $300 weekly supplement to other benefits. And the online job site Indeed found that in states that have abandoned the federal benefits, clicks on job postings were below the national average.” (The New York Times)
  6. Blackstone's betting $6 billion on the rental market - here's why private-equity loves real estate right now “The move on real estate comes while private investment firms sit on more than $1 trillion in cash. Borrowing costs, too, remain subdued as the Fed keeps interest rates at all-time lows. Given the sheer amount of dry powder available, coupled with accommodative credit markets, private-equity is keen to conduct a surfeit of acquisitions, and isn't shy about injecting large sums of equity into prospective investments.” (Insider)
  7. Griffin-American Healthcare REITs Combine, Plan IPO “In addition to the merger, Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III has agreed to acquire the business and operations of American Healthcare Investors (AHI), the co-sponsor of both REITs and the external advisors of GAHR III and GAHR IV. This acquisition should occur immediately before the REIT merger, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.” (
  8. Walker & Dunlop Buys TapCap – Plans More Tech Acquisitions “Walker & Dunlop (W&D), a commercial real estate firm, has acquired TapCap, a technology start-up as the latest company in the middle of an 18 month long buying spree. The amount that TapCap was sold for hasn’t been released. W&D see integrating new tech as a priority for the firm, and are choosing to develop via an ongoing campaign of acquisitions.” (Grit Daily)
  9. Trouble in EB-5 land: Congress at impasse on extension “Lawmakers could not agree on a deal to reauthorize a key part of the program known as regional centers. With Congress heading on leave for the July 4th holiday, the program will expire June 30. New EB-5 investment will be halted until lawmakers come back to the table and hammer out an agreement.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Maturing Life Sciences Industry Seeks More Refined, Mixed-Use Spaces “As the industry continues to boom — Cushman & Wakefield predicts $90B in investment in 2021, up from $70B in 2020, and a Newmark report from January expected 36M SF of new life sciences construction to be delivered in the top 14 U.S. markets this year alone — there is heightened competition to attract top tenants, despite a shortage of lab space.” (Bisnow)
  11. Corporate America is starting to embrace the 4-day workweek. These 7 companies have adopted it or are considering the change “Some companies adopted the structure before the pandemic, like Microsoft Japan, which famously tried out a four-day workweek in mid-2019 and saw productivity jump by 40%. But scores of others have taken interest in the approach as the pandemic has battered employees' mental health, sending stress and burnout levels skyrocketing.” (Insider)
  12. New York Rent Relief Application Snags Frustrate Landlords and Tenants “Nearly a month after the state officially opened applications for the rent relief program, real estate and tenant advocates agree that the program is off to a rocky start due to frustrating technical difficulties on top of a complicated process that can take two or more hours to complete.” (The City)
  13. Why does it cost so much to build things in America? “There’s no one simple reason for this. Experts are clamoring for the government to collect more data, but the complexity of the problem lends itself to complex solutions. Still, the stakes are high. NYU researchers noted the massive economic stakes, pointing to studies that show that building dense urban transit networks could increase aggregate economic growth by roughly 10 percent.” (Vox)
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