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13 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Sept. 30, 2020)

U.S. retail bankruptcies and store closures have set a record in the first half of the year, reports the Wall Street Journal. CBL Properties reached an agreement with some of its note holders that will delay its bankruptcy filing until October 15, according to These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed’s Main Street Lending May Be Missing Core Group of Firms—Survey “The Federal Reserve’s high-profile Main Street Lending program may be missing one of its key targets, with half of banks in a recent survey saying they had rejected loans to companies that were in good shape before the pandemic but too damaged by it to justify a loan.” (Reuters)
  2. U.S. Retail Bankruptcies, Store Closures Hit Record in First Half “Retail bankruptcies, liquidations and store closings in the U.S. reached records in the first half of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated industry changes, particularly the shift to online shopping, according to a report. In the first six months, 18 retailers filed for chapter 11 protection, mostly concentrated in apparel and footwear, home furnishings, grocery and department stores, according to the report by professional-services firm BDO USA LLP.” (Wall Street Journal)
  3. CMBS Appraisals Show ‘Atrocious’ Value Loss in Hospitality, Retail Real Estate “The most recent valuations of commercial real estate to come out of CMBS analysts paint a grim picture, especially for hotels and retail properties.” (Bisnow)
  4. S&P CoreLogic Case-Schiller: U.S. Home Prices Rise 3.9% in July “U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in July as the housing market continued to show strength in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, rose 3.9% in July from a year earlier, up from a 3.5% annual gain in June. The July gain was slightly higher than economists had expected.” (Associated Press)
  5. CBL Gets New Agreement to Delay Timing of Bankruptcy “CBL Properties said Monday it has reached agreement with certain note holders to continue talks to Oct. 15 and delay filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Chattanooga-based firm owns a number of malls throughout the country, including Hamilton Place Mall and Northgate Mall. The firm announced "that the Petition Date under the Restructuring Support Agreement (the “RSA”) has been extended from October 1, 2020 to October 15, 2020.” (
  6. Net Lease Transactions Plunge in Q2, Cap Rates Hold Steady: Report “After a quarter-over-quarter decline of 27 percent in net lease sales activity in the first quarter of the year due to the start of sweeping pandemic-related shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, investors proceeded with caution. Trades during the second quarter totaled 264, compared to 416 in the first three months of the year. But as trade volume continued on the downswing, cap rates remained relatively consistent, with a quarter-over-quarter average increase of just 3 basis points to 6.39 percent.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  7. Manhattan Offices Are Nearly Empty, Threatening New York City’s Recovery “Manhattan office employees are returning to work at a much slower pace than those in most other major U.S. cities, raising the risk that New York faces a more protracted and painful recovery from the coronavirus pandemic than much of the rest of the country. Wall Street bankers have been trickling back to their glass towers, while real-estate firms have tried to set an example by encouraging staff to return in force. But most of the city’s lawyers, media and publishing employees, tech industry workers and others have stayed away, real-estate brokers say.” (Wall Street Journal)
  8. ‘Testing Hell’: Gift of Devices to Nursing Home Brings New Problems “The hand-held testing devices, which spit out results in as little as 15 minutes, were intended to quickly diagnose and isolate patients, and alter the deadly calculus of a contagion that has taken the lives of 77,000 nursing home residents and workers, more than 40 percent of the nation’s fatalities from Covid-19. But the initial sense of relief has been overtaken by frustration as nursing homes have discovered that they must pay for test kits on their own, and that the machines are markedly less accurate than lab-based diagnostics.” (The New York Times)
  9. JPMorgan Permits Home Working Until 2021 for Staff in Consumer Unit “PMorgan has reportedly told thousands of workers in its consumer business they can continue to work from home until next year. The lender told employees in its consumer unit, who had been working from home, that they could continue to do so in several memos on 28 September. JPMorgan’s consumer unit has more than 122,000 employees and primarily operates in the US.” (Financial News)
  10. IQHQ Kickstarts $1.5B Life Sciences Campus in San Diego “Having recently completed the acquisition of an 8-acre waterfront site in San Diego, IQHQ Inc. will break ground on the initial phase of the $1.5 billion San Diego Research and Development District this week. The RaDD will be the first truly urban life sciences-centric waterfront campus in the city.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  11. Empty North Bay Lodgings Fill Up as People Flee Glass Fire in Wine Country “Knowing that Northern California hotels could soon be inundated by evacuees fleeing the fast-moving Glass Fire, Steve Page is doing his best to increase amenities at the 50 Acres Campground by the Sonoma Raceway, near San Pablo Bay in southern Sonoma County. Page, president and general manager of the raceway, announced Monday that the track’s huge campground would open as a refuge to evacuees.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  12. CDC Classifies In-Store Black Friday Shopping as ‘Higher Risk' “The CDC released guidance with regards to preventing the spread of COVID-19 during the upcoming holidays, starting with Halloween. It includes, among other things, a recommendation that shopping be done online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) or the next Monday (Cyber Monday).” (Chain Store Age)
  13. New Yorkers Face Fines for Refusing to Mask Up After Coronavirus Uptick “New York City will impose fines on people who refuse to wear a face covering as the rate of positive tests for the novel coronavirus climbed above 3% for the first time in months, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday. Beyond New York, 28 other states were seeing upticks in new coronavirus infections over the past two weeks, and COVID-19 hospitalizations were on the rise in several Midwest states.” (Reuters)
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