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15 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 29, 2020)

Luxury hotels struggle as corporate and group travel has been decimated, reports the Wall Street Journal. A number of Sears and Kmart spaces are available for rent immediately, according to the Los Angeles Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Hotels Count on Road Trippers to Drive Visits “Budget hotels are holding up better than their luxury counterparts as corporate and group travel has been decimated.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Sears and Kmart Stores Are Up for Grabs across California. But Who Wants All That Space? “Beleaguered American retailers are closing thousands of stores as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.” (Los Angeles Times)
  3. The Rise and Fall of Pier 1 “Pier 1 Imports — the trendy home goods store that sold scented candles and wicker baskets to a generation of yuppies — has turned off the lights.” (CNBC)
  4. Improvement in Coronavirus Mortgage Bailout Stalls, as More Borrowers Struggle to Make Payments “After improving markedly in July, the number of borrowers struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments has essentially flatlined and now threatens to move higher.” (CNBC)
  5. Reopened Schools Find Health Risks in Water After Covid-19 Lockdowns “A number of schools found the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease in their water, and experts say more should expect to see it.” (The New York Times)
  6. Gap, Banana Republic to Close More than 225 Stores this Year “Gap and Banana Republic will close more than 225 stores worldwide this year as their parent company slims down its brick-and-mortar footprint.” (New York Post)
  7. Natural History Museum Union Files Complaint Over Coronavirus App “The app would have asked employees to report if they had a fever and any new symptoms each day. Some see it as an invasion of privacy.” (The New York Times)
  8. Two Fannie Mae Veteran Executives Take on Elevated Roles at the GSE “Fannie Mae has elevated two staples of its multifamily business—Jeff Hayward and Michele Evans.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. A Helicopter Scan for Radioactivity at SF’s Former Bases Had Limited Value. The city Relied on it Anyway “In 2012, one official hit on an idea to use a helicopter scan of the areas that would be "extremely unlikely" to reveal toxicity because it wasn't sensitive enough to do so. That scan became a tool the city used for years to calm people's fears about living amid toxic waste.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  10. UK Presses Hard to Get More Workers Back into the Office “The British government is encouraging workers to return to their offices amid concerns that the shift to working from home during the coronavirus pandemic is hurting coffee bars, restaurants and other businesses, leaving city centers virtual “ghost towns.”” (Associated Press)
  11. Banks Eye Layoffs as Short-Term Crisis Ends, Long-Term Costs Emerge “At the height of the coronavirus pandemic last spring, the heads of U.S. banks including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp and others pledged not to cut any jobs in 2020 because it was the wrong thing to do.” (Reuters)
  12. JV Sells Boston Office, Lab Complex for $330M “Newmark Knight Frank represented sellers Marcus Partners and The Davis Cos. and procured the buyer of the property, which includes the potential for additional life sciences development.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  13. Lord & Taylor: The End of an Era “In shuttering all its remaining locations, the two-century-old company joins a growing list of retailers that have had to permanently close their doors since the beginning of the pandemic.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  14. A Flood of CRE Litigation Could Be On the Way “Loans and leases can only be restructured for so long before they result in defaults and litigation.” (
  15. Rental Apartments Starts Gobbling More Market Share From Condos “Rental units accounted for 96% of multifamily construction starts during the second quarter, further taking market share from condos, according to a new report.” (
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