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westfield mall sign FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry (Feb. 19, 2021)

Retail Dive examined why Westfield is exiting the U.S. retail real estate market. Marriott posted its first annual loss since 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Why mall landlord Westfield is leaving the US “A shakeout is already underway. Newly minted URW CEO Jean-Marie Tritant on a conference call with analysts last week said that a slew of retail bankruptcies and department store closures last year spiked the vacancy rate of its U.S. fleet. It's a situation that has affected the industry more broadly, squeezing what by Green Street's estimation would have been a five- to 10-year contraction into just two.” (Retail Dive)
  2. Marriott Posts First Annual Loss Since 2009 “The world’s largest hotel operator posted a fourth-quarter loss of $164 million on Thursday, compared with a profit of $279 million a year earlier. It reported a loss of 50 cents a share, compared with a profit of 85 cents a share. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 60% to $2.17 billion, below the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. ACORE Launches $1B Hotel Rescue Capital Initiative “The hotel assets most in need of rescue capital, according to de Haan, are instances where the borrower has depleted reserves and where occupancy levels are too low to break even. This results in owners languishing under higher carrying costs for payroll, maintenance and insurance, along with the need to make mortgage payments.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. New Effort To Abolish Carried Interest Tax Break Begins In Congress “During the 2020 presidential campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden didn't emphasize doing away with carried interest, but he was known to be sympathetic to the idea, Urban Institute fellow and Director of Economic Policy Initiatives Donald Marron told Bisnow.” (Bisnow)
  5. McDonald’s sets targets to diversify its leadership, seeks gender parity by 2030 “According to the company’s 2018 data filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, women accounted for 32% of its executive or senior-level managers. About a third of people in these roles identified as Black, Hispanic or Asian, the data showed.” (CNBC)
  6. U.S. housing starts fall in January; permits soar “The housing market has outperformed other sectors of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by lower mortgages rates and demand for spacious accommodations for home offices and schooling. But expensive inputs and lack of land pose a threat to continued robust housing market gains.” (Reuters)
  7. Kroger will close more stores over hazard pay laws for workers “Critics of Kroger's decision to close stores and end hazard pay for workers say that the company has experienced surging sales and profits during the pandemic, and they should share more of the windfall with frontline workers.” (CNN Business)
  8. Is suburban retail (malls, too) primed for a comeback? “Nonetheless, remote working appears to have also accelerated the trend toward living in second-tier cities that provide a lower cost of living and similar cultural and social draws of bigger cities. Temporarily, local businesses have been the beneficiaries of money diverted from traveling and other entertainment. Mr. Simon appears to be expecting more of a bump for his suburban luxury malls rather than a surge amid many forecasts calling for continuing challenges for malls.” (Retail Wire)
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