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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 14, 2022)

Several stories assess the bumpy ride taking place as more companies navigate back-to-work pushes and hybrid work models. Google announced it will invest $9.5 billion in U.S. offices and data centers. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Google to Invest $9.5 Billion in U.S. Offices, Data Centers “Alphabet Google said Wednesday that the investment in more than a dozen states will create at least 12,000 new full-time jobs by the end of the year. The search-engine giant plans to open a new office in Atlanta, boost its presence in New York, build out its campus in Boulder, Colo., and invest in data centers across the country, it said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Welcome Back to the Office. Isn’t This Fun? “Now, after two years of video meetings and Slack chats, many companies are eager to get employees back to their desks. The employees, however, may be not be so eager for a return to morning commutes, communal bathrooms and daytime outfits that are not athletic wear.” (The New York Times)
  3. The 9-to-5 as we know it is over, Microsoft CEO says. That’s not a good thing “In an attempt to improve its Teams software to better meet users’ needs, Microsoft researched how often workers log on by tracking their keyboard activity. During a standard workday, productivity typically peaks in the hours before and after lunch. But during the pandemic, researchers found, one in three white-collar workers started hitting a ‘third peak’ of productivity in the late evening hours, between 6 and 10 p.m.” (Fortune)
  4. Hines Made Its Name As An American Office Giant. Now It Wants To Be Much More “Hines has built nonoffice property almost from its inception when the company, then led by founder Gerald D. Hines, developed a landmark mall, the Houston Galleria. But the company had focused on splashy office skyscrapers with superstar architects until the coronavirus pandemic forced a repositioning.” (Bisnow)
  5. How Google plans to use 100% carbon-free energy in its data centers by 2030 “One measurement Google focuses on is PUE, or power usage effectiveness, which is the ratio of how much energy is used by the computer data center divided by the total energy used by the computing equipment.” (CNBC)
  6. Saks owner takes majority stake in flex office company Convene “With the investment from HBC and Ares, Convene’s future expansion will focus on locations in key urban and suburban markets. Convene said it combines design, technology, and hospitality to deliver elevated meeting and event spaces that enable business productivity and collaboration.” (Chain Store Age)
  7. Office Fit-Out Costs on the Rise Globally “For the foreseeable future, the cost increases in the office market are not enough to serve as any sort of a major deterrent in the sector, according to Savills. As noted in the SPOC report, in prime CBDs across the globe, a premier office environment is one of the top enticements employers utilize to attract and retain new talent.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. 'Slow-Moving Train Wreck’: Getting Back To The Office Isn’t Going How You Think It Is “As the purpose of in-person office work continues to be questioned, the seesawing debate and angst over coming back are causing challenges for occupier services — a backbone of commercial real estate that provides office spaces with tenant management, tech services, and generally, keeps the offices running.” (Bisnow)
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