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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Dec. 7, 2022)

CBL plans to bring additional entertainment centers to its regional malls, reports Commercial Property Executive. A new survey found office workers care more about good WiFi connection and flexible workspaces rather than free coffee. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Investors Yank Money from Commercial Property Funds, Pressuring Real Estate Values “Big and small investors are queuing up to pull money out of real-estate funds, the latest sign that the surge in interest rates is threatening to upend the commercial-property sector. Blackstone Inc. last week said it would limit the amount of money investors could withdraw from its $69 billion flagship real-estate fund following a surge in redemption requests. Starwood Capital Group shortly after notified investors that it was also restricting withdrawals in a $14.6 billion fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. CBL to Bring Entertainment Centers to Malls “CBL Properties is planning to add four new entertainment centers to its malls in North Dakota, North Carolina and South Carolina. In North Dakota, the firm will bring Tilt Studios to two locations, while a Stars and Strikes will open at its Coastal Grand property in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The company is also planning the addition of a Main Event location at Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, N.C.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  3. ‘Innovation Hubs’ Aim to Lift Distressed Areas. Congress Just Has to Find Them. “Included in the bipartisan industrial policy legislation that President Biden signed into law this summer was a $10 billion effort to jump-start economically sputtering regions across the country: a series of “innovation hubs” across 20 metropolitan areas. Supporters of targeted federal efforts to revitalize struggling areas are eager for the Commerce Department to start picking the sites for those hubs.” (The New York Times)
  4. Student Housing Growth Still Strong, But with Signs of Cooling “Demand has kept supporting strong student housing fundamentals in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest Yardi Matrix report. Preleasing at Yardi 200 universities concluded with a record percentage of bedrooms leased in September. Rent growth remained robust, while transaction activity remained elevated. The fall 2022 preleasing period closed with once again with a record-breaking performance.” (Multi-Housing News)
  5. FTC Asks Kroger for More Information on Albertsons Deal “Kroger Co. said Tuesday the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is seeking more information about its planned $20 billion merger with rival Albertsons ACI 0.12%increase; green up pointing triangle Cos. Inc. The grocery giant said the request was expected as regulators continue to poke around a deal that would merge two of the biggest names in the U.S. grocery industry. The request extends the 30-day waiting period, established under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, that federal antitrust regulators have to challenge a merger.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. LA County Multifamily Rent Hits Record High, But Growth Is Slowing “Los Angeles' multifamily market could be headed for a slowdown despite rising rents and low vacancy rates, a new research report indicated. The average rent in Los Angeles County increased to a record monthly high of $2,131 per unit, an NAI Capital report found. That represents a 4.7% increase over third-quarter 2021's rent, but that single-digit increase is a departure from the white-hot growth of last year.” (Bisnow)
  7. Office Workers Want Wi-Fi and Flex Space Instead of Lattes and Beer: Survey “Companies looking to bring workers back to the office need to focus on providing robust in-house technology and flexible workstations over flashy building amenities, according to a new survey commissioned by commercial real estate building software company Essensys. The London-based global tech firm, which services office buildings and flex space, surveyed 1,000 U.S. office workers in August and found that 81 percent of those questioned are frustrated with their current office experience.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. United CEO Says Business Travel Has ‘Plateaued’ But Revenue Is Still Rising “Business travel demand has ‘plateaued’ but revenue continues to rise thanks to strong demand and capacity constraints, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told CNBC on Tuesday. Major companies, many in tech, have announced plans to cut back on spending, like business travel, or even lay off workers. San Francisco is one of United’s major hubs, along with Newark, New Jersey, Houston, Washington, D.C., and its home base of Chicago.” (CNBC)
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