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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Dec. 8, 2021)

John Paulson is testing the market for the sale of Puerto Rico hotels, reports The Wall Street Journal. ProPublica looks at the real estate tycoons who have avoided paying taxes. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Black Developer Aims to Build New York’s Tallest Skyscraper “An architecturally ambitious skyscraper proposed for Manhattan’s West Side would be by one measure the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, and a property its Black developer hopes would be symbolic. The project known as Affirmation Tower is a 2 million square-foot, $3.5 billion development planned for a 1.2-acre plot of state-owned land facing the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. It is one of a number of proposals that New York state’s Empire State Development Corporation is considering for the site.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. John Paulson Looks to Sell into Puerto Rico’s Hotel Boom “Some of Puerto Rico’s most prominent hotels are going on the market as owners look to cash in on the island’s strong tourism and real-estate market boosted by the pandemic. Hedge-fund manager and real estate owner John Paulson, who has invested heavily in Puerto Rico in recent years, is testing the market for the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel and La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort through real-estate firm JLL, according to people familiar with the matter.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. These Real Estate and Oil Tycoons Avoided Paying Taxes for Years “Here’s a tale of two Stephen Rosses. Real life Stephen Ross, who founded Related Companies, a global firm best known for developing the Time Warner Center and Hudson Yards in Manhattan, was a massive winner between 2008 and 2017. He became the second-wealthiest real estate titan in America, almost doubling his net worth over those years, according to Forbes Magazine’s annual list, by adding $3 billion to his fortune. His assets included a penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park and the Miami Dolphins football team. Then there’s the other Stephen Ross, the big loser. That’s the one depicted on his tax returns.” (ProPublica)
  4. The Mighty Retailer vs. The Supply Chain Giants “Economists suggest the supply chain logjam will continue to affect businesses into the first half of 2022. Speculation over lack of inventory was a hot topic during the summer months, and now that year-end holiday shopping is underway, the pressure of supply chain performance is even more prevalent – especially as Americans may spend an average of $866 on holiday gifts this year. In the U.S., the distribution and delivery of merchandise sitting in off-shore containers hit a record-breaking delay in the last month.” (Colliers International)
  5. Cordish to Sell Live Casino & Hotel, Two Other Casinos for $1.81B “The deal sets up a unique leasing and operating agreement where Cordish will lease back all the properties and continue to own, control and manage the gaming operations.” (Baltimore Business Journal)
  6. Manhattan Office Market Appears to Round a Corner in COVID Recovery “Commercial leasing volume by square footage in Midtown South was 109 percent above its five-year monthly average in October, according to brokerage CBRE. Pending anything unexpected from the coronavirus’ omicron variant, observers said it was safe to say the neighborhood had commenced a solid recovery from the depths of the pandemic.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. After Two Years Off, ICSC’s Vegas Event Hits Different “The eve of ICSC’s conference in Las Vegas is traditionally a last bastion of hedonism for real estate bros. Music, liquor and cigar smoke flow through the Wynn hotel’s ‘European Pool,’ where retail giants like Winick Realty Group host cabanas — and where bathing suit tops are famously optional. This year, things are different. The Wynn’s pools were quiet and mostly empty on a picturesque, 70-degree Sunday. New York-based debt brokerage, investment, and retail leasing firm Meridian Capital Group was the lone group to rent a cabana.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Fleet Street a Distant Memory as Newspapers Continue to Slash Office Space “Daily Mail owner is cutting the amount of space it leases by a third.” (Bisnow)
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