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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 24, 2022)

For the second time in less than a year Blackstone and Starwood joined forces to buy a portfolio of extended stay hotels. Residential renters are increasingly forming tenant unions to negotiate with landlords, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Blackstone and Starwood’s $1.5 Billion Deal Throws Fuel on Extended Stay “Investment firm giants Blackstone and Starwood Capital are once again joining forces to take over a significant number of extended-stay hotels, budget-minded properties that appeal to a mix of road warrior travelers or people between permanent housing in need of a longer stay.” (Skift)
  2. Depreciation Man: Adam Neumann’s real estate binge to ease tax bill “Neumann’s purchase of a majority stake in a $1 billion-plus luxury rental portfolio can — with the magic of real estate tax accounting — shield a sizable portion of the former CEO’s payout. By depreciating his newly acquired holdings, Neumann could slash his taxable income by tens of millions of dollars every year for decades to come.” (The Real Deal)
  3. To Bargain With Their Landlords, Renters Form Tenant Unions “Hundreds of new tenant unions have been formed during the pandemic, estimated Katie Goldstein, director of housing campaigns for the Center for Popular Democracy. The progressive organization with 50 affiliate groups across the country is one of a handful of activist networks advising tenant unions.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Real Estate Optimistic About New York’s 421a Tax Changes “It would also evaluate cooperative and condominiums units based on income affordability rather than property assessment, require permanently affordable units in large rental projects (those with 30 units or more) — rather than for the extent of the tax breaks — and slightly raise the prevailing wage for building service workers." (Commercial Observer)
  5. Apple to Waive In-App Purchase Requirement for Online Group and Event Apps Until June “Online group and event apps for iOS won’t have to say goodbye quite yet to Apple’s pandemic-related exemptions to its in-app purchase policy. In response to surging coronavirus cases, Apple has pushed the deadline for these apps to continue using alternative payment methods until June 30, allowing them to circumvent Apple’s standard 15-30% cut of in-app purchases.” (Gizmodo)
  6. What To Expect When You're Expecting The Return of Working Moms: More Office Amenities For Women “The implementation of flexible work schedules or improved paid leave policies are among the ways companies can recruit and retain more female employees, said Yuletta Pringle, knowledge adviser for the Society of Human Resource Management. Physical amenities, such as on-site childcare or enhanced lactation facilities, may also be in higher demand as women return to the office, she added.” (Bisnow)
  7. SPACs Are Running Out of Names to List “According to 2013 research by T. Clifton Green and Russell Jame, businesses with short, easy to pronounce names perform better on the stock market. As Spencer Jakab documents in ‘Heads I Win, Tails I Win,’ many listed firms love names with the futuristic-sounding letter ‘x’ but end up doing quite badly.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  8. Some 36% of US millennials say student loan debt is stopping them owning homes “Americans owe about $1.75 trillion in student loans, according to data from the Federal Reserve. US student loan debt averaged about $28,400 in 2020, according to CollegeBoard data, but millennials averaged even more — around $38,877 — according to an Experian consumer debt study.” (Insider)
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