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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 30, 2022)

Some real estate investors see an opportunity in buying up buildings occupies by small businesses, such as corner grocery stores, reports The Wall Street Journal. Axios examines growing signs of stress in the office sector. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Property Investors Target Small Businesses as Market Heats Up “Some real-estate investors looking for the next big thing are turning to small businesses. A new breed of property firms is buying up buildings occupied by gas stations, doctors’ offices and corner grocery stores. They see an opening because big asset managers typically avoid these properties, which they consider risky. Withco, a New York-based landlord that signs rent-to-own deals with small businesses, recently raised $30 million in venture funding from backers including Founders Fund, Canaan Partners, Lennar Corp. , actor Will Smith and athletes Venus Williams and Kevin Durant.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Signs of Stress Deepen in the Office Real Estate Market “More than two years after COVID-19 upended the world of work, signs of a slow-motion crackup in office real estate are emerging. Why it matters: Fresh commercial real estate data suggest that working from home (WFH) is becoming a permanent feature of the American economy, a development that has major implications for everything from housing prices to transportation policy to municipal finance. State of play: Vacancy rates continue to climb in major markets across the country, and signs of distress in loans backed by office buildings appear to be growing.” (Axios)
  3. Grocery-Anchored Center Operator Makes a Grand Entrance on the West Coast “Edens, a neighborhood center owner whose 91 properties cling to the East Coast and hit Texas and Colorado, has established an important presence on the West Coast. ‘Our West Coast expansion is a pivotal milestone for us and the next step toward building a pipeline of future opportunities,’ said Jami Passer, CIO of Edens. The acquisitions include Alamo Shopping Plaza, Village Oaks, and Gilman District in San Francisco; Westgate North and Lakeland Town Center in Seattle; Bonita Center in San Diego; Rocklin Commons in Sacramento, and Callens Corner in Los Angeles.” (Chain Store Age)
  4. Prehistoric Human Remains Found at Miami Luxury Condo Site “Archaeologists have discovered prehistoric human remains, ceremonial artifacts and possibly the footprint of an ancient dwelling on the site of a planned 75-story residential condo tower in Miami, raising questions about whether the luxury project may face delays and modifications. Related Group, one of South Florida’s largest developers, bought the 4-acre parcel in 2013 for $104 million and joined with SH Hotels & Resorts to develop a Baccarat-branded luxury tower there.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. FBI to Relaunch Search for New Headquarters in D.C. Suburbs “The move will once again renew the focus on Greenbelt, Landover and Springfield, three potential sites the federal government first proposed in 2016.” (Bisnow)
  6. Trump DC Sale Gets Federal Approval “The sale of the Trump International Hotel lease to CGI Merchant Group is slated to close six months after it was reported in contract.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Data in Office Buildings: Who Owns It? “Ever since the advent of personal computers more than 40 years ago, there has been a concern that every keystroke and every move of a mouse or a cursor might be recorded somewhere for some technology firm to learn more about you than you might want them to know. Even now there are concerns over spooky emails you might receive from some strange firm that somehow knows it’s your birthday, or that you spent a little time online looking for refrigerators.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Investors Beware: Tax-Free Does Not Always Mean Tax-Free “For private investors, there is a certain allure, and an apparent financial benefit, to investing in properties located in tax-free states. If the property happens to be a net-leased asset, the benefit clearly would seem to magnify. But peeking behind the curtain of assets advertised as tax-free can reveal a very different scenario. There are nine states that are tax-free, specifically: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington State and Wyoming.” (
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