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CBS Studio Center AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Nov. 17, 2021)

Hackman Capital and Square Mile Capital are investing more than $1.8 billion in Los Angeles’ CBS Studio Center, reports The Wall Street Journal. The real-life iterations of the much-touted hybrid office model are in many cases proving to be more frustrating for employees than either in-office or remote work, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. CBS Studio Selling for $1.8 Billion as Demand Soars for Show Business Real Estate “A venture of two real-estate firms has agreed to pay more than $1.8 billion for the historic CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles, say people familiar with the matter, the latest deal in the red-hot studio sector. Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management LLC had the winning bid, beating out about a dozen or so other parties, these people said. The price tag was also about $500 million more than what the studio was projected to fetch three months ago when it was put up for sale, according to these people.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Manhattan Mini Storage Sold to Missouri-Based Storage Company for Reported $3 Billion “Manhattan Mini Storage, the 18-location self-storage facility known for its cheeky ads, has been sold to a large international self-storage holding company based in Missouri. Parent company Edison Properties sold Manhattan Mini Storage to Storage-Mart, which calls itself the ‘largest privately-owned self-storage company in the world.’ In the summer, Edison Properties (which also has parking facility Park Fast and commercial real estate) explored a sale for Manhattan Mini Storage, reportedly eyeing around $3.1 billion for its 56,000 units, which covers 3.1 million square feet.” (Gothamist)
  3. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to Back Home Loans of Nearly $1 Million as Prices Soar “The federal government is about to back mortgages of nearly $1 million for the first time. The maximum size of home-mortgage loans eligible for backing by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to jump sharply in 2022, a reflection of the rapid appreciation in home prices nationally over the past year. The increase may make it easier and cheaper for some borrowers to buy a home, particularly in more expensive areas of the country, but the higher limits are also likely to elevate debate about how big of a mortgage is too big to be backed by the government.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. The Worst of Both Worlds: Zooming from the Office “Some companies used their tentative R.T.O. dates as an unwitting excuse to avoid questions about how to balance the needs of their remote and in-person employees, according to Edward Sullivan, an executive coach. That has resulted in a mushy middle ground: video calls where remote workers have trouble hearing, a sense that people at home are missing out on perks (teammates), while those in the office are, too (pajamas). And the stakes aren’t just who is getting talked over in meetings. It’s whether flexibility is sustainable, even with all the benefits it confers.” (The New York Times)
  5. How the Evolution of Gaming and Esports Will Impact Real Estate “The multifaceted gaming industry covers more than just your 14-year-old’s obsession with Minecraft or Fortnite. It includes game developers, esports event organizers and teams, gaming software and hardware, and broadcasting platforms. It’s raising massive sums; Series C or later-funded companies in Los Angeles alone amassed $1.43 billion in 2020 and $1 billion in 2021. Gaming has proven to be resilient, as well as recession- and pandemic-proof, and will be a major driver of entertainment and real estate.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. How the Pandemic Worsened a Housing Crisis in the Bronx “The pandemic has left millions of people across the country jobless and on the brink of losing their homes. But few places better illustrate the escalating housing crisis than the Bronx, where working-class residents have long struggled to afford the city’s rising cost of living. Before the pandemic, more than one-third of households in the Bronx spent at least half their income on rent.” (The New York Times)
  7. The Profile of Single-Family Renters and the Barriers to Homeownership That Got Them Here “In many respects, single-family renters look quite similar to homeowners, suggesting both renters and owners have similar reasons and motivations for choosing to live in single-family homes. However, the material differences between these two groups elucidate why renters have difficulty accessing homeownership. Renters tend to have credit scores far below post-recessionary mortgage standards and lower incomes than homeowners, suggesting both saving for a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage remain prohibitive barriers to ownership.” (Amherst Holdings)
  8. Red Roof Looks to Build on 2021 Momentum “From January to September 2021, Red Roof’s performance numbers were a sign of strength, according to Alex Cisneros, the company’s SVP of revenue generation. Average daily rate reached $63.92 in 2021, up 4.8 percent over 2019, while revenue per available room was $40.47, an increase of 3.8 percent over 2019. Revenue was up 13 percent over 2019, reaching $657 million through the first nine months of the year. Occupancy was the only metric that didn’t surpass 2019 levels, although it came close: the 63 percent achieved was 0.4 percent lower than in 2019.” (Hotel Management)
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