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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Oct. 13, 2021)

Tech companies in Seattle leased more office space in 2020 than they did the previous year, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, office workers are starting to gradually come back in the rest of the country, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. As Big Tech Grows in the Pandemic, Seattle Grows with It “The pandemic was a disaster for commercial real estate markets. In the Seattle area, it was a boon. In 2020, U.S. office leasing activity fell 36 percent from the year before, according to the industry research group CBRE, as offices closed and employees were sent home to work remotely. But in the Seattle region, technology companies gobbled up more space than they had the previous year.” (The New York Times)
  2. Return of Pandemic Workers Reaches Pandemic High as Employees Trickle In “The number of workers returning to traditional office space has been edging higher since the week of Labor Day, when an average of 31% of the workforce was back in the 10 major cities monitored by Kastle Systems. The average hit 35% during the week that ended Oct. 1 and 36% during the week that ended Oct. 8, a new high during the pandemic period, said the security company that tracks access-card swipes. Office usage looks poised to push higher as more companies indicate they will be welcoming office workers back in the weeks ahead.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. CRE Loan Delinquencies Continue Steady Decline, But Winter Uncertainties Subdue the Celebration “CRE loans aren't going bad as often as last year, but delinquency rates are still high.” (Bisnow)
  4. Trump Close to a Deal to Sell Marquee Washington, D.C. Hotel “Former President Donald Trump’s family company is in advanced discussions to sell the rights to its opulent Washington, D.C., hotel in a deal worth more than $370 million, say people familiar with the matter. CGI Merchant Group, a Miami-based investment firm, is in talks to acquire the lease on the hotel, these people said. The Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., is located in the former Old Post Office, a short walk down Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House in a building featuring some of the largest guest rooms in the capital.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. Moody’s Analytics Launches Climate Scores on its Commercial Real Estate Platform “Moody’s Analytics is pleased to announce that proprietary climate risk scores are now available on its leading commercial real estate (CRE) analytics platform, REIS. Climate risk scores quantify the exposure of commercial properties and geographies to the physical impacts of climate change, providing investors, brokers, and lenders a more holistic view of risk exposure. ‘This integration marks an important step in the evolution of our property analytics platform into a full-service risk assessment proposition for the CRE industry,’ said Luis Amador, General Manager of Moody’s Analytics CRE Solutions.” (Business Wire)
  6. Facebook Outage a Wake-Up Call for Proptech “At around 11:40 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, Oct. 4, Facebook and everything it operates online, including Instagram and WhatsApp, crashed. That meant that users not only could not access the sites but couldn’t log in to any number of other apps and services using their accounts on the sites. The company blamed ‘configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers.’ Whatever the cause, the nearly seven-hour outage served as a stark reminder of why, for all its billions of users, the social media giant is something of a scary canary in the coal mine for an increasingly tech-reliant world.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. Tesla’s New Austin HQ Has San Antonio Talking “Some economic development experts believe Tesla’s move to Austin will cause more auto industry and tech-related companies to look to the Interstate 35 corridor and as far south as San Antonio as they search for a place to plant their own flag. ‘Tesla relocating its HQ to Austin puts an exclamation point on the region as a center of gravity for tech and the (electric vehicle) industry,’ said John Boyd, principal for The Boyd Co., a Florida-based corporate site-selection consulting firm.” (Austin Business Journal)
  8. Kroger Plans Northeast Entry with Next-Gen Fulfillment Centers “America’s largest grocer is entering a new market and expanding its customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) and rapid online delivery program. The Kroger Co. is continuing the momentum of its leading-edge Kroger Delivery service and automated warehouse concept known as a customer fulfillment center (CFC), with a planned debut entry into the Northeast market and expansion of CFCs in California and Florida.” (Chain Store Age)
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