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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Sept. 15, 2021)

The federal government’s plan to sell surplus property has hit unexpected snags, reports The New York Times. Pimco is ramping up its investment in commercial real estate, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. A Plan to Hasten the Sale of Surplus Federal Property Gets Bogged Down “The federal government has long owned more real estate than it knows what to do with — buildings that sit empty and sites that are underdeveloped — but it must jump through hoops before it can sell its holdings. So surplus properties languish while taxpayers foot the bill for maintenance. The solution, springing from legislation passed in 2016, was an independent agency that would quickly identify underused properties and expedite their disposal. But nothing has been simple about the Public Buildings Reform Board, as the little-known agency is called.” (The New York Times)
  2. Pimco Sets Its Sights on Commercial Real Estate “Pimco, one of the world’s largest fixed-income investors, has been ramping up its commercial real-estate holdings at the same time that historically low interest rates have undercut bond returns. The firm, which is officially known as Pacific Investment Management Co. and has $2.2 trillion under management, has been seeking higher yields than those offered by investment-grade corporate bonds by buying hotels, office buildings and other property types that have lost value during the Covid-19 pandemic.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Hostels, Havens for the Thrifty, Fight to Survive the Pandemic “Hostels — the majority of which are small businesses — are built on community and camaraderie, places where people go from introducing themselves to sharing meals and beers or planning the next leg of their journeys together. They are a petri dish for friendships, but in a global pandemic, there was concern they could also be a petri dish for Covid-19. Border restrictions, lockdowns and social distancing were particularly devastating. And the challenges are not yet over.” (The New York Times)
  4. Malls Bounce Back, But Brace for a Tough Fall Season “U.S. shopping malls have enjoyed a busy summer despite the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, providing a much-needed boost to retailers and property owners. In July, mall foot traffic surpassed 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic started, according to data analytics firm Mall visits overall were up 0.7% from July 2019, led by trips to outdoor malls, which were up 2.1%.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. 5 Real Estate Issues to Watch in Dem’s $3.5T Budget “Lawmakers are hashing out a $3.5 trillion spending plan that could include billions for affordable housing and to combat exclusionary zoning.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Amazon to Open 100 More U.S. Facilities in September “The company also plans to add 125,000 people to its warehouse workforce ahead of the holidays.” (The Real Deal)
  7. More Workers Are Facing Mandatory COVID Vaccination or No Job “Some sectors have seen the number of job ads requiring vaccination rise dramatically, although again the Indeed job data show that those requiring immunization remain a small proportion of the total jobs on offer. Understandably given the front-line nature of the sectors, the percentage of job postings requiring vaccination in the personal care and home health industry rose 333% in the month to August 30 and had increased 326% in the community and social service sector, Indeed data showed.” (CNBC)
  8. Dunkin’ Opens First ‘Digital-Only’ Restaurant in Boston “A new kind of Dunkin’ has just opened in Boston. The Canton-based chain is unveiling its first-ever “digital-only” restaurant. It’s located at 22 Beacon Street, next to Boston Common. The location only takes digital orders placed in advance via the Dunkin’ mobile app or at an in-store kiosk, and makes them available for contactless pickup in a designated area.” (CBS Boston)
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