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Eight Must Reads for CRE Investors Today (Feb. 7, 2023)

Multi-Housing News looks at whether manufactured housing remains a good investment option. A New Yorker article examines how explosive population growth in Austin, Texas has affected quality of life in the city. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Lodging Companies Step Up Efforts to Lure Competitors’ Hotels to Their Brands “Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and other big hotel companies are intensifying efforts to recruit properties from competing brands, a way to maintain growth as new hotel construction slows. Spark by Hilton is the company’s 19th brand, but it is the first one that was built to be a pure conversion vehicle with a consistent look  and design at every property. The brand is aimed primarily at bringing independent and rival properties into the Hilton system, said Matt Schuyler, chief brand officer for Hilton.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Brookfield Fund Sale Is Largest U.S. Hotel Sale in 18 Months “The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla., is a 1,000-room lush resort located on South Florida’s ocean front. Two institutional investors have announced they have purchased the complex, and although they did not reveal the price, the Wall Street Journal reported it was under contract for $835 million last week. The buyers, a joint venture between non-US offered real estate funds managed by Credit Suisse Asset Management and real estate funds managed by Trinity Fund Advisors LLC, did note, however, that the acquisition is one of the largest hotel deals in the US since August 2021.” (
  3. Are Manufactured Homes a Good Investment in 2023? “The manufactured housing industry has been on an upward trajectory in the past decade. Drawn by the strong and stable income manufactured homes communities, an increasing number of institutional investors and owner-operators have been diving into the segment. And during periods of economic uncertainty, this asset type is very resilient because it provides a much-needed affordable housing option.” (Multi-Housing News)
  4. The Influence of Policy and Politics in Real Estate Markets “When we talk about things that can have a big impact on the real estate market, politics is an important one. A friendly political climate for real estate can make a market grow while an unfriendly one can weaken a market. But what kinds of things affect a market favorably or unfavorably? Let's see some examples.” (Forbes)
  5. Warehouse Boom Transformed Inland Empire. Are Jobs Worth the Environmental Degradation? “There are 170 million square feet of warehouses planned or under construction in the Inland Empire, according to a recent report by environmental groups. And despite fears of a recession, demand hasn’t ebbed. But the rapid transformation of semirural areas into barrens of concrete tilt-up ‘logistic parks’ is encountering a backlash. Residents are questioning whether they want the region’s economy, health, traffic and general ambiance tied to a heavily polluting, low-wage industry that might one day pick up and leave as global trade routes shift.” (Los Angeles Times)
  6. Amazon Pauses Fresh Grocery Expansion as it Tinkers with Format “ Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is freezing its Amazon Fresh grocery expansion, CEO Andy Jassy said during Amazon's quarterly earnings call, during which the company reported eking out a $300 million profit in the fourth quarter but suffering its largest annual loss in its history as a public company. Amazon has been experimenting with the store format and expects to continue to work on it in the future, Jassy said, but it decided over the past year it won't open any more Fresh stores until ‘we have that equation with differentiation and economic value that we like, but we're optimistic that we're going to find that in 2023.’” (Bizwomen)
  7. The Astonishing Transformation of Austin “Austin is the fastest-growing major metro area in America, having expanded by a third in the past ten years. It is already the eleventh-largest city. New jobs mop up newcomers as fast as they arrive. Every day, the metro area adds three hundred and fifty-five new residents, while two hundred and thirty-eight Austinites depart, many of them squeezed out by high rents and property taxes, or by the disaffection so many of us feel because of the pace of change and the loss of qualities that once defined the city. Austin is now characterized by stifling traffic and unaffordable restaurants.” (The New Yorker)
  8. Cava Files Confidential IPO “Cava has confidentially filed a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock, the company announced Monday. The total number of shares and price range have yet to be determined, the company said. Cava appears to be the first major restaurant company to file an IPO in 2023. IPO activity has slowed in the segment since 2021, a year that marked five high-profile restaurant IPOs.” (Restaurant Dive)
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