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Eight Must Reads for Real Estate Investors Today (March 20, 2023)

WeWork reached a deal to restructure its debt with SoftBank, reports The New York Times. The Real Deal explores whether Houston’s reputation as a developer-friendly and pro-business haven stands up to scrutiny. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. WeWork Reaches a Debt Restructuring Deal With SoftBank “The agreement would cancel or convert into equity about $1.5 billion of the company’s debt, reducing WeWork’s total debt to less than $2.4 billion, the company said. In addition, the company will have until 2027 to repay $1.9 billion of its remaining debt, or two years later than those debts are currently set to mature.” (The New York Times)
  2. Some Public Pension Funds Are Pulling Back on Private Equity “Those managers offered supercharged returns on portfolios of private companies that they bought, overhauled and then sold. But public funds had to lock up their money, often for more than a decade, with limited visibility and limited options in the case of losses.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Houston’s reputation as a city with no zoning isn’t what you think “Houston has built a reputation as a developer-friendly and pro-business haven, and the presence of zoning complicates that. City officials are skittish about what one called “the Z-word.” For good reason, considering zoning is explicitly prohibited by the city’s charter unless approved via referendum. Yet, developers and real estate executives take a mixed view.” (The Real Deal)
  4. REITs Address Cyber Risk as Innovation Continues to Accelerate “REITs are increasingly reliant on technologies across the spectrum of information technology (IT) and operating technology (OT) that range from cloud-based systems and the Internet of Things (IoT) to automated building management systems, workplace experience apps, and augmented reality.” (Nareit)
  5. Talent Development and the Future of the CRE Workforce “As the talent wars escalate, commercial real estate firms of all sizes and sectors are experiencing challenges in recruiting and retaining employees. The pandemic, economic uncertainty, demographic shifts and the changing nature of work have created a unique situation for employers.” (NAIOP)
  6. Steps from the Capitol, Trump allies buy up properties to build MAGA campus “The Conservative Partnership Institute, as the nonprofit is known, now controls four commercial properties along a single Pennsylvania Avenue block, three adjoining rowhouses around the corner, and a garage and carriage house in the rear alley. CPI’s aim, as expressed in its annual report, is to transform the swath of prime real estate into a campus it calls ‘Patriots’ Row.’” (The Washington Post)
  7. Nuveen launches Global Real Estate Carbon Reduction fund “Nuveen has launched the Global Real Estate Carbon Reduction strategy, an Article 9 fund aimed at lowering carbon emissions via investment in listed real estate, Investment Week can reveal. The strategy is a conversion of the asset manager's existing Global Real Estate fund, which was launched in 2018 and has around $100m assets under management.” (Investment Week)
  8. 10 US Cities With the Most Empty Office Buildings “Once bustling, the downtown areas of many major cities are now filled with empty office buildings.” (Yahoo! News)
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