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COVID-19 shopping mall FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 5, 2022)

The Economist looks at how people have responded to the Omicron variant when it comes to going to offices, shops and recreation facilities. Hines is going to develop its first BTR community, reports Multi-Housing News. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. As Omicron Bears Down on Retailers, Landlords Get Creative to Fill Space “By the third quarter of 2021, the storefront scene was recovering in many parts of the county. Thanks to vaccinations, the return of international travelers and pent-up consumer demand, shoppers were flocking to malls and downtown districts and prospective tenants were signing leases. Asking rents, which had plunged in 2020, were leveling out and even rising in some places. But the Omicron variant of the coronavirus may throw a wrench in the recovery, and landlords may need to extend temporary measures to fill empty spaces.” (The New York Times)
  2. What Real Time Indicators Suggest About Omicron’s Economic Impact “Consider first people’s willingness to go out and about. A mobility index using real-time data from Google and constructed by The Economist includes visits to workplaces, retail and recreation sites, and transport hubs. This measure has been reasonably stable in America, albeit at levels below pre-pandemic norms, and has fallen a little in Britain and Germany in recent days. But underlying those headline figures are bigger differences depending on the kind of activity.” (The Economist)
  3. Retirement Communities Lose Residents, Attract Muni Investors “Investors are snapping up municipal debt sold by senior-living facilities despite record default rates, pandemic-related revenue losses and costly labor shortages. Covid-19’s rapid spread through eldercare facilities, along with the pandemic’s lockdowns, deterred many older Americans from moving into senior communities. Nearly 8% of the $41 billion in outstanding senior-living bonds are in default as of December, according to Municipal Market Analytics, the most since tracking began in 2009. The sector now accounts for almost one-quarter of defaulted debt in the muni market, not including bonds caught up in Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy. Yet investors remain bullish.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Hines to Develop its First BTR Community in Arizona “Hines is entering the build-for-rent sector with its first project in Surprise, Ariz. The company, alongside its joint venture partner New York Life Insurance Co., will develop Enclave Point, a 160-unit community. Hines will start construction on the build-for-rent project in the fourth quarter of 2022, aiming to complete the community in 2024. Enclave Point is being built on a 12.9-acre site and will offer modern wood-frame apartment-style homes.” (Multi-Housing News)
  5. CBRE to Buy Hillwood Investment’s $4.9B Industrial Portfolio “CBRE has agreed to pay Hillwood Investment $4.9 billion for an industrial portfolio of warehouse, distribution and logistics centers.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Sticker Shock Coming for Renters Receiving Concessions “The multifamily sector has experienced the effects of an increase in pent-up demand this past year, resulting in higher-than-average asking rents as well as concessions, depending on the type of apartment and its location. Class A concessions peaked in March at 9.9% and have been falling since, but they remain elevated at 9.2% as of October due to competing new supply entering many local submarkets.” (
  7. WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann Is Becoming an Apartment Mogul “Adam Neumann, who built office co-working giant WeWork before resigning as chief executive when his fortunes soured, has a new business venture under way: apartment landlord. Entities tied to Mr. Neumann have been quietly acquiring majority stakes in more than 4,000 apartments valued at more than $1 billion in Miami, Atlanta, Nashville, Tenn., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and other U.S. cities, according to court, property and corporate records and people familiar with the transactions. Many of these investments occurred within the past year.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  8. New York Launches NYC Hotel Week Promotion “NYC & Company said some 110 New York hotels are offering a 22% discount on standard room rates. Participating hotels include The Beekman, Lotte New York Palace, The Pierre, The Langham, the Opera House Hotel in the Bronx, the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island; the Rockaway Hotel in Queens and the William Vale in Brooklyn. The promotion will run through Feb. 13.” (Travel Weekly)
  9. Future of Work: Computer Vision and Machine Learning Could Soon Bolster Restaurant Jobs “Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol expects the restaurant industry to adopt more emerging technologies to deal with challenges like supply chain snags, worker turnover and inefficiency.” (The Washington Post)
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