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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 2, 2021)

Goldman Sachs gave its backing to a start-up that aims to open up the SFR market to small investors, reports The Wall Street Journal. Hilton Hotels just had its best night since the pandemic began, according to CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Business Travel Is Coming Back “Fresh signs are emerging that business travelers won’t be grounded much longer. Some companies that learned to do without travel during the coronavirus pandemic said they are ready to get back on the road instead of defaulting to virtual meetings and conferences, while others are trying to determine which business trips are still needed. Alison Taylor, chief customer officer at American Airlines Group Inc., said 47 of the airline’s 50 largest corporate accounts have said they plan to resume traveling this year.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. NY Rent Relief Program Launches, with Glitches “Landlords and tenants awaiting the launch of New York’s rent relief program Tuesday morning were met with error messages and a busy helpline. Lisa Fitzgerald, the owner of a two-family home in Albany who’s seeking $15,000 in back rent, was ready to submit her application materials at 9 a.m. when the portal, operated by the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, opened. She was prompted to set up an account, but got a 403 error message when she tried to do so.” (The Real Deal)
  3. Travel Bookings Bounce Back as Hilton Has Best Night Since Pandemic Hit, CEO Says “As people continue to get vaccinated across the U.S., travel demand is surging. Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta told CNBC on Tuesday the company notched a record-breaking number of bookings last Saturday, during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. ‘We had a blockbuster weekend,’ Nassetta said in an interview on ‘Squawk Box.’” (CNBC)
  4. PE Firm Founder Pleads Guilty to $58 Million Manhattan Real Estate Fraud “Eric Malley, the founder and former CEO of private equity investment firm MG Capital Management, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud for running a real estate investment scam that tricked 335 investors into forking over an estimated $58 million. In 2014, Malley started a real estate investment fund called MG Capital Management Residential Fund III, and three years later he launched MG Capital Management Residential Fund IV.” (Chief Investment Officer)
  5. Facebook Is Committed to its Physical Offices, Top Exec Says “As one of the most valuable companies in the world, Facebook has indisputable influence on modern workplace strategy — even before considering its animating concept is based on transferring physical life onto a digital platform. But, after a shocking work-from-home phenomenon made the world question its office space needs, one of Facebook’s top real estate executives told Commercial Observer that it has no plans to pull back on an expanding global footprint.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Amazon Dedicates Facility to Storing Emergency Supplies “Amazon is opening its first-ever Disaster Relief Hub in an effort to more quickly aid natural disaster response. The e-tail giant is operating the facility near Atlanta. Amazon selected this location because it is 310 miles from the Gulf Coast, 734 miles from the Bahamas, and within 1,535 miles of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands—areas that experience the most active hurricane season.” (Chain Store Age)
  7. Those $300 Checks Might Not Be the Only Reason Restaurant Employees Might Not Want to Go Back to Work “Plenty of the laid-off may have taken other jobs or found ways to stay in the food business that aren't as exhausting and sometimes demeaning.” (The Washington Post)
  8. Goldman Sachs Backs Single-Family Rental Fund for Small Investors “A startup that wants to open up the single-family home rental market to small investors is ramping up its home purchases, after winning the backing of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Real-estate firm Fundrise manages a fund that enables customers to invest as little as $500 in homes going up in fast-growing cities such as Charlotte, N.C., Tampa, Fla., and San Antonio. With the dearth of homes for sale throughout the U.S. pushing up housing prices, single-family rentals have become an increasingly popular alternative to buying in desirable neighborhoods.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. Kent Swig’s Cryptocurrency Venture Off to a Rocky Start “Real estate investor and Terra Holdings owner Kent Swig announced earlier this year that he would launch a form of cryptocurrency tied to gold, but a new report has raised questions about the enterprise. Swig, the co-chair of the parent company of Brown Harris Stevens, is attempting to launch a cryptocurrency known as DIGau, which will be backed by $6 billion in gold.” (The Real Deal)
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