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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Nov. 22, 2021)

The Nevada Independent profiles VICI Properties, which has consolidated control of a big chunk of the Las Vegas casino hotel market. The Wall Street Journal examines how the pandemic reset the retail market, with surviving firms on stronger footing. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. How VICI Properties is quietly becoming landlord to the biggest casinos in Vegas “The company will own roughly 660 acres that house 12 of the Strip’s iconic resorts and entertainment venues, including Caesars Palace, Venetian, the under-construction MSG Sphere, MGM Grand, T-Mobile Arena and Mandalay Bay. In total, VICI Properties’ Strip holdings will cover nearly 40,000 hotel rooms and suites, some 1.2 million square feet of casino space and almost 6 million square feet of conference and convention area.” (The Nevada Independent)
  2. The Great Shopping Reset: How the Pandemic Helped Fix the Retail Industry “Profits are exceeding 2019 levels at companies ranging from Macy’s Inc. to Ralph Lauren Corp. Dozens of chains restructured through bankruptcy or worked to shed money-losing locations and now have stronger balance sheets. Even the supply-chain problems bedeviling companies have produced a silver lining: it has helped retailers break a cycle—at least temporarily—of overbuying and discounting that has eroded profits for decades, executives and analysts said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Blackstone makes sweetened $6.2 bln play for Australia's Crown “The revised offer puts Blackstone in the box seat to win control of Crown, which has faced devastating misconduct inquiries in every state it operates in, plus protracted COVID-19 lockdowns.” (Reuters)
  4. As Pandemic Evictions Rise, Spaniards Declare ‘War’ on Wall Street Landlords “When lawyers of private equity firms come with police officers to force residents from their homes, members of the group — some of them longtime housing activists — surround the building to block their entry. As residents are pushed out of apartments, the group sends squatters to occupy properties owned by the firms elsewhere in the city — sometimes breaking in to gain entry.” (The New York Times)
  5. Disney World pauses COVID-19 vaccination mandate policy for park staff “The Orlando, Florida, resort is the first and currently the only part of Disney to backtrack on the company-wide vaccination policy enacted in July. The policy made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all on-site salaried and non-union hourly employees in the US, as cases of the Delta variant began rising in the summer.” (Insider)
  6. How Companies Raise Prices Without Raising Prices “The holy grail of pricing strategy is in finding ways to circumvent this seemingly ironclad economic law, to raise prices without losing sales. That becomes even more crucial at times like now, when input costs are increasing quickly, and raising prices is necessary just to keep the business running.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Gen Z Wants Single-Family Homes. Rental Owners Are Happy To Oblige “Investors are also betting on something else: a long-term shift in demand away from apartments and toward single-family houses, especially among the generation rising after millennials. They might not be able to quickly afford to buy a house like their parents or grandparents, but data shows they want to live in one.” (Bisnow)
  8. Affordable Housing Advocates Laud Passage Of 'Historic' Social Safety Bill “Despite difficulty ahead, the vote puts some wind into the Biden administration's sails. And it was quickly applauded by groups like the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, which cited its $150B allocation to affordable housing.” (Bisnow)
  9. Starbucks Pickup and Amazon Go Collaborate to Launch New Store Concept in New York City “The store is a combination of a Starbucks Pickup and Amazon Go, utilizing the order ahead feature in the Starbucks app and Amazon Go’s Just Walk Out technology to create an easy checkout experience, alongside a modernized lounge that features individual workspaces and expanded tables with power outlets and USB ports.” (Starbucks)
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