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Nine Must Reads for CRE Investors Today (Jan. 25, 2023)

Propmodo draws attention to growing withdrawal requests from open-end diversified core equity funds. Dollar General to start operating mobile health clinics, reports Chain Store Age. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Have Real Estate Values Reached a Tipping Point? “The speed at which the rate environment has inverted has positioned them for a potentially dramatic fall in Q4 2022 appraisals.” (PERE News)
  2. Surge in ODCE Fund Withdrawals Is Another Worrying Sign for Commercial Real Estate “Signs of stress are flashing everywhere in the commercial real estate market. A recent one is a group of property funds for institutional investors that ended 2022 with $20 billion in withdrawal requests, according to IDR Investment Management, which tracks open-end diversified core equity funds. That amount is the largest since the financial crisis of the late 2000s, showing how some of U.S. commercial real estate’s most prominent investors are lowering their exposures before an expected further slide in property values.” (Propmodo)
  3. Washington, D.C. Office Market Feeling Ill Effects of Remote Work “The federal government’s easygoing return-to-office policy is enabling the majority of employees of Washington, D.C.’s biggest employer to work remotely most of the time and hurting the city’s office market, real-estate executives say. Many big-city mayors have been requiring city workers back in the office for the bulk of the workweek and urging companies to do the same. But return-to-work directives for the country’s more than four million federal workers have been relatively muted, in part because the government says it sees allowing for remote work as a competitive advantage for retaining workers.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Twitter Headquarters Landlord Sues Elon Musk’s Company, Alleging Unpaid Rent “Twitter Inc. is being sued over allegedly unpaid rent at its headquarters building in San Francisco, adding to legal battles between the social-media company and vendors since Elon Musk acquired the business last year. The landlord, SRI Nine Market Square LLC, alleged in a lawsuit that Twitter failed to make a roughly $3.4 million rent payment for December and a similarly sized payment for January. In the complaint filed Friday in San Francisco Superior Court, the landlord said it drew on Twitter’s letter of credit to try to cover the missed payments, but that the company still owes $3.16 million.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. Owners of Vacated CA Technologies Campus Scored Big Bargain “The sale price of a Long Island property is grim reminder of the sagging commercial real estate market, particularly for office campuses designed with one company in mind. A group of investors and developers purchased CA Technologies’ former office park at 1 Computer Associates Plaza in Islandia for $24.1 million, Newsday reported. The transaction took place in October 2021, but the price had not been previously reported.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Landlords, Tenants Look for Flexible Leases and Pandemic Protections “When New York City caught a cold, all of Gotham’s lease negotiations got sick. In 2020, the pandemic threw the legal world for a loop when both commercial landlords and tenants suddenly started banging on their lawyers’ doors to find out what rights they had to skip rent or to demand it — or to break a lease entirely.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. Lego to Relocate Americas Headquarters to Boston “The Lego Group plans to move its Americas headquarters from Connecticut to downtown Boston. The move will happen in phases from mid-2025 through the end of 2026, the toymaker said in an announcement Tuesday. It will move employees from two sites: its existing Americas headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut, and the Lego Education office in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.” (Bisnow)
  8. They Poured Their Savings into Homes That Were Never Built “To Tang Chao, the apartment in northeast China was where he and his wife were going to start a new life together. They put down tens of thousands of dollars for it. But months past its scheduled completion, a concrete shell with wiring protruding from the walls and piles of dirt on the floor was all there was to show for the expense. Soon, even their marriage unraveled.” (The New York Times)
  9. Dollar General Partners to Open Mobile Health Clinics “Dollar General is the latest retailer to expand into health care clinic services. The discounter is partnering with DocGo Inc., a provider of mobile health and transportation services, to pilot mobile health clinics. The clinics are located in vans that are set up in the parking lots of three Dollar General stores in Tennessee, with two in Clarksville and one in Cumberland Furnace. Although appointments are recommended, visits are also available for walk-ins.” (Chain Store Age)
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