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Seven Must Read for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 25, 2022)

In spite of still recovering from the pandemic, the New York hotel sector will add thousands of new hotel rooms to its inventory in 2022, reports The Wall Street Journal. Fund managers from around the globe are betting on bonds issued by struggling Chinese property developers, according to WTVB. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. New York’s Beleaguered Hotel Industry Braces for Even More Hotels “New York City hotels are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic, but that hasn’t slowed the flow of new properties expected to open this year and in the years to come. Fifty-three hotels are scheduled to add an estimated 9,000 rooms to the New York City market in 2022, according to September figures from research firm Lodging Econometrics. That puts the city on track for the nation’s second-highest growth rate, just behind Austin, Texas, for hotel rooms added among the 50 biggest markets.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. National Restaurant Association Asks Congress for More Grant Money as Omicron Hits Industry “The National Restaurant Association is asking Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as the omicron variant hits operators’ businesses. Last year, lawmakers created the $28.6 billion fund to aid bars and restaurants struggling in the wake of the pandemic. The grants were designed to make up for a restaurant’s full pandemic losses of up to $5 million for a single location or $10 million for a business with fewer than 20 locations.” (CNBC)
  3. Funds See Promise in Battered Chinese Real Estate Dollar Bonds “Beaten-down dollar bonds issued by Chinese property developers are enticing domestic and global fund managers, some of whom are even planning to launch new funds targeting bargains as Beijing relents in its concerted drive to clean up the sector. Jupai Holdings Ltd, a Chinese wealth manager, plans to start a fund to bet on such offshore Chinese property bonds. ‘I think roughly half of the developers’ dollar bonds were slaughtered by mistake,’ Jupai Chairman Jianda Ni said. ‘We will spot value in what others dumped as trash.’” (WTVB)
  4. Real Estate Is Emerging as a Hedge Against Roaring Inflation “Surging markets spurred a buying frenzy for everything from stocks and cryptocurrencies to new homes over the last two years. Now, with inflation at a nearly 40-year high and at least three priced-in rate hikes, the hunt for investing safe havens is on. Real estate is considered one approach to hedge against inflation, given the asset class usually has little correlation with stocks and bonds. So naturally, investor interest is soaring — even against the backdrop of a super hot real estate market, a low supply of houses and mortgage rates threatening to creep up.” (Advisor Perspectives)
  5. A Fight Over Rooftop Solar Threatens California’s Climate Goals “California has led the nation in setting ambitious climate change goals and policies. But the state’s progress is threatened by a nasty fight between rival camps in the energy industry that both consider themselves proponents of renewable energy. The dispute is about who will get to build the green energy economy — utilities or smaller companies that install solar panels and batteries at homes — and reap billions of dollars in profits from those investments. At stake is whether the state can reach its goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045.” (The New York Times)
  6. The Human Cost of Family Dollar’s Low Prices: Workers Describe 80-Hour Weeks, Sleeping in Chairs, and Snakes in the Stockroom “Family Dollar workers said they put in 80-hour weeks, slept in chairs, and found snakes in stockrooms. Their complaints have been secret until now.” (Business Insider)
  7. Kohl’s Receives an Unsolicited Buyout Bid, Others May Follow “Kohl’s has received an unsolicited acquisition offer of $9 billion from a group led by an activist hedge fund, according to a Wall Street Journal report. There is a high likelihood that news of this bid will lead others to place offers on the table, and Reuters reports that a private equity firm is in the process of doing just that. The Journal reported that Acacia Research Group, part of Starboard Value, is leading a consortium that has offered around $9 billion to acquire Kohl’s. The offer of $64 a share represents a 37 percent premium to Kohl’s closing price of $46.84 on Friday.” (Retail Wire)
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