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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Feb. 23, 2022)

All indications are technology firms believe offices will be making a comeback, reports The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal looks at whether commercial real estate investment always protects against inflation. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Big Tech Makes a Big Bet: Offices Are Still the Future “Arizonans are about to have new next-door neighbors. And they include some of the technology industry’s biggest names. DoorDash, the food delivery company, moved into a new building on the edge of a Tempe reservoir in the summer of 2020. Robinhood, the financial trading platform, rented out a floor in an office nearby. On a February morning, construction workers were putting the finishing touches on a 17-story Tempe office building expected to add 550 Amazon workers to the 5,000 already in the area.” (The New York Times)
  2. Commercial Real Estate Is Seen as an Inflation Hedge, But That Isn’t Always the Case “Investors purchased a record amount of commercial property and bet big on real-estate stocks last year, viewing the sector as a hedge against inflation. Now, with inflation running its hottest in four decades, some investors are starting to question the strength of real estate’s defenses against higher prices. Commercial properties have long been viewed as inflation protection because owners of many property types can raise rents to stay ahead of price increases.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. JLL Buys Gilliland Construction “JLL continues to grow its capabilities in Southern California. After launching a life science property management division last month, it has now expanded its Southwest Project and Development Services unit with the acquisition of construction management firm Gilliland Construction Management, based in San Diego. Gilliland Construction comprises eight people, working in San Diego for Southern California clients.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  4. America Is About to Go on Vacation “Now that the latest pandemic wave is waning, travelers are optimistic yet again. Hospitality and travel professionals said they've seen an upswing in demand as Americans plan spring and summer getaways, reported The Washington Post's Abba Bhattarai. She called it ‘revenge travel,’ in which Americans are taking advantage of a pandemic lull in the event another variant emerges. But the travel industry may be ill-prepared for the influx of travelers thanks to a mass labor shortage.” (Insider)
  5. Push to Relax Marijuana Laws Hits Roadblocks “Facing a tough midterm election and divisions in Congress, the Biden administration is sidestepping the politically sensitive issue of loosening marijuana laws even as the idea has gained support of most Americans. More than half of U.S. states have legalized cannabis use for some purposes. Lawmakers have proposed decriminalizing marijuana, which would entail reduced penalties for users, and have pushed for giving the industry access to banking services.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. Here's Why Macy’s Isn’t Splitting its Online Business from its Stores “During a call with analysts, Macy’s Chief Executive Jeff Gennette explained that the department store chain had been working closely with advisors to consider a number of scenarios, including Macy’s separating its website from its stores. The conclusion of the review process, he said, was that Macy’s is already on the right track with its turnaround plans and will accelerate those plans even more so in the coming months.” (CNBC)
  7. Those Promises of 15-Minute Grocery Delivery Could Be Illegal Under New Bill “NYC legislators are cracking down on the 15-minute grocery delivery services popping up all over the city. The New York Post reports that councilmember Christopher Marte, who represents downtown Manhattan neighborhoods including the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and the Financial District, has proposed a bill that would ban the delivery apps from advertising 15-minute delivery times due to worker and pedestrian safety concerns. The bill is part of a larger package of legislation, to be introduced in the coming weeks, in an attempt to further regulate the delivery services and add “more oversight and accountability,” Marte tells the Post.” (New York Eater)
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