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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Feb. 8, 2021)

Wired takes a close look at how the warehouses at the center of the reverse logistics chain function. Bisnow profiles a fund looking to help real estate owners capitalize on cutting carbon emissions. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Inside the warehouses where dud Amazon orders go to be reborn “Amazon’s plan to avoid clogging up its warehouse space with returns is simple. Liquidation websites either purchase pallets of returns from retailers like Amazon, or are contracted by Amazon to get rid of the returned stock via their marketplace websites. It’s supposedly cheaper for Amazon to shift already opened, potentially broken items to somebody else than to inspect, repackage and re-list the items itself.” (Wired)
  2. Fifth Wall Aims To Cut Real Estate’s Carbon Output By Backing The Boring Stuff That Makes Landlords Money “In the real estate world, cutting carbon emissions and making money are often presented as an either/or choice: You can do one or the other, but not both. But a new fund being raised by the world’s biggest proptech venture capital firm aims to do both and more — to cut carbon emissions and allow building owners to make a profit while doing so, so they get on board whether they care about the environment or not.” (Bisnow)
  3. Restaurant Jobs Took Another Hit in January as U.S. Economy Inched Forward “January was yet another month that told a familiar story for folks working in hospitality: The larger economy gained jobs while the struggling restaurant industry did the opposite. More specifically, as U.S. employers added a paltry 49,000 people to their payrolls, COVID-19-ravaged bars and restaurants lost 19,400 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, a small and perhaps even encouraging decline compared to last month’s drop of over 400,000.” (Eater)
  4. How the Pandemic Left the $25 Billion Hudson Yards Eerily Deserted “Even more perilous, the promised second phase of Hudson Yards — eight additional buildings, including a school, more luxury condos and office space — appears on indefinite hold as the developer, the Related Companies, seeks federal financing for a nearly 10-acre platform on which it will be built. Related, which had said the entire project would be finished in 2024, no longer offers an estimated completion date. (The New York Times)
  5. The Real Estate Roundtable Partners With REEC to Improve Diversity and Address Racial Disparities in Commercial Real Estate “The Real Estate Roundtable is a Founding Partner of a national program unveiled Feb. 3 by the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC) – the trade association for CRE professionals of color – that will seek to improve diversity, racial equality and inclusivity across the commercial real estate industry with a wide spectrum of partner companies and organizations.” (Real Estate Roundtable)
  6. NYC’s Small Landlords of Color Among Those Battling for Survival Amid Rent Moratorium “While the plight of New Yorkers who have lost their jobs and have been unable to pay the rent has been in the spotlight of coverage of how the pandemic has upended the New York City economy, less attention has been given to the plight of small landlords, many of them people of color.” (The City)
  7. What It Means To Be A Socially Responsible Real Estate Investment Manager “This will become increasingly important as regulatory bodies and institutional investors sharpen their focus on social issues. For example, the European Commission formed a working group to explore the creation of a social taxonomy that will provide guidance on what it means to be socially sustainable. And GRESB, the global ESG benchmark for real assets, has integrated health and well-being indicators into its assessments.” (Forbes Real Estate Council)
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