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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 10, 2022)

The worst apartment fire in New York City in decades left at least 19 people dead in the Bronx, including nine children. Some investors are shifting their allocations from office buildings to data centers, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Horrific fire at Bronx Mitchell-Lama shocks city “A blaze that began in a second-floor duplex in the Bronx Sunday morning sent smoke racing up the 19-story building, killing at least 19 people including nine children. It was the city’s worst fire tragedy in decades.” (The Real Deal)
  2. Property Investors Swap Office Blocks for Data Centers “Interest in data centers has been growing for years, but took a big leap forward as the pandemic pushed more daily life online. One measure is acquisitions: Global data center deals hit a record $47.1 billion in 2021, according to Synergy Research Group, more than three times 2019’s tally and up from $34.5 billion in 2020.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. Hotels Are Upping Their Room Rates, But Is It Enough To Offset Higher Costs? “Experts note that dynamic is a result of rising costs — which have prevented operators from significantly dropping rates to lure travelers — and a steadfast optimism that the leisure market would rebound beyond pre-pandemic levels.” (Bisnow)
  4. Venues Try To Attract Customers With Free On-Site COVID Tests “The logistical and financial challenges can make it a heavy lift for establishments that operate on tight margins even in the best of times. But it’s another example of the creative lengths that bar and restaurant owners have been forced to go in a desperate two years of pandemic.” (Gothamist)
  5. Panasonic to Offer Four-Day Workweek in Japan “The four-day workweek has been floated around the world in various forms from Finland to New Zealand. Sometimes, the shorter weeks just mean that employers make the four days of work longer, while maintaining something close to 40 hours. Other times the companies will actually be offering a shorter week with fewer total hours, so that people can pursue more leisure time or more education.” (Gizmodo)
  6. Biden Administration Begins to Redirect Rental Assistance “Most of the redirected money announced on Friday is being moved within the same state, rather than from one state to another. Some of it is moving from relatively large state programs to urban areas with unmet needs. Treasury officials said in November that they planned to soon begin redirecting unused rental assistance.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Goldman Sachs now thinks the Fed will hike rates four times in 2022 and start slashing its balance sheet in July “The Wall Street giant said in a Monday note it believes the Fed will start selling some of its assets as early as July. The central bank currently holds almost $9 trillion worth of bonds, mainly government ones. The rate hikes and balance-sheet reductions could prompt further volatility in stocks, by pulling down bond prices.” (Insider)
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