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

Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and Blackstone’s non-traded REIT (BREIT) are buying data center operator QTS Realty Trust for $6.7 billion, reports The Wall Street Journal. Vox looks at whether the U.S. is experiencing a housing bubble. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Blackstone to Buy Data Center Operator QTS Realty Trust for $6.7 Billion “The investment giant’s infrastructure unit, Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, together with its nontraded real-estate investment trust, known as BREIT, have agreed to pay $78 a share for QTS, the companies plan to announce Monday. The price represents a 21% premium to QTS’s closing share price Friday and a 24% premium to the volume-weighted average over the last 90 days.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Is There a Housing Bubble? “There’s a growing sense of unease. Renters at the lower end of the market have seen their rents rise in some places even as they’re more likely to be suffering the economic harms of the last year. Would-be homeowners are furious as they lose bidding war after bidding war, looking for someone to blame as they watch their peers land a home and lock in a low mortgage rate. And homeowners are riding high for now, exhaling sighs of relief that they made it into the exclusive club and eagerly watching their wealth skyrocket, worried about what might happen to change that.” (Vox)
  3. Build-to-Rent Suburbs Are Poised to Spread Across the U.S. “Subdivisions such as Christopher Todd Communities on Happy Valley, located 30 miles outside of Phoenix, were built for renters from the start. Owner and developer Todd Wood, a former organic food mogul, started his real-estate company almost five years ago to seize on what he saw as an increasing demand for rental housing. Mr. Wood has now developed more than 2,000 rental houses around greater Phoenix.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Apple Employees Push Back Against Returning to the Office in Internal Letter “The move comes just two days after Tim Cook sent out a note to Apple employees saying they would need return to the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays starting in the fall. Most employees can work remotely twice a week. They can also be remote for up to two weeks a year, pending manager approval. It’s an easing of restrictions compared to Apple’s previous company culture, which famously discouraged employees from working from home prior to the pandemic.” (The Verge)
  5. IWG CEO: WeWork Needs ‘Miracle’ to Become Profitable, Warns of Profit Drop “During a conference call on Monday morning, Dixon responded to a question about the company’s less-than-positive outlook on IWG’s pace of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, saying he didn’t want to set a huge expectation that ‘would be difficult to achieve’ like WeWork.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. For Small Gyms, Handling the Pandemic Meant Expanding “‘Prior to the pandemic, clients had to visit a brick-and-mortar business to consume the product,’ said Julian Barnes, chief executive of Boutique Fitness Solutions, an advisory firm to small gyms and fitness studios. The new multiple-channel approach ‘means meeting your client wherever he or she is,’ he said. ‘If she wants to work out live, give her that ability to take a class live. If she wants to work out at 2 a.m., and pull up a video of her favorite class, give her the ability to do that. If she wants to work out outdoors, give her the ability for that.’” (The New York Times)
  7. A Jersey Mike’s Shop Opening in California Is Offering a Hiring Bonus of Up to $10,000, as Fast Food Chains Struggle to Bring Back Workers “The Jersey Mike's store is one of many fast food chains that is developing new incentives to lure people back to work.” (Insider)
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