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Seven Must Reads for CRE Investors Today (March 7, 2023)

Fundrise’s CEO Ben Miller talks to The Real Deal about switching gears to the real estate debt markets. Ross Stores plans to open 100 new stores this year, reports Chain Store Age. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. How to Fill an Office Today? Waive the Rent “Rent an apartment and you can only dream of getting up to a fifth of your tenancy rent-free. This is what it can take to fill some offices today. Headline rents for good-quality offices were surprisingly stable during the pandemic. In London, rents for the best, centrally located properties are 1.3% ahead of 2019 levels, according to commercial real-estate consulting firm Carter Jonas. In New York, rents are up 5.7%, data from property-analytics company CompStak shows.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Real Estate Crowdfunder Pivots to Debt Markets as Equity REITs Flounder “Early in the pandemic, when financing was still cheap, the investment platform Fundrise was prioritizing growth. From 2020 into 2021, the firm, which offers retail investors a partial stake in its real estate funds for as little as $10, dropped $32 million on a rental development in Texas, then just shy of half a billion to build a fleet of single-family homes in the Sun Belt. But early last year as rates rose and real estate investment trusts — Fundrise’s primarily investment vehicle — struggled, CEO Ben Miller switched gears.” (The Real Deal)
  3. Scott Rechler’s RXR Has Big Plans for North Carolina “Scott Rechler has no experience in North Carolina, but that isn’t stopping the RXR CEO from betting big on the Tar Heel State. RXR purchased a 1,000-acre, mixed-use development site in Apex, North Carolina, for $91 million from Trinity Apex Investments, Bloomberg reported. In a press release, the developer said the area, between Raleigh and Durham, fits in with its strategy of investing in ‘superstar regions.’ The New York developer has a $3 billion plan for the land. RXR is partnering with the Lennar Corporation to build 1,100 single-family homes and townhouses on the site as part of the first phase of development.” (The Real Deal)
  4. Manhattan’s Iconic Flatiron Building Heading to Auction “The date has been set for an auction of Manhattan’s iconic Flatiron Building. The Fifth Avenue landmark will go under the gavel on March 22, based on an order from a New York state judge to settle a long-simmering dispute between the owners. Sorgente Group, GFP Real Estate and ABS Real Estate Partners—who together own 75% of the famous, 22-story triangular building that occupies the spot where Fifth Avenue and Broadway intersect on 23rd Street—sued in 2021 seeking a partition sale.” (
  5. Amazon to Shutter Eight Amazon-Go Stores “Amazon is reportedly scaling back its Amazon Go checkout-free convenience format. According to Geekwire, the omnichannel giant is closing down eight Amazonn Go convenience store locations as it continues to pursue cost-cutting measures in an uncertain economy. The stores said to be targeted for permanent shutdown include two stores in a high-crime area of downtown Seattle which have already been closed for a while; as well as two New York City stores and four San Francisco stores which are scheduled to close April 1, 2023.” (Chain Store Age)
  6. Ross Stores to Open 100 New Stores in 2023 “Ross Stores continues to grow both its store banners. The off-price retailer opened 11 Ross Dress for Less stores and eight DD's Discounts locations across 13 states in February and March as it expanded into existing markets including California, Texas, and Florida.  DD's growth also included the chain’s first store in the state of Wisconsin. The February and March openings are part of 100 new stores that Ross plans to open in fiscal 2023.” (Chain Store Age)
  7. Hotel-Branded Residences Thrive During Housing Market Downturn “Higher mortgage rates and recession fears have upended the high-end housing market, but buyers are still paying up for residences affiliated with luxury hotel brands. Even when there is no hotel attached. Construction of branded residences worldwide has boomed over the past dozen years. The U.S. had 38,900 branded residences across more than 200 developments at the end of last year, a 40% increase from 2010, according to real-estate firm Savills PLC.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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