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UBS headquarters FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

Seven Must Reads for Real Estate Investors Today (March 21, 2023)

The Real Deal looks at the potential impact of UBS buying Credit Suisse. The New York Times examines what it calls a chaotic liquidation of Bed Bath & Beyond’s Harmon Stores division. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. UBS Buys Credit Suisse and Creates a Real Estate Giant. Does a Credit Crunch Still Loom? “UBS has bought fellow banking giant Credit Suisse in a deal that will create a bank with an $80B commercial real estate loan book and more than $100B of real estate assets under management — making it the fourth-largest CRE lender in the world — but the key element of the deal for CRE is whether it can stop liquidity drying up in the banking system.” (Bisnow)
  2. Signature Bank Raised its Crypto Exposure After Slowing Real Estate Lending “The bank had been working for years to lessen real-estate lending as a share of its total business after Signature’s exposure greatly exceeded what U.S. bank regulators recommended for managing risk. It also slowed real-estate lending after changes to New York tenant laws that made it harder for landlords to profit from deregulation. ‘We don’t want the [commercial real estate] concentration that we currently have,’ Signature’s vice chairman, John Tamberlane, said at a finance-industry conference in 2018.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. The Chaotic, Dispiriting Work of Liquidating Harmon Stores “Before the liquidation announcement, many at Harmon said they thought they would be insulated from the financial tumult. Several said their bosses had told them that Harmon was profitable. (Bed Bath & Beyond does not publicly break out sales for the chain.) Workers were being told to expect bulk deliveries of merchandise, after months of product shortages after some of Bed Bath & Beyond’s large vendors placed credit holds on the company. Some thought it was possible that Harmon might be sold, as Bed Bath & Beyond did with Cost Plus World Market in 2021. A complete shutdown did not seem likely.” (The New York Times)
  4. Lawsuit: Sterling Bay Owes Retail Tenant $515K for Early Exit “Farehouse Market retailer at 600 West Chicago Avenue is suing landlord Sterling Bay, claiming it can’t make money with so few workers returning to offices in the building.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Starbucks: Howard Schultz Steps Down; Laxman Narasimhan Takes Helm as CEO “Starbucks' (SBUX) Laxman Narasimhan is officially CEO of the Seattle-based coffee giant. On Monday, founder and interim CEO Howard Schultz stepped down for the third time, though he will continue to be a member of the Starbucks' board of directors. In September, Starbucks named Laxman Narasimhan as incoming CEO. He joined the company October 1 with plans to officially begin his role and join the Starbucks' Board of Directors on April 1, 2023, making this announcement earlier than initially planned.” (Yahoo! Finance)
  6. Snakes, Rats and Reptilian Squatters: Single Family Rental Investors Get a Rude Awakening as Landlords “Big investors bought thousands of rental homes for steady income. Maintenance — routine and weird — comes with them.” (The Insider)
  7. A Different Kind of Pipeline Project Scrambles Midwest Politics “Opponents are concerned about property rights and safety, and are not convinced of the projects’ claimed environmental benefits. They have forged unlikely alliances that have blurred the region’s political lines, uniting conservative farmers with liberal urbanites, white people with Native Americans, small-government Republicans with climate-conscious Democrats.” (The New York Times)
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