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Six Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 18, 2022)

Apple will require all its corporate and retail staff to receive COVID-19 boosters, reports The Verge. Blackstone’s BREIT fund aimed at smaller investors has surpassed $50 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Apple will now require employees to submit proof of COVID-19 booster shot “Once an employee is eligible to get a booster shot, they will have four weeks to comply, otherwise, they will need to take frequent tests to enter a retail store, partner store, or Apple office starting on February 15th. Apple will require unvaccinated employees — or those who haven’t yet submitted proof of vaccination — to provide negative COVID-19 rapid antigen tests before entering the workplace beginning on January 24th, although it’s unclear whether this applies to both corporate and retail employees.” (The Verge)
  2. Blackstone Property Fund Targeting Small Investors Passes $50 Billion “BREIT has lured investors partly by paying them an annual yield of 4% to 5%, far more than corporate and government bonds in recent years. Also, BREIT has loaded up on properties that have enjoyed rising values in recent years, such as warehouses and rental apartments, even as the pandemic has raged.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. NYU Schack Institute Dean Sam Chandan stepping down to join Stern “Chandan is joining the faculty of NYU Stern School of Business to head the school’s real estate programs. He will start next week. As the dean of the program, Chandan held one of New York’s most prominent positions in real estate academia and worked directly with New York real estate’s most notable figures, including Schack Institute founder Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties and Newmark president of investor services Jimmy Kuhn, Schack’s advisory board chairman.” (The Real Deal)
  4. When It Comes to Living With Covid, Businesses Are on Their Own “Business leaders must decide whether and how to use tools such as their own vaccine mandates, masking, distancing, and testing at their offices and other work sites. And more fundamentally, they must decide what kind of company they want to run: one that manages cases or one that manages risk.” (The New York Times)
  5. Despite work-from-home worries, Manhattan office real estate is doing just fine “It’s time to look beyond the end-of-days forecasts and focus on a counterintuitive truth. Despite some 7.4% space reductions since March 2020 — peanuts compared with prognostications of up to 25% — the Big Apple companies that use the most office space are taking not less but more of it, as I’ll enumerate below.” (New York Post)
  6. Google Spends Billions On Buying Office Buildings: Is This A Sign Of The Post-Pandemic Pushback Against Remote Work? “It's not just Google that’s buying or building real estate, while others are shedding their holdings. Amazon embarked on a massive $2.5 billion mixed-use office and retail complex in Northern Virginia, which could house about 25,000 employees. The second headquarters, after Seattle, will include three 22-story office and retail buildings. An outdoors theme will include woodlands, an amphitheater, walking paths, extensive bike parking and a dog run.” (Forbes)
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