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Six Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 12, 2021)

Fortune looks at how the Blackstone Group built a perfect real estate portfolio to withstand a pandemic. Brookfield Asset Management will be rolling out Electric Gamebox, a multi-player video game experience, at its U.S. properties, reports Chain Store Age. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. How Blackstone Built the Perfect Pandemic Portfolio in Real Estate “On a spring day in 2019, the chief of property investments in the Americas for private equity powerhouse Blackstone was gazing down from the rooftop terrace of the 14-story, avant-garde Netflix building on L.A.’s Sunset Boulevard—the streaming giant’s creative headquarters. The jammed parking lots, the parade of technicians, writers, actors, and producers rushing from office towers to low-slung studios, all told Meghji that this buzzing epicenter for content creation exemplified one of the best real estate opportunities on the planet.” (Fortune)
  2. Brookfield Latches On to New Gaming Concept; Planning 1,000 Locations in Five Years “Electric Gamebox, a multi-player video game experience developed in the U.K., will be opening 100 locations in the U.S. in the next two years—many of them in Brookfield properties. Brookfield Asset Management participated in an $11 million Series A2 funding for Electric Gamebox, an active-experience gaming system co-founded by Will Dean and David Spindler, creators of the Tough Mudder obstacle race and Tough Mudder Bootcamp.” (Chain Store Age)
  3. Blackstone Lands $1.63B CMBS Refinance for Industrial Portfolio “Affiliates of The Blackstone Group have nabbed $1.63 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) debt to refinance an industrial portfolio, according to ratings agency analysis of the deal and sources familiar with the deal. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Bank of Montreal are lenders on the floating-rate deal.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. Real Estate Winners and Losers of New York’s 2021 Legislative Session “In New York’s legislative session this year, several real estate bills were approved while others ended up in a pile of rubble.” (The Real Deal)
  5. How to Reopen Offices Safely “By September, roughly half of Manhattan’s one million office workers are likely to return to their desks, at least part time, according to a recent survey by the Partnership for New York City. Although the risk of contracting Covid-19 has fallen significantly in the United States — especially for those who are fully vaccinated — it has not disappeared entirely, and many workers remain nervous about returning to their desks.” (The New York Times)
  6. Staying Nimble: Chipotle Prepares for Expansion with Multiple Formats “With about 200 restaurants opening per year and a push into Canada planned, Chipotle is positioning its brand for nimble growth with innovative new formats. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain has plans to grow locations with ‘Chipotlane’ drive-thrus, for example, and it is testing digital-only kitchens with no dining room or front service line. The chain is also working to improve delivery and “carside,” or curbside, service.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
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