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Six Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 19, 2021)

Google plans to spend $7 billion on office buildings and data centers this year, reports the Wall Street Journal. Not all of last year’s retail bankruptcies were caused by the pandemic, according to a Fitch report published by Chain Store Age. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Google Invests $7 Billion Across U.S. as It Bets on the Post-Pandemic Office “Google says it is doubling down on the office. The Alphabet Inc. unit said it would spend $7 billion this year expanding its footprint of offices and data centers across the U.S., including pouring $1 billion into its home state of California. It said it would hire at least 10,000 new full-time staff over the course of the year, positioning the search-engine giant for what it said it expects to be a post-pandemic recovery in the U.S.” (Wall Street Journal)
  2. The Life Science Industry’s Transformation “Innovation is key in the life science sector’s ongoing efforts to transform itself as it seeks to find new paths to operational efficiency and effectiveness and keep its long-term sustainability and resilience. Although COVID-19 bolstered the need for experimental and lab space, demand is expected to grow in the upcoming years, whether it is for coronavirus-related medicine or other drugs. ‘The dawn of a new phase of the biocentury is upon us,’ John Flavin, founder & CEO of Portal Innovations, told Commercial Property Executive.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  3. Fitch: Pandemic Did Not Drive All Retail Bankruptcies in 2020 “The COVID-19 pandemic was not the main factor behind all retail bankruptcies last year. Some 2020 retail bankruptcies were strategic as opposed to being pandemic-driven, according to a new Fitch Ratings report. Business disruptions and liquidity pressures arising from the pandemic were a material driver behind many of the bankruptcies, the report noted.” (Chain Store Age)
  4. Early Signs of an NYC Retail Return with Deal Seekers Ready to Gamble “If the brokers are right — keeping in mind their stock-in-trade is optimism — New York City could see some vacant storefronts reopened, especially for uses related to health and pets, and as hubs for home delivery. Home décor shops, which have boomed during the pandemic as people with jobs spend money fixing up their homes, are also out looking for space, brokers say.” (The City)
  5. Las Vegas, After its Latest Bust, Aims for Another Boom “Inside a strip mall here, blackjack students practiced flipping cards onto tables empty of gamblers. Nearby, a few people leaned over a craps table, the thrill of the game replaced by quiet study as the dice rolled. At CEG Dealer School, an academy for would-be casino dealers, the pipeline of workers aiming to join Las Vegas’s battered tourism economy is robust, even though the city has the highest unemployment rate of any major metro area in the U.S.” (Wall Street Journal)
  6. Dollar General Warns of Dropping Sales as Pandemic Boost Runs Out of Steam “Dollar General Corp indicated the roll out of vaccines and a reopening economy would lead to a bigger-than-expected slowdown from a pandemic-fueled rush for discounted groceries, as it forecast annual sales and profit below estimates. The company’s shares, which have gained nearly 22% over the last year, fell over 5% in early trading on Thursday.” (Reuters)
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