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Six Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Oct. 5, 2021)

The U.S. Treasury Department plans to claw back federal assistance funds from groups that haven’t distributed enough money and redistribute them to communities in need, reports The Wall Street Journal. Pensions & Investments found real estate investment managers have rebounded strongly as the pandemic has receded. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Treasury to Begin Redistributing Rental-Assistance Money to High-Need Communities “The Treasury Department is set to soon claw back federal rental assistance from groups that haven’t acted to spend enough of the money so it can be given to other communities with greater need, according to new guidance published Monday. The rental-assistance program is overseen by the Treasury Department but relies on a patchwork of more than 450 state, county and municipal governments and charitable organizations to distribute aid. Many of those groups have struggled to launch their local programs, hire staff and craft rules for how the money should be distributed, as they faced a crush of applications.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. States and Cities Slow to Spend Federal Pandemic Money “As Congress considered a massive COVID-19 relief package earlier this year, hundreds of mayors from across the U.S. pleaded for ‘immediate action’ on billions of dollars targeted to shore up their finances and revive their communities. Now that they’ve received it, local officials are taking their time before actually spending the windfall. As of this summer, a majority of large cities and states hadn’t spent a penny from the American Rescue Plan championed by Democrats and President Joe Biden, according to an Associated Press review of the first financial reports due under the law.” (The Associated Press)
  3. Managers Rebound Strongly Following Pandemic Slump “Real estate managers are starting to slowly, cautiously invest again after a COVID-19 slowdown in activity.” (Pensions & Investments)
  4. Office Tours at Record Levels “Office tenants nationwide are touring buildings at record numbers for the pandemic, but activity is still far below where it was pre-Covid.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Jordan’s King Among Leaders Accused of Amassing Secret Property Empire “The king was accused of using shell companies registered in the Caribbean to buy 15 properties, collectively worth more than $100 million, in southeast England, Washington, D.C., and Malibu, Calif. The purchases were not illegal, but their exposure prompted accusations of double standards: The Jordanian prime minister, who was appointed by the king, announced in 2020 a crackdown on corruption that included targeting citizens who used shell companies to disguise their overseas investments.” (The New York Times)
  6. CVS Health Is About to Turn Hundreds of its Drugstores into Healthcare Super-Clinics “At the heart of the strategy: remaking hundreds of stores into outlets 100% devoted to primary care, capable of collectively serving tens of thousands of patients a day—thus breaking through one of the most stubborn bottlenecks in medicine. ‘We’ll be far more than the corner drugstore,’ says Lynch. ‘We’re pivoting to become more central to America’s health care.’ Since CVS bought insurer Aetna for $69 billion in 2018, it has been moving in this direction.” (Fortune)
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