11 Midweek Must Reads for Real Estate Investors Today (June 28, 2023)

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  1. Prologis Buying $1.3 Billion Industrial Property Portfolio from Blackstone “Prologis has agreed to pay Blackstone $3.1 billion for a portfolio of U.S. warehouses and distribution properties in a sign that industrial space remains one of the strongest property types in the shaky commercial property sector. The portfolio includes nearly 14 million square feet in about 70 properties in major markets including Atlanta, California, Dallas, south Florida and the Washington, D.C., and New York regions. The all-cash deal, which is one of the largest commercial real-estate transactions of 2023, is expected to close by the end of June. Prologis, a real-estate investment trust, is the world’s largest industrial property company with 1.2 billion square feet in 19 countries.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. What Is Happening in the Housing Market? “The Fed’s rate increases are aimed at slowing America’s economy — in part by restraining the housing market — to try to bring inflation under control. Those moves worked quickly at first to weaken interest-sensitive parts of the economy: Housing markets across the United States pulled back notably last year. But that cool-down seems to be cracking.” (The New York Times)
  3. Cloudy Outlook: CMBS Distress, Low Deal Volume Create CRE Pessimism “Yardi Matrix data analytics released its June 2023 report on the state of the debt market following the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council annual conference in New York City this month. Confirming analysts worst fears, Yardi Matrix found that in 2023 industry transaction activity has plummeted, the cost of fixed-rate and floating-rate debt has skyrocketed, and loan delinquencies for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) are on the rise.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. Armada Seeks Private REIT Strategies with New ETF “Just over a year after launching its first real estate investment trust (REIT) exchange-traded fund, Armada ETF Advisors has formed a new investment vehicle geared toward targeting the most successful private REITs in the public markets. The REIT-focused asset manager launched its Private Real Estate Strategy via Liquid REITs ETF (PRVT) in partnership with Tidal Financial Group. The fund, which debuted on June 12 on  Nasdaq, invests in a portfolio of publicly traded REITs that have similar exposure to some of the leading nontraded REIT funds.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. New York Landlord Vornado Bets $1 Billion That Commuters Will Return “Employees frequently cite the dreaded commute as their biggest reason for avoiding the office. But one of America’s most prominent landlords is featuring the commute as a selling point for a 9-million-square-foot real-estate project surrounding Manhattan’s Penn Station. Vornado Realty Trust is spending $1.2 billion overhauling two of its office buildings near the midtown transit hub, which serves commuters from several subway lines, Long Island, New Jersey and, starting in 2027, Westchester County, N.Y., and Connecticut.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. Hochel Shelves Vornado-Led Penn Station Megadevelopment “Gov. Kathy Hochul is “decoupling” the Penn Station redesign from plans to fund it with office towers developed by Vornado Realty Trust.” (The Real Deal)
  7. NY Passes LLC Transparency Act Aimed at ‘Unscrupulous’ CRE “A bill that requires new limited liability companies to disclose their beneficial owner, initial reporting company and tax-exempt company—information that will be shared on a public database—was passed by the NY legislature last week. The bill, which drew support from trade unions and public policy groups  and is expected to be signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, aligns New York with a tough new federal Corporate Transparency Act, adopted by Congress in 2021 to combat money laundering.” (GlobeSt.com)
  8. SL Green Sells 245 Park Ave Stake to Mori Trust at $2B Valuation “SL Green sold a 50% stake in its 245 Park Avenue office tower to Japanese firm Mori Trust in a breakthrough for the investment sales market.” (The Real Deal)
  9. Changing Weather Patterns Expected as We Enter ‘El Nino Year’ “The term El Niño has been popping up in the news and while it refers to a rather technical atmospheric circulation pattern, it has tangible impacts on the ground. Those impacts vary by geography, so it’s helpful to understand what it means for different regions and how it layers onto longer-term climate trends. The usual global ocean circulation pattern involves trade winds blowing west in the Pacific Ocean along the equator, moving warm water from South America to Asia, which is then replaced by cold water coming up from deeper in the ocean.” (Moody’s Analytics CRE)
  10. “Wolf of Airbnb” Pleads Guilty in Connection with PPP and Real Estate Fraud Scheme “Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that KONRAD BICHER pled guilty today to wire fraud in connection with his fraudulent operation of real estate companies, including by entering lease agreements for residential apartment units in Manhattan on false and fraudulent pretenses and by making false statements to obtain loans guaranteed by the United States government.” (justice.gov)
  11. Why Mark Ruffalo and Wendell Pierce Are Fighting for a Crumbling Church “For years, a conflict over whether to tear down one of New York City’s historic churches, a 19th-century Romanesque Revival building on the Upper West Side, has been cast in epic terms, as a battle between the little people and big business. In this case, however, those who see themselves as representing the little people include a growing list of New York celebrities. And big business? That would be a real estate firm working with the tiny congregation of the West Park Presbyterian Church, which says it cannot afford to fix up the deteriorating building and hopes to sell it to a developer to build new luxury apartments on the site.” (The New York Times)



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