- Investors Check Back into Hotel Market as Travel Picks Up “Hotels were hit harder than any other type of real estate during the early months of the pandemic. Now, investors seemingly can’t get enough of them. More than $12.5 billion worth of hotels were sold in the first three months of 2022, according to CoStar Group, the highest first-quarter figure since 2016. The prices of hotels for sale are surging and the share of delinquent hotel mortgages recently fell to a new pandemic low. Many investors, flush with cash but struggling to find things to buy, consider hotels less overpriced than stocks or bonds.” (The Wall Street Journal)
- With Inflation, Workers Are Facing Return-to-Office Sticker Shock “Employers’ plans to return to the office, already strained by concerns about the spread of the coronavirus and the demands of an emboldened work force, are now colliding with the pressures of inflation. The cost of a daily routine — travel, coffee, food — is far pricier than it was when offices shut down two years ago. Consumer prices were 8.5 percent higher last month than they were a year earlier, the fastest 12-month inflation rate since 1981. While office occupancy has crept up to its highest level since March 2020, above 40 percent, some workers have experienced R.T.O. sticker shock.” (The New York Times)
- Developers Rush to Buy Out Owners in Aging Miami Buildings After Area Condo Collapse “Miami developers are scrambling to acquire aging waterfront condominium buildings, demolish them and build luxury residential towers in their place, a strategy that has been gaining attention since a 12-story building in Surfside partially collapsed last summer, killing 98 people. Owners of at least eight waterfront condo buildings in the Miami area are in sales discussions with Related Group, Starwood Capital Group or other developers, according to real-estate brokers, developers and owners.” (The Wall Street Journal)
- Infrastructure Projects Spur Eminent Doman Filings to Seize CRE “Legal experts are warning CRE property owners they need to prepare for an onslaught of eminent domain land seizures by government entities initiating projects funded by the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Biden in November. ‘The (Infrastructure) Act will undoubtedly lead to a significant increase in eminent domain activity to acquire the property rights necessary to implement new infrastructure projects.’” (GlobeSt.com)
- 17 Power Players Building Blackstone’s $280 Billion Real Estate Empire “They generate record earnings for the private-equity giant by investing in warehouses in Europe, apartments in Florida, and everything in between.” (Insider)
- Rent Increases Threaten Sunbelt Affordability as Inflation Rises “Continuously strengthening in-migration patterns across the Sun Belt are raising affordability concerns in the market, which has seen explosive population and rent growth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Average rents ticked up 16.8% across all property sizes in the region year-over-year in January, according to a Chandan Economics analysis of properties managed by independent landlords and using data from RentRedi.” (GlobeSt.com)
- Walmart Canada Opens Sustainable—and Vertical—Distribution Center “Walmart Canada unveiled its most advanced distribution center to date, one with leading-edge technology features and a focus on sustainability. Located in Surrey, British Columbia, the 300,000-sq.-ft., $175 million facility was built vertically, optimizing the land use with racking up to 66 feet. It uses about half of the land mass that would be required for a traditional equivalent facility, directly reducing its overall carbon footprint.” (Chain Store Age)
- Lululemon Will Debut Monthly Memberships for Clothes, Events and Classes in a Bid for Loyal Customers “Lululemon is launching a membership program — and it’s about more than workout clothes. The athletic apparel retailer will debut two tiers of memberships, one free and one paid, in a bid to build a stronger base of loyal customers. The offerings come with exclusive access to items, events and fitness classes. Lululemon says the move could help the retailer lower its cost to acquire customers, as it creates the ‘most immersive fitness marketplace’ in the industry.” (Chain Store Age)
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