Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 12, 2021)

#Lifestyle Wealth

  1. Which Amenities Are the Most Popular? “According to StreetEasy, apartment hunters have became pickier during the pandemic. One third of searches in 2020 made use of search filters for specific amenities, up from 22 percent in 2019. In mid-November, after receiving requests from users for more searchable amenities, the online listings site added 10 new boxes to check in its search filter. By examining those searches between Dec. 1, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021, StreetEasy learned exactly what people wanted most, and recently revealed the top 10 most searched amenities for both renters and buyers.” (The New York Times)
  2. Federal Judge in Ohio Rules CDC Exceeded Authority with Eviction Ban “A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority when it banned evictions nationwide. U.S. District Judge J. Philip Calabrese, who was nominated to the court by former President Donald Trump, sided with a group of property owners that had argued in October that the CDC lacked the power to ban them from evicting their tenants.” (CNBC)
  3. Cash-Out Refinancings Hit Highest Level Since Financial Crisis “U.S. homeowners cashed out $152.7 billion in home equity last year, a 42% increase from 2019 and the most since 2007, according to mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. It was a blockbuster year for mortgage originations in general as well: Lenders churned out more mortgages than ever in 2020, fueled by about $2.8 trillion in refis, according to mortgage-data firm Black Knight Inc.” (Wall Street Journal)
  4. Had American Dream “Burned Down,” It Would Have Been Better: Exec “The nightmare continues for owners of New Jersey’s American Dream retail complex. Facing a cash-flow crisis, the Ghermezian family is set to lose almost half of its stakes in two other mega malls: the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and Mall of America in Minnesota, according to Axios. The family’s Triple Five Worldwide had used those malls as collateral to finance the $5 billion New Jersey project.” (The Real Deal)
  5. CRE Brokers Are Turning to Drones to Overcome Virus Constraints “A drone media company said it has experienced a major boom in the commercial real estate (CRE) segment of its business thanks to the COVID-19 lockdowns that restricted travel, site visits and in-person meetings in CRE sales. DroneVideos.com said that major brokerages like CBRE, JLL, Avison Young, and others have turned to it for custom drone videos and aerial photography during the pandemic.” (Mortgage Professional America)
  6. Brooklyn Returns to Industrial Roots as Office Boom Fizzles, Amazon Moves In “Brooklyn's industrial history may be key to the city's economic future.” (Bisnow)
  7. Express Testing Non-Mall Store Concept; Targets $1 Billion in Online Sales by 2024 “Express reported a loss in the fourth quarter that was smaller than expected and sales that missed expectations as the pandemic continued to bite into its results. The fashion apparel retailer also revealed that it is thinking smaller in terms of its stores. Speaking on the earnings call, CEO Tim Baxter said the company sees an opportunity to diversify its store fleet, which is predominantly mall based.” (Chain Store Age)
  8. Kroger to Close 3 LA Stores After ‘Hazard Pay’ Mandate “Two weeks after Los Angeles approved a “hazard pay” mandate for grocery workers, the owner of the Ralphs and Food 4 Less supermarket chains, The Kroger Company, announced today it’s closing three underperforming stores in May. The stores set to close are a Ralphs at 9616 West Pico Boulevard near Century City; a Ralphs at 3300 West Slauson Avenue at the Crenshaw Plaza Center in South L.A.; and a Food 4 Less at 5420 West Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood near Little Armenia.” (Commercial Observer)
  9. Arts for the Virus-Tested: The Shed Plans a Cautious Reopening “The New York City arts scene is about to pass another milestone on the road to reopening: The Shed, a large performing arts venue in Hudson Yards, said Wednesday that it would hold a series of indoor performances next month for limited audiences in which everyone has either been tested for the coronavirus or vaccinated against it. The Shed said it would present four events next month: concerts by the cellist and vocalist Kelsey Lu, the soprano Renée Fleming and a string ensemble from the New York Philharmonic, and a comedy set by Michelle Wolf.” (The New York Times)

https://www.wealthmanagement.com/cre-wire/nine-must-reads-cre-industry-today-march-12-2021

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