• 13 Real Estate Articles on the 13th of January

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    13 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 13, 2021)

    Some REITs have been buying their own shares, according to Dow Jones Newswires. New York restaurant owners file a new lawsuit against Governor Cuomo over shifting regulations, reports Eater New York. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.
    1. Big Real Estate Firms Turn Buyers of Their Own Shares “Some publicly traded real-estate companies have found a buyer for their shares, despite empty offices, deserted hotels and reeling shopping malls -- the companies themselves. Real-estate owners, including SL Green Realty Corp. and Healthcare Trust of America Inc., say stock-market investors have significantly undervalued their property holdings compared with what they could fetch in the private market.” (Dow Jones Newswires)
    2. CRE Donor Class Among Benefactors Abandoning Trump and His Allies “Many donors showed Monday they don't want to support Donald Trump or his enablers anymore.” (Bisnow)
    3. NFIB Small Business Survey: Below Average in December “The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined 5.5 points in December to 95.9, falling below the average Index value since 1973 of 98. Nine of the 10 Index components declined and only one improved. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months declined 24 points to a net negative 16%. ‘This month’s drop in small business optimism is historically very large and most of the decline was due to the outlook of sales and business conditions in 2021,’ said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.” (Advisor Perspectives)
    4. Empty Commercial Space Under Cuomo Recovery Plan The governor called the pandemic “a historic opportunity to transform society” and set out a plan that includes converting empty office, retail, restaurant and hotel space into affordable housing. ‘The housing problem in our cities has gotten worse,’ said Cuomo. ‘But the crisis of growing vacancies in our commercial property provides an opportunity. We should convert vacant commercial space to supportive and affordable housing and we should do it now.’” (Real Estate Weekly)
    5. New York City Weighs Ending Contracts with the Trump Organization “New York City is considering canceling the Trump Organization’s contracts with the city after last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday. Mr. de Blasio, who has repeatedly condemned President Trump’s role in the violent siege, said his legal team was assessing the city’s options.” (The New York Times)
    6. PREIT Gets Approval for Apartments at Moorestown Mall “PREIT is looking to add hundreds of new apartments to the Moorestown Mall in South Jersey as part of a repositioning to add a mix of uses to its mall properties.” (Philadelphia Business Journal)
    7. Newly Passed Laws in Phila. Affecting Real Estate Developers, Wholesalers “Last month, Philadelphia City Council approved several bills that will have a significant impact on real estate developers and wholesalers. To date, two of the bills have been signed into law by Mayor James Kenney.” (Law.com)
    8. Orlando Resort Project’s Developer Bets on Rebound “A Dallas-based developer plans to break ground this month on a $1.5 billion resort near Orlando’s Walt Disney World, an early sign that some major projects will move ahead this year in hopes of catching a future tourism rebound. The new project, Evermore Orlando Resort, will feature luxury vacation rental homes, a 433-key Conrad hotel and an 8-acre Crystal Lagoon, an artificial lagoon. It is slated to have 10,000 bedrooms when completed.” (Wall Street Journal)
    9. Oxford Properties Buys Life Science Assets for $276M “Oxford Properties Group has purchased four life science assets, three in Boston and one in the San Francisco Bay Area, totaling 415,000 square feet. The total of $276 million in acquisitions also included two parcels of developable land in the Bay Area. Additionally, Oxford announced plans to invest a further $500 million in these assets.” (Commercial Property Executive)
    10. Steve Wynn and Lawyer Lin Wood, United Over Trump, Break Ties in Messy Spat “For years, lawyer L. Lin Wood worked closely with Steve Wynn, representing the casino magnate in legal matters and united in their support of President Trump. Mr. Wood crafted sensitive settlement pacts when Mr. Wynn faced accusations of sexual harassment, allegations Mr. Wynn has denied. Mr. Wynn arranged for the Atlanta-based lawyer to visit Mr. Trump’s Florida club as his guest. And the businessman volunteered to help Mr. Wood in his campaign to secure a Presidential Medal of Freedom for another high-profile client, the late Richard Jewell.” (Wall Street Journal)
    11. NYC Restaurants Allege That Cuomo’s Pandemic Dining Regulations Have Violated Their Civil Rights “A group of 70 New York bars and restaurants have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo alleging that the state’s constantly changing dining regulations violate the businesses’s civil rights. According to a report from the Real Deal, many of the restaurants involved in the lawsuit — including East Williamsburg bar Our Wicked Lady and Bushwick restaurant Momo Sushi Shack — have spent thousands of dollars reconfiguring outdoor and indoor spaces to comply with pandemic health safety regulations, only to have those regulations shift without much warning and be forced to spend more money to stay in compliance.” (Eater New York)
    12. Shake Shack Says COVID-19 Is Hitting its NYC Locations the Hardest “Shake Shack eked out a surprise sales increase in the fourth quarter — but it got no help from the Big Apple. The upscale burger chain said its fourth-quarter sales rose 4.6 percent to $152.5 million despite the continued drag from the pandemic — a better-than-expected result that sent its shares surging 6 percent in early trades.” (New York Post)
    13. The ‘Posh Portals’ of New York City “Nothing could be simpler than the purpose of a building’s door — to let people in. But Andrew Alpern complicates things immediately in the introduction to his sumptuous new book, ‘Posh Portals: Elegant Entrances and Ingratiating Ingresses to Apartments for the Affluent in New York City’ (Abbeville Press). ‘A successful apartment house entrance must perform several functions, all of which must be kept in a delicate balance,’ Mr. Alpern, a lawyer, architect and architectural historian, writes.” (The New York Times)