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    14 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today

    The Wall Street Journal looks at how apartment REITs that focus on major U.S. cities might perform in 2021. The owners of Mall of America have modified the property’s mortgage and are now current on the loan, according to CNBC.
    1. City Apartment REITs Await the Return to the Office “Shares of real-estate investment trusts that are big owners of rental apartments in New York, San Francisco and other large urban areas got clobbered last year as investors worried about the pandemic’s impact on cities. How are these companies likely to fare in 2021? Much depends on when businesses feel it is safe enough to call the majority of their employees back to the office and the magnitude of that potential influx.” (Wall Street Journal)
    2. Mall of America No Longer Delinquent on $1.4 Billion Mortgage “Mall of America has modified the terms of its $1.4 billion mortgage and is current on the loan, after missing months of payments during the Covid crisis as stores shut temporarily and tenants failed to pay rent. Triple Five Group, the owner of the largest mall in the U.S., started missing mortgage payments in April, CNBC previously reported. But it has struck a deal with lenders, who expressed ‘strong confidence in the long-term success and viability of Mall of America,’ the owners said. (CNBC)
    3. New York Real Estate Begins its Recovery “In a pattern that suggests a widening socioeconomic divide, affluent buyers continued to snap up expensive apartments, reports from several brokerages show, while entry-level buyers, who are more likely to be unemployed because of Covid-19, were practically absent. Indeed, buyers demanded larger homes. Apartments that sold last year typically measured 1,217 square feet, up from 1,148 in 2019, according to Mr. Miller, who added that the fresh interest in home offices only partially explains the trend.” (The New York Times)
    4. CMBS Market Musings—Not Out of the Woods? “As the commercial real estate finance market experienced fits and starts last year, no capital source provided more transparency into commercial real estate than CMBS with its monthly investor reporting and credit rating agency coverage creating a window into market performance and challenges for certain retail and hospitality assets. Unlike during the last recession, the CMBS new issuance market freeze did not stick, and deals resumed coming to market after March and April. Servicers sifted through an unimaginable barrage of borrower requests and seem to have done a good job working with borrowers within the context of the pooling and servicing agreements that guide their actions.” (Mortgage Bankers Association)
    5. Here's What Won and Lost in Last Year’s CMBS Market “CMBS was hit hard in 2020, mostly because of the retail and hotel sectors.” (Bisnow)
    6. Low Taxes and High Temperatures Lure Finance Firms to Miami “This city has long pitched itself as an attractive location for finance and tech firms, with its tax advantages, flight connections to New York and cosmopolitan flair. Its efforts appear to be paying off. Private-equity giant Blackstone Group Inc. unveiled plans in October to open an office in the city to serve its internal technology needs that will eventually employ 215 people. Billionaire financier Carl Icahn moved his company to nearby Sunny Isles Beach earlier in 2020.” (Wall Street Journal)
    7. Life Sciences Has Been a Real Shot in the Arm for Commercial Real Estate “In early December, real estate investment firm Clarion Partners closed on a 70 percent purchase of a life sciences portfolio in Seattle from an affiliate of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a prominent developer of such space. The sale price for the 322,858-square-foot, fully leased portfolio was $450 million. That was enough to make the deal the largest investment sale completed in Washington State to date in 2020, according to brokerage Newmark, which arranged the deal for Alexandria.” (Commercial Observer)
    8. Corporate Real Estate Planning in a Post-Pandemic World “While some companies like Twitter and Square have committed to remote work for the long haul, many others are in a place to rethink office space planning and their commercial real estate needs. What is the office layout of the future? When corporations are space planning their next two, five or 10 years, what square footage will they need? How will companies strategize utilization for commercial space?” (Forbes Real Estate Council)
    9. Why the Fight Over Parking in New York is ‘Like the Hunger Games’ “For weeks last fall, a flood of new cars had been filling up parking spaces in Noreen O’Donnell’s Boerum Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn, and finding a spot had become a 15-, 30- or even 45-minute ordeal. Then one October night, Ms. O’Donnell lost it: First, she discovered that another driver had dented her car, leaving no note and $3,000 in damage.” (The New York Times)
    10. Bridging the Gap: Maxim Capital Group Is Lending Through Unconventional Circumstances “‘Game of Thrones’ characters once warned us that ‘Winter is coming.’ We just didn’t know at the time that they were referring to this winter; a winter quite unlike any other, and a stark contrast to the sunny, springlike market conditions experienced in the years running up to COVID-19 hitting our shores.” (Commercial Observer)
    11. Epic Games to Convert Mall to Global HQ “Epic Games Inc. has purchased Cary Towne Center, a 980,000-square-foot shopping mall in the Research Triangle, from Turnbridge Equities, which acquired the asset in January 2019. The buyer plans to convert the 87-acre property into its new global headquarters campus by 2024, comprising office and retail space. The mall changed ownership back in 2019, after the loss of three of its five anchor tenants, with its occupancy rate dropping to 65 percent.” (Commercial Property Executive)
    12. A Moratorium on New Apartments? Some Fort Worth City Leaders Think the City Is Oversaturated “As Fort Worth’s population grows, a group of city council members are calling for a moratorium on some new apartment developments, citing concerns the city is oversaturated.” (Dallas Morning News)
    13. Ex-Simon Outlets Chief Yalof Takes the Helm of Tanger Outlets “Stephen Yalof, who directed Simon’s Premium Outlets division for six years before joining Tanger Factory Outlets as COO, has transitioned into the CEO spot at the company. He replaces Stephen B. Tanger, now chairman of Tanger’s board of directors. Yalof began his career more than 20 years ago as a tenant, working in the real estate divisions of Gap and Ralph Lauren, where he spent the last decade and departed as senior VP of real estate.” (Chain Store Age)
    14. Real Estate Moguls Allegedly Help Rich Pals Jump COVID Vaccine Line “The Macks confirmed in a statement to Page Six that they had been vaccinating people in Florida. Their spokesperson said, ‘Several not-for-profit health and senior care organizations in Florida are undertaking major vaccination efforts. David and Bill Mack were asked to assist a not-for-profit healthcare institution with the organization of its vaccination campaign. Some vaccine recipients may have been Palm Beach Country Club members, but substantially fewer than your sources indicated, and this was not a targeted effort to vaccinate club members.’” (New York Post)