Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 3, 2022) – Wealth Management

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The Atlantic argues that restaurants learned many wrong lessons about health and safety best practices during the pandemic. NBC News analyzed how much Russian money flows through U.S. real estate. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Restaurants Learned the Wrong Pandemic Lessons “Beyond merely struggling to survive, many spots can actually start gearing up for the future and considering what sort of COVID measures and spur-of-the-moment tweaks should stick around for the long haul. On the whole, the restaurant business does seem to have learned a few lessons from all these months of pandemic life. But the problem is that many of these lessons are precisely the wrong ones.” (The Atlantic)
  2. Russian money flows through U.S. real estate “At a minimum, from cases reported in the last five years, more than $2.3 billion has been laundered through U.S. real estate, including millions more through other alternative assets, like art, jewelry and yachts, according to a report in August by Global Financial Integrity, a nonprofit group that researches illicit money flows.” (NBC News)
  3. NY’s End of Some Pandemic Restrictions Sparks Optimism in Real Estate “As Mayor Eric Adams plans to drop the vaccination requirement for indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues as early as March 7 if coronavirus cases continue to decline, the city’s real estate community is hoping that the lessening precautions will encourage workers to return to office towers.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. EXCLUSIVE: Hines Considers Exiting Russia As Big Investors Weigh Ukraine Invasion Fallout “Just shy of 2% of Hines’ $84B in assets under management are in Russia, equating to about $1.5B. Hines owns stakes in assets in Russia, sometimes alongside international investors, but mainly in partnership with domestic Russian investors, acting as an asset or investment manager on buildings on behalf of these investors.” (Bisnow)
  5. The Future of Senior Housing Proptech “A new generation of tech-savvy senior housing residents coupled with a sea change of thought on cleanliness and air quality in the places people live and work underscores how important it is becoming for owners and operators to update their tech features.” (Multi-Housing News)
  6. Can Landlords Overturn New York’s Rent Stabilization Law in Federal Court? “The landlords and their trade associations sued the city and the state, along with the state housing agency and the city rent guidelines board, in hopes of taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jay Martin, the head of CHIP, said that the lawsuit aims to reform New York’s rent laws, which had only become more onerous since the state legislature eliminated vacancy decontrol and strictly capped the amount of renovation costs landlords can recoup through rent increases in 2019.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. Hotel REITs Are Resurgent, Operating Leaner After Pandemic “While business travel has yet to return in earnest and hotel performance broadly is still behind where it was pre-pandemic, executives at the nation’s largest hotel real estate investment trusts said finding efficiencies with staffing — including hiring managers to oversee multiple hotels in a market — have allowed them to beat expectations toward the end of 2021 and plan for growth this year.” (Bisnow)
  8. Raising Crosswalks to Make Deadly Intersections Safer in New York “Now, Mayor Eric Adams wants to raise hundreds of crosswalks across New York amid a surge in traffic violence during the pandemic, in part because of an epidemic of speeding and reckless driving. Citywide, a total of 273 people — including 125 pedestrians — were killed in crashes last year, the highest number of traffic deaths since 2013, according to city records.” (The New York Times)
  9. Manhattan retail tenants are seeking upgrades. Here’s what that means for landlords. “Many Manhattan retail tenants are looking to upgrade their locations by either moving to newer, better spaces nearby or moving to popular neighborhoods such as SoHo.” (New York Business Journal)