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10 Must Reads for the Commercial Real Estate Industry Today (July 21, 2020)

Private equity firm KKR has raised $950 million for a fund that will invest in the riskiest CMBS slices, reports Bloomberg. The New York Times looks at how a retirement community in Florida is coping with the arrival of COVID-19. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. KKR Raises $950 Million Fund Dedicated to Riskiest CMBS “KKR & Co. has raised $950 million for a fund dedicated to buying the riskiest slices of new commercial mortgage-backed securities as it expands in a part of the market that has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm closed KKR Real Estate Credit Opportunity Partners II, a successor fund to a $1.1 billion vehicle it raised in 2017 to buy so-called “B-pieces” of CMBS. Such slices are the first to take losses when mortgages underpinning the securities sour.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Winning Streak of Big Cities Fades with 2020 Crisis “During the past quarter-century, many American cities flourished as crime tumbled and educated young workers moved to revitalized downtowns, changing the economic and political landscape of the nation. Three major shocks now threaten to upend that urban renaissance: The coronavirus is preying on densely packed places; anger over policing is producing social unrest reminiscent of earlier eras; and strained city and state budgets could prolong their economic pain.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. ‘If it’s Here, it’s Here”: America’s Retirees Confront the Virus in Florida “For months, many of the residents at one of America’s biggest retirement communities went about their lives as if the coronavirus barely existed. They played bridge. They held dances. They went to house parties in souped-up golf carts that looked like miniature Jaguars and Rolls-Royces. And for months they appeared to have avoided the worst of the pandemic.” (The New York Times)
  4. COVID-19’s Effect on Multifamily and Opportunity Zones “While many segments such as self-storage are less generally impacted by volatility in the economy, Mountain Pacific indicates that multifamily also has strong fundamentals, making it a viable asset class long term. Mountain Pacific is a development firm created in 2019 to provide equity for real estate development and opportunistic value-add transactions with a focus on opportunity zones.” (GlobeSt.com)
  5. Kroger Provides Coronavirus Tests to Employees “Kroger Co. said it is providing a coronavirus test for its employees to use at home, as retailers and other companies redouble efforts to protect employees and customers amid the pandemic. Kroger is processing the tests in a partnership with Gravity Diagnostics LLC, a Kentucky-based laboratory-testing company. The Food and Drug Administration said it authorized the partnership’s kit in June. Kroger and Gravity said they plan to have the capacity to process 60,000 tests a week by the end of this month.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. Industrial Insider: COVID-19 Industrial Real Estate Update “Many of the impacts created by the 2020 global pandemic are continuing to emerge, but some of the most significant changes have developed as the result of increasing e-commerce demand paired with disruptions within the global supply chain. Transportation resources and the flow of goods worldwide have been severely interrupted, and many companies are now considering alternative suppliers because of production delays. As a result, supply chain planning has become much more difficult.” (Real Estate Journals)
  7. Expert Insights: Stephen Critchfield on CRE’s Unique Situation and Leases During COVID “While the commercial real estate market may follow general trends at a national level, every regional and local market features unique conditions. To get an idea of how smaller markets differentiate themselves from larger ones, as well as the effect of the current pandemic on office leases, we interviewed Stephen Critchfield of Commercial One Brokers. Stephen’s experience in the Branson, Mo. commercial real estate (CRE) market spans over 35 years.” (Commercial Café)
  8. Yankee Stadium Area Is Hurting, and Baseball’s Return Won’t Help “By this point in a normal summer, the New York Yankees would have drawn more than 1.8 million fans to their palatial stadium in the South Bronx. On game days, the bars and souvenir shops around the ballpark would be overflowing with customers. But there is little joy in the Bronx these days because the coronavirus has struck baseball out. Merchants and residents of the blocks that surround the stadium have been staggered by the toll the pandemic has taken on their community, which sits in the country’s poorest congressional district.” (The New York Times)
  9. Industrious and Wythe Hotels Turn Empty Rooms into Offices “Faced with a glut of empty rooms, the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg is teaming up with flex-office provider Industrious to offer ‘on-demand workspaces.’ Through Aug. 31, the companies are offering full-day bookings on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rooms will be furnished with custom office furniture, high-speed wi-fi, free coffee and pastry, a landline and smart-TV. Each room also has private outdoor space.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Open or Closed? Bay Area Struggles to Find a Middle Ground That Works “When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that he was shutting down bars and other indoor venues to subdue California’s swelling coronavirus outbreak, much of the Bay Area wondered: ‘Wait, bars were open?’ In most of the region, they actually weren’t. And in the counties where bars had resumed business, they hadn’t been open long enough to determine whether these establishments contributed to increased spread of the disease.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

 

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