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The Bisnow Weekender: A Hangover, Trust Issues And A ‘Nonevent’

Thanks for reading the Bisnow Weekender, my personally curated roundup of the most impactful news, notable quotes, binge-worthy show recommendations and other colorful highlights from the Bisnow world of commercial real estate and beyond. 

We're zeroing in on how real estate is weathering the high interest rate storm. 

“Unfortunately, what our industry is experiencing right now is a hangover, right? The hangover is going to last a little bit longer than we all wanted it to. But in reality, it's not as if that means that the industry is completely in a state of comatose. It will have to just weather through this.”

That is what one construction principal told us this week (scroll down for the full story) — and as I said in this newsletter last week, Welcome To Interest Rate Purgatory!

In other news from this week, we discovered that WeWork's bankruptcy turmoil is testing the resilience — and continued loyalty — of its tenant community as the embattled coworking giant flails in bankruptcy headwinds. Customers have been left confused and frustrated in the whirlwind.

“It’s like, OK, I have trust issues now,” a Boston WeWork member told Bisnow. “There’s a lack of resources and we pay a ridiculous amount of money for this place. … I just feel like they’re trying to build on this swamp and it’s sinking.”


On the banking front, the anticipated impact of commercial property loans has yet to significantly shake the sector. “Commercial real estate for large banks was definitely a nonevent in the first quarter,” one analyst told us, providing a temporary sigh of relief amid ongoing vigilance — for the moment, at least.

Beyond the immediate realm of CRE, we touch on even more grim global economic trends that are emerging, the wild architectural ambitions of Oklahoma and a hot take on Star Trek from Bisnow Trekkie and Managing Editor Catie Dixon.

Welcome to the weekend, folks.

— Mark F. Bonner, Bisnow Editor-in-Chief 


Voices From The CRE Battlefield





The Best Of Bisnow News: April 15-19

‘No Rest For The Weary’: What Higher Interest Rate Expectations Mean For CRE — Boston Reporter Taylor Driscoll

Several commercial real estate leaders and economists told Bisnow that interest rates remaining higher for longer could cause further pain in the industry, as owners who were holding out for near-term cuts are faced with the prospects of halting projects, selling assets and handing back keys to lenders. 

But there could be a silver lining for the commercial real estate industry, experts say, as owners giving up on waiting for rate cuts could lead to more buying opportunities and increase transaction activity.

“There's no rest for the weary,” LHMeyer CEO Derek Tang, an economist who focuses on Federal Reserve policy, wrote in an email to Bisnow


WeWork's Survival Depends On Its Members. Its Bankruptcy Is Testing Their Loyalty — New York Reporter Sasha Jones

Anthony Holten signed up for a WeWork office in Astoria, Queens, in October, soon after moving into the neighborhood in hopes of getting out of the house and finding a community. 

Less than a month later, on Nov. 1, he received an email notifying him that his location would be closing in three weeks as part of what WeWork claimed was a regular review of its real estate portfolio, according to an email shared with Bisnow. He would be transferred to 430 Park Ave. in Midtown — a nearly 30-minute commute away.

Days later, WeWork filed for bankruptcy. 

“If I had known the Astoria WeWork would be shut down I would have gone with [a competitor],” Holten said. “Ultimately, if I can work remotely from anywhere, why would I go through the hassle of keeping up with WeWork’s changing communications as they restructure?”

As WeWork has scrambled throughout its bankruptcy to renegotiate and exit hundreds of leases, some of the members on whom the company depends have been left confused and frustrated in the whirlwind.

To paint a picture of how the embattled coworking pioneer's financial troubles have affected its customers, Bisnow reviewed court filings, financial statements, company correspondence and contracts, and spoke with current and former members and community managers, many of whom requested anonymity because they still have ties to WeWork. 


'Not Out Of The Woods': Big Banks Skirt CRE Calamity For Now — Los Angeles Reporter Bianca Barragán

The anticipated impact of commercial property loans on the books of the country’s banks has been the cause of much hand-wringing in the last year. But the first of the largest banks to report their first-quarter earnings have taken a smaller-than-expected hit. 

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs all reported their Q1 earnings in recent days, and while they delivered mixed results in some regards, commercial loans weren’t to blame for their shortfalls.

“Commercial real estate for large banks was definitely a nonevent in the first quarter,” S&P Global Ratings Financial Institutions Managing Director Stuart Plesser told Bisnow

That doesn’t mean there won’t be trouble, he said, just that it hasn’t reared its head yet. 

More Big News From The Week …

Commercial Foreclosures Have More Than Doubled Since Last Year

WeWork Turns To SoftBank, Yardi To Fend Off Takeover Bid From Adam Neumann

U.S. Industrial Leasing Plunges In Q1 As 'Recalibration' Continues

Part-Time Offices On The Rise As Tenants Balk At Paying For 5 Days

U.S. Office Market Outlook Gloomy As Availability Hits New High

CMBS Debt Issuance Shoots Up To Start 2024

Freddie Mac Tightens Lending Rules In Bid To Detect Fraud 

My Slightly On/Off-Topic Media Diet

U.S. Economy Will See ‘More Things Break’ In 2025 If Rates Stay High, Strategist Says (CNBC): “The traditional transmission policy mechanism has broken, or doesn’t work as well. … The problem is, if rates stay at this level until say 2025, when a big wall of refinancing is due, then I think we will start to see more things break. … For now, consumers and corporates aren’t feeling the pinch of higher interest rates,” said Altaf Kassam, head of investment strategy and research for EMEA at State Street Global Advisors.

Global Economy Is Picking Up Steam, But Poorest Countries Are Falling Behind, IMF Says (WSJ): “By 2030, the IMF predicts, the world economy is likely to be growing 2.8% per year—a full percentage point less than its average from 2000 to 2019. That is largely because of slower growth in the labor supply, a function of demographics and aging populations in much of the world. … Further weighing on the economy’s longer-term prospects is a projected slowdown in capital formation, as elevated debt levels crimp governments’ capacity to invest, the IMF said. Geopolitical strife and fragmentation of the global economy into like-minded trading blocs—where political distance matters more than geographic distance—also threaten progress.”

The $1.6B Quest To Build America’s Tallest Skyscraper In … Oklahoma (WSJ): “Move over New York. A developer plans a 1,907-foot tower overlooking sprawl and farmland. There are skeptics—‘I just burst out laughing.’”

Number Of Homicides Plummets In Major U.S. Cities (Axios): “Murders declined by nearly 20% in 204 cities during the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period last year, according to AH Datalytics, a criminal justice consulting firm. At this pace, the murder rate in the U.S. could match its level in 2014 when many cities saw 30-year lows in violent crime and homicides.”

Why ‘Freakonomics’ Failed To Transform Economics (The Economist): “The credibility revolution ate its own children: subsequent papers often overturned results, even if, as in the case of those popularised by Freakonomics, they had an afterlife as cocktail-party anecdotes. The problem has spread to the rest of the profession, too. A recent study by economists at the Federal Reserve found that less than half of the published papers they examined could be replicated, even when given help from the original authors. Mr [Steven] Levitt’s counterintuitive results have fallen out of fashion and economists in general have become more sceptical.”

New Research Explains Why U.S. Is ‘In The Slow Lane’ On EV Adoption (Tech Brew): “More so than China and Europe, the US faces a specific challenge in overcoming a culture of [Internal Combustion Engine] dependence, driven largely by relatively low fuel prices and the preference among consumers for large vehicles. … Due to higher [battery-electric vehicle] retail prices and the comparatively low cost of running an ICE vehicle in the US, there is currently no strong financial incentive to encourage consumers to make the switch to electric.”

New York Will Soon Get Congestion Pricing — After a 150,000-Year Wait (Heatmap): “According to one calculation from transport economist and congestion pricing advocate Charles Komanoff, the plan the MTA adopted last month will save drivers, bus passengers, and subway riders a combined 225,000 hours every single day. Here’s a fun thought experiment: If New York had adopted this plan back in 2008, we could have saved ourselves a combined 1,314,000,000 hours, or 150,000 years.”

Caitlin Clark’s Staggeringly Low Starting Salary, Briefly Explained (Vox): “Despite her record-breaking performance in the NCAA and the energy that she’s generated for the sport, Clark’s base salary will be $76,535 as a rookie. In the NBA, meanwhile, the first draft pick is expected to make roughly $10.5 million in base salary their first year.” 

Bisnow Weekend Interview Preview

The hottest city for luxury development is still Miami, with a number of condo towers being developed with brands of the rich and famous like Dolce & Gabbana, Bentley and Cipriani. Upscale hotel chain Mandarin Oriental is developing branded luxury condos across the globe, and that effort is being spearheaded stateside by Head of Development for the Americas Christian Glauser Benz.

The hospitality veteran spoke with Bisnow South Florida Reporter Matt Wasielewski about Mandarin Oriental's expansion plans, the boom in Miami and the growth of the American West as a luxury destination.

Bisnow: So you want to expand the appeal of the hotel component of the property to go beyond the business person and into the traditional travel tourists?

Glauser Benz: The new aim of the property — yes, it’s true we will upgrade our experience for the leisure traveler, we’re upgrading the experience for the corporate traveler — but we're introducing a third user, which is the resident. So now you have permanent residents living there full time who will enjoy the services from the hotel. By adding the third component, it also makes the project financially much more sustainable because there's a third income revenue source.

The Weekend Interview goes live every Friday evening — head to over the weekend to check it out! 

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Here are this week’s top jobs over at Bisnow's careers platform, SelectLeaders. Reach out to SelectLeaders Managing Director Ryan Neale to learn more. You can email him at

Managing Director — Oversee the planning and execution of Harvard's project portfolio, project delivery standards, controls and resources.

Vice President, Property Operations — Oversee the operational and financial performance of a portfolio of multifamily and mixed-use properties.

Head of Virginia Tech Real Estate Department — Lead a growing department with a strong national reputation.

Chief Financial Officer — Lead financial operations for a Beverly Hills-based, family-owned real estate investment company.

Hey, Catie, What Are You Going To Binge This Weekend?

I don’t have a true television binge on at the moment — my chronological watch of the whole Star Trek series has slowed considerably as I’ve tried to make my way through Voyager (it’s no TNG, though my next episode is the famous Tuvix appearance), and I’m all caught up on Abbott Elementary. While I wait for new episodes, I’m reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and then I’ll turn to the latest installment of the Thursday Murder Club series by Richard Osman. I highly recommend that as a reading binge — it’s a charming series about seniors in a British retirement home solving murders. The characters are a blast and you’ll smile your way through some tragic crimes.

— Catie Dixon, Managing Editor

Upcoming Bisnow Events And Webinars 

Tuesday, April 23 (London): UK's Co-Living Summit

Tuesday, April 23 (Baltimore): Baltimore Multifamily & Mixed-Use Summit

Tuesday, April 23 (Conshohocken, Pennsylvania): Philadelphia Industrial & Logistics Summit

Tuesday, April 23 (Seattle): Data Center Investment Conference & Expo: Pacific Northwest

Tuesday, April 23 (San Jose): Silicon Valley State of the Market

Wednesday, April 24 (Rockville, Maryland):  Mid-Atlantic Life Sciences & Biotech Summit

Wednesday, April 24 (Boston): Building a Sustainable Boston: Carbon Footprint, BERDO 2.0 & Emerging Green Technology

Wednesday, April 24 (Houston): Houston Architectural Insights & Design Innovation Summit

Wednesday, April 24 (Las Vegas): Southern Nevada & Las Vegas Multifamily & Mixed-Use Summit

Thursday, April 25 (Atlanta): Atlanta Adaptive Reuse & Repositioning Conference

Thursday, April 25 (Chicago): Chicago Women Leading Real Estate

Thursday, April 25 (Pearl River, New York): New York Life Sciences & Biotech

Thursday, April 25 (Seattle): Puget Sound Multifamily Summit

Thursday, April 25 (Digital): Design in Security: Future-Proof Your Blueprint

Thursday, April 25 (Orlando): Orlando State of the Market Update and Cocktail


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