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December 10, 2020

Multifamily Developers Set For 'Pandemic Pivot' Into Workforce Housing

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As the coronavirus storm clouds began to gather in March, CRG Managing Partner J.J. Smith was hired to help run the firm’s residential sector. In the first few weeks, he concentrated on developing a plan that leaned heavily on urban infill projects in high-density markets, the profitable strategy pursued by so many builders in the last decade. But after watching downtowns turn into ghost towns, Smith decided on another approach.

“I called it the pandemic pivot,” he said.

Dense urban cores now cause unease among many affluent renters, Smith noted, and even if vaccines tamp down the coronavirus pandemic, developers need a new product type that investors find appealing. When he ran the numbers, the answer seemed logical.

Multifamily Developers Set For 'Pandemic Pivot' Into Workforce Housing

Middle-class and workforce housing fared better during the 2020 downturn, especially in the suburbs, with rents and occupancy staying near pre-pandemic levels, Smith said. CRG, the real estate development arm of Chicago-based Clayco, took that data and in November…

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Meet The Gurus Turning Failing Stores Into Online Powerhouses

In May 2019, women’s clothing retailer Dressbarn announced it was closing its approximately 650 stores. In May 2020, home goods retailer Pier 1 said it would close all of its 942 stores

Normally, that might have been the end of those brands, but instead, both were bought by a company, Retail Ecommerce Ventures, that relaunched them as online-only stores. REV’s modus operandi is exactly that: “We transform well-known distressed retail brands into e-commerce success stories,” their website proclaims.

Retail stores have been shuttering in record numbers over the last couple of years, but moving operations online is easier said than done, and can come with trade-offs, experts say.

Meet The Gurus Turning Failing Stores Into Online Powerhouses

Dressbarn and Pier 1 are the first stores REV relaunched online and, according to Dressbarn and Pier 1 CEO Shayan Zadeh, they are already seeing promising sales growth. Zadeh said following the September relaunch of Pier 1, it has had “back-to-back months of 100%-plus” sales growth through November. At Dressbarn,…

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How The Vaccine Can Help Real Estate Recover, And How Real Estate Can Help The Vaccine Succeed

After a year of bleak facts and figures, the news in early November that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was more than 90% effective was a cause for celebration, and when it came to the economic sectors that would benefit, real estate celebrated like few others.

Shares in the biggest real estate names on both sides of the Atlantic saw huge gains; Simon Property rose 24%, Vornado by 25%, SL Green by 31% and British Land by 26%. The prospect that we would be able to move around the world more freely provided hope for a sector hit hard by the impact of lockdowns and social distancing. 

But amid this almost-blanket rejoicing, the arrival of coronavirus vaccines will not be a silver bullet fixing the problems facing the cities and real estate markets of the U.S. and UK.

Bisnow wrote a four-part special report on the COVID-19 vaccine and commercial real estate — click here to see it all.

 
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Construction Finally Takes To Tech Amid Rising Supply Costs, Lower Productivity

 

The construction world is incorporating more technology into projects than ever before to adapt and get jobs done during the coronavirus pandemic, but productivity has slowed and supply costs have risen, new reports released this week show.

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