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May 26, 2020

Proposed Bill Allowing Retailers Out Of Leases Stuns Landlords

A proposed bill that would allow thousands of California businesses to walk away from their lease agreements may have some changes to it on the way.

Proposed Bill Allowing Retailers Out Of Leases Stuns Landlords

Introduced in March as a statewide commercial eviction moratorium and amended this month, Senate Bill 939 would allow hospitality tenants devastated by shelter-in-place orders a chance to terminate their leases if negotiations with landlords fall through.State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat representing San Francisco, is one of…

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With Hospitality Industry Looking Bleaker, Anaheim Focuses On Safely Reopening

With Hospitality Industry Looking Bleaker, Anaheim Focuses On Safely Reopening  

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Anaheim was slated to embark on another record year.

Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge had finally completed in January, the city was set to welcome six new hotels this year, the convention center was attracting more events and the Los Angeles Angels, with a new manager and stadium, were looking to draw another 3 million fans for the 18th year in a row.

But the coronavirus crisis has effectively halted the city’s momentum. Disneyland and the city’s convention center is closed. The hotels around the city’s resort district are empty. The Angels' parking lot is now home to thousands of unused rental cars. The city is expected to…

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Beyond The Bio: 16 Questions With Primestor CEO Arturo Sneider

This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles.

Arturo Sneider likes to describe himself as a commercial real estate activist.

Sneider doesn't advocate against projects. Rather, he uses his activism to promote the development of CRE projects in minority and marginalized communities. 

As the CEO of Primestor Development, a Los Angeles-based retail property manager and development company, the social impact investor and developer, Sneider, takes pride in his activism to promote economic development in areas that have historically been neglected.

"I like to say that I'm an activist dressed as a commercial real estate developer," Sneider said. 

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Opportunity Zone Deals Suddenly Accelerate As Program Starts To Look More Attractive

Opportunity Zone Deals Suddenly Accelerate As Program Starts To Look More Attractive  

In the first month after the coronavirus ground the U.S. economy to a halt, the opportunity zone marketplace had slowed along with the rest of the commercial real estate industry.

The opportunity zones program has been described by the Trump administration as a tool to inject hundreds of billions of dollars into underserved communities. In its first two years, the program had yet to live up to the buzz it generated throughout the industry.

But over the past month, opportunity zone investors have been some of the most active players in the real estate market, closing deals and starting new projects as most traditional sources of capital stay on the sidelines.

“I do think that the coronavirus is the direct trigger to the uptick in the opportunity zone investments,” Chicago-based developer Phil Denny said. “The stock market pausing and a downturn occurring after such a long run-up have people wondering what to do with their capital gains.” Several qualified >

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Macerich Moves Forward With Google One Westside Project

Macerich Moves Forward With Google One Westside Project  

Despite current struggles and cost cutting, Macerich told investors last week that the company would continue redeveloping Google's West Los Angeles project.

During a quarterly call last week, Macerich CEO Tom O'Hern said the company would tone down its plans to redevelop other redevelopment retail centers, but move forward with the One Westside project, which is being co-developed by Hudson Pacific Properties.

"Work continues on that project during the pandemic, which is fully funded by a nonrecourse construction loan," O'Hern said. The move comes as Macerich tightens its belt amidst the coronavirus crisis that has upended the retail industry. According to reports, Macerich has collected 26% of its rent in April and was…

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'The Ignorance Is Still Out There': Is Construction Fighting Hard Enough Against Opioid Addiction?

No industry has been hit harder by the opioid epidemic than construction, and even after years of data and investigations exposing how rampant drug use is on the job site, experts say construction companies still aren’t doing enough to save the lives of their workers suffering from addiction.

Until the coronavirus halted what had been the longest period of economic expansion in U.S. history, many cities across the country were in building booms, nudging skylines to new heights, funneling new companies into urban cores and pressuring contractors to keep projects on time. 

Even as shelter-in-place orders took hold across the country to halt the spread of the pandemic, most governments deemed construction essential, and work has continued. The unwavering, strenuous nature of construction translates to a high rate of workplace injury.

“Manual labor is a struggle,” Boston-based Newton-Wellesley Hospital Director of Substance Use Services Dr. Antje Barreveld said. “Their livelihood is tied to their ability to perform. Unless their work is diversified, it’s inevitable they are going to encounter chronic pain and repetitive injury. 

“Opioids can play a role in getting them back to work.”

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The British Lease Is Dead. Long Live The British Lease!

 

When the UK government threatened to ban upward-only rent reviews in 2004, then-British Land chief executive Sir John Ritblat mounted a defence of the practice that appealed to an English past of noble lords and humble rustic swains.

“The government should leave it alone,” the FT reported him as saying. “The property investment world has been built up over 1,000 years, dating from the feudal system, and it works extremely well.” 

Ritblat was actually pulling the age-old rhetorical trick of appealing to a glorious past that never really existed, to justify a purely commercial motive. The truth about the origin of the modern British lease is much more recent, and arguably more interesting. It was born in Britain’s post-war economic boom, a time of fish fingers and fast food, and pioneered by an unlikely source: the Church of England.

For more than half a century, the British lease, with its upward-only rent review structure that meant rents could never go down, was like gold dust for landlords and investors in UK property. But today, long leases with upward-only rents are killing the UK retail and leisure sector, burdening tenants with rents they can no longer afford to pay, and owners with properties they are unable to rent.

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PODCAST: Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti On How Meetings, Conferences And Offices Come Back

PODCAST: Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti On How Meetings, Conferences And Offices Come Back  

 

Bisnow has a podcast chronicling how members of the commercial real estate industry are dealing with the impact of the current global health crisis. The economic impacts are vast, and it is forcing businesses to adapt and make difficult decisions.

In this series, Make Yourself At Home, we are hearing from members of the commercial real estate industry about how they are managing this new reality and gaining insight into their day-to-day approaches. You can subscribe on iTunes and Spotify.

 

 In this week’s episode, we hear from Ryan Simonetti, the CEO of Convene. The RXR Realty- and Brookfield-backed company manages both flexible workplaces, but three-quarters of its business comes from its events and conferencing arm. Convene had to move fast to cut costs in the face of the pandemic, laying off a >

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What Are Your Office Space Plans?

What Are Your Office Space Plans?  

The last three months have been fraught with uncertainty, but America's pivot to a remote workforce has been substantial and largely successful. We have covered this trend from many angles: how it has affected productivity, what it may mean for new workflows, why some companies are offering it permanently

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