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December 2, 2020

Hope In 'The Emptiness Of It All': How Midtown Could Reinvent Itself After COVID

Midtown — the epicenter of Manhattan office, retail and hospitality — has seen a stark transformation over the past eight months. The hundreds of thousands of office workers and tourists who used to fill the streets and businesses every day now only trickle down the hallowed corridors of Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue, Madison Avenue and Broadway.

Dozens of boutiques, showrooms and restaurants that paid millions in rent every year have already shuttered in the world’s priciest retail cluster. It will be months before the financial giants, law firms and advertising behemoths that made Midtown office buildings the most valuable real estate in the country tell their workers to come back.

“For the most part in the city, it’s really Midtown that hasn’t recovered yet,” GFP Real Estate LLC Chairman and principal Jeffrey Gural said in an interview Monday. “If you look around, there are parts of the city that are not as empty, it’s really Midtown that is empty.”

Hope In 'The Emptiness Of It All': How Midtown Could Reinvent Itself After COVID

Midtown’s identity hinges on the tenets of society that have been shaken over the past eight months. As the world’s largest office district, it has been hard hit by the sudden shift to working from home. Its retailers, which were propped up by the enormous amount of daily foot traffic…

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Former NBA Star Grant Hill Joins REIT Board

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The real estate investment trust that owns the Empire State Building has added NBA great Grant Hill to the roster of its board of directors. Empire State Realty Trust added Hill, one of Duke University's most famous graduates and now a part-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, by expanding its eight-member…

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Amid FTC Probe, CoStar Now Faces The Dreaded Word 'Monopoly'

With the Federal Trade Commission stepping in to block CoStar Group's $588M acquisition of RentPath, the Bethesda, Maryland-based real estate data giant is under scrutiny over whether its dominance makes it something it has long denied being: a monopoly.

The FTC said on Monday it has filed an administrative complaint against CoStar and authorized a lawsuit against the company, alleging that the acquisition of RentPath would concentrate too much of a specialty niche in CoStar's hands by consolidating internet listings for vacancies in large apartment complexes in one place. The FTC had signaled its interest last spring when it quickly asked CoStar for more information after the deal was announced in February.

This isn’t the first time the federal agency in charge of regulating fair competition has taken action against CoStar.

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Fewer Shoppers Showed Up And They Spent Less Than Expected For Cyber Monday, Black Friday

 

With the holiday shopping season starting in October, shoppers during Black Friday and Cyber Monday spent less and bought fewer items online than analysts had expected, data released Tuesday shows.

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Being A Sustainable Real Estate Business Can Help You Hire The Best New Workers

 

Allen Morris Co., a Fort Lauderdale-based firm that focuses on commercial development, has become known across Florida for a portfolio of more creative office projects that focus on sustainability. In the last decade, the firm has developed 4M SF of LEED-certified buildings in the Southeast.

But ask Director of Construction Scott Flately if Allen Morris is using its sustainable focus as a talent attraction tool and he’ll pause. He believes that over the last few years, many new hires have sought out the firm based on its body of work. 

“The younger generation does probably think about sustainability more,” Flately said. “I never thought about it as a way to attract talent. To be honest, I don’t think we do enough of it, and we need to be doing more.”

Sustainability has become a bigger and bigger focus for CRE firms. The significant emissions footprint of buildings — 39% of total annual energy use in the U.S. goes toward commercial and residential buildings — and the drive for energy efficiency to cut costs makes sustainable construction and operation a financial advantage. That’s why JLL hired a new global head of sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), Guy Grainger, earlier this year. Other companies now also have such a position. Lisa Brylowsi, vice president of portfolio management at Brookfield Property Group, said that “ESG has become a pillar” in the industry, with good ESG now a “best practice.”

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