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Real Estate Roundup 4.24.20

(Credit: Getty Images)

Real Estate Roundup:

  • BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said the work-from-home revolution will have lasting effects, including pushing down demand for commercial real estate. Fink predicts that after businesses were forced to run from mostly remote setups during the coronavirus crisis, many companies will choose not to bring all their workers back to the office even when it is safe to do so. (Bloomberg)
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency said that mortgage firms can sell loans in forbearance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled companies that buy mortgages and package them into securities. Industry officials praised the regulator’s move but suggested that fees Fannie and Freddie will charge for the purchases—from 5% to 7% of a loan’s value—were high and should be subject to negotiation. (WSJ)

Retail 

  • Some casual-dining chains have built up carryout and delivery operations to make up for lost traffic in their restaurants. The growing takeaway business won’t cover the sales that chains are losing in their dining rooms: “You can’t do 40% of your previous revenue and survive, because your cost structure isn’t set up to support that.” (WSJ)
  • The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive’ (NYTimes)

Tech

  • Compass slashes salaries by 10 to 50 percent. The pay cuts follow a round of layoffs last month, and take place as the company continues to rely on its strategy of recruiting agents during the pandemic. (TRD)

Development filings 

  • RXR has filed plans for a 200-unit residential project at 2413 Third Avenue in Mott Haven. The project will span around 224,000 SF, and include a mixture of affordable and market-rate units. (TRD)

Deals put into contract before COVID-19

  • Lam Generation has acquired 55-59 Chrystie Street from Gary Tse’s CTW Realty for $28.6 million. The buyer secured a $14 million loan from East West Bank to close the deal last week. The six-story vacant office building spans 42,492 SF. (CO)
  • Starbucks has signed a 230,000-square-foot lease for a ground-floor location at the Empire State Building. The space could potentially be a high-concept store similar to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle. Visitors to the observation deck, which Empire State Realty Trust spent $150 million redeveloping, will descend to an exit near the Starbucks, facilitating a flow of tourists into the coffee shop. Chipotle also renewed its lease and will move to the Starbucks existing space on the west end of the building. (TRD)
  • Flexible legal office space provider FirmVO has signed an 11,000 SF lease for a full floor at Reade Broadway and Associates305 Broadway in Tribeca. (CO)

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