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Real Estate Roundup 5.15.20

(Credit: McDonald’s)

Real Estate Roundup:


  • McDonald’s is asking restaurant owners in the U.S. to make dozens of changes to ease coronavirus concerns before reopening their dining rooms, including commitments to clean bathrooms every half-hour and digital kiosks after each order. The world’s largest fast-food company by sales is also asking its hundreds of U.S. franchisees to enforce social distancing in its restaurants, and either close their public soda fountains or deploy a staff member to monitor them. New purchasing recommendations, including foot-pulls to allow customers to open bathroom doors without using their hands, could lead to new expenses and logistical considerations for franchise owners. (WSJ)
  • One in every four U.S. restaurants will go out of business due to the coronavirus quarantines that have battered the food-service industry, according to a forecast by OpenTable. The bleak projection underscores the widespread pain for American restaurants as lockdowns have forced people to cook at home or order takeout rather than eat out… Restaurants lost more than $30 billion in sales during March and $50 billion in April, according to National Restaurant Association estimates. In 2019, U.S. Bureau of Labor data showed 9.6 million Americans working in food service. (Bloomberg)

Traditional Retail

  • The rise of Amazon and online shopping, which gave consumers price transparency and free shipping, is chipping away at traditional retailers profits. Earnings before interest and taxes fell to 7% of sales last year, from 11% in 2012 at a group of 25 large retailers followed by consulting firm AlixPartners LLP. Over that period, e-commerce increased to 18% of sales from 10%. (WSJ)


  • BRP Companies is seeking $286 million in joint venture equity for the construction of Archer Towers, the firm’s mixed-income residential development in Jamaica, Queens. When completed the 24-story project will comprise 540,000 square feet and include 605 residential units; 424 units will be market rate and 181 will be mixed income. (CO)

Other news

  • The feud between the Jemal brothers has erupted into dueling lawsuits, with each accusing the other of stealing from their companies. Ruth Jemal, Alan and Steven’s mother, is on Alan’s side in the suits — a defendant in Steven’s and a plaintiff in Alan’s. The three are equal partners in entities that own and operate roughly 100 buildings throughout the city. (TRD)
  • A special purpose acquisition company co-founded by Barry Sternlicht has expanded its IPO again to raise $600 million. Jaws will target companies in growth-oriented industries and won’t compete with Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group. Blank-check companies, also known as SPACs, are popular in this environment. In total, they have raised $6.48 billion in 21 listings this year in the U.S., compared with $4.9 billion for the same number of listings during the same period in 2019. (Bloomberg)

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