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Real Estate Roundup 5.18.20

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Credit: Bloomberg)

Real Estate Roundup:

  • New York City Council member Joe Borelli says it’s time to revive New York… “To be clear, I am not advocating an instant return to normalcy. But there is a sweet spot to be found somewhere between Draconian regulations and a lax, devil-may-care reopening. With fewer COVID admissions this past week at city hospitals than on one day during their height last month, it is time to move forward.” (NYDN)

Retail 

  • Apple said it’s reopening more than 25 stores across the U.S. and 12 stores in Canada this week, adding to nearly 100 global locations that have reopened to customers after the novel coronavirus outbreak forced them to close. Some stores will offer only curbside or storefront service, the company added in an emailed statement. Apple will conduct temperature checks at the door and face coverings will be required for all employees and provided to any shoppers without one. (Bloomberg)
  • The clock is ticking for J.C. Penney, which is racing to settle with creditors quickly enough to convince them it can once again make money selling clothing, cosmetics and cookware to another generation of Americans… Penney wants to spin off its real-estate holdings into a public trust, separate from the retail operations. The company hasn’t said how many of its nearly 850 department stores will close permanently during the chapter 11 process (WSJ)

Financing

  • Bayrock Capital has secured $35.4 million in Freddie Mac financing from Merchant Capital for a 133-unit multifamily transitional housing facility in Jamaica, Queens. The deal is a seven-year Targeted Affordable Housing Capital Markets Execution loan. (CO)

Tech

SoftBank Group said that Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma will resign from its board, in the latest departure by a high-profile ally of CEO Masayoshi Son. That meets a demand from activist investor Elliott Management, which has pressed SoftBank to improve board diversity, and also wants a new subcommittee to oversee the investment process at the $100 billion Vision Fund. (CNBC)

After major tech companies announced that their employees won’t need to come in for the remainder of this year, some are beginning to consider the thousands of dollars they could save from moving out of Silicon Valley — maybe even permanently… But the trend would raise complicated questions. If employees move to a less expensive location, should a company adjust their salaries accordingly?

  • Be Smart: In 2013, Yahoo decided its lax policies on working from home had prevented it from innovating and required everyone to come back to the office.(Bloomberg)

Other news 

  • Like most people stuck at home, architects are currently living with the consequences of their pre-pandemic home-design decisions. Unlike most people, they are often the ones who created the design in the first place and so have the training to fix the flaws. It is like living 24/7 in their own research lab… It turns out an open floor plan isn’t acoustically ideal for multiple simultaneous conversations The subsequent rethinking of space has led to some unusual ideas. (WSJ)

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