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Real Estate Roundup 9.23.20

Real Estate Roundup:

Future of retail 

Lowe’s said that it will add self-serve pickup lockers to all U.S. stores, more than 1,700, by March 2021. The lockers will be one more contactless option for shoppers, who have sought out these sorts of benefits during COVID-19. A scannable barcode generated after a purchase is made will allow shoppers to gain access to their items. 

  • Heard on the Street: Lowe’s EVP: “With more than 60 percent of online orders picked up in our stores, this gives our customers one more option and the added convenience and flexibility to control how and when they get that order.” (MarketWatch)

Americans stay away from movie theaters 

  • About three quarters of the country’s movie theaters are open, but Americans are not going back in significant numbers in the COVID-era, even with new films coming into the marketplace weekly. The biggest movies continue to limp along… Indoor theaters are still not open in two of the country’s biggest markets, New York and Los Angeles (KTLA+NYTimes)


  • Brookfield Properties’ retail arm is laying off 20% of its workforce. The retail division employees about 2,000 people. (CNBC)


  • Michael Dell’s MSD Partners provided $24 million in fixed-rate debt for Joshua Zinns’ acquisition of 24-02 Queens Plaza South. (CO)

Development filings 

  • Joel Schwartz filed a permit application last week for a 238,506-square-foot, 14-story building at 2700 Atlantic Avenue. The project at the border of East New York and Cypress Hills calls for 227 residential units. (TRD)

NYC Recovery lags the rest of the county

  • In February, before the pandemic forced the shutdown of the economy, the jobless rate in New York City was 3.4%, a historic low, and the state labor department counted a record 4.698 million jobs.The latest figures, released Thursday, put the unemployment rate at 16% compared with 8.4% nationwide, following the city’s hemorrhaging of 689,000 jobs from its peak. (TheCity)


  • A judge has blocked the city’s efforts to replace the Manhattan Detention Complex with a new jail as part of plans to replace Rikers Island with community-based jails. (NY1)
  • The state’s highest court this week dismissed an appeal that sought to reform New York’s property tax system. The reform group, Tax Equity Now New York argued the current system favors luxury condos and single-family homes, and perpetuates racial inequalities. It includes prominent developers RXR Realty and the Durst Organization, as well as the NAACP and the Citizens’ Budget Commission. (TRD)
  • Three days after a state agency published an order extending the residential eviction moratorium through Dec. 31, it flip-flopped, marking the latest mixup in New York’s eviction policy saga. (TRD)
  • Governor Cuomo announced an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures an additional month, until October 20th. (NYS)
  • Douglas Durst was nominated to become the next Real Estate Board of New York chairman. William Rudin has chaired the powerful real estate lobbying firm since 2018. (CO)

Other news

  • Oxford Property Group is continuing its acquisition run, most recently picking up residential brokerage Spire Group, which specializes in both sales and rentals. (TRD)
  • In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. (Pew)
  • Americans with mortgages have accumulated nearly $10 trillion in home equity thanks to a decade of rising home prices. Yet millions of them have fallen behind on mortgage payments and risk losing their houses. It is a potential bonanza for rental-home investors. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, big single-family landlords have raised billions of dollars for home buying sprees. (WSJ)

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