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Real Estate wants consumer spending in stores

American Dream Mall (Credit: T5)

The latest positive signs of a strong economic recovery came yesterday when the government said retail sales jumped 5.3% in January from a month earlier, and manufacturing output neared pre-pandemic levels, WSJ reported.

  • Bellwether for U.S. economy: The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta predicted the economy will grow at a 9.5% annual rate in the first quarter, up sharply from a 4.5% estimate a week ago. Consumer spending is the main driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for more than two-thirds of economic output.
  • Real Estate needs spending to take place in physical stores: The valuation for the majority (518,000-SF) of Simon Property Group’s Crystal Mall in Waterford, Connecticut was slashed by 87% to just $18.7 million, a sign of just how bad things are for many suburban shopping centers. The asset is backed by a $95 million CMBS loan, and was appraised at $153 million in 2012, Trepp noted.
  • Noteworthy from Vornado’s Earnings regarding High Street Retail: “We recognized $409 million of non-cash impairment losses related to our investment in Fifth Avenue and Times Square JV, and $236.3 million of losses primarily on wholly owned retail assets on our income statements for the year ended December 31, 2020.”[WSJ+Trepp+YahooFinance+TRD]

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