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JPMorgan embraces traditional office model

JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon (Credit: Mark Wilson; Getty Images)

JPMorgan Chase became the first major bank to mandate a return to offices for its entire U.S. workforce in early July. Employee rotations will be subject to a 50% occupancy cap until federal social-distancing guidelines are relaxed, Bloomberg noted. The bank previously signaled it may consider some flexible work arrangements.

Other side of the storyDeutsche Bank will allow staff to work from home up to three days a week. The lender expects to achieve “further savings” from an accelerated “rationalization of its real estate portfolio. European lenders HSBC and UBS Group are taking a similar approach and also plan on paring back office space. 

Internal memo: JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon: “We know that many of you are excited to come back, but we also know that for some, the idea of coming back on a regular basis is a change you’ll need to manage,” FT reported.

Sales velocity is slowly picking up: Rockrose purchased a 14% interest in Adams & Company’s office building at 11 East 26th Street in Nomad, valuing the asset at $235 million, TRD noted. The pre-war building notched a $246 million valuation in March 2020, when Steep Hill LLC acquired an 11% stake in the building.

We still await a true office bellwether (i.e. vacant building): Properties with strong tenancy and long-term leases were even selling at the height of the pandemic. This building, for example, has a strong tenant roster that includes Ford Models and the National Museum of Mathematics & Bluewolf, owned by IBM.

Heard on the StreetBMO Real Estate: “We’re all looking to see what happens in the next six to twelve months. Utilization of office space is low despite many people getting vaccinated, and some employees are likely to resist a return to the office.” [Bloomberg+FT+TRD]

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