Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, August 7th – August 11th
Regional news that also found a national audience dominated the past week’s five most-read stories. The top Connect CRE story of the week ending August 12 was a guest byline from Greg Lyon, chairman of Los Angeles-based Nadel Architecture + Planning, on the best way of reinvigorating large CBD office buildings with high vacancies.
As the title of his commentary–Downtown Office-to-Multifamily Conversions are Not the Answer—makes clear, Lyon doesn’t see adaptive reuse of Class A properties as the ideal solution. Instead, he proposes saving the office-to-apartment treatment for older, smaller office buildings and amenitizing their higher-profile counterparts to attract tenants who will welcome the opportunity to trade up from Class B into better-quality space.
A nationwide multifamily developer that has branched out into build-to-rent homes was the focal point of the week’s second most-read story. Mill Creek Wraps Up First Texas BTR Community tells about the developer’s Amavi Celina, a 271-unit project in one of the Lone Star State’s fastest-growing cities, about 40 miles north of downtown Dallas.
The top five’s sole national story focused on another growth area, this one less of a cause for celebration than the economic momentum driving Texas communities like Celina. It’s distressed commercial real estate debt, and both Trepp and Fitch Ratings reported that it’s on the rise.
Our story on what’s been happening with securitized CRE debt, Office Leads as CMBS Delinquencies Increase in July, reported that the sector led last month’s uptick in delinquent loans no matter how you look at it. The Fitch-rated universe of CMBS is smaller than the more expansive range of Trepp’s coverage, and the overall delinquency rate differed depending on whether you use Fitch or Trepp as your frame of reference. Regardless, office was in front for loans in arrears.
Speaking of CRE finance, the past week’s fourth most-read story had two capital markets veterans joining Newmark in Austin and Dallas, respectively. Newmark Adds Two to Texas Debt/Equity Team reported that Chris McColpin joined the firm from JLL Capital Markets, where he was a managing director, and that Andrew Porteous came aboard from Morgan Stanley, where he led the Texas office within the commercial real estate group. The new hires were the latest in a flurry of high-level hires Connect CRE has reported over the past few months.
Staying with a finance theme, our top five was rounded out with a report from New York City. Nuveen and Nuveen Green Capital have introduced a fund to support environmentally friendly projects while giving insurers access to this market. Titled Nuveen Launches C-PACE Lending Fund, the story reported Nuveen’s entry into the realm of commercial property-assessed clean energy (C-PACE) projects.
C-PACE financing is gaining traction among commercial property owners and developers. At the same time, delinquent loans across the range of property types are also on the rise, unfortunately. A sector that isn’t seeing increases lately is industrial, as you’ll read in the latest edition of Weekender. It’s less a decline in demand than a normalization after a years-long hot streak, and there’s still plenty of reason for optimism.
Another sign of the times was the industry reaction to a warning that WeWork provided in its latest quarterly earnings report. Specifically, the company’s long-term future is in doubt. For office landlords who continue to rank the co-working space provider among their leading tenants, it’s more unsettling news. You can read more about it in the Monday National Topper in tomorrow morning’s National newsletter.