Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, July 10th – July 14th
The quarterly appearance by Dr. Peter Linneman in the Walker Webcast series has become an event, drawing thousands of viewers from across the commercial real estate spectrum. That sense of occasion extends to Connect CRE’s coverage of the webcast, with Walker Webcast: Peter Linneman Sees Light at End of Interest-Rate Tunnel topping the past week’s most-read stories.
On the July 12 webcast, the veteran CRE economist predicted that the Federal Reserve would begin to reverse course on its current monetary policy by the end of the summer. Linneman made this prediction in the context of reiterating his frequently stated position that the Fed has been wrong the whole time.
A story of both regional and national interest, Scottsdale Billionaire Envisions $1B Mixed-Use Project recounted the plans of CrowdStrike founder George Kurtz to convert a shuttered amusement park into a “transformational, sustainable mixed-use campus.”
To be called The Parque, the project in Scottsdale, AZ, will combine residential, office, hospitality and retail space in its 28-acre expanse. Connect CRE readers in Phoenix and nationwide made this the past week’s second-most-read story.
Two other regional stories that drew national interest ranked in the past week’s top five. Lincoln Property Co. Acquires RiverRock, Adds 50M SF to Management Portfolio reported Lincoln’s acquisition of RiverRock Real Estate Group, an Irvine, CA-based property and asset management firm. RiverRock provides third-party management services to clients throughout California and Arizona.
The RiverRock story, which ranked third among our most-read stories, wasn’t the only one detailing Dallas-based Lincoln’s expansion of its western U.S. presence. Later in the week, we reported that the company had formed a joint venture with retail investment firm Paragon Commercial Group, based in El Segundo, CA. The partnership will allow Lincoln’s retail real estate investment management strategy to focus on the West Coast, and Paragon will serve as Lincoln’s West Coast retail operator.
In Sacramento, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills he’d introduced to the state legislature in May. The legislation is intended to hasten approvals of infrastructure projects, which have long been hampered by the review process under the California Environmental Quality Act.
As reported in our fourth-most-read story, Newsom Signs Bills to Streamline CEQA Review for Infrastructure Projects, the legislation is intended to take advantage of an unprecedented $180 billion in state, local and federal infrastructure funds over the next 10 years. It enables an expedited judicial review process for projects, accelerates permitting and streamlines the procedures around California Environmental Quality Act document retention and review.
The challenges facing the office sector in a work-from-home world underpinned the past week’s fifth-most-read story. CMBS Special Servicing Increases for Fifth Consecutive Month covered the latest report from Trepp, which found that the rate of office loans in special servicing increased 81 basis points between May and June.
However, the monthly and year-over-year increases in the special servicing rate weren’t confined to office. Loans backed by multifamily and mixed-use properties also experienced increases, albeit noticeably smaller than those in the office sector.
Just outside the top five was a Weekender story based on a Moody’s Analytics report. With all of the alarmist headlines lately about CRE—headlines that have tended to paint with a very broad brush—Moody’s reported that “the worst of fears have yet to ring true.” You can read more in the July 8 Weekender.
Not to sugarcoat matters, the latest Weekender is led by an examination of a McKinsey report predicting that demand for urban core office and retail will continue to decrease in the coming years. The report proposes possible solutions to address the impact of post-pandemic behavior and improve demand for office and retail space.