Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, October 16 – October 20

The logjam in the commercial real estate markets that began last summer has remained firmly in place.Jamie Woodwell, Head of Commercial Real Estate Research, Mortgage Bankers Association

There’s the short-term interest rate as determined by the Federal Reserve, and there are interest rates in general, which have also been rising. It’s the broader definition of interest rates that Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group had in mind in its latest economic update, which served as the basis for Connect CRE’s most-read story for the week ending Oct. 21.

Fannie Mae Forecasts Toll on Economy from Increasing Interest Rates illuminated the ESR Group’s current assessment which continues to anticipate a slowdown in the coming year, even if not the full-blown recession many economists predicted as 2023 began. “Despite consumer resiliency, the recent rise in interest rates has been precipitous, and in past environments – even with less severe interest rate shocks – this has led to economic dislocations,” according to the ESR Group. 

However, in the midst of everything else occurring domestically and globally, we have pickleball, it seems. The newly popular sport has made its way to Chicago, where Social Pickleball Fun plans to open the city’s largest indoor pickleball facility and entertainment complex in the bustling Lincoln Park neighborhood. 

Our second most-read story of the past week, Massive Pickleball Social Club to Open in Lincoln Park drew readership locally and nationally and detailed what the 40,000-square-foot space will offer. It will include locker rooms and saunas along with eight pickleball courts. Since playing a round of the game evidently works up an appetite, there will also be food options. 

EverWest may not have pickleball facilities to its credit, but the Denver-based firm has scored considerable success in a variety of product types over the past few years. The week’s third most-read story announced that it was formalizing a strategic partnership that began in 2021, by taking the name of its parent company, Montreal-based Sagard. 

EverWest Rebrands as Sagard Real Estate reported the latest iteration of the company, which has nearly tripled its assets under management over the past five years to $5.2 billion. To hear CEO Rick Stone tell it, though, not much will change in Sagard Real Estate’s business model: it will continue to focus on investment performance. The past week also saw another Montreal-based player, Ivanhoé Cambridge, grow its U.S. presence, in this case by opening its first New York City office

The remaining two stories in the past week’s top five took a downbeat turn. Although it was expected for some time, Rite Aid Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy was news, especially because the drugstore chain plans to shutter nearly one-quarter of its 2,100 stores. Connect CRE’s story on the bankruptcy filing, a breaking news mailing, was our fourth most-read story last week. 

Rounding out the top five was another sobering forecast, this time from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Since February, MBA has updated its projection for commercial and multifamily mortgage production this year, and with every update, the expected year-over-year decline has increased. The top National story this past Friday, MBA Forecasts 46% Drop in CRE Mortgage Volume for 2023 continued that trend. 

However, the MBA forecast does see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, with mortgage volume projected to begin recovering next year. Along similar lines, Connect CRE’s Amy Sorter has put together a four-part series that will counter the perception of unrelieved gloom and doom in the office sector. It will run in our Weekender mailing, beginning with this story on occupancy trends.  

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 16-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 7-10 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).