Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, September 11 – September 15
Although it’s a mainstay of the retail sector, grocery doesn’t often make Connect CRE headlines on a national scale, much less draw the largest readership for a given week. Yet that’s what we saw in the week ending Sept. 16, as Kroger, Albertsons to Divest 413 Stores and Three Grocery Banners for $1.9B resonated with readers both nationally and in the Midwest, where Kroger is based.
For C&S Wholesale Grocers, the buyer of these Kroger/Albertsons assets, the acquisition means a broader geographic base and more banners, such as the venerable Mariano’s brand in the Chicago region. For Kroger and Albertsons, it may make the difference between going ahead with their planned $24.6-billion merger and getting shot down by antitrust regulators.
Connect CRE has provided coverage of fluctuating delinquency rates for CMBS loans. This past week, though, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that delinquencies were ticking upward even for non-securitized commercial mortgage loans. MBA: CRE Mortgage Delinquencies on the Rise, our second most-read story for the week, reported second-quarter data from MBA showing marginal increases for loans from all lender types except for life insurance companies.
That being said, MBA’s Jamie Woodwell noted, “Although the uptick in delinquency rates was expected, they remain at the lower end of historical ranges.” MBA’s report didn’t include construction and development loans, nor did it break out delinquency rates by property type.
With one set of metrics going up, another one is moving in the opposite direction. With the headline U.S. Apartment Rent Growth Flattens Out, we reported findings from RealPage that year-over-year, same-store rent growth for August was a negligible 0.28% and on track to turn negative in September. It was our third most-read story for the week.
A key factor is new supply. RealPage reported that the downward pressure on rents from new deliveries isn’t expected to abate until the second half of 2025.
Two regional stories that also saw national readership rounded out the top five. The Chicago Bears and their plans to quit their home stadium for a newly developed venue in suburban Arlington Heights, IL, have been in the news more than a few times in the past couple of years. The latest chapter of that story finds the NFL franchise basically saying, “Um, on second thought…”
Bears Revisit Stadium Talks with City of Chicago reported that the team is entertaining the possibility of staying in Chicago, although not at its current home of Soldier Field, one of the oldest and smallest NFL stadiums. It’s not clear whether the team’s plan to develop a $5-billion entertainment complex in Arlington Heights would fall by the wayside if it decides to remain in the city.
Finally, we shared news that PGIM Real Estate had provided a sizable loan to Alere Property Group for eight of its Southern California assets. As reported in PGIM Real Estate Provides $455M Loan on SoCal Industrial Portfolio, the portfolio totals approximately three million square feet located across Los Angeles County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.
Notwithstanding reports that the torrid demand for space in the sector has begun to normalize, PGIM Real Estate’s Trent Brown said, “We remain bullish on the industrial asset class.”