National August 2020 Issue

Are office landlords turning a corner or rolling over?

With Facebook and other large companies growing their footprints while #WFH remains a dominant trend, the terms of office leasing in big cities are changing fast

Office landlords and leasing agents breathed a sigh of relief this month when Facebook inked a massive lease deal at Manhattan’s landmark Farley Post Office building. The deal with Vornado Realty Trust for 730,000 square feet at the $1 billion-plus redevelopment — which includes new commercial space and the expansion of Penn Station — marks the biggest office lease since the pandemic turned the market into a virtual ghost town… [more]

The Littmus test: Veteran activist investor on his office shorting strategy

Armed with a modest checkbook but a big pulpit, Jonathan Litt is going after Big Office. Can he prevail?

The morning of July 20 was dry … [more]

Biden vs. Trump: What’s at stake for real estate?

What’s at stake for the real estate industry?

Biden’s $775B ‘caring economy’ plan would kill 1031 exchanges Joe Biden went after one of the real estate industry’s favorite tax benefits last month. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee proposed… [more]

Neiman Marcus committed to 50 years at Hudson Yards. It lasted 16 months

UPDATED, Aug. 13, 2020, 9:18 am: When Neiman Marcus signed a lease to take over a massive space in Hudson Yards’ mall, the luxury department store committed to an ambitious… [more]

Fear and loathing in a pandemic: Insurers battle business interruption claims

As a Las Vegas casino owner, Phil Ruffin is used to taking risks. But this time the odds seem stacked against the billionaire mogul. For months, slot machines sat empty… [more]

Inside Hudson Pacific and Blackstone’s field of streams

As many developers just try to hang on during the pandemic, Victor Coleman is celebrating. During an earnings call at the end of July, Coleman could hardly contain his excitement… [more]

Redfin vowed more support for minority employees, but not everyone believes it will deliver

UPDATED, July 29, 2020, 1:13 p.m.: When Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman blogged about the brokerage’s pledge to fight racism, the move backfired. Some former agents and employees saw his remarks… [more]

“I don’t want to beat on our chest and say that we’re perfect:” Redfin’s Glenn Kelman responds to his critics

The shocking death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May prompted real estate executives around the country to speak out against racism and encourage non-violent protests…. [more]

Ending 1031 exchanges: Would Biden’s plan hurt smaller owners more than Trump and peers?

Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s proposal to axe like-kind exchanges for real estate — part of his plan to offer more federal aid to children, senior citizens and people with disabilities… [more]

Buyback blowback: REITs that repurchased stock now need cash

Real estate firms that spent heavily to repurchase their own stock could surely use that cash now

New York City’s largest office landlord has been hellbent on shrinking its portfolio over the past few years. Instead of … [more]

“We’re seeing more militant direct action:” Tenant groups fight evictions with power drills and other tools

Responding to an eviction in progress in South Central Los Angeles, tenant organizers didn’t call a defense attorney. They called a contractor, who came equipped with a power drill. When… [more]

Brokers vied for Epstein listings. Can they sell them?

For the women abused by Jeffrey Epstein, the $110 million listing of his homes in New York and Palm Beach represents a chance for reparations. The late financier’s estate has… [more]

A boomtown for a bygone era: Koreatown developers face a reckoning

When protests in Los Angeles following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers turned to vandalism, Koreatown was left untouched. The lack of disruption during the weekend… [more]

Miami Beach’s Star Island regains its luster

Miami Beach’s Star Island has long attracted such high-profile residents as Sean “Diddy” Combs, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, plastic surgeon Leonard Hochstein, and Philip and Patricia Frost. Soon, more stars… [more]

Scoundrels of the skyline: Charles Bagli on the most colorful characters in the real estate biz

When Charles Bagli first started poking into the businesses and lives of New York’s real estate elite more than three decades ago, he made his ground rules clear. “As a… [more]

The REInterview: What if Manhattan had four Central Parks’ worth of land to play with?

Land prices in Manhattan are among the highest in the world, and developers have become adept at extracting every possible square foot of value in a supply-choked market. But according… [more]

The Closing: David Schwartz

The Slate Property Group founder on America’s housing crisis, his father’s “Gridlock” legacy and his firm’s controversial Rivington House deal

David Schwartz is a principal and co-founder of Slate Property Group, … [more]

Editor’s note: A ‘new normal’ for offices

Remember when August was the time of year when the news cycle slowed, there weren’t that many big stories, people were on vacation, and there was the expectation that life… [more]

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