Sunday Summary: Congrats, Power Player. You’re Going to Disney World!


We admit that we were about three months late, but we finally made it …

Commercial Observer launched our Power Finance edition this week! (Formerly known as “Power 50.”)

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Every year we rank the most powerful names in commercial real estate finance and, as one might expect, we took a little step back and tried to arrange the pecking order based on who could weather a worldwide global pandemic and catastrophically bad economy best. (We’re not going to tell you anything else except click on it to get our thinking.)

We learned some things along the way; i.e., which asset classes most of the big wigs are putting their faith in. Just how off the hook the phones have been ringing at the special servicing shops. What the old-timers can teach the newbies about facing a real crisis. And why overleverage wasn’t the problem in this crisis that it was back in ‘08.

It felt good (for us anyway) to put out something that felt a little familiar. A little return to the before time; the long, long ago. And for those on the list, congratulations. What are you going to do now?

Going to Disney World, you say?

Lucky you, because it just opened last week. Granted, the Magic Kingdom’s attendance numbers were dismal (they were 16 percent of what they were this time last year, according to but they’re putting on a show anyway. And, over at Universal Orlando, one attendee told Commercial Observer (in addition to handing out masks to anyone who bares their face) that there were even hourlong waits for rides.

And last month’s retail numbers had a nice surprise in them: growth! A 7.5 percent increase in June as stores began their first steps toward reopening.

Plus, continuing a trend that had been building well before the pandemic hit, a new report showed that New York’s industrial market has been stable despite all the rest of the pain being absorbed in other real estate buckets.

All in all, not bad. There were deals closed, like Savana’s $389 million in financing to buy 1375 Broadway. And we even saw a deal raised from the dead. Times Square Edition, which told employees it would close for good a few months back, got a financial lifeline last week; CO learned that lender Natixis might help owner Maefield out with its financial problems.

That being said, the market suffered its share of aches and pains.

Leasing activity dropped a shocking 53 percent in the second quarter of the year, CO learned from a JLL report.

Plus Toby Moskovits’ 144-room Bushwick hotel currently under construction at 232 Seigel Street entered Chapter 11.

But we’re not thinking about it. Disney World, Disney World, Disney World!

See you next week.