One thing that has weathered 2020 better than one might have expected is the stock market.
After a precipitous (some might use the word “catastrophic”) dip in the first half of the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is modestly above where it was a year ago. (On Friday, it was at 30,034; on Jan. 2 of this year, trading ended at 28,538.)
We can see why so many are eager to get in on the action.
Home-sharing portal Airbnb dropped its initial public offering on the Nasdaq on Thursday, and the results were predictably mind-spinning. The company — which has struggled during the pandemic, with layoffs and a steep revenue drop — saw its valuation double within hours from $47 billion to at least $100 billion. Did somebody say bubble?
Seriously, though, whatever its manna from the free market, the San Francisco-based company continues to face potentially existential challenges from the pandemic and from various regulators across the country, never mind neighbors not too keen on living next to what they consider illegal hotels.
Speaking of lots of moola …
With the merciful close of this awful year upon us, CO looked back at the biggest financing deals in commercial real estate in the nation’s two premier office markets: Los Angeles and New York City. The lists reveal that, for all of 2020’s tumult, solid fundamentals still reign when it comes to lending.
Speaking of L.A., developer Cityview is expanding its portfolio in an opportunity zone in Downtown L.A.
And, even more L.A.! Robin Potts, co-head of real estate investments and director of acquisitions at Canyon Partners Real Estate, broke down for us what matters now in lending in La-La Land and its environs.
Plus, other L.A.-area financing experts shared their expertise at a recent CO forum. Bone up.
A little more dollars and sense
The pandemic has not been kind to commercial real estate financially. It’s been especially unkind to retail and hospitality. Check out what’s happening in terms of distressed assets as 2021 looms (don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom).
Also, check out what’s happening with the CMBS market. That, too, is far from all doom and gloom. Who knew? Some lenders learned lessons they didn’t forget during the last recession!
OK, let’s take a Breather
Or, that is, take a look at a lawsuit IGS Realty Co. filed last week against flex space operator Breather. The landlord claims the tenant owes it $91,000 in back rent. It’s another sign of the travails of flex space/coworking operators amid COVID.
The IGS-Breather lawsuit is yet another reminder that, whatever the hope from imminent mass vaccinations, COVID is still very much with us. There were other reminders this week, too.
For instance, a new survey revealed that a lot of women are not too keen on returning full time to the office once the pandemic passes.
What’s more, restaurants in New York City are still struggling mightily, even with creative help from many of their landlords. It turns out, they might have to work double time. On Friday, Gov. Cuomo announced that indoor dining would close tomorrow.
And office tenants continue to shed space in an effort to consolidate operations and, thereby, save themselves money (and cost landlords theirs). Just ask WPP’s real estate chief, Bruce MacAffer. We did!
And, finally, California’s housing crisis, exacerbated as it’s been by the pandemic, has driven at least one state legislator to propose extending the state’s eviction moratorium into 2022.
Trying to look on the bright side, really
We’ll close with some unabashed good news for the market. Ruben Companies racked up a series of leases for prebuilt space at its 600 Madison Avenue. The Brooklyn Navy Yard experienced its own leasing mini-wave. Developer LCOR unveiled plans for a 461-unit apartment building in Coney Island. And we found out more about the financing behind Amazon’s largest amount of leased space in New York.
That should give everyone plenty to chew over this weekend. And why not chew over it with some takeout or delivery from a New York City restaurant?