The 20th year of the 21st century will mercifully end in well under two weeks now. In expectation of that blessed event, Commercial Observer ran down the top Manhattan office leases of 2020 as well as the top deals in Los Angeles.
We also looked at one of the many, many (many) negatives of the year re: the market, and that was retail bankruptcies. Not only the bankruptcies themselves, though, but what the longer-term fallout will be.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom and Zoom. Brokers made it through the year, some quite successfully, and we looked at how they did that.
Enough of that
OK, 2020 is soon history, so here’s to 2021 and the changes that it’ll bring. One will surely be the continued rise of proptech. More of the commercial real estate industry is embracing it than ever, and that now includes the City of New York. It’s looking for a partner to parse what proptech firms to use in its vast real estate holdings.
Then, there’s going to be the twists and turns in the coworking/flex space sector. One such twist playing out as one year runs into the next is the plight of Breather. The flex space operator announced it’s closing all of its locations and laying off a lot of staff. The company blames COVID, but some CO sources aren’t so sure about that.
2021 will also bring a new presidential administration. How’s the D.C. commercial real estate industry taking that? They’re in line to help satisfy the property needs of Biden et al. as with previous administrations.
And, one of the big question marks in commercial real estate leasing is, what will tech do? The likes of Facebook, TikTok, Amazon, and Google have been some of the biggest lessors of space during the pandemic. It will be interesting to see how much of it they actually retain — rather than, say, sublease out, as Twitter has done — and when they’ll actually occupy it.
Finally, for 2021, keep an eye on Philip Michael, a Danish entrepreneur in the U.S. who wants to not only make a bundle in development, but create 100,000 millionaires of color along the way.
Odds and ends at the end
While it’s tempting to spend this time of year looking at macro events and trends that were and are to come, you have to remember that business as usual continues on a micro level.
Take this sale of a 22-story office tower in downtown L.A. Or, speaking of L.A. sales, this mall trade that community opposition ended up scuttling. Or the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board passing a new budget that’s got a bit of wishful thinking baked in. Or a major tenant at Empire State Realty Trust’s 111 West 33rd Street expanding. Or Faropoint’s sale of an industrial portfolio in Memphis to a Boston-based REIT. Industrial, after all, remains the darling of asset classes, and KKR proved that when it landed a $740 million CMBS loan for its recent portfolio purchase. Not a bad way to close out a truly difficult year.