In the News—Week of July 13, 2020
Around the Nation
Manhattan apartment vacancies reach record levels, rents drop
More than 10,000 Manhattan apartments were listed for rent in June, an 85% increase from the previous year, CNBC reports. The drivers behind the vacancies are that many residents are leaving the island, and lockdown restrictions have made it impossible for real estate agents to show the properties. The official vacancy rate is 3.67%, which in most markets wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. But this is Manhattan where closets double as studio apartments. The situation has gotten so dire that landlords are slashing rents. Rents fell 8% in June. All things are relative. In Manhattan, that means rent for a one-bedroom apartment has fallen to an average of $3,400 a month.
Energy & Environment
Florida approves more options for residents with low incomes
State regulators OK’d plans to lower low-income residents’ bills slightly, The Tampa Bay Times reports. The utilities will offer inspections of homes, rebates for air conditioning systems, and retrofitting homes with caulking and weather-stripping. The utilities’ proposals drew fire from environmentalists because they did not reduce consumption enough.
Madison Marquette opens 30-story high-end apartment building in Houston
Madison Marquette has opened a 30-story luxury apartment building in downtown Houston, Connect Texas reports. Called, the Travis, the 375,000-square-foot building has one-, two-, three-bedroom apartments and two-story penthouses. It will feature 14,000 square feet of retail space, scheduled to open by early 2021. The building offers residents a 24-hour fitness center and a 24-hour coffee bar, a heated salt-water pool, valet dry cleaning, concierge service and other amenities.
Spire Hospitality moves headquarters to Dallas-Fort Worth from Illinois
Spire Hospitality is moving its headquarters to the Dallas-Fort Worth area from Deerfield, Illinois, Hotel Business reports. Spire chose a location five minutes away from the Irving Convention Center and equidistant from Dallas Love Field Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. “Because of our location in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and access to both airports, we’re now in a great position geographically to serve our properties across the country,” CEO Chris Russell says. Spire manages hotels in 17 states. The company is owned by AWH Partners, a New York real estate investment firm. Spire will keep its Deerfield location for regional operations.
Amazon purchases 91.5 acres near Loop 303 in Goodyear
Amazon acquired 91.5 acres for $19.85 million in Goodyear along the Loop 303 near Cotton Lane and Indian School Road, AZ Big Media reports. Loop 303 has become a hot area for industrial development in the Phoenix area’s West Valley. Goodyear is already home to three Amazon facilities — a fulfillment center, a global operations center, and a delivery station — and the company employs more than 1,000 in the city.
Putting army to work on major construction projects has drawback
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has hoped to save money by turning to the army to build three large infrastructure projects — the new Mexico City airport at the Santa Lucía Air Force base, two sections of the Maya Train project, and 2,700 branches of the state-owned Banco del Bienestar. And he has placed much hope that these projects will add millions of jobs to the economy. But economists say that using the army to do the work blunts much of the economic impact, Mexico News Daily reports. Fewer jobs are created by using soldiers and no tax revenue is generated from the army, unlike a private business.