In the News—Week of September 7, 2020
Around the Nation
Pinterest loses interest in adding office space, cancels lease
Pinterest, a social media site where users post pictures and short videos, has decided to pay $89.5 million to terminate a lease, SF Gate reports. Pinterest had agreed to lease 490,000 square feet of office space at 88 Bluxome, an office tower in San Francisco near the tech company’s headquarters. But Pinterest backed out because the firm doesn’t need the space. Many employees who began working at home during the pandemic don’t plan to return to the office. The company is keeping its current headquarters.
Energy & Environment
City of Minneapolis pushes for pay-as-you go energy program
Minneapolis officials are lobbying state regulators to create a $50-million pilot program that would allow consumers to take loans for energy-saving upgrades and repay them through their monthly bill, Energy Network News reports via The Associated Press and The Minneapolis Star Tribune. The effort comes as regulators decided a gas-rate increase for Center Energy. The loans would not have to go through credit checks. The obligation for the debt would stay with the property.
Houston farmers market partners launch commercial real estate firm
Todd Mason and Jeff Lindenberger, partners in the venture that owns the Houston Farmers Market, have formed a company that will focus on industrial, self-storage and retail. The two were with Avison Young, a national commercial real estate firm. The two previously founded Mason Partners, which was sold to Aviso Young. The formation of the new firm, called MLB Commercial Real Estate, was already in the works, but the pandemic sped things up. “It made us re-examine our lifestyle and our business plan,” Mason tells the newspaper. “It was the best thing for us from a business and personal lifestyle standpoint.”
Dallas area leads the country for getting back to the office
A survey shows the Dallas-Fort Worth area leads the nation in employees going back to the office, NBCDFW reports. Research from Kastle Systems shows 36% of the offices in the metroplex have reopened. That is more than three times the percentage in New York City, which saw only 11.8 % of its offices reopen. In the 10 largest metro areas in the country, about 23% of the offices are back in business. Surveys show most office workers are not eager to return and would prefer to work at home.
Phoenix market ranks ninth for CRE sales in first half of 2020
The greater Phoenix area saw about $4.4 billion in commercial real estate sales in the first half of 2020, putting the market ninth in the United States, the Phoenix Business Journal reports via KNXV TV. Phoenix slipped to ninth on the list, with a 34% decline over the first six months of 2019. The figures come from Real Capital Analytics, which tracks sales of more than $2.5 million in large markets. Dallas led all markets with $9.3 billion in sales. That still was 10% lower from the previous year. Only one of the top 25 markets saw an increase in the value of transactions. Raleigh Durham saw a 15% jump.
Mexican construction industry forecast to hit $156 billion by 2024
ResearchAndMarkets.com is predicting the Mexican construction sector will hit $156 billion in four years, Globe Newswire reports. The Irish-based research firm expects the industry to expand by a compound annual growth rate of 7.6%. By contrast, the industry saw growth of an average of 2.8% annually from 2015-2019, including just 2% in 2019. The construction industry in Mexico has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. The report predicts slow growth in the short- and medium-term before the industry sees a strong bounce back.