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  1. This Small Arkansas Bank Is Fueling America’s Skyscraper Boom “The most prolific lender to Manhattan property developers isn’t Well Fargo & Co. or Citigroup Inc. or any of the other big global banks. It is Bank OZK, which not that long ago was an obscure lender from Little Rock, Ark. The bank has become one of the country’s most aggressive financiers of skyscraper construction. OZK’s chief executive, George Gleason, said on a recent earnings call that the lender could issue its biggest ever construction mortgages in 2022.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Mitsubishi, UBS May Seek $1.7 Billion for Joint Real Estate Venture “Mitsubishi Corp. and UBS Asset Management, part of UBS Group AG, is considering the sale of a jointly owned real estate management company for about 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp. has emerged among possible buyers of the joint venture, called Mitsubishi Corp. UBS Realty, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the sales process isn’t public.” (Bloomberg)
  3. Here’s Where Most Intense Apartment Construction Is Occurring “Metro areas in the Sunbelt and Mountain states are undergoing intense apartment construction activity as builders try to keep pace with the strong demand in these markets. A strong and sustained job recovery, years of net domestic in-migration even during the pandemic, and the relative affordability of rental housing in these markets compared to other markets are drawing workers, businesses, and retirees.” (GlobeSt.com)
  4. Dollar General Will Lead the Way in Store Openings in ’22 “Discount stores will see more new locations this year than any other kind of retailer.” (Bisnow)
  5. BFR Builders ‘Struggling’ to Find Infill Locations “As the build-for-rent space continues to enjoy robust demand in both urban and secondary cities across the US, it’s getting tougher for developers to find suitable locations to build single-family detached homes, according to one industry executive. ‘We’ve been very fortunate that our portfolio has a lot of infill locations. But those are becoming more and more challenging to find,’ Mark Wolf, CEO and founder of Texas BFR builder AHV Communities told John Burns Real Estate Consulting’s Dean Wehrli recently.” (GlobeSt.com)
  6. Two Years into Pandemic, Shoppers Are Still Hoarding “Retailers and analysts predicted that the bulk buying in the early days of the pandemic, when supplies of many goods were constrained, would subside once people returned to work, stores were able to restock and vaccinations became widespread. Instead, Americans continue to stockpile food and household goods. Many are spending more time at home and remain uncertain about product availability. Some have moved from tight-spaced apartments in cities to more spacious suburban homes, and inflation is spurring a search for savings by buying in bulk.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Reno, Nevada to Use Stimulus Cash for Low-Income Housing “Federal stimulus money is allowing the city of Reno, Nevada to convert motels into below-market-rate housing instead of bulldozing them to make way for a new, $1.8 billion entertainment district. ProPublica is reporting that in the wake of its investigation into the city’s standing by as developer Jeffery Jacobs bought and knocked down a number of motels that were used to house hundreds of low-income residents, its mayor is changing her tune.” (The Real Deal)
  8. New Jersey and Delaware Set Timelines for the End of School Mask Mandates “The Democratic governors of New Jersey and Delaware have both set timelines for the end of their states’ school mask mandates in a sign of the receding wave of Covid-19 and the country’s move toward a ‘new normal.’ New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will announce Monday a timeline to end the state’s school mask mandate next month, his office told CNN. The policy will allow students and school officials to be unmasked as of March, two years after the pandemic gripped the country and the region.” (CNN)

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