1. Walmart Is Using its Thousands of Stores to Battle Amazon for E-Commerce Market Share “Walmart’s cavernous stores are known for aisles of low-priced groceries, paper towels and apparel. Now, those big boxes are hubs for its e-commerce business, serving as launch pads for delivery drones, automated warehouses for online grocery orders and departure locations for direct-to-fridge drop-offs. Eventually, they will help pack and ship goods for individuals and independent companies that sell on Walmart’s website through its third-party marketplace.” (CNBC)
  2. Midtown Manhattan Has a Pulse Again “Midtown Manhattan, though not as jam-packed as it was before Covid, is starting to thrive again. Not even the resurging virus in recent weeks and fears about crime on the subway have kept the crowds away from its parks, plazas and public spaces. Sidewalks are gridlocked. Lunch counters and happy hours are elbow to elbow, especially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, as office workers adjust to hybrid schedules.” (The New York Times)
  3. Houston Ship Channel Launches $1 Billion Expansion Amid Record-Shattering Demand “A $1B expansion is planned to ease stress at the Houston Ship Channel.” (Bisnow)
  4. Metro Atlanta Becomes Hotbed for Real Estate Investors “Companies that buy and rent large numbers of homes — and sometimes tack on fees and charge-backs that can drain tenants’ finances — are gobbling up large chunks of metro Atlanta’s already tight real-estate market. Why it matters: Home ownership is part and parcel of the American dream and a key driver of wealth. Institutional investors and private equity groups scooped up cheap homes after the Great Recession and have benefited from the metro Atlanta’s high demand for housing and lack of local regulations, experts said at yesterday’s Regional Housing Forum.” (Axios)
  5. Remote Work to Reduce Long-Term Office Values by 28%: NYU “Our buildings are fine. It’s everyone else’s that are in trouble. You’ve probably heard versions of this claim from major office landlords over the past two years as the shift toward distributed work led many to question how those assets could possibly hold their value. For a time, the investment-sales market for office buildings was on ice, so both doomsdayers and optimists had to wait.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Study: The Top Five U.S. Retailers by 2026 Will Be… “E-commerce is shaking up the upper ranks of the top retailers in the United States. Amazon will overtake Walmart to become the largest retailer in the United States by 2024, and add more than $294 billion in U.S. sales between 2021 and 2026, according to an annual report by Edge by Ascential.” (Chain Store Age)
  7. Eric Adams Says Yes to City Real Estate Development—If Only the Council Could Agree “A day after developers dropped plans for an ambitious Harlem real estate project rather than face defeat in the City Council, Mayor Eric Adams proposed sweeping changes to city zoning rules aiming to spur more housing and jobs — changes that will require a cautious Council’s approval. In remarks Wednesday morning to the Association for a Better New York, a network of the city’s movers and shakers, Adams touted a ‘City of Yes,’ where local officials and constituents will embrace development rather than fight it.” (The City)
  8. Waiter, There’s a Fee in My Soup “Notice something extra on your restaurant tab? Rather than raise menu prices, restaurants are using new fees and surcharges to stick inflation into the fine print. Fees for a ‘noncash adjustment, ‘fuel surcharge,’ or ‘kitchen appreciation’ have been showing up on more bills lately. Industry analysts say this wave of surcharges is mostly being driven by restaurants trying to cope with the impact of rising inflation and a tight labor market on their bottom lines.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. Real Estate Dynasty Patriarch Larry Ackman Passes Away at 83 “Real estate entrepreneur Larry Ackman passed away at 83 on Wednesday, leaving a legacy of success and friendship cultivated across decades. Ackman was the son of Herman Ackman, who alongside his brother Bert founded the Ackman Brothers in 1926, prompting transgenerational momentum for the family in New York City real estate. Ackman is the father of billionaire Bill Ackman.” (Commercial Observer)

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