📊 Investors Hit Pause in 4Q23 per Burns + CRE Daily Fear and Greed Index. See the full report here.

WeWork Seeks Fresh Funds for Rent Negotiations, Exit Bankruptcy

The co-working giant is now searching for new financing to survive rent negotiations and restructure its operations with its landlords.

WeWork Seeks Fresh Funds for Rent Negotiations, Exit Bankruptcy

The co-working giant is now searching for new financing to survive rent negotiations and restructure its operations with its landlords.

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Good morning. WeWork is on the hunt for fresh funds to sustain its operations and manage its lease commitments. Meanwhile, Invitation Homes plans to expand its single-family rental portfolio, potentially acquiring $1B worth of houses this year.

Today’s issue is brought to you by FNRP. Grow your wealth with grocery-anchored, multifamily, and industrial commercial real estate.

Market Snapshot

S&P 500
GSPC
5,029.73
Pct Chg:
+0.58%
FTSE NAREIT
FNER
731.01
Pct Chg:
+0.14%
10Y Treasury
TNX
4.263%
Pct Chg:
+0.023
SOFR
1-month
5.32%
Pct Chg:
0.0%

*Data as of 2/14/2024 market close.

Requests for Relief

WeWork Aims for New Financing Amid Bankruptcy, Rent Talks

wework looking for fresh cash

WeWork's ongoing struggle in its bankruptcy proceedings has reached a pivotal stage. The co-working giant is now searching for new financing to survive rent negotiations and restructure its operations with its landlords.

Escalating tensions: WeWork's reorganization efforts under Chapter 11 have hit a new chapter following allegations from landlords that the company is withholding rent payments. WeWork is countering these claims, arguing that the landlords' reluctance to compromise is hindering the restructuring process. The company is accused of dragging its feet in lease negotiations while still utilizing spaces and collecting dues, leading to growing discontent among property owners.

What they are saying: WeWork reportedly withheld around $33 million in January rent as a tactic to bring landlords to the negotiating table. Despite this, WeWork maintains that most landlords have financial safeguards such as letters of credit and surety bonds. The company argues that forcing it to pay rent before finalizing a reorganization plan drains its limited resources, which could jeopardize its survival.

Lease rejections: Part of WeWork's bankruptcy strategy involves rejecting over 90 leases across the United States and restructuring around 60 rental agreements globally. This approach has led to significant rent savings, estimated at over $1.5 billion. However, some landlords allege that WeWork is not genuinely attempting to renegotiate lease terms, with examples of the company subleasing spaces without paying rent to the primary landlord.

The ghost of Neumann: To make matters more interesting, WeWork's founder, Adam Neumann, remains a topic of interest. Recent reports suggest Neumann may be planning a return to the company with the support of hedge funder Dan Loeb, although Loeb has since downplayed his involvement in such a plan.

➥ THE TAKEAWAY

Looking ahead: WeWork's future remains uncertain, with creditors expressing concerns over the lack of an updated business plan and details on emerging from bankruptcy on a more stable financial footing. The company's restructuring plan requires cooperation from all stakeholders, including landlords who are currently challenging WeWork's approach.

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✍️ Editor’s Picks

  • Yield yo-yo: January's inflation exceeded predictions, leading to a rise in the 10-year Treasury yield to 4.31$ from 4.17%.

  • Loan overload: LUS regulators indicate that two dozen banks with CRE portfolios in late 2023 may face scrutiny due to rapid accumulation of loans exceeding three times their total.

  • Cooling down: Nashville's CRE market, after a decade of robust growth, saw its lowest commercial sales since 2011, indicating a significant shift.

  • Unraveling investments: Miami Beach real estate investors Alex Kleyner and Diane Ulis discovered that developer Rishi Kapoor received $1.3M in unauthorized fees, leading to a civil case.

🏘️ MULTIFAMILY

  • Tax strategies: JP Morgan Chase (JPM) provided a $75M construction loan to Brause Realty for a 20-story building with 157 apartments at 729 Second Avenue in Murray Hill, including 48 affordable units for the 421a tax abatement.

  • Building a better SoCal: Bain Capital Real Estate and Cherry Tree Capital Partners form a JV to build rental townhomes in Southern California.

  • Unlocking development: Viridian development on Trinity River in North Arlington, TX transformed into a thriving community worth over $2B generating $40M in annual tax revenues.

  • Renter demands: Rentcafe shows U.S. renters prioritize balancing income and expenses when choosing a location, analyzing median income, rent, and necessities in 189 cities.

🏭 INDUSTRIAL

  • Oasis in the desert: Southwest's Sansone Group and Raith Capital are partnering to develop Rancho Del Rey Logistics Park in El Paso, with the first phase of construction already underway.

  • Suddenly stable: The industrial sector experienced a cooling-off in 2023, but stabilization and normalization are expected in 2024 with slowing rent growth and rising vacancy rates.

🏬 RETAIL

  • Grocery showdown: Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser filed a lawsuit to block the $24.6B merger of Kroger (KR) and Albertsons (ACI), citing concerns of store closures, higher prices, fewer jobs, and worse customer service.

  • Back to basics: Site Centers (SITC) is selling shopping centers, potentially dissolving its REIT in favor of a spinoff focused on strip malls.

  • Sunny disposition: H&M signs lease for a two-story store in the fully occupied Brickell City Centre, Miami, increasing foot traffic by 21.4% and boosting sales by 12.9%.

  • Urban Renaissance: Urban retail rebounds in 2024, with strong tenant demand, high occupancy rates, and steady rent growth, per JLL.

🏢 OFFICE

  • Toy real estate: San Francisco’s Toy Real Estate Investment faces possible foreclosure in 90 days due to defaulting on an $18.75M loan with monthly payments of over $100K.

  • Office space shuffle: San Francisco's office market in 4Q23 had an overall vacancy rate of 32.5%, up from 24.1% the previous year.

  • Work vacuum: Medistar's Lakeside Tower in Richardson faces challenges as Texas Capital Bank's departure leaves the property almost vacant.

EXPANSION PLAN

Invitation Homes Expand Third-Party Biz With $1B More Homes

Invitation Homes, the nation's largest single-family rental landlord, is set to expand its property portfolio and management services. The company plans to invest up to $1 billion in new property acquisitions this year, catering to the increasing demand from U.S. renters.

The game plan: Invitation Homes aims to grow its already extensive portfolio of 80,000 single-family rentals. The target is to acquire $600 million to $1 billion worth of houses this year, with an additional investment through joint ventures. This move follows a successful year in 2023, where Invitation Homes and its partners purchased over $1.1 billion in properties. CEO Dallas Tanner emphasized prudent growth strategies in line with current capital market conditions.

Addressing housing: The company's expansion coincides with a broader trend of high mortgage rates deterring renters from transitioning to homeownership. This dynamic maintains a strong demand for single-family rentals. Invitation Homes is also exploring the sale of $400 million to $600 million of its wholly owned houses to support its acquisition goals.

3rd party management: In a new initiative, Invitation Homes launched professional property and asset management services for owners of single-family rental homes. The company formed an agreement with an undisclosed third-party portfolio owner, bringing over 14K homes into their platform. This offers procurement and pricing advantages, driving down costs and providing better market intelligence.

➥ THE TAKEAWAY

Driving efficiency, growth: Invitation Homes' expansion plans not only involve acquiring $1B in new homes but also venturing into third-party property management. This new business arm presents opportunities for the company to leverage procurement, secure competitive prices, and gain better market insights. The combo of portfolio expansion and strategic property management positions the company for continued growth and efficiency in SFR.

📈 CHART OF THE DAY

Despite all the negativity in real estate news these days, there are a few silver linings—even for renters. Recently, the rent-to-income ratio has actually slid back down from a high of 23.8% back in 4Q21 to 22.9% in 4Q23 as average wage growth begins to slightly outpace rent growth, which has fallen in many major metros.

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