‘Excited to Go Back’: How the Office Environment Became a Recruiting Tool

In today’s job market, some employers are leaning into a new recruiting tool, something that has historically simply been a mundane and overlooked factor when trying to lure new talent: the office.

“Let’s say a job seeker gets two similar offers when it comes to compensation and benefits, but one company provides a flexible hybrid work environment in a really nice building with amenities, and the other doesn’t,” says James Stein, Senior Director at Cushman & Wakefield’s Dallas office. “Which job would you chose?”

The competitive recruiting in some fields has generated a flight to quality in the office market.

“That concept is pretty straightforward: make going to the office an experience, something that is worthy of an employee’s commute,” Stein says. “Make sure the building and the space are something that, when the employee gets home, they say, ‘“I’m excited to go back.’” Click to read more at www.rednews.com.

National Industrial Service Facility Portfolio Acquisition Financed with $61 Million Loan

JLL Capital Markets has arranged $61 million in acquisition financing for an industrial portfolio comprising nearly two-dozen last-mile, cross-dock truck terminals and transload properties across 17 key markets in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, New England and Central U.S.

JLL worked on behalf of the borrower, Biynah Industrial Partners, to source the acquisition loan.

The portfolio is 93% leased to 18 tenants with an average tenure of nearly 17 years and substantial investment-grade in-place tenancy. The portfolio crosses various regions with assets in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, New England and Central U.S.

The portfolio provides end-to-end logistics solutions for today’s supply chain demands. These facilities represent mission-critical freight distribution transfer points, facilitating the flow of goods at the last stage of the supply chain. Each site offers optimal solutions for facility location, facility size, proximity to major infrastructure, truck court sizing, auto parking and other special use considerations.

This portfolio highlights the growing demand for Industrial Service Facilities (“ISF”), a rapidly growing multi-billion asset class that is suddenly on the radar of institutional investors. Such last-mile, cross-dock truck terminals and transload properties are increasingly driving investor attention due to their critical role in the movement of goods amidst supply chain backlogs.

The JLL Capital Markets team that represented the borrower was led by Managing Director Matthew Schoenfeldt and Director Lucas Borges.

Sky-High Rental Prices Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels by More Than 25%

The pandemic fueled a meteoric rise in rental prices, and a severe shortage of supply isn’t helping. The nation’s median rental price hit its latest new high of $1,849 per month in May, representing a 26.6% increase since 2019 before the pandemic began, according to the Realtor.com monthly rental report released today.

A key factor driving the ongoing rent surge is a lack of supply, as rental vacancy rates, which were already trending lower, have taken a sharp dive during the pandemic. These trends are magnified in the biggest cities that tend to attract younger residents, many of whom are in the early stages of their careers and looking for the flexibility in their living situations.

“We do not have enough housing, and increased costs are a concern for all, including the 40 million Americans who choose to rent,” said Bob Pinnegar, president and CEO of the National Apartment Association. “The white-hot housing market has further fueled existing supply shortages and increased housing costs as renters stay in apartments longer and expenses tied directly to property values — like taxes and insurance — skyrocket.” Click to read more at www.forbes.com.

Pain, Pain, Pain: From Soaring Gas Prices to Rising Labor and Materials Costs, Inflation is Making Life Difficult for CRE Occupiers

Pain. That’s what inflation is bringing to both businesses and consumers today. Gas prices are soaring. Families are spending more at the grocery store. And the average interest rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages has been inching ever closer to 6%.

Inflation is also upending the business models of commercial real estate occupiers, something that Cushman & Wakefield addresses in its latest research.

As the report says, the largest expenses for most businesses are labor costs, which range from about 30% of total operating expenses for transportation firms to 60% for office-using businesses such as accounting, legal, medical and professional services. And today, labor costs for real estate occupiers are rising more quickly than at any time in recent memory, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

According to the Employment Cost Index for the private sector, median wage growth in the first quarter of 2022 rose 6% when compared to the same quarter a year earlier. That’s tied for the fastest rate on record dating back to 1990.

Another challenge for occupiers? Retaining employees. Cushman & Wakefield reported that workers who changed jobs in April of this year received a year-over-year wage increase of 7.2% compared to the average wage increase of 5.3% that workers staying in their current roles saw. Workers understand that they’ll typically earn more by jumping to another company. This makes it especially difficult for companies to keep their best employees if they don’t want to match those bigger wage increases.

It’s little surprise then, that Cushman & Wakefield reports that the number of people quitting jobs remains near an all-time high.

These challenges aren’t likely to disappear soon, either. As Cushman & Wakefield says, escalating labor costs don’t ease as quickly as other forms of inflation. Wages tend to be sticky.

Rising labor costs aren’t the only inflation challenges that businesses face. Cushman & Wakefield says that commercial real estate occupiers are also facing higher electricity, heating and cooling costs. In the United States, the consumer price index for electricity rose 11% during the previous 12 months ending in April, while the consumer price index for natural gas rose 22.7%.

Then there are soaring transportation costs, increases that are especially difficult on companies that ship their product across the country. As Cushman & Wakefield reports there is no sign that these costs are heading down anytime soon.

Another rising expense? The cost of materials. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the Producer Price Index for industrial commodities — excluding fuel– rose 13.8% during the 12 months ending in April, with certain products such as plywood, steel and chemicals rising by even larger margins.

However You Describe it, There’s No Cooling Down the Texas Land Market

“White hot.” “Very active.” “Extremely strong.” “Unparalleled.”

Ask Texas land brokers about what the market is like today and you’ll get colorful descriptions that boil down to one thing: competitive conditions even those with decades of experience haven’t witnessed in their career.

“I’ve never seen the market as a whole have this much momentum in synergy and velocity,” says broker Rex Glendenning, Owner of REX Real Estate. “Over the past four decades, certain sectors of the market have been extremely hot, but I’ve never seen all the different sectors of the real estate industry have the type of momentum we have here right now.”

Glendenning, who started REX back in 1987, thinks the post-pandemic development cycle may have pushed markets such as Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin a whole cycle ahead.

“What may have taken six to eight years has happened in two or three years,” he explains. “Families are moving to Texas. New companies and corporations are building their headquarters here.” Click to read more at www.rednews.com.

Prologis Closes $26 Billion Acquisition of Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corporation

Prologis and Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corporation have completed their $26 billion merger agreement. In this major deal, Prologis will acquire Duke Realty in an all-stock transaction.

Both companies announced today that their boards of directors have unanimously approved the transaction.

“We have admired the disciplined repositioning strategy the Duke Realty team has completed over the last decade,” said Prologis co-founder, chief executive officer and chairman Hamid Moghadam, in a written statement. “(Prologis) has built an exceptional portfolio in the U.S. located in geographies we believe will outperform in the future. That will be fueled by Prologis’ proven track record as a value creator in the logistics space. We have a diverse model that allows us to deliver even more value to customers.”

How big is this acquistion? Proglois now acquires 153 million square feet of operating proproperties in 19 major U.S. logisics locations and 11 million square feet of developments in progress, about $1.6 billion in total expected investment.

Prologis is also acquiring 1,228 acres of land owned and under option with a build-out of about 21 million square feet.

“This transaction is a testament to Duke Realty’s world-class portfolio of industrial properties, long-proven success and sustainable value creation we’ve delivered over the years,” said Duke Realty chairman and chief executive officer Jim Connor, in a written statement. “We are confident that this transaction – including the meaningful opportunity it provides for shareholders to participate in the growth and upside from the combined portfolio — is in the best long-term interest of Duke Realty shareholders.”

Following personal dialogue between the executive teams of both companies, Prologis first sent a letter to Duke Realty on Nov. 29, 2021, regarding a potential transaction. On May 3, 2022, Prologis modestly increased the proposed exchange ratio – representing a 34% premium to Duke Realty’s stock price at the time– in a final attempt to engage privately to reach agreement on a mutually beneficial transaction. Duke Realty rejected the Prologis proposal that same evening.

The negotiations are now over, and the acquisition will move forward.