A show about the latest news and developments in REITs and real estate investment.
Data Centers in Leadership Position on Climate Change
The data center industry holds a leadership position on climate change issues as technological advances create greater efficiencies while economies of scale result in a lower energy profile, according to Kyle Myers, senior director of environmental health, safety, and sustainability at CyrusOne, Inc. (Nasdaq: CONE).
Speaking on the REIT Report, Myers pointed to estimates that 1-3% of the entire power consumed on earth is consumed within data centers.
CyrusOne has set a goal of reaching zero carbon emissions by 2040 across the organization. Myers said innovation on the design side is “super important,” while CyrusOne is also looking at existing efficiencies across the portfolio, such as infrastructure and operational improvements.
SPECIAL EPISODE: Past Segregation Policies Continue to Weigh on Black Community Today, Author Says
Past racially-explicit policies by federal, state, and local governments—especially those concerning housing—imposed a level of segregation on the United States that was so powerful it still determines the racial landscape of today, according to Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.
Rothstein is also a distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a senior fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Nathaalie Carey, Nareit senior vice president for industry affairs and social responsibility, Rothstein pointed to the government’s deliberate move after World War II to create white suburban communities across the country as a key factor in preventing the accumulation of wealth and advancement of the African American population.
REITs Expected to Take Keener Interest in SPAC Structure Going Forward
Following a breakout year for special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in 2020, activity is forecast to remain brisk in 2021, with REITs expected to take a keener interest in the structure, according to Jocelyn Arel and Audrey Leigh, partners at Goodwin.
SPACs are a pool of capital formed through an initial public offering (IPO). SPAC sponsors go through the traditional IPO process, complete with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) review and roadshows, Arel, a partner in the firm’s Technology Companies practice and leader of the firm’s SPAC practice, explained. The capital is then placed into trust and is available to combine with an operating company and fund that company’s IPO, referred to as the SPAC-IPO.
“People are looking at the structure as an efficient way to take companies public and as an alternative to the traditional IPO or direct listings. In essence it’s really giving companies optionality in terms of how they want to approach the market,” Arel said.
GDP in Q4 Highlights Pandemic’s Continued Impact on Services Sector
Fourth quarter GDP data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis underscores the continued pressure facing the services sector, although a surge in spending is likely once vaccines bring the pandemic under control, Nareit Senior Economist Calvin Schnure says.
Speaking on the REIT Report, Schnure noted that GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 slowed to a 4.0% annual rate after a record 33% in the third quarter.
Some slowing was inevitable, Schnure said. He noted that a large divergence remains in place between the services and goods sectors, with the decline in services spending accounting for almost all of the decline in fourth quarter GDP compared to before the pandemic.
Recovery for Economy and Commercial Real Estate Backloaded to Second Half of 2021
While an economic recovery is expected to take hold, benefitting commercial real estate in its wake, any significant improvement is likely to occur starting in the second half of 2021, according to Nareit Senior Economist Calvin Schnure.
Speaking on the REIT report, Schnure highlighted some of the key themes of Nareit’s 2021 Outlook for REITs and Commercial Real Estate.
Schnure noted that “we’re going to see some strengthening of the economic recovery and that’s going to benefit the commercial real estate markets quite a bit.” However, the improvement will really be driven by vaccines bringing the pandemic under control, which is not expected before the second half.
INDUS Realty CEO Sees Growing Demand as Supply Chains Adjust and Economy Continues to Grow
INDUS Realty Trust, Inc. (Nasdaq: INDT) President and CEO Michael Gamzon says the REIT’s focus on logistics real estate in high growth, supply-constrained markets with multiple drivers of demand positions the company well to respond to changes in supply chain strategies.
INDUS recently elected REIT status and changed its name from Griffin Industrial Realty. Speaking on the REIT Report, Gamzon said the company chose to convert to a REIT in part because it “aligned with the business we’re in,” as well as allowing INDUS to seek out capital in order to be an active developer and acquirer of assets.
INDUS’ core markets are: Hartford, Connecticut; Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; Orlando; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Gamzon described Lehigh Valley as “one of the best performing markets in the country.”