Winter storm business wipeout, the first infrastructure big bang, REIT rewards brass while putting off creditors, the RESTAURANT Act is a real mouthful, and the COVID-19 problem with old apartment buildings.
In Today’s News
Winter Storm Disrupts Wide Swath of American Business
The New York Times [subscription required] says today that power outages, natural gas shortages, and icy conditions have made it hard for automakers, retailers, and delivery carriers to operate across much of the South and Midwest.
Why it matters: Closures include as many as 500 Walmarts (NYSE: WMT) and 775 CVS (NYSE: CVS) drugstores across the region -- and 200 Walgreens in hard-hit Texas alone. These are just chains reporting. The hurt also is on small operators, too, with all of this coming at a time when businesses can least afford it.
Is This High-Speed Train the First Megaproject of the Biden Era?
It’s an audacious vision for high-speed rail in the Northeast: new tunnels out of New York City and under the Long Island Sound, routing trains up through Hartford, Providence, and Boston.
Why it matters: This Bloomberg piece says the new president promised to go big on infrastructure. The $105 billion North Atlantic Rail plan between Boston and New York City would be a big statement about rebuilding the nation’s ability to travel safely, efficiently, and swiftly. Doing that everywhere would have profound effects on housing, businesses, and everything else we do around here, and a successor to the heavily used Acela Amtrak line would be a significant first step.
Retail REIT Misses Debt Payment Days After Prepaying Executive Bonuses
Washington Prime Group (NYSE: WPG) said in a filing on Feb. 11 that it would be doling out $11.6 million in bonuses to 17 executives. On Feb. 15, it said it would miss a $23 million interest payment and take a 30-day grace period instead.
Why it matters: This tale of two SEC filings sent the real estate investment trust's (REIT) stock down by a third, and it might be time for investors to take a careful look themselves, for multiple reasons. At least, according to Bisnow East Coast, the bonuses are contingent on the top brass staying with the company for 12 months and hitting some performance metrics.
Today on Millionacres
Why CRE Investors Should Care About the RESTAURANTS Act
With the Trump impeachment trial behind it, Congress can now turn its attention to matters of the economy, including this mouthful: the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2021.
Why it matters: The bailout would direct $25 billion to smaller operations across the country, hopefully stemming the tide of despair that has shuttered more than 110,000 restaurants since the pandemic began. Landlords and proprietors alike would benefit.
Staying Home Isn’t the Safest Option in Some Multifamily Buildings
Old buildings tend to have poor ventilation, meaning they act like a petri dish of bad air. If one resident gets, say COVID-19, neighboring units may well be contaminated with the virus, too.
Why it matters: Millionacres’ Laura Agadoni lays out, from a landlord’s perspective, what can be done about that danger, while wondering about the point of stay-at-home orders when this is the result.