Office sector is a ‘big question’ says this commercial real estate veteran

The New York skyline on Nov. 9.


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After months of working remotely, the pandemic likely will mark the end of an era for millions of workers who used to face daily, mandatory slogs into the office.

That was Clarion Partners CEO David Gilbert on Thursday, about what he sees in store for commercial real-estate markets in the aftermath of the U.S. election and the global pandemic.

“Office is a big question,” Gilbert said of the potential shake-up to real estate some eight months into the worst global health crisis in a century. “You don’t abandon the office. It’s just less of a need to be there every single day.”

What does that ultimately mean for office properties? It’s still too early to tell, said Gilbert, during a Franklin Templeton virtual series, but he does expect there to be less demand for office space.

“That is the single biggest

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Jeanie Buss puts California townhome on market

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Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss listed her newly renovated beach house in Playa del Rey, California.

Screen grab courtesy of Realtor.com

Jeanie Buss made history in October after her Los Angeles Lakers took home the NBA championship after spending a grueling few months inside the Orlando bubble, and now she’s putting her Playa del Rey house on the market.

Buss became the first woman controlling owner to lead her team to a championship, and now she’s put her beachfront house in a gated complex on the market for $3.1 million, according to the Realtor.com listing.

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View from patio area. Screen grab courtesy of Realtor.com

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Kitchen area. Screen grab courtesy of Realtor.com

Buss purchased the beach house, located near the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, in January for $2.6 million, SF Gate reported. She then renovated it with some elegant upgrades, the listing says.

The 2,170-square-foot townhome has four

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Ongoing need for National Guard to fight COVID-19 in Pa. nursing homes drives request for Trump to expand benefits

The COVID-19 crisis is lasting much longer than the normal disasters that trigger deployment of the Pennsylvania National Guard. A big part of their role involves helping at long-term care facilities. Many facilities needed help in spring, and some need it again as Pennsylvania faces a second surge of COVID-19 infections.

“I would say this is a job the National Guard never expected to have,” said Dr. Albert Fogle, a lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania National Guard. As a doctor, he specializes in caring for older people.

The National Guard’s work in long-term care facilities has ranged from directly caring for residents to washing floors to transporting supplies to helping residents do on-line visits with loved ones.

With Pennsylvania experiencing a second major wave of COVID-19 cases, the guard is again needed to help long-term care facilities with things including offsetting staff shortages and helping to control spread of infections.

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Ex-Mummers Parade director charged with embezzling Parks & Rec funds

Two former Philadelphia officials, and one former employee of a city contractor, have been charged with fraud and embezzlement after joint investigations by the city’s Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.

Leo Dignam, 61, of Philadelphia, who once served as director of the Mummers Parade and as assistant city managing director, is accused of wire fraud and embezzling from a program that received federal funds.

His brother, Paul Dignam, 58, also of Philadelphia, is facing charges of mail fraud and similar embezzlement charges.

Barbara Conway, 61, of Drexel Hill, has been charged with alleged theft of funds from a federally funded program.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which is prosecuting the cases, announced the charges in a statement Thursday.

“Anyone who misdirects funds away from our local community and into their own pockets will be held accountable to the fullest extent,” Philadelphia Inspector

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Camden County Nursing Homes Prepared For Second Wave Of COVID

CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ — Camden County’s long-term care facilities are more prepared to deal with the coronavirus now than they were in the spring, according to a county communicable disease investigator.

“Numbers remain steady, and we still have cases among residents and staff,” Rianna Deluca said during a news conference with Camden County Director Louis Cappelli Jr. and Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Mark Condoluci, of Jefferson Health. “But we have the proper PPE now and people are being tested more frequently than they were before.”

She said state and local officials are also in constant contact with the facilities. Early in the pandemic, it was an older population that was exposed to the coronavirus. Many of the deaths were linked to long-term care facilities, and state monitors were even brought in to monitor homes in Cherry Hill, Collingswood and Voorhees. Read more here: Camden County Officials ‘Horrified’ By Nursing Home

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HFZ Capital Sues CIM To Stop Manhattan Condo Loan Auction

HFZ's Ziel Feldman and CIM's Shaul Kuba (Getty, iStock)

HFZ’s Ziel Feldman and CIM’s Shaul Kuba (Getty, iStock)

UPDATED, Nov. 12, 2020, 2:28 p.m.: HFZ Capital Group is making a last-ditch attempt to stop its lender from auctioning off loans tied to four of the firm’s Manhattan condo projects.

The prolific developer filed a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction against CIM Group to prevent the lender from proceeding with an auction planned for Thursday at noon. On Wednesday, a judge temporarily put a halt on the auction. HFZ’s attorney, David Scharf of Morrison Cohen, said a judge may rule next week on whether to permanently stop the sale.

HFZ, led by Ziel Feldman and Nir Meir, alleges that CIM’s planned auction is a “predatory attempt to capitalize on the Covid-19 pandemic by conducting a rushed, commercially unreasonable sale,” which would pave the way for CIM to take over four properties: 88-90 Lexington Avenue, The Astor at 235 West 75th

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Airport board awards fire-fighting bid to private Wisconsin contractor; $1 million savings expected yearly | Local News

If signed, the 5-year contract with Pro-Tec could save the airport just that. 

Tulsa Fire Chief Michael Baker said the lowest amount the department could offer TIA in negotiations, providing only for minimum staffing, was about $1.3 million. 

”We reduced and cut costs as best we can, and we could just not get to a number that was comfortable with the airport and us,” Baker said.  

Despite the differences in costs, Higgins assured board members the change would come at no change to public safety, and described Pro-Tec as the “best fit for our needs today.” 

“This in no way affects the level of safety to our customers,” Higgins said. 

Baker said he understands the airport’s decision in light of its budgetary circumstance, but he knows it will come at costs to the fire department, as well.

Seventeen Tulsa firefighters staff the airport fire station now, he said, and for

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Fairfax and Allied World Announce Sale of Vault Insurance

TORONTO and HAMILTON, Bermuda, Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (“Fairfax”) (TSX: FFH and FFH.U) and Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd (“Allied World”) announce that they have, through their subsidiaries, entered into an agreement with Cornell Capital and Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd., doing its reinsurance business as HSCM Bermuda, to sell their majority interests in Vault Insurance. Fairfax through Allied World will continue to own a 10% stake in Vault following the sale. Scott Carmilani intends to continue to have an ownership interest in Vault and play a leadership role in Vault. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including various regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

Founded in 2017 and based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Vault is a combination of a policyholder-owned reciprocal insurance exchange and a surplus lines company focused on

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1 dead in small plane crash on street near homes in Los Angeles

A plane has crashed on a residential street in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles, just outside a small airport Thursday morning.





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An unidentified, single-engine Cessna 172, crashed on approach to a runway to Whiteman Airport, a private general aviation airport in Los Angeles County, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The only person aboard the small aircraft was the pilot, the administration said.

The pilot died in the crash, Erik Scott, public information officer for the Los Angeles Fire Department, told reporters. One witness was checked for injuries but did not need to be transported to a hospital.

Firefighters extinguished a fire that engulfed two parked cars on the street where the plane crashed, then kept the fire from spreading to a nearby home, the department said. The plane also took down power lines on the street.

Power was shut off to the

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Despite Uncertainty, Home Prices Are Rising by Double Digits in Much of Nation

Home prices across the nation continued to defy reason as they sharply headed up—even as the turmoil over a hotly contested presidential election, the coronavirus pandemic, and high unemployment persisted.

Unlike during the Great Recession, the median price for single-family homes zoomed up in the third quarter compared with the same period the previous year in every U.S. metro, according to a recent National Association of Realtors® report. Prices rose 12% year over year nationally as folks waged bidding wars over a historically low number of properties on the market. Many buyers sought out larger properties to work from home, educate their children, and maintain social distance from others.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s a record number of metro areas showing double-digit price gains,” says Gay Cororaton, senior economist with the NAR. “We have never seen this widespread price growth.”

The report looked at existing homes in 181 metropolitan areas, which

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