The shift from offices to home by white-collar workers during Covid has become permanent and is having dire consequences for the commercial real estate market. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:
Older office towers are besieged. Working-from-home and hybrid-work aren’t helping. The losses are huge.
Another older office tower is going to cost lenders an arm and a leg, after it already cost PE firm Blackstone an arm and a leg. Blackstone is walking away from the 26-story 621,000-square-foot office tower at 1740 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan that it had bought in 2014 for $605 million. The two biggest tenants moved out well before their leases expired: L Brands, occupying 77% of the rentable area (lease expires March 31); and law firm Davis & Gilbert, which had 15.8% of the space. Now the building is mostly vacant.
The property, built in 1950, is the collateral for a $308 million loan that was originated by Deutsche Bank and securitized into a single-asset single-borrower CMBS in 2015. This CMBS is backed by only the loan on this building, and there is no diversification within it. Now Blackstone is letting the holders of the CMBS have the building and eat the losses.