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Employees prepare to return to office as CEOs put their foot in their mouths – Commercial Observer

It doesn’t seem like a week goes by without another big company announcing a plan to return to the office.

This time it was Blackstone Group says it wants fully vaccinated workers to return to the office full-time on June 7, and JPMorgan Chase tells UK-based staff to come back after June 21.

Although this is good news for those who worried about the death of the office As we know, some CEOs have handled the push to face-to-face work less than gracefully.

CEO of WeWork Sandeep Mathrani faced a hit online after saying the the Wall Street newspaper this the “least engaged” workers are the ones who don’t want to go back to the office.

“Those who are very committed to the business want to be at the office at least two-thirds of the time,” Mathrani said, according to WSJ. “Those who are the least engaged are very comfortable working from home.”

The comments didn’t go very well among Twitter’s notoriously critical crowd.

“Productive and engaged employees also prefer working from home”, Twitter user @rebelheartedfox wrote. “Fuck you with this ‘office culture’ that breeds all kinds of fucking harassment possible.”


But Mathrani wasn’t the only one recently diagnosed with back-to-work foot-and-mouth disease. Cathy Merrill, CEO of DC Magazine, the Washingtonian, provoked the revolt of its staff after writing a editorial in The Washington Post many saw a threat to demote staff to “contractor” status if they chose not to return to the office.

Merrill later returned to his comments, but the damage was done and the Washingtonian interrupted the publication for a day in protest.

“We’re just a little confused,” said Washingtonian told Commercial Observer. “In the midst of the pandemic, having health insurance in the conversation for us, I think, was really of great concern.

Hotels still face hospitality issues

The expected pent-up demand from travelers taking trips over the summer, as coronavirus restrictions ease, is unlikely to end the hotel’s problems anytime soon.

A large number of hospitality and travel companies that received calls revealed that some did not live up to expectations and others suffered big losses. Expedia lost $ 606 million in the first quarter, while Hyatt Hotels Corp. lost $ 304 million. The post-pandemic leisure travel boom can happen, but business travel shouldn’t.

Distress in the industry continues to be felt, with Tribeca Associates Forced To Return Financial District Moxy Hotel to the lender AllianceBernstein.

And in addition to a potentially expensive hotel building permit subject to public scrutinyNew York City Councilor Ben Kallos introduced a bill last week strengthen city regulations on Airbnb and other home-sharing sites.

The bill would assign listings on these sites a registration number and require the host to be the legal occupant of that property and to be present during any rental period. Kallos said this could be good news for the struggling hospitality industry as it will reduce the number of Airbnb listings in the city.

And the the tourism industry has good news last week, when “Hamilton”, “The Lion King” and “Wicked” – Broadway’s top blockbusters – announced they would resume performances on September 14.

Miracle on 34th Street

Macy’s wants to build a new tower above its iconic Herald Square flagship, and is sweeten the pot with $ 235 million for the neighborhood.

The department store came up with a plan to transform Herald Square and Broadway Plaza into a car-free urban space and add entrances and elevators to nearby subway stations.

Macy’s goodwill for the neighborhood comes as she tries to get the city to approve a 700- to 950-foot-tall tower atop her flagship that will add 1.5 million square feet of office space. the neighborhood.

And Macy’s isn’t the only one to come up with ambitious development plans.

Aby Rosen of RFR Holding is in the purchase contract for the commercial space at 522 Fifth Avenue, after having recovered the office part last fall, so that he could convert it into an office and offer the entire tower to a single tenant.

Plans call for three terraces, a fitness center and the transformation of a former safe into meeting rooms.

Meanwhile, Savanna Reached a deal for $ 264 million in construction funding to crack its 400,000 square foot office and retail project at 141 Willoughby Street in downtown Brooklyn.

Yet the city still faces a huge slowdown in the number of new buildings under development. A report from the New York Real Estate Board found that the city had seen the the smallest square footage for new construction in a decade.

Move over, financial services

the the financial services sector seems to be losing its roost as the primary driver of Manhattan office leasing, with tech companies now leading the market in ways never seen before.

Technology, Advertising, Marketing and Information Services, or TAMI, accounted for most of Manhattan’s rental momentum from COVID-19 and many of its biggest deals during the pandemic.

In 2010, TAMI companies occupied 18.5% of offices in Manhattan, but have grown to 25.1% in 2020, according to Cushman & Wakefield. During the same period, financial services and insurance fell from just under 37% to 29%.

Offers on offers on offers

The almost complete break in sales and rentals seems to be firmly entrenched in the rearview mirror.

SLR Capital Partners redeveloped and enlarged its offices at 500 Park Avenue, increasing its presence to 28,165 square feet in a 12-year lease. Nearby, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund increased to 10 Times Square to 43,000 square feet.

Retail wise, the popular third wave coffee vendor (think lighter roasted coffee beans and hand brewing methods) Devoción signed an agreement for a 1400 square foot outpost in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Ghost kitchen Nimbus took 9512 square feet at 100 Willoughby Street in downtown Brooklyn, which will have a retail component open to the public.

Speaking of Brooklyn, the borough’s sluggish market has received a boost with the news that Brookfield Property Partners has signed a contract to sell its downtown Brooklyn Office condominium for $ 130 million.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. And get ready, because Commercial Observer’s annual Power 100 is coming this week!

Remember, before you call us to curse us for being lowered in our rankings, isn’t it at least an honor to be on the list?

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