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This Week in CRE: Amazon HQ2 Take 2, Biotech Demand, What’s Up at MBA CREF, Hospitality Cools

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Amazon announced Thursday that it was halting its plans to build a second headquarters in New York’s Long Island City following local opposition.

“The HQ2 failure in New York should prompt soul searching at Amazon, and it serves as a warning to all powerful technology companies: No longer will they be welcomed with unquestioned open arms in any city, state or country where they want to do business,” writes Shira Ovide for Bloomberg Opinion. “There will be no hero’s welcome for technology giants no matter where they go. This is the new reality for big tech. Welcome to the techlash.”

But not everyone is shunning Amazon.

Some cities rejected in Amazon’s original search for a second headquarters location are dusting off their old proposals, with those reportedly still open to hosting HQ2 including Chicago and Newark, NJ.

Life Sciences Boost CRE Demand

Biotech and medical technology are ramping up R&D, and that’s driving demand for incubator space in innovation clusters around the world.

“With more than $66 billion in venture capital invested in bioscience companies from 2014-2017, commercial real estate is expected to benefit, as life sciences requires significant square footage for laboratories, office workers, R&D and device manufacturing,” CrediFi CEO Ely Razin writes in Forbes.

The Talk at MBA CREF

Panels at the MBA CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo in San Diego this week discussed topics including senior housing, lending competition and the future of GSEs.

Among other things, panelists said they are seeing increased competition among lenders, with banks and life insurance companies competing with CMBS lenders for the same loans rather than relying on traditional market segmentation.

Hospitality Cools Down

New supply and slowing economic growth are expected to cool a booming hotel industry, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Citing data from hotel data firm STR, the Journal reported that record U.S. hotel occupancy of around 66% in 2018 will be flat this year for the first time since 2009, while in 2020 occupancies are expected to drop 0.2%.

Related stories:

What People Are Talking About at MBA CREF 2019

Commercial Real Estate Investment in NYC Rises, But Not Enough to Beat Out London

View from the Top: What the CRE Market Thinks about 2019 ‒ A Tale of Two Cocktails

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David Libman, a fintech and investment professional with 20 years’ experience in fields including finance, technology, new business development and real estate investments, is head of product at CrediFi. Previously, David was a vice president at New York-based iCapital Network, a financial technology platform for alternative investments, and director of acquisitions at Fieldstone Properties, a private real estate investment firm focused on investment-grade multifamily property. David is also the founder and former CEO of Globerex, the first real estate equity online marketplace.  

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Alex Veksler

Head of Content

Alex Veksler has 16 years of finance, data analysis and project management experience. He is a former vice president at Morgan Stanley, where he worked on product control of equity and fixed-income derivatives products as well as various projects involving finance and technology, such as revamping risk attribution and balance-sheet systems for profits and losses. Alex has previously worked at hedge funds, most recently as a director at Exigent Capital. He has a bachelor’s in computer science from Yeshiva University and an MBA from New York University.

Ely Razin

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Ely Razin founded CrediFi in 2014 with Battery Ventures. A rare combination of seasoned corporate executive and technology entrepreneur, Ely previously served as global head of board governance for Thomson Reuters Accelus and head of business law for Thomson Reuters, after the software company he founded was acquired in 2004. The company, Expert Ease Software, developed AI-based software that automatically summarizes key deal terms for transactions in fields including capital markets, M&A and real estate. Ely began his career as a corporate and securities lawyer, and holds an LLB and MBA from York University.

Amichai Levy

VP R&D

Amichai Levy is the former VP of R&D at Israeli high-tech firm Payoneer, where he developed its signature cross-border payment platform and integrated it with existing bank technology. In his prior role at Ness Technologies, Amichai was a key player in developing an electronic case filing system for Israel’s courts. He has over 20 years of experience in software engineering.

David Fajgman

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David Fajgman brings over 14 years of financial and managerial experience to CrediFi. Prior to joining the CrediFi team, he served as finance director of Bioness Neuromodulation Ltd., which develops and manufactures medical devices involved in neurological rehabilitation. He has previously worked in multiple finance roles at Thomson Reuters and as an accounting and consulting manager at Ernst & Young, where he was responsible for a wide range of clients, including companies listed on the Nasdaq and privately held high-tech companies. David is an Israel-licensed certified public accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting.

Liat Bar David

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Liat Bar David has over nine years of human resources experience, primarily focused on the high-tech industry. She is a former HR business partner at semiconductor solutions provider Broadcom, where she was responsible for onboarding processes, benefits, policies, training and development, performance management and employee retention. Liat holds a bachelor’s in communication and human services and a master’s in human resources and services, both from the University of Haifa.