Publications

- February 1, 2019: Vol. 31, Number 2

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A changing landscape: Dealing with disruption in commercial real estate finance

by K.C. Conway

It would be safe to say WeWork Cos. is casting a long shadow on the real estate landscape. As New York City’s largest office tenant, WeWork boasts a Manhattan portfolio of 50 locations with a grand total of 5.3 million square feet, along with a growing worldwide footprint of more than 300 sites in 23 countries. Simply put, the commercial real estate landscape is a much more complicated place than it once was a short decade before — all thanks to category innovations from co-working spaces and e-commerce warehouse fulfillment centers, as well as third-party logistics providers, experiential retailers and adaptive reuse models. While the commercial real estate marketplace should be accustomed to changing growth drivers in the industry — remember CMBS? — it appears many in commercial real estate finance have a bit of collective amnesia.

Understanding the disruptors

WeWork might represent a golden opportunity for commercial real estate lenders, but

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