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The week in global real estate - 3 August 2020

The week in global real estate 3 August 2020  hero

A weekly update of the biggest real estate news from around the globe.


  • HBSC has indicated that most employees will not return to the office until at least September. Office re-openings will be staged with a cap of 20% of people in any single office to improve social distancing. More info here.
  • Hong Kong based property investor Link has made its first purchase in the UK with a £380M office block in Canary Wharf. The 44,700 sqm building includes Morgan Stanley's offices. More info here.
  • Virgin Australia is moving to a new head office in Brisbane. It has taken five floors in Flight Centre’s corporate headquarters in Southpoint, Brisbane. The company is downsizing after entering voluntary administration in April. More info here.


  • Amazon is opening a seventh fulfilment and distribution centre in Tennessee. The 79,400 sqm centre will open late 2021. More info here.


  • John Lewis is considering diversifying from its core retail business and turning empty department stores into affordable housing. They announced the closure of 8 of their 50 stores earlier in the month. More info here.
  • UK landlord Cadogan has moved hospitality firms in Chelsea to a turnover based rent structure to help tenants recover from the financial impact of COVID19. More info here.
  • Chopard has signed a new lease for 225 sqm of retail space in the Crown building on Madison Avenue. Rent is reported to be around $37,500 per sqm per annum. More info here.
  • French bakery Maison Kayser is looking to exit all 15 of its stores in New York City. The bakery first opened a New York store in 2012. It has bakeries in major hot spots such as Hudson Yards, Columbus Circle and Union Square. More info here.
  • The City on Winnipeg has agreed to provide a $20M package of incentives to assist with redevelopment of Portage Place, Toronto. The incentives include funding, contributions for community space and streetscaping, transit improvements, and permit / planning fee rebates.


  • Singaporean, UOL Group has secured a $120M green loan from the United Overseas Bank for the redevelopment of the Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel. The redevelopment will turn the hotel into a biophilic and zero waste 347 room hotel. More info here.
  • 1.4 million Canadians have moved back in with their parents. Results from a new survey suggest potential concern for multi-family (build-to-rent) investors as the majority planning to move back home are renters. More info here.


  • The New South Wales government is cutting land tax on build-to-rent developments by 50% for the next 20 years. The incentive aims to increase the attractiveness to developers and enable more options for renters. More info here.
  • Ascott is adding over 1,000 units to its co-living brand Lyf across six new properties. This will take its total units to over 2,700 in 14 buildings. New buildings are planned in China, Australia and the Philippines. More info here.


  • The Maldives is getting its first Olympic-sized swimming pool after success in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Most of the current swimming facilities in the country are open water ‘floating tracks’ with floating platform walls. More info here.