From the WSJ: Commercial Real Estate Weekly (Craig Karmin, Real Estate Bureau Chief)

Good morning. It’s well established that most workers have stayed away from their offices during the pandemic, but that’s less true in Dallas than in any other major U.S. city.

For reasons ranging from the political culture to lower density office buildings, the return-to-work rate in the Dallas-Fort Worth region has led the country since the Covid-19 outbreak, Peter Grant writes. At one point last fall, as many as 43% of the region’s professional labor force passed through their buildings’ turnstiles. Even in the early months of the pandemic, the percentage of employees working in offices never fell below 20%.

This is all good news for Dallas businesses that rely on the office worker. “There are just more people walking around,” said Nick Badovinus, whose company owns six restaurants in the region.

If crowds are still staying away from office buildings, they are flooding drive-throughs with business. That’s made the humble drive-through lane a hot real estate commodity, reports Esther Fung. While some restaurant chains — like Shake Shack — are introducing drive-throughs for the first time, other chains are stepping up their commitment. Burger King recently unveiled plans for future restaurants designed with triple drive-through lanes.

Billionaire Charles Koch is perhaps best known for spending vast sums on conservative causes. Now, writes Konrad Putzier, an arm of his Koch Industries is betting big on distressed real estate. Koch last month made its biggest splash yet in taking over an unfinished multibillion-dollar hotel-and-casino development on the Las Vegas Strip after the previous owner defaulted on his mortgage.

By Craig Karmin, Wall Street Journal