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ONCE AGAIN, REAL ESTATE FORUM IS PROUD to unveil our annual “Best of Commercial Real Estate” issue. As always, we’re covering some of the most significant transactions that took place last year, from leasing, investment sales and financing, to development deliveries and mergers and acquisitions.

For the latter, 2018 was a monumental year, as private capital took advantage of market conditions to take down a number of public companies. Notable among them was Brookfield, which accounted for last year’s top two REIT buys. Combined with other entity-level acquisitions, the CRE saw just about $100 billion in M&A activity in 2018, up significantly from 2017’s aggregate volume.

Mergers weren’t the only things to make big news in 2018, as a number of companies made headlines throughout the year. Of course there’s the ongoing saga of Amazon’s HQ2, but the online behemoth was also behind quite a few other deals last year. So were, not surprisingly, Google and Facebook. What was interesting, however, was the surge in activity by flex office and co-working spaces. A number of these brands took up thousands of square feet worth of space, becoming significant players in major markets across the country. All of these players, and much more, are covered in the Best of 2018 feature, begin­ning on page 33.

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