One Year With COVID-19: The Pandemic’s Temporary and Permanent Impacts on CRE

March 2021 marks one year since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, triggering a domino effect that has had a profound impact on Americans’ daily lives, as well as the commercial real estate industry. REJournals spoke to experts in the retail, office, multifamily and industrial fields to reflect on how each sector responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic and their expectations going forward.

RETAIL | “… everyone is so hungry …”

“Retail, more than other sectors of commercial real estate, offers its share of volatility and requires those of us who work in the sector to react and evolve quickly,” said Terry Ohnmeis, director at Cushman & Wakefield. He describes the industry as being at a peak in terms of occupancy, rent growth
and overall vibrancy in the first quarter of 2020. Retail being “more nuanced” than other property types, Ohnmeis acknowledges some locationally challenged malls, but generally, if Class A space became available in “A” and “A+” locations, he said it instantly had a dozen offers on it. “This run actually extended longer than many thought it would and left us wondering when it would end and why,” Ohnmeis said. “Still, no one thought it would be a pandemic until the reality of COVID-19 hit.” Click to read more at