Excerpted from Tampa Bay Business Journal story
For the past decade, real estate developers in Tampa Bay and throughout the U.S. have pitched their projects as experiential — social gathering places that are an antidote to an increasingly online lifestyle.
Seemingly overnight, the novel coronavirus outbreak brought that dynamic to a halt, sending people to the internet for everything from remote work to grocery deliveries. The jam-packed happy hours at Hyde Park Village and community fitness classes at Sparkman Wharf — social routines that draw people to the public realm and encourage them to linger and spend money there — are, at least temporarily, on hold.
“This really, from a psychological standpoint, strikes in the core of that,” said Andrew Wright, CEO and founder at Franklin Street in Tampa. “Not that it won’t come back, because people are social, but if they were to open up the economy tomorrow, would people be rushing to the mall or going to a conference with 40,000 people? I don’t see it.”
It’s too early to say what lasting effects the global COVID-19 pandemic could have on commercial real estate. The pandemic is another major blow to retail real estate and especially enclosed shopping malls, which have long been challenged by the convenience of e-commerce. Even open-air lifestyle centers, with their mix of dining, entertainment and big gathering spaces, could see a temporary drop in traffic when the outbreak ends but consumers are still nervous about spending time in public. But other sectors of commercial property that have been mostly unchallenged by the internet — like the office market— could be reshaped by coronavirus, experts say.For full story, visit: https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2020/04/10/for-a-decade-tampa-bays-commercial-real-estate-has.html