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Keeping deals on track during the pandemic requires us to stay abreast of constantly shifting limitations and restrictions on the way we do business. While municipalities are easing restrictions now for the sake of allowing businesses to reopen in some capacity, that doesn’t mean they’ll be doing so permanently. These fluctuations, along with the rocky, post-pandemic economic outlook, mean that quality due diligence is more important than ever. A Zoning Compliance Report can give you a clear picture of the compliance status of your properties and help you understand potential complications down the road. However, like everything else in the age of COVID-19, zoning compliance today requires a few extraordinary considerations:
1) Insist on a Zoning Compliance Report – While most local government offices have closed their doors, many employees are working
Unquestionably, COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we work and our concept of the workplace. But the question that businesses are now wrestling with is, how those changes will affect offices as they reopen?
Real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield recently published The Future of Workplace, surveying more than 40,000 people globally about their work experiences during the pandemic to assess how employees are coping and what the new normal will look like. (The respondents represent approximately 30 companies across nearly 20 industries.)
The upshot: Employees are adjusting well to working from home and their productivity levels remain surprisingly high. However, as businesses reopen, the future workplace will no longer be limited to a single place; instead, it will be an ecosystem of various locations and experiences.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Productivity can occur anywhere, not just at the office:
- Pre-COVID-19, remote workers were more engaged
NEW YORK—Greystone has tapped Philip Miller to be managing director in a newly-created role that focuses on developing proptech strategies across its lending platforms. Based in New York, Miller reports to Greystone’s CTO, Jonathan Russell.
Miller brings over 25 years of CRE lending and securitization experience to Greystone. Prior to joining the company, he was head of CMBS at MUFG, and previously held a similar role at Macquarie. He also held senior leadership roles in CRE lending at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, and holds a Ph.D. in computer science from University of Southampton in the UK.
“Phil’s pedigree as someone who has been deeply enmeshed in the lending and securitization business, yet also brings the tech and quant point of view, is a true asset to Greystone, and will help us achieve our goals in streamlining the online borrower experience,” Russell says in prepared remarks.
Over the past several weeks, net lease investors have been trying to quantify the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have not only on the terms of long-term financing, but their ability to secure debt altogether. The rapid nature at which this black swan event unfolded has created confusion as to what is still achievable, as well as what the landscape will look like in the next few months. Pre-COVID, many borrowers felt comfortable with existing lending relationships and the ability to secure competitive debt, and when pricing competitive loan terms out, often the spread between 3 to 5 lenders was less than 10bps on interest rate. Given what has occurred over the past 6 weeks, we’ve been reminded of the need and value to broadly price debt, as loan term sheets for identical assets are coming back varying 50 to 100bps on interest rate, as well as seeing material
As businesses begin reopening in different regions of the country, some commercial real estate firms are better prepared to weather the uncertain environment than others.
“The bigger the investment, the better off you will be, and the old adage of ‘diversity’ proves itself once again,” says Jeff Holzmann, CEO of real estate asset management firm IRM, which manages more than 250 projects totaling more than $2 billion in asset value across multifamily, hospitality, retail, industrial and office. “If you have invested in a portfolio of assets across the country, some assets will do better than others.”
But if your assets sit in hard-hit areas, such as the Northeast, you could be in trouble.
“If you have a real estate position in a narrow, localized market, then it’s going to be a hit-or-miss depending on the nature of the measures currently in place to fight COVID-19 in that area,” Holzmann says.