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NAIOP SoCal | UCI Center for Real Estate Virtual Breakfast Meeting 1/27/21

NAIOP SoCal and UCI Center for Real Estate’s strong partnership over the last 10+ years has allowed for students and young professionals to capitalize on the knowledge from the industry’s brightest.

UCI CRE’s second Virtual Breakfast Meeting of 2021, Office & Retail – Evolution Amidst a Pandemic, featured James Chung, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield and John Adams, Regional Managing Director and Managing Principal, Gensler. NAIOP SoCal Board member Chris Tipre, Trammell Crow Company and UCI Center for Real Estate alumnus, moderated.

While predictions of an upcoming economic recessions have been discussed for years, no one guessed a global pandemic would derail the longest running period of economic growth. The coronavirus pandemic caused a shift in office and retail spaces for both tenants and landlords. Patterns have shown a slow-moving shift over the last decade, however, the pandemic forced people to think differently and quickly adapt. In order to stay in business, the food industry created outdoor dining, delivery and pick-up options.

Chung explains, on behalf of retail, no one talks about the success’s essential services and other businesses such as Amazon, Target, Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out have had through this pandemic. These operators and tenants have been able to pivot and increase their exposure, awareness and points of access in order to create successful models. 

Further successes spurred by the pandemic are in office. Many companies have found that employees can be just as effective, if not more, working from the comfort of their own home. Working from home reduced expenses and allows companies the opportunity to reevaluate what office space will look like for their company as employees transition into coming back into the office. Adams said, “There is going to be a big push for outdoor spaces. In this climate we are fortunate enough to get away with it. This includes outdoor lobbies, usable outdoor workspace, and amenities such as outdoor coffee pavilions.”

Both the panelists and moderator agree providing a hybrid workspace, a world-class operational environment and a concierge-type service are essential for creating a culture in which employees want in a company they work for.

Chung and Adams each predict a one-to-three-year road to recovery as businesses and the community move toward “normal” life.

“I think it is human nature to be optimistic and hopeful. ‘3 more months’ is almost a coping mechanism to get through the next 3 months, but you have to set these milestones that you are hopeful for,” said Adams.

Click Here to view video recording of Office & Retail – Evolution Amidst a Pandemic

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