Between the waves of retailer closings and the extraordinary amount of class A office space coming online in the next quarter, there is clearly an imbalance of commercial space supply in North America. The shift to online shopping was already accelerating the crisis and then the stay-at-home pandemic hit the country, taking it all to a new level. And millions more working from home, possibly forever, could threaten an entire office space industry. Developers and investors must learn to pivot to survive.
Is this the moment conversions catch fire? Are there viable ideas on the table for creating new opportunities? Can online retailers come to the rescue by leasing former mall anchor spaces as fulfillment centers? And could even more purpose-specific properties like hotels see conversion to all-new and unfamiliar purposes?