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March 19, 2020

'Lock The Doors And Walk Away': With Productions On Hiatus, Studios Shut Down

Bettina Horton loves to make movies in her spare time. Next month, Horton – who runs B Horton Productions – was planning to travel to Mississippi to film a short movie with a crew of six, return to Atlanta and rent out space to edit and produce the picture. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown that whole plan into limbo.

“Right now, everything is up in the air,” Horton said. “I didn't want to take a chance on planning something and then nobody showing up. It's too risky.”

'Lock The Doors And Walk Away': As Productions Go On Hiatus, Film Studios Shut Down

Lucky for Horton, her day job is as a claims adjuster and she started working from home this week. Thousands of other Georgians who depend on the film and television industry don't have that backup. And their lack of work could threaten to upend the booming Georgia content production market.“How about total…

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How Real Estate Execs Are Soldiering On As Pandemic Takes Hold

Sheltering-in-place, working from home, going virtual.

These are not typical phrases in the commercial real estate lexicon, but as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe — roiling markets, disrupting business and all matters of daily life — the industry is beginning to reckon with what lies ahead.

How long this version of the “new normal” lasts is anyone’s guess, but one thing remains true: The commercial real estate industry never stops. 

Brokers, developers, architects and investors alike are adapting, and Bisnow spoke to dozens this week — in cities from LA to New York, Houston to London and Seattle to Hong Kong — to get a sense of how coronavirus is reshaping the way they work.

“We’re hunkering down,” Seattle-based developer James Wong said. “We are strategizing. We know this will end.”

How Real Estate Execs Are Soldiering On As Pandemic Takes Hold

Deal flow hasn't yet stopped, and outside of the travel, hospitality and retail industries, panic hasn't yet set in. But there is a sense that the weeks ahead will be much slower than normal as everyone waits to see what happens next.“I don’t know if now is the time to…

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‘You Cannot Buy A Building Until This Is Over': Despite Stimulus, Chill Hits CRE Investing

In just one week, the coronavirus has turned full blown flight to safety for investors into much more of a wait-and-see approach toward commercial real estate.

Over that time, as the pandemic has spread and thousands of businesses have closed, the Federal Reserve has sprung into action, announcing $1.5 trillion in short-term loans, $700B in asset purchases, plans to purchase up to $1 trillion in commercial paper from companies and a slashing of interest rates to nearly zero.

But even with those measures, which imitate a playbook the central bank took months to unfurl during the last economic crisis and include a rate cut, uncertainty and the virus itself have suppressed investment for the time being, as have questions about how deep and long of a recession the U.S. economy now enters.

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We’re About To Find Out How Durable The Coworking Business Model Is

 

Coworking providers burst into the office sector over the past few years, but the spread of the novel coronavirus could throttle the nascent industry, as the crisis forces flexible office workers to abandon once-vibrant workplaces.

Flexible offices were envisioned as communities where a new form of work could thrive, one where startups and smaller businesses could share the kind of splendid amenities once reserved for major corporations, with short-term leases that didn’t tie them down to traditional spaces. That has left the industry vulnerable.

“We’re so flexible that many of our members can get out of their leases with a 30-day notice,” Global Workspace Association Executive Director Jamie Russo said.

Her coworking industry trade group is still analyzing what impact that is having on its member companies, and she expects to form a clearer picture in the coming weeks.

“At this point our focus is to help our members through the next 30 days and then the next 60 days,” she said. 

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With Women Needed At Highest Levels Of Brokerage, Pressure Is On To Build The Talent Pipeline

 

The country’s biggest commercial brokerages are under mounting pressure to appoint women to their boards, as investors, communities — and sometimes lawmakers — increasingly demand to see gender diversity in companies’ upper echelons.

Now, the looming challenge will be making sure there is a strong talent pipeline of women to fill these roles, and the industry is being urged to start addressing the issue now.

“There needs to be a more concerted effort and high-potential programs to identify women with aptitude,” said Jane Stevenson, who is the vice chairman of the board and CEO of services at management consulting firm Korn Ferry. “[These women] need to be groomed and developed, not because it’s the socially responsible thing to do, but because it’s damn smart.”

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How Hard Could Coronavirus Hit Supply Chains? It Depends On What Truckers Decide.

 

Nikki Chaffin used to drive a big rig, but her immune system was compromised a few years ago when she contracted a nasty case of Lyme disease. Now, she stays home and dispatches while her husband, Jon Vance, hits the road.

Vance was in Illinois in his standard 53-foot box truck in January when the novel coronavirus was being predicted to hit the U.S. A few weeks later, he stopped home just long enough to drop off supplies. The couple devised their own sanitizing system.

"He comes to the door," Chaffin said. "I'm fully masked — double-masked with an N95 and a paper surgical mask, eye protection and gloves. He's sprayed with Lysol and puts the bags in the door. I pull him in and spray him again while I am gloved."

As the pandemic spreads, the fear of infecting loved ones who are at higher risk of succumbing to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, has followed, injecting itself in every interaction.

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