• By Pamela Shupp Menet

We are learning the COVID-19 Pivot (and it is not a new dance move!)

There are a lot of opinions on the impact to local economies and COVID-19’s impact to the real estate market. Many believe that company closures and failures will far outpace company births and start-ups in 2020. The impact on our commercial and industrial inventory will mean more space back on the market. In Berks County, we will most likely see some companies who own their main operational location and leased space for expansion will give up those leased spaces. I don’t think this will result in immediate reductions in s/f prices, but we may certainly see some landlords who are willing and able, get more aggressive in pricing. On the construction front and what is coming into the pipeline could be trickier yet to predict. If this were just a slowdown in the economy, it would probably be easier for development projects to stay on track because during slow times, there is no battling for resources. Permit applications are few and far between, banks are eager to talk about lending, workers are eager for employment and contractors sharpen their pencils on pricing. However, we are operating in a new project development normal.Municipalities permit counters are either physically closed or have gone virtual. Most township buildings are closed to the public. This can delay the ability to receive, review and issue permits. If a project requires a variance or special exception, there could be a delay in getting in front of an approving body like a Zoning Hearing Board or Planning Commission. READ MORE


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