Publications

- December 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 11

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Returning to (a new) normal: What the future may hold for commercial real estate

by Loretta Clodfelter

It is not surprising a global pandemic would reshape society and the economy, creating upheaval in the world as we knew it. But with mass vaccination and a return to a more familiar environment, the questions for real estate investors are: What is the new normal? What has changed since COVID-19 swept the globe, and what remains the same?

“This is the trillion-dollar question: What does ‘normal’ look like going forward? Things like office and retail have become so fluid and dynamic, it will likely take more time to see where the dust settles,” says Scott Arden, managing director at Sentinel Real Estate Corp.

The first thing to note is how well commercial real estate has handled the crisis.

“Real estate has been really, really resilient,” says Carly Tripp, global CIO and head of investments at Nuveen Real Estate.

The second thing to note is the tremendous divergence in property-type performance, which is “one of the starkest consequences of th

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