2020 was the catalyst for pivots in a variety of industries working through the pandemic. With the outlook for 2021 appearing brighter as factors such as vaccine distribution and businesses reopening revitalize industries, Armand Candea of Candea Development acknowledges that several sectors of commercial real estate have room to grow. Here, Candea Development reflects on a few real estate trends that are expected to continue through 2021.
Evaluating the Future of Office Space
Businesses have a variety of takes on how they should utilize their office space as the pandemic continues. Armand Candea notes that, through reassessing their needs for space, many companies acknowledge that their physical footprint is still vital to their presence. This means that companies are likely to keep some form of office space even as hybrid and remote work models increase in popularity. With vacancies in some areas, this gives businesses a range of options to satisfy their need for workspace. Some are finding that properties that used to house other businesses can be repurposed for office space without many changes necessary to facilitate the switch. Companies that are eying already existing office spaces for their work have shown interest in spaces that accommodate their shifting needs during the pandemic. Collaborative spaces large enough to accommodate social distancing, mixed use areas for hybrid schedules, and intuitive designs will likely continue to be popular in 2021.
Shifting Desires of Renters
Armand Candea recognizes that the need for housing has remained stable during the pandemic, largely because, regardless of the health crisis, people still need places to live. Still, just like other aspects of commercial real estate, there are shifts in what individuals are looking for. For example, renters have always responded positively to balconies and outdoor spaces. Even as more people receive vaccinations and venture outdoors, these personal spaces are still likely to be desirable to renters. Amenities that take the pandemic into account are also likely to remain on trend in 2021. With many are still unwilling to go to gyms, smaller gym areas in apartment buildings can give renters the opportunity to get exercise on the property. This is aided by complexes that have implemented smart solutions for renters to reserve gym access for small pockets of time.
Growing Emphasis of Warehouse Space
U.S. e-commerce sales are up about 36.7% from the third quarter of 2019, and the prevalence is continuing to grow during the pandemic. This boost in popularity and sales has emphasized that retailers will need warehouse space to properly keep up with consumer demands. Armand Candea of Candea Development acknowledges that the silver lining in the growing need for warehouse space has meant that vacant properties can see use once again. This means that developers can shift focus on properties that may be difficult to sell to brick-and-mortar retailers during this time take part in the adaptive reuse of commercial properties. Experts do not expect that the demand for warehouse space will wane anytime soon, giving some interested developers more than enough time to investigate repurposing larger spaces.