Principal at Ware Malcomb
& 2020 CREW Network President Elect
P 858.638.7277 x1303
1. What are you seeing in terms of activity by industry (trends in industrial, multi-family, retail, etc.)?
TE: Currently, we are seeing industrial, especially in the ecommerce side stay steady and continue to move forward. Multi-Family is also still maintaining pace and projects are continuing. The retail and hospitality sector appear to be the hardest hit currently. Office has also started to show some pause for now and it will be difficult to assess how it will continue to change. The true impact is unknown currently as much depends on the length of stay at home orders in various regions around the country.
2. How is your approach to design changing as a result of the virus?
TE: Our team is taking a detailed approach to understand how design will evolve due to the current situation. Understanding the necessity for businesses to go back to work at some point we are trying to understand not only the space and environmental impacts but also the cultural and psychological impacts that could affect our approach to design moving forward. Our team developed the guidance which was recently published here. Not one size fits all and business sectors will also influence the requirements based on specific business goals and requirements. It will be an evolving understanding and require that we are able to pivot and be flexible in our approaches. The best strategy currently is to continue to connect with our clients, industry partners and other CRE professionals to monitor the everchanging landscape and be able to gather this information and be ready to have multiple different approaches on many different levels. As humans we still want to connect so weaving this desire into the necessity for social distancing will be complex and require a lot of planning.
3. Have you seen any impact to construction activity?
TE: We have seen little impact on projects that were currently in construction. This varies on region and state and local mandates on construction. Depending on the impact of the COVID 19 Virus in those various cities has influenced if construction has moved forward or paused at this time.
4. Is the work you lead in Mexico affected in similar or different ways?
TE: The Mexico market is experiencing the same impacts in many ways. Their market is still doing well. The affect of the currency rate has inflicted some change in the market and will influence continued investment in the market. This will be something we will be watching as the situation evolves and evaluations of supply chains and logistics for access to manufacturing are re-evaluated in various markets.
5. What metrics are you watching in the industry – what causes concern and what gives hope?
TE: The impact of social distancing will greatly influence the ability of many to reintegrate into social environments, such as retail and hospitality. How this will be done and continue to allow these markets to regain momentum and return to the market will be important to monitor. I believe that this crisis, unlike others, will require our industry to look at new approaches, innovations and rethinking of priorities in a very different way and this is a good thing. Often unexpected events create an environment of innovation on many levels. I believe this will spur that and we will see new and creative approaches that will bolster our industry and makes us stronger.
6. Re your post last week, do you think design will adopt some of the characteristics of the health care world for other sectors like retail and hospitality?
TE: Yes, I think that innovations that may already be reflected in our healthcare and biotech life science sectors will now merge into other environments such as office, manufacturing, retail and hospitality. Further research and best use of these products and approaches will develop over the next few months. It will be interesting to see what transitions over into multiple markets.
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