How Will COVID-19 Affect Commercial Development in D-FW?

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Commercial development and construction appear to not yet be affected by the novel coronavirus in Dallas-Fort Worth. But its lasting impact is still unknown.

In fact, Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of Associated General Contractors of America, said he believes halting construction — in the future — would not be good, despite the current state of the nation and globe.

“Halting construction activity will do more harm than good for construction workers, community residents and the economy,” Sandherr wrote in a statement.

He said construction firms are already acting to ensure the safety and health of their employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of this, he said he believes halting construction will not benefit the health and safety of construction workers. To the opposite effect, however, Sandherr said it will deprive millions of workers of wages that they will need and could bankrupt many construction firms who have obligations to stay on schedule.

“We understand the need for social distancing to help slow the spread of coronavirus. But needlessly shutting down projects where workers are already protected will not help. Instead it will threaten the livelihood of millions of craft professionals, force many small and family-owned businesses to shut down, and undermine the nation’s ability to respond to natural disasters, including the coronavirus.

“In the unfortunate event construction is halted, we urge construction owners to consider continuing their scheduled payments to contractors as a down payment for work to be completed on the project. These payments will help mitigate some of the potential economic impacts of construction shutdowns.”

Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of Associated General Contractors of America

The Dallas-based Lincoln Property Company said it will continue to actively follow the guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.

“During this unsettling lime, we’d like to assure you that providing a safe and healthy community for our residents and employees is our top priority at Lincoln Property Company,” the team wrote in a statement.

With proper sanitizing procedures and health policies in place, apartment tours will still be available at its communities, though resident events have been temporarily canceled.

Lincoln Property Company is currently working on several mixed-use developments aroun the country, including California, Austin, and Washington, D.C.

Prologis, which is headquartered in San Antonio but has several developments in Dallas-Fort Worth, has conducted its own research for COVID-19.

A few key points that the company notes: Customers should expect volatility; investors should anticipate resiliency; and COVID-19 poses the most serious risk so far to a lengthy global expansion.

“In our interconnected world, significant disruptions underscore the need for resilient supply chains,” the overview of the research project reported. “The risks posed by COVID-19 to economic growth would likewise affect real estate in the near term; on both counts, the magnitude is yet unknown.”

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Brandi Addison

Brandi Addison was born and raised in Fort Worth and is making her way back to the Panther City after living away from home for nearly five years while attending college at Texas Tech University. After graduating, she was an education reporter for the Midland Reporter-Telegram. She loves the Fort Worth community and the diversity within each of its neighborhoods. Her favorite areas are Clearfork, Fairmount, and the Cultural District.

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