By Daniel J. Sernovitz – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal, Mar 20, 2020
“It’s comparable, on at least some level, to the mentality that set in immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks and the 2008 financial crisis, said Eric West, a principal at West, Lane & Schlager Realty Advisors. But on only some levels. While 9/11 was a single sequence of events, the coronavirus has been spreading, locally and globally, for some time now. Still, in their wake, uncertainty set in. And that isn’t a good thing for the commercial real estate industry.
The tenant market is an outwardly focused business, and these days, everyone is focused inwardly, on their businesses and on their family, West said. Just signing a lease is a commitment to a long-range plan, and if that plan for the immediate future is thrown out the window, you can’t make a commitment to any kind of long-term plan. You can’t sign a lease. You can’t even think about real estate," said West.