COVID-19 and the expected V-shaped recession has done a number on commercial real estate, with most industries untouched by the pandemic. Even a booming market like Jacksonville has been affected by the shutdown and uneasy about reopening the economy. With over 50% of the population not returning to life until the pandemic is over, the unexpected developments of 2020 continue to put the CRE industry at unease.
Certain areas continued to be hit hard (apartments, bars, movie theaters, etc). However, there are a number of bright spots since the pandemic. While retail numbers nosedived in the first half of 2020, retail sales are actually up this summer. In June retail sales jumped nearly 17% across the United States, and in July the numbers were up 1.2% seasonally, and 2.7% over July 2019.
Another bright spot for the Jacksonville market? Healthcare. While some healthcare is being rethought due to the pandemic, plans are still moving forward for construction in Clay County and St. Johns County. More teladoc opportunities have arisen since the pandemic, however there is still a large demand for in person care as both counties continue to expand. In Clay County, Baptist Hospital is still moving forward with it’s planned expansion. In St. Johns County, a new site has been selected for Ascension’s new $115 million hospital. Baptist’s Clay County Hospital is expected to add an additional 700 jobs. Ascension’s announcement comes during the pandemic, and on the heels of similar announcements by Baptist, UF Health and Flagler Health for the county.
The pandemic might bring small and large healthcare together in the Jacksonville Metro. Partnerships between large and small healthcare providers in the area continue to lead to innovation, as both work together to care for people who need elective surgeries and other minor procedures.
Another bright spot continues to be industrials, which have seen a jump since the pandemic. Distribution centers, like the Amazon and US Lumber locations in Jacksonville, have benefited from the pandemic, as more people shop online. While retail numbers are improving, the industrial sector is considered the safe bet in an unknown climate.
The state of Florida is doing it’s part to try to make it easier to complete commercial real estate deals during the pandemic. The state recently waved a requirement for a lease witness that previously needed to be in person during the signing. That requirement is a thing of the past, as of July 1.
Trust a local company with your commercial real estate needs during this time of uncertainty. Landmark Commercial Realty Group is the only local, independent broker. Whether it’s time to list, or invest, we have the experience and understanding to do what’s right for our clients. For more information contact us today.