Can you please start by giving us an introduction to Cushman & Wakefield?

Cushman & Wakefield is a globally recognized real estate services firm dedicated to shaping the future of the real estate industry. With a vast network spanning across 70 countries, we offer comprehensive solutions in property management, leasing, investment, valuation, and advisory services. Our expertise caters to diverse clients, including corporations, investors, developers, and tenants, providing innovative strategies and insights to optimize real estate portfolios. Through our collaborative approach and deep market knowledge, Cushman & Wakefield consistently delivers exceptional results and drives transformative outcomes for its clients worldwide.

How do you assess the strength of the Philadelphia commercial real estate market?

The industrial sector stands out as a robust asset class, maintaining its strength even in the midst of the COVID-19 environment. Retail, however, has faced considerable challenges and taken a substantial hit. Evaluating the impact on office spaces requires a thorough analysis as there are multiple potential directions it could take. Decision-making seems reserved for the short term due to uncertainties about the future. Our approach involves a comprehensive view of the work environment. Before the pandemic, there was a trend towards flexible workspaces, open-floor plans, and close seating arrangements, but with the necessity of social distancing, these aspects might undergo a change.

How is the pandemic reshaping the co-working niche?

We’re conducting internal surveys among both Cushman & Wakefield employees and our clients, and interestingly, opinions are divided evenly between remote and office work. Predicting the direction it will ultimately take becomes challenging in such a scenario.

What lessons is the pandemic offering for a more resilient real estate industry?

Philadelphia enjoys a fortunate position, boasting a strong economy particularly in the industrial, education, medical, and life sciences sectors. These sectors are set to gain strength and resilience owing to the developments arising from COVID-19. Philadelphia has historically maintained a stable economic diversity, avoiding extremes of highs and lows. This positions the region for a swift and robust recovery. There’s a growing realization that in this environment, hard work, education, and collaboration are crucial. Operating in isolation is no longer viable. Embracing technology, fostering collaboration, and staying ahead of evolving trends are vital. The Philadelphia region remains dynamic and progressive.

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