How has the behavior of the Charlotte real estate market in 2020 compared to your initial expectations?

It’s safe to say that no one foresaw the unprecedented impacts the pandemic brought to the markets in 2020. Preceding that, 2019 showcased remarkable strides in commercial real estate. Charlotte, historically, has maintained a robust and healthy market, prudently avoiding overbuilding despite considerable development activities entering this year. Particularly in the office sector, although there was significant development, much of it was pre-leased, considerably minimizing our risk exposure relative to the square footage on paper. The allure of the Sun Belt’s growth trajectory and migration trends has been notable. In Charlotte specifically, factors like access to natural landscapes, a desirable climate, excellent quality of life, and a cost of living below the national average make it a compelling relocation choice for companies.

Do you anticipate the shift of office spaces toward the suburbs to persist in the long run?

There’s certainly been a reverse migration trend observed in Charlotte, where millennials are increasingly moving to the suburbs as they start families. However, attributing a massive relocation of office spaces to the suburbs purely to the effects of COVID-19 might not be a definitive trend. We still anticipate sustained growth and development in what’s commonly known as the urban core. Ultimately, our Central Business District remains the pivotal engine driving Charlotte’s economy—it’s our largest submarket. Therefore, we envision continued expansion in this area.

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