rSquared Q&A with Gabriel Silverstein, Chair of SVN Institutional Capital Markets

What are your thoughts on COVID-19 and the impact it’s having on CRE and the economy in general?

A: From a business perspective, it’s taking a terrible toll on our country’s economy, obviously, as well the commercial real estate markets, and I’m not at all in agreement with the one-size-fits-all measures that have been imposed here and elsewhere at the cost of tens of millions of people’s welfare.  The effective unemployment rate may be close to 30%, double the official unemployment numbers – and remember this is less than three months from an all time record low unemployment market.  Prior to the outbreak, we had the strongest economy I had seen in my career, and that changed almost overnight.

I hope we can find sensible, effective ways to open up the economy quickly, especially in the areas where there have been very few cases of COVID-19. As we start to reopen for public business, we still have people with lingering fears that have been largely fueled by misinformation, and if people are scared, not to mention uncertain of employment and income, they will also remain cautious with their consumer spending. I have great confidence in our country and our collective ingenuity, can-do spirit and drive…

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