We’ve come to the end of yet another week of our collective trip down the coronavirus-shaped rabbit hole. There have been some head-spinning developments, such as Knotel’s declaration that it will relinquish 1 million square feet of office space, and signs of optimism that the troubled restaurant industry is becoming more unified in its response. Here are some of the best things that Commercial Observer heard this week as the real estate industry tries to figure out up from down.
“It’s not a welcome conversation with a landlord, but it’s us just being tough-minded. There will be change coming soon and I think we are moving to be ahead of that.” – Knotel CEO Amol Sarva on the firm’s plans to hand back about 20 percent, or 1 million square feet, of its portfolio.
“We understand that first we need to beat this disease before we can get opened up. We just want to make sure that we all have a business to return to.” – Chef Tom Collichio, speaking in regards to a new restaurant advocacy group that he helped to co-found.
“In this pandemic, a business model like WeWork is in deep shit already. They’re standing on a precipice and looking into a very deep abyss.” – Alexander Snyder, an analyst at CenterSquare Investment Management, on the problems facing coworking giant WeWork.
“Over the past two weeks, overcrowding was not an issue, but we did not observe enough New Yorkers utilizing the open space to justify the NYPD presence.” – A statement from the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio, in response to the cancellation of the city’s open-streets plan.
“We paid too much valuation for WeWork, and we did too much believe in the entrepreneur. But I think even with WeWork, we’re now confident that we put in new management, a new plan, and we’re going to turn it around and make a decent return.” – SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son, speaking in an interview with Forbes Magazine.
“It sucks, but not in an existential way.” – A proptech founder whose company made deep cuts to its workforce due to the coronavirus crisis.