How REITS are Helping Reopen the Economy Safely

As the REIT and commercial real estate industry turns its focus to the responsible reopening of the U.S. economy, Nareit will be actively participating and sharing regular updates here on The Great Restart—the steps our members are taking to prepare for reopening, to protect their employees, tenants, and communities, and to assess new ways to support how Americans work, play, and live. This is the first phase of a “new normal” for our piece of the stream of commerce and will continue to evolve.

For more COVID-19 coverage from Nareit, visit The Coronavirus, Commercial Real Estate and REITs and REITs in the Community: Response to Coronavirus.

 

Data Centers

CyrusOne Inc. (NYSE: CONE) President and CEO Tesh Durvasula shared how the REIT and the larger data center industry are adapting to the recent surge in internet usage as a result of the pandemic.

Diversified

Brookfield Property Partners L.P. (NYSE: BPY) has launched its Curbside Pickup Program. Customers can make purchases directly on a retailer's website or by phone-in order, and the order will be fulfilled in-store by store personnel. Customers can “park and pick-up” in order to minimize physical contact.

JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS) has released its Healthy Workplace Blueprint, which provides an overview of the changes that can be expected within a JBG SMITH office building, including adjustments to building protocols. The REIT is also using OfficeTour to connect with potential tenants through personalized tours and engaging conversations in a safe and convenient way.

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (NYSE: CLI) CEO Michael DeMarco has been appointed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to the Facilities and Construction Subcommittee of the state’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council. DeMarco will advise on economic matters arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phillips Edison & Co. has launched its Front Row to Go program, which numbers parking spaces for curbside pickup. The program is an expansion of work the REIT had previously done with grocers to accommodate pickup programs.

Health Care

LTC Properties, Inc. (NYSE: LTC) has partnered with Juniper Communities to produce Virtual Connections, a free resource for seniors to help them navigate the new normal of life on the internet.

Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: VTR) is providing access to COVID-19 test kits and analysis from Mayo Clinic Laboratories at no charge to some of its senior housing operators who are in need of them. The REIT says the initiative is part of its commitment to mitigating the spread of the coronavirus and further enhancing the safety of its senior housing communities. CEO Debra Cafaro discussed these initiatives with Senior Housing News.

Industrial

Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) is frequently updating its Customer Resource Center for COVID-19, including references and links in the areas of communication, cleaning and disinfecting, and a phased approach, in an effort to help its customers navigate the worldwide pandemic. Prologis has also released its Time-Saver Services Package, which includes easy sourcing of vendors for janitorial, dock, and office maintenance.

Lodging/Resorts

Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) has launched its Rest Assure program, focused on advanced cleaning protocols, physical distancing, technology utilization, and reimagined service offerings for hotels across its portfolio. It was created as part of Hersha’s proprietary sustainability platform, Hersha EarthView.

Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP) CEO Colin Reed was interviewed by Nashville Business Journal discussing the best way to restart Nashville’s economy. In addition, Ryman has selected Vanderbilt University Medical Center as its official wellness advisor during the phased reopening of its businesses. VUMC will provide support to the REIT as it implements operating procedures, plans, and training materials developed as part of a multi-phase health safety operations strategy for its entertainment assets and its Gaylord Hotels network.

Office

Boston Properties, Inc. (NYSE: BXP) plans to provide temperature screenings for clients and visitors in select Boston office buildings as a requirement for entry.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: PDM) has released its “Returning to the Workplace Tenant Guide” which includes strategies on how to adapt to today’s challenges, including redesigning common areas, adding more touchless fixtures, and heightening cleaning protocols.

Residential

American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE: ACC) has launched a portfolio analysis series in which the REIT evaluates and prepares its collection of student housing properties for the Fall 2020 semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. Its first report examines the different types of student housing and how they address student preferences and their ability to control sanitization.

Retail

To ensure the health and safety of its workers and community members, Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: CDR) has launched a resources webpage to help shoppers navigate regulatory guidelines and COVID-19 best practices.

Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) will launch The Pick-Up on May 15. The program allows customers to place orders from participating retailers, select a pickup time, and get an assigned curbside pickup location. The retailer’s employees place the purchase in the customer’s back seat or trunk.

Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE: KIM) has launched Curbside Pickup at its Texas assets, which designates curbside-pickup parking spots at each shopping center. The program will expand nationwide in May, and Kimco CEO Conor Flynn discussed the program in a recent video interview with Nareit. Flynn also appeared on CNBC Power Lunch on May 8 to discuss business strategy, rent, and reopenings.

Kite Realty Group Trust (NYSE: KRG) has implemented its Re-Opening Resources program, including priority pick-up parking, contactless locker systems, professional sidewalk queue signage, an online tenant community forum, and the KRG Small Business Loan Program.

At Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, Arizona, Macerich (NYSE: MAC) will be regularly sanitizing door handles and using an enhanced cooling system that is designed to increase air circulation and outside air flow. By late May, the REIT had reopened 20 properties total, with new protocols implemented, including enhanced cleaning and sanitizing and social-distance queuing, based on industry best practices and CDC recommendations.

At its Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey, PREIT’s (NYSE: PEI) team is ready to greet customers with new safety protocols in place. Shoppers can enjoy contact-less pickup from retailers including Crate and Barrel, LEGO, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Urban Outfitters.

RPT Realty (NYSE: RPT) plans to help consumers decide when to shop by using technology from startup WaitTimes to analyze lines of people waiting to enter stores. Signage will inform shoppers of the anonymous counting. In addition, to ensure the safety of its employees, customers, and communities, RPT Realty has installed dedicated 15-minute “Pick Up Only” parking spaces for curbside pick-up service; collaborated with tenants to install queue markings outside storefronts; added additional trash cans on-site to accommodate the safe disposal of personal protective equipment (PPE); and displayed best practices signage and CDC guidelines to spread awareness. In late June, RPT Realty announced it had distributed 122,500 masks to its tenants and customers and 1,500 retailer kits that include hand sanitizer and PPE, installed 400 hand sanitizer dispensers with more than 800 gallons of sanitizer, and more.

Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) has published its COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy, developed in conjunction with a team of leading experts in the fields of Epidemiology and Environmental Health and Safety, in order to provide a high level of safety standards at its properties. Simon has reopened 77 of its 209 properties as of May 11; although not every entrance is open, so the REIT plans to use parking lot signs to direct people toward “Phase 1” entrances.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. (NYSE: SKT) has launched Pop UP Plan, a turnkey opportunity for its tenants to sell through their excess inventory and start a post-pandemic business recovery with a pop-up shop at Tanger Outlets.

Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE: TCO) COO Bill Taubman appeared on The Today Show on May 7 to discuss how the company is reopening shopping. Taubman said that stores are working on resetting for new conditions including how customers will move around in this new environment, and that customers should expect signage about social distancing and queuing in front of stores to limit the number of people in a store at one time. The REIT’s International Market Place General Manager Breana Grosz also shared her thoughts on the impact of the pandemic and reopening an iconic shopping center in Hawaii.

Washington Prime Group (NYSE: WPG) has launched Fulventory, an initiative that allows tenants to utilize space within WPG assets for last mile fulfilment and BOPIS (buy online and pickup in store), as well as inventory clearance. It has also launched Well Picked Goods, a weekly digital curation of merchandise selected by the local management of featured town centers, including gift card promotions when tenants reopen. The REIT has made its Reopening Processes and Best Practices Guide available to all tenants, and its Pearlridge Center in Hawaii reopened on May 15 with special hours of operation.

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI) has launched a blog series of best practices, Stay Connected to Your Customers, to help its tenants during the pandemic. The marketing practices are intended to aid tenants as their businesses return to normal.

Self-storage

Extra Space Storage, Inc. (NYSE: EXR) has reopened its self-storage facility offices with enhancements including layouts updated to support social distancing, plexiglass barriers, and masks, gloves, and other personal safety supplies provided onsite for employees. Leasing paperwork includes updated policies on no-contract renting options, employee and customer care, store sanitation, and options for not having to physically enter a storage facility.

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The Nareit Developments section on reit.com provides updates of Nareit's activities and key events impacting the REIT and commercial real estate industry. Nareit is the worldwide representative voice for REITs and publicly traded real estate companies with an interest in U.S. real estate and capital markets. Please see our Terms of Use.