Vacant commercial real estate in Cedar Rapids

News 7 KWWL reporter Michele White spoke with Michael Gibbs about vacant commercial properties and the effect of COVID on the Cedar Rapids commercial real estate market.

Site selection and lease negotiations are taking longer due to the pandemic. “Companies need a lot more approvals and some are fearful to pull the trigger,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs shared that companies are realizing the importance of the workplace as people tend to go stir crazy when isolated working from home. Gibbs’ prediction is that this will ultimately lead to less vacant commercial real estate.

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance‘s Business Retention & Expansion Strategist Ron Corbett believes it will take a while for office space to recover from the pandemic. “Many local companies have implemented a hybrid work model,” Corbett said. He goes on to state that it will be a process to bring all employees back to the office.

The pandemic has had a positive impact on the retail and industrial sectors of commercial real estate according to Gibbs. “With the rise of eCommerce, more companies need additional warehouse and storage space.”

To help meet this enhanced need for warehouse space, a local privately held investment group is building a 200,000-square-foot warehouse at Edgewood Logistics Park in SW Cedar Rapids. They hope to be ready for national companies looking for an Iowa location.

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