PEOPLE IN HIGH PLACES HAVE SIMILAR ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS AS WE DO
by Ben B. Boothe, Sr. | Saturday, March 20, 2021, 9:59 AM (CDT)
Federal Reserve officials expect the economy to rapidly surge toward its pre-pandemic strength, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.5 percent by the end of this year and inflation surpassing its 2 percent target, according to projections released Wednesday.
The estimates paint the rosiest picture of the U.S. economy since the pandemic forced the Fed to take emergency actions a year ago. But the economy remains weak, with millions of people still out of work. The Fed said inflation could hit 2.4 percent this year, significantly higher than its previous projection of 1.8 percent.
So what are future trends and elements worthy of thought in the new world ahead. Because experts tell us that even when the "pandemic" declines, the virus (Corona and many others) will still be with us. New styles of business and living should be incorporated. I was asked to speak for a group of business investors in Albuquerque, and suggested that these are how some areas are impacted. This list should be of interest to investors, business people, and those interested in future trends:
- Residential housing. Housing has experienced a boom in sales, demand and pricing. This trend will slowly change, to a more normal supply and demand. But for now, the inventory of "available" homes is the lowest in years.
- Apartments and Condos. We see a strong investor demand for apartments and condominium developments, this also, we believe will gradually stabilize.
- Restaurants. The resturant industry has taken it on the chin. Those without drive up, or exterior service windows have been in deep trouble. Our projections indicate a significant change in the industry. Renovations, and additions of drive up lanes are expensive but many are doing this and building outside dining canopies or extensions. New facilities will have outside dining, drive up lanes and new systems of waiters taking orders by phone, internet or even walking "window hops" taking orders at car windows. The industry has expensive changes ahead.'
- Small retail. Small retail has for years been stressed to be able compete with big box stores. They often lack the capital or depth of management or staff, and cannot order in huge amounts to achieve best discounts. Small retail stores are closing in high numbers and in the future will have to stress their "unique" products or services and personal service to survive.
- Office Buildings. Owners of multistory office buildings, especially in downtown centers are all looking at new concepts and big changes to their building design. For example an office building of 5 levels (stories), is not going to do well in the age of "at home" work and higher technology. So owners are changing, say the upper floors into apartments or condominiums for "downtown living". Rooftops are being improved with outdoor recreational areas for grill cooking, pools, parties. Some are adding an area with building bars and restaurants to attract the large market of young couples and families. Some entire "floors" are being converted to "Business Centers" or "Executive Office Space" with many small offices but large conference rooms, a central answering service, and a large area for research or library type work tables and many small work rooms for groups of 6 or 8 people with big screens and high tech interest for conferences on the walls.
- Work from Home. Work from home will continue to grow, houses will have more high tech computers, big screens and one room will be a communication room with more "sound proofing", better lighting, good electronics and multiple computer view screens, big and small. Work from home will become more popular and areas with higher speed band width will be an amenity that home developers will have to install and make available.
- Industrial Buildings. Political leaders have taken seriously the importance of Made in America and we may see a resurgence in demand for industrial buildings, of new design, high tech, and also equipped with coffee shops and "relax bars or areas". Industrial buildings will be renovated and take on a modern "in" look combining industry, work areas, and with more attractive exterior areas, including demand for areas for workers to rest, eat, or just sit around work tables and bring their laptops.
- Big Box Retail. The big boys have more capital and staying power. But they will be renovating with better circulation HVAC, using HEPA filters and a higher "fresh air" mix and more stringent sanitation. Equipment to sterilize airborne virus will be more prevalent. Higher air pressure to replace or refresh air in large buildings will be increased. Hand washing spots will be scattered throughout the buildings not just in bathrooms. They will market their "sterilized buildings" and floors and surfaces will be wiped, mopped or sterilized daily. There may be a change in configuration so as to increase the ability to shop with further "distancing", and not bumping into people in the aisles. Big box stores, that improvise and redesign will see great appeal in the future. The Costco, Wal-Mart, Target, and other big box operations that lead the way in redesign and sanitation will excel.
- Nursing Homes. The nursing home industry has had some terrible death rates and infection rates. Like the big box industry more emphasis on built in systems to sanitize air, to sterilize surfaces and to put anti viral equipment and procedures. There should be a weekly inspection by public agency or a new industry of "health inspections" to seek out rapid high quality air filtration replacements, in every nursing home, every week or periodically. HVAC systems must use better filtration and in line ultra violet or other viral systems built in.
- Hospitals Clinics. A well respected doctor told me that the biggest hospitals are some of the most dangerous places because of airborne virus and the concentrations of "sick people" traffic. Hospitals must spend more investment on equipment to fight airborne virus, and consider new types of HVAC and circulation of air, with greater filtration, treatment and more "fresh air" percentages in the air mix of hospitals. Hospitals must get pro-active and build better buildings, better spaces, and more intense inspections for sterile environments. This will develop into a new industry of "inner atmosphere sanitation".
- Churches, and public meeting places. The world knows of the huge mega church that had thousands of members that caused more thousands of Corona Virus infections overwhelming the hospital systems in Korea. Finally the government there banned all meetings and the church leader/pastor was arrested for causing deaths. These facilities, will have to spend money to design and install better air sterilization and then pull away from the "crowded pew" concept to seating that is more spaced and sterile. Some will be using more audio visual, but it is possible that instead of one huge large open area, that air circulation may need to be redesigned and reconfigured. Automatic systems that check for fever and virus may be possible at all entryways to the main building and to individual classes. Churches will increase broadcasting "live" to many members who wish to stay at home. Churches must test and offer shots to all members on an ongoing basis. Churches will change, but their believes in compassion for all, will demand that they take big bold steps to keep the people healthy.
- Sports arenas and stadiums. We foresee changes in the big sports centers, doing some things that Churches and auditoriums do, but on a basis. Seating arrangements will need to be changed, with groups, such as families with areas of 4 seats together, with spacing of 3 to 6 feet to other families. New seating design and changes will be made. The use of plexiglass may be extensively used. This will require much research but while "outdoor sports facilities" offer more circulation, the problem of human contact and crowded areas, will need to be addressed in new design. The old idea of "enclosed VIP box seats" will be increased and multiplied. All visitors will pass through automatic temperature checks and air will be sterilized and some viral disinfectants will be utilized in sections where feasible.
- Schools, Colleges, Educational Buildings. We will see more sterilization, air filtration, and attention to not only air and to surfaces to disinfect. Classrooms might have plexiglass separations to allow for a classroom of 150 students to have some protection. Improved HVAC, and numerous hand and face sterilization areas similar to those throughout the corridors of hospitals.
- Newsrooms, Newspapers, Broadcasting. Companies will be closing big open spaces, for example the crowded 'Newsroom" where 50 or 100 reporters all have their little cubicles to write the news, all in one area. This open but crowded area will be eliminated or redesigned. But the businesses, and industries will be required to have areas where there is separation or protection. Some may be glass walls, plexiglass barriers, electronic separations, and some important design changes. The trick for this industry and others like it, will be somehow to keep the interface of people, thinking and exchange of ideas, while keeping a safe and sterile environment.
- RV parks, MH parks. In 2020 and 2021 record numbers of people bought recreational vehicles, and mobile home parks grew in popularity. People are making "mobile offices" and learning to live and work remotely. My wife and I recently had to travel across the USA for her to have another surgery. In the process we traveled in an RV and saw affluent people, some driving RV's worth $100,000 to $700,000 living a new lifestyle. They left their apartments in big cities, and are enjoying living in various parks and places coast to coast. They consider it a more "virus free" lifestyle. We see the trend of the RV lifestyle growing in the USA, and the value of those RV parks and MH parks are skyrocketing. My wife said: "At least I know that our RV is safe and is virus free". So she doesn't have to worry about a clean bathroom, kitchen or going into a roadside café. And consider these RV's are parked in "open air" settings, not crowded in one building like most apartments or condos. People are stuffed together in elevators or hallways in RV and MH parks.
- Areas of new development near "Charging Stations", We are told that in a few years, 80% of all vehicles will be electric. Thus the motels, or restaurants, retail stores, restaurants, or hotels, that have charging stations will increase the traffic and activity to those locations. A 30 minute or 60 minute charge might be helpful and allow the time for a meal, shopping, or just a stretch. Assuming the average vehicle will have a 300 mile electricity capacity, that would say, every 6 hours, time for a "charging break". This is a huge financial potential for those looking ahead.
- Companies that reconfigure buildings for the future. A new future, is to be the company that examines and knows how to reconfigure buildings of all kinds to be sterile, to be areas that viral fighting equipment and design is incorporated into the structure of the building.
- Bit Coin here to stay? The new currency is speculative, unregulated and can make wide swings in value. But one of the trends we see for the future, is that there will be booms and busts in Bit Coin values, we believe it is here to stay. The new generation of young business leaders is adopting Bit Coin and many large industries are adopting it. It could be that you will buy a house for Bit Coin, or sell and investment property for Bit Coin. Many of us need to study and understand Bit Coin. We see it as a trend that could impact the way many companies do business.
- Viral Sterilization Inspections! Another new trend, we see a new profession of industry may emerge. Building inspectors to inspect for prevention of "Viral Spread", to sign off on the design, circulation, and sterilization of air and surfaces and to prevent design that might create opportunity for viral spread. Our commercial real estate and environmental company has already started doing some of this, as well as sterilization of Prisons, Schools, Nursing Homes, Small Retail, and Large Industrial. It also tends to show due diligence and lower owner liability from legal actions.
The success and future of real estate investors, developers, and investors will be how forward their thinking. The types of buildings that we develop, that we renovate and the very concept of "Concentrated Central Business Districts" will require new and progressive thinking. Some new commercial buildings will find that the levels of sanitation, will increase the value and appeal of such buildings. No doubt a premium for sanitation will be a real appreciation of the times that people can "get together" and create that special energy that comes from being together. No doubt the future "thinkers" of our society that can find solutions of how to enjoy being "together" along with the protections that may be required from future viral dangers will become new new billionaires of our world.
** We welcome your ideas and insights of what you see emerging in the future. We do appraisals and environmental studies, and continue to research and anticipate the trends that are upon us. Contact us at: https://www.benboothe.com or give us a call or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org We do appraisals, evaluations, and environmental studies on locations. 817 793 1484 personal cell, Ben Boothe Sr.