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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Next Crisis Will Start With Empty Office Buildings

The Next Crisis Will Start With Empty Office Buildings

Commercial real estate is losing value fast.

By Dror Poleg, The Atlantic

“I’m about to cancel all my Zoom meetings.” It was May 2021, and Jamie Dimon had had enough. The JPMorgan Chase CEO expected that “sometime in September, October,” the company’s office would “look just like it did before.” Two years later, his company is slashing its Manhattan footprint by a fifth.

Post-pandemic, kids are back in school, retirees are back on cruise ships, and physical stores are doing better than expected. But offices are struggling perhaps more than most casual observers realize, and the consequences for landlords, banks, municipal governments, and even individual portfolios will be far-reaching. In some cases, they will be catastrophic. But this crisis, like all crises, also represents an opportunity to reconsider many of our assumptions about work and cities.

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