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Roseland Real Estate AttorneyIn recent months, much has been written about the state of commercial office space in the U.S., especially in large urban centers like Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Chicago. Due to social and economic shifts that were accelerated dramatically by the Covid-19 pandemic, fewer businesses are operating in traditional office spaces. And while the prevalence of remote and hybrid work environments is being questioned by some, these arrangements are incredibly popular overall. As a result, commercial real estate investments in traditional office spaces are not what they once were.

Is This Shift a Ticking Time Bomb?

There is an increasing concern that empty office space – especially in large urban centers – is not just a problem for individual developers and investors who hoped to see a significant return on their initial and ongoing attention paid to any particular property. There is a sense that the shifting reality of urban office space could lead to a phenomenon that has been dubbed a “doom loop.” And it is also being widely predicted that the effects of this concern could be felt in earnest as early as 2025 when the nation’s commercial investors and real estate developers hit a debt wall.

Essentially, there is $1.5 trillion on commercial real estate loans in the U.S. that will come due before the end of 2025. As the nature of the nation’s office-based economy has shifted so rapidly since the start of 2020, the value of the commercial properties tied to these loans are increasingly not worth what they were when the loans were secured and it does not look like their value will broadly increase as rapidly as it decreased.

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