Up & Coming Weekly

October 06, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 10 of 24

10 UCW OCTOBER 7-13, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Downtown Fayetteville development delayed by JEFF THOMPSON COVID-19 is having a significant impact on com- mercial real estate. e pandemic directly affects the demand for office space through quarantines, shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, employment loss and a shattering of consumer confidence, ac- cording to real estate research experts who spoke with Development magazine. "One investor told me that he cannot close on a building because he cannot get an appraiser to go out and look at it," said Emil Malizia," a research professor at the University of North Carolina. "What does that do to occupancy, particularly office buildings?" "Similar to Fayetteville, office tenants across the country are pausing new office leases as officials re-evaluate how they use their offices and how many employees businesses will have due to financial harm from COVID-19," said Jordan Jones, man- ager of the PCH expansion projects in downtown Fayetteville. "We have to recognize that this is not a financial crisis," said Timothy H. Savage of NYU's Schack Insti- tute of Real Estate. "It's a natural disaster in which it is not the physical capital that is being affected — it is the human capital … that directly impacts the economy." PCH developers have proposed building a seven- story office building and a five-story Hyatt Hotel atop the recently completed five-story parking garage on Hay Street. e city of Fayetteville agreed to purchase the garage and did so at a cost of nearly $18 million. e structure will provide parking for the new hotel, the office building, Prince Charles apartment tenants and to a limited extent, the public. e projects were initially slated for completion next year. "We are unable to provide an updated timeline on the projects moving forward," Jones said. "We remain committed to executing phase two above the parking garage and continue to actively move these projects forward." e $40 million Segra baseball stadium to the rear of the parking deck and PCH's acquisition of the Festival Park Plaza building were also elements of a $120 million economic development undertaking in mid- town. What about the planned hotel? "On the hospitality side, the indus- try's occupancy across the country (including Fayetteville) has seen a significant decline," Jones noted. "Without occupancy, a hotel is not financially fea- sible." But a firm with expertise in the hotel industry has concluded that Hyatt is the hotel chain that has instituted the best customer-friendly and custom- er-safe policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. NerdWallet analyzed and graded the policies of eight hotel companies and found that Hyatt's face mask requirement and staff training procedures set it apart from the others. e chief executive officer of Hyatt Hotels Corpo- ration is optimistic about the new normal. "I think there is clear evidence that there will be a robust return to travel even without a vaccine as long as you have a really rigorous, committed and vigilant approach to managing the virus," Mark Hoplamazian said. "e more practice we all have in being vigilant, being compliant, making it a part of our lives, the better off we're going to be. at's my aspiration and my hope for the near future." NEWS e PCH expansion projects in downtown — to include an office build- ing, hotel and parking garage — were slated for completion next year, but have been delayed due to the COVID-19 impact. INDIGO MOON FILM FESTIVAL 2020 is VIRTUAL! WATCH: 60+ Films from around the world ENJOY: 30+ filmmaker talkbacks STREAM: right to your TV with Roku or Apple TV app INDULGE: from the safety and comfort of your own home. IndigoMoonFilmFestival.com This project is supported by the Arts Council in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. Break out of the boring and get your Fest on!

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