February 4, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered thousands of hotels across the country, many forever. Experts say tourism won’t come back for five years. And in the new age of Zoom meetings, business travel will never be what it was.
And who knows what will happen to office buildings? So many of us have got used to working from home. Or retail? Malls were already struggling before the pandemic; many won’t make it through this year.
If we do nothing to address this economic distress, these now obsolete properties will be boarded up and abandoned, bringing down the neighborhoods that surround them. They will reverse decades of investment that brought back neighborhoods in the Bronx, Chicago’s South Side and South Central LA. But this time, the distress will also ravage the central business districts of cities large and small.