CA Locked Down Again

Video Index (with direct links)

0:00 Siri is pretty rude in telling me that I can’t go out anywhere
0:44 COVID scare in my family
1:08 My new listing: Shops at Fontana Square
1:44 California is under lockdown again
3:09 New measures to help small businesses
3:55 COVID vaccine could be available next week
4:21 An empty Sears could be a vaccination center
5:00 Which fast food chains are leasing the most space this year?

Hello Investors!

Hello everyone, I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and Black Friday!

My video this week starts off with a (fake) conversation I had with Siri (on my iPhone) about trying to leave my house to do something fun.  This scene wasn’t easy to put it together, but it was fun to figure it out.  In case you’re interested in what actually went into creating the scene, here’s how I made it.

First, I had to write out the script of what I wanted Siri to say.  Then I ran them through a speech program to have the program read the sentences aloud. I recorded the audio from that using audio recording software.  Yes, it’s a Google speech program, so it’s not even real Siri. (shhh don’t tell Siri)

Then, at home, I had my wife shoot a video of me sitting on the couch, just saying my lines from the dialog.  I had to pause and imagine the duration of Siri’s responses since Siri wasn’t actually talking at this time.  I was actually reading my lines from the notes app on the phone in my hand.  Also, the audio from that scene was being recorded by the phone in my hand, not the camera that is filming me!  Finally, I grabbed some audio files of the Siri “beeps” using the same recording software.

I then put all of the audio clips and the video clip together in my editing software.  While editing, I realized that there were times where I didn’t pause long enough to fit in Siri’s audio response.  In those cases, I had to manually slow down or speed up the video clips of me in order to fit in the audio.

Click here to see and hear my chat with Siri.

New Listing – Shops at Fontana Square – $2,860,000 (6.55% Cap)

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Today’s email is brought to you by my new listing in Fontana, the Shops at Fontana Square, located at 17218 Foothill Blvd. that my partner Greg Bedell and I are marketing.  This is a fully occupied, 7 unit strip center located on Foothill Blvd.  The property is a pad to a Bowlero bowling alley, and is located right across the street from a Walmart store, and features 200 feet of frontage along Foothill Blvd.

All tenants are current on rent, and none of the tenants asked for any concessions during the pandemic.  This property just went to market a week ago and we have received a tremendous amount of interest and a cash offer on it, so if you are interested, then contact me ASAP to get the offering memorandum.

Southern California’s Stay at Home Order, Round 3

Yes folks, we are under lockdown again.  Over the weekend, Governor Newsom announced that any regions where the the availability of ICU beds fell below 15% would have to shutdown to a degree that we haven’t seen since the spring.  On Saturday, that number dipped to 12.5%, and that meant that starting Sunday evening, the shutdown went into effect for Southern California, which includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties.  The restrictions state that businesses such as bars, breweries, wineries, museums, zoos, aquariums card rooms and hair and nail salons must be closed.  All indoor and outdoor dining will remain closed, and this order will be in place for at least three weeks as the region fights to keep coronavirus hospitalizations down.

But the reality is that not every city will comply with the order, and the police departments may not enforce it, either.  However, the state has threatened to withhold funding from cities or businesses that don’t comply, and some businesses may lose their licenses to operate – so it puts a lot of business owners in a really difficult scenario.

This is tough.  How much longer can small businesses survive when they can’t even open for business.  One idea you can do to help this holiday season is to buy gift cards from your local restaurant or salon to help support them, and hopefully it will help them to stay afloat until they can reopen for business again.

New Measures to Support Small Businesses (or is it too little too late?)

In an effort to help small businesses, on November 30, several new measures were announced to help local businesses.
First, Governor Newsom announced a new measure that will allow small businesses a three month extension period where they can defer paying sales tax.  They can use those dollars to help with rent or other obligations, although they still have to pay the tax eventually.In addition, there is a separate $500 million COVID Relief Grant program where small businesses and nonprofits can appy for up to $25,000 in cash grants.

Finally, cash is being set aside at the federal level for a business rebuilding fund that will be headed up by Janet Yellen, who will be the next Treasury secretary under Joe Biden.
So if you aren’t aware of these programs, it might make sense to let your small business tenants know so that they can get any bit of help they need right now.

When Will the Coronavirus Vaccine Be Available?

Now Pfizer and Moderna are the two companies leading the charge for getting a coronavirus vaccine out to the public.  The FDA could give authorization to Pfizer’s vaccine as early as the end of this week.  Moderna is a week behind.  And assuming that both vaccines get the green light, we will all face distribution challenges in getting the vaccine out to the people who need it most.  How will the vaccine be transported and stored?  And where will it be administered? Perhaps retail real estate can help.  Read the next section to find out.

Can Empty Big Box Retail Be Used for Coronavirus Vaccination Locations?

In a year where most of the news about retail seems to be bad, here’s a case where retail might actually come to the rescue.

A vacant sears at the  Livingston mall in NJ, where coincidentally, I used to shop when I was a kid, may be a prototype for a Coronavirus vaccination center.  According to Costar, local governments across the country are scrambling to find places where people can get vaccinated in bulk, and vacant big box retail seems to be one good option.

This could be good news if you own some vacant box space – at least for the near future, it could be repurposed to help America get back on its feet.  So if you’ve got a big box space available for lease, talk to your leasing broker.  And if you need a leasing broker, give us a call at Progressive Real Estate Partners to see if we can help you out.

Which Fast Food Chains Leased the Most Locations This Year?

This graph from Costar shows the number of leases signed by the top fast food chains since 2015.  Starbucks has signed the most leases in each of the past six years, and Domino’s is #2.  This study also revealed that since 2016, there has been a downward trend in the amount of space taken by the top fast food chains.  The rise of online order which has certainly been accelerated by the pandemic has caused companies to downsize their dining rooms in favor of more drive thrus and pick up locations.

That’s all I’ve got for this week.  Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

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Mike Lin, CRE