I sold a strip center during the pandemic

Video Index (with direct links)
0:52 What we got wrong about the coronavirus
1:30 Orange and Riverside Counties move closer to reopening
2:15 Unemployment boost update
3:05 My latest sale – a strip center in Highland
4:51 Fontana rent relief for residential and commercial tenants
5:12 Macy’s near my alma mater, Duke University, will become a Duke Health Center
5:43 AMC will sell tickets for 15 cents on Thursday!
6:16 Do I look like a Super Mario Bros mushroom?

Hello Investors!

There’s a lot of debate, and unfortunately, a lot of fighting going on over the issue of wearing masks in public places.  If you see someone not wearing a mask who should, what do you do?

Engineer Allen Pan built a gun that can shoot a face mask onto a non compliant bystander.  Does it always work?  Not really.  Does it work at all?  Kind of.  But the video is really entertaining to watch.  Check it out – at this link.

What We Got Wrong About the Coronavirus

It’s been really hot here in Southern California.  Do you remember back in March when some people thought that warm weather could bring an end to the Coronavirus and that it would be gone by summer.  Well I guess that didn’t happen.

Just for fun, let’s take a look back and look at a couple of other things that we got wrong in March.
Back then, the CDC did not recommend wearing masks for preventing the spread of the virus.
Now they do.
Back then, health experts believed that antibodies for COVID would last forever, and now we believe it’s more like 3 months.
And from March to April, the S&P 500 plummeted 34% in a month, and we thought the financial world was going to end.  Now, it’s at a record high.
We’ve certainly had a crazy year so far.


California Coronavirus Update

Last week, the state of California’s coronavirus watch list was frozen after state officials announced that a backlog of testing data led to an inaccurate count of cases.  As a result, the test results in many counties appeared better than they actually were.  The list has now been updated.  The good news is that Orange County cases are decreasing and OC is trending toward getting off the watch list.

In Riverside County, officials have outlined a plan to gradually open businesses after Labor Day.  County officials have sent a letter to state public health officials asking for approval for their plan.  The plan would have dine in restaurants, churches and salons to open on Sept. 8, with wedding receptions, group meetings and malls opening on Sept. 22, and gyms, movie theaters, and bars opening on Oct. 6.

Federal Unemployment Boost

The latest news on the unemployment boost.  Last weekend, President Trump’s signed an executive order to reinstate the unemployment boost at a rate of $300 per week from the Federal government, taken from FEMA funds, and $100 per week funded by state governments.  Several states, including Arizona, Iowa, Lousiana, and New Mexico have signed on to this program and are already providing their umemployed residents some relief ever since the first boost ended on July 31.

If all states decide to join the program, there will only be enough funding for about 3 weeks.
Congress is on recess for the next few weeks until after Labor Day, so we shouldn’t expect to see any official news or any real action on the next round of stimulus checks until September.

I Sold a Strip Center

It’s not easy to sell a strip center during COVID.  But I managed to do it. 27194 Baseline St. in Highland, CA, closed escrow last week.  I’m proud to say that its one of a very few number strip centers sold in SoCal since April 1.
There were a number of challenges in selling this property:

  • It’s an unanchored strip center – no grocery or drug store tenants
  • The tenants are primarily mom and pop tenants
  • Most of the tenants had to close down during COVID – the nail salon, hair salon and church were all ordered to close.  The only tenant that stayed open the entire time was Little Caesars
  • While I was marketing the property, one of the tenants, MetroPCS left

The property sold for $1,250,000 which is a 6.4% cap on 71% occupancy.  I found a buyer, opened and closed escrow all during the pandemic.

How did I do it?

  • Created a unique property marketing video and high quality offering memorandum
  • Posted on various listing services and send the listing to Progressive’s extensive database of retail buyers
  • Called on owners who I thought would be interested in the property
  • Fielded all emails and calls and responding quickly.
  • Followed up with anyone who showed interest initially, even before COVID hit
  • Negotiated with both parties to come to an agreement

If you have a strip center that you’d like my complimentary opinion on for a valuation, please feel free to reach out to me!

City of Fontana Rental Assistance

If you own investment property in Fontana, and your tenants are struggling to pay rent, then the City of Fontana has an assistance program which will offer up to $5,000 of assistance.  Unlike other programs which only help residential tenants, this applies to small businesses, as well.   Check out this web site to see how you or your tenants can apply.

Macy’s to Become Duke University Medical Clinic

When I was a student at Duke University getting my MBA, I remember shopping at Macy’s at the Northgate Mall to buy a suit for my job interviews.  The Macy’s closed in 2016 and will soon be repurposed to be a Duke University Health system medical clinic.  It’s a huge store – 183,000 square feet.  When completed, more than 1,000 Duke staff, doctors, and patients will be using the facility each day.  Expect to see more of these retail to medical conversions in the next few years as more department stores go vacant.

AMC Theaters – 15 Cent Tickets on August 20

AMC theaters is planning to reopen over 100 of its theaters on August 20.  In order to commemorate this, they will be offering movies at prices from the year 1920, just 15 cents a ticket.  AMC expects to open 2/3 of its theaters by Sept. 3.  Nationwide box office sales have been practically nonexistent since March.  I think this promo will sell a lot of tickets.  Fortunately the theaters are enforcing limited ticket sales and social distancing, and have upgraded their ventilation systems.  I’m rooting for this to be a success because I’d love to go out to the movies again soon.

Do I Look Like a Mushroom?

My son got his first haircut since the pandemic started.  His barbershop set up chairs outside for kids to get their hair cut.

I sent this photo to both my wife and my mom and they both said the same thing.  That I need a haircut.  And my wife even said I look like one of those Super Mario Brothers mushroom characters.
Does my hair really look like this?

Thanks for watching this week.  I hope you have a great week and stay cool, and I’ll see you next time!

Connect with me here:
Website:  https://mikelincre.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MikeLinCRE
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/MikeLinCRE
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeLinCRE
Email: mike@progressiverep.com

Mike Lin, CRE