The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affected the world’s economy and supply chains during this Survey period. However, real estate development did not cease. In many urban and suburban areas, including the metropolitan Atlanta area, new development projects rose from the ground, despite the economic risks and challenges created by the pandemic. Nevertheless, the long-term impacts of the pandemic may fundamentally challenge many paradigms that have long sustained successful real estate development.
Prior to the pandemic, commercial retail developments, such as malls and destination shopping centers, were already in the economic doldrums due to the rise of e-commerce and their economic vitality diminished further as a result of the pandemic. The pandemic forced people to stay home for work and leisure. Employees utilized technology to work as efficiently from their homes as they had previously done from their offices, with the result that business continued despite the pandemic. While working from home, the same employees shopped online for everything, from cars to groceries. As a direct result of the pandemic, technology provided the means for society to learn how to work and shop without having to travel to traditional brick-and-mortar structures to do either. Eventually, these employees drove residential development further from metropolitan centers, in what is becoming the “work from home” sprawl.
Galloway, Newton M. and Jones, Steven L.
"Zoning and Land Use Law,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 73:
1, Article 21.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol73/iss1/21