WHEN THE CORONAVIRUS FIRST MADEITS presence known in the US, I had a conversation withThomas J. Illmensee, a senior director at SquareFoot. He was havingtrouble getting into the habit of not shaking hands with clients.It was such a counterintuitive thing to do, especially in realestate where relationships are so important. And social distancing?"As a broker we make money being out on the street," he told me.But even in those very first days, Illmensee and his colleagueswere already adapting to the new normal. "These are all issues wecan work around."

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So it goes for the larger commercial real estate industry.Without a doubt, CRE, along with the rest of the broader economy,is grappling with how to handle the coronavirus. As I write this,there have been widespread shutdowns across most sectors of theeconomy as the novel virus continues its march across the US. Evenjust a few weeks into this national emergency, there have alreadybeen reports of financing falling through and deals being put onhold. Certain industries, such as the hospitality and retailsectors, are going to take a painful hit. But at the same time, thecommunity is taking proactive steps to do its part to stop thespread of this disease.

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Will these efforts pay off? We pray so, because the worst caseestimates for deaths are unfathomable.

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And will the industry recover? Much depends on the largereconomy. Right now the general consensus is that if the coronavirusspread is stopped relatively shortly, the US economy should be ableto bounce back by the end of the year. If it isn't, the picturedarkens. Right now the best we can do is, like Illmensee, adapt tothis new normal.

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In the meantime business will go on and with that in mind, wehope you enjoy the features in this issue. Our focus for this monthis ESG—a subject of growing interest to CRE companies asinstitutional investors step up their own embrace of this strategy.Green  building, of course, is of particular interest toour readers and we delve into its current trends in our article"Has Green Building's Moment Arrived?"

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This is also our issue to acknowledge our picks for our annualnet lease influencers. As always, we curated this list based on theindividual or team or company's unique contributions to theindustry. We also look at new trends in the space in our article,"New Horizons for Net Lease."

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As always, we hope you enjoy the issue!

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Erika Morphy
Managing Editor

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