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Belk Place: Carolina Theater and Hotel Intercontinental

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Another thing to be considered is that the pandemic may have changed the business world permanently to some degree. Virtual meetings through Zoom, etc. may eliminate the need for business travel in some cases and the ability to work remotely may reduce the amount of office space needed (though I think most people prefer to work in person and will have cabin fever when all this is over if they don’t already).  I read an article somewhere suggesting that we are never going back to the old economy but to an altered economy.  That’s not to say that it won’t recover, but that it will be different.

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I agree with King (above). I think about what the doctor said when asked after my diagnosis of cancer, "When will I be back to normal?" "Never" he said. "There will be before diagnosis and after diagnosis."

Normal is an illusion created by humans to delay inevitability.

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16 hours ago, KJHburg said:

the hotel and travel industry has just been decimated.  Unless you are a leisure destination there is not much of a market for business travel if any right now.  This is unfortunate and hopefully when the vaccines are widespread early next year from the 3 companies including the NC made Pfizer vaccine, business travel is going to be very slow to pick up.  Unfortunately Charlotte hotels make their money on business travel, conventions and to a lesser extent special events or leisure.  

I spent 10 nights in hotels driving from Charlotte to Houston to Austin and back.  Hotels is Austin, Houston, Atlanta were 25-35% occupied based on cars and people I saw in the lobbies.   All were business oriented hotels.  the only hotel I saw with somewhat normal occupancy was the Biloxi gulf front Hampton Inn I stayed in which is a leisure destination (beach, gambling etc) 

You can count the Moxy, the hotel by the Ellis, the 2nd hotel at Stonewall Station in limbo for the next couple of years as well as the hotel atop the deck at Vantage Southend.   A planned hotel in the Perimeter Center market of Atlanta was cancelled and replaced by a mid rise apartment tower.  

I do notice hotels along Interstates seem to be busier with travelling public and contractors and so forth  but downtown hotels are just a shell of themselves right now.  Vacation destinations like Hilton Head are having pretty good years even with 6 weeks of closure in the spring but they are leisure destinations.  

1000 room hotel uptown I would say that is a decade a way at best.  

As for me hotels are the best priced they have been in a decade for those wanting and willing to travel.  

Time to reevaluate best and highest uses for uptown lots.  The old formulas, the usual expectations just won’t cut it any longer.  My fear, a decade of stagflation for uptown, even after virus under control.  Shouldn’t rest on laurels.  If we want to make uptown a draw, have to get out in front of this.  I’d love to see incentives for tons more housing and street-level activation specifically in uptown.

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9 hours ago, RANYC said:

Time to reevaluate best and highest uses for uptown lots.  The old formulas, the usual expectations just won’t cut it any longer.  My fear, a decade of stagflation for uptown, even after virus under control.  Shouldn’t rest on laurels.  If we want to make uptown a draw, have to get out in front of this.  I’d love to see incentives for tons more housing and street-level activation specifically in uptown.

Exactly.  Time to build Lake I-277!

Edited by JacksonH
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18 hours ago, King of the Queen City said:

Another thing to be considered is that the pandemic may have changed the business world permanently to some degree. Virtual meetings through Zoom, etc. may eliminate the need for business travel in some cases and the ability to work remotely may reduce the amount of office space needed (though I think most people prefer to work in person and will have cabin fever when all this is over if they don’t already).  I read an article somewhere suggesting that we are never going back to the old economy but to an altered economy.  That’s not to say that it won’t recover, but that it will be different.

The Fortune 500 I work for in the DC area had to address whether we will continue to have flexibility to work remotely. 

A company surveyed showed an overwhelming amount of people like teleworking with a bunch of comments. We were very flexible and had at least 1 telework day a week pre-Covid. Until it became inevitable with stay at home orders. 

A video was sent out that we all will be returning to work because there is value in interactions. Whether it’s even just social, in the elevators - it will help us be more innovative to have that communication. In addition, he said it’s too hard to collaborate on video conferencing because multiple people can’t talk at the same time.

At BofA, from what my friends told me (at least in GT&O) they were very reluctant to telework for Covid. They started to even have 1/2 the workers come in 1 week and rotate. 
 

I think everything will go back to status quo. DC and the suburbs continue to break ground on new & large projects. And I think I’ve seen some Raleigh announcements and maybe even Charlotte. There have been no projects put on hold due to Covid I’ve seen. 

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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17 minutes ago, AirNostrumMAD said:

I think everything will go back to status quo.

I’m not saying that everything is going virtual in the future (or even most things), but I think this has given companies the chance to experiment with new ways of doing things and in certain situations where  the new way proves to be more efficient they may be hesitant to go back to the old way.

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I do believe a hotel can be built at this site but travel may have to get to some sort of normalcy first and this could take a few years. I do think business travel will be down for a long  time but without full stadiums, arenas, plays it just really hurts uptown hotels.   What I don't think will happen anytime soon is a huge 800-1000 room hotel.  This Intercontinental was only going be 256 rooms or so. 

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21 hours ago, AirNostrumMAD said:

The Fortune 500 I work for in the DC area had to address whether we will continue to have flexibility to work remotely. 

A company surveyed showed an overwhelming amount of people like teleworking with a bunch of comments. We were very flexible and had at least 1 telework day a week pre-Covid. Until it became inevitable with stay at home orders. 

A video was sent out that we all will be returning to work because there is value in interactions. Whether it’s even just social, in the elevators - it will help us be more innovative to have that communication. In addition, he said it’s too hard to collaborate on video conferencing because multiple people can’t talk at the same time.

At BofA, from what my friends told me (at least in GT&O) they were very reluctant to telework for Covid. They started to even have 1/2 the workers come in 1 week and rotate. 
 

I think everything will go back to status quo. DC and the suburbs continue to break ground on new & large projects. And I think I’ve seen some Raleigh announcements and maybe even Charlotte. There have been no projects put on hold due to Covid I’ve seen. 

The company I work for will have us all in the office as soon as this is over. I wouldn't be surprised if it is by June with employment mandated vaccinations. 

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5 hours ago, Blue_Devil said:

The company I work for will have us all in the office as soon as this is over. I wouldn't be surprised if it is by June with employment mandated vaccinations. 

I think if this lasted for a few months, companies would’ve adjusted to telework being more integral. 

Dragging on for literally an entire year seems to have made companies turned off from the idea. Based only on people I know and their company communications.

:) maybe with all the cramming companies were  doing will reverse back to more spacious work areas. We had “space modernization” that squeezed us all in small areas when I started my current company and when I started at BofA in Corp. center, it too went to tiny areas. 

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On 11/21/2020 at 3:04 AM, King of the Queen City said:

Another thing to be considered is that the pandemic may have changed the business world permanently to some degree. Virtual meetings through Zoom, etc. may eliminate the need for business travel in some cases and the ability to work remotely may reduce the amount of office space needed (though I think most people prefer to work in person and will have cabin fever when all this is over if they don’t already).  I read an article somewhere suggesting that we are never going back to the old economy but to an altered economy.  That’s not to say that it won’t recover, but that it will be different.

I know you aren't saying completely eliminated but through personal experience I have been working on projects over the past year that have been dragging on for months over zoom that could have been wrapped up in 2 weeks in person.

 

Being in person was somewhat mandatory for most positions that were traveling  regularly pre-COVID . Whether its that in person touch in negotiations/sales or a client wanting the consultant they are paying big money for to be on site. Will flying to Tampa for a lunch meeting end? Yeah probably but I would say the vast majority of travel will continue once companies lift their travel suspensions.

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I hate that it is not going up now, but I recall talking with someone a while back about the Library project and was told it will not start until the Intercontinental was done.  Reason being that 6th Street would be a nightmare with activity on both sides.  So, any knowledgeable people out there with any information if the Library project might get accelerated?

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