"Until there's an effective vaccine, we're not going to be able to know how we're going to land and what businesses are going to be successful," Eric Rapkin, chair of law firm Akerman's Real Estate Practice Group, said by phone. "My sense is that once there's a vaccine that proves to be effective, we're going to see the floodgates open."
This potential move makes a lot of sense, according to Eric Rapkin, the chair of Akerman’s Real Estate practice group. JCPenney is one of Simon’s top anchor tenants. By controlling the department-store chain, the mall owner can keep its anchor tenant and maintain occupancy since smaller retailers depend on larger tenants to drive foot traffic.
“I don’t think this will be a land rush for real estate owners to buy up their tenants who are going under,” Rapkin says. “But in certain situations where the retailer makes up a significant portion of a mall owner’s portfolio, and you can acquire them [the retailer] at a very attractive price in bankruptcy, there are a lot of good reasons to do it.”
While the U.S. real estate market has remained resilient since the economic downturn, the headwinds we expected coming into 2019 are starting to come to fruition.