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Are Plans to Return to Office Real This Time?

Are Plans to Return to Office Real This Time?

Before the Omicron variant raised its ugly head this year, the office sector of the commercial real estate business was hopeful that the worst was over and that a return to office was just around the corner. We all know that didn’t happen, Omicron putting a huge wrench in those plans. And now the two year anniversary of the onset of COVID is upon us. 

Once again companies are examining a return to office and the outcome is critical for office REITs with a lot of downtown office space in their portfolios. One example is trophy office property REIT Paramount Group, which like many office REITs has seen its share price hit hard by COVID and fears about what it means to office property over the long term.

Now Paramount is dealing with an unsolicited bid by Monarch Alternative, which sees how beaten down Paramount’s share haven gotten and is pouncing, hoping to grab Paramount on the cheap. Even with the significant premium Monarch Alternative has offered, Monarch still feels Paramount represents value. Whether that turns out to be the case and office space does bounce back will determine whether Monarch Alternative is right about Paramount.

Here the New York Times examines, as Omicron starts to fade, whether a return to the office might just be real this time:

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