COVID-19 challenges commercial real estate in Bradenton

Stan Rutstein’s “Let’s Talk” signs on prime real estate seem to be everywhere in the Bradenton-Sarasota area, inviting potential commercial real estate developers to take a look and run the numbers.

Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Rutstein is still ready to talk. But the pandemic has had a dampening affect on commercial real estate, much as it did initially on single-family home sales. The difference is that residential sales bounced back quickly, super-heating the market, and bringing multiple offers and record prices to sellers.

That’s not been the case in the commercial market, the segment that focuses on office, industrial, retail and rental apartment space.

“It is best to look at it by category. Retail at the moment is at a hiatus. There is a severe credit issue. Cash flow has been little or none,” said Rutstein, agent/broker at Re/Max Alliance Group in Bradenton.

The retail market was

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