As the current health crisis starts to affect businesses on many fronts one Texoma developer said things construction projects are still moving forward.
Centerpoint Commercial Properties representative Bill Wastoskie said there are a lot of uncertainties facing the construction industry as the nation faces he COVID-19 health crisis.
"We're going to see which businesses were running on thin margins, Wastoskie said. "This is unprecedented nobody knows what to expect. It's all a wait and see approach right now."
He said he thinks a lot of businesses will shift to delivery as a permanent business model.
Although construction itself hasn't slowed, he said the market is facing a price correction in regards to supply. He said there are a number of construction projects still moving forward with workers anxious to get to work. He said there have been some developers putting some future investments on hold until things settle down.
"If this lasts longer than a month or two it could be a major shift in the market, Wastoskie said. "laces like Dominoes and Pizza Hut are seeing stocks up, but what about the food supply? Should we be testing delivery drivers before they take food out? If our food supply replies on delivery we need to ensure it's safe."
Wastoskie said businesses are facing a lot of uncertainty that can't be predicted or accounted for. He said a normal catastrophe hits a single area and that area is affected but with the virus showing no signs of slowing down it's hitting everyone from New York to Kansas.
Wastoskie said he is hearing unemployment numbers could get to 15 percent on the low end and up to 30 percent or higher on the high end. That would make it harder for businesses to recover he said.
He expects some of the shifts will become more permanent like businesses offering delivery as the market was already heading that way before the crisis. He said he could see tighter safety standards like implementing food prep workers wearing face masks in addition to gloves and hair nets. He said in the restaurant business everyone is taking extra precautions. Nobody wants to be caught slipping on health measures during a health crisis he said.
He said as things slow down there will likely be a surplus of construction materials. He said he can see an increase in medical facilities and health care industry expansion. He said essential retail will survive but expects there will be growing pains as they become overwhelmed by the influx of customers.
He said he doesn't know how effective the stimulus checks will be if people get money to spend but nowhere to spend it.
"I look forward to dine in returning but don't know when that will be," Wastoskie said. "There's too much uncertainty. I've never seen anything like it. I've talked to some higher than myself who say the recovery could be pushed back to the second or third quarter of the year. It's a hurry up and wait game right now."
He said he is optimistic we will recover but is unsure how long that will take or what it will look like. Right now he said the only certainty we have is the unknown. Nobody can predict what is going to happen and that has investors cautious.
Construction projects will keep moving forward, but there might be some delays he said.
One aspect developers are waiting on is to see how the prices of materials adjust. Some developers might wait to see if prices come down. Others might take advantage of the panic and move their projects forward. He said one thing is certain, businesses that innovate will have an edge.