Major downtowns across the U.S. are grappling with a surge in office space vacancies and crime and are trying to figure out how to keep these city centers from collapsing.
The Wall Street Journal ran a report last week on how San Francisco has been tapping retired police officers to help patrol San Francisco as “community ambassadors” because the paper said “homelessness, drug use, and nonviolent crimes like shoplifting and car thefts” are commonplace in many parts of the city.
The report noted that downtown San Francisco is suffering economically, even more so than other major cities. The city has a 25.7 percent office vacancy rate, which is higher than the 16.4 percent national average. The downtown area has traditionally played an important role in the city’s economic health and normally generates about 75 percent of the city’s GDP.
The paper said the city faces the risk of entering a “doom loop.” These doom loops occur when a major event—like the loss of jobs in a city—that starts a domino effect and causes a once-great city to unravel, like Detroit in the 1970s, the report said.
The city is normally home to some of the biggest tech companies, but many have downsized since the COVID-19 outbreak years as more employees started to work from home and interest rates no longer remained favorable for tech start-ups. The paper noted that tech companies normally take up the lion’s share of real estate in the city, at 76 percent.
Besides the real estate issue, stores in the city complain about rampant drug use and homelessness. Tourist foot traffic has still not reached pre-COVID levels.
Ted Egan, the city’s chief economist, said earlier this month that talk about the city’s demise is premature.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the city’s downtown lost 147,303 workers since March 2020, which marked a 60 percent drop. Egan told the paper that he believes office space rent will continue to fall in the city, which will prompt higher demand.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on how the COVID-19 lockdown orders destroyed the lives and livelihoods of billions across the globe and ignited the Office Building Bust:
● “SPOTLIGHT, TOP TREND 2023: OFFICE BUILDING BUST” (1 Aug 2023)
● “AS FORECAST: BUSINESS OFFICE BUST BEGINS TO BITE” (20 Dec 2022)
● “COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BUST? OFFICE OCCUPANCY RATES IN TOILET” (29 Mar 2022)
● “WORKERS STAYING HOME: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE DISASTER LOOMING” (19 Oct 2021)
● “RETURN TO OFFICES POSTPONED: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BUST?” (14 Sep 2021)
● “AS FORECAST: NYC COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CRISIS WORSENS” (24 Aug 2021)
● “FED WARNS OF BANKRUPTCIES, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CRASH” (23 Feb 2021)
● “NEW YORK OFFICES: PEOPLE EMPTY” (15 Sep 2020)
Gerald Celente has long said: When people lose everything, they lose it. Before the COVID War gangs of 50 were not storming into stores and stealing everything they could grab.
Before the COVID War the streets were not filled with the homeless and the drug addicted.
Before the COVID War major retailers were not locking down scores of items that were easy to steal.
Before the COVID War elderly people were not being punched out and beaten as they walked down the Street.
Before the COVID WAR major retailers were not closing down their stores because of lack of business and rising crime.
Besides lockdowns pushing We the People to the brink, district attorneys in major cities have given thieves pretty much a free rein. These bureaucrats have often declined to prosecute many crimes, including shoplifting, drug offenses, and public nuisance violations (which is why, in San Francisco and Los Angeles, streets are now awash in homeless people who strew trash, used hypodermic needles and feces everywhere, with impunity).
They also oppose bail, and are responsible for many repeat offenders being released again and again.