Sam Zell’s office REIT won’t commit to a specific coronavirus strategy just yet

Equity Commonwealth said rent collection remained strong for the month of April

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 05, 2020 12:21 PM
Equity Commonwealth's Sam Zell and David Helfand (Credit: Equity Commonwealth)

Equity Commonwealth’s Sam Zell and David Helfand (Credit: Equity Commonwealth)

Sam Zell’s Equity Commonwealth has not had many problems collecting rent so far, but the company was very light on details about the pandemic’s impact apart from that in its first quarter earnings call on Tuesday morning.

The office real estate investment trust had 98 percent of its contractual rents paid for the month of April, and just 3 percent of that came from security deposits and credit applications, according to CEO David Helfand. He also stressed that the company receives less than 1 percent of its revenue from retail tenants and has no co-working exposure, two sectors that the pandemic has hit especially hard.

Helfand acknowledged that the ongoing pandemic has created an “unprecedented set of challenges” but stressed that Equity Commonwealth was “well positioned to weather this storm and to thrive.”

However, he did not get into specifics about what moves Equity Commonwealth planned to make given the drastically different and rapidly changing economic landscape. He said the company’s general view is that the fallout from the pandemic is still in its early stages and that it could be months or quarters before good opportunities become available.

Equity Commonwealth’s net income for the quarter was about $426 million, while total revenue was about $18.8 million.

Zell, who was not on the earnings call, purchased Equity Commonwealth in 2014, and the company has raised about $3.4 billion by selling about 150 office properties over the past few years. He has made his money by purchasing distressed real estate amid economic uncertainty, so the current environment could prove to be another opportune one for him.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The National Multifamily Housing Council’s monthly payment tracker found that 90.6 percent of those households paid some rent by Oct. 20. (iStock)

Rent collections in market-rate apartments stagnate in October

Rent collections in market-rate apartments stagnate in October
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty; iStock)

New York City lifts lockdown for some Covid hot spots

New York City lifts lockdown for some Covid hot spots
SL Green CEO Marc Holiday and 420 Lexington Avenue with Scabby the Rat (Getty; Google; SL Green)

Peace prevails: SL Green, Local 79 settle dispute over protests

Peace prevails: SL Green, Local 79 settle dispute over protests
Sam Chang and TownePlace Suites by Marriott at 324 West 44th Street (Google Maps)

Hotelier Sam Chang’s businesses snagged millions in PPP loans

Hotelier Sam Chang’s businesses snagged millions in PPP loans
Starwood loses control of another mall in default

Starwood loses control of another mall in default

Starwood loses control of another mall in default
The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index reached a record high for the second consecutive month in October 2020. (iStock)

Building up: Homebuilder confidence hits new highs

Building up: Homebuilder confidence hits new highs
San Francisco and New York (iStock)

San Francisco rents continued unprecedented slide

San Francisco rents continued unprecedented slide
107 Chambers Street and Allison and Frederick Thompson (Google Maps, Tribeca Health & Fitness) 

Another fitness studio in Manhattan goes belly-up

Another fitness studio in Manhattan goes belly-up
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...