“The relationship between landlord and tenant needs to change”: Fifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace on the need for a retail bailout

Head of real estate's largest VC fund on the need for government assistance and a rethinking of what it means to own space

National /
May.May 05, 2020 05:40 PM

The head of the largest real estate-focused venture capital fund is advocating for a $30 billion government bailout of the retail industry, warning that it is on the brink of systemic collapse.

Brendan Wallace, managing partner and co-founder of Fifth Wall Ventures, has a proposal: Get the five biggest retail landlords in a room with the federal government and work out some immediate solutions — such as standardized rent forbearance — that could save tens of millions of jobs and millions of square feet from going under.

“Right now, the top of the funnel in the retail ecosystem is solvent, revenue-generating, cash-flow generating, rent-paying retailers,” Wallace said in an extensive conversation with TRD’s Hiten Samtani, in which they discussed game plans for landlords and retailers as well as what type of relief the government can provide. “And right now, the assumption that that is a cohort that is going to continue to exist is no longer safe.”

(Related: Retail’s reckoning: How to preserve 1 in 4 American jobs)

With over $1 billion in assets under management, Fifth Wall has backed many prominent proptech startups, including Industrious, VTS, Opendoor and Wiredscore, as well as digitally native brands such as Allbirds that are pushing into brick-and-mortar. Its investors include retail giants Macerich and Acadia Realty Trust.

Wallace said that now is the time to rethink the relationship between landlords and tenants, arguing that an equity relationship between the parties would result in a healthier retail and retail real estate landscape.

(Stay tuned for more highlights from Brendan and Hiten’s conversation on the future of proptech, sustainability, and more. Also check out  more TRD interviews with industry leaders
Don Peebles: A leader’s role “is to look at things in balance” 

Rob Verrone: There’s no “forbearance fairy” to fix Covid-broken loans )


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
VTS CEO Nick Romito and Lane Technologies CEO Clinton Robinson 
VTS to buy office-app developer for $200M
VTS to buy office-app developer for $200M
Brookfield kicks off review process for $2B Stonestown Galleria mall redevelopment
Brookfield kicks off review process for $2B Stonestown Galleria mall redevelopment
Brookfield kicks off review process for $2B Stonestown Galleria mall redevelopment
Automatic for the people: SmartRent CEO on why landlords are going all-in on connected homes
Automatic for the people: SmartRent CEO on why landlords are going all-in on connected homes
Automatic for the people: SmartRent CEO on why landlords are going all-in on connected homes
New Philippine tax on foreign gaming companies could deal another blow to office market
New Philippine tax on foreign gaming companies could deal another blow to office market
New Philippine tax on foreign gaming companies could deal another blow to office market
CRE held up through the pandemic far better than most expected (iStock)
How commercial real estate survived the pandemic
How commercial real estate survived the pandemic
SL Green CEO Marc Holliday and Ashkenazy Aqcuisition’s Ben Ashkenazy and the property (Google Maps, SL Green)
SL Green snaps up Ashkenazy’s 690 Madison through foreclosure
SL Green snaps up Ashkenazy’s 690 Madison through foreclosure
Solar firm GoodLeap gets $12B valuation in push to make homes green
Solar firm GoodLeap gets $12B valuation in push to make homes green
Solar firm GoodLeap gets $12B valuation in push to make homes green
How NYC’s top real estate law firms got creative in an unusual year
How NYC’s top real estate law firms got creative in an unusual year
How NYC’s top real estate law firms got creative in an unusual year
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...