BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been an unusually quiet year in the heart of the city with many offices shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Office building owners and property managers at a Downtown Partnership of Baltimore webinar said Tuesday this is not an easy time for business owners or the real estate market.

Jeff Clary with Grander Capital Partners — which owns a number of office buildings in the area — said tenants are still trying to assess how to safely bring back employees.

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“I think they’re all still trying to sort through whether or not they have everybody come back right away, or if they shift and cycle,” he said.

Clary said none of his tenants have expressed an interest in leaving his buildings in favor of working exclusively remotely.

He said he thinks it’s beneficial for the local economy and workers themselves to keep offices downtown open when it’s safe to return.

“I do think a lot of people enjoy and need that day-to-day collaboration to be surrounded by colleagues and clients,” Clary said.

Terry Cotton with Southern Management Corporation — which oversees apartment buildings in the area — said he would like to see some more help from the state.

“We do need assistance from Governor Hogan,” Cotton said. “We need him to kind of step in and help us out with this because this is bigger than the city.”

Experts said there is still a tough road ahead for the downtown economy, but they’re optimistic.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller

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