Mack-Cali Update Offers Clarity Into COVID-19 Impact on Real Estate

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Hyatt Regency Jersey City
Mack-Cali’s Hyatt Regency in Jersey City is currently closed. Photo by Jared Kofsky/Jersey Digs.

One of the most prominent real estate investment companies in Jersey City is reporting mostly good news in terms of rent collections but has seen a few of their other ventures dip a bit as realities of the coronavirus pandemic sink in.

Last week, Mack-Cali updated shareholders during an earnings call that was held during what is unquestionably a tough economic environment. The news wasn’t all bad; as of April 20, the company says they’ve collected approximately 90% of all commercial rents due and about 96% of rents from residential tenants at their properties were paid through the month.

The company’s multi-family portfolio has fared the best recently, as it has a current percentage leased rate of 95%. Per a transcript of the earning call released by The Motley Fool, Mack-Cali’s hotel properties have slumped in part due to the EnVue in Weehawken and the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City being closed during the month of April.

Mack-Cali’s Residence Inn at Port Imperial remains open but with an average April occupancy rate at 65%. The company has donated 25% of the property’s rooms for use by regional front-line healthcare workers, also providing them with meals each day.

Michael DeMarco, CEO of Mack-Cali, noted during his remarks that hotel properties account for just 4% of the company’s holdings. Other ventures that have suffered a hit during COVID-19 include Mack-Cali’s retail and parking offerings, which taken together account for about 6% of the company’s business.

“We are living in an unprecedented time and our organization has made appropriate adjustments to help our residents, tenants and community navigate the COVID-19 pandemic,” DeMarco said in a statement. “Operationally we have implemented the recommended protocols to facilitate the health and safety of our tenants, residents and employees. We have taken the necessary precautions across all of our properties to ensure we can provide essential services to our tenants and residents in a safe and timely manner.”

COVID-19 has largely curtailed construction activity at several Mack-Cali owned development sites, including two projects in Weehawken’s Port Imperial neighborhood. Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order aiming to halt non-essential construction throughout the state on April 8, but Mack-Cali has continued to work on the 57-story The Charlotte development, as it is exempt from the order due to it including a public school. The company expects that project to be completed during the first quarter of 2022.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. It’s obvious the real estate market is on a delay as far as the corona pain. We’re still in the middle (hopefully closer to end) of pandemic. Many landlords are still on the 90 or so day forbearance period after which the banks are expecting full payment back. You think foreclosures will go up? Yeah…

    Most employees laid off or furloughed are getting temporary unemployment checks that are unprecedented…some getting more than they were paid at their prior jobs. But that fantasy is scheduled to expire end of July and unemployment isn’t forever so the job market is not looking great.

    Most experts are expecting a massive recession once the dust settles with all the obvious reasons. So sorry if I’m not as optimistic about Mack the Hacks future and celebrating their March and April numbers. Reality is those percentages are on the way down while vacancies will most likely go up. Hopefully Mikey D already searching for his next job.

  2. Too bad you didn’t get covid – it would have shut you up for once.

    They own major rental buildings that the majority of the people are not effected and keep paying their rent. They have long term leases with major companies and unless these companies go bottom up they will not have a problem. So glad you want to see everyone fail

    Stop hating people making money. They will have their issue when people go to renew and decide they do not need office space.

  3. How do you know I didn’t get covid? That’s a weird comment.

    Just stating facts, sorry it goes above your head. Obviously a Mack the Hack fan boy.

  4. I just love how DeMarco says he is doing all he can for his employees, Im an employee, and since this entire covid ordeal started, We haven’t heard 1 single word from him. He took over and the very first thing he did was take away benefits from employees, then went head and dismantle the entire maintenance department by terminating all Porters ,housekeepers and maintenance tech;s making all of them now 3rd party employees. I cant stand this man. He sits alone at Christmas parties because people can stand the sight of him. I hope the company does sel, and he is left with nothing . I trust him and what he is doing. Him and his $3mill a year salary.

  5. Thank you for sharing your insight as people might get confused by the fan boys coming on and attacking negative comments. Mikey is hanging on by a thread as the board is looking to get him out. Covid might be the nail in the coffin

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