The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Patrick T. Harker, was speaking before Delaware business leaders and made some interesting comments on what he sees ahead for commercial real estate. The Delaware Business Times did an excellent job covering his remarks, Philly Fed chief: Delaware faces uneven recovery. Below are some interesting points he made.

While commercial real estate may be in for a rough year, as employers grow more comfortable with work-from-home scenarios, Harker said it is also possible to see growth in the industry as employers spread out their office footprints amid social distancing guidelines. If that happens, Wilmington may be well-positioned to capitalize.

“I think that those kinds of ‘second cities,’ like Wilmington, as opposed to that the large hub cities, could potentially benefit from this,” he said of more affordable smaller cities with amenities that could lure employers.

Perhaps the largest downside of New Castle County’s economic outlook is the impact of worldwide trade at the Port of Wilmington, Harker said. The port has been exposed to the impact of the pandemic worldwide, with the state’s total exports falling to $335.5 million in March from $711.8 million in March 2019.

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