Creating safer people-oriented places INSIDE Activity is scrutinized to see what deals still are happening and which have stalled Market updates While facing complex challenges, food hall models offer some benefits post-pandemic Restaurant trends PAGES 15-16 COVID-19 has highlighted the benefits of maintaining a strong lender relationship Lending in a pandemic PAGE 10 August 2020 PAGES 4-8 W e’ve long believed that retail and restaurants are instrumental in creating the character of a neighborhood. Think of the blocks you love most in Denver and chances are you’re imagining a collection of small, independent shops and restaurants with great public spaces. People largely want to live, work and hang out near great retail blocks.Those spaces add incalculable value to our experience of the urban environment, a fact that was made clear the moment we had to hit pause on those experiences. Now, all over the country, our favorite shops and restau- rants are in the fight of their lives. COVID-19 and the (extremely neces- sary) efforts aimed at containing it have wreaked havoc on brick-and-mortar retail. In-store retail and restaurant sales during this pandemic have plum- meted. According to researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard Business School, Harvard University and the University of Chicago, the U.S. has lost more than 100,000 small businesses so far. Let’s be clear: The retail and restau- rant closures that are sweeping the country hurt everyone. Retailers who put their life’s work into their business- es have found themselves in financial ruin. Employees are out of work and forced to search for new opportunities during a period when few are hiring. Property owners are no longer receiv- ing rent to offset taxes, utilities and other property expenses. Lenders are at risk of having their loans default. And communities are losing the hubs where people gather and socialize. Over the last decade, Denver histori- Please see Page 18 Jon Buerge Chief development officer, principal, Urban Villages Captain Colorado Photography Recognizing the opportunity to support restaurant and retail tenants, Larimer Square, in collaboration with Denver, closed the block between 14th and 15th streets to vehicle traf- fic, allowing more than a dozen restaurants to open their dining rooms into the square and create a safe outdoor dining experience for visitors.