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Leading By Example: How CRE Companies Are Stepping Up To help

Alaxandria Marvar.

Following a massive fire that engulfed a nearly completed five-story residential tower construction site at the end of February, developers of the already obstacle-ridden, 54-acre, mixed-use Eastern Wharf project in Savannah, Georgia, were understandably discouraged. But according to Mariner Group principal Trent Germano, they quickly pulled their team together and came to an agreement: They would not let this disaster define them. 

“It became a rally cry that brought our team closer together and showed us how important camaraderie and morale are on a job site,” he said.

But almost as soon as they were able to get back to work on the project, the coronavirus struck, derailing the project yet again. Fortunately for Eastern Wharf, multifamily construction was deemed essential business, and fortunately again, their team showed up for them every day.

“We wanted to show our gratitude to our team and to keep their morale up,” Germano said. “Providing lunch from a differently locally owned restaurant seemed like a good way for us to say thank you to our team. It was also an easy way to show support for the local restaurant industry.”

As of this week, Germano said management has purchased more than 1,000 lunches for their workers from local restaurants struggling through the shutdown with pared-down service. He called it “just one small way we can help in these challenging times.”

For some CRE companies, it’s lunches. For others, it’s donating time and expertise to people in their communities — regardless of whether those people are or ever will be customers. For yet others, it’s donating hundreds of thousands of square feet to house emergency medical supplies, or putting tens of millions of dollars into personal protective equipment, meals and employees’ emergency healthcare bills.

Large and small, these acts add up. Here’s what CRE is doing to fight the pandemic near and far.

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