Billionaire investor Sam Zell informed CNBC on Wednesday that company leaders have a task to play in serving to U.S. cities stave off a severe financial decline within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and a summer season of social unrest. “It should require management. It should require leaders of all the businesses to come back again to their places of work and lead the individuals and create the chance,” Zell stated on “Squawk Field.” “Hiding out within the Hamptons or hiding out in Vermont or wherever would not make any sense and is counter-productive.” Zell, chairman of Chicago-based Fairness Group Investments, expressed issues concerning the upticks in violence in main U.S. cities this summer season. He additionally referred to the injury and vandalism executed to companies on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile earlier this month, which the town’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, later described as “straight-up felony felony conduct.”Zell’s feedback got here in the future after world investor Barry Sternlicht instructed on CNBC that “a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals” are actually on the lookout for properties within the suburbs. Though there’s been debate on how the coronavirus pandemic has influenced a migration from giant cities, the Starwood Capital Group founder stated he thought it was extra just lately pushed by security issues. Zell, who made his fortune shopping for distressed property, stated Sternlicht is “precisely proper.” He added, “We’re in type of an early stage of, let’s name it, a change. You possibly can see it right here in Chicago.”Nonetheless, Zell evinced a extra optimistic view on the trajectory of city locations, calling the current selections from individuals to go away massive cities a “short-term response.” “I feel the essential causes for cities — the truth that we’re social animals, the truth that urbanization creates each challenges and alternatives — is not about to alter. And I do not assume we will see something like a repeat again to the unhealthy outdated days the place cities have been too harmful,” Zell stated. Zell can be chairman of Fairness Residential, Fairness Way of life and Fairness Commonwealth, three publicly traded actual property funding trusts.Fairness Residential, specifically, has a portfolio that features residences in main cities akin to New York, Boston and San Francisco. Fairness Commonwealth’s portfolio consists of economic places of work. The way forward for places of work has come into query as a result of pandemic, which prompted a widespread adoption of distant work with a purpose to sluggish the unfold of the virus. Though some corporations akin to Twitter have given most workers the choice to work remotely “without end,” tech titans akin to Fb and Amazon have just lately superior plans so as to add jobs of their New York Metropolis operations.