Developing a major project in the Bay Area is hard. It tends to be long, expensive, risky, complicated and frequently messy. Decades (literally) may pass in the process.

And a recession makes these big issues even bigger. Investors and lenders may get cold feet, adding new conditions, stretching out timelines, wanting the developer to put up more cash — or just walking away entirely.

If history is a guide, a COVID-induced downturn would have the greatest effect on big projects that have yet to…

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