Commercial Real Estate Owners Wait for Compensation from BP

Not only is the BP oil spill an environmental disaster, but it portends drastic consequences for owners of real estate in affected areas along the Gulf.

July 7, 2010
By Allison Landa, News Editor

Not only is the BP oil spill an environmental disaster, but it portends drastic consequences for owners of real estate in affected areas along the Gulf.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the oil company said last month that 20,000 out of 42,000 claims have been paid. But for the restaurants, bars and hotels that have been affected, compensation has come too slowly if at all.

With tourism down in the region, the hospitality industry has been particularly hard-hit by the spill. With tar balls on the beaches, fewer sun-seekers were enticed to stretch out alongside the water. That translates to less clientele for all types of commercial real estate owners who cater to tourists, from hotels to eateries to souvenir shops.

Restaurant owner Matt Shipp told the Times that his business in Orange Beach, Ala., has dropped by 90 percent. Shipp says he put in a claim for $35,000 in compensation and was approved for $18,000, but that BP had no concrete answers as to how or when he will receive the money. “As of today,” he said, “I still don’t have the funds.”

As BP works to clean up the estimated $3 billion aftermath of the spill, the company has plenty of injured parties to whom they owe answers – and compensation. The commercial real estate community along the Gulf is certainly one of them.