Tag Archives: commercial real estate


Outlet Center CRE Market Will Weather Nine West Closures

The recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization filing of shoe and apparel wholesaler Nine West Holdings Inc. focused the retail spotlight on the outlet center segment of the commercial real estate industry.

Despite the bad news that Nine West is closing all 70 of its stores in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space, the good news is that leasing demand for outlet store space has been outpacing availabilities.

This report on U.S. and Philadelphia commercial properties is being made through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Privately held Nine West’s filing seeks to restructure about $1.6 billion in debt, much of it racked up in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets when private equity firm Sycamore Partners Management acquired the company and affiliated brands in the 2014 for $2.2 billion.

While 80 percent of Nine West’s sales come from wholesale operations based in numerous national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties, it also operates 70 brick-and-mortar retail stores – all of which it has now closed and is asking the court to cancel the leases on those locations. Sixty-seven of those locations were in outlet centers.

The store closures hit two publicly traded retail landlords hardest. Simon Property Group will lose 35 stores. Simon owns and operates a portfolio of 91 centers through Simon Premium Outlets and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers will see 19 stores currently among U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings closed out of its portfolio of 44 upscale outlet shopping centers.

The stores typically ranged about 3,000 square feet in size on average, which means about 105,000 square feet of newly vacant space for Simon and 57,000 square feet for Tanger.

That is a bigger chunk of the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space –comparatively for Tanger. During 2017, Tanger recaptured 201,000 square feet within its portfolio. The 2017 amount is nearly double the amount it took back a year earlier. Overall occupancy declined from 98 percent in 2016 to 97 percent last year.

For more information about Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space or other Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a full-service CORFAC International brokerage and advisory firm, is a premier Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, property management services, and marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philly office space, Philly retail space or Philly industrial space with the Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for Philly office space, Philly retail space or Philly industrial space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the Philadelphia commercial real estate broker you need — a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Installment Sale of Commercial Real Estate Properties

Installment Sale of Commercial Real EstateLet’s explore using an installment sale to evenly distribute tax liabilities stemming from a commercial real estate transaction. Do you own a property that has appreciated considerably and that you want to sell? Are you concerned about incurring a large capital gains tax liability or worse – ordinary income recapture? One option is to structure the sale as an installment sale. Here the buyer pays the cost of the property plus interest in regular installments, perhaps for 5 years, enabling the seller to reflect the gain for tax purposes over the entire payment period. Alas, the installment sales method can’t be used for the following:

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• Sale of inventory. The regular sale of inventory of personal property doesn’t qualify as an installment sale even if you receive a payment after the year of sale.

• Dealer sales. Sales of personal property by a person who regularly sells or otherwise disposes of the same type of personal property on the installment plan aren’t installment sales. This rule also applies to real property held for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business.

• Stock or securities. You can’t use the installment method to report gain from the sale of stock or securities traded on an established securities market. You must report the entire gain on the sale in the year in which the trade date falls.

Items to note about installment sale transactions:

• Installment obligation. The buyer’s obligation to make future payments to you can be in the form of a deed
of trust, note, land contract, mortgage, or other evidence of the buyer’s debt to you.

• If a sale qualifies as an installment sale, the gain must be reported under the installment method unless you
elect out of using the installment method.

• Sale at a loss. If your sale results in a loss, you can’t use the installment method. If the loss is on an installment sale of business or investment property, you can deduct it only in the tax year of sale.

• Unstated interest. If your sale calls for payments in a later year and the sales contract provides for little or no interest, you may have to figure unstated interest, even if you have a loss.

Sellers who decide on this strategy are cautioned, however, that an installment sale carries more risk than an outright sale of the property. Here are some areas of concern this CPA believes the seller must review in depth with his/her seasoned attorney (and if you need one you can call us at Abo and Company or my buds at WCRE): Carefully assess the creditworthiness of the buyer and possibly obtain personal guarantees if the purchaser is a business; Evaluate the future income producing capability of the property to make sure it provides sufficient
cashflow to enable the buyer to make the payments; Use an interest rate competitive with current market rates so as not to squash the deal; and Obtain a significant enough down payment, perhaps at least 20%, to have a cushion if buyer default occurs, and to cover the expenses if foreclosure becomes necessary. Business property transactions are often complex, and the services of knowledgeable professionals can be vital in developing strategies that make it possible to bring a contemplated transaction to a successful conclusion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Martin H. Abo, CPA/ABV/CVA/CFF is a principle of Abo and Company, LLC and its affiliate, Abo Cipolla Financial Forensics, LLC, Certified Public Accountants – Litigation and Forensic Accountants. With offices in Mount Laurel, NJ and Morrisville, PA, tips like the above can also be accessed by going to the firm’s website at www.aboandcompany.com.

WCRE Rapidly Expands Exclusive Agency Relationships In PA & NJ

New Assignments Bring Additional 113,000 Square Feet Under Firm’s Control

March 1, 2018 – Marlton, NJ – Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is pleased to announce that it has been appointed exclusive agent for 13 new projects in the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia region.

WCRE continues to raise the bar with an aggressive marketing and branding strategy and has increased its South Jersey and Philly presence. WCRE will assume marketing, leasing and sale responsibilities for an additional 13 properties totaling approximately 113,000 SF.

The team at WCRE now oversees over 175 properties throughout the PA/NJ market encompassing over 4.2M square feet of office, retail, industrial, healthcare and investment real estate.  

“We see endless possibility in the properties our clients have entrusted to WCRE, and we are excited to connect new prospects with these assets.” said WCRE managing principal Jason Wolf.

The New Projects awarded to WCRE during the first two months of 2018 are as follows:

  • 1140 White Horse Road, Voorhees, NJ (25,000 SF Retail Building)
  • 1030 Auburn Road, Woolwich, NJ (4.2 Acres)
  • 601 Route 130 North, West Collingswood, NJ (2,113 SF Commercial Building on .35 Acres)
  • 605 Route 130 North, West Collingswood, NJ (1,200 SF Commercial Building on .27 Acres)
  • 513 Centennial Drive, Voorhees, NJ (6,700 SF Office Building on 1.31 Acres)
  • 1504 Blackwood Clementon Road, Blackwood, NJ (3,000 SF Office Building on .34 acres)
  • 297 Easton Road, Horsham, PA (.62 Acres)
  • 146 East Evesham Road, Cherry Hill, NJ (.92 Acres)
  • 133-136 Route 73, Voorhees, NJ (25,000 SF Medical Office on 2.85 acres)
  • 816 North Black Horse Pike, Gloucester Township, NJ (1.39 Acres)
  • 162 West Cohawkin Road, East Greenwich, NJ (25,000 SF Retail Property on 2.5 Acres)
  • 55-59 High Street, Mount Holly, NJ (13,000 SF Office Building on .12 acres)
  • 735 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville, PA (3,234 SF Retail Building on .39 acres)
  • 700 W Browning Road, Collingswood, NJ (8,250 SF Retail Building)

A marketing brochure for each of these properties is available upon request.

Download Printable PDF >>> 

About WCRE

WCRE is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region. We provide a complete range of real estate services to commercial property owners, companies, banks, commercial loan servicers, and investors seeking the highest quality of service, proven expertise, and a total commitment to client-focused relationships. Through our intensive focus on our clients’ business goals, our commitment to the community, and our highly personal approach to client service, WCRE is creating a new culture and a higher standard. We go well beyond helping with property transactions and serve as a strategic partner invested in your long-term growth and success.

Learn more about WCRE online at www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at www.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.moorestownofficespace.com, www.moorestownmedicalspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com.

Energy Usage Benchmarking Disclosure Policies

Energy Usage Benchmarking

Let’s look at energy usage benchmarking mandates and disclosure policies for commercial real estate. Increasingly, states, counties and cities nationwide are continuing to implement enabling legislation that mandates energy usage benchmarking and disclosure for commercial real estate. Benchmarking is the process of measuring energy usage and comparing it to that of similar buildings in similar geographic locations.

According to the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), the building sector (think: office buildings, schools, homes, etc.) accounts for about 40 percent of the country’s total energy usage, making it the largest consumer of energy in the country. The theory behind benchmarking and disclosure of the relevant energy usage data is that by measuring the consumption of energy, real estate owners can thereafter improve their buildings’ efficiency, reduce their energy usage, cut energy costs, minimize harmful emissions and make their properties more attractive to potential financers, buyers and tenants.

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ENERGY STAR:

To aid in energy efficiency efforts, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created ENERGY STAR©, which allows building owners and operators to measure and record energy use data online, for free, using the Portfolio Manager system. Using the energy usage data inputted, Portfolio Manager assigns each building an efficiency rating on a scale of one to 100. A higher score reflects a building’s scoring better in efficiency that a set of similarly situated buildings. For instance, a score of 90 would mean that the building scores better than 90 percent of the buildings in the applicable data set; similarly, a building with a score of 30 would be only 30 percent better than similar buildings (or put another way, the 30 score would be 70 percent worse off efficiency-wise than its competitive set buildings). A building receiving a score of 75 or higher is eligible for an Energy Star designation and decal to be displayed in the lobby, demonstrating its commitment to energy efficiency and reduced consumption.

Currently, about 40 percent of total commercial building space nationwide utilizes the Portfolio Manager system
for measuring energy efficiency. This includes more than half of the Fortune 100 companies’ campuses, many
colleges and universities, professional sports arenas, healthcare organizations and more. The number of buildings utilizing Energy Star and Portfolio Manager is steadily rising as more cities, counties and states introduce required benchmarking and disclosure policies.

Using the Portfolio Manager, building owners and operators can track their properties’ energy and water performance, as well as their greenhouse gas emissions. With this information, they can compare their properties’ performance to other, similar properties, set efficiency goals, track improvement, design space to attempt to fit a specific efficiency profile, share performance results and verify a return on their invested energy dollar vis-à-vis energy efficiency. Studies have shown that just benchmarking consistently is likely to lead to a 6 to 9 percent reduction in consumption, which, if energy costs held steady, would result in cost savings.

Additional information can be found on the Energy Star website.

ENERGY DISCLOSURE POLICIES ENACTED:

To date, two states, two counties and 24 cities across the United States have enacted energy disclosure policies for commercial buildings. The adoption of such policies is rising as the environmental benefits and cost- saving opportunities they create become more evident. The data from benchmarking may also be, and is sometimes required to be, disclosed to the public or potential partners in transactions. “We believe that sharing this data can … drive the market to recognize and reward energy efficiency and create a continuous cycle of improvement and demand for high-performing buildings,” says the IMT. The theory of benchmarking and reporting is to attempt to level the playing field and operate as a quasi-miles per gallon equivalent to tenants when they are trying to understand the energy characteristics of similar building within a given submarket.

Implementing benchmarking and disclosure policies can increase market knowledge and competition, foster job
creation (via energy efficiency upgrades) and, of course, create energy and cost savings. The IMT conducted studies and published a fact sheet demonstrating the positive effects of benchmarking and disclosure. It found that when comparing similar properties with like features including rental rate, age and amenities, energy-efficient properties have seen a 10 percent better occupancy rate on average as compared to less efficient buildings. Similarly, properties that are more efficient demand approximately 9 percent higher rental premiums than less efficient properties. In certain areas of the country, properties that utilize benchmarking to inform their energy performance choices have enjoyed sales prices up to 25 percent higher than those of less efficient properties. Finally, an average 2.4 percent reduction in energy usage for buildings using benchmarking to set efficiency goals has equated to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings each year for the buildings focusing on energy consumption reduction through efficiency.

The states, counties and cities that mandate commercial building energy benchmarking are:

States: California and Washington state

Counties: Cook County, Illinois, and Montgomery County, Maryland

Cities:

Atlanta; Austin; Berkeley; Boston; Boulder; Cambridge; Chicago; Denver; Evanston; Kansas City; Los Angeles;
Minneapolis; New York City; Orlando; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Portland, ME; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City; San
Francisco; Seattle; South Portland; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.

View a Map Depicting This Information (PDF)

 

CALIFORNIA – Energy Usage Benchmarking

In 2015, California enacted Assembly Bill 802, which repealed a previous commercial building energy disclosure law and introduced new standards. Under the old law, owners of commercial properties had to disclose energy use data to prospective buyers, lessees and lenders. They had difficulty, however, obtaining tenants’ energy consumption records, as tenants had to grant prior authorization of such disclosure. Now, California utilities are required to keep benchmarking data on commercial properties in excess of 50,000 square feet that use their services. Upon request by a building owner or operator, the utility must disclose that data to the owner or operator. This streamlines the benchmarking and disclosure process and ensures greater access to information about energy usage. Furthermore, building owners and operators must now disclose the data publicly on an annual basis, rather than only to prospective partners in a transaction.

NEW YORK CITY – Energy Usage Benchmarking

In New York City, commercial buildings 50,000 square feet and larger must benchmark via the Portfolio Manager.
Starting on May 1, 2018, this requirement will extend to buildings of 25,000 square feet and larger. Furthermore,
the city will disclose the information gathered through benchmarking publicly on the internet each year. This will
allow prospective buyers, renters and lenders to understand better the energy performance of properties they
consider buying, renting or financing. It will also prevent building owners and operators from obscuring inefficient energy usage, while instead allowing them to make smart, effective changes to reduce energy costs and output. Benchmarking and public disclosure for a large number of commercial properties are intended to aid the city in reaching its goal of reducing emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. In addition, the city has recently passed Local Law 33, which requires beginning in 2020, that many buildings prominently post their

Energy Star scores along with a letter grade (e.g., A, B, C, etc.) in their lobby, much like restaurants do throughout the city for health inspection scores.

BENCHMARKING AND DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS IN SELECT CITIES

Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and San Francisco

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Brad A. Molotsky; any of the attorneys in our Real Estate Practice Group; any of the attorneys in our Energy, Environment and Resources Practice Group; or the attorney with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor
should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm’s full disclaimer.

New Jersey Marijuana Reform Presents Commercial Real Estate Opportunities

New Jersey Marijuana Reform

New Jersey Marijuana Reform

Let’s look at New Jersey Marijuana Reform and Commercial Real Estate. Governor Phil Murphy campaigned on a pledge to fully legalize marijuana in New Jersey. On January 23, 2018 he signed an Executive Order directing a complete review of New Jersey’s existing medical marijuana program within 60 days, which sets the stage for legalizing recreational marijuana. Presently, only medical marijuana is legal under a New Jersey law enacted in January 2010. Likely marijuana reform presents unique real estate investment opportunities and will probably increase the demand for commercial and industrial real estate. However, there are significant risks that must be carefully considered before making any investment decisions, including criminal and civil liability (including property seizure) if federal laws are enforced, and a limited number of potential lenders and buyers.

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Opportunities Associated with New Jersey Marijuana Reform

New Jersey Marijuana Reform presents a unique opportunity to be capitalized upon by risk tolerant investors willing to invest in real estate and benefit from the cannabis trend. Vacancy rates may decline based on the experience in other states following marijuana legalization and expansion, where cannabis suitable commercial real estate became hot commodities.

For example, in four states with legalized recreational cannabis (i.e. California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington), industrial real estate prices surged. In some Denver neighborhoods, the average asking lease price for warehouse space reportedly jumped by more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2015. Industrial space has been in high demand due to both marijuana growers and manufacturers seeking industrial warehouses to cultivate and process their product. Commercial real estate prices have also experienced double digit annual increases in some markets.

Risks Associated with New Jersey Marijuana Reform

The federal government does not recognize a legitimate medical use of cannabis and can impose criminal or civil liability under the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug, which puts it
under the same category as heroin, cocaine, peyote, meth and fentanyl. It is currently illegal under federal law
to lease or rent real estate for the purpose of manufacturing or distributing any controlled substance. However,
the Department of Justice can direct the enforcement of these laws differently between administrations, as the
Obama Administration issued guidance discouraging the enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where it had been legalized. United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long been strongly opposed to the legalization of marijuana and there is a fear of federal enforcement among owners, developers and lenders as long as the federal and state positions remain at odds. It is tough to make long term real estate investments without clarity predicated on the assumption that the federal government will not enforce its own laws.

Banks traditionally answer to federal regulators and risk losing their licenses by dealing with marijuana businesses. Federal banking laws also prevent banks from lending to or accepting deposits from illegal businesses. The federal government is also allowed to seize property. Thus, obtaining financing from traditional sources and collecting rents is difficult. Borrowing costs will therefore likely be higher than a typical real estate transaction, and tenants may be limited to properties that are owned free and clear of traditional financing.

Therefore, many companies that get into the marijuana business try to buy and control their own real estate. If the state approves expansion, it will probably issue licenses allowing business to legally sell recreational marijuana in designated places, and businesses must find a local jurisdiction that will allow them to operate.

Towns will need to change their zoning ordinances to allow for such uses.

What Does This Means for Commercial Real Estate Investors?

Higher risks will likely translate into higher rents for commercial and industrial landlords based on anecdotal evidence seen in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and other states that have permissible marijuana laws. Developers, landlords and investors with a suitable risk tolerance should closely follow the state’s progress in introducing and passing legislation to accomplish Governor Murphy’s goals and evaluate potential opportunities and risks. They should also monitor subsequent municipal efforts to accommodate such uses by amending their zoning ordinances, and work to identify potential opportunities in suitable locations.

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and none of these materials offered are, nor should be construed as, investment advice, legal advice or a legal opinion based on any specific facts or circumstances.

kenneth-morgan

 

Commercial Real Estate Tax Deduction Restrictions

commercial real estate tax deduction restrictions.Let’s take a quick look at some 2018 tax law changes affecting commercial real estate tax deduction restrictions. Below please find some insight into recent tax changes affecting commercial real estate tax deductions.

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Here are some items that come to mind:

(1) The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enables investment real estate owners to still defer capital gains taxes using section 1031 like-kind exchanges. There were no new restrictions on 1031 exchanges of real property made in the law. However, the new law repeals 1031 exchanges for all other types of property that are not real property. This means like-kind exchanges of personal property will no longer be allowed after 2017 for collectibles, franchise rights, heavy equipment and machinery, collectibles, rental vehicles, trucks, etc. The rules apply to real property not generally held for resale (such as lots held by a developer).

(2) The capital gain tax rates stayed the same so a real estate owner selling an investment property can potentially owe up to four different taxes: (1) Deprecation recapture at 25% (2) federal capital gain taxed at either 20% or 15% depending on taxable income (3) 3.8% net investment income tax (“NIIT”) when applicable and (4) the applicable state and local tax rate.

(3) The tax law creates a new tax deduction of 20% for pass-through businesses. This gets tricky but here goes. For tax years 2018-2025, an individual generally may deduct 20% of qualified business income from a partnership, S corporation, or sole proprietorship. The 20% deduction is not allowed in computing Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), but is allowed as a deduction reducing taxable income. 

Restrictions on Tax Deductions

(1) Mostly, the deduction cannot exceed 50% of your share of the W-2 wages paid by the business. The limitation
can be computed as 25% of your share of the W-2 wages paid by the business, plus 2.5% of the unadjusted basis
(the original purchase price) of property used in the production of income.

(2) The W-2 limitations do not apply if you earn less than $157,500 (if single; $315,000 if married filing jointly).

(3) Certain personal service businesses are not eligible for the deduction, unless their taxable income is less than
$157,500 for singles and $315,000 if married. A “specified service trade or business” means any trade or business involving the performance of services in the fields of health, law, consulting, athletics, financial services, brokerage services, or any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of one or more of its employees or owners, or which involves the performance of services that consist of investing and investment management trading, or dealing in securities, partnership interests, or commodities. (It appears President Trump liked real estate people but did not like professionals like lawyers, doctors, accountants and other consultants).

(4) The exception to the W-2 limit and the general disallowance of the deduction to personal service businesses is phased out over a range of $50,000 of income for single taxpayers and $100,000 for married taxpayers filing
jointly. By the time income for a single taxpayer reaches $207,500 or $415,000 for a married-filing-jointly
taxpayer, the W-2 limitation will apply in full (i.e. personal service professionals get no deduction).

(5) The new tax law increased the maximum amount a taxpayer may expense under Section. 179 to $1,000,000 and increased the phaseout threshold to $2,500,000. Interestingly, the new law also expanded the definition of Section. 179 properties to include certain depreciable tangible personal property used predominantly to furnish lodging. It also expanded the definition of qualified real property eligible for Section 179 expensing to include the following improvements to nonresidential real property: roofs; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning property; fire protection and alarm systems; and security systems

(6) State and local taxes paid regarding carrying on a trade or business, or in an activity related to the production of income, continue to remain deductible. A rental property owner can deduct property taxes associated with a business asset, such as any rental properties. Don’t confuse such with the itemized deduction for your personal residence or vacation home which is now limited.

(7) While the prior law generally allows a deduction for business interest expenses, the new tax act limits that deduction to the business interest income plus 30% of adjusted taxable income. However, taxpayers (other than tax shelters) with average annual gross receipts for the prior three years of $25 million or less are exempt from this limitation. Real estate businesses can elect out of the business interest deduction limitation, but at the cost of longer depreciation recovery periods—30 years for residential real property and 40 years for nonresidential real property. If a real estate business does not elect out of the interest deduction limitation, then residential and nonresidential real property depreciation recovery periods are maintained at 27.5 years and 39 years, respectively.

Phew-there you have taste of what we’re going or at least as we see general changes directly or even indirectly
affecting real estate peeps. As you can see, the new law will bring a lot of changes (both good and bad) to individual and business taxpayers. On the plus side, this means more planning opportunities for many although looking for answers can be problematic as we all try to navigate through uncertain territory. These comments only touch the surface of one of the biggest tax overhauls in the nation’s history. Stay tuned and do stay close to your tax attorney and accountant.….

 

WCRE 2017 FOURTH QUARTER REPORT

SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY CRE MARKETS FINISH A STRONG 2017 WITH STRONG FUNDAMENTALS BUT MIXED RESULTS

January 8, 2018 – Marlton, NJ – Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its latest quarterly analysis that the Southern New Jersey market is in largely good shape, despite a seasonal drop in leasing activity.

 

“Aside from an expected leasing slow-down in the fourth quarter, 2017 was a strong year for our market,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “All the elements for success are in place, including a labor market that is heating up, record gains in the financial markets, and continued deal and prospecting activity and enthusiasm.”

There were approximately 210,525 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which was about half the total compared with the previous quarter. While leasing slowed considerably, the sales market stayed active, with more than 1.88 million square feet on the market or under agreement and an additional 205,364 square feet trading hands.

New leasing activity accounted for approximately 25.7 percent of all deals. Overall, net absorption for the quarter was in the range of approximately 65,250 square feet.

Download The Report (PDF) >>>

Other office market highlights from the report:

  • Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 10.1 percent, which is an uptick of a third of a point from the previous quarter.
  • Average rents for Class A & B product continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$14.50/sf NNN or $20.00-$24.50/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. These averages have stayed within this range for most of this year.
  • Vacancy in Camden County improved throughout the year, standing at 11.7 percent for the quarter, up a bit from the third quarter, but down from 13.3 percent at the beginning of the year.
  • Burlington County vacancy was at 8.5 percent, a slight increase in a year that saw marked improvement overall.

 

WCRE has expanded into southeastern Pennsylvania, and the firm’s quarterly reports now include a section on transactions, rates, and news from Philadelphia and the suburbs. Highlights from the first quarter in Pennsylvania include:

  • Philadelphia’s office market saw increasing vacancy in the Central Business District during 2017, as several large tenants emphasized efficiency and returned large blocks to the market. Still, we see increasing employment and new construction, both of which bode well for continued strength.
  • The Philadelphia retail sector continues to struggle. It has been affected by the same challenges facing retail businesses everywhere. Namely, the shift to online retailing. Still, there were some positive signs amid the announced store closings and bankruptcies. Community shopping centers remain an area of strength in the market, with vacancy rates nearly half the national average.
  • The Philadelphia industrial market continues its hot streak, and the outlook is positive. Vacancy rates for flex and industrial properties in Philadelphia are well below the regional and national averages, and this is expected to continue. Industrial vacancy in Philadelphia is currently at 7 percent, and net absorption was in the range of 1.7 million square feet.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia retail market, noting that holiday spending reached the highest levels since 2011, with both online and brick-and-mortar retailers reaping gains. Overall holiday retail sales posted gains of 4.9 percent over last year, with online retailers gaining 18.1 percent. Other highlights from the retail section of the report include:

  • Retail vacancy in Camden County stood at 8.5 percent, with average rents in the range of $12.75/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Burlington County stood at 9.9 percent, with average rents in the range of $13.83/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Gloucester County stood at 7.2 percent, with average rents in the range of $14.64/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

 

About WCRE

WCRE is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region. We provide a complete range of real estate services to commercial property owners, companies, banks, commercial loan servicers, and investors seeking the highest quality of service, proven expertise, and a total commitment to client-focused relationships. Through our intensive focus on our clients’ business goals, our commitment to the community, and our highly personal approach to client service, WCRE is creating a new culture and a higher standard. We go well beyond helping with property transactions and serve as a strategic partner invested in your long term growth and success.

Learn more about WCRE online at www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at www.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com.

WCRE’S Chris Henderson Promoted to Principal & Shareholder

January 8, 2018 – Marlton, NJ – Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) proudly announces the promotion of Chris Henderson to Principal and Shareholder of the firm effective January 1, 2018. Chris Henderson joined the firm in 2014, and was previously promoted to vice president at the end of 2016. He has been recognized for his tremendous leadership skills, collaborative approach, entrepreneurial spirit, and a boundless work ethic that has served him well within the company and the community.

“Chris’s new role within the company is well deserved, and I am proud to welcome him to the WCRE partnership,” said Jason Wolf, Managing Principal of WCRE. “Our firm’s growth and success relies on the strength and development of our team, our clients, and our communities. Chris has helped to define the integrity, quality, teamwork, and focus that are the essence of the WCRE brand.”

Download Printable PDF >>>

About WCRE

WCRE is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties in Southern New Jersey and the Philadelphia region. We provide a complete range of real estate services to commercial property owners, companies, banks, commercial loan servicers, and investors seeking the highest quality of service, proven expertise, and a total commitment to client-focused relationships. Through our intensive focus on our clients’ business goals, our commitment to the community, and our highly personal approach to client service, WCRE is creating a new culture and a higher standard. We go well beyond helping with property transactions and serve as a strategic partner invested in your long-term growth and success.

Learn more about WCRE online at www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at www.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.moorestownofficespace.com, www.moorestownmedicalspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com.

The Tax Reform Bill and Commercial Real Estate

The Tax Reform Bill and Commercial Real Estate

Let’s look at how the recent tax reform bill impacts commercial real estate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill was signed into law on 22 December 2017. The tax reform bill is one of the most substantive changes to the tax laws passed in over 30 years. With the current administration’s background in commercial real estate and understanding of the challenges in the industry, it’s no surprise that certain provisions would be included that might help propel real estate development and commercial real estate transactions. Here’s a quick summary of a few of the critical pieces that affect the commercial real estate business. This isn’t a full compendium or review of the bill and it’s not tax advice but it will help guide you in developing some strategies to take advantage of these laws with your CPA in 2018.

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Tax Reform Bill Lowers Taxes on Pass Through Corporations

Pass-through businesses—partnerships, S-corporations, and limited liability companies—are corporate entities that allow business income to “pass-through” to the owner, thereby paying a personal income rate, as opposed to a business rate. For most this is a tax cut from 40% down to 25%. So, let’s say you have a rental income entity organized as an LLC, this new regulation could be significant tax savings to you. Also, be sure to ask your accountant about the “Corker Kickback” which further amplifies this benefit through a 20% deduction subject to income thresholds.

Tax Reform Bill Offers Tax Deductions for Property Developers:

New provisions allow developers to deduct interest expenses for a variety of real estate activities, including construction, management, and property development. This should help developers free up some necessary cash to keep projects moving.

Tax Reform Bill’s Impact on 1031 Exchanges

Like-kind exchanges enable owners of property to sell at a large capital gain but defer any tax as long as they use the proceeds to buy some other property. In essence, owners of commercial real estate can keep flipping the properties until they die without ever paying any capital gains tax. (And if the estate tax is abolished, the gains might go untaxed forever.)

Tax Reform Bill’s Impact on Carried-Interest

There was lots of talk that the “carried interest” loophole would be closed for hedge fund managers. Carried interest essentially allows for taxation at lower capital gains rates rather than ordinary income rates for assets held at least one year. The new reform changes the hold period to three years but this won’t affect most hedge funds as the average hold on assets is three years.

In the real estate context, the change doesn’t make much difference to investors who have a long-term hold strategy. However, for real estate investors who operate on a fix-and-flip strategy this could affect you directly.

CONCLUSIONS:

There are more aspects in this tax reform bill that are favorable to real estate investors and you should be consulting your CPA as soon as possible to start planning for 2018 if you haven’t already. While every action has an equal and opposite reaction, most experts agree that these new regulations should spur additional investment in the commercial real estate sector from development through purchase of real estate for rental income purposes.

For more information, contact:

Marc Snyderman, Esquire
President
923 Haddonfield Road, Suite 300
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

phone: 856.324.8267

web: www.snydermanlawgroup.com


Antonella Colella, Esquire
150 Monument Road, Suite 207
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

phone: 856.324.8268

web: www.snydermanlawgroup.com

Performing Pre-Construction Due Diligence

Let’s explore why performing pre-construction due diligence prior to the acquisition of a site or proceeding towards construction is critical.

We’ve heard it all before:

  • “Do your homework.”
  • “Measure twice….cut once.”
  • “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
  • “Hindsight is 20/20”
  • “Snooze, you lose.”

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My father didn’t author any of those lines, but he said them so often I thought he might have. And quite frequently, I can still hear his voice in my head giving me such sage counseling. But it was more than fatherly advice; it was sound advice that helped prepare me for the world of design and construction; as he would say: “Always be prepared.” He never used the term “due diligence;” but I knew what he meant.

Now that I’m all grown up, his words seem even more to the point. Performing pre-construction due diligence prior to the acquisition of a site or proceeding towards construction is critical. You need to protect your interests and investments of time and money, and the best way to accomplish that is to assess potential risks in every
development venture.

It may sound like a simple task, but it is a complex process to identify and analyze the risks and arrive at sound and level-headed solutions to obstacles that may arise. After that, you’ll need to address and mitigate each through the planning and construction processes. If the obstacles appear too great, or reveal other issues that verge on being unsurmountable, it may be a good time to rethink and retool the project.

Pre-Construction Due diligence must be done for every project, no matter how big or small…be it single family home or multifamily housing, commercial, office or retail, educational or worship, healthcare or hospitality, industrial or government. So, before you take that leap and make the decision to proceed with a site and/or building project, take the time and effort to perform the investigation and assess if it (and its context) are suitable for a particular project, and if it is in balance with the other various risks involved.

Thorough pre-construction due diligence is critical to your project…from the selection of the site, to the designer and builder, delivery method and materials, to compliance, financial assessments and budget. Nothing can place you on a better course than proper pre-construction due diligence. It’s just as my dad said: “measure twice, cut once.”

Paul Stridick, AIA is Director of Design/Build at The Bannett Group. He is an award-winning architect that also has extensive government experience. Prior to joining TBG, Paul was the Director of Community Development for Cherry Hill Township, NJ, a 26-square mile suburban community in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Before that, he was the Director of the Division of Housing and Community Resources for New Jersey’s Dept. of Community Affairs. His last article “IS THERE AN EASIER WAY TO GET SOMETHING BUILT?” was published on WCRE’s blog in August 2017.

The Bannett Group is a South Jersey firm that was founded in 1970. Since then, we’ve become one of the fastest growing design and construction firms in the region, with a portfolio of work that spans the country. The Bannett Group always views our design & construction services as a set of tools available to complete each job. We’ll pick the best tool or delivery method for each job…general contracting, construction management or even a fully integrated Design-Build package. Whatever the tool, we get the job done. With our steadfast history and fine-tuned in-house talent, we’re able to complete each project on time…on budget…every time.

Analysts: Closing of Weakest Stores to Benefit Shopping Center Performance

The national retail vacancy rate ticked up 10 basis points for the second consecutive quarter to reach 5.2% in the third quarter of 2017 as retail leasing and net absorption slowed despite continuing improvement in the broader economy and growing consumer spending power, according to CoStar analysts.

The slower leasing performance in the third quarter for the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – reflects the ongoing store closures announced by several major retailers. In total, retailers have announced a record 101 million square feet of store closings this year, on top of 83 million square feet of store space that went dark in 2016.

However, despite signs of decelerating leasing demand for the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets, some analysts speculate that record levels of store closures will eventually have a ‘healing effect’ on the market as the weakest shopping centers shut down or are repurposed.

This report on U.S. and Philadelphia commercial properties is being made through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Analysts argue that recent weakening of fundamentals does not necessarily justify the doomsday scenario suggested by gloomy headlines warning of a “retail apocalypse” or “Armageddon,” and the focus on the ongoing purge among national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties masks the best-performing centers, many of which are adding stores and maintaining occupancy.

“Store closures have become a headline risk, and I think it is impacting the capital markets and pricing of retail property. But for shopping center owners and investors, these closures may be a necessary means to healing the market,” observed CoStar director of U.S. retail research Suzanne Mulvee in presenting the latest quarterly data during CoStar’s State of the Retail Market Q3 2017 Review and Outlook.

“Consumer spending (at the closed stores) needs to go somewhere, usually to another physical retailer, so we look at this trend as somewhat positive for the overall market,” Mulvee said. Surviving stores in the right locations “will ultimately come through this period even stronger than before,” added CoStar managing consultant Ryan McCullough.

One major issue contributing to concerns on Wall Street about U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings is the staggering amount of debt held by retail chains, incurred in part during the wave of leveraged buyouts by private-equity firms in recent years. For example, giant shoe retailer Payless Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April, incurred more than $700 million in new debt, including buyout borrowings, after being acquired in 2012 by Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital Partners.

“If retailers can’t refinance the debt at reasonable rates, they will be forced into bankruptcy, and that gives them cover to break leases,” said Mulvee. “Capital is still positive on high-quality retail, but it is becoming even more bearish on weaker retail.”

The best-performing malls and shopping centers populating the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – will continue to attract tenants and retain value. Average and lower-performing properties will continue lose value and eventually close or be repurposed, according to the report.

U.S. retailers dealing with national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings expect to open nearly 4,100 more stores than they will close in 2017, a conveniently overlooked fact in many news headlines focused chiefly on the number of store closings, according to “Decluttering the Retail Landscape,” a recent report by TH Real Estate. Competition from online sales is pushing weaker retailers out of business faster than ever before, but the report posits that should ultimately result in a financially healthier and more adaptable set of retailers and shopping centers that provide more appealing experiences and a compelling product mix for shoppers.

“When we subtract those non-competitive malls with vacancies of 40% or higher, we see a far different picture,” said CoStar’s McCullough. “It’s the troubled properties that lose a key tenant and set into motion an exodus of defections,” skewing the retail vacancy picture, he added.

For more information about Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space or other Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate is a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philly office space, Philly retail space or Philly industrial space with the Philadelphia commercial properties that best meets their needs.

As experts in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for Philly office space, Philly retail space or Philly industrial space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the Philadelphia commercial real estate broker you need — a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.

Please visit our websites for a full listing of South Jersey and Philadelphia commercial properties for lease or sale through our Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Proposed Modifications to Philadelphia Mixed Income Housing Bill

Philadelphia Mixed Income Housing BillThere have been some proposed modifications to the Philadelphia Mixed Income Housing Bill. On June 22, 2017, City Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sanchez introduced a bill proposing to provide for new affordable housing requirements in Philadelphia in the commercial real estate context. The bill, as originally drafted, would amend the Housing Code to require residential developers to include affordable housing units in their new and redeveloped residential projects. In return, developers would be rewarded with height and floor-area ratio bonuses. Since its initial introduction in June, the bill has been recently modified by its sponsor as part of the Planning Commission review process, resulting in certain substantive changes to its original form. A November 27 public hearing revealed dissension against the bill from neighborhood groups, housing advocates and developers, resulting in Councilmember Quiñones-Sánchez putting a hold on the bill. Further amendments to rectify the differing viewpoints are to be expected, and another hearing as well as a vote has been scheduled for December 5, 2017.

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Background of the proposed modifications to the Philadelphia Mixed Income Housing Bill

Legislating affordable housing requirements in the commercial/residential real estate context is not a new trend in major cities nationwide. San Francisco and New York City, for example, have long had robust mixed income housing programs. Given Philadelphia’s high poverty rate, city officials view this bill as a way to provide increased affordable housing to its residents while still recognizing and meeting the needs of private developers.

Philadelphia Mixed Income Housing Bill NO. 170678

The bill directs private developers of new residential projects or substantially rehabilitated projects containing more than 10 units to set aside 10 percent of the units for affordable housing. The amended bill specifies, however, that its affordable housing requirements do not apply to student or subsidized housing. Under the original bill, the affordable units would have been available to prospective renters whose incomes were between 30 percent and 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) and to purchasers between 50 percent and 80 percent of the AMI, depending on the location of the units. Now, under the amended bill, the units would be available to prospective “low income” renters at or below 50 percent of the AMI and “moderate income” renters at or below 60 percent of the AMI. The amended bill would also make the units available to prospective “low income” purchasers at or below 70 percent of the AMI and “moderate income” purchasers at or below 80 percent of the AMI.

Originally, the bill applied to the entire city; as amended, however, the bill would only affect high-density zoning districts of RM-4, RMX-3, CMX-3, CMX-4 and CMX-5. These modifications result in both the affordable housing requirements and the incentives offered being inapplicable in zoning districts other than those listed above. The bill defines an affordable unit as one whose cost—whether rental or purchase—is 30 percent or less of the applicable maximum qualifying income level. These units were initially proposed to them should they opt to build affordable units. The amended bill grants substantial height and floor-area bonuses to developers who incorporate the affordable housing proposals, although the specifics of these bonuses may change in the next version of the bill. These developers will have enhanced development opportunities as a result of their assistance in providing homes to a wide range of Philadelphians.

The bill, if passed into law, would go into effect on July 1, 2018. Should it pass, the bill will not apply to construction pursuant to valid zoning permit applications that were filed prior to the effective date. Currently, a Rules Committee public meeting and the vote on the bill have been set for Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

Want More Information about the proposed modifications to the Philadelphia Mixed Income Housing Bill?

This Alert has been authored by Aaron R. Feinblatt, an associate in Duane Morris’ Real Estate Practice Group. If you have any questions about this Alert or otherwise, please contact Brad A. Molotsky at 856-874-4243.

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