Tag Archives: CORFAC
Let’s take a look at New Jersey Construction Lien Law. For builders and contractors alike, the words “construction lien” can be anxiety inducing. Contractors, on the one hand, know that a lien can be a valuable tool for recovering outstanding money; however, the requirements of a New Jersey Construction Lien Law claim are not intuitive, and failure to strictly comply with statutory requirements may result in a waiver of lien rights. Owners, on the other hand, know that encumbrances, even wrongfully filed ones, may threaten the timing of a transaction and cause unforeseen expenses.
The New Jersey Construction Lien Law, N.J.S.A. § 2A:44A:1 et. seq. (“Lien Law”), contains many specific provisions and must be carefully followed. A few essential pointers are highlighted below.
New Jersey Construction Lien Law for Claimants:
1. The filing requirements for lien claims in commercial and residential projects are very different. For commercial construction projects, a lien claim must be filed in the county where the project is located within 90 days of the last date that work, services or material were provided to the project. For residential construction projects, a Notice of Unpaid Balance (“NUB”) is a prerequisite to the filing of a lien claim and must be filed within 60 days of the last date that work, services, or material were provided. There are numerous additional requirements that flow from these preliminary deadlines. Claimants must be cognizant of the type of job they are performing in order to ensure that they do not violate filing deadlines.
2. Be aware of the “last date” of work. Under the Lien Law, the “last date” on which work, services or materials were provided marks the date on which the clock starts ticking on a contractor’s right to file a lien. For practical purposes, contractors should interpret the “last date” as the date on which they achieve substantial completion. Contractors often mistakenly assume that because they were still “on the job,” that the clock did not start to run on their lien rights. This is an incorrect assumption. “Punch list,” warranty, or other corrective work will not extend the deadline for the filing of a lien claim or notice of unpaid balance.
3. Be sure that the contract and all change orders are accepted in writing. Contractors have no right to file a lien claim in connection with work that was not performed pursuant to an executed contract or change order. Handshakes and verbal directives in the field will not pass muster, regardless of whether the work was accepted and approved. Contractors that do not have written agreements may be able to recover payment through a separate lawsuit for breach of contract, however, they will not have lien rights.
4. Do not forget to actually file suit on the lien claim, and to do so on time. A lien claim is a pre-requisite to a lawsuit, but it is not an actual lawsuit. Short of settlement, in order to obtain payment after the filing of a lien claim, the claimant must file a legal action based upon the lien claim. This must be done, not within 1 year of the filing of the lien claim, but within 1 year of the last date of work. It is critical that a claimant understand this distinction and meet the deadline for filing.
New Jersey Construction Lien Law for Owners:
1. Obtain a lien release and waiver with each payment. Owners should not make payments for work, services
or material without simultaneously receiving corresponding progressive, written lien releases and waivers
from their contractors and suppliers. Contractors should, in turn, should be required to obtain releases and waivers from their own subcontractors and suppliers.
2. Consider using joint checks. Making payment by joint check can help ensure that funds reach their intended destination and prevent claims for non-payment by lower tier subcontractors and suppliers.
3. Consult with counsel to scrutinize the filing. Experienced counsel will be able to determine whether any number of substantive or technical requirements have been violated by a given lien claim, including but not limited to: filing deadline errors, service errors, improper identification of the property or project, whether a balance is overstated, whether a claimed balance is based upon a sufficient writing, and whether the claimant is a proper claimant given its tier. Claimants who file improper or overstated lien claims may be forced to pay costs associated with discharging the wrongfully filed lien, such as attorney’s fees.
4. Post a bond. Particularly in instances in which a property is pending sale or transfer, the owner or its contractor (if the lien is filed by a lower tier subcontractor) may post a bond with the clerk of the county where the lien was filed in an amount equal to 110% of the lien claim. The county clerk will then mark the lien as discharged. The claimant’s rights will be unaffected, but the property will be free of the lien, and the pending transaction should be able to proceed. There are carrying costs associated with the posting of a bond; however, use of a bond can be a valuable tool in many instances. If a bond is posted, consider the option of demanding that the claimant file suit within 30 days in order to accelerate resolution of the matter.
The Lien Law is a highly technical statute with numerous requirements; however, when used correctly, it can be a tremendous vehicle for recovery. Claimants and owners should always confer with counsel in order to ensure that their rights and interests are effectively guarded.
Want More Information on New Jersey Construction Lien Law?
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and none of these materials is offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice or a legal opinion based on any specific facts or circumstances.
Daniella Gordon, Esquire
Hyland Levin LLP
6000 Sagemore Drive, Suite 6301
Marlton, NJ 08053-3900
New Jersey Property Tax Appeal Reminder – During the next several weeks, New Jersey real property taxpayers will receive their annual (property tax) green postcards indicating 2018 assessments. The period to file a challenge to a 2018 assessment runs from February 1 to April 1, 2018. The April 1 deadline may, however, be adjusted to the later date of 45 days from the bulk mailing of the green postcards and in municipalities where there is a revaluation, the deadline may be May 1, 2018. It is the amount of the assessment – not the property tax amount – that can be challenged. A taxpayer may be entitled to a reduction if the assessment (after applying the municipality’s equalization ratio) is more than 15 percent higher than the fair-market value as of the valuation date: October 1, 2017. A prerequisite to filing an appeal is the payment of all property taxes and other municipal charges through the first quarter of 2018. Failure to respond to a property tax assessor’s prior request for income and expense information (known as Chapter 91 requests) makes a property tax appeal subject to dismissal, regardless of the appeal’s merits. Assessments greater than $1,000,000 may be challenged directly with the Tax Court of New Jersey or filed with the applicable County Board of Taxation.
We are available to review the assessments and property tax exemptions of New Jersey retail, office, industrial and commercial properties.
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 landlords, tenants, investors, developers, banks, commercial loan servicers and companies, guided by our total commitment to our clients and our community. Our team is devoted to building successful relationships, and we provide each client the highest levels of responsiveness, attention to detail, and communication even after the transaction is complete.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016, WCRE was selected by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces, to receive a CoStar Power Broker TM Award. This annual award recognizes the “best of the best” in commercial real estate brokerage by highlighting the firms and individual brokers who closed the highest transaction volumes in commercial property sales or leases within their respective markets. WCRE received the Top Brokerage Firm award for their region.
Our rapid growth is proof that our approach works. We now oversee more than 175 properties comprising 3.9 million square feet under our exclusive representation and management. But while these numbers are impressive, we know that numbers are only part of our story. We are even more proud to have built a company that has become an indispensable part of our community and earned the trust of many of the most influential players in our region.
Let’s look at ways to encourage office creativity. Most people think that working hard is the most effective way of working. However, that is not always the case. A great way to accomplish everything on your to-do list is to do smart work instead of hard work. To encourage office creativity and welcome various thoughts from different channels at the work place, there needs to be a collaborative working environment. Here is a list of activities that will help you achieve maximum levels of creativity within your office.
1. Arrange for some games that encourage a team-building attitude to encourage office creativity
You should plan a small game for your employees and schedule it once every few weeks. Introduce such games that are to be played between teams. This will help you to educate your staff about the importance and benefits of team work.
2. Entertain employee suggestions to encourage office creativity
You should dedicate an area where employees can come and share their creative thoughts or suggestions. You can hang a notice board in a corner so that the employees may write their thoughts on paper and pin it on the notice board or you can place a suggestion box where employees can raise their concerns without revealing their identity. Make sure that you value their suggestions and reward them for creative ideas.
A notice board is preferable, as the content on the board can be seen by other employees as well and it provides a platform to interact. Employees can pin up suggestions as well as any challenges they are facing while accomplishing any given task. This way they will get input from others to get problems solved. This improves collaboration and teamwork.
If you have a huge office with thousands of employees, you can replace notice boards with digital
3. Encourage brainstorming to encourage office creativity
Brainstorming sessions are the best way to get the creative ideas flowing. Try to make every employee a part of the brainstorming sessions where everyone should be given freedom to express their thoughts.
4. Treat all your employees equally to encourage office creativity
A workplace is full of people with different backgrounds and thoughts. Everyone must be treated equally, and there should not be any bias to any particular group of employees. Plan a few informal get-togethers’ where all the employees gather and spend few hours together irrespective of their designation in the workplace. It is an awesome sight to see the director talking to a trainee and getting to know about him/her; an accounts person talking to a technical person and sharing thoughts; and many more such interactions. This is the sign of a great work culture within an organization.
Creativity is directly linked to the flow of ideas. The better the flow of ideas, the more creative your team will be. Creative resources are the assets of an organization and the creative atmosphere results in the best quality output. Give it a try today and let us know how successful your working environment
Josh Smargiassi: Principal
6950 Sherman Lane
Pennsauken, NJ 08110
Open Floor Plans: No issue generates more discussion in our industry than the architectural Pandora’s box: commercial open floor plans. In cities like Philadelphia, the workforce now skews younger; millennials tend to favor collaborative work environments. An open floor plan doesn’t intimidate them—they’re used to team cultures from their college years onward. However, wide-open spaces aren’t necessarily productive ones for an older generation that cherishes the privacy of four solid walls and a door. Per a 2017 Forbes Coaches’ Council blog post, the pros and cons of an open floor plan are subjectively debatable.
open floor plans can simultaneously:
• Disrupt deep work
• Offer a 360-degree viewpoint
• Drain introverts
• Foster inclusion and communication
An approach to open floor plans coincides with a crucial point in the article: it depends on your culture and line of work. If your company encourages constant collaboration as part of the workflow process, a hybrid open floor plan is a good idea. That’s because: you’ll still need secure spaces for confidential meetings. (We’ve NEVER seen a completely open floor plan!)
Industries most conducive to modified open floor plans include:
• Creative-design or engineering firms
• Light-industrial production and staff assembly
• Product engineering and fabrication
• Small offices with tight spaces
• Technology start-ups
The practical benefits of an open floor plans:
1. Reduced wall, door, and partition costs
2. Lighting can be an open grid
3. Day lighting can flood the space better
4. Both fire suppression and HVAC design are easier
5. More people can occupy less dense floor plans.
Whether you’re a light-industrial manufacturer in need of collaborative design-fabrication space or a business suffocating from “we’re all walls” syndrome, A corporate or industrial architectural firm can reformulate the ideal layout. To discuss opening up your workplace, please contact us at either 856-547-6414 or email@example.com. Anchor Point Architecture, Inc.
About Anchor Point Architecture, Inc.
Our clients, CEO’s, Facility Managers and Investors are Building projects in the Industrial Fabrication, Corporate office and Real Estate Development Project Sectors. They find value in early Budgets, Planning approval assistance and Design that improves Branding and Employee increased productivity.
Eliseo “Lee”: DiPrinzio, RA, PP
Anchor Point Architecture, Inc.
Audubon, NJ – Princeton – Philadelphia
With the fall season in full swing, it’s time to start preparing commercial HVAC systems for winter, well before Ol’ Man Winter comes to town. Hutchinson, a leading energy services and mechanical services contractor serving the region’s commercial customers, offers tips to help add life to your systems, enhance comfort and improve your bottom line.
Five Tips for Preparing Commercial HVAC Systems for Winter
1. Use Energy Star Portfolio Manager
Use Energy Star Portfolio Manager to see how your building rates with other similar buildings. If you rate low, there are many things you can do to improve the operation of your building.
2. Check HVAC settings
Check HVAC settings to get maximum efficiency. Set your thermostat at 68°during the day and at 60° at night. You can save approximately 3% on heating costs for every degree under 70.
3. Install a programmable thermostat.
A web and cloud based control system offers peace of mind by keeping settings maintained during and after office hours.
4. Establish a preventive maintenance program.
• Change or clean all air filters, preferably every month.
• Repair leaks in piping, air duct s, coils, fittings and at the unit(s).
• Replace defective equipment insulation, ducting and piping.
• Install/upgrade HVAC controls to include new energy management systems technologies.
5. Clean Heating Ducts
Heating ducts should be cleaned periodically to allow efficient heating and provide fresh, clean air. Also check to make sure the ducts are properly insulated.
6. Take Advantage of Energy Efficiency Programs
Hutchinson is a designated contractor of Direct Install, a program offered by New Jersey Office of Clean Energy. Upgrade to energy efficiency with Direct Install and 70% of the cost will be covered for energy upgrades, including lighting and HVAC equipment. Instead of pumping money into your outdated, inefficient units, why not upgrade to a new, state-of the-art energyefficient system?
7. Conduct daytime/nighttime audits.
Check to see if the lights are on. Is the building comfortable? Make adjustments as needed.
Contact Hutchinson at 888-777-4501 or firstname.lastname@example.org for help preparing commercial HVAC systems for winter
Hutchinson is a leading energy/mechanical service contractor performing energy services, mechanical construction and retrofit installation work in the Greater Philadelphia Tri-State Region. Hutchinson’s
technicians are factory trained, NATE certified and are on-call 24/7 365 days a year. Visit www.hutchbiz.com for more information.
When a commercial tenant files for bankruptcy is not often a surprise to its landlord. Rent payments may arrive late, financial covenants may be missed, and the tenant may become generally unresponsive in the pre-bankruptcy period.
While the provisions of the bankruptcy code governing the treatment of leases are among the more complex in the code, this article provides guidance to landlords in navigating a commercial tenant’s bankruptcy and maximizing recovery on its claims.
Beware of the Automatic Stay when a commercial tenant files for bankruptcy
Upon learning a tenant files for bankruptcy , the landlord must abide the automatic stay. The automatic stay restrains actions to collect on a claim against the tenant, including enforcement of a judgment, creation of a lien, or otherwise attempting to recover any of the tenant’s property. The landlord may not, therefore, send a default letter or prosecute an eviction action. While limited exceptions to this general rule exist, a landlord should consult with counsel before taking any post-bankruptcy legal action against its commercial tenant. In some cases, the court may impose sanctions for willful violations of the automatic stay.
Monitor the case and gather pertinent documents when a commercial tenant files for bankruptcy
Carefully monitor a tenant’s bankruptcy case from the outset by reviewing all pleadings sent in connection with the case. Often, motions filed in the first days of a bankruptcy case set critical deadlines and tee-up for court approval mechanisms for funding the debtor through bankruptcy, including authority for the debtor’s use of assets (assets that may be subject to a landlord lien) during the course of the case. Pay special attention to the deadlines for filing proofs of claim and for filing proofs of rejection damages, each of which require affirmative landlord action to recover unpaid sums under the lease. Closely review any budgets filed by the tenant to confirm that the budget includes post-petition rent payments in the correct amounts. Consider retaining counsel to appear in the case, which will ensure that you receive prompt notice of events in the case and relevant deadlines.
Gather all documentation pertinent to the bankrupt tenant in order to readily assert claims in the bankruptcy case, including to support a motion for relief from the automatic stay if it becomes necessary. Ensure you have copies of the following:
• A fully executed copy of the lease, any amendments and guaranties
• Records of rent payments, both before and after the bankruptcy filing
• Records of maintenance obligations and payments
• Default correspondence
• Any property searches obtained showing liens created by the tenant
Disposition of the lease and payment of rent and other sums when a commercial tenant files for bankruptcy
Whether or not a commercial landlord desires to continue its business relationship with the bankrupt tenant, the bankruptcy code allows the debtor to exercise its business judgment to determine whether to assume (retain) or reject (terminate) an unexpired nonresidential lease.
If the tenant assumes the lease, it must make the landlord whole for any unpaid rent and any pecuniary losses stemming from the defaults under the lease. The tenant must also provide to the landlord “adequate assurance” of its future performance under the lease. With respect to shopping center leases, the bankrupt tenant must meet a higher standard than other tenants in order to assume the lease. The shopping center tenant must show: (a) that the debtor, as reorganized, or its assignee, will have at least the same ability to pay the rent as the initial lessee; (b) that any “percentage rent” will not substantially decline; (c) that the assumption of the lease will be subject to the all of the provisions of the lease, including provisions relating to radius, location and/or exclusivity; and (d) that the assumption thereof will not breach the provisions of any other lease, financing agreement or master agreement relating to the shopping center, nor disrupt the tenant mix in the shopping center.
If the tenant rejects the lease, it must return possession of the property to the landlord. Unlike the landlord to an assumed lease who is made whole upon assumption, the landlord to a rejected lease retains only: (a) an unsecured claim for unpaid pre-petition rent or other amounts; (b) an administrative (dollar-for-dollar) claim for unpaid post-petition rent; and (c) a rejection damages claim (unsecured) for future rent that would have been due but for the rejection. While the landlord is entitled to rejection damages, such damages are capped. Rejection damages are capped at the greater of one (1) year of rent or the rent for fifteen percent (15%), not to exceed three (3) years, of the remaining term of the lease. Rejection damages may be cut-off entirely if the landlord is able to re-lease the space for rent that will cover the claim.
Regardless of whether the tenant assumes or rejects the lease, tenants must pay post-petition rent. The bankruptcy code requires a tenant to comply with its obligations under a lease during the pendency of the case. If the tenant fails to comply with the lease terms, the landlord may have grounds for relief from the automatic stay to pursue eviction. Whether cause exists to grant relief from the automatic stay will depend on the particular circumstances of each case. For example, if the post-petition rent is not being paid, if insurance coverage does not remain in force or the property is in danger, a bankruptcy court may find cause for relief from the stay. On the other hand, if the tenant cannot continue its business without operating in the leased premises, a court may consider the property necessary for the tenant’s reorganization and be less likely to grant relief from the automatic stay. Experienced bankruptcy counsel can help assess the merits of any stay relief motion and should be consulted if the tenant fails to uphold any of its post-petition obligations under the lease.
PRE-BANKRUPTCY PLANNING: Hedging your risks when a commercial tenant files for bankruptcy
Landlords can hedge risks when a tenant files for bankruptcy by obtaining additional security to secure the lease,
which will maximize potential recovery in the event of a tenant bankruptcy.
Consider requiring a significant security deposit, including in the form of a letter of credit. Security deposits make a landlord a secured creditor to the extent of the deposit. In some cases, landlords can offset rent payments with a security deposit, which can enhance recovery to the landlord if the tenant ultimately rejects the lease.
Obtaining a third-party guaranty (from an individual or affiliate entity) of the tenant’s obligations under the lease affords a landlord with non-bankruptcy collection opportunities. In most cases, guarantors, unlike debtors, can be pursued for the full amount of the debt owing without respect to the cap on rejection damages that applies to a debtor.
In short, strong lease drafting coupled with vigilant enforcement of the landlord’s rights in and out of the bankruptcy court can make a significant difference in timely maximizing recovery from a defaulted tenant. The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and none of these materials is offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice or a legal opinion based on any specific facts or circumstances.
For More Information on what to do when a commercial tenant files for bankruptcy:
Julie M. Murphy, Esquire
Hyland Levin LLP
6000 Sagemore Drive, Suite 6301
Marlton, NJ 08053-3900
Let’s explore using drones in commercial real estate applications. Drones have been around since the early 1900s when they were known as radio-controlled airplanes and during WWII were used for aerial photography. Through the years, that definition has changed numerous times, but make no mistake, today’s drones are no comparison to those early models. Technologically speaking, the correct terminology is Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs. UAVs fall into two categories—commercial and recreational. With the increased development of affordable technology and availability—hobbyists have gone into a frenzy for sport and entertainment drones. However, when referring to commercial grade UAVs you’re looking at an entirely different animal and there are a lot of things to take into consideration before launching a geospatial eye in the sky. For starters, commercial UAVs must adhere to strict Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines and restrictions. They also need certified FAA Part 107 licensed pilots, trained ground crew, and an insurance policy in order to operate them.
Using Professional Drones for Commercial Real Estate
Professional UAVs (drones) combined with a certified flight team to operate it is referred to as an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Commercial UAS has a multitude of functions depending upon what your use for them is. When outfitted with a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey unit, a UAS can collect highly accurate 3D survey data for large land parcels, including mapping for transportation planning, traffic monitoring and assessments, utility mapping and asset identification and inventory, in hours rather than through conventional ground methods that could take days.
Some larger tasks, such as surveying and mapping large acreages or roadways may be performed in a few hours/days’ time as opposed to using only conventional boots on-the-ground work flow processes that, when used alone, uses more staff and could turn into weeks. The secret to large parcel survey is that the UAS can be set to scan a predetermined flight path and fly autonomously. Because the UAS is operated from a remote station on the ground, this method takes people out of the equation, hence, out of harm’s way. Safety is always
a benefit, and when it takes less time it costs less money.
LiDAR is so versatile it can integrate highly accurate survey data collected from multiple sources on the ground (static), from a vehicle (mobile) and from the air (UAV) to produce a unified and measurable client deliverable.
Using Drones for Site Survey
An example of why this is advantageous would be if you bought a large property with an existing building on it with intent to completely redevelop the parcel that included renovating and updating the building. The first thing you’d likely do is have topographic and boundary surveys performed. While static survey can be performed from the ground, UAS can be used to map existing assets, and collect measurement data from the building top and exterior. When using cameras and videos, hi-rise inspections can be made to pinpoint areas in need of attention so the overall condition of the building can be assessed, enabling stakeholders to make timely decisions. Since operating UAS remotely from the ground, it eliminates the need to employ someone to physically navigate scaffolding or ladders which again equates to better safety.
As for the existing building, while you may be able to put a time stamp on the year it was built, getting your hands on the original drawings, or the often elusive or non-existent as-built drawings, may be much more difficult or impossible to obtain. Using a combination of UAS and LiDAR can help you quickly and accurately reproduce the existing building interior and exterior layouts and condition. It is also an asset in adaptive reuse projects, for example in helping to match floor and ceiling heights between old and new structures. Another example is in historical building restorations as laser scanning can be performed to replicate significant missing pieces of a building’s exterior.
UAS can continue to be employed throughout the entire construction process for help in determining site drainage and earthmoving requirements, volumetrics (stockpile measurement), material and quantity monitoring, provide reports through site surveillance and monitoring of the overall construction progress.
Using Drones for Site Investigation
UAS can also be used for initial site investigation. Due to its relatively small size and increased maneuverability,
a UAS can easily access places that conventional airplanes and helicopters cannot. One of the biggest advantages of using UAS as opposed to former means of aerial photography, is that UAS is static in the sky.
When outfitted with a high resolution scanner, a UAS can hover-in-place to provide measurement or video inspection exploring places that may otherwise be limited or hazardous for field crews to access like between high tension wires, telecom towers, windmill tower blades or building tops. Pretty much, UAS is a tool to get a sensor, camera or LiDAR in the right location. For environmental sites, when fitted with various sensors, a UAS
can provide data that detects light, energy, heat, toxins—even vegetation health. UAS can be sent ahead of the investigative team into a variety of settings, such as a mine, with sensors that detect toxic leaks that can protect
the team. Today’s UAV (drones) technology has so many potential uses that if a sensor for detecting something hasn’t been released to the public yet, it is probably already in development.
Using Drones for Site Monitoring
UAS is fast becoming an additional service offered by construction equipment providers that rent heavy machinery such as lifts, bulldozers, and scaffolding for large construction projects. Having a UAS can also help to safely monitor and assess situational conditions caused by the environment including flooding, sink holes, landslides, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes that may affect your properties.
But the question remains; is it cost effective and the best use of technology to invest in my own UAS? That answer is up to the individual. Either way, it is important to reach out to a professional UAS service provider who
can steer you in the right direction as to developing your own in-house service or who can perform these tasks for you.
Using a mix of conventional ground survey and geospatial methods is still appropriate, promotes safety, saves time and is cost effective translating into a better bottom line for your project. Integrating a professional grade UAS into your work flow process can be an extremely versatile tool in assisting commercial developers.
Technology is creating a whole new era in how we do business and it’s not likely to stop here!
Rhett N. Chiliberti, P.E.
Geographic Discipline Leader
Maser Consulting P.A.
1500 JFk Blvd – Suite 222
Philadelphia, PA 19102
P: 215.861.9021 ext: 5101
Let’s explore insurance coverages for green buildings. So, you’ve decided to go green by buying or renting a LEED-certified building for your business. In addition to a reputational boost for taking strides to help the environment, you will likely also be saving on heating and electricity costs. The next step is to look at your insurance policies and make sure your investment is protected, and that you are covered for the perils associated with green properties and buildings.
Because going green is a still a relatively new phenomenon, your commercial general liability (CGL) policy probably does not specifically address these risks or indicate whether or not they are covered. It is always best to take a close look at your policy to determine if your plans to go green cause any changes. Learn about additional coverage options for green buyers or renters here.
Upgrading to green buildings
Maybe you want to go green but are not ready or able to fully convert yet. One option that is becoming more common is green upgrade property coverages. These policy additions would allow you to upgrade to a green-certified level in the event of a physical property loss. Update-to-green coverage benefits you because your building has the potential to be even more efficient after a loss, and it puts you at a lower risk of filing construction defect claims in the future because of the rigorous and careful LEED certification process.
Breach of Warrantee/Breach of Contract for Green Buildings
Though a typical CGL policy will cover you for bodily injury, property damage liability and personal injury, breach of warranty and breach of contract are generally excluded. However, when you are a tenant in or an owner of a green-certified building, these are two or the most important kinds of coverages to have. One of the most common claims against property owners or managers is that after construction or years down the road, the green building is not living up to promised standards. The building may not qualify for the LEED certification level promised, or savings on energy may not be as high as marketing and advertising materials guaranteed. You will need additional coverage beyond your CGL policy to protect yourself in this case.
Similarly, problems with tax credits and incentives will require breach of warrantee or breach of contract coverage. If a developer or owner tells you, the prospective buyer or tenant, that they will be able to get a certain number of carbon credits and later cannot deliver, you will need proper coverage to retain the promised return on investment. The amount of necessary coverage will depend on how energy efficient the building is or strives to be.
Coverage for Non-Performance Investigations of green buildings
If a problem ever arises with your green buildings, you will need to find out who is at fault—the design professional, developer, owner or contractor. Doing so will require extensive testing of the building and its systems to figure out why it is performing under the promised standard. As CGL policies are crafted now, the cost of this investigation may not be covered. CGL policies usually require an occurrence or event—a specific incident where damages happened—to respond. In most green buildings cases, there is no damage to the structure, it just does not perform as efficiently or effectively as the contract specifies.
Therefore, you should consider adding extra protection to your policy that would pay for the cost of finding the at-fault party, which can get extremely expensive if it requires looking into design and construction elements.
New coverages emerging for green buildings
Green buildings are still making their way into the insurance world. There are still grey areas, and insurers are debating whether green buildings add extra perils or reduce risks overall. Some carriers are even beginning to offer discounts for those businesses who decide to become more environmentally responsible. When in doubt about what aspects of your investment in green buildings are covered, turn to Hardenbergh Insurance Group for guidance. Call (856) 489-9100 today to make us part of your initiative to go green.
Brian Blaston, Partner
Hardenbergh Insurance Group
phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
WCRE is pleased to announce it has joined CORFAC International, a network of independently-owned, entrepreneurial commercial real estate firms with 78 collaborative offices worldwide. Under the new arrangement, the five-year-old local firm will rebrand as WCRE/CORFAC International.
Though it bears a new name, the firm remains a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties. It provides a complete range of real estate services to commercial landlords, tenants, investors, developers, banks, commercial loan servicers and companies.
“Our alliance with CORFAC International provides a global network of resources and knowledge that will greatly benefit our clients,” said Jason Wolf, Managing Principal of WCRE. “We’ll be able to add those resources to our tradition of individualized service and cutting-edge marketing techniques.”
Wolf founded WCRE in early 2012 after 17 years of steady growth and success at a top national commercial real estate firm. Driven by a visionary team with a wide variety of expertise, WCRE quickly took its place among the market leaders.
“We’re happy to add WCRE to the CORFAC family,” said Ray Lyons, CORFAC International president and broker with Thomas L. Johnson Realty/CORFAC International in Toronto. “Their insights and expertise in the Philadelphia region will bring even stronger service to all of our clients.”
Founded in 1989, CORFAC International’s member firms provide a full range of brokerage services across the globe. “It is an honor to have Wolf Commercial Real Estate join the CORFAC family as our newest member firm,” said Jonathan Salk, Executive Director of CORFAC International.
“WCRE is well recognized and respected as the top independent commercial real estate company in the Philadelphia and South Jersey region. Their strong full-service team with years of experience locally, regionally and nationally will be a fantastic addition to our CORFAC network,” Salk added.
“CORFAC is an excellent fit for our regional and national practices in office, retail, healthcare, and industrial properties,” said Anthony Mannino, vice president for corporate strategies at 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 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.
About CORFAC International
Established in 1989, CORFAC International (CORFAC) is comprised of privately held entrepreneurial firms with expertise in office, industrial and retail brokerage, tenant and landlord representation, investment sales, multifamily, self-storage, acquisitions and dispositions, property management and corporate services. Founded in 1989, CORFAC has 48 firms in the U.S., four in Canada and 26 in international markets, including Colombia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. CORFAC firms completed more than 11,000 lease and sales transactions totaling 550 million square feet of space valued in excess of $8.5 billion in 2015. Learn more at www.corfac.com or on Twitter at @CORFACIntl.
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