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Commercial Properties: Who owns the fixtures at lease expiration?

fixtures and trade fixturesLet’s explore fixtures, trade fixtures and who owns what at lease expiration. In order to facilitate a smooth transition between commercial tenants, it is important for landlords to understand their rights regarding items attached to their property. Generally, a lease will govern these rights. However, if the lease is silent on the issue, articles annexed to the property deemed “fixtures” must stay with the property, while articles deemed “trade fixtures” may be removed by a vacating tenant.

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In New Jersey, a fixture is an object that “become[s] so related to particular real estate that an interest… arises under real estate law.” N.J.S.A. 12A:2A-309(1)(a). In contrast, an article may be considered to be a trade fixture if: (1) the article is annexed to the property for the purpose of aiding in the conduct of a trade or business exercised on the premises; and (2) the article is capable of removal from the premises without material injury thereto. Handler v. Horns, 2 N.J. 18, 24-25 (1949). As such, an important distinction between fixtures and trade fixtures is whether removal of the item will cause material injury to the premises. See e.g. GMC v. City of Linden, 150 N.J. 522, 534 (1997). In applying this test, courts infer that if removal of an article would cause material injury to the premises, the parties must have intended for the article to remain beyond the lease term. Id.

A typical conflict involving this nuanced distinction may involve a vacating tenant removing an item from the leased premises under the assumption that it was (1) attached to the premises for the purpose of conducting a trade or business; and (2) capable of removal without material injury to the premises. A landlord may dispute one or more of these assumptions, arguing that the article was not used in the conduct of business (that it was in fact attached to improve the structure) or is not capable of removal without material injury to the premises. Over the years, vacating tenants have attempted to remove countless items from leased premises, including air conditioning systems, irrigation systems, bolted down light fixtures and even circuit breaker panels, by arguing these items were trade fixtures. See e.g. In re Jackson Tanker Corp., 69 B.R. 850 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 1987).

However, it isn’t difficult to imagine a hypothetical where the traditional landlord and tenant arguments are reversed – that is, where the tenant argues that the article must remain with the property and the landlord argues that the tenant is responsible for its removal. This unusual fact pattern may especially arise where the tenant’s business is specialized in nature, and where equipment is not easily removed from the premises.

For example, Landlord rents out space to Tenant, who plans on operating a restaurant. The lease does not specifically address what does and does not constitute a trade fixture. Tenant plans on installing a walk in freezer and other specialized, complex systems. After several years of operating, Tenant declines to renew the lease, closes, and vacates the premises. Tenant removes the furniture, appliances not fixed to the premises and other items it deems to be trade fixtures and leaves the walk-in freezer infrastructure.

Tenant refuses to remove the walk-in freezer, arguing its removal will cause substantial damage to the premises. Unable to re-let the premises to a restaurant tenant, Landlord is left with a walk-in freezer occupying a substantial portion of the premises.

It is important that during the lease negotiation, landlords think carefully about the business their prospective tenant is in, the kinds of equipment the tenant will install and what will happen to that equipment upon termination of the lease. This same thought process applies when landlords receive requests for alterations. In the above hypothetical, Landlord could have avoided being left with a walk-in freezer and a less than desirable space if it addressed the issue during negotiation of the lease. A discussion with prospective tenants concerning the specific kinds equipment the tenant will install is always a good idea, followed by specifications and drawings for approval. Landlords are wise to reduce these conversations to writing, and specifically address each party’s expectations regarding the disposition of specific equipment when the lease inevitably comes to an end. As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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.


William F. Hanna, Esquire

Hyland Levin LLP
6000 Sagemore Drive, Suite 6301
Marlton, NJ 08053-3900
(p) 856.355.2900
(f) 856.355.2901
www.hylandlevin.com

 

WCRE Third Quarter Report: Fundamentals Remain Strong

SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY CRE MARKETS PERFORMING STEADILY

October 6, 2017 – Marlton, NJ – Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its latest quarterly analysis that the Southern New Jersey market is in good shape, but remains in somewhat of a holding pattern.

“For most of 2017 we have seen an overall positive tone and conditions that usually indicate a period of strength,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “The national economy has been adding jobs, the financial markets are on a hot streak, and our market continues to attract outside investors – yet increased activity and enthusiasm are tempered by trouble in the retail sector and uncertainty related to current events.”

There were approximately 421,113 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which represents an increase of approximately 6.6 percent compared with the previous quarter, and a 15 percent increase over the same period last year. While leasing showed moderate gains, the sales market was quite active during the third quarter, with more than 1.76 million square feet worth more than $105 million of completed sales transactions trading hands.

New leasing activity accounted for approximately 43.3 percent of all deals. Overall, net absorption for the quarter was in the range of approximately 91,600 square feet.

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Other office market highlights from the report:

  • Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 9.75 percent, which is a solid improvement over 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 maintained its dramatic improvement, standing at 10.8 percent for the quarter, down from 13.3 percent at the beginning of the year.

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:

  • 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.
  • Philadelphia’s office market continues to gain strength across the board, with far lower vacancy rates than regional and national averages for both Class A and Class B properties in the Central Business District and the suburbs. We see increasing employment and new construction, both of which bode well for continued strength.
  • The Philadelphia retail sector is the one area that is not performing well. It has been affected by the same challenges facing retail businesses everywhere. Namely, the massive shift to online retailing and away from brick-and-mortar. 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.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia retail market, noting slight declines in consumer confidence and related metrics as the third quarter wound down. Overall retail sales were 3.2 percent higher this year compared to 2016, and were likely impacted by the major hurricanes affecting Texas and Florida in late August and early September. Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

  • Retail vacancy in Camden County stood at 9.5 percent, with average rents in the range of $12.47/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Burlington County stood at 10.7 percent, with average rents in the range of $13.38/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Gloucester County stood at 7.9 percent, with average rents in the range of $14.10/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 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.

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WCRE facilitates sale of former Friends Academy of Westampton

Friends Academy of WestamptonWolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is pleased to announce the successful sale of the former Friends Academy of Westampton (FAW) located at 315 Bridge Street in Westampton, New Jersey to The Benjamin Banneker Preparatory Charter School.

315 West Bridge Street consists of more than 28,000 square feet in four buildings on an 11-acre site. The former school complex has a campus-like atmosphere with classrooms, offices, and full-sized basketball courts, in addition to conference space and a library. The complex was initially constructed in 2004, and has ample room for expansion.

The successful sale of this property adds to WCRE’s growing number of partnerships with institutional and healthcare clients in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

David Jones, Board Member and Clerk for Friends Academy of Westampton said, “We were searching for experienced commercial real estate firms who were knowledgeable about local demographics and school properties.  WCRE stood out because of their extensive experience working with schools and a breadth of knowledge of the local real estate market.  WCRE also understood our values and showed sensitivity concerning our position and desires. We appreciated the opportunity to work with an organization whose values align so closely with ours and how dedicated and tenacious WCRE was to help us find the right buyer.”

WCRE’s Chris Henderson, Vice President said, “WCRE was proud to partner with Friends Academy of Westampton as our latest institutional relationship in the Southern New Jersey region. We were fortunate to have a partner that allowed us the opportunity to apply our WCRE 360 marketing approach to find the right institutional user for this highly-desirable property.”

WCRE’s team of Chris Henderson, Vice President and Jason Wolf, Managing Principal worked closely with Friends Academy of Westampton Executive Committee on this property initiative.

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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 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.

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WCRE Appointed Exclusive Agent for Lions Gate Land Site in Voorhees

lions gate

Lions Gate, Voorhees, NJ

Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is pleased to announce that it has been retained by SJF CCRC, Inc., trading as Lions Gate, an affiliate of Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, as exclusive agent for the future development of 801 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Voorhees, NJ. The assignment includes exclusive listing and advisory duties for the site, which is adjacent to the Lions Gate Continuing Care Retirement Community, and is currently home to Golf Land.

The development parcel is located directly across from both Eagle Plaza and The Ritz retail centers and within walking distance of the newly constructed Patient First Urgent Care. The triangle shaped +/-12.348 Acre parcel sits on heavily trafficked Haddonfield-Berlin Road and includes more than 1,000 feet of frontage. This site benefits from superior demographics, prominent visibility, and ease of access via a traffic light and turning lanes from either direction.

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Lions Gate is considering all options, including a ground lease or a joint venture with a developer. “For us, this is about community. We will work to ensure that the entity that lands on this site will be a great addition to the neighborhood and a partner to Lions Gate,” said Jason Wolf, founding principal of WCRE.

This assignment adds to WCRE’s growing number of partnerships with institutional and healthcare clients in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. It is the firm’s second engagement with the Jewish Federation, having facilitated its 2014 purchase of the building now known as the Annex, a 21,325 square-foot school building situated on 18+/- acres on Springdale Road in Cherry Hill.

“We look forward to working with an organization whose values align so closely with ours,” said Susan Love, CEO of Lions Gate.

WCRE’s Anthony Mannino, Esq., Vice President of Corporate Strategies said, “WCRE is proud to partner with Lions Gate as our latest institutional relationship in Southern New Jersey. We look forward to applying our WCRE 360 marketing approach to find the right user for this highly-desirable property.”

WCRE’s institutional specialist team of Chris Henderson, Anthony Mannino, John Mozzillo and Jason Wolf will be working closely together with Lions Gate on this property initiative.

A marketing brochure is available upon request.

Learn more about Wolf Commercial Real Estate at www.wolfcre.com and Lions Gate at www.lionsgateccrc.org.

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 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.

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WCRE Honored With 2016 CoStar Power Broker Award

WCRE, a local South Jersey commercial real estate firm was selected by commercial real estate’s largest research organization (CoStar) as one of the top leasing and sales firms in the market. 

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Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) has been 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 in 2016 within their respective markets.

With the largest independently researched database of commercial real estate property information available online, CoStar can easily identify the top firms and brokers in each market throughout the U.S. and Canada. All awards are based on transaction data maintained in CoStar’s commercial real estate database.

WCRE qualified as one of the top commercial brokerage firms in the Philadelphia region based on total leasing transactions closed during the year. In order to be selected for this honor, WCRE’s overall transaction volumes were evaluated by CoStar against other commercial real estate brokerage firms active in its region, and subsequently ranked among the top firms in the market.

“We are thrilled to have earned this recognition from CoStar for a fourth consecutive year. I am grateful to our entire team and to all our clients and associates. Congratulations to all the winners,” said Jason Wolf, managing principal of WCRE, who was separately honored as a Top Office Leasing Broker.

“With such an active year in commercial real estate, CoStar is proud to honor the individual brokers and firms who perform at the industry’s highest level,” said CoStar Group founder and CEO Andrew C. Florance. “These industry leaders deserve to be recognized for their expertise, hard work and superior deal-making abilities. We extend our congratulations to this year’s winners on their exceptional sales and leasing success.”

The complete list of 2016 CoStar Power Broker Awards winners can be found at CoStarPowerBrokers.com.

About CoStar Group

CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP) is the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces. Founded in 1987, CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information. Our suite of online services enables clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. LoopNet is the most heavily trafficked commercial real estate marketplace online with more than 10 million registered members. Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ApartmentHomeLiving.com, and Westside Rentals form the premier online apartment resource for renters seeking great apartment homes and provide property managers and owners a proven platform for marketing their properties. Through an exclusive partnership with Move, a subsidiary of News Corporation, Apartments.com is the exclusive provider of apartment community listings across Move’s family of websites, which include realtor.com®, doorsteps.com and move.com.  CoStar Group’s websites attracted an average of nearly 24 million unique monthly visitors in aggregate in 2016. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CoStar maintains offices throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Canada with a staff of over 3,000 worldwide, including the industry’s largest professional research organization. For more information, visit www.costargroup.com. 

About WCRE

Wolf Commercial Real Estate 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.

Kaiserman Company Appoints WCRE as Exclusive Agent

KAISERMAN COMPANY APPOINTS WCRE AS EXCLUSIVE AGENT FOR 237,000 SQUARE FOOT SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY RETAIL & OFFICE PORTFOLIO

Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is pleased to announce that it has been appointed exclusive agent by Kaiserman Company, Inc. for their Southern New Jersey office and retail holdings comprising approximately 237,000 square feet. The leasing team of Jason Wolf and Leor Hemo will be overseeing the project for Kaiserman.

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Kaiserman has been acquiring, developing, and managing real estate for more than 90 years. The privately-owned company believes in holding properties for the long term. It is headquartered in Center City, Philadelphia, and currently owns and manages more than 2.5 million square feet of premier office, commercial, and residential properties in the Delaware Valley.

“The Kaiserman Company has a nearly century-long legacy of excellence in property ownership and management in this region, and WCRE is excited to have the opportunity to represent their Southern New Jersey holdings,” said Jason Wolf, founding principal of WCRE.

Property Highlights

Kevon Office Center, Pennsauken, New Jersey

kaisermanThis well located 100,000 square-foot, four-story office building, located at 2500 McClellan Boulevard in Pennsauken NJ, has suites available from 1,596-7,632 rentable square feet.

“This property is in an excellent location, five minutes from Philadelphia via the Ben Franklin Bridge, and just a short walk away from Cooper River Park,” said Leor Hemo, executive vice president, WCRE. “It is situated near a wide array of shopping centers, restaurants, convenience stores, and service establishments, providing for an ideal office environment.” The property sits immediately off Route 70, providing convenient access to Routes 38, 70 & I-295.

Kevon Office Center is an Energy Star-certified building that offers a beautiful grand entrance, a three-story sunlit glass atrium lobby area, employee picnic area, and a beautifully landscaped exterior. This well-managed building also provides on-site maintenance personnel, an on-site café and newly renovated common areas.

The asking lease price is $17.50/sf Full Service. A marketing brochure is available upon request.

Barclay Farm Shopping Center, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

kaiserman2The Barclay Farm Shopping Center is an 83,000 square foot retail property conveniently located on the well-traveled Route 70 in affluent Cherry Hill, New Jersey, close to Kings Highway, I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike.

A limited number of retail units are currently available in this attractive complex. Current tenants include a wide range of national and locally owned retail, service, and food establishments, including Manhattan Bagel, The UPS Store, M&T Bank, The Cherry Grill, Asian Food Markets, and Jacobs Music Company.

This highly visible retail location also offers pad sites available fronting along Route 70, a large parking lot, wide sidewalks, highly visible signage, and is within close proximity to many high-traffic retailers. Additionally, the façade and lighting are scheduled to be updated in 2017.

The asking lease price is $16.00/sf NNN. A marketing brochure is available upon request.

Barclay Pavilion, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

kaiserman3The Barclay Pavilion is a 54,000 square foot mid-rise office building offering office units of various sizes for lease. This well-located property is ideal for professionals and health care providers. The office space available for lease is wrapped around a tranquil center courtyard. The Pavilion is conveniently located adjacent to the restaurants and shops of the Barclay Farm Shopping Center. The Pavilion, supported by ample parking, is conveniently located on well-traveled Route 70 in affluent Cherry Hill, New Jersey close to Kings Highway, I-295 and the New Jersey Turnpike. A 10,000-plus square foot pad site is also available for build-to-suit leasing.

The asking lease price is $14.50/sf full service. A marketing brochure is available upon request.

About Kaiserman Company

Kaiserman Company is a full-service commercial real estate company that owns and operates a wide range of property types. Kaiserman Company strives to own, operate and manage the most carbon-responsible properties possible, yielding the greatest value for owners, tenants, and investors, while maintaining safe, comfortable, and innovative places to live and work. Kaiserman aims to provide best-in-class service, attract a skilled and ambitious workforce, and serve as a model for green operations, positive tenant relations, and efficient management. Learn more about Kaiserman Company at www.kaiserman.com

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.cherryhillretailspace.com, www.cherryhillofficespace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com.

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New Jersey Outlook for Commercial Solar in 2017

nj-commercial-solarAs we look towards 2017 in New Jersey, we are confident that commercial solar will continue to generate strong returns for landlords. In New Jersey, over 5,000 commercial properties have already adopted solar energy. Many more commercial property owners have considered solar energy. In addition, solar can help to differentiate a property and retain or attract tenants.

Reasons to be Optimistic about NJ Commercial Solar

1. Costs are Down
2. 30% ITC was Extended
3. Depreciation (Bonus MACRS) was Extended
4. SREC is Stable
5. Safety is Improved

1) COSTS
Solar panel costs have declined 30% – in just the last 12 months. As the global solar manufacturing industry grows, manufacturing improvements and scale efficiencies continue to drive down the cost of a solar panel. If you received a quote for a commercial solar installation more than 6 months ago, it might be time to refresh that quote.

2) 30% ITC
The ITC or Investment Tax Credit is a 30% tax credit on the cost of a commercial solar project. So, if a solar project costs $1 million, then you are entitled to a tax credit of $300,000. This credit is not a deduction, but is a full credit against tax liability due to the IRS. The 30% ITC was extended by Congress in December 2015 and now extends through December 31, 2019.

3) DEPRECIATION (BONUS MACRS)
In addition to the 30% ITC, the IRS allows an accelerated depreciation schedule for solar – almost 70% of the project cost can be deducted in the first two years. Solar projects completed in 2017 still qualify for this 50% bonus. This benefit was extended by Congress in 2015 and greatly enhances the tax advantages from a solar installation.

4) SREC
The SREC is another source of income from a commercial solar project. The value of the NJ SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) continues to support strong returns on investment (ROI). There are many strategies to secure stable SREC pricing for the long-term. Your solar developer/installer should establish the optimal SREC strategy for your project before starting construction.

5) SAFETY
New technologies allow for much safer commercial solar installations. Solar panels can now be monitored and shut down individually. This allows solar companies to de-energize the panels when personnel operate on the roof. In addition, monitoring each individual panel maximizes output and increases income generated. This safety configuration will become more common in 2017 and should be considered on every commercial installation. Again, if your commercial solar proposal is over 6 months old, it might be time to request a refreshed quote from an experienced solar installer that now includes these solar panel optimizers.

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ABOUT US
Keith Peltzman is president and founder of Independence Solar with offices in Cherry Hill, NJ and Boston, MA. Independence Solar is a turnkey installer of commercial solar energy. Since 2007, the team
has developed and built over $200 million of solar projects, including the largest rooftop solar array (9 MW) in North America at the Gloucester Marine Terminal in NJ. Independence Solar forges long-term partnerships to maximize returns on our customers’ commercial solar energy investments.

 

Keith Peltzman
President & Founder
1008 Astoria Boulevard
Suite E
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
856.393.1250

WCRE Represents 1835 Underwood in the Acquisition of 1835 Underwood Boulevard from Underwood Boulevard Associates

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Andrew Becker

Phone: 856.449.5220

Email: andrew.becker@wolfcre.com

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WCRE Represents 1835 Underwood in the Acquisition of 1835 Underwood Boulevard from Underwood Boulevard Associates

December 19, 2016 – Marlton, NJ – WCRE is pleased to have exclusively represented 1835 Underwood, LLC in the acquisition of 1835 Underwood Boulevard in Delran, New Jersey from Underwood Boulevard Associates, LLC (a related entity of Whitesell Construction Company, Inc).

1835 Underwood Boulevard is a +/-24,000 square foot flex building located in The Millside Business Park in Delran, New Jersey.

Positioned at Chester Avenue and Route 130 in Delran Township, the park is in the heart of Burlington County’s Route 130 commercial corridor and is only minutes from the Betsy Ross and Tacony-Palmyra bridges providing convenient access to Philadelphia.

Building on their successful relationship, the new ownership has retained WCRE to assist in the marketing and leasing of 16,000 square feet which is ideal for any user with the need of both warehouse and office space.

Chris Henderson, Senior Associate for WCRE exclusively represented the Buyer in this transaction.

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.

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WCRE SECOND QUARTER REPORT: SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY OFFICE LEASING TAKES A NOTICEABLE DIP, BUT INVESTMENT AND SALES REMAIN STRONG

Retailers Lose Ground to Online Stores while the Industrial market has stayed strong

DOWNLOAD Q2 2016 COMMENTARY PRESS RELEASE AS PDF

July 11, 2016 – Marlton, NJ –  Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its latest quarterly analysis that the slow-down in commercial leasing activity in Southern New Jersey that began late last year may have been the beginning of a trend. Office leasing totals were down significantly compared to the same period last year, and were lower than the already slower first quarter. Mixed with this bad news were positive signs in the continued high level of activity in the investment and sales market, and an uptick in leasing in Cherry Hill and Voorhees. Overall, caution and uncertainty seem to be guiding factors.

“Several unknowns began influencing the markets during the second quarter – from the possible impact of the Brexit vote to the coming U.S. presidential election,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “Businesses are trying to figure out how their plans may be impacted by the uncertainties, but we still believe the overall outlook is still strong.”

There were approximately 252,121 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which represents a drop of +/- 23 percent compared with the first quarter of the year. The quarter saw an increase in prospecting, with about 250,000 SF of lease deals in the pipeline and expected to close in the near term. Still, the trend of positive absorption continued – and improved over the previous quarter – making up approximately 206,000 square feet of total activity. Vacancy rates posted slight increases, but several large assets changed hands as owners repositioned and new investors entered our market.

Other office market highlights from the report:

  • Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 11.85%.
  • Average rents for Class A & B product continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$14.00/sf NNN or $20.00-$24.00/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. This is essentially unchanged from the previous two quarters.
  • All of the major private owners and REITS showed moderate leasing and prospect activity for the quarter – with Burlington County vacancies tightening up, many larger vacancy opportunities are also shifting towards Camden County, which is not controlled by these ownership entities.
  • New Jersey’s unemployment rate moved higher for the first time in more than a year, coming in at 4.9 percent. Like the national economic recovery, the New Jersey recovery appears to be experiencing a slight pause.

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 second quarter in Pennsylvania include:

  • Although not as pronounced as other “gateway markets”, the Philadelphia CBD office market is attracting attention from international institutional investors. Notable investments include the Korean Investment Fund’s acquisition of Cira Square at 2970 Market Street for $354 million from Brandywine Realty Trust  and 1700 Market Street from Shorenstein Properties for $195 million. Other transactions in progress are commanding all-time-low capitalization rates from some Middle East equity investors.
  • Beyond the CBD, the suburban market has been extremely active, including Saint Gobain’s Headquarters facility, which sold for $123 million at a sub-6% capitalization rate. Additionally, Liberty Property Trust announced a plan to redevelop in the City of Camden, which includes a master plan involving 1.75 million SF of office, parking garages, hotel, and apartments.
  • There has been a flurry of favorable retail activity in the regional market in 2016. Some major projects include PREIT’s sale of three core CBD retail properties to Post Brothers for $45 million at a sub-4% capitalization rate, RIOCan REIT’s announcement to sell 49 retail properties located throughout the Northeast, with many in the Philadelphia region, for $1.9 billion. In addition to these core assets, there is significant development of net leased properties, including Wawa/Sheetz/Royal Farms convenience stores, as well as a variety of other retailers. Finally, retail is filling in many of the ground floor spaces of multi-use properties and commanding some of the all-time highest rental rates seen thus far.
  • The industrial market is still experiencing strong activity, with increases in pricing and rental rates. One of the most significant transactions of the second quarter was the Target E-Commerce Distribution Center in York, PA, which fetched $60 million or $76/SF. While the appetite for core Class A assets continues to be strong, pricing for multi-tenanted flex assets is demonstrating great appeal and marketability.

WCRE also reported on the Southern New Jersey retail market, noting mixed results there, as well. Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

  • Overall retail sales and spending dropped during the second quarter, after an already underwhelming performance in the first quarter.
  • Retail vacancy in Camden County stood at 10.5 percent, with average rents in the range of $11.89/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Burlington County stood at 14.8 percent, with average rents in the range of $12.21/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Gloucester County stood at 6.4 percent, with average rents in the range of $12.00/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 ww.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com,  www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com.

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Solar Resurgence in New Jersey

This article explores the solar resurgence in New Jersey based on SREC prices and increased financing opportunities. Special thanks to Keith Peltzman, President of Independence Solar for writing this article for Wolf Commercial Real Estate.

SOLAR RESURGENCE IN NJ: SRECS & FINANCING

solar-resurgence-in-new-jerseyThe economic return for solar energy in NJ has experienced cycles of highs and lows. Currently, the NJ state incentive for solar (the SREC), is at a 4-year high – approaching almost $300. At this SREC value, the annual return on investment (ROI) for solar is 15 – 25%. In addition, sophisticated new financing structures allow for solar with no upfront cost that can generate $2 per square foot in incremental operating income. With high SREC values and financing, solar is experiencing a resurgence in NJ. If you own property or are a tenant, this would be the ideal time to review the numbers for solar energy at your property. There are now almost 50,000 solar installations in NJ and many of your neighbors are already reaping these financial benefits.

Top reasons for solar resurgence in New Jersey:

A) SREC Pricing
Due to an undersupply of solar projects in NJ in 2015, the SREC price has increased above $200 and has even recently approached $300. In addition, long-term SREC pricing can be secured via forward contracts for 3-10 years. This strategy removes long-term SREC pricing volatility from a solar investment and supports financing. This chart illustrates recent trends in NJ SREC pricing:

nj-srec-prices

B) Financing Structures
There are now multiple financing structures that allow for solar with no upfront investment. With financing in place, solar generates net positive operating income from day one. In many cases, solar would create $2 per square foot in incremental operating income after debt repayment. Some of these financing structures are outlined below. The most appropriate structure will be a function of your:

1) tax position and 2) balance sheet and credit. I would recommend consulting with an experienced commercial solar company and your tax advisor to determine which approach would make the most sense.

1. Line of Credit
• Leverage existing banking relationship
• 3-5% interest rate
• Minimal fees

2. Project-Specific Loan
• Create new solar-specific LLC
• No recourse back to company
• Tax benefits accrue
• Cash flows of solar project support debt payments
• 5-8% interest rate

3. Operating / Tax Lease
• If unable to monetize tax credits
• Lender absorbs tax benefits
• Borrow 100%, but repay only 60 – 70%

4. 3rd-Party Ownership (“PPA”)
•Investor owns solar on your property
•In return, receive rent or discounted price for electricity
•10-20 year contract to purchase solar electricity (“PPA”)

For more information on the solar resurgence in New Jersey, please contact:

keith-peltzmanKeith Peltzman President & Founder
1008 Astoria Boulevard
Suite E
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
856.393.1250

 

independence-solarAbout Independence Solar
Keith Peltzman is president and founder of Independence Solar with offices in Cherry Hill, NJ and Boston, MA. Independence Solar is a turnkey installer of commercial solar energy. Since 2007, the team has developed and built over $200 million of solar projects, including the largest rooftop solar array (9 MW) in North America at the Gloucester Marine Terminal in NJ. Independence Solar forges long-term partnerships to maximize returns on our customers’ solar energy investments. Keith Peltzman President & Founder 1008 Astoria Boulevard Suite E Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 856.393.1250

Philadelphia vs. Camden?

Philadelphia vs. Camden?

The battle for new business.

Philly vs Camden

Following the passage of the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act in 2013, a number of high-profile developments and corporate relocations in Camden have made front-page news. Attracted by public incentives, Subaru and the Philadelphia 76ers have announced moves to downtown Camden. Liberty Property Trust is also planning a nearly $1 billion multi-use development, with more than 1.7 million square feet of office, retail, and housing in two towers on the Camden waterfront.

As the regional business community gathered in recent months to assess the coming year, many questioned whether the explosive growth in Camden could hamper business attraction efforts or eclipse developments in Philadelphia. The consensus seems to be that, for the next few years, public incentives will make Camden an attractive alternative.

The 2013 New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act amended and consolidated economic incentive programs to encourage development for specified uses in designated areas of the state.   The two most prominent programs offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) are:

  • The Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ), which provides incentives to employers for job creation and retention; and
  • The Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) Program, which provides incentives to developers for qualified projects.

Both programs take the form of tax credits, and will be accepting applications through June 30, 2019.

Grow NJ offers credits of $500 to $5,000 per job created for projects in eligible locations which meet capital investment and job creation/retention benchmarks. The ERG program provides incentives to developers for up to 30-40% of an eligible project’s total development cost. Both programs have intricate requirements for defining eligible costs and calculating economic impact and job growth. In addition, both programs offer additional bonuses or lowered eligibility thresholds for projects with specified uses and/or located in designated geographic areas.

How does this compare to incentives offered in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania offers a mix of grants, low-cost loans, tax abatements, and tax credits, administered through many different agencies. Major projects tend to be awarded incentives on a more ad-hoc and project specific basis, making the pursuit of incentives a more intense process for developers. Traditionally available incentives such as the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) have experienced reduced growth over the last few years, while newly-enacted programs such as the Multi-Modal fund have made grants available for transportation-related projects.

New Jersey’s state incentives are largely streamlined under the NJEDA programs. Tax credits can be used over ten years and, unlike many Pennsylvania programs, are generally transferable. According to the NJEDA, statewide there are 160 active Grow NJ projects with awards totaling $3.1 billion, and 42 active ERG projects with awards totaling $819 million. Compared to available Pennsylvania incentives, New Jersey’s spending represents significant competition.

No one has suggested that Camden’s growth heralds a downturn in Philadelphia. Over the past decade, Philadelphia has experienced strong growth in the multi-family market, increased population in its downtown, and a higher retention of graduating students. The “meds and eds” sectors will continue to drive growth, and major projects are on the horizon in University City and Market East. However, until the Grow NJ and ERG programs close in 2019, generous incentives will make Camden a legitimate player in the ongoing effort to attract major businesses.

For more information about Philly or New Jersey office space, Philly or South Jersey retail space or other Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 or 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) Leor Hemo (leor.hemo@wolfcre.com) or Lee Fein (lee.fein@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm with expertise in Philly office space and Philly retail space.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate is a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker 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 and South Jersey commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philly and New Jersey office space or Philly and South Jersey retail space with the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial properties that best meets their needs.  As experts in Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our Philadelphia and South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for Philly or Camden office space or Philly or Camden retail 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.

For More Information Contact:

transfer-taxes
Anthony V. Mannino, Esq.

P: 215 799 6900

D: 215 799 6140

F: 856 283 3950

M: 215 470 6084

Realty Transfer Taxes: Understand the Costs and Plan Ahead

Transfer taxes are increasingly a major consideration when closing a real estate deal. As government budgets have become tighter over the years, the need for revenue has led to new transfer fees and legislation closing long-standing ‘loopholes” that allowed parties to legally avoid transfer taxes. The amount and type of tax owed varies widely based on the location of the property, its value, and the structure of the deal.

Transfer Taxes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

In Pennsylvania, the state Realty Transfer Tax is 1% of the sale consideration. Local realty transfer taxes bring the overall rate to anywhere from 2% (most counties) to 5% (transfers within the City of Reading). There are exemptions from the transfer tax; examples include certain intra-familial transactions, transactions involving religious organizations, and property passed under wills or intestate succession. Properties within Keystone Opportunity Zones are not exempt from the realty transfer tax.

In New Jersey, the tax is called a Realty Transfer Fee and rates are uniform statewide. There is one schedule of rates for properties less than $350,000 in value, and a different set of rates for properties greater than $350,000 in value. For properties under $350,000 in value, there may be partial exemptions for seniors, the blind or disabled, or low and moderate income housing.

New Jersey also imposes an additional 1% fee on any property transfer in excess of $1 million. Commonly called the “Mansion Tax,” this fee originally applied only to residential properties; it was expanded in 2006 to apply to the transfer of most commercial properties.

The ability to structure transactions to avoid paying transfer tax has been significantly curtailed over the last decade. Parties often avoided transfer taxes by transferring a controlling interest in an entity owning real estate rather than the real estate itself. One example of this was the “89/11” rule; if less than 90 percent of a property-owning partnership was sold, the remaining 11 percent could be transferred three years later to avoid paying the tax.

In Pennsylvania, a series of legislative measures enacted in 2012 and 2013 largely closed the “89/11” loophole and imposed closer scrutiny on transactions that transferred an interest in entities owning real estate, particularly if more than one level of entity was involved. New Jersey instituted a Controlling Interest Tax (CIT) in 2008, which imposed a 1% tax on transfers of controlling interests in entities that directly or indirectly own real property. The CIT applies to most types of commercial property.

There may be ways to structure a transaction to avoid transfer taxes – such as long-term leases – but the deal usually needs to be sufficiently large enough to justify the cost and complexity. If you are facing a commercial real estate transaction where transfer taxes may be a consideration, WCRE and its team of experts can help guide you through the process.

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 or Philly retail 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 or Philly retail 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.

For More Information Contact:

transfer-taxesAnthony V. Mannino, Esq.

P: 215 799 6900

D: 215 799 6140

F: 856 283 3950

M: 215 470 6084