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WCRE 2018 FIRST QUARTER REPORT

SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY CRE MARKETS SEE MODERATE GAINS AMID TAX REFORM OPTIMISM AND FINANCIAL MARKET SHAKINESS

April 10, 2018 – Marlton, NJ – Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its latest quarterly analysis that the Southern New Jersey market is in largely good shape, with moderate gains in leasing activity and strong fundamentals. The firm believes the market may be poised to take off as benefits of the new tax law begin to reverberate in personal and corporate checkbooks.

Download Printable Report (PDF)

“Our market appears to have picked up steam, with a healthy pace of business growth and continuing new investment,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “Despite corrections ending a long winning streak in the financial markets, the benefits of the new tax law should shore up commercial real estate, especially industrial and office demand.”

There were approximately 272,550 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which was a gain of 23 percent over the previous quarter. Leasing picked up, and the sales market stayed active, with about 1.63 million square feet on the market or under agreement and an additional 320,691 square feet trading hands. The sales figure is a 36 percent increase over the previous quarter.

New leasing activity accounted for approximately 77.2% percent of all deals. Overall, net absorption for the quarter was in the range of approximately 105,250 square feet. Both of these figures represent large increases over the fourth quarter.

Other office market highlights from the report:

  • Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 11.2 percent, which is more than a full point higher than the previous quarter. This may be attributed to large blocks of space returning to the market.
  • Average rents for Class A & B product continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$14.50/sf NNN or $20.00-$24.50/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. These averages have stayed within this range for most of this year.
  • Vacancy in Camden County improved steadily last year, but jumped nearly a point to 12.5 percent for the quarter.
    Burlington County vacancy was at 9.9 percent, which was also higher than the fourth quarter.

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

Highlights from the first quarter in Pennsylvania include:

  • Philadelphia’s office market saw a decrease in vacancy in the Central Business District during 2017 and Q1 2018, as demand for office space continues to be strong. Still, we see increasing employment and new construction, both of which bode well for continued strength.
  • Comcast’s second office tower, the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, is a 59-story (1,121 feet), LEED Platinum certified skyscraper developed by Liberty Property Trust. The development, positioned in the heart of the CBD, will also include a Four Seasons Hotel. The project is estimated to cost $1.2 billion, is expected to be the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago, and will be the largest private development project in the history of Pennsylvania. Net of the hotel, the property is planned for 1,336,682 SF of office space. Comcast has signed a 20-year lease for 98% of the building, with the remainder available for lease. However, Comcast may fill the remaining space themselves.
  • The project is estimated to cost $1.2 billion, is expected to be the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago and will be the largest private development project in the history of Pennsylvania. Net of the hotel, the property is planned for 1,336,682 SF of office space. Comcast has signed a 20-year lease for 98% of the building, with the remaining available for lease. However, like with the Comcast Center original headquarters, they potentially may fill the remaining space themselves.
  • At 2400 Market Street, the new Aramark Headquarters is utilizing the former Philadelphia Market Design Center and will comprise the entirety of floors 5-9 on a long-term lease. Thus, the expansion (new inventory) is effectively 100% pre-leased. Estimated delivery is early 2018.
  • The Philadelphia Planning Commission has approved zoning changes to an area west of 30th Street Station, where Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University plan their Schuylkill Yards redevelopment project, a 14-acre district of labs, offices, residences and shopping. There is not a definitive timeline for the project. According to Brandywine, the master plan will comprise a total buildout of 2.8 million square feet of office, 1.6 million SF of residential, 247,000 SF hotel, 1 million SF of lab, and 132,000 SF of retail space. This reflects the bulk of proposed inventory in the Center City submarket.
  • Developer Oliver Tyrone Pulver Corp. is proposing a 38-story office tower on a long-empty lot east of City Hall at 1301 Market Street. It will comprise 841,750 SF upon completion if developed once a lead tenant is secured. The tower would tentatively open in 2020.
  • Demand for multi-family product is demonstrating significant growth, with nearly 2,800 units recently completed, 1,250 units under construction, and 3,200 units proposed in the PA suburbs. Within the Center City market, there are 2,200 units under construction with an additional 6,300 units proposed. Market participants are questioning whether these units will continue to be absorbed. Many high-end apartment complexes are facing concessions and compression in rental rates.
  • Quarter-over-quarter, industrial vacancy in Southeastern Pennsylvania was flat at 6.8%. The market’s largest yearly occupancy gains were recorded in Bucks County, where positive absorption totaled 709,530 square feet, and Delaware County, where 233,633 square feet was absorbed. The year’s largest moves were Almo and Amazon occupying 300,000 and 104,000 square feet of warehouse space along Cabot Boulevard in Bucks County in the second quarter.
  • Philadelphia County recorded 169,134 square feet in negative yearly absorption. The increased demand for warehouse and distribution space from e-commerce firms has focused on larger scale properties and newer buildings, both of which are in low supply. E-commerce and logistics warehouses may require anywhere between a few hundred thousand square feet to over 1 million square feet, but the tightness of Philadelphia’s industrial market means that many companies are starting to look outside the city to fulfill their space needs.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia retail market.

The first quarter saw a continuation of the unfortunate trend of legacy brands such as Toys R Us and Sears closing stores and/or filing for bankruptcy protection. However, there was good development news in the region, with several healthcare, entertainment, and retail projects receiving approval. Other highlights from the retail section of the report include:

  • Retail vacancy in Camden County stood at 8.4 percent, with average rents in the range of $13.75/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Burlington County stood at 10.4 percent, with average rents in the range of $14.24/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Gloucester County stood at 7.0 percent, with average rents in the range of $14.83/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

About WCRE

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

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

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The Future of Solar in New Jersey

The Future of Solar in New JerseyThe future of solar in New Jersey is looking very bright. The state solar program has been generating investments. We’re taking a look at the future of solar in New Jersey.

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By: Keith Peltzman, President of Independence Solar

The New Jersey state solar program stimulates approximately $1 billion of investment annually. This level of investment is supported by the trading of SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) mandated by the state RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standard). Although this mechanism has driven a stable level of investment over the last 10 years, there is always an underpinning of a potential crash in SREC prices due to oversupply – as occurred briefly in 2012.

In order to protect against future volatility in the SREC market, the solar industry in NJ is working on two new state programs to ensure the stability of the solar markets for the next 15 years:

1. Transition Program (2018-2021)
2. Long-Term Successor Program (2021-2033)

The Future of Solar in New Jersey

1. TRANSITION PROGRAM (2018-2021)

The transition program is structured to ensure that the SREC remains stable over the next three years while a longer-term successor program is enacted. This transitional program (Senate Bill S-592) has not yet passed, but key provisions include:

  • Increasing the solar requirement from 3.5% to 5.3% (2021) to ensure stable SREC values
  • Reducing the lifetime of an SREC from 15 years to 10 years
  • Phasing-out SRECs for projects after June 2021
  • Reducing the maximum ceiling price of SRECs
  • Requiring a deposit of $40/kW upon SREC application to help the state maintain market balance

2. LONG-TERM SUCCESSOR PROGRAM (2021-2033)

Solar stakeholders in NJ are exploring options for a long-term successor program to replace the existing RPS/SREC mechanism. The goal would be to continue to stimulate long-term investment in solar energy with a stable incentive, while minimizing the impact to NJ residents and businesses. Most of these options are already being implemented by other states – such as MA, NY, CA, CT. Over the next two years, NJ can observe how these state programs perform and can adopt successful aspects of each program. Some options that are currently being considered include:

  • SREC II (5-year SREC with segment factoring/adders)
  • Tariff (fixed payment by segments for 20 years)
  • Block Grant (capacity based payments)
  • Reverse-Auctions (project bids on their incentive)

The long-term successor program will have a significant impact on the viability of a solar energy economy in the state of NJ. The niches for solar energy development may differ significantly from today. For example, there may be greater opportunity for larger utility-scale projects on farmland and landfills, for shared community solar projects on ancillary land or for pairing solar with battery storage. If you are considering solar in New Jersey, please connect with an experienced solar partner like Independence Solar who can help navigate the future of solar energy in New Jersey.

Keith Peltzman

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

 

About Us

Independence SolarKeith 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.

New Jersey Marijuana Reform Presents Commercial Real Estate Opportunities

New Jersey Marijuana Reform

New Jersey Marijuana Reform

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

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Opportunities Associated with New Jersey Marijuana Reform

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

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

Risks Associated with New Jersey Marijuana Reform

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

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

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

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

What Does This Means for Commercial Real Estate Investors?

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

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

kenneth-morgan

 

New Jersey Construction Lien Law

New Jersey Construction Lien LawLet’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.

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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.

Contact Us

Daniella Gordon

 

Daniella Gordon, Esquire
Hyland Levin LLP
6000 Sagemore Drive, Suite 6301
Marlton, NJ 08053-3900

(p) 856.355.2915
(f) 856.355.2901

2018 New Jersey Property Tax Appeal Reminder

2018 Property Tax Appeal ReminderNew 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.

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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.

WCRE 2017 FOURTH QUARTER REPORT

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

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

 

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

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

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

Download The Report (PDF) >>>

Other office market highlights from the report:

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

 

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

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

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

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

The full report is available upon request.

 

About WCRE

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

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

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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