Tag Archives: Wolf Commercial Real Estate


Outlet Center CRE Market Will Weather Nine West Closures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Installment Sale of Commercial Real Estate Properties

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

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

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

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

Items to note about installment sale transactions:

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

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

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

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

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

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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

WCRE 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.

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“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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New Fed Chair Expects Inflation Rate to Move Higher

In a widely expected but still worrisome move for commercial real estate investors and financial markets, the Federal Reserve Bank recently raised the federal funds rate a quarter point from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, the first of three rate hikes expected in 2018 by the central bank and the sixth quarter-point increase since the beginning of 2016.

The Fed, in its first policy meeting under new Chair Jerome Powell, also raised the longer-term “neutral” rate, the level at which monetary policy neither boosts nor slows the economy. In a news conference, Powell said the economy in general, as well as commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space, has recently gained momentum and he expects inflation to finally move higher after years running below its 2 percent historical target.

This CoStar report on the most recent Fed meeting and its effect on national and Philadelphia commercial properties is being offered through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

The Federal Open Markets Committee noted in a statement at the end of its most-recent two-day meeting that the market of U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties has continued to strengthen, and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate.

The FOMC noted job gains in recent months, underscoring the central bank’s growing confidence that tax cuts and government spending will continue to boost the economy surrounding national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings.

While the Fed plans to follow a path of gradual rate increases, Powell said policymakers need to be cautious about inflation. The chair warned that financial market asset prices in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – are high relative to their longer-run historical norms in some areas.

“You can think of some equity prices. You can think of commercial real estate prices in certain markets. But we don’t see it in housing, which is key,” Powell said. “Overall, if you put all of that into a pie, what you have is moderate vulnerabilities in our view.”

In its Monetary Policy Report to Congress last month, Fed policymakers noted “valuation pressures continue to be elevated across a range of asset classes, including equities and commercial real estate. In general, valuations are higher than would be expected based solely on the current level of longer-term Treasury yields,” the report said.

Although rates remain low by historical standards, interest rate increases are top of mind for executives this year involving U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings. In a sentiment survey by law firm Seyfarth Shaw, 80 percent of respondents expected multiple rate increases, and clearly expect that the increases will begin to weigh on commercial property markets in 2018.

More than one-third, 37 percent, of those dealing with U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties who were surveyed in February by the Chicago-based firm predicted three rate hikes by the Fed over the next 12 months, up from just 14 percent a year ago.

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

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

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

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

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

Why You Need a Phase I ESA and a Preliminary Assessment Report in New Jersey

I’m buying a commercial or industrial property in New Jersey, and I’ve been told I need an ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA). However, I’ve also been told I need a NJDEP Preliminary Assessment Report (PAR) as well? Do I really need both? Won’t the Phase I ESA provide me adequate innocent purchaser protection?

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SHORT ANSWER: NO. HERE’S WHY:

Chances are, you’re conducting a Phase I ESA to satisfy one of the requirements to qualify for the innocent landowner, contiguous property owner, or bona fide prospective purchaser limitations on CERCLA liability (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (42 U.S.C. §9601)), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) Rule, Subsection 312.10 of 40 Code of Federal Regulations 312 (40 CFR §312). However, CERCLA is a federal law, and provides landowner liability protections under that particular law. What a Phase I ESA does not necessarily do, however, and as is made clear in the Phase I standard itself (ASTM E 1527-13, section 1.1.4), is address requirements of state or local laws; users of a Phase I ESA are cautioned that federal, state, and local laws may impose environmental assessment obligations that are beyond the scope of [the Phase I standard itself].

Like many other states, New Jersey has enacted its own innocent purchaser defense that requires a property owner to demonstrate that, at the time they acquired the property, they did not know and had no reason to know that any hazardous substance had been discharged at the property, by performing an “all appropriate inquiry” prior to purchase of the property. As stated in the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), any person who owns real property acquired on or after September 14, 1993 on which there has been a discharge prior to the person’s acquisition of that property and who knew or should have known that a hazardous substance had been discharged at the real property, shall be strictly liable, jointly and severally,
without regard to fault, for all cleanup and removal costs no matter by whom incurred [N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11g(c)(3)].

However, contrary to most states, New Jersey has not adopted the federal All Appropriate Inquiries rule (which can be satisfied by performing a Phase I ESA) but instead has its own unique definition for satisfying “all appropriate inquiry.” Under N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11g(d)(2), an “all appropriate inquiry” is defined as the performance of a preliminary assessment, and site investigation, if the preliminary assessment indicated that a site investigation is necessary.

As was again made very clear during a January 14, 2016 court ruling, a party buying property in New Jersey after 1993 must obtain a PAR in accordance with NJDEP rules in order to have a chance of obtaining innocent purchaser protection in the state of New Jersey. The decision was affirmed regarding environmental contamination at the Accutherm mercury thermometer manufacturing property in Salem County, that later became a Kiddie Kollege daycare. DEP v. Navillus Group, App. Div. Dkt. No. A-4726-13T3. In this case, despite advice of counsel, the defendants merely relied on various environmental reports, instead of performing a PAR; thus, no innocent purchaser protection was afforded them under the Spill Act, and they were liable for the contamination identified at their property.

IN SUMMARY:

If you’re performing real estate due diligence in New Jersey and want to qualify for both federal and state innocent purchaser liability protections, you need to perform both an ASTM Phase I ESA, as well as a NJDEP PAR.
Here at Whitman, in addition to standalone Phase I and Preliminary Assessment reports, we also provide our clients a single, combined PA/Phase I report that concurrently satisfies both federal and state innocent purchaser protections.

If you have any questions regarding real estate due diligence in New Jersey, or would like a quote for any of Whitman’s wide selection of the due diligence services, please contact Chemmie Sokolic, Whitman’s Director of Due Diligence Services, at 732-390-5858 or csokolic@whitmanco.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Chemmie Sokolic, Director
Whitman
7 Pleasant Hill Road
Cranbury, NJ 08512
(732) 390-5858 (phone)
(973) 931-2474 (cell)
(732) 390-9496 (fax)

Playtime Is Over; Toys R Us Closes Its Remaining 735 Stores Nationwide

Beloved by kids and landlords, but largely shunned by consumers this past holiday shopping season, Toys R Us has officially announced it is winding down operations and closing 735 stores, encompassing an estimated 29.3 million square feet of mostly big-box retail space.

The Wayne, NJ-based toy retailer already had closed or had planned to close 8.5 million square feet of its brick-and-mortar stores as part of the Ch. 11 bankruptcy reorganization it initiated last September. This latest move by a major player in the commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – impacts nearly 33,000 employees.

It also wipes out about $1 billion in value of U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties, according to Toys R Us estimates of the difference in value of 791 occupied vs unoccupied stores. The appraised value of the stores unoccupied was listed at $1.55 billion. Toys R Us owns 273 of those stores and either leases or ground leases the other locations.

“I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company’s U.S. operations,” said Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO of Toys R Us, in announcing an “orderly process to shutter” its U.S. operations.

This CoStar report on the Toys R Us closing and its effect on national and Philadelphia commercial properties is being offered through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Despite the closing announcement, there still is a chance up to 200 U.S. stores among the firm’s national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings could remain open. Toys R Us is negotiating a deal for its Canadian operations and the bidder is reported to be interested in a transaction that could combine up to 200 of the top performing U.S. stores with the retailer’s Canadian operations.

A spokesperson for Van Nuys, CA-based toymaker MGA Entertainment recently confirmed CEO Isaac Larian and affiliated investors have made a bid for the retailer’s Canada operations.

“If there is no Toys R Us, I don’t think there is a toy business,” Larian said in a statement. “Toys R Us Canada is a good business. They run it efficiently and have good leadership. At the right price, it makes economic sense.”

While discussions continue involving this major development in the U.S. commercial real estate market, including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space, Toys R Us is seeking court approval to implement the liquidation of inventory in all the U.S. stores, subject to a right to recall any stores included in the proposed Canadian transaction.

Although Toys R Us officials said they did not foresee this outcome dealing with its U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings when it initially filed for bankruptcy reorganization last fall, the timing of the bankruptcy heading into this past holiday shopping season appeared to contribute to a negative perception among shoppers regarding the retailer’s viability.

The retailer reported dramatically lower than expected holiday sales at its stores in its U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties, a factor on which the company had been counting to bolster support among its creditors, the company detailed in the bankruptcy court filing.

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

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

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

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

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

How to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

Let’s look at How to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space. There’s nothing worse than working in a cluttered cramped space from 9 to 5. The space you share with your team matters. The culture of your business depends on the comfort of your employees. However, before you evaluate how much square footage you need, look into the design of your floor plan. Make a list of what is most important in your office space in order drive the most business and keep employee morale high. Is your company heavy on meetings? Do you have a need for a fun and extensive lunch area, or do most people leave the office for lunch? Do you entertain in the office space? Do you need specific areas for storage of marketing goods or other products? You may be holding onto a layout you no longer need, when you can be maximizing the space for more important things. There are many ways to make the most of the space you’re in now, therefore take the time to properly evaluate your office space using the steps below.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

LET NATURAL LIGHT IN to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

Natural light not only affects mood, but also the aesthetics of a space. Light can make rooms feel larger and better the mood of your employees. This comes down to color contrast. If you’re in a room that is dark, it will feel like you’re in a tight constricted space. Consider opening the blinds to let light in. If you have light colored walls and furniture, the light will bounce off and give the feeling that you’re in a larger space than you really are. If
you’re feeling adventurous, install a skylight in the office. You’ll be surprised how much light a skylight lets in. To avoid glare, add a filter so light is spread evenly throughout the office.

BECOME LESS RELIANT ON PAPER to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

Not only is printing documents killing trees, it’s not as necessary as it was in the past. With the technology that we have today, you can share documents easily without having to print on a single piece of paper. This will also allow you to minimize the space needed for a printing station and using the space for something else. You will also save on ink, paper, and electricity costs by switching everything to digital.

UTILIZE COMMON AREAS to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

You may not have as small a space as you think! Do you have dedicated areas specifically for meetings like conference rooms or a dining area? Those spaces can be used as extra work space.

It’s refreshing to have a change of scenery when you’re working. This is great, especially if your employees have their own laptops. Spread out and utilize the space you already have, but may not be using 80% of the time. Your employees will feel happier and their productivity will go up as a result.

CREATIVELY STORE to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

You would be surprised on how many “dead spaces you actually have within your office layout. Underneath most desks and cubicles there exists an empty space where you can add either low bookcases or filing to hide items that require long term storage. By examining this storage option you will eliminate the need for storage in other areas, and gain back some of that wasted square footage. Cubicles and office desks now even have options for built in coat closets which allow employees to store their coats within their own space and allow you to eliminate the need for a central coat closet. Gaining the closet space back can allow you to rethink how that area can be designed.

MAKE SMART CHOICES ON FURNITURE to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

Select furniture pieces that are easy to store and tuck away neatly when furnishing areas that are used less than 25% of the time. Plan your space with the overall design in mind. Whichever is your preference in color and style try and stay consistent throughout so that your message is as consistent as your sales process. Filing cabinets tend to take up a lot of space. Save your files digitally in a cloud instead of having physical pieces of paper, folders, binders, paper clips, etc, whenever allowable. You and your employees will be much more comfortable with the fresh open space!

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Josh Smargiassi
Principal
Boomerang, Inc.
6950 Sherman Lane
Pennsauken, NJ 08110
P 856.582.0100
F 856.582.0104
www.boomerangofficefurniture.com

WCRE Honored with 2017 CoStar Power Broker Award

Local Firm Selected by Commercial Real Estate’s Largest Research Organization as One of the Top Leasing Firms in the Market

power broker awardWolf 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 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 2017 within their respective markets.

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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. WCRE is also proud to announce that Andrew Maristch was recognized by CoStar as one of the top Leasing Brokers in the Philadelphia region. 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 fifth 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.

“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 2017 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

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.

Respecting Privacy During CCTV Monitoring

Respecting Privacy During CCTV Monitoring

Respecting Privacy During CCTV Monitoring

Let’s look at ways to respect privacy during CCTV monitoring. Whether you’re managing a commercial or residential property, there will always be concerns about safety and security. While certain responsibilities may fall on your tenants, there is a good chance that there will be areas, such as parking lots, lobbies and similar public spaces, for which you will be responsible. For these situations, you may choose a closed circuit television (CCTV) system not only to catch crimes as they occur, but also to deter them from ever being attempted. However, if you use CCTV equipment, it is extremely important where you choose to install it, as ill-advised camera placement can potentially lead to costly invasion of privacy suits by your tenants or their guests.

Download: Respecting Privacy During CCTV Monitoring (pdf)

Expectation of Privacy During CCTV Monitoring

CCTV cameras are legal to use in public areas because they are just that—public areas. When an individual is in a public area where they can be clearly observed by those around them, they cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, in areas deemed to be personal spaces, individuals do have a right to expect a certain amount of privacy. Most commonly, private spaces are places like a person’s home or a rented hotel room in which, by law, an individual can expect a certain protection from unwanted intrusions. Since people can expect privacy in their own homes, where you position cameras is extremely important
when dealing with residential properties. This means that cameras should never be installed in living spaces; it also means that cameras installed in public spaces should not be able to monitor events going on inside a person’s residence. For example, this means that a camera placed in a parking lot should not be aimed into a tenant’s window. Even if the window is open, the tenant still has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their own home.

Problems can also arise at commercial properties when it comes to CCTV placement in private spaces that exist in public settings. Any use of CCTV equipment in a tenants’ rented space should be discussed with them during the leasing process. Even though they may be operating a public venture in the space, they still are entitled to a certain amount of privacy. Also, if you provide public restrooms at a facility, those who use them have a reasonable expectation of privacy, so cameras
should not be placed in these areas.

Notify Tenants During CCTV Monitoring

A good way to protect yourself from invasion of privacy claims is to establish procedures that lower the expected amount of privacy. Post signs notifying the use of security cameras on the premises. Many privacy cases involve a discrepancy between the amount of privacy an individual believes they were entitled to and how much they were actually provided with. Proper notification can make it clear as to what expectations they can have for their privacy upon entering an establishment.

Also make sure you notify tenants of the extent of your CCTV monitoring before they sign the lease. Accurately disclosing this information upfront reduces the risk of liability. Since they entered into the lease with a full understanding of the extent of your CCTV use, it will be harder for them to raise objection to it at a later date.

Create a Policy Detailing Rights to Privacy During CCTV Monitoring

Establishing a CCTV policy can also help. The policy should outline the provisions for camera placement and proper camera use. By instituting a policy for CCTV use, camera operators will know what practices are acceptable and which could increase the risk for litigation.

Learn More About Respecting Privacy During CCTV Monitoring

 

Brian Blaston
Partner
Hardenbergh Insurance Group
phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
fax: 856.673.5955
www.hig.net

Pre-Purchaser Administrative Consent Orders

Pre-Purchaser Administrative Consent OrdersThe NJDEP recently approved the use of Pre-Purchaser Administrative Consent Orders (ACOs). This tool allows a buyer with no connection to the Person Responsible for Conducting the Remediation (PRCR) to purchase a Site that is in Direct Oversight (DO) with modifications to the DO requirements. Under DO, remediation timeframes are tied to the Site, not to the PRCR. However, ARRCS (N.J.A.C. 7:26C-14.4) allows NJDEP to adjust certain direct oversight requirements. The new Pre-Purchaser ACO allows for the following adjustments:

  • A Remediation Cost Review must still be certified by an LSRP and a Remedial Funding Source must be
    established for the full remediation cost; however the 1% annual surcharge is waived.
  • The entire contaminated Site must still be remediated, but the PRCR selects the remedy and remediation
    proceeds without prior NJDEP approval.
  • Annual Remediation Fees replace DO costs.
  • The Feasibility Study is waived.
  • Submittals are reviewed by the Bureau of Inspection & Review.
  • A new Remedial Investigation Timeframe will be established, but no extensions will be available.

Download “Pre-Purchaser Administrative Consent Orders” (PDF)

Three to four months prior to a proposed property transaction, the prospective purchaser must submit a letter to
NJDEP providing basic identifying information on the Site and certifying that they have no prior connection to the
Site or current PRCR.

The Pre-Purchaser ACO must be executed with NJDEP prior to the transfer of ownership (not necessarily the date
the Deed is recorded). If a deal does not go through, the Pre-Purchaser Agreement is cancelled with no obligation from the purchaser.

The NJDEP hopes to make this a collaborative effort that fosters property transactions while bringing contaminated Sites, that have languished for years in DO, into compliance.

Want More Information on Pre-Purchaser Administrative Consent Orders?

Advanced GeoServices Corp. was founded in 1992 as a specialty environmental engineering firm serving private sector clients. Effective February 1, 2018, we have joined Montrose Environmental, with over 40 offices across the country. For additional information please feel free to contact Rick Shoyer at (856) 354-2273, or Chris Valligny at (610) 840-9100.

 

Issues of Declining Occupancy, Rising Rent Spread to Top Properties

Even the best-performing and most well-located U.S. malls and shopping centers are beginning to feel the pinch of flat-lining rent growth and a vacancy uptick as e-commerce continues to take market share from brick-and-mortar retailers, and the retail sector enters the late stages of the real estate cycle.

Despite a relatively strong finish for retailers in the final three months of 2017, buoyed by improved consumer spending and an expanding economy, demand for U.S. retail property in the commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – was generally lackluster for the year, according to market highlights presented by CoStar managing consultant Ryan McCullough and director of U.S. research Suzanne Mulvee in the Fourth Quarter 2017 State of the U.S. Retail Market.

This CoStar report on national and Philadelphia commercial properties is being offered through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

“All told, we are seeing some signs of a slowdown in the retail market,” said McCullough, noting that retail absorption totaled about 69 million square feet for 2017, down about 30 percent from 2016 and 2015 levels, with developers expecting to deliver roughly 80 million square feet of new retail space in 2018 as demand from retail tenants begins to soften. “Given the slowdown in demand and some uptick in supply, we might anticipate the national retail vacancy rate, which went flat in 2017, to start to rise modestly in 2018,” McCullough said.

Reflecting the slow investment sales volume observed by CoStar analysts across all commercial property types, retail investment involving U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties fell to just below $20 billion in the fourth quarter, its lowest level since mid-2014. In addition to a diminished appetite among cautious buyers, many sellers also are pulling properties off the market after failing to achieve pricing that meets their expectations, McCullough said.

One sign of the softening market conditions is a moderate rise in vacancies and flat-lining of rental rate growth in recent quarters at the country’s top located and most productive Class A malls, urban luxury centers and shopping centers. Nationwide, U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties have consistently logged the highest location quality scores, as ranked by CoStar’s proprietary formula measuring the combined effects of demographics, density of surrounding commercial property and market competition on individual retail centers.

While retailers are readily absorbing some new supply that’s flowing into the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings market – especially spaces of 20,000 square feet and below – larger boxes in certain centers ranked in the top 10th percentiles of location quality are in many cases taking longer to lease up, reflecting broader weakness among U.S. power center tenants.

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the quality spectrum, the number of “zombie” power centers with vacancy rates of 40 percent or more has increased 60 percent since 2016 due to a spike in store closures by Kmart, Toys R Us and other big-box retailers and grocers.

The closures and bankruptcy filings being seen in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – are mounting weekly and likely will not abate any time soon. Toys R Us plans to close another 200 stores and lay off corporate personnel, in addition to the 170 previously announced store closures The Wall Street Journal reported recently. Also, Northeast supermarket chain Tops Markets LLC reports it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

While total retail space per capita has decreased by about 5 percent since 2009, the amount of anchored space per capita among U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings increased by the same amount during that period amid competition from big-box chains that have added food and groceries to compete with grocery chains.

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

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

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

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

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

Expected Interest Rate Increases This Year Remain Top CRE Concern

Rising interest rates remain the top concern for commercial real estate executives this year, with 80 percent of respondents in a sentiment survey by a Chicago law firm expecting law firm expecting multiple rate increases amid clear expectations that the anticipated increases would begin to weigh on commercial property markets in 2018.

For the second straight year, an overwhelming 98 percent of executives in the commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – surveyed by the law firm Seyfarth Shaw predicted at least one increase this year, with 37 percent projecting three rate hikes by the Federal Reserve over the next 12 months, up from just 14 percent a year ago.

This CoStar report on national and Philadelphia commercial properties is being offered through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

“As the real estate industry embraces the tax cuts, low unemployment, and stock market success, industry insiders expect today’s economic factors to force the hand of the new Federal Reserve chair and, consequently, shape their 2018 investment strategies,” Seyfarth Shaw attorneys Christa Dommers and Ronald Gart said in revealing this year’s top concerns of property executives in the third annual Real Estate Market Sentiment Survey.

“Respondents clearly believe that multiple interest rate increases will start to have a material adverse impact on the commercial real estate market,” Gart and Dommers said.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in his first extensive public comments since taking over for Janet Yellen earlier this month, recently told a Congressional committee the economy encompassing U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties is stronger than at the beginning of the year, and the central bank plans to raise rates gradually.

“My personal outlook for the economy has strengthened since December,” Powell told the House Financial Services Committee under questioning about whether the Federal Open Market Committee might boost its number of projected increases from three to four next month when the FOMC formally updates its outlook.

“After easing substantially during 2017, financial conditions in the United States have reversed some of that easing,” Powell told the committee. “At this point, we do not see these developments as weighing heavily on the outlook for economic activity, the labor market and inflation. Indeed, the economic outlook remains strong.”

Analysts following U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets attributed part of the recent sharp decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to Powell’s optimistic comments. Over the past week or so, the DJIA has shed nearly 1,200 points, falling more than 4.5 percent, including a more than 500-point decline in response to government plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

About 63 percent of the 157 executives dealing in both national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, the strongest surveyed by Seyfarth Shaw, believe the U.S. CRE industry can absorb an interest rate increase of between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent. About 15 percent believe real estate markets can only handle an increase of up to half a percentage point, roughly equal to the number of respondents who said the industry could withstand from roughly 1.5 percent to 2 percent in increases.

The U.S. federal funds rate now stands at 1.5 percent. Three more hikes would take it to 2.25 percent.

However, a newly released CBRE survey of the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – suggests that investors aren’t as concerned about rising interest rates as they are about a potential worldwide “economic shock” that could undermine occupier demand.

“Despite the possibility of escalating interest rates, the majority of investors intend to acquire assets in the Americas,” said Brian McAuliffe, president of institutional properties in CBRE’s Capital Markets group. “Risk tolerance is expected to remain unchanged but investors’ search for yield and asset diversification is pushing them toward value-add assets, secondary markets and alternatives [assets] in 2018.”

The CBRE Americas Investor Intentions Survey revealed that respondents involved with U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings were more positive going into 2018 than last year due to several factors, including the long economic expansion, new U.S. tax cuts and favorable regulatory changes. The largest share (45 percent) of respondents plan to increase acquisitions in the Americas over last year, a reversal of the downward or flat trend of the prior two surveys.

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

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

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

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

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