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Monthly Archives: February 2016


Top Objectives for Independently-Owned Medical Practices

This article explores the top five objectives for independently-owned medical practices in 2016 it was written for Wolf Commercial Real Estate by By Marcin Bielecki, Vice President of Healthcare Practice Lending at Citizens Bank.

  Top 5 Objectives for Independently-Owned Medical Practices in 2016 (PDF)

objectives-for-independently-owned-medical-practices

Objectives for Independently-Owned Medical Practices

Despite all the issues facing doctors today, some 18,000 eager students still graduate from medical school every year – undeterred by the time, money and sweat equity required. 1 Whatever their
motivations, a desire to help others, a passion for science, or both, those who go on to become independent practitioners must realize they are also running a business – and learn to manage it accordingly.

To stay on top of key industry trends and concerns, Citizens commissioned the 2016 Healthcare Practice Outlook. Based on a survey of more than 250 privately-held practices with fewer than ten physicians, the report offers an inside look on smaller practices. Most importantly, it identifies the top five business objectives that practice leaders will prioritize in the year ahead.

The top five objectives for independently-owned medical practices are as follows:

OBJECTIVE #1 GROW REVENUE

Medicine should be a booming business given the nation’s aging population and dwindling numbers of uninsured. In reality, a third of the medical practices we surveyed anticipate a decrease in revenues over the next five years. Fighting that trend has understandably become a top priority among smaller practices. Since few small practices have the inclination to pursue practice acquisition opportunities, increasing the number of patients is seen as the most effective way to boost revenue, followed by providing more specialized services. Although a seemingly simple solution, many doctors are ambivalent about seeing more patients, since it decreases time spent with each patient and threatens to diminish the quality of care.

OBJECTIVE #2 IMPROVE PROFIT MARGINS AND BOOST OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES

Revenue growth isn’t enough: profit margins also need to improve. Half of our respondents anticipate a decrease in profitability over the next five years, and expect tighter margins to force hard decisions about managing their practices. Two-thirds attribute their margin challenges to the shift to cheaper insurance plans by employers and patients, leading to lower reimbursements and an increase in procedures deemed not reimbursable. Though Washington temporarily fixed Medicare’s troubled physician payment formula,2 reimbursement challenges will continue. As a result, any lasting fix to tight margins will likely involve cutting costs. But streamlining operations is a big job – for example, practices must ensure they are staffed prudently and have sufficient inventory to support the services they provide. It remains to be seen how effectively they will be able to manage this task.

OBJECTIVE #3 STAY IN BUSINESS Objectives for Independently

Our most revealing finding: 46% of respondents named “staying in business” as one of their top three objectives for 2016. This sentiment was especially strong among practices with four or more physicians, as well as those that have been in business for over 30 years. How can so many longstanding members of a revered profession worry about staying in business? Practices cite a variety of external factors – from government mandates such as electronic records and ICD-10 to shrinking reimbursements.

In the short run, practices may be getting a temporary reprieve from some of the threats they face; for example, Congress voted to delay the scheduled 21% decrease in Medicare reimbursements.However, these short-term fixes still leave many doctors wondering about the future long-term sustainability of their practices.

OBJECTIVE #4 ACQUIRE NEW PATIENTS

Forty-two percent of respondents said patient acquisition was one of their top objectives for 2016. Adding patients is important for any practice looking to grow revenue, but it’s especially critical for smaller and newer groups. Interestingly, almost 60% of practices are confident that their acquisition efforts will succeed.

It’s not entirely clear, however, whether that confidence is justified since few medical practices surveyed have extensive marketing experience. Almost all medical practices still market themselves primarily through old-fashioned word of mouth. Only half have a website, and merely a quarter are using social media. About one-third also employ traditional media to build awareness, like advertising in local publications and participating in community events. Nonetheless, there’s still plenty of skepticism about the value of marketing. Forty-five percent of respondents don’t believe it’s a worthwhile effort, despite the fact that many new patients who are part of the Millennial generation rely upon websites and social media to seek out their healthcare providers.

OBJECTIVE #5 RECRUIT NEW STAFF

Rounding out the top five business objectives for small practices in 2016 is staff recruitment. Practices are looking to hire to support patient growth, but to also meet the expanding list of regulatory obligations.

The job market was robust in 2015 and demand for talent will continue to rise in outpatient facilities, as delivery of care continues to shift away from hospitals and inpatient settings.4 Hiring is not an easy task, and it’s the area where medical practices say they’ll need the greatest support moving forward.

ABOUT CITIZENS BANK HEALTHCARE PRACTICE BANKING

Our team of HealthCare Specialists offers tailored and comprehensive financial solutions to help you, your employees and your practice succeed. Backed by the power of a leading financial services provider, we know our clients well, respond quickly and provide solutions to help you achieve the potential of your practice. Offering both healthcare industry insight and an understanding of the unique needs of medical practices, our HealthCare Specialists know what it takes to achieve financial success, at every stage of your practice. For more information, please visit businessbankinghealthcare.com.

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you the best for 2016 and share a little about the Citizens Bank Healthcare Practice with you. Many in the medical field are not aware that Citizens has a dedicated line of business to help you with your financial goals for your practice: Healthcare Entities are a top priority for Citizens.

We are committed to holistically serving the financial needs of Healthcare Businesses, their owners, and the staff that supports the practice. From revenue cycle management, fraud protection, and personalized financing needs, our focus is on delivering the best-fitting financial tools to satisfy your medical practice short term and long term needs:

• Healthcare Business Lines of Credit, Commercial Real Estate Loans as well as partner buy-in’s/buy-outs, practice acquisition and expansion loans to fit your needs.
• Flexible financing for equipment, leasehold improvements and ancillary business ventures.
• On sight deposit options, to save time and improve security
• Work place banking for your staff to include special financial services at no cost to you.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss our program further.

marcin-beilecki
Vice President Healthcare Practice Lending at Citizens Bank
131 S. White Horse Pike 2nd Floor
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035
Mobile: (856) 580-7495
Fax: (844) 500-0395

Citations

1. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2014  | 2. Reuters, 2015 | 3. Medscape, 2015 | 4. Modern Healthcare, 2015

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Second-Tier U.S. Retail Markets Poised for Stronger Demand and Rent Growth

new Jason stats graphic - June 2015The national vacancy rate for the U.S. retail market declined to 5.9% for the quarter ended December 31, 2015 as the retail sector registered a robust 20 million square feet of net absorption, creating an environment primed for 2016 rent growth in an increasing number of shopping districts, according to a new report on the U.S. retail market from the CoStar Group.

The moderated pace of shopping center construction in 2015 was capped off with the retail industry bringing only 12 million square feet of new retail space online in the fourth quarter 2015, according to CoStar’s 2015 State of the U.S. Retail Market Review and Forecast, which said the slower pace of development would continue into 2016.

Compared to prior cycles, construction in the U.S. retail market, including the market for  Philadelphia retail space, remains fairly low, but the level of new shopping center space now under development is at its highest level since the recession, standing at 70 million square feet nationwide, the report notes.

New retail construction projects include 21 malls and five outlet centers, but only 10 power centers, significantly fewer than in prior cycles, CoStar said.

One area where retail construction has grown is in grocery-anchored neighborhood centers, now numbering 86, a notable increase over the past two years and indicative of the strength of smaller independent in-line tenants, the CoStar report said.  This trend also points to the increasing economic strength in local communities as the economic recovery continues.

One notable change the report highlighted is a change in developers focusing on more urban mixed use infill projects instead of building shopping centers in far-out suburban locations as the population shifted further afield.

CoStar said this trend within the U.S. retail market was particularly widespread in supply-constrained markets as New York City, Miami and Honolulu, noting that between 1% and 1.5% of new retail inventory is now being developed in these three markets.   Construction includes several major project, CoStar said, such as the Brickell City Centre in Miami, shopping centers near the World Trade Center and Hudson Yards in New York, and the International Market Place, which opens this summer in Honolulu’s Waikiki submarket.

At the same time, retail markets that previously were high-growth but are now not as supply constrained are experiencing lower levels of construction than the 2006-2008 real estate cycle, the report said.  These markets include Raleigh, Nashville, Houston and Charlotte, according to CoStar.

Markets with the strongest year-over-year demand growth in 2015 included Dallas, Raleigh, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Austin, all of which have cleared out their overhang of vacant store space from the last cycle, CoStar said.

Other regional findings from the report:

  • Western retail markets, such as Honolulu and San Francisco, posted the strongest rent growth in the cycle so far.
  • Markets that recovered later in the cycle, such as Atlanta — with its solid population and demand growth — are now poised for improved rent growth.
  • Houston, where office sector demand has been hit hard by the decline in energy prices, is seeing a bright spot in the retail sector “because population growth has outpaced retail supply for so long that the market has actually seen less retail space built per capita than any time during the last 30 years.”
  • Washington, D.C., New York City and U.S. retail markets that enjoyed robust retail growth early in the recovery, are now seeing a slowdown in rent growth.
  • Like their Eastern counterparts, Midwest markets also are “playing catch-up” in demand growth and rents.

The CoStar report predicts slowed but “good rent growth” in premier retail districts — those with at least $2 billion in spending power within a three-mile radius — but a level of growth that is far lower than the explosive pace of the recent past.

For more information about Philly retail space or any Philadelphia commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 to speak with Jason Wolf (jason.wolf@wolfcre.com) or Leor Hemo (leor.hemo@wolfcre.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in Philadelphia retail space.

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

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

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

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Green Building in U.S. Commercial Real Estate Could Double by 2018

new Jason stats graphic - June 2015U.S. construction companies will ramp up green building activities during the next three years, potentially doubling past efforts to “go green” in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry, according to a news report from the CoStar Group.

CoStar cited the new World Green Building Trends study, which named the U.S. as one of the countries with the greatest number of construction firms planning to build new green institutional projects or work on green retrofits of existing buildings.  The global study — conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics with support from United Technologies Corp., Saint-Gobain, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Regenerative Network — taps the U.S. as a strong participant in the global green movement.

Survey respondents noted that more than 60% of pending construction projects in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry will include green design principles, a significant increase from the 2015 survey, CoStar reported.  Respondents who expect less than 15% of projects to be certified green measured 41% in 2015, but dropped to 27% for projections through 2018, according to the report.

The initiative to go green will present great opportunities for U.S. construction companies, as will the growth in green projects in developing countries, a Dodge Data & Analytics executive told CoStar, noting that the expertise of U.S. green designers, builders and manufacturers likely will be needed to support global green expectations.

The survey found that 46% of U.S. respondents anticipate working on new green institutional buildings (schools, hospitals, public buildings, etc.), compared to 38% worldwide, Costar said.  In addition, 43% of U.S. respondents expect work on green retrofits of existing buildings, as compared to a global average of 37% for this category, according to the news report.

However, U.S. respondents lagged slightly behind the global average when it comes to green building on private commercial projects, with only 41% of U.S. respondents predicting they will work on certified green commercial projects, compared to 46% globally, CoStar reported.

The one area in which the U.S. fell significantly below global expectations was in high-rise residential construction, with 15% of U.S. respondents planning to go green in this sector in comparison to 25% globally, according to the report.

U.S. respondents also stood apart from the global viewpoint, with 76% of U.S. respondents saying reducing energy consumption was the most important environmental reason to construct green buildings.  That finding almost doubled the percentage that called reducing water consumption the next most important environmental reason to go green, CoStar said.

A United Technologies sustainability officer said the study shows more firms in the U.S. Commercial Real Estate industry “recognize the economic and productivity value that green buildings bring to property owners and tenants, along with the energy and water benefits to the environment, which is driving the green building industry’s growth. It’s a win-win for people, planet and the economy.”

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

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

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

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

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Philadelphia vs. Camden?

Philadelphia vs. Camden?

The battle for new business.

Philly vs Camden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For More Information Contact:

transfer-taxes
Anthony V. Mannino, Esq.

P: 215 799 6900

D: 215 799 6140

F: 856 283 3950

M: 215 470 6084

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REITs Predict 2016 Will Be a Big Year for Property Sales.

new Jason stats graphic - June 2015A majority of publicly traded REITs and real estate companies in the U.S. plan to sell off properties at peak prices in 2016 and use the proceeds to finance acquisitions and development projects, a news report from the CoStar Group says.

In fact, CoStar said, total property dispositions are expected to more than double acquisitions, and three times as many REITs expect to be net sellers compared to net buyers this year.  The finding are based on CoStar’s 2016 review of acquisition and disposition activity as reported by 80 publicly traded REITs and real estate companies in their year-end and fourth quarter 2015 earnings statements and 2016 guidance outlines.

CoStar said the review revealed that the REITs and real estate companies clearly plan to finance acquisitions, development and redevelopment through property sales.

Full 2016 guidance were posted by nearly half the publicly traded equity REITs and showed these companies anticipate they will sell just over $20.7 billion in properties, while acquisitions are project at $9.8 billion, CoStar reported.

The top seller by far is Sam Zell’s Equity Residential, a multifamily REIT that expects to sell $7.4 billion in properties in 2016, according to the news report.  That level of sales represents more than a third of the combined total reported by REITs so far. In contrast, the company said it expects to purchase only $600 million in property at the high end of its 2016 guidance assumptions, CoStar said.

Equity Residential already completed a large part of 2016’s anticipated sell-off last month by finalizing the sale of 72 properties comprised of 23,262 apartment units to affiliates of Starwood Capital Group, according to CoStar.  The $5.365 billion sale translated to approximately $230,634 per unit on average.

The REIT plans to refocus its portfolio into higher density urban locations with close proximity to public transportation and job centers, according to the news report. The company has 10 properties with close to 4,000 units now in development at a cost of $2 billion, CoStar said.

CoStar found that like Equity Residential, development and redevelopment costs are a major factor for the other four companies that round out the top five projected net sellers of property in 2016:  Prologis,  Liberty Property Trust, Brandywine Realty Trust, and Macerich Co.

CoStar said Prologis currently has $2 billion of properties in development that total 25.5 million square feet.

Pennsylvania-based Liberty Property Trust completed five development properties with 678,000 square feet in leasable space at a cost of $75.3 million in the fourth quarter 2015, CoStar reported.  At the same time, CoStar said, the company had $252 million in developments projects ongoing, and kicked off development of another five properties totaling 806,000 square feet of leasable space at an expected cost of $107.6 million.

Brandywine Realty Trust, which also is based in Pennsylvania, was ahead of the trend, nearly completing its portfolio repositioning during the past 13 months with $1.1 billion in property sales, including the recent sale of 58 office properties representing 3.9 million square feet to Och Ziff Capital Management Group LLC for $398.1 million, CoStar said.  With that sale, Brandywine significantly reduced its non-core holdings in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Richmond and Northern Virginia, according to the news report.

Last quarter, Brandywine inked a fee development deal to develop Subaru’s new North American headquarters in 250,000 square feet in Camden, N.J.

CoStar said the top five projected buyers for 2016 were Douglas Emmett, Physicians Realty Trust, Store Capital, Essex Property Trust, and SL Green Realty.

Los Angeles-based Douglas Emmett, the top projected net-buyer, did not report assumptions on property dispositions but just this week announced a significant deal to acquire a portfolio of four office buildings in L.A.’s Westwood area totaling a little more than 1.7 million square feet, for $1.34 billion, according to CoStar.

Physicians Realty Trust more than doubled gross real estate assets last year and currents has five pending acquisitions of seven health care properties in five states for $100 million, the news report said.

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

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

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

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

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Relocating Your Business While Securing Your IT Infrastructure

This article will explore relocating your business while securing your IT infrastructure. This article was provided by Brian McDonnell, Anthony Mills and Lou DeCicco of Waytek

Relocating Your Business While Securing Your IT Infrastructure (PDF)

Relocating your business from one location to another can have a positive impact on your company for multiple reasons. You can acquire more room for growth and often can improve productivity and culture, while perhaps saving costs. Like a personal move, however, a business relocation can also be highly stressful.

It is imperative that your company takes the time to form an adequate plan to schedule and budget for the move. When it comes to your IT infrastructure, most companies need professional advice for project management and logistics. It is important to pay attention to business-critical systems, in order to avoid any or little downtime or data loss.

Establish a project team as soon as possible. Those included in the team should be your IT operations experts and representatives from your vendors, such as data companies, telephone companies, applications and technology partners and internet service providers. You should also include key people within your company associated with the move.

The Plan – The most important part of the move is to initiate and implement a Project Plan. The plan is critical to your IT infrastructure and should include a timeline and costs.

  • Start early and establish a Checklist that shows how each phase fits into your schedule.
  • Engage your IT team early. There is a lot of planning in transitioning IT to a new site. A primary aspect of your move should be the relocation of telecommunication and your IT infrastructure.
  • Take an inventory of the systems and infrastructures that will be affected by the move. This includes a thorough change-management policy for your servers and applications.
  • Back up all of your data. Make sure that you have a complete and current backup of all of your data
    and applications.
  • Have a Disaster Recovery Plan. It is always possible for unplanned obstacles to occur. Work closely with your providers to schedule build out and installation. Know what to do in a disaster scenario, such as a server not functioning on arrival and how that would be remedied. If you cannot afford down time, you need to have a backup data center that is able to perform all operations while the primary data center is being moved.
  • A move is a good opportunity to consider upgrading any technology that is outdated. Do you need to migrate to the Cloud? Could you use better bandwidth? Does your phone system need to be upgraded? Do you need improved devices?
  • Review your contracts and service agreements and see where changes need to be made.
  • Remember to communicate with your employees every step of the way. They should know what is expected from them and that they are educated in their role in moving your IT infrastructure.

When your team communicates and has realistic expectations, your end result should be successful with
minimal issues. Relocating your business, including your IT infrastructure, should be completed on-time and within budget, enabling you to enjoy the benefits of your new location and improved infrastructure.

Waytek is a premium Managed IT Service Provider offering vertical expertise in such fields as continuing care, law, medical and dental practices. With over twenty years of experience, Waytek brings solutions that enhance productivity, efficiency and security. We stay a step ahead in the area of IT support and services and work to keep you a step ahead of business needs in an ever technology-driven world. Our priority is to align ourselves with your business, in order to understand and meet your needs. As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, “every business is a technology business.” Technology is at the core of changing shifts in productivity and how a business or organization gets its work done. We focus on your IT, so you can focus on your business.

waytec

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U.S. Office Space Sales Hit Post-Recession Peak in 2015

new Jason stats graphic - June 2015The year 2015 was a very good year for U.S. office space sales, the best in fact since the Great Recession. With increased demand and restricted levels of construction contributing to tightening space availability in metro areas nationwide, U.S. office space net absorption exceeded 100 million square feet for the first time since the crippling recession and the national office vacancy rate dropped another half-percentage point in the year ended 2015.

Since climbing to 13.2% at the peak of the recession, the U.S. office vacancy rate has been on a downward trend.  In 2015, the vacancy rate dropped to 10.8%, down from 11.3% in 2014, according to the CoStar Group’s recent State of the U.S. Office Market 2015 Review and Forecast.

Vacancies were down in 64% of U.S. office submarkets and 56% of metro office markets in fourth quarter of 2015, according to CoStar, whose analysts predict office vacancy rates to continue dropping, reaching about 10% in 2017.

Driven by an “overwhelmingly strong” market that is anticipated to continue into the next quarter, the investment market soared, with preliminary office asset sales rising almost 18% in 2015 to reach $152 billion, CoStar’s economists said.

The CoStar report said the biggest annual vacancy improvements were in the Atlanta, Miami and Nashville markets, each of which outperformed San Francisco, Seattle and Boston, a clear indication of a momentum shift in office market strength away from the technology and energy metros that fueled the economic recovery and expansion and toward markets that were hit by the recession’s housing bust. The office vacancy rate declines in San Francisco appeared to be slowing in the fourth quarter as new office supply was introduced to the market, the review and forecast said.

As expected, Silicon Valley markets experienced the strongest annual occupancy gains. But with the 2015 shift away from higher occupancy in markets driven by energy or technology, a solid eight of the 13 markets with the highest year-over-year occupancy improvements were outside the energy and technology areas.  Big-tenant markets like Atlanta and Dallas instead are showing occupancy results, CoStar reported.

Although American consumers are benefiting from lower gas prices, some geographical areas and parts of the economy have been negatively impacted by the drop in energy pricing, its effect on the stock markets, and global economic instability, according to the report. The S&P 500 is down about 11% since the May 2015 peak, partly because of weakness in energy-related stocks.  In addition, technology stocks have declined more than 10%.

Tech remains among the most volatile markets, with markets such as San Jose, San Francisco, Boston, Raleigh, Austin and Seattle waiting to see how lower private and public market valuations will affect hiring, the economists reported.

Apple and Samsung Electronics were among the large companies that warned recently of a tech sector slowdown in 2016, blaming global economic volatility and declining demand.

And Yahoo has announced plans to reduce its workforce by another 15%, or 1,700 jobs; rid itself of surplus real estate; close five worldwide offices; and consider “strategic alternatives” to possibly sell or spin off its core search engine and web portal business, CoStar said. In December, Yahoo was already looking to sell a 48-acre tract near Levi Stadium in Santa Clara that originally had been intended for an expansion project.

Despite growing concerns in the energy and technology sectors, the continuing momentum from 2015’s strong performance in the U.S. office space market and the commercial real estate market overall is anticipated to continue solidly into 2016, CoStar predicted.

Annual net absorption of U.S. office space jumped to 101 million square feet in 2015, up from 93 million square feet the year before.  Developers delivered 64 million square feet of U.S. office space, up 41% from 2014.  Although the amount of new space under construction has declined over the past two quarters, it showed a modest 7% increase for year over year, ending 2015 at 126 million square feet at year – close to the historical yearly average since 2000.

Annual rent growth stood at 4.4% at year-end 2015, exceeding 2014’s growth of 3.8%, CoStar said, adding that rents were particularly strong in CBDs such as San Francisco at 19.4% and Raleigh, NC at 13.9%. Even rents in the urban core of Atlanta and Detroit grew by 11.2% and 10.5%, respectively.

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

Wolf Commercial Real Estate is a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philly office space, providing a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with extensive expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philadelphia office 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, including Philadelphia office space, to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for Philly office 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.

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What is the Energy Policy Act of 2005

What is the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) 179D and How Can It Benefit My Real Estate Portfolio? (PDF)

By Lonnie M. Barish, New Power America 

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) was enacted creating immediate potential tax savings for building owners or architects and engineers based on the use of energy efficient improvements. Section 179D outlines the requirements for a maximum potential tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot of affected spaces.

WHAT TYPES OF BUILDINGS QUALIFY?

New construction of a commercial building of any size qualifies for the Energy Policy Act of 2005. New construction of residential rental buildings, such as apartments, qualify if they are four or more stories. Additionally, renovations and retrofits of existing structures are also eligible to receive the deduction. Buildings must be located in the United States.

WHO MAY TAKE THE DEDUCTION?

The deduction is available to the owner of the building at the time it is constructed or when the renovation is made. Generally, the deduction belongs to the entity that is depreciating the energy-efficient property. However, for government-owned buildings, there is a special provision that allows the owner to allocate the deduction to the building’s “designer” (engineer, contractor, architect, environmental consultant, or energy services provider) for the taxable year in which the property is placed in service. This is a very attractive benefit to the building designer because it is essentially “found” money as the government is allocating a tax benefit to parties that provided services and did not incur any building construction costs.

THE BENEFITS OF EPACT 179D

The maximum deduction of $1.80/sq ft. is comprised of three partial deductions: up to $.60/sq ft. for lighting, HVAC, or building envelope each.

Below is a sample of project size and how the Energy Policy Act of 2005 deductions work.

energy-policy-act-of-2005

HOW CAN NEW AMERICA POWER HELP?

New America Power provides a turnkey service to help you secure your Section 179D tax incentive. We provide the independent, third-party reports required by the IRS and we do it in a way that reduces the administrative burden on you so you can focus on your business. We perform a complete Section 179D study in accordance with the IRS guidelines including:

Calculation and documentation of the amount of the deduction. Performance of the energy modeling required to certify the project. Delivery of a certification report and the required IRS documentation. Assistance with obtaining the Allocation Letter from the proper government or public entity official. Coordination with your tax advisor or independent accounting firm to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit under the Section 179D incentive program.

We can also assist you with pre-screening potential projects to ensure they qualify for the Energy Policy Act of 2005 incentive.

About New America Power

New America Power (NAP), www.newamericapower.com, a Newtown, Bucks County, based company assists in educating their clients of the ongoing changes and advancements in the energy industry and assist them with making decisions on energy procurement, management and curtailment.

We also provide our clients with many products and services to facilitate entry into the renewable energy
market. We offer a variety of energy products ranging from Fixed-all-inclusive, Index adder, Block and Index, to Wind, Green, Carbon Neutral and more… We work closely with our clients and take advantage of market behaviors that favor our clients’ energy cost. We have special relationships with our energy suppliers to offer future energy purchasing options up to 18 months in advance. This allows businesses currently under contract with another supplier to hedge future purchases and take advantage of the current market’s rates.

As a leading energy consultant, NAP offers a broad array of electricity products and services to fit all of your energy needs:

• Electric and Natural Gas broker
• Utility Bill Auditing
• Sales and financing from installation through maintenance services
• Grant and funding applications
• Energy management and reporting services
• 179D tax incentive
• LED Lighting

NAP will help you Use Less and Spend Less

lonnie-barish
Lonnie M Barish

41 University Drive
Suite 400
Newtown, Pa 18940
267-968-8651 Cell
267-224-4513 Fax
www.newamericapower.com

 

 

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Application Period Open for Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Incentive Program

Application Period Open for Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Incentive Program

Pennsylvania’s Alternative and Clean Energy Program (ACE) began accepting applications for grant and loan incentives on February 1st. The program may be of interest to developers, building owners, and tenants seeking to lower utility costs and increase energy efficiency at their properties.

The Alternative and provides financial assistance in the form of grant and loan funds to eligible applicants for the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy projects in Pennsylvania. Eligible applicants include private businesses, economic development organizations, or political subdivisions. Incentives can apply to a variety of planning and capital expenditures related to energy conservation and efficiency, use of alternative fuels, or the construction of a high performance building.

Some examples of regional projects receiving incentives under the ACE program include:

  • Installation of fuel cell technology at Urban Outfitters headquarters in the Navy Yard;
  • Purchase and installation of a combined heat and power plant at the Rittenhouse Claridge apartment building on Rittenhouse Square;
  • A fuel cell system to generate electricity from natural gas at the TJX Philadelphia Distribution Center in Northeast Philadelphia;
  • A combined heat and power system, lighting upgrades, and modernization of heating/cooling units at a Cathedral Village, a continuing care retirement community.

The program has limits and matching requirements that applicants should be aware of. Loans are limited to $5 million or 50% of the total project costs, whichever is less; grants are limited to $2 million or 30% of project costs, whichever is less. The program requires at least a 1-to-1 match. Evaluation factors include: the level of non-governmental matching funds, project feasibility and readiness, energy savings and efficiency, job creation, and environmental benefits. Manufacturers of equipment and components are also eligible under the program, but incentives are more restrictive and are specifically tied to job creation.

ACE program applications are open from February 1, 2016 to April 1, 2016. Grants are jointly evaluated and administered by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA). The CFA anticipates announcing award winners at its regular meeting in May, 2016.

Projects supported by the ACE program are typically undertaken to lower utility costs and provide building owners with options for their energy needs. Public incentives can be a useful tool for making a project economically viable, but should not be viewed as a primary source of funding. Applicants should also be aware that additional advocacy may be needed as part of a successful application.

Most importantly, property owners should consider a project in the context of their overall energy use and capital improvement plans. If you are a building owner or a tenant with a triple net lease, the professionals at Wolf Commercial Real Estate can provide advice on a variety of successful strategies for reducing utility and other building expense costs.

For more information:

http://community.newpa.com/programs/alternative-clean-energy-program-ace/

Special thanks to Coleen Terry at ECON Partners, Inc. for her assistance.

www.econpartnersinc.com @econpartnersinc

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

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

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

For More Information Contact:

transfer-taxesAnthony V. Mannino, Esq.

P: 215 799 6900

D: 215 799 6140

F: 856 283 3950

M: 215 470 6084

 

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