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Monthly Archives: July 2017


The Importance of Maintenance for Commercial Solar Installations

Commercial Solar InstallationsCommercial solar installations have no moving parts and require little maintenance. Unlike major mechanical systems, there is no replacing lubricants, inspecting fan belts or cleaning fuel tanks. Does this mean that solar requires no ongoing attention? No, it is critical that your commercial solar installation receive ongoing attention on a regular basis.

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There are many reasons to have an experienced solar company maintain your existing commercial solar installation:

1. Safety
2. Preventative Maintenance
3. Output

SAFETY
Commercial solar installations are generally safe and have redundant safety systems in-place. However, a regular inspection would identify any failing conditions. These failures could include blown fuses, overheated terminations, worn wires and separated connections. Electrical equipment that is compromised can cause arcing, heat or fire and should be corrected immediately.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
In many cases, catastrophic system failures will present warning signs in advance. A regular, proactive solar inspection can identify potentially dangerous conditions and prevent future failures. Experienced commercial solar technicians would look for indications such as loose or dangling connections, solar panel “hot spots”, moisture infiltration and stressed wires. By correcting these warning signs proactively, you may be able to prevent safety
hazards in the future.

OUTPUT
A regular inspection could also ensure that your commercial solar installation is maximizing output. Typically, most solar owners believe that their installation is operating at peak, but it hard to know for certain. With many monitoring applications, the solar output is captured at a high-level and minor system under performance is lost. Commercial solar installations may suffer from minor losses caused by panel-level issues such as bypass diodes, “snail trails”, degradation or soiling. In addition, inverters or combiner boxes may have issues that are not obvious when monitoring at a system-wide level. The cost of a regular solar review is easily recouped by correcting these under performance issues.

Commercial Solar Installation Maintenance Checklist

A regular solar inspection should include a thorough review of all system components and should be performed at least on an annual basis. Some key items on the inspection checklist would include:

1. Visual Inspection
• Check racking, ballast, wires, connectors

2. Electrical Inspection
• Check electrical readings at all termination points

3. IR Scan
• Check for signs of heat on modules, terminations and electrical gear

4. Torque Check
• Check hardware for loose or failing fasteners

5. IV Curve Trace
• Check module strings for actual vs. expected performance

6. Dirt/Debris
• Inspect for excessive dirt and debris and replace/clean air filters

7. Corrective Plan
• Summarize findings to establish baseline and provide recommended action plan

Solar is generally a low-maintenance investment, but a proper maintenance plan is essential to safe operations. In addition, regular inspections can ensure that your solar installation maximizes its electricity yield. This will increase not only the savings to your bottom line, but also help increase the carbon savings for our planet.

Keith Peltzman
President & Founder

Independence Solar
1008 Astoria Boulevard
Suite E
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

P: 856.393.1250

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

 

 

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Office and Industrial Sales Hold Steady as Overall CRE Sales Drift Lower

Investors continued to buy less commercial real estate in both the second quarter and the first half of 2017 compared to the same periods a year ago, a trend that started in 2016 as steady fundamentals that have resulted in generally robust occupancies and rental rate gains have boosted valuations across most property types.

However, CRE investment sales still are running about 10 percent above the historical sales volume average over the past 10 years, according to preliminary U.S. investment sales data collected by CoStar’s nationwide research team. In the second quarter, preliminary volume in the commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – fell to $106.7 billion compared with $129.2 billion in second-quarter 2016.

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.

The lodging property sector saw the biggest decline in the first half of the year compared with hotel property sales in the same period in 2016, including a significant drop in the second quarter from year-prior totals. Retail and multifamily assets among U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties also posted sales volume declines of more than 20 percent in the first six-month period of 2017.

The drop-off in U.S. apartment transaction volume from previous peak levels in the U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets is consistent with slowing rent growth and the market’s perception of oversupply, particularly at the top of the multifamily market, noted CoStar research strategist John Affleck.

Therefore, even as buyers and sellers have continued to benefit from low interest rates, the trading volume among all types of commercial property led to the record-shattering pace of the last two years. With interest rates beginning to trend upward, the low-financing advantage enjoyed by property investors related to national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings is expected to gradually diminish.

“Higher interest rates have investors reevaluating commercial real estate’s core appeal this cycle: a wide spread in a low-yield world,” Affleck added. “The maturity of the economic cycle and the new administration also raise uncertainty.”

While industrial sales volume in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – declined by double digits in the second quarter, the warehouse and light industrial market ended the first half of this year with the smallest decline among the major property types.

Conversely, office sales volume among U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings was roughly even in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same period a year earlier, and was down only slightly in the first half compared to the first two quarters of last year and down by an even lower percentage for the trailing four-quarter period ending June 30, 2017.

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.

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Benefits of Aerial Panoramic Photography Before Construction For Developers

Benefits of Aerial Panoramic PhotographyLet’s explore the Benefits of Aerial Panoramic Photography. Imagine that this is the amazing view from your office building – http://www.phillybydrone.com/panoramas/1301-
market/tour.html Unfortunately, 1301 Market doesn’t even exist yet. Look down on the panorama above and you’ll see it’s still just a parking lot. Aerial panoramic photography shows you the actual view from any floor or room of your building, and this benefits developers in three ways.

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Benefits of Aerial Panoramic Photography#1 VIEW-BASED PRICING

Recently we shot aerial panoramas for National Real Estate Development’s East Market project on 11th and Market. Their second residential tower, 1199 Ludlow, has just started construction. Before seeing our drone photos, the NRED team had previous underestimated the views from the south units looking towards the sports stadiums, in favor of the views towards Market Street and City Hall. After seeing our drone photos, however, they quickly realized that the south units actually had better views and should be priced higher. Additionally, the drone photos helped NRED understand the relationship between East Market and neighboring buildings.

Benefits of Aerial Panoramic Photography#2 ACCELERATED PRE-LEASING

Before One Riverside was constructed, Dranoff had commissioned aerial panoramic shots to showcase the
views from the building from various floors. They embedded these panoramas onto their website and onto a
touch screen display in their showroom. Norm Eckert, the senior sales associate at Dranoff, shared with me that before the building had even started construction, he had literally closed 50% of his sales standing in front of the monitor with clients. The tipping point was seeing the actual views that their rooms would have. While One Riverside is a residential building, the same thing applies to commercial office space as well. One of the most sought after attributes in an office space is the location, and aerial panoramic photography allows one to see an actual perspective of the surroundings before a property begins construction.

Benefits of Aerial Panoramic Photography#3 INVESTOR BUY-IN

A picture is worth a thousand words (And an aerial panorama is worth a thousand pictures). Showcasing actual
aerial panoramic shots that simulate views from specific floors is not only impressive in presentations, but also helps investors minimize risk in their investments. Especially with a growing supply of foreign investors in Philadelphia, who may have never been to the city or understand the nuances in location, these images can
quickly show them why your property will be in high demand.

Aerial panoramic photography has been around since the first hot air balloons were invented. In the past 20 years, they’ve been utilized by the most expensive properties in New York, Chicago, Miami, and Waikiki with helicopters and special equipment that cost upwards of $50,000 per project. Today, with advanced drones and our team of software engineers, your property can utilize this same tool at a fraction of the cost from several years ago.

Video version of this article here: https://vimeo.com/222032562

Photo and Philly By Drone credits

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WCRE Second Quarter Report: Southern New Jersey Market Shows Strong Fundamentals

WCRE Second Quarter Report: Southern New Jersey Market Shows Strong Fundamentals, Appears Poised For Growth

July 7, 2017 – Marlton, NJ – Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its latest quarterly analysis that the Southern New Jersey market, which started off 2017 on a cautiously optimistic note, continued picking up steam through the second quarter.

“The overall mood of the market seems to be positive, riding a wave of steady moderate growth in the national economy, increasing expansion locally, and investor interest from outside the region” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “Office occupancy needs increased during the quarter, and we have been seeing increased capital spending and construction hiring this year for the first time in years.”

There were approximately 395,155 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which represents an increase of approximately 24 percent compared with the previous quarter, and a remarkable 58 percent increase over the second quarter last year. While leasing showed this notable rise, the sales market had a dip in volume during the second quarter, with some 554,590 square feet worth more than $46.1 million trading hands.

New leasing activity accounted for approximately 43.4 percent of all deals. Overall, gross leasing absorption for the quarter was in the range of approximately 85,000 square feet.

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Other office market highlights from the report:

Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 10.4 percent, which is a solid improvement over the previous quarter’s 11.05 percent.

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. This is essentially unchanged from the previous two quarters.

Vacancy in Camden County improved dramatically, standing at 11.7 percent for the second quarter, down from 13.3 percent in the first 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 second quarter in Pennsylvania include:

The Philadelphia industrial market remains very healthy, and the outlook is positive. Vacancy rates for flex and industrial properties in Philadelphia are well below the regional and national averages, and the expectation is that supply will continue to meet demand.

Philadelphia’s office market continues to gain strength across the board, with far lower vacancy rates than regional and national averages for both Class A and Class B properties in the Central Business Districts and around the suburbs. Conditions are in place that seem to bode well for continued growth, including increasing employment and new construction.

The Philadelphia retail sector has not been immune to the systemic challenges facing retail businesses everywhere. Namely, the massive shift to online retailing and away from brick-and-mortar. Still, there were some positive signs amid the spate of announced store closings. Community shopping centers remain an area of strength in the market, with vacancy rates nearly half the national average. 

WCRE also reported on the Southern New Jersey retail market, noting that e-commerce sales were high and moving higher still, while brick-and-mortar retail sales were growing at a modest two percent. Overall retail sales were 3.9 percent higher this year compared to 2016. Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

Retail vacancy in Camden County stood at 9.4 percent, with average rents in the range of $11.33/sf NNN.

Retail vacancy in Burlington County stood at 10.5 percent, with average rents in the range of $13.35/sf NNN.

Retail vacancy in Gloucester County stood at 7.1 percent, with average rents in the range of $13.78/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

About WCRE/CORFAC International

WCRE/CORFAC International 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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Evidence-Based Design is Growing in Popularity and Effectiveness

evidence-based designEvidence-based design is a trend that is picking up steam in the healthcare industry for a wide variety of different reasons. In many industries, design based on aesthetics, common sense, personal preference or even intuition is more than adequate when creating a particular space. In the healthcare industry, however, the stakes are significantly higher. A medical facility needs to not only be designed to be as functional as possible, but also to enhance the satisfaction of staff and ultimately the health and well being of the patients themselves. When executed properly, evidence-based design not only helps to increase productivity and patient healing, but it can also increase safety and even reduce stress for everyone involved.

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What is evidence-based design?

Evidence-based design, is a concept that borrows ideas from general architecture, behavioral economics, environmental psychology and more. In essence, it is designed to use credible evidence to help influence both the interior and exterior design of a building.

The most important element of evidence-based design is that architectural decisions are being made using the best available information at the time. This data is collected from research, evaluations of existing projects, information obtained from clients and more. If a new study showed concrete evidence that patients that had a view of a beautiful wooded area had faster and more efficient recoveries after surgery than those who had a view of a brick wall, that type of information would be implemented in the architectural process.

The Benefits of evidence-based design?

One of the major benefits of evidence-based design comes from the idea that it is able to take one environment and use it for two distinct goals. Not only does a building need to be a proper working environment for staff, but it also needs to be a healing environment for patients and their loved ones.

Evidence-based design can help create higher quality stays in patients through the use of certain elements like plants, water, wildlife and more. Pleasant music, sources of entertainment and other elements can also create positive distractions that can help with the overall healing process. New technology can be implemented to improve quality of care and overall facility safety. The structure itself can be designed with cost effectiveness in mind, which ultimately makes for much cheaper care in a much more powerful way. These benefits all go a long way towards explaining the practice’s growth in popularity and effectiveness in recent years.

Healthcare Facilities Solutions Inc

Healthcare Facilities Solutions (HFS) specializes in bringing all of the principles of evidence-based design to medical and dental offices, medical office buildings, hospitals and other types of healthcare facilities around the country. The company’s team of professionals begins the process with a list of the problems that a client is trying to address, at which point they conduct research and obtain actionable information about the ways in which design can address those issues. This not only enhances satisfaction with regards to both healthcare practitioners and their patients, but also allows the facilities themselves to gain a competitive edge in terms of the care that they’re capable of providing.

Healthcare Facilities Solutions leverages all of the core concepts of evidence-based design and uses them towards the creation of buildings that are both healthier and offer a higher level of sustainability than ever before. By working closely with specialists to determine their overall needs and by closely defining their vision and goals, designers can then make innovative and practical decisions with regards to finishes and more.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

david heany

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WCRE facilitates sale of former Friends Academy of Westampton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About WCRE

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

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

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Separate Construction Outlooks Predict Good Times Ahead for Commercial Developers

Industry reports released recently, including a new index launched by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and materials supplier USG Corp., reveal a strong expected performance by the U.S. commercial construction industry, along with optimism among contractors that new projects will be added throughout next year.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 96%, surveyed for the new USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI) is confident that revenues in the commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – will increase or remain stable this year.

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.

The CCI, a quarterly index designed to gauge the outlook and sentiments specifically for the commercial construction industry regarding U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties, sprang from a partnership between the Chamber, USG and Dodge Data & Analytics, “was born out of a need to understand the issues that affect commercial construction,” said Jennifer Scanlon, USG president and chief executive officer.

About 40% of contractors surveyed for the CCI expect an increase in revenue this year with 3% expecting a decrease. The index measures such specific indicators in the U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets as construction work backlogs, new business pipelines, revenue projections, workforce issues, and access to construction financing.

Several mixed-use megaprojects involving national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings are moving toward vertical construction in urban metros across the U.S., including the planned $1.6 billion expansion of Penn Station in Manhattan; The Eleventh, a $1.25 billion project on a full block at Manhattan’s High Line; and the $1 billion redevelopment of Chicago’s Union Station, just to name a few.

In a separate report, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) reported construction backlogs in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – increased to nine months during the first quarter, up 8.1% from the fourth quarter of 2016 and up 4% on an n annual basis.

“For the first time in the series’ history, every category, firm size, industry and region registered quarterly growth in the CBI,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu commenting on the report intended to serve as a leading construction spending indicator. “Among the big winners were firms in the western U.S. and those with annual revenues between $30 million and $50 million. This was a terrific report.”

Basu cautioned that some contractors working on projects involving U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings registered concern for conditions in 2019 and 2020, citing the already lengthy duration of the economic recovery; evidence of saturation in some CRE markets; cuts in public spending; and tightening monetary conditions.

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.

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