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Monthly Archives: May 2018


Is the AIA Contract Set In Stone?

Is the AIA Contract Set In StoneIf you’re in the business of commercial real estate, you are bound to have come across the sometimes dreaded American Institute of Architects (AIA contract), the most commonly used contract for construction projects in the United States. We say that its sometimes dreaded because the form is lengthy and somewhat dense. There is also a misconception that because the contract is a pre-set form, it cannot be negotiated or amended. But as you know, everything can be negotiated.

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Below is a summary of some provisions in the AIA contract that you should pay particular attention to and if needed, should be negotiated in a way that helps your clients. While we are lawyers, the list below should not be taken as legal advice for you or your clients. Each deal and client is different and may require a different review of the contract. Should you need a legal review of a contract, please contact us.

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

Make sure that the commencement date and the substantial completion date of the project is a timeframe that makes sense and works for you. Not completing a project on time can lead to delay costs including liquidated damages and other ancillary costs of additional project construction.

PROGRESS PAYMENTS

Contractors want most of their payment at the beginning stages of the project while the other party always wants to hold money for substantial completion. You can negotiate the amounts and trigger dates for payment so that you can protect your client against delays in the project.

INDEMNIFICATION

Indemnification means that one contractual party agrees to assume responsibility for certain judgments resulting from third-party claims against the other party. This clause deserves special attention in every contract and should at the very least be made mutual so that each party gets its costs covered if it is sued because of something caused by the other party.

DELAYS

Delays are inevitable in many different kinds of projects. But the risk of dealing with the fallout from project delays can be managed through contract negotiation. You don’t want your client to bear the brunt of delay costs caused by the other party. Liquidated damages or other compensable damages can be negotiated here.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although the AIA contract is seen as a boilerplate static document, there are important provisions that should be on your radar and amended if necessary so that your client is protected. We suggest that any amendments be drafted by an attorney with experience in construction and ancillary industries.

For more information contact:

Marc Snyderman, Esq.
Snyderman Law Group
923 Haddonfield Road, Suite 300
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
856.324.8267
E-mail: marc@snydermanlawgroup.com
Website: snydermanlawgroup.com

 

Antonella Colella, Esq.
Snyderman Law Group
923 Haddonfield Road, Suite 300
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
856.324.8267
E-mail: antonella@snydermanlawgroup.com
Website: snydermanlawgroup.com

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WCRE Foundation Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament

WCRE Celebrity Charity Golf TournamentWhen?

  • July 27th 2018
  • Registration Begins @ 12:00 pm
  • Shotgun Start: 1:00 pm

Costs?

  • Celebrity Sponsorship: $200
    (Beer, Lunch & Dinner Included)
  • Golf, Lunch & Dinner: $125
  • Dinner Only: $35

Where?

Ramblewood Country Club
200 Country Club Parkway
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

Download Golf and Sponsorship Packet (PDF)

For more information contact:
brian.propp@wolfcre.com (609.502.1440) or
chris.henderson@wolfcre.com (856.905.9245)

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Banks Ease Lending Standards for CRE Loans

For the first time in nearly three years, U.S. banks report they have loosened their lending requirements for some types of commercial real estate loans.

The latest Federal Reserve survey of senior loan officers in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – found banks are easing standards and terms on commercial and industrial loans to large and middle-market firms, while leaving loan standards unchanged for small firms.

Meanwhile, banks working in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets eased standards on nonfarm nonresidential loans and tightened standards on multifamily loans. Lending standards on construction and land development loans were left unchanged.

This report involving 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.

The survey of senior loan officers on the topic of bank lending practices in both the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties market included a special set of questions intended to give policy makers more insight on changes in bank lending policies and demand for commercial real estate loans over the past year. In their responses, banks reported they eased lending terms, including maximum loan size and the spread of loan rates over their cost of funds.

Almost all banks that responded they had eased their credit policies cited more aggressive competition from other banks or nonbank lenders as the reason. A significant percentage of banks dealing in U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings also mentioned increased tolerance for risk and more favorable or less uncertain outlooks for property prices, for vacancy rates or other fundamentals, and for capitalization rates on properties for easing these credit policies over the past year.

A modest number of domestic banks in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – indicated weaker demand for loans across the three main commercial real estate categories, citing a reduced number of property acquisitions or new developments, rising interest rates, and shifts of customer borrowing to other bank or nonbank sources.

Reports of reduced loan demand involving national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings coincided with the latest Lending Momentum Index, which tracks the pace of U.S. commercial loan closings. The index fell by 8.8 percent between December 2017 and March 2018.

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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Why Commercial Property Investors are Overpaying on Income Taxes

Commercial Property Investors are Overpaying on Income Taxes

Commercial Property Investors are Overpaying on Income Taxes

Did you know that 9 out of 10 property investors are overpaying on income taxes? Year after year, the Federal Government has continued to incentivize those who invest in Commercial Property.
The IRS has established guidelines that, if ignored, cause commercial real estate investors to pay more in taxes
than they should.

What guidelines are being ignored by Commercial Property Investors? Those revolving around Accelerated
Depreciation; known in the taxation world as Property Cost Segregation.

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RAMIFICATIONS OF IMPROPER DEPRECIATION ALLOCATION
Most commercial property investors do not truly understand the substantial benefits of accelerated depreciation.
This is evidenced by our analysis of thousands of depreciation schedules over the years. We have found less
than 10% of investors are properly depreciating their properties. The most common misconception is, “I am
going to get this money anyway”. Is this a true or false statement?

Reasons Commercial Property Investors are Overpaying on Income Taxes

1. Capital Gains vs Ordinary Income Rates
Although the mechanics of these calculations are not always as simplistic as we will be making it for this
example, the short response is – increased depreciation leads to paying taxes at the capital gains rate as
opposed to the ordinary income rate. Since capital gains rates are likely much lower than the Investor’s income
tax rate, they would benefit from accelerated depreciation.

2. Time Value of Money
Simply put, your dollar is worth more today than it will be in the future. A tax dollar saved today therefore is
worth more than a tax dollar saved in the future. Why lock up a tax savings in your property for 27-39 years
when you can receive it today?

3. Catch-Up Depreciation
If you have not completed a Cost Segregation study on your property that you have held for a period of time,
did you know that you can capture your entire missed benefit immediately? The IRS allows you to complete a
481 adjustment thus enabling you to catch up all the missed accelerated depreciation into the current tax year.
This provision alone could save you hundreds of thousands immediately!

4. The Power of Cash in hand
You are a real estate “investor”. This means you understand the investing power of having funds in your hand
today. Cash today [in the form of tax savings] enables you to invest in additional properties. The benefits of this are exponential and allow continued growth of your investment portfolio. Correct allocation of real estate
depreciation is essential for Commercial Property Investors to effectively manage their tax situation. Are you
one of the 90% who are missing out on opportunities that 10% of your competitors are capturing?

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Casinos Hit Jackpot as Court Allows Legalization of Sports Betting

In a boost not to just Atlantic City but to betting venues across the country, the Supreme Court this week overturned a 1992 federal law that had prohibited most states from authorizing sports betting.

The court said the federal law violated constitutional principles limiting the federal government from controlling state policy involving this specific portion of the U.S. commercial real estate market – which includes South Jersey retail space. It unconstitutionally required states to prohibit sports betting under their own laws.

This report on trends in the U.S. and South Jersey commercial properties market is being made through South Jersey commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Atlantic City, which has seen five of more than a dozen casino/hotels closed over the last five years, will see two of them re-open next month under new ownership and management. The new operators were placing their bets in part on New Jersey winning its case at the Supreme Court, which would be a positive move for both the national and South Jersey commercial real estate markets.

The floodgates now are officially open for other states to allow sports betting as well, said Daniel Wallach, a gaming and sports law lawyer with the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff in Fort Lauderdale, as consensus is that this Supreme Court decision is significant for both national and South Jersey commercial real estate properties.

With states now authorized to legalize sports betting, Wallach predicts there will be a flurry of state legislation related to U.S. and South Jersey commercial real estate listings in hopes of raising revenue from the activity.

New Jersey racetracks and casinos – both key parts of the U.S. commercial real estate market, including South Jersey retail space – already have mobilized and could be taking bets before the end of the summer, Wallach said. Other states will not be far behind as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Mississippi have already passed bills, and an additional 14 states have introduced bills.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last December in a case brought by the state of New Jersey arguing for the right to allow sports betting in the state.

The decision was a setback for professional and collegiate sports leagues and organizations, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association that supported the ban on sports betting, contending the ban is necessary to protect the integrity of their games.

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

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

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

As experts in South Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about South Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for South Jersey retail space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the South Jersey 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 South Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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WCRE Instrumental in Bringing Kingsway Learning Center & Services to Voorhees, New Jersey Via Multi-Phase Project

Kingsway Lerning CenterMay 17, 2018 – Marlton, NJ – WCRE is proud to have played a key role in helping the Kingsway Learning Center & Services consolidate its Moorestown and Haddonfield campuses into a new site in Voorhees. The school leased the 73,000 square foot building at 1000 Voorhees Drive with plans to relocate its pre-school, elementary, and secondary programs for its 175 students to a single site starting with the 2018-2019 school year.

Previously WCRE exclusively represented the buyer of 1000 Voorhees Drive during its acquisition of the property. Then the firm’s educational and institutional client services group secured Kingsway as the tenant. Both phases of this transaction add to WCRE’s growing number of assignments of educational and institutional properties in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region. This highly specialized sector is an area of strength and growth for WCRE.

“The Kingsway team is very pleased with the way WCRE handled this project, and we’re grateful for their help in establishing our new home, “said Phil Rodriguez, Chief Operating Officer at Kingsway.

WCRE’s Vice President & Principal, Chris Henderson noted the complexity involved in matching the parties according to their needs. “This showcases our ability to work with multiple parties to structure a long-term investment and development transaction that will provide excellent outcomes for everyone involved,” Henderson said.

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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 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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Protecting Goodwill and Intellectual Property

Protecting Goodwill and Intellectual PropertyImagine building a company that took years to gain momentum, thousands of hours of labor, sleepless nights, hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs, and second mortgages on houses to obtain bank financing. Through your hard work and risk, the company is now financially successful and has established itself as a prominent provider/seller of [insert good or service here].

Unfortunately, your business did not a) adequately protect its intellectual property or b) conduct due diligence to ensure that the intellectual property it used was its own.

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Now, a competitor’s product/service has a distinctly similar name, a different competitor is using a markedly similar logo, and yet another competitor poached your employee who did not have a non-disclosure agreement/non-competition agreement and is now utilizing your company’s trade secrets against you. To top it all off, your company just received a cease-and-desist letter from a corporation on the other side of the country alleging that the company’s slogan infringes on their trademark.

These are but a few of the many scenarios that could occur when a company does not take proactive legal measures to protect its goodwill and intellectual property, and was likewise using intellectual property haphazardly and without ensuring that there was no other owner of that intellectual property or that appropriate licensing was obtained.

In an era of global business and competition, the names, logos, and slogans of products and services, trade secrets, and other intellectual property often start off with little commercial value, but upon establishing goodwill for the business and/or creating a popular product or service, the value of a trademark can exponentially increase. For instance, Forbes estimated the value of the trademark for Google® at over $40 billion dollars, or more than one-quarter of the company’s overall value (at the time o f the Forbes publication).

However, the value of trademarks and other intellectual property is not limited only to the technology industry. The same is true for real estate entities, developers, and affiliated businesses. Think of notable brands in real estate and development and it is trademarked – i.e. PREIT®, Vornado®, Toll Brothers®, Ryan Homes®, Chicago Title Insurance Company® – and the list goes on.

As such, this blog provides a basic overview of the three most common types of intellectual property encountered by small and medium-sized businesses.

Intellectual Property – TRADEMARKS

Most basically, a trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used, to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller/provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. For instance, the words Facebook® and Microsoft® are both trademarked, as is Apple Computers’ partially bitten apple logo, and both McDonalds’s golden arches and its slogan “I’m loving’ it.”

Because trademarks serve as an indicator of the mark owner’s goodwill, federal trademark law was established to protect the unsuspecting public from confusing products/services and to prevent against attempts by unscrupulous competitors to deceive the public.

Federal trademark rights may be established by either being the first to use a mark in interstate commerce (a Section 1(a) filing), or a pr ospective mark may be reserved prior to use by filing an in tent-to-use application (a Section 1(b) filing). Although the law generally provides that the first user of the mark is entitled to legal protection, with or without a federal trademark registration, federal registration provides significant additional value as it allows for the ability to recover profits, damages, and costs against infringers, national notice of ownership of the mark, the presumption of the validity of the mark, access to federal courts, as well as incontestability status for the mark after five years of federal registration.

State registrations are also available, but do not offer the national, comprehensive protection of a federal trademark registration. In light of the significant benefits of federally registering trademarks (names, logos, and slogans), the ever-increasing value of intellectual property and goodwill to all businesses, the need to protect and distinguish a mark from that of a competitor, and to avoid claims of infringement, businesses must look closely at protecting their brand through trademark protection and likewise ensure their marks are not infringing on those of another business.

Intellectual Property – COPYRIGHTS

Similarly, copyrights protect literary, musical, artistic, and dramatic works such as novels, photographs, movies, songs, etc. Copyrights can also protect creative works outside of the entertainment industry, including articles, blog postings, course materials, advertising materials, designs, graphs, charts, etc.

Unlike a trademark which requires federal filing, a work is copyrighted as soon as it is created. However, benefits are gained by registering a work with the United States Copyright Office. Promptly filing the copyright notice allows the holder to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, provides prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright, and also provides the holder with the ability to obtain certain damages and attorney’s fees upon prevailing in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Conversely, while not all businesses produce copyrightable works, businesses must remain cognizant of utilizing the works of others without appropriate rights or licensing. The most common scenario for a business being sued for inadvertently infringing copyrights are entertainment/restaurant establishments showing professional sports games without an appropriate commercial license or playing music without an ASCAP license. However, businesses can also face infringement actions for using copyrighted images on their website, reproducing a chart, or other seemingly innocuous activities.

In short, creators benefit from copyright protection and should register the works they have created, and business (or anyone else) using copyrighted material should be aware of the licensing requirements prior to using such works in a commercial environment.

Intellectual Property – TRADE SECRETS

Trade secrets, confidential information, proprietary information, and the like, encompass a wide variety of information that a business intends to keep secret and which those outside of the business are not afforded access. Most famously, McDonalds’s Big Mac sauce and the recipe for Coca-Cola are such types of information. However, more mundane information that almost all businesses utilize may qualify as a trade secret or otherwise necessitate protection from general release to the public. This includes customer/client lists, vendor/supplier lists, processes, know-how, business plans, marketing plans, information on prospects, customer/vendor habits and preferences, financial/financing information, creations, inventions, intellectual property (even if unregistered), etc.

Trade secrets are protected at both the state and federal levels, and many states utilize the Uniform Trade Secrets Act as a basis for defining a trade secret and cause of action thereunder. While not all proprietary or confidential information constitutes a trade secret under statute, a substantial amount will. A trade secret is often defined as information with economic value that is not generally known to other persons or is easily ascertainable, and the owner of the information has taken reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.

Given the immense value of intellectual property, businesses must take appropriate efforts to safeguard their trade secrets, both ensuring internally that employees do not take such information with them to another employer or otherwise use the information for their own benefit, and externally, so that such information is not otherwise obtained by a competitor.

Conversely, in hiring an employee or engaging a contractor, a business must ensure that the potential employee/contractor is not disclosing protected trade secrets of a prior employer which could drag the business into a lawsuit for trade secret misappropriation.

As such, businesses should identify all of their trade secrets and employ appropriate electronic and physical safeguards to protect such information. Likewise, businesses should actively utilize confidentiality agreements with anyone privy to the business’s trade secrets to further protect against disclosure.

CONCLUSION

As intellectual property is a key asset to many businesses in the information economy, and is nevertheless important for protection of any business’s goodwill, it is essential to proactively protect intellectual property through means of trademark, copyright, or trade secrets protections, and to likewise remain cognizant of the intellectual property of others’ so as not to be subject to an infringement action.

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Shopping Center Closures Near 100 Million Square Feet

Retailers are focusing on their top-performing locations and shedding marginal stores with announced closures so far in 2018 totaling nearly 100 million square feet as demand for mall and shopping center space by retailers fell to its lowest level in six years in the first quarter.

This U.S. commercial real estate market balancing act, which includes Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space, was reflected in the first quarter 2018 U.S. retail vacancy rate, which at 4.6 percent was unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2017 and just a tenth of a percentage point lower than a year ago.

Net absorption of retail space throughout the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets, fell to 11 million square feet, the lowest quarter for mall and shopping center demand since 2012, according to data presented in CoStar’s First-Quarter 2018 State of the U.S. Retail Market report.

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.

“As the national retail vacancy rate has begun to flatten, the pace of the recovery has slowed. In fact, we can call an end to the recovery,” said Ryan McCullough, senior managing consultant for CoStar Portfolio Strategy, who co-presented the report with Director of Research Suzanne Mulvee.

While retailer demand for store space has slowed in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties markets, it has not stopped, contrary to perceptions in the broader market fueled by headlines of closures and bankruptcies of big-box tenants like Kmart and Toys R Us.

Expansions by restaurants, grocery stores and other food-focused retail tenants, as well as health-care and other service providers and smaller local shopping center tenants throughout myriad U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, continues to drive leasing and net demand growth for the retail sector, McCullough said.

The retail property segment of the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – is performing differently in different parts of the country. In recovering housing markets and other high-growth Sunbelt metros, retail vacancy has continued to decline and post strong leasing momentum.

The net in-migration throughout the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings has produced the kind of population, job and income growth that creates ready-made consumers and drives retail spending, the report noted. 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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Casino Firms Roll the Dice Again on Atlantic City

Placing their bets on a slowly rebounding local economy — and the prospects for legalized sports gambling in the state of New Jersey soon — investors are planning to re-open two shuttered casinos in Atlantic City this summer.

Hard Rock International and an affiliate of Integrated Properties in Denver, both major players in the U.S. commercial real estate market – which includes South Jersey retail space, are moving forward with plans to open new casinos along the famed Boardwalk after acquiring the closed properties at rock-bottom pricing. The openings are not without risk as they will compete for gaming revenue that still is nowhere near what it was 10 years ago at the city’s peak.

This report on trends in the U.S. and South Jersey commercial properties market is being made through South Jersey commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm.

Competition for gaming dollars already is heating up. Casinos in Atlantic City have been dropping their hotel room prices to those you might see along a lonely stretch of an interstate highway (rooms from $44 a night), which is about 30 percent lower than previously offered lows. Guests also are being enticed with increased spa and dining credits, free drinks while gambling and up to $400 in online poker deposits.

Despite the increased competition, including some coming from the national and South Jersey commercial real estate market, owners of existing casinos in Atlantic City said they hope the addition of new attractions helps bring in more traffic.

“We view the openings as a net positive for Atlantic City,” said John Payne, president and chief operating officer of VICI Properties, which owns the real estate under two other Atlantic City casinos. “As real estate owners, we view what’s occurring in the market through a different lens than operators. We expect our assets to benefit from the increased traffic. Altogether, these openings help further build out and bring more positive attention to Atlantic City.”

More gambling and more visitors – many with connections to national and South Jersey commercial real estate properties – mean enhanced property values for real estate owners, Payne said.

“Our two Atlantic City properties — Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City — are located on the Boardwalk in proximity to The Hard Rock,” Payne said. “We expect The Hard Rock will be very proactive about driving new business to the Boardwalk area, and its unique focus on entertainment will be a key differentiator in the marketplace.”

The unknown for Caesars and the other casino operators is what happens with New Jersey’s bid to legalize sports betting. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last December in a case brought by the state of New Jersey arguing for the right to allow sports betting in the state. The Supreme Court has yet to issue a ruling in this case that has major implications for several firms dealing in U.S. and South Jersey commercial real estate listings.

“We think [sports betting] will benefit our casinos in New Jersey,” Eric Hession, chief financial officer of Caesars, said. “We know for example that here in Las Vegas, some of our top days are the Super Bowl and NCAA [Final Four] weekend and some other sporting event days. People will want to go to Atlantic City on weekends to watch football and bet in our sports books, which will become potentially larger components of the property.”

The first new casino scheduled to open will be the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino opening June 28. The property was taken over out of bankruptcy by affiliates of Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, which owns the Hard Rock chain, bought the property a year ago for $300 million.

Last month, Icahn cashed in his other Atlantic City casino, after agreeing to sell its majority-owned subsidiary, Tropicana Entertainment Inc. and its seven casinos, for a total price of $1.85 billion. That deal amounts to a sale price of $370,520 per hotel room Tropicana owns. Icahn paid what amounted to $106,270 per room for the 1,882-room Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City when he gained control of it in 2009.

The other hotel-casino property slated to open in Atlantic City this year is the 1,399-room Ocean Resort Casino at 500 Boardwalk. Denver-based AC Ocean Walk acquired the former Revel Casino for $200 million this past January. The property once carried a $3 billion valuation. Hyatt Hotels Corp. is partnering with AC Ocean Walk, an affiliate of Integrated Properties, in the venture.

At 60 stories, it is the tallest structure in Atlantic City and stands out in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including South Jersey retail space. The expansive 6.4 million-square-foot resort is to feature a 138,000-square-foot casino, 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting and convention space, another 90,000 square feet of flexible outdoor special event space, five swimming pools and a 32,000-square-foot fitness center.

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

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

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

As experts in South Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about South Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.  If you are looking for South Jersey retail space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the South Jersey 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 South Jersey commercial properties for lease or sale through our South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm.

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CRE Loan Prices Compress as Lending Competition Increases

Despite record liquidity, demand for commercial real estate loans softened in recent months, leaving eager lenders chasing fewer borrowers. As a result, competition among lenders has ratcheted up noticeably with loan prices compressing.

In fact, deal pricing and structures in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – have gotten so competitive that many of the nation’s banks, including its 25 largest cumulatively, are starting to back off from commercial real estate lending.

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.

Federal Reserve data earlier this year first revealed the trends among banks, which held up through the entire quarter. Now in the past week, bank executives in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate market have started providing color and analysis to the data in their first quarter earnings conference calls.

First the numbers. The total amount of commercial real estate loans on bank books related to national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties increased $26.4 billion to $2.1 trillion through the first quarter from year-end, according to Federal Reserve data.

However, real estate loan exposure concerning U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings pulled back at the nation’s 25 largest banks, dropping off about 1 percent on an annualized basis. Those 25 banks account for 33 percent of commercial real estate bank loans outstanding.

Meanwhile, the rest of the nation’s domestic banks doing business in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – continued to grow their loan portfolios by 7 percent on annualized basis.

The appreciation that has occurred in property values has contributed to a lower level of inventory available in the market. Deal volume is also down as investors are taking a more cautious stance in the current environment.

Some banks report a majority of their first quarter commercial real estate loan production consisted of refinancing; with interest rates beginning to climb, some bankers expect refinancing volume could slow down.

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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The Dangers of Asbestos Inhalation

Let’s look at the dangers of asbestos inhalation. Even though most uses of asbestos have been banned, it can still be found in a variety of products, such as building materials. Employees can be exposed to this hazardous material in residential and nonresidential buildings, and during renovations and demolitions of properties. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious damage to the lungs and other organs that may not appear until years after exposure. Asbestos fibers associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye, and smokers are at a higher risk for developing asbestos-related diseases if exposed.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards to protect employees from exposure to asbestos in the workplace, as well as permissible exposure limits and exposure monitoring. OSHA regulations also exist for controlled zones and regulated areas that are designed to protect employees where certain work with asbestos is performed.

Avoid Asbestos Inhalation

The following tips are safety reminders for those who work near or with asbestos-containing materials:

• Never enter a controlled zone that the company has designated as a regulated area where asbestos work is being performed.
• If you are not wearing appropriate respiratory protection, do not enter an asbestos regulated area.
• Do not eat, smoke, drink, chew gum or apply cosmetics in an asbestos regulated area.
• Read and obey all warning signs displayed in asbestos regulated areas.
• When working with asbestos, keep the material wet and vacuum the dust using a HEPA vacuum. Immediately collect and close all waste in bags designed to hold asbestos.

Protect Yourself from Asbestos Inhalation

• Always wear required protective clothing such as coveralls or similar full-body clothing, head coverings, gloves and foot coverings when working with asbestos. Face shields, goggles and other protective equipment are also necessary.
• Make sure you receive proper training and medical clearance if your work requires use of a respirator for asbestos protection. Use the correct type of respirator for the level of exposure. If you are present during the removal of asbestos, you must wear at least a half-face respirator with N-, R- or P-100 (HEPA) cartridges. OSHA also requires the use of a respirator in some cases when performing roofing and flooring work. Talk to your supervisor regarding whether you have sufficient protection.
• Follow all required hygiene and decontamination practices after working with asbestos.
• Leave your work clothes and shoes at work and wash them at work if they are not disposable. Family members of employees exposed to asbestos can get sick from asbestos taken home on an employee’s clothing or shoes. If required, shower at work after working with asbestos.

For More information on Protecting Yourself from Asbestos Inhalation

Brian Blaston, Partner
Hardenbergh Insurance Group

phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
fax: 856.673.5955

email: brianb@hig.net

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