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Monthly Archives: June 2018


Zeroing in on Center City Philadelphia’s Tightest Office Micro Markets

Market Street West – the portion of Market Street running from City Hall to 21st Street – is seen by most Philadelphia office space brokers and investors as Center City’s premier office district, and with good reason.

Public transit access is exceptional along that corridor, which is home to more than 12 million square feet of Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space as part of the U.S. commercial real estate market. This is more than double the amount of office space located on other major Center City thoroughfares such as JFK Boulevard, South Broad Street, or Market Street East.

This CoStar report is being offered through Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings.

However, Market Street West’s concentration of modern office skyscrapers has made it a favorite among large, publicly traded companies based in Philadelphia, a feature which is both a blessing and a curse for local office landlords working in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets.

Clearly, Market Street’s popularity among large tenants is a plus for landlords that can retain them. Giant long-term leases by companies such as Independence Blue Cross or Beneficial Bancorp help some office owners keep large portions of their national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties filled for years or even decades on end.

The problem is that thanks to high business costs, Center City’s Philadelphia office space does not have a strong track record when it comes to attracting and retaining large corporate headquarters among U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings. Many of Philadelphia’s largest white-collar employers such as Sunoco, Dow Chemical and PNC have all either vacated or downsized their Market Street office space in recent years as part of cost-cutting efforts.

The result is that, in terms of the percentage of office availability rates, Market Street West does not currently stand out as particularly tight in the overall U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space.

The tightest Philadelphia office space micro markets (in terms of both physical vacancy rates and percentage of space listed as available for lease) among all national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings currently are Rittenhouse Square and Logan Square. Both are located a few blocks off Market Street and are home to some of Center City’s most coveted public greenspaces.

In contrast to Market Street West, the bulk of Philly office space stock in the Rittenhouse Square area is comprised of office properties located along Walnut Street, smaller than 350,000 square feet and built before 1970.

These properties cater almost exclusively to tenants looking for Philadelphia office space of less than 15,000 square feet, often in industries like legal services, healthcare, and accounting. These mostly privately-held firms do not face the same scrutiny from public shareholders and as a result, are less likely to relocate out of Center City to cut costs.

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 Business Owners Should Own Real Estate Personally

Let’s explore why business owners should own real estate personally rather than in a separate corporation. A frequent mistake made by small business owners is to have the operating corporation own the real estate, or to have a separate C corporation own the property and lease it to the business. The reason is that when the company eventually disposes of the property, usually after it has significantly appreciated and been substantially depreciated for tax purposes, a double tax bill will result. First, the corporation will be taxed on the appreciation upon the disposition of the real estate, and then, the shareholder(s) will be taxed on the proceeds of the disposition when they are distributed to them as a dividend or through liquidation. The tax traps are not limited to C corporations. Holding real estate in an S corporation has its own pitfalls. Mortgage debt does not constitute “basis” for tax losses when the accompanying real estate is owned in an S corporation. As most real estate investments yield potentially deductible losses after factoring depreciation on the structure, this could eliminate the tax benefits for a great deal of investors.

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Why business owners should own real estate personally rather than in a separate corporation.

A better approach is for the business owners to own the real estate personally in a limited liability company or
even in a partnership with other investors, and then lease it to the operating business. Among the advantages;

  • The business owner can sell the real estate interest for his or her own account, avoiding tax at the corporate level.
  • The owner can refinance the property for his or her own benefit.
  • Lease payments received by the property owner are not subject to employment taxes and are deductible
    by the company as a business expense.

If the property owner dies while still owning the property, heirs will get it at its stepped-up basis, eliminating tax on all of the gain resulting from appreciation. It’s particularly important for small business owners to engage in careful tax planning with respect to real estate being acquired for use by their business, and I’m sure our buds at WCRE and attorneys they deal with receive frequent requests for assistance with appropriate business and tax strategies as do we at Abo and Company.

While we’re talking real estate and hopefully that which is not titled in corporate form, do you own a property
that has appreciated considerably and that you want to sell? Are you concerned about incurring a large capital
gains tax liability? We reminded WCRE readers in a previous suggestion but one option is to structure the sale as an installment sale. Here the buyer pays the cost of the property plus interest in regular installments, frequently for a period of 5 years, enabling the seller to reflect the capital gain for tax purposes over the entire payment period. Sellers who decide on this strategy are cautioned, however, that an installment sale carries more risk than an outright sale of the property. Thus, the seller needs to:

  • Carefully assess the creditworthiness of the buyer and possibly obtain personal guarantees if the purchaser is a business.
  • Evaluate the future income producing capability of the property to make sure it provides sufficient cash flow to enable the buyer to make the payments.
  • Use an interest rate that is competitive with current market rates in the area so as not to squash the deal.
  • Obtain a down payment of at least 20% to have a cushion in the event of buyer default, and to cover the
    expenses if foreclosure becomes necessary.

Business property transactions are often complex, and the services of knowledgeable professional advisors can be vital in developing strategies that make it possible to bring a contemplated transaction to a successful conclusion.

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

 

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Investing in Parking Lot Maintenance

Brand new parking lots last up to 15 years with regular parking lot maintenance. How can you maintain your parking lot?

Crack Sealing and Seal Coating are essential applications for long term pavement protection.

Crack Seal is a rubberized material that is applied directly into the cracks. This application prevents moisture and water from seeping into the cracks and creating potholes. Crack Seal also inhibits vegetation from flourishing which over time the roots can push the pavement.

It is recommended to complete your crack fill project with a seal coat application. Seal Coat is an asphaltic
liquid mixture that helps in blocking oxidation caused by the sun and degradation from UV rays damage and
traffic. It also restores the rich black color of the asphalt which makes a lasting first impression of your lot.
Investing in the maintenance of your lot can save you thousands!

Download Printable PDF >>>

For more information, contact:
Dave Sulkin VP of Sales and Marketing
American Asphalt Company, Inc.
100 Main Street
West Collingswood Heights, NJ 08059
Phone: (856) 456-2899 Ext #226
Fax: (856) 456-4398

parking-lot-maintenance

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Philadelphia’s Proposed One Percent Tax on New Construction

One Percent Tax on New ConstructionIs Philadelphia’s proposed one percent tax on new construction a good compromise or a fools bargain? The Philadelphia City Council announced new legislation on April 11, 2018, that includes a new one percent tax on new construction that would raise revenue for the Housing Trust Fund, the city’s dedicated source for developing new affordable housing, preserving existing housing and preventing homelessness.

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WHAT IS THE TAX/IMPACT FEE?

Proposed Bill No. 180351 would impose a new Construction Impact Tax/Impact Fee on all projects that are eligible for the city’s 10-year tax abatement. The funds raised from the tax are intended to help the Housing Trust Fund provide funding for more affordable and workforce housing development, which would be available to both nonprofit and for profit developers.

HOW MUCH IS THE TAX?

The tax/impact fee is 1 percent of the stated cost of construction, including repairs, construction, additions and alterations of the building and is paid when the applying for a building permit. (Note that there is some discussion to change the time when payment would be due from the building permit application to the time a zoning permit is filed.) While a one percent tax on new construction may not sound like a lot, consider the tax on a $1 billion new technology center, a $300 million new multifamily high rise or a new $800 million stadium. In each instance, the tax for these projects would be $10 million, $3
million and $8 million, respectively.

ARE CERTAIN TYPES OF BUILDING EXEMPT?

As currently drafted, all buildings that are “for human occupancy” and that are eligible for the 10-year tax abatement would be subject to the tax/impact fee. These buildings would include not only residential structures, but commercial and industrial structures as well. Rather than single out one particular kind of developer (i.e., multifamily developers), the proposed tax would apply to any project that qualifies for a 10-year tax abatement in Philadelphia.

COALITION BUILDING

There appears to have been more compromise than usual between the trades, the Building Industry Association, City Council members, members of the development community and other civic-minded individuals as the merits and concerns over the 10-year tax abatement were debated, as was the Mixed Income Housing Bill, both being offered as potential solutions for addressing Philadelphia’s affordable and workforce housing needs.

NOVEL APPROACH

Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation Senior Research Fellow Kevin Gillen told the Philadelphia Business Journal, “The impact fee being considered here is a truly unique hybrid. It is tied to the abatement rather than to inclusionary zoning. And it is the type of program that is traditionally used by low-cost, low-tax Sun Belt suburbs that have experienced decades of rapid population growth, but the bill’s sponsors want to apply it to a relatively high-cost, high-tax Northeastern city that until recently has experienced decades of depopulation.”

Impact on the Mixed-Income Housing Bill

If the new bill is passed, the Mixed-Income Housing Bill will become completely optional and will be amended to include numerous beneficial bonuses such as extra height (7 feet) and density (25 to 50 percent bonus) in RM-1, CMZ-1/2/2.5, amongst other potentially attractive zoning bonuses. These bonuses will continue to have a mixed-income housing requirement or payments in lieu of an additional 1 to 2 percent of construction costs depending on the amount of the
bonus.

EFFECTIVE DATE

As proposed, the effective date would be July 1, 2018, although some are already pushing for a later effective date of January 1, 2019. Duane Morris attorneys will continue to monitor and report on any development in this issue.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, any of the attorneys in the Real Estate Practice Group, attorneys in the Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm’s full disclaimer.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:


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Bala Cynwyd Office Market Appears to be on the Rebound

Bala Cynwyd’s office market, while not currently experiencing five percent rent growth, currently is experiencing its highest occupancy rate in 15 years – 92 percent – and has seen gradual tightening annually since 2010.

Coming out of the Great Recession, Bala Cynwyd struggled to compete for office tenants in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – with nearby suburbs like Conshohocken or Radnor, both of which offer prospective lessees a larger stock of newer or more recently renovated office properties.

However, a gradual progression of development and renovation projects in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets has helped Bala Cynwyd reassert its competitive edge.

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.

The 2007 opening of a 120,000 square foot Target across City Line Avenue from Bala Cynwyd added an additional anchor for retail traffic to the area’s national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties. That new Target had helped support a range of popular restaurants along the periphery of the relatively new shopping center, including California Pizza Kitchen, Naf Naf Grill and Starbucks.

Since then, more than 750,000 square feet of office space comprising U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings has been renovated along the portion of City Line Ave., stretching from Interstate 76 to the Bala Regional Rail Station at Conshohocken Road. Lower Merion Township also approved new zoning ordinances to promote dense, mixed-use, and transit-friendly development, and Post Brothers renovated and up-scaled roughly 1,000 apartment units at Presidential City.

Office owners in this area of the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – are beginning to see the benefits of these upgrades as existing financial tenants such as Investedge and Allied Mortgage both chose to stay in Bala Cynywd and expand their office space within the submarket during 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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The Impact of Energy Efficient Building Upgrades on NOI and Asset Value

Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) or efficient building upgrades which include LED Lighting, Plumbing and Mechanical and HVAC upgrades, are proven to reduce energy and operating costs. Mechanical and HVAC upgrades could include Building Management Systems, Variable Frequency Drives on fans, pumps and motors, Free Cooling, installation of Condensing Boilers and Demand Based Domestic Water Boosters to name a few opportunities to reduce costs.
Investing in energy efficiency can yield a Return on Investment (ROI) of 30 to 40%, and an improvement in Net Operating Income (NOI) and significant Valuation Enhancement. By reducing energy and operating expenses NOI can be quickly improved giving the owner increased profits and/or a competitive advantage in the market.

NOI improvements from ECMs can be achieved in Hospitality, High and Low Rise, single and multi-tenant Office buildings, Manufacturing and Distribution Centers as well as High and Low rise multi-family buildings. Today the value of energy efficient upgrades are further increased because of favorable tax treatment – 100% expensing and generous Utility Company Cash Incentives.

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Efficient building upgrades to a property 10 years of age or older to deliver:

• Energy Cost Reductions up to 40%
• Overall OpEx Reduction of 5 to 10%
• Value Enhancement of 5 to 15%
• Increased unlevered ROR by ½ to 2%
• Competitive Market Advantage

Energy efficient building upgrades are good for buyers and sellers!

A completed Energy Efficiency project in a 25 Story Office building located in center city Philadelphia reduced annual operating costs by $208,000. The Energy Efficient Measures (ECM) included LED lighting, free-cooling, premium efficiency motors for the condenser and hot water heating pumps with variable frequency drives and Retro-commissioning of the HVAC systems.

In the two tables below observe the actual energy efficiency upgrade costs and the energy cost savings generated by the above mentioned upgrades (Project Matrix) and in the NOI Improvement table the effect these real savings would have on NOI and the “Cap” rate against typical market Rents, OpEx Costs and a hypothetical property value of $33,600,000.

Energy efficient building upgrades offer VALUE ENHANCEMENT

An Owner of a $33,600,000 property making these improvements at a Cap rate of 8.57 would see the value of the
property increased to $36,008,000 due to the improved NOI. This is a 7.2% valuation enhancement or an ≈ $3,000,000 value growth with an ≈ $500,000 investment in CapEx!

Energy efficient building upgrades offer INVESTMENT ENHANCEMENT

A buyer of a $33,600,000 property would realize an increase in their unlevered Rate of Return of .60% in net dollars by installing similar Energy Efficient building upgrades.

Energy efficient building upgrades offer ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

Reduced Maintenance Costs – Another typical benefit of installing ECMs is the reduction in maintenance expense that comes from replacing aging equipment that is in need of repair or replacement. Quite often energy savings derived from certain high ROI ECMs can help offset the cost of equipment replacement.

“Green” Building Tenants Pay Higher Rent – That’s right, a CBRE Global Research and Consulting Review reported that the overall vacancy rate for green buildings was 4 percent lower than for non-green properties—11.7 percent, compared to 15.7 percent—and that LEED-certified buildings routinely commanded the highest rents.

• Higher productivity and better occupant health
• Promotion of a culture of sustainability among all building users
• Reduced environmental impacts
• Improved public image and marketing tools for both landlord and tenant

ABOUT US

Rich Energy Solutions’ experience runs from small to large HVAC efficiency upgrades, wireless Building Management Systems and energy saving LED lighting system upgrades to displacing city steam and chilled water loops, in-house thermal and co-generation plants.

For qualified customers Rich Energy Solutions will conduct free, no obligation on-site building assessments to develop cost savings analyses and system design and provide turn-key installation of all energy conservation measures. The Rich Family has provided construction management, mechanical construction and energy saving solutions in 38 states for public and private businesses since 1918. www.richenergysolutions.com

To learn how Energy Efficiency can impact your NOI contact:

Tony Lepre
Rich Energy Solutions
www.richenergysolutions.com
tlepre@richenergysolutions.com
609.214.5520
(888) 718-RICH

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WCRE Opens Center City Philadelphia Office

New Exclusive Assignments and High Volume of Transactions Lead Growing Commercial Real Estate Firm to Expand into Philadelphia’s Central Business District

June 5, 2018 -Marlton, NJ – Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is pleased to announce that it will be opening a new office at 1601 Market Street in Philadelphia. This will be the firm’s third office, in addition to its headquarters in Marlton, NJ and an office in King of Prussia that opened in 2014.

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“We’ve been serving numerous clients in and around Center City for a while now, so it makes sense to strengthen those relationships by opening an office here,” said Anthony Mannino, chief operating officer of WCRE. “This move will help create more opportunities for our professionals to network and collaborate with clients and partners, and to expand our commitment to community initiatives.”

Since its founding in 2012, WCRE has grown into a market leader in Southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. The team has set a new standard in serving the needs of owners, tenants, and investors. The firm currently has more than 175 properties comprising 4.2 million square feet of office, retail, medical, industrial, flex and investment property in the region under exclusive watch.

Along with Mannino, WCRE’s Philadelphia team includes several well-known business leaders with deep roots in the city. Among them are Brian Propp, director of strategic relationships, Andrew Maristch, vice president corporate services & portfolios, Tony Banks, vice president, and Joseph Nassib, sales associate. Each brings a unique skill set, along with energy, passion, and the signature WCRE commitment to the community. Founding principal Jason Wolf, and Lee Fein, a senior vice president and industrial space specialist, will assist the Center City team from their respective bases in Southern NJ and King of Prussia.

Last year WCRE became affiliated with CORFAC International, a network of independently-owned, entrepreneurial commercial real estate firms with 78 offices worldwide. The move has helped elevate the firm and contributed to its latest expansion.

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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