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Monthly Archives: July 2019


7 Insurance Policies for Small Business

Insurance Policies for Small Business

Let’s examine the typical insurance policies for small business. With so many different types of insurance to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine what type is best for your small business. Hardenbergh Insurance Group is here to help explain the types of insurance policies available and how they can help protect you, your employees and your business’s bottom line.

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Here are 7 Insurance Policies for Small Business to Consider

Commercial Property Insurance

In the case of a catastrophic event such as a fire, explosion, burst pipe, storm or theft, commercial property insurance compensates you for losses or damage to your building, leased or owned equipment, and other property on the premises. In fact, commercial property insurance can cover items such as furniture, inventory, computers and anything that would be considered necessary for performing normal business operations.

Commercial property insurance is typically purchased as a stand-alone policy or as part of a comprehensive business owner’s policy that includes property and general liability coverage. Commercial property insurance is offered on either a replacement cost or actual cash value basis.
• Replacement cost: Pays the cost to replace or repair the damaged property with materials of like kind and quality, without any deduction for depreciation.
• Actual cash value: Pays the cost to repair or replace the damaged property, minus depreciation.

General Liability Insurance

Out of all the insurance policies for small business, General liability insurance policies typically cover an organization for claims involving bodily injuries and property damage resulting from its products, services or operations. What’s more, this form of insurance can help cover medical expenses and attorney fees resulting from bodily injury or property damage claims for which your organization may be legally responsible.

GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICIES TYPICALLY HAVE FOUR COVERAGE ELEMENTS:

Premises liability covers you in the event that a person who is not employed at your business becomes injured on your property. If someone sued your business because they tripped and fell on your property, liability insurance can help cover those expenses.

Products liability covers you if a product or service causes injury to someone’s body or inflicts damage on a consumer’s personal property. If you’re a tech company that broke a customer’s computer while performing a service on it, those damages could be covered.

A personal injury is when your business inflicts a physical, financial or mental injury to a third party. For instance, let’s say you take action in detaining someone who you had reason to believe was stealing from your store. If it turns out your accusations are false and the person decides to sue you, you’d be covered under your general liability policy.

Advertisement injuries are caused by alleged misinformation, copyright infringement or slander made by your company. If you were advertising a product that claimed it could help clear acne and it ended up making a consumer’s acne worse, that could be considered an advertisement injury.

Overall, a general liability policy is beneficial for covering any medical bills or legal costs that accrue if the injured third party decides to sue your business.

Employment Practices Liability

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) is a form of insurance that covers wrongful acts that occur during the employment process. The most frequent types of claims covered under an EPLI policy include claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

These policies will reimburse your company against the costs of defending a lawsuit in court, and for judgments and settlements. EPLI covers legal costs, whether your company wins or loses the suit. However, these policies typically do not pay for punitive damages, or civil or criminal fines.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is important in the event that an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness. This type of insurance is required in most states and is used to cover medical bills or wage replacement for employees who experience a work-related injury.

For example, if a worker pulled a back muscle at work and was unable to perform their duties, workers’ compensation would help in covering any physical therapy costs as well as compensating the employee for any lost wages.

Having worker’s compensation insurance can also protect your business from civil suits made by employees against your company related to their injuries.

Cyber Liability Insurance

If any part of your business is on an online platform, it is crucial to obtain cyber liability insurance. This type of coverage can protect your business from a cyber attack or interruption that can cause a loss in data, revenue and the trust between you and your customers.

Cyber liability insurance is not only there to protect the internal information of your company, such as employees’ social security or financial information, but it also protects your customers’ personal and banking information.

Most cyber liability policies include both first- and third-party coverage:
• First-party coverage is for the business itself— helping the business recover from any losses after a cyber attack.
• Third-party coverage is to cover claims by people who have been injured because of your business being hacked.

Restoring compromised or lost data can be very costly, so cyber liability insurance is there to help cover financial losses to your business and the costs of claims made against your company by clients or other third parties who were affected.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance helps cover the costs of an auto accident if you or an employee is at fault. This coverage can help pay for damaged property and medical expenses.
• Your business should consider a commercial auto policy if any of the following are true:
• Your business owns, leases or rents vehicles such as cars, trucks or vans.
• Your business has employees who drive their own vehicles to conduct business.
• Your business has employees who operate leased, rented or owned company vehicles.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, can protect your business against claims that a service you provided caused a client to suffer due to a mistake on your part or because you failed to perform a service.

Professional liability insurance can cover the cost of defending your business in a civil lawsuit for an alleged error or omission. What’s more, depending on your industry, professional liability insurance may be required by law.
While many types of businesses need professional liability insurance, you should especially consider this type of insurance if your  business works directly with customers while providing services.

Contact Hardenbergh Insurance Group to help you analyze your needs and decide on the right Insurance Policies for Small Business.

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

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Midsize Tenants Dominate Demand for Industrial Space

E-commerce and last-mile logistics tenants in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – are fueling additional demand for expansion in the U.S. and spurring midsize space users to dominate the industrial market.

Midsize industrial tenants – those who occupy 50,000-sq.-ft. to 300,000-sq.-ft. boxes – are driving industrial demand in various segments of the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate market, according to a report from real estate services firm Avison Young in a recent issue of National Real Estate Investor magazine.

For example, between January 2017 to June 2019, tenants in Chicago signed 872 industrial leases totaling 97.3 million sq. ft., with an average size of 111,629 sq. ft. Tenants in Atlanta signed 320 industrial leases totaling 36.2 million sq. ft., with an average size of 113,243 sq. ft. Dallas tenants signed 490 leases totaling 52.5 million sq. ft., with an average size of 107,265 sq. ft. Tenants in Indianapolis signed 41 leases totaling 52.5 million sq. ft., with an average size of 146,341 sq. ft., according to Avison Young.

This CoStar Realty Information Inc. 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.

“[Midsize users] do dominate the market,” says Brooks Staley, senior consultant with The CoStar Group, a research firm dealing with market metrics dealing with U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings. “There are a lot more users who are looking for space in that kind of sweet spot than those who are looking for big boxes.”

For example, in Indiana, demand for midsize industrial space is booming, but the supply is scarce. As of mid-June 2019, there were 12 speculative industrial buildings of 250,000 sq. ft. or less being developed in Central Indiana, totaling 2.1 million sq. ft. In the state’s southern submarket, there is, however, only one midsize space available, a 70,400-sq.-ft. property in Greenwood.

Florida’s industrial markets also are showing growth among midsize users. Orlando tenants signed 68 industrial leases totaling 7.3 million sq. ft., with an average deal size of 108,095 sq. ft. Tampa Bay tenants signed 53 industrial leases totaling 5.0 million sq. ft., with an average deal size of 94,333 sq. ft. Jacksonville tenants signed 61 leases totaling 7.0 million sq. ft., with an average deal size of 114,590 sq. ft.

The growth in e-commerce and the need for last-mile delivery throughout national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties has only strengthened the demand for midsize industrial boxes. At the end of June 2019, pricing for these types of assets averaged $68.71 per sq. ft., with around $4.7 billion in sales volume, according to CoStar data. At the end of June 2018, prices averaged $59.08 per sq. ft., with $7.7 billion in sales volume. In June 2017, pricing in the sector was at $59.56 per sq. ft., with $7.3 billion in sales volume.

“You can see that there’s been a pretty steady acceleration of pricing at 300,000 square feet and below. The same goes for larger sizes as well,” says Staley. “Industrial is the hot property type to be in right now, and that makes sense because of the tailwinds we’re seeing from e-commerce, from how all sorts of retailers are looking at their supply chain. We’re going to see pricing boosts for both midsize and large boxes.”

But despite strong demand and rising prices for midsize industrial facilities, investment sales activity in in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – is decelerating. In June 2019, there were 639 deals closed in the sector. In June 2017 and 2018, there were 1,121 and 1,197 deals, respectively. Staley says this drop stems from investors choosing to invest in ground-up construction to dodge rising prices on existing properties.

“We’ve done analysis that shows a lot more players in the industrial space actually are turning to development rather than acquisition in order to make returns,” says Staley. “[Pricing has] gotten so frothy in the marketplace that players are backing off or they’re saying, ‘We can develop. We can scrape a site and develop something.’ That would be the best shot at getting good returns.”

The same story is happening for large industrial facilities, or boxes with more than 300,000 sq. ft. In June 2017, pricing among such national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings reached $48.18 per sq. ft., with around $3.2 billion in sales volume. By June 2019, prices climbed to an average of $76.20 per sq. ft., but with around $3.9 billion in sales volume.

“We would expect at the moment, because of pricing trends among all size ranges, that price appreciation will maybe stagnate a little bit as deals begin to dry up,” says Staley. “People are little bit leery of overpaying this late cycle.” – By Sebastian Obando; CoStar Realty Information Inc.

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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How to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

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

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CREATIVELY STORE to Get the Most Out of Your Office Space

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

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

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

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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WCRE APPOINTED EXCLUSIVE AGENT BY SKY MANAGEMENT TO MARKET OXFORD COURT IN LANGHORNE, PA

Oxford CourtWCRE | CORFAC International is pleased to announce that it has been appointed by Sky Management Services as the exclusive office leasing agent to market +/-155,000 square feet at Oxford Court located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, directly adjacent to Sesame Place and Oxford Valley Mall.

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This state of the art medical and office center was completely renovated in 2016 and is located directly off U.S. 1 & I-295. Along with being adjacent to the Oxford Valley Mall, the complex is very close to Jefferson Health, Bucks Campus and various other medical offices. The campus is situated in the heavily populated portion of Lower Bucks County that is currently one of the fastest growing communities in Pennsylvania and serves as the commercial hub for Lower Bucks County.

The complex’s retail visibility enables a variety of tenants from traditional retail use to office users. This campus is ideal for medical users along with laboratories, law firms, and other tenants that benefit from ground level visibility.

“We are thrilled to partner with Sky Management to market their first-class complex at Oxford Court on behalf of such a reputable owner across the East Coast” said Jason Wolf, managing principal of WCRE

WCRE’s Mitch Russell, Ty Martin, Kevin Coleman and Jason Wolf will be working will be working closely with Sky Management to facilitate the leasing of this well-trafficked property.

“We are very pleased to join forces with team WCRE as they take over the leasing at Oxford. While we have expanded our portfolio significantly throughout the east coast over the years, we have always had very strong ties to the area and Oxford Court remains one of the most valued assets in our portfolio,” said Alex Dembitzer, founder and CEO of Sky.

A marketing brochure is available upon request and additional information can be found at the links below.

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 ww.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com, and www.phillyretailspace.com.

About SKY Management Services

Sky Management Services, LLC, with corporate offices in New York and Philadelphia, is a leading real estate investment and management company which owns and operates a large, diversified portfolio of properties in the United States. Sky, as a private real estate equity firm with currently over $500mm of assets owned, continues to seek quality investments at reasonable returns which we have proven an ability to quickly close. We improve our properties through focused management and targeted value-add initiatives. We remain focused with a tenant centric understanding- we put tenants first. We work with our tenants to enhance efficiency, reduce costs and plan for future growth. 

Sky Management’s growth has been fueled by its long-standing philosophy of creating value by locating and actively repositioning, renovating and/or recapitalizing underperforming or underutilized assets – and executing this philosophy with a team of seasoned executives who function skillfully across multiple disciplines. We employ an opportunistic, value-driven, style and a flexible approach to acquire real estate assets, portfolios, and companies.

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WCRE SECOND QUARTER 2019 REPORT

SOLID FUNDAMENTALS, STEADY GAINS IN SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY CRE MARKETS

Quarterly Performance a Continuation of Success

WCRE SECOND QUARTER 2019 REPORTCommercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its analysis of the second quarter of 2019 that the Southern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania markets continued to show modest gains and overall solid fundamentals. Sales volume and prospecting activity were up over the first quarter totals, while leasing dipped for the overall region, but was up in Camden County, and Cherry Hill in particular. Gross leasing absorption was lower, but still positive.

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“For several years in a row we have seen mostly slow, steady growth supported by strong fundamentals,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “Commercial real estate has performed very reliably, and although leasing volumes were down this quarter, there is a pipeline of approximately 450,000 square feet of pending deals expected to close in the near term.”

There were approximately 286,707 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which was a decrease of 23 percent over the previous quarter. The sales market stayed active, with about 1.18 million square feet on the market or under agreement. Sales were busy, with approximately 739,714 square feet trading hands. This is nearly four times the square footage sold during the first quarter.

New leasing activity accounted for approximately 75 percent of all deals for the three counties surveyed. Overall, gross leasing absorption for the first quarter was in the range 150,000 square feet, compared to 411,000 in the first quarter.

Other office market highlights from the report:

  • The city of Camden welcomed TRIAD1828 Centre, a newly constructed 394,164 square foot office tower on the waterfront. The Michaels Organization, Conner Strong & Buckelew, and NFI are all relocating their headquarters to the tower.
  • Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 11.40 percent, which is 20 basis points better than the previous quarter.
  • Average rents for Class A & B product continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$15.00/sf NNN or $20.00-$25.00/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. These averages have hovered near this range for more than a year.
  • Vacancy in Camden County ticked up slightly to 11.3 percent for the quarter. It stood at 11.1 percent in the first quarter.
  • Burlington County’s vacancy dropped to 11.5 percent , improving 60 basis points. Burlington’s vacancy rate jumped earlier in the year due to several large blocks of space returning to the market.

WCRE has expanded into southeastern Pennsylvania, and the firm’s quarterly reports now include a section on transactions, rates, and news from Philadelphia and the suburbs. Highlights from the first quarter in Pennsylvania include:

  • The vacancy rate in Philadelphia’s office market ticked down to 8.8 percent, from 9 percent in the previous quarter. The office vacancy rate is still near a 20-year low, and below that of comparable major cities.
  • The industrial sector in Philadelphia remains very strong. The second quarter saw a further decrease in vacancy rates, to 4.9 percent, while net absorption was constrained by a shrinking volume of available space. There are 25 industrial properties under construction which will bring an additional 5.27 million square feet to the market.
  • Philadelphia retail is treading water to avoid a major spike in vacancy. The vacancy rate inched down to 4.2 percent, while net absorption was positive at 1.4 million square feet over the last twelve months. This includes two straight quarters in negative territory.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey retail market. Highlights from the retail section of the report include:

  • Retail vacancy in Camden County dropped to 5.7 percent, with average rents in the range of $16.32/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Burlington County dropped half a point, to 7.4 percent, with average rents in the range of $12.75/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Gloucester County dropped to 7.9 percent, with average rents in the range of $15.95/sf NNN.

The full report is available upon request.

About WCRE

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

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

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Fire Protection Impairment Programs

Fire Protection Impairment ProgramsAn uncontrolled fire can be extremely damaging to your organization, and while a fire protection system may be able to protect against many threats, impairments are an inevitable part of a fire protection system’s life cycle.

For the safety of your organization and its employees, it is necessary to have a fire protection impairment program in place. An impairment is any time that a fire detection, alarm or suppression system is out of service or unable to operate to the full extent of its intended design. During an impairment, the chances of a fire developing and causing major damage is greatly increased. The goal of a fire protection impairment program is to minimize the risk of a fire developing and spreading during an impairment while maintenance, repairs and tests are performed to the system.

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There are two types of impairments: planned and unplanned, which are grouped into two different levels of severity: major and minor.

• Planned—The system is purposely put out of service for maintenance.
• Unplanned—The system is unintentionally out of service, and may be so without anyone’s knowledge.
• Major—The impairment lasts more than ten hours and/or affects multiple systems.
• Minor—The impairment lasts for fewer than ten hours and is limited to a single system.

When an unplanned impairment is discovered, accurately determining its severity is crucial to understanding how to handle the impairment. When scheduling an impairment, such as for routine maintenance, it’s important to limit the extent of the impairment as much as possible, aiming to make it a minor impairment so that the threat of fire damage is lessoned.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES DURING FIRE PROTECTION IMPAIRMENTS

Ensuring safety and efficiency during an impairment requires a great deal of work, planning and coordination. To be prepared for an impairment, organizations should develop a written program, assign responsibilities to staff and train employees in the procedures to be followed during an impairment. The written program should outline exactly what to do before, during and after an impairment based on its type and severity, as well as assign and detail the role and responsibilities.

Commonly, there are two primary roles needed during an impairment: an impairment supervisor and a fire watcher. Responsibilities should only be assigned to supervisor-level staff, with impairment supervisor responsibilities going to a safety manager. There should be a primary and alternate impairment supervisor for each shift.

FIRE IMPAIRMENT SUPERVISOR—The impairment supervisor’s job is to implement and manage the fire protection impairment program. They take care of scheduling planned impairments and implementing the plan during unplanned impairments. The impairment supervisor must also minimize the impact of the impairment by considering the unique factors of the situation and keeping as many effective fire protection systems online during the impairment as possible. This person is also responsible for notifying all relevant personnel, departments and agencies of the impairment, including the fire watcher.

FIRE WATCHER — The fire watcher’s job is to work with the impairment supervisor to ensure that conditions during the impairment are as safe as possible, and to report any unsafe conditions to the impairment supervisor. As part of this, the fire watcher is in charge of and should be fully trained on using temporary fire protection, such as fire extinguishers and water hoses, which they should keep at the ready in the area with the impairment for the duration of the impairment. This person should be very familiar with the impairment program, the facility and the procedures related to sounding a fire alarm.

MANAGING THE IMPAIRMENT

Before an impairment period, or upon discovering an unplanned impairment, the impairment supervisor should obtain a copy of the organization’s fire protection impairment program form and fill it out. This form must be updated as progress is made to include further details of the impairment and repair process.

The following persons and organizations should be notified in the event of an impairment as soon as possible:
• Insurance company or companies
• Local fire department
• Safety manager, or relevant managers and supervisors
• Personnel
• Building owner or their designated representative

Prepare the area to reduce the risk of a fire as much as is possible. Cease all processes that may be hazardous, and relocate all combustibles from the impaired area. Ensure that fire protection systems are working in all but the smallest area necessary to carry out maintenance during the impairment, and have manual fire extinguishers and other fire protection alternatives at the ready.

Display a fire protection impairment permit during the duration of the impairment and issue a hot work permit if any operation involving open flames, sparks or excessive heat is necessary. Maintain a continuous fire watch throughout the impairment and work continuously until systems are restored, keeping the impairment time as short as necessary. In the event that an impairment lasts longer than a single shift, have a formal handover procedure in place to ensure an efficient transition and continued safety. Supervisors taking over should be made fully aware of the details of the situation and the precautions in place.

When repairs are complete, restore the fire protection systems and test to ensure that they are fully operational. Once operational status has been verified, notify the local fire department and insurance company that the impairment period has ended. Lastly, finalize the impairment form and keep it filed for at least one year, as it may need to be referenced at a later date.

For more information about protecting your organization from a fire, reach out to your friends at Hardenbergh Insurance Group.

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

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Philadelphia’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 30-Year Low

After another month of job growth, the Philadelphia market has reached an important milestone: The metro area’s unemployment rate fell to 3.1 percent in May, the lowest level of unemployment recorded in Philadelphia since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began publishing the figure in 1990.

This CoStar Realty Information Inc. report involving Philadelphia commercial properties and employment is being made through Philadelphia commercial real estate broker Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm.

For the Philadelphia commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – current record-low unemployment represents both a blessing and a potential risk.

On the positive side, it reflects how the local economy and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings are clearly stronger than they were 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. The healthcare sector has powered this transformation, growing its employee count by 25 percent – or more than 100,000 local jobs – since the end of the last recession 10 years ago.

With available workers in short supply, competition for new job recruits across all industries operating out of Philadelphia commercial real estate properties is forcing companies to raise wages across industries and not just for the highest paid positions.

At least five local health systems have announced plans to raise their minimum wage since late 2018. The BLS also reported that average hourly wages across businesses contributing to the local commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – sectors grew by 3.6 percent last year. Pay increases such as these have supported rent growth over 3 percent among Philadelphia’s workforce housing rentals.

But the lower Philadelphia’s unemployment rate goes, the harder it will become for local companies to find the employees they need, making it more difficult for businesses to grow and less likely that they will expand their real estate footprints.

At 1.2 percent year-over-year, Philadelphia’s pace of job growth has already slowed to about two-thirds of the pace recorded in 2014 to 2015, when available workers were easier for companies to find. In line with that trend, the pace at which local office tenants looking for Philadelphia commercial real estate listings are expanding their square footage has also slowed in the past three to four years.

Philadelphia’s tight labor market will likely persist into next year. Under this scenario, wage gains should continue to support accelerated rent growth in workforce housing rentals while slowing job gains keep a lid on office tenant expansions.

Office tenants in Philadelphia commercial real estate markets may not be growing aggressively, but they will likely continue to put increased emphasis on leasing high-end space to help recruit and retain employees, as it is becoming increasingly costly to lose them. – By Adrian Ponsen; CoStar Realty Information Inc.

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

Phase I ESA

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

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SHORT ANSWER: NO. HERE’S WHY:

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

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

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

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

IN SUMMARY:

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

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

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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