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Monthly Archives: November 2019


Big-Box Store Landlords See Signs Shoppers Still Spending

Some big-box store and mall owners in both national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets are releasing sighs of relief: Consumers still are spending and could keep that up throughout the crucial holiday shopping season and into 2020, lifting any concerns of an immediate acceleration in store closings.

Peering into the earnings results of some the nation’s predominant big-box discounters like Target and TJ Maxx can offer a sense the economy and consumer confidence in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – will stay strong, at least for now.

That’s been a much-talked-about topic recently in U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings circles as investors awaited earnings reports they hoped would shed light on the current state of an industry evolving quickly to balance in-store and e-commerce sales as well as its brick-and-mortar footprint.

This CoStar Realty Information Inc. report from Jennifer Waters 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.

Store closings across the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – have been at a record pace, causing owners, investors and lenders to watch retail earnings reports closely to see if any slowing demand could mean more closings and empty store property on their hands.

Even with results that fell short of some of Wall Street’s expectations, retailers repeated the same song: the economy is still ticking away, and consumers still are in good shape. Of course, many of these retailers in national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties remain focused on keeping their costs low, which can help lure shoppers into stores. The harder test is faced by the department stores that offer more expensive items and are reporting earnings results later this week.

But for the lower-cost sellers, the healthy results came despite the Commerce Department’s October sales report, which showed a reduction in spending tied mostly to vehicles and gasoline sales, two volatile segments. Skipping over those, spending rose, albeit at a speck of 0.1 percent, but analysts mostly have disregarded those factors as outliers.

Target, for example, exceeded earnings expectations with results that buttressed its strategy of providing consumers with unique items. The Minneapolis-based chain introduced new apparel brands, a proprietary grocery brand, and opened 25 mini Disney stores last month at competitive prices.

TJ Maxx, the parent of its namesake stores as well as Marshalls, Home Goods, and Home Sense in Canada, also reported robust results and plugged its forecasts. For TJ Maxx, for example, the wave of store closings has been a boon to the company’s business model of purchasing leftover inventory and selling it at reduced prices.

There are exceptions, such as J.C. Penney and Kohl’s, which are scrambling for ways to keep their brands relevant, according to analysts. While big-box and mall owners with national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings continue to keep an eye on those retailers, they can rest assured that consumers are still opening wallets as job growth continues to keep unemployment at low levels. – By Jennifer Waters, 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 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.

A Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate 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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Common Commercial Leasing Mistakes

Common Commercial Leasing MistakesLet’s look at 10 common commercial leasing mistakes and how to avoid them. Commercial leasing transactions are among the longest term contracts parties will ever enter into, yet many often take the cavalier attitude that “it is just a lease.” That lack of focus and attention to detail often leads to mistakes that can haunt the parties for years and waste valuable time and money.

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Ten Common Commercial Leasing Mistakes and Suggested Tips:

1. Incorrect Names of the Parties
The parties’ names must be clearly and precisely listed but have errors a shocking number of times, as either the landlord’s name, the tenant’s name or both are often incorrect. These mistakes cast potential doubts regarding the validity and enforceability of the lease agreement and raise possible defenses. If you end up in such a situation, a lease amendment should be signed that expressly ratifies all of the lease terms and acknowledges the prior error(s). Avoid such situations by verifying the parties’ names by searching New Jersey and Pennsylvania corporate websites, which can be completed within a minute free of charge. Obtaining copies of filed certificates of incorporation, certifications of formation and the like will also help verify that the parties’ names are correctly shown. Further, a short form good standing certificate or a  subsistence certificate can be obtained online in a few minutes at a nominal cost.

2. Parties No Longer Exist
Entities to lease transactions (whether landlord or tenant or their successors or assigns) may be dissolved. Thus, the parties should conduct basic due diligence and verify the facts on an ongoing basis. Obtaining good standing or subsistence certificates could be helpful in this regard. If, for example, a good standing certificate indicates that annual reports and related fees are overdue, that party should be compelled to file such reports and pay such fees to avoid being involuntarily suspended by the State. If a party has already been dissolved voluntarily or involuntarily, they should be required to get their “organizational house” in order, and then lease instruments can be signed.

3. Your Lease is Actually a Sublease
Tenants should consider obtaining title searches to verify ownership of the property by the landlord indicated in the lease documents, or at the very least by asking for copies of deeds, tax records and title polices from their landlords. Otherwise, a tenant may not know that its lease is actually a sublease, which is more common than one might think. If you are a subtenant and not a tenant, your landlord cannot grant to you any rights that do not exist under the master lease and, therefore, you cannot understand your rights unless and until you review the applicable master lease.

4. Authorized Parties Do Not Sign or Incorrectly State their Title
Only an individual authorized to bind an entity should be signing documents on its behalf, and the signer’s name and title should be clearly shown. Such basics are commonly disregarded and the parties simply assume that whoever has signed the lease is an authorized signer. You should consider requesting copies of Operating Agreements, Shareholder’s Agreements and applicable consents and resolutions to confirm that an authorized person is signing. The lease documents should also explicitly represent that the person signing this lease document on behalf of each party is duly authorized to bind such party. If an agent is signing on behalf of the landlord, ask for evidence of authority in the form of a signed agency agreement granting such powers. Finally, make sure that the title of the signer matches the type of entity that is being bound. General partnerships have General Partners; limited partnerships have General Partners and Limited Partners; corporations have officers (i.e. typically President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) and limited liability companies most commonly have Managers or Managing Members.

5. Premises Size Not Indicated
The size of the premises should be indicated, especially when the lease document indicates a rental rate on a square foot basis or requires pass throughs based on a proportionate share of the building or center.

6. Blanks in the Documents
Do not leave any blanks in the documents. Aside from simply looking sloppy, such blanks may be crucial in terms of triggering contractual milestones (e.g. lease commencement date, rent commencement date, timing to complete landlord’s work and the timing for the tenant to submit plans and to open for business). In a worst case scenario, document blanks could give rise to questions and disagreements regarding enforceability.

7. Lender and Other Required Approvals Were Not Obtained
Landlord’s loan documents may require lender’s approval prior to entering into any lease or lease amendments, and it is easy to forget to obtain such approval. Landlords should reach out to their lender(s) as soon as the lease is agreed upon so that the deal does not get derailed by delays. Tenants should ask for evidence of such lender approvals and representations that all required third party approvals have been obtained (or are not necessary). The parties should also check for rights of first refusal (ROFR), rights of first offer (ROFO), use and building restrictions in leases granted to other tenants.

8. Unclear if Prior Tenant Parties and Guarantors Remain Liable After Assignment
Original tenant parties and guarantors often remain liable for lease obligations even after there has been an assignment of a lease, barring negotiated releases. However, such continuing liability is often unclear to the responsible parties, including tenants that sold their businesses. Lease assignment and consent documents should clarify the scope and extent of the parties’ liability.

9. Unexpected Zoning Board, Planning Board or Other Approvals
It is not uncommon for leasing parties to discover after signing that unanticipated approvals are needed (such as from the zoning board or planning board), which can delay occupancy by months or longer and result in significant expense. Signage and other approvals may also be necessary. Ideally, the parties would perform due diligence of the zoning code and obtain copies of prior approvals granted prior to entering into the lease, and then allocate their respective responsibilities, obligations and related costs between them.

10. Failure to Utilize Professionals
There is no such thing as a standard lease, and the parties must ensure that the documents being negotiated and signed reflect their mutual understandings. Landlords and tenants would be wise to utilize experienced and qualified professionals such as commercial real estate brokers with local knowledge to assist in the leasing process. They would also be prudent to choose an attorney with significant leasing experience, good judgment and a reputation for getting deals done.

CONCLUSION:

A leasing transaction is one of the longest term contracts most parties will ever sign, typically lasting five years or longer. Some landlords and tenants take the attitude that “it is just a lease” (and therefore not a big deal) and do not pay requisite attention to the key basics of any contract, and those basic deal terms are wrong in an astonishing number of deals. The most common commercial leasing mistakes, such as incorrectly naming the parties, leaving blanks that potentially impact the rent commencement date and other key milestones and incorrectly stating a signer’s title are shockingly common. Landlords and tenants should take their time to get the deal as reflected in the lease documents precisely right, and avoid common mistakes such as those listed above, the majority of which can be avoided without significant expense by simply paying attention to the details.

Kenneth M. Morgan is an experienced leasing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and none of these materials offered are, nor should be construed as, investment advice, legal advice or a legal opinion based on any specific facts or circumstances.

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WCRE HELPS FEED THE COMMUNITY WITH 6th ANNUAL THANKSGIVING FOOD DRIVE

Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) wrapped up its sixth annual Thanksgiving Food Drive today by delivering over 100 bags of food and $1,525 in supermarket gift cards and donations to the Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Service food pantry.

As in previous years, the firm spent the past several weeks collecting food and grocery store gift cards from friends, clients, and colleagues throughout the region. More than thirty-five area businesses contributed to the effort.

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“Over the past six plus years, WCRE has become an integral charitable partner in our efforts,” said Marla Meyers, MSW, executive director of Samost Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern New Jersey. “We thank the entire WCRE team for their generosity and leadership today and throughout the year.”

The food drive is part of WCRE’s Community Commitment program, which also includes donating a portion of the proceeds from transactions to one of several local charities.

In 2016, WCRE formed The WCRE Foundation to manage and oversee our community fundraising efforts and donations.  To date, The WCRE Foundation has successfully raised approximately $315,000 from its community efforts.

Currently, WCRE and The WCRE Foundation support Bancroft, CARES Institute at Rowan University, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice and the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. We also offer our clients the option to designate the charitable portion of their transaction to a charity of their choice.

About WCRE

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

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

About JFCS

To learn more about JFCS’ efforts, visit https://jfcssnj.org/

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Does Your Business Have Equipment Breakdown Insurance?

equipment breakdown insurance policiesLet’s take a look at equipment breakdown insurance. Companies need safe and working equipment to operate efficiently and generate revenue. In fact, some organizations rely exclusively on a few pieces of equipment to run their entire business. Following a breakdown, major losses can occur, and many organizations turn to equipment breakdown insurance (sometimes referred to as boiler and machinery insurance).

Breakdown coverage is a form of property insurance designed to protect a company’s mechanical, electrical and computer equipment from unexpected breakdowns. These policies are flexible, and help organizations recoup financial losses related to property damage, business interruption and spoilage. Read on to see examples of this coverage in action.

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Benefits of Equipment Breakdown Insurance

• Repair cost coverage — Following an breakdown, organizations may have to pay thousands just to get their business up and running again. Equipment breakdown insurance can help soften the blow, reimbursing organizations for the cost to repair or replace damaged equipment due to an accident.

• Expediting expenses — Repairing complex equipment in a hurry can be an expensive endeavor. Most equipment breakdown insurance policies cover any expenses needed to speed up the repair or replacement of damaged property, including the cost of temporary repairs.

• Protection against business interruptions — Virtually in all cases, an equipment failure disrupts a business. In some instances, these disruptions are quantifiable, leading to lost revenue and productivity. Equipment breakdown insurance covers some of these costs, including income lost as a result of a covered accident. What’s more, this protection is in effect until the equipment is repaired or replaced.

• Coverage for perishable goods — Following an equipment failure, food-related businesses experience some of the most direct losses. Food industry equipment is not only expensive to repair and replace, but businesses can lose thousands of dollars worth of product if a freezer or refrigerator fails. Thankfully, equipment breakdown insurance provides adequate protection and covers food spoilage, manufactured goods or other perishable items after a covered incident.

Claims Scenario: Give Me a Break

The company: A metal cutting company.

The challenge: Equipment failure is a broad risk—one that can affect organizations of all kinds. What’s more, equipment failure isn’t always the result of a specific catastrophe, and many events that lead to a breakdown are out of a company’s control. Recently, a power surge caused by a major storm destroyed two circuit boards at a metal cutting shop. This unexpected outage left the business without the necessary machinery to continue operations. Furthermore, in order to meet production deadlines, shop workers had to travel to the company’s sister location. Between the lost time, travel expenses and repair costs, the organization experienced $52,000 in losses—all from just one storm. Equipment breakdown insurance in action: Equipment outages and breakdowns are not generally covered under standard commercial insurance policies. Instead, organizations should acquire comprehensive breakdown insurance to cover the cost to repair or replace damaged equipment. In addition, the insurance reimburses companies for lost time, which can prove invaluable following a sudden outage.

Claims Scenario: Spoiler Alert

The company: A small, family-owned restaurant.

The challenge: A restaurant recently experienced major losses after several of their refrigerators stopped working. The restaurant depends on these appliances to deliver fresh food to their clients. After several attempts to fix the system, the restaurant had to close for the day and call for repair services. Not only did the restaurant have to pay over $1,000 in maintenance costs, they also lost about $18,000 worth of food products due to spoilage—a major hit for a small business. Insurance in action: Just one equipment failure can lead to multiple losses, including lost revenue from business interruptions and lost product from spoilage. Thankfully, breakdown insurance can protect against these risks. In fact, equipment breakdown insurance is one of the few ways restaurants and other food-related businesses can recoup losses from spoiled inventory. An outage of any kind could easily result in the inability to prepare, cook, serve and sell food. As such, organizations need to secure the right policy to ensure their business is protected before, during and after an breakdown.

Learn More About Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Problems with your equipment can be extremely risky if you are not properly insured. What’s more, standard property insurance policies do not guarantee cover for these types of losses. In these instances, breakdown insurance is invaluable, protecting you in the face of unforeseen damage or breakdowns. Consult Hardenbergh Insurance Group today to learn more about equipment breakdown insurance to combat costly, and often unpredictable, problems at your place of business. We have the commercial property expertise to help you mitigate your risks and protect your bottom line.

Brian Blaston Hardenbergh

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Lower Inflation Figures Reflect Slowing Rent Growth

Recently released October consumer inflation numbers indicate less upward pressure on prices throughout national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets, largely driven by weaker growth in housing costs, including slowing rent growth. The weaker inflation report comes after the Federal Reserve has already cut interest rates three times this year, in part to boost inflation closer to its target.

The slowdown in rent growth reflected in these lower inflation figures in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – is consistent with the trend in CoStar data on apartment rents, which have decelerated to around 2.6 percent today from above 3 percent in recent quarters.

This CoStar Realty Information Inc. report from Robert Calhoun 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.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data, the consumer price index, which measures the price Americans pay for consumer goods and services, increased 1.8 percent in October compared to a year earlier. A meaningful increase in energy services and gasoline prices affecting U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings drove the slight uptick from the 1.7 percent increase seen in the previous month.

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices and is a better measure of underlying inflation pressure, slipped to 2.3 percent year over year, down from 2.4 percent in September. The resultant decline in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – was largely driven by housing-related costs.

The shelter costs among national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties account for roughly one-third of the consumer price index and nearly half of the core index. While government figures show rent for primary residences growing at 3.7 percent from a year ago, month-over-month rent growth decelerated to just 0.1 percent. This is the slowest growth in more than eight years.

Goods inflation, excluding food and energy, slowed somewhat in October as well. Apparel prices were the primary cause. While they are very noisy, the month-over-month decline of -1.8 percent represents the third-largest drop in apparel prices since at least 1947.

Prices for goods may see upward pressure going forward because of higher tariffs on imports from China and a recent decline in the foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar. Continued strength in the labor market and wages concerning national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings should allow retailers to pass on much of the expected price increases through to consumers.

Households in the U.S. spend three times as much on services as on goods. Despite slowing shelter costs, services inflation rose slightly in October to 3 percent. The cost of medical care services has been rising dramatically in recent months and now stands 5.1 percent higher than a year ago. Unemployment among healthcare practitioners and technicians is currently just 1.1 percent, which could be pushing up the cost of such services.

This report is not likely to change the central bank’s current stance on interest rates, at least for now. Although inflation is not trending in the direction the Fed would like, the Federal Open Market Committee indicated at its meeting in October that it intends to hold interest rates steady as it monitors incoming data. (NOTE: Robert Calhoun is a managing director and senior economist for CoStar Market Analytics in New York City.)

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 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.

A Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate 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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Avoiding Exposure for Commercial Real Estate Developers

Avoiding Exposure for Commercial Real Estate Developers

Commercial real estate developers and owners of recently completed development projects should be aware of a few things that can be done after the ribbon cutting to prevent headaches later on, avoid exposure to potential penalties for failing to comply with certain development conditions, and possibly put some money back in the till. Attention should be paid to these three issues after a project is completed.

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OBTAIN AN AS-BUILT SURVEY OF YOUR PROJECT.

An as-built survey is a detailed land survey that includes exact locations of subsurface infrastructure such as pipes and foundations. Sometimes owners rely on contractor notes that have been scribbled on design plans in the field during construction to serve as an as-built. Incorporating these notes in a clean and accurate as-built survey is well worth the time and expense as it will save headaches trying to piece information together later.
An as-built survey should be prepared immediately after the project has been completed. A purchaser might also consider procuring an as-built if one is not available. Some might view this an unnecessary expense; however, consider the following:

1) what is actually built by the contractor in the field doesn’t always line up exactly with the engineering design plans;

2) preparing a clean survey to document as-built conditions immediately after construction eliminates the time consuming and often costly effort required to piece together the information at a later date; and

3) if, at a later date, you want to make improvements or put an addition on the property, having an accurate as-built survey of existing conditions shows exactly where everything is on your site and expedites the process.

As an example of how an accurate as-built survey can save time and money, consider a scenario in which an owner wishes to construct an addition to an existing building and tie a new sewer lateral into an existing underground sanitary sewer force main. The design plans for the addition are developed based on the original design plans for the main building rather than an as-built survey, because the owner never had an as-built survey completed after construction. The design plans for the addition referenced an ‘approximate’ location of the force main, as the ‘exact’ location was never documented. What if that force main was not in the location indicated
on the design plans? If not, it would require a lot of digging and an expensive subsurface utility investigation to locate the pipe to determine the exact location. This costly delay could be avoided if the owner invested in a complete and accurate as-built survey of the property immediately after construction, including the location of all underground infrastructure.

MAKE SURE YOUR NJDEP PERMITS (INCLUDING YOUR WETLANDS LOI) WERE RECORDED WITH THE COUNTY CLERK

Many landowners and commercial real estate developers understand the need to obtain permits from the NJDEP to make improvements to land in New Jersey. However, compliance with administrative permit conditions is sometimes overlooked. One of the conditions of all permits that are issued by the NJDEP under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules (Rules), N.J.A.C. 7:7A, is that permits must be recorded with the Office of the County Clerk (or the Registrar of Deeds and Mortgages, if applicable) where the site is located. Permits must be recorded within 30 calendar days of receipt (for activities taking place in only one county) and within 90 calendar days of receipt (for activities within two or more counties). A copy of the recorded permit must be forwarded to the NJDEP. Recently, as of July 2019, NJDEP has also required that freshwater wetland delineations and verifications must also be recorded. As
stated in the Rules, within 90 calendar days after the NJDEP issues a wetland delineation or verification letter of interpretation on a privately owned lot, or on a publicly owned lot other than a right-of-way, the recipient of the delineation or verification shall submit certain information to the Office of the County Clerk or the registrar of deeds and mortgages in which the site is located, and shall send proof to the NJDEP that this information was recorded on the deed of each lot referenced in the delineation or verification letter of interpretation.

It is important that this condition is not overlooked, as the NJDEP has the authority to take enforcement action if permit conditions are not met. As stated in the Rules, any noncompliance with a permit constitutes a violation of the NJDEP rules and is grounds for enforcement action under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-22, which includes potential penalties and suspension and/or termination of a permit. In the case of a wetland delineation or verification letter of interpretation, termination of a permit may mean having to re-delineate the wetlands which can be expensive, time-consuming, and subject to a new interpretation.

CLOSE OUT YOUR ESCROW ACCOUNTS AND REQUEST RELEASE OF PERFORMANCE GUARANTEES

Under the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq. (MLUL), there is a specific process for closing out escrow accounts and requesting release of performance guarantees. For application review escrow accounts, once the approving authority has signed the subdivision plat or site plan, or for inspection escrow accounts, once the work is completed, the commercial real estate developers are to send a written notice by certificated mail to the chief financial officer (CFO) of the municipality, to the approving authority, and to the relevant municipal professionals. After such notice is transmitted to the appropriate parties, the professionals are to submit a final bill to the CFO of the municipality within 30 days, with a copy to the developer. The CFO of the municipality must render a written final accounting to the commercial real estate developer on the uses to which the deposit was put within 45 days of receipt of the final bills. Any balances remaining in the deposit or escrow account, with any interest, must be refunded to the developer along with the final accounting. See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.2.

For performance guarantees, upon substantial completion of all required street improvements (except for the top course) and appurtenant utility improvements, and the connection of same to the public system, the commercial real estate developers may submit a request by certified mail to the governing body to the attention of the municipal clerk, with a copy to the municipal engineer, for the municipal engineer to prepare a list of all uncompleted or unsatisfactory bonded improvements. That request should specify which of the bonded improvements have been completed or remain uncompleted in the opinion of the developer. In response to the request the municipal engineer is to inspect all bonded improvements and submit a detailed list and report, in writing, to the governing body, with a copy to the developer, within 45 days after receipt of the request. Simply put, depending on the outcome of the inspection, the performance guarantee may be either released or reduced by a specific amount, commensurate with the remaining work. If the municipal engineer fails to send or provide the list and report as requested within 45 days from receipt of the request, the commercial real estate developer may seek a court order compelling the engineer to provide the list and report within a set time and may also be reimbursed for the cost of applying to the court, including reasonable attorney’s fees. See N.J.S.A. 40:55D-53.

Following up on these three issues after a project is completed can save time, money and headaches. For more information on any of these topics, contact Rod Ritchie or Bob Baranowski for assistance.

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Just What is Title Insurance Anyway

Just What is Title Insurance AnywayWhat is title insurance? Title insurance has been around for hundreds of years, yet most people still do not truly understand the what is title insurance, what is its purpose and what is it there for. You know you need it to buy or refinance a property. It can cost a lot depending on price of your property or loan amount. But what does title insurance really do for you and do you really need it?

You should always protect yourself by purchasing a title insurance policy. Title insurance is an agreement to indemnify against damage or loss from a defect in title as evidenced by a policy of title insurance to a specific parcel or real property.

Just What is Title Insurance Anyway (PDF Download) >>>

What is Title Insurance and How Does It Function?

There are two types of policies available: Owners Policy and Loan Policy. An owner’s policy insures an owner of any type of real property against loss by reason of those matters covered under the policy of insurance for as long as they own that property. A lender’s policy insures the lender has priority by way of a security instrument that protects them over claims that others may have in the property.

For example, let’s say you are looking to buy a property that has an old mortgage showing up on public records that was given to the current owner 20 years ago. Mr. Seller is saying it was paid off a long time ago. If you purchased your property without title insurance from that seller and the lender whose mortgage was still showing up on title comes knocking on your door for final payment because Mr. Seller lied, guess who will be losing their home to a potential foreclosure? YOU.

You see, with title insurance, we review the history of public records that include mortgages, judgments, liens, and other encumbrances that may affect your property after you purchase it. We minimize the risk by addressing all the potential issues that could become claims and eliminate them so that we can provide free and clear title to you, the buyer.

Title companies provide a number of services to all of the parties in a real estate transaction. Not only do they provide the final title policy which is the ultimate proof of insurance on the property, they also provide assurances that the transfer of title takes place in a timely manner and that the interest of the buyers and lenders are protected under the terms and conditions of the policy. One major responsibility of a title company is ensuring that all parties receive their funds efficiently and securely.

Title insurance is different from other lines of insurance that most people are familiar with (homeowners, car insurance, etc). These other types of insurances assume risks providing financial protection for losses that may arise from an unforeseen future event such as a fire, theft or accident. With title insurance, you pay a one-time premium at the time of closing, unlike the other types of insurance which are typically paid on an annual basis.

For more information on title insurance, please visit our website at: www.deedsearchers.com

Nicole Malcolm

 

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WCRE Exclusively Represents Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice Secure Their New Mount Laurel Headquarters Location

Redevelopment Continues in Region

Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice

WCRE is proud to have played a key role in representing Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice procure their new Headquarter location in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice completed a long-term lease at the 27,600 square foot free standing office building located at 3906 Church Road in Mount Laurel, NJ. The property is positioned directly across from Lifetime Fitness and directly next to several other well-known community service occupiers, including Bancroft. 3906 Church Road provides immediate access to I-295 (Exit 36) and The New Jersey Turnpike providing for convenient access for their clients and employees.

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Samaritan plans to relocate their entire Marlton office where they currently occupy approximately 21,000 SF of office space for the last 20 plus years.

The new Mount Laurel facility will be a complete interior and exterior renovation bringing a fresh, new look to the building.

Samaritan will relocate its corporate office to the new location in the beginning of 2020, the year of Samaritan’s 40th anniversary. “It’s an exciting time for Samaritan. A new year, new expanded services, and a new home,” says Mary Ann Boccolini, President and CEO of Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice. “The expanded space in the new building will enable us to support our growing family of services and employee base that touches over 10,000 lives every year. This new space will support our growth in years to come as we provide more and more essential healthcare services across the healthcare continuum to more and more people in the south Jersey and surrounding communities.”

WCRE’s Managing Principal, Jason Wolf noted the complexity involved in matching the parties according to their needs. “This assignment showcases our ability to work with multiple parties to structure a long-term investment and redevelopment transaction that will provide excellent outcomes for everyone involved,” Wolf said.

This transaction adds to WCRE’s growing number of educational, non-profit and institutional transactions in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region. This highly specialized sector is an area of strength and growth for WCRE.

The local ownership of 3906 Church Road was represented by Evan Zweben at Colliers International and Veritas Real Estate.

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

 

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East and West Trade Deals Bring Sighs of Relief, for Now

Recession and trade talks recently have been in the same sentence, with political entrenchment a risk to sap growth through the rest of this year and next. In that case, new preliminary trade agreements between both the U.S. and China and U.K. and European Union offer seemingly good news for national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets. However, while these two pre-deals are a relief on their face, neither appears completely satisfying, nor complete.

The U.S. agreement with China, announced late on Oct. 11 with details slow to leak, appears far from a done deal in relation to the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space. The faint sketch of the terms appears to focus on a phased agreement, where China would purchase more agricultural products from the U.S. and agree to new currency management standards.

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.

Meanwhile, across the pond, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned home to sell his Brexit deal to Parliament last weekend, and the initial response was hardly positive. Parliament is likely to remain in a frantic state as the deal appears to choose a much harsher Brexit than that agreed to by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, and some favor further delay until a consensus can be reached.

With industrial production growth turning negative compared to a year prior, based on August data released last week, any further slowdown in trade is everyone’s problem; U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings already are peripherally dealing with the consequences.

China’s industrial production, while staying positive, has slowed dramatically as well with GDP growth falling to a 30-year low, according to figures announced this past week. The industrial real estate sector in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – is cooling in the face of these headwinds.

Overall, third quarter growth for national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties should continue, but it faces plenty of crosscurrents. One major plus has been personal consumption, which remains elevated because of the tight labor market and despite a modestly weaker retail sales report this past week.

The second biggest boost is likely to be from government, though U.S. subsidies may not be enough to counteract the more significant drag from trade. Non-residential investment is a concern, with businesses confidence dropping severely recently amid uncertainty. All those factors portend a mixed message for office and retail, ultimately with their fate determined by whatever long-term clarity can be glimpsed as the economy settles into a slower growth path.

One noteworthy data point: Investment in residential housing among the varied national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings has been muted since the financial crisis, but it looks on track to have a stellar second half of 2019. Housing starts surged in September according to data released last week, and a rise in homebuilder confidence means it is likely to stay near that level.

This is good for the economy but perhaps negative for multifamily investors, as lower rates and higher incomes are spurring home ownership. Note: Robert Calhoun is a managing director and senior economist and Matt Powers is associate director of market analytics for CoStar Market Analytics in New York City.

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.

A Philadelphia commercial real estate broker with expertise in Philadelphia commercial real estate listings, Wolf Commercial Real Estate 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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