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What Port Development Means for Industrial Real Estate

Gateway Port Development

There was a special focus on how port-related issues are driving real estate development at last week’s Bisnow National Industrial and Logistics Summit Northeast held in New York. Bisnow’s Miriam Hall did a great report on the experts’ view of commercial real estate market trends. Beyond the supply and demand of the current market, there were a few longer-term trends and issues that recurred throughout the day.

It’s all about the trucks

Trucking is the key mode of transport for moving goods in and out of ports, and it is increasingly the link in the supply chain driving the nature of industrial real estate development. Depending on who you ask, there’s either a shortage or truckers or a terribly inefficient allocation of existing resources. Either way, it’s creating a growing burden on logistics: the average age of truck drivers is now is 57, costs are up as much as 35%, and the American Trucking Association ATA estimates there is a shortage of nearly 69,000 truckers.

ELDs

Another hot topic of discussion throughout the day was the state of the trucking industry and the effect of mandated Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). ELDs bring the traditional DOT-required driver logs into the 21st century by automatically tracking hours of service. While the system could lead to greater safety, there are significant costs for initial investment, especially for smaller owner/operators. The new system also means that a few minutes delay here and there cannot be fudged as many acknowledge has been done in the past, making efficiency even more important.

Gateway Ports

Going forward, experts see the maritime industry coalescing around a limited number of “gateway” ports capable of providing the infrastructure and service needed to compete for container traffic. With an expanded Panama Canal and larger ships, channel depth and air draft are two of the most obvious attributes that will define gateway ports.

Equally important is what you do with cargo once it’s offloaded. Larger ships and fewer steamship lines create the risk that gateway ports will become choke points unless they can achieve the velocity needed to move goods quickly through the port. Many ports have established truck appointment systems, and ELD requirements are only putting greater pressure on scheduling. Facilities need to be configured to handle this volume, and having a sufficient number of Customs agents on hand when cargo is moving through is vital.

Site Selection

Low supply and high demand means that warehousing properties situated near ports are commanding a premium right now. Long-term, experts expect distribution points to move closer to markets as land become more scare at ports.

That need in part prompted the Port of Virginia to create inland intermodal facilities to which containers are transported by rail and barge for distribution. Not only does this solve the landside storage problem, it avoids the need for added truck traffic at the port. The future will likely bring strategic alliances between private developers and public ports (especially landlord ports) to solve these warehousing and transportation issues.

Site Design

The changing nature of logistics activity is driving changes in the physical configurations and attributes of warehousing as well:

  • E-commerce fulfillment centers require more parking (and more land) than traditional distribution facilities.
  • The configuration of dropyards will need to be more efficient to minimize ingating and outgating times.
  • Next-day delivery will drive more multistory warehouse/industrial uses in urban areas. These are expensive build, and older building stock may not have required clearances and engineering.
  • Expect to see vacant big box start to fill last-mile needs.

Technology

As with many industries, technology is affecting logistics in the present and not-too-distant-future:

  • Electric trucks: Can save 25 cents/mile, helping to offset ELD compliance costs and dampen effect of low supply.
  • Load-Matching Apps: Sometimes called Uber for trucks, linking truckers with loads to improve utilization of trucking resources. Two of the most prominent are Convoy and Transfix.
  • Blockchain: Encrypted transactions of products more attractive.\
  • Drone delivery: FAA clearance could one day be a factor in site selection.

 

Anthony V. Mannino

Chief Operating Officer, Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE)

Sr. Consultant, Triad Strategies
Board Member, PhilaPort

Greater Philadelphia Area Commercial Real Estate

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Anthony V. Mannino, Esq. Promoted to COO of WCRE

Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is pleased to announce that Anthony V. Mannino, Esq., has been named Chief Operating Officer. Mannino has served as Vice President, Corporate Strategies since joining WCRE in October, 2015. As COO, Mannino will have a broader focus on the operations and growth strategies of the firm.

Mannino’s new role comes as WCRE has an expanding presence in the region, adding four new brokers and increasing its activity in southeastern Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, WCRE became a regional affiliate of CORFAC International, a network of independently-owned, commercial real estate brokerage firms in 47 U.S. markets and world wide.

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“Tony’s guidance within the firm will play a key role in managing our growth, especially as our CORFAC alliance opens up new business opportunities,” said Jason Wolf, Managing Principal of WCRE. “His efforts will ensure that our team continues to deliver class-leading real estate services to our clients.”

Mannino came to WCRE after nearly ten years serving as chief of staff to two members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. Prior to his years of public service, he was a litigation attorney in the private sector for more than a decade, practicing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Like his colleagues at WCRE, Mannino has been an active supporter of many civic institutions in Philadelphia, from community associations to advocacy non-profits. He is currently a board member of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

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.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com.

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Realty Transfer Taxes: Understand the Costs and Plan Ahead

Transfer taxes are increasingly a major consideration when closing a real estate deal. As government budgets have become tighter over the years, the need for revenue has led to new transfer fees and legislation closing long-standing ‘loopholes” that allowed parties to legally avoid transfer taxes. The amount and type of tax owed varies widely based on the location of the property, its value, and the structure of the deal.

Transfer Taxes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

In Pennsylvania, the state Realty Transfer Tax is 1% of the sale consideration. Local realty transfer taxes bring the overall rate to anywhere from 2% (most counties) to 5% (transfers within the City of Reading). There are exemptions from the transfer tax; examples include certain intra-familial transactions, transactions involving religious organizations, and property passed under wills or intestate succession. Properties within Keystone Opportunity Zones are not exempt from the realty transfer tax.

In New Jersey, the tax is called a Realty Transfer Fee and rates are uniform statewide. There is one schedule of rates for properties less than $350,000 in value, and a different set of rates for properties greater than $350,000 in value. For properties under $350,000 in value, there may be partial exemptions for seniors, the blind or disabled, or low and moderate income housing.

New Jersey also imposes an additional 1% fee on any property transfer in excess of $1 million. Commonly called the “Mansion Tax,” this fee originally applied only to residential properties; it was expanded in 2006 to apply to the transfer of most commercial properties.

The ability to structure transactions to avoid paying transfer tax has been significantly curtailed over the last decade. Parties often avoided transfer taxes by transferring a controlling interest in an entity owning real estate rather than the real estate itself. One example of this was the “89/11” rule; if less than 90 percent of a property-owning partnership was sold, the remaining 11 percent could be transferred three years later to avoid paying the tax.

In Pennsylvania, a series of legislative measures enacted in 2012 and 2013 largely closed the “89/11” loophole and imposed closer scrutiny on transactions that transferred an interest in entities owning real estate, particularly if more than one level of entity was involved. New Jersey instituted a Controlling Interest Tax (CIT) in 2008, which imposed a 1% tax on transfers of controlling interests in entities that directly or indirectly own real property. The CIT applies to most types of commercial property.

There may be ways to structure a transaction to avoid transfer taxes – such as long-term leases – but the deal usually needs to be sufficiently large enough to justify the cost and complexity. If you are facing a commercial real estate transaction where transfer taxes may be a consideration, WCRE and its team of experts can help guide you through the process.

Wolf Commercial Real Estate is a Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, 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 or Philly retail 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 or Philly retail 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.

For More Information Contact:

transfer-taxesAnthony V. Mannino, Esq.

P: 215 799 6900

D: 215 799 6140

F: 856 283 3950

M: 215 470 6084

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