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WCRE 2018 FIRST QUARTER REPORT

SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY & PHILLY CRE MARKETS SEE MODERATE GAINS AMID TAX REFORM OPTIMISM AND FINANCIAL MARKET SHAKINESS

April 10, 2018 – Marlton, NJ – Commercial real estate brokerage WCRE reported in its latest quarterly analysis that the Southern New Jersey market is in largely good shape, with moderate gains in leasing activity and strong fundamentals. The firm believes the market may be poised to take off as benefits of the new tax law begin to reverberate in personal and corporate checkbooks.

Download Printable Report (PDF)

“Our market appears to have picked up steam, with a healthy pace of business growth and continuing new investment,” said Jason Wolf, founder and managing principal of WCRE. “Despite corrections ending a long winning streak in the financial markets, the benefits of the new tax law should shore up commercial real estate, especially industrial and office demand.”

There were approximately 272,550 square feet of new leases and renewals executed in the three counties surveyed (Burlington, Camden and Gloucester), which was a gain of 23 percent over the previous quarter. Leasing picked up, and the sales market stayed active, with about 1.63 million square feet on the market or under agreement and an additional 320,691 square feet trading hands. The sales figure is a 36 percent increase over the previous quarter.

New leasing activity accounted for approximately 77.2% percent of all deals. Overall, net absorption for the quarter was in the range of approximately 105,250 square feet. Both of these figures represent large increases over the fourth quarter.

Other office market highlights from the report:

  • Overall vacancy in the market is now approximately 11.2 percent, which is more than a full point higher than the previous quarter. This may be attributed to large blocks of space returning to the market.
  • Average rents for Class A & B product continue to show strong support in the range of $10.00-$14.50/sf NNN or $20.00-$24.50/sf gross for the deals completed during the quarter. These averages have stayed within this range for most of this year.
  • Vacancy in Camden County improved steadily last year, but jumped nearly a point to 12.5 percent for the quarter.
    Burlington County vacancy was at 9.9 percent, which was also higher than the fourth quarter.

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:

  • Philadelphia’s office market saw a decrease in vacancy in the Central Business District during 2017 and Q1 2018, as demand for office space continues to be strong. Still, we see increasing employment and new construction, both of which bode well for continued strength.
  • Comcast’s second office tower, the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, is a 59-story (1,121 feet), LEED Platinum certified skyscraper developed by Liberty Property Trust. The development, positioned in the heart of the CBD, will also include a Four Seasons Hotel. The project is estimated to cost $1.2 billion, is expected to be the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago, and will be the largest private development project in the history of Pennsylvania. Net of the hotel, the property is planned for 1,336,682 SF of office space. Comcast has signed a 20-year lease for 98% of the building, with the remainder available for lease. However, Comcast may fill the remaining space themselves.
  • The project is estimated to cost $1.2 billion, is expected to be the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago and will be the largest private development project in the history of Pennsylvania. Net of the hotel, the property is planned for 1,336,682 SF of office space. Comcast has signed a 20-year lease for 98% of the building, with the remaining available for lease. However, like with the Comcast Center original headquarters, they potentially may fill the remaining space themselves.
  • At 2400 Market Street, the new Aramark Headquarters is utilizing the former Philadelphia Market Design Center and will comprise the entirety of floors 5-9 on a long-term lease. Thus, the expansion (new inventory) is effectively 100% pre-leased. Estimated delivery is early 2018.
  • The Philadelphia Planning Commission has approved zoning changes to an area west of 30th Street Station, where Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel University plan their Schuylkill Yards redevelopment project, a 14-acre district of labs, offices, residences and shopping. There is not a definitive timeline for the project. According to Brandywine, the master plan will comprise a total buildout of 2.8 million square feet of office, 1.6 million SF of residential, 247,000 SF hotel, 1 million SF of lab, and 132,000 SF of retail space. This reflects the bulk of proposed inventory in the Center City submarket.
  • Developer Oliver Tyrone Pulver Corp. is proposing a 38-story office tower on a long-empty lot east of City Hall at 1301 Market Street. It will comprise 841,750 SF upon completion if developed once a lead tenant is secured. The tower would tentatively open in 2020.
  • Demand for multi-family product is demonstrating significant growth, with nearly 2,800 units recently completed, 1,250 units under construction, and 3,200 units proposed in the PA suburbs. Within the Center City market, there are 2,200 units under construction with an additional 6,300 units proposed. Market participants are questioning whether these units will continue to be absorbed. Many high-end apartment complexes are facing concessions and compression in rental rates.
  • Quarter-over-quarter, industrial vacancy in Southeastern Pennsylvania was flat at 6.8%. The market’s largest yearly occupancy gains were recorded in Bucks County, where positive absorption totaled 709,530 square feet, and Delaware County, where 233,633 square feet was absorbed. The year’s largest moves were Almo and Amazon occupying 300,000 and 104,000 square feet of warehouse space along Cabot Boulevard in Bucks County in the second quarter.
  • Philadelphia County recorded 169,134 square feet in negative yearly absorption. The increased demand for warehouse and distribution space from e-commerce firms has focused on larger scale properties and newer buildings, both of which are in low supply. E-commerce and logistics warehouses may require anywhere between a few hundred thousand square feet to over 1 million square feet, but the tightness of Philadelphia’s industrial market means that many companies are starting to look outside the city to fulfill their space needs.

WCRE also reports on the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia retail market.

The first quarter saw a continuation of the unfortunate trend of legacy brands such as Toys R Us and Sears closing stores and/or filing for bankruptcy protection. However, there was good development news in the region, with several healthcare, entertainment, and retail projects receiving approval. Other highlights from the retail section of the report include:

  • Retail vacancy in Camden County stood at 8.4 percent, with average rents in the range of $13.75/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Burlington County stood at 10.4 percent, with average rents in the range of $14.24/sf NNN.
  • Retail vacancy in Gloucester County stood at 7.0 percent, with average rents in the range of $14.83/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 www.wolfcre.com, on Twitter & Instagram @WCRE1, and on Facebook at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, LLC. Visit our blog pages at www.southjerseyofficespace.com, www.southjerseyindustrialspace.com, www.southjerseymedicalspace.com, www.southjerseyretailspace.com, www.phillyofficespace.com, www.phillyindustrialspace.com, www.phillymedicalspace.com and www.phillyretailspace.com.

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The Bridge Loan – When To Consider Bridge Lenders

bridge-lenders-bridge-loansLet’s explore bridge lenders, bridge loans and when they are appropriate. When in the market for Commercial Real Estate Financing today, a borrower is faced with extensive options to consider. The traditional lenders like banks, Wall Street conduits and life insurance Companies are active and in the market in a big way, but have very precise parameters in terms of how much they will lend, to whom, and how quickly. The implementation of Dodd-Frank regulation is mostly complete and the overlay of the Basel III (Potentially Basel IV) International Banking reform initiatives have created a fairly material void for borrowers seeking loans from conventional sources on transactions that are perceived to be on the outer range of the risk spectrum.

View Printable Article (PDF) >>>

Enter the Bridge Lenders:

So, you are a seasoned real estate investor who has a unique opportunity to acquire a property in a market you believe know better then anyone and you have the inside track on the deal, but there is an “issue” or “story” that has caused the traditional banking relationships you have spent years cultivating to say no to your request for some reason or offer terms at extremely low leverage. Drop the deal? Pay cash? It may be time for a bridge loan…….

Reasons to Consider a Bridge Loan

Speed – You have to close quickly. Bridge Lenders don’t have long approval processes and don’t have to answer to federal regulators or credit committees so they can move fast. Some can close in a fast as a week. A bank or traditional lender can almost never perform that quickly.

Leverage and Debt Service Coverage – Bridge lenders are typically willing to listen to a “story” surrounding the collateral they are lending against. As a result they may lend up to 80% of value and don’t rely as heavily on appraisals as traditional lenders. The people running the firms that make Bridge Loans are often entrepreneurs and seasoned real estate investors themselves and they understand the business plan and the property’s potential, again the “story”. Many bridge lenders are willing to lend down to a 1.0-1.10 Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) while most traditional lenders require 1.20- 1.30 DSCR.

Major Event– Perhaps there is an event like a near term material tenant expiration in the rent roll, a management change, a significant capital improvement item which will drive rents or the transition form a “mom and pop” owner to a more institutional caliber firm that will drive NOI? Due to the fact that the aforementioned event(s) has not occurred yet, it’s probably too early to lock in permanent financing which may carry pre-payment penalties and not have the benefit of the future NOI growth needed to qualify for maximum proceeds. Bridge loans typically carry a 1-3 year term which allows time for stabilization to occur before approaching the permanent loan market and locking in. The most important thing to a bridge lender is getting repaid, so they will focus most heavily on the path to stabilization and how realistic they believe the plan and its timing to be.

Borrower Limitations – If the borrower is unable to qualify for traditional financing because their past issues, credit, net worth or liquidity are not consistent with the perceived risk of the transaction, a bridge lender may be willing to consider the loan request.

How much can I borrow?
• There are bridge loans available from $500,000 to $100,000,000.

How much do bridge loans cost?
• Typically we see loans price on a risk adjusted basis, between an interest rate of Libor+550 & Libor+1100. Bridge
Lenders also typically charge origination points between 1% and 3%. Like most loans, the borrower will be expected to cover any costs relative to closing the transaction (legal, appraisal, other 3rd parties etc.).

Who are these bridge lenders?
• There are many Bridge Lenders in market today who are all attempting to fill the large gap left by the recent banking regulations mentioned earlier. Some have called them “Shadow Banks” and they are often grouped into the “Hard Money Lender” category, which may or may not be correct given the specific lender. The group is comprised of dedicated debt funds, private equity groups, family offices, high net worth individuals, mortgage REITS and other fiduciaries that will all consider making bridge loans. Their parameters differ in terms of geography, loan size and asset class. There are easily 50 firms that we speak with fairly regularly.

SUMMARY:
• Bridge loans are readily available for tougher “story” deals.
• Term is 1-3 Years
• Rate is L+550 – L+1100 plus 1-3% Origination Fee payable to lender.
• LTV/LTC up to 80%
• Proceeds of $500,000 to $100,000,000

chris datzChris Datz
President & CEO
Datz Real Estate Capital
(610) 585-2586
rcd@drealcap.com
www.drealcap.com

For more information, contact:
Datz Real Estate Capital is a capital advisory firm which arranges debt, joint venture equity and subordinate debt for real estate transactions across the United States for all asset classes.

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WCRE Proudly Joins CORFAC International

CORFAC InternationalWCRE is pleased to announce it has joined CORFAC International, a network of independently-owned, entrepreneurial commercial real estate firms with 78 collaborative offices worldwide.  Under the new arrangement, the five-year-old local firm will rebrand as WCRE/CORFAC International.

Though it bears a new name, the firm remains a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in office, retail, medical, industrial and investment properties. It provides a complete range of real estate services to commercial landlords, tenants, investors, developers, banks, commercial loan servicers and companies.

Download WCRE Printable Press Release in PDF>>>>

Download CORFAC International Printable Press Release in PDF>>>>

“Our alliance with CORFAC International provides a global network of resources and knowledge that will greatly benefit our clients,” said Jason Wolf, Managing Principal of WCRE. “We’ll be able to add those resources to our tradition of individualized service and cutting-edge marketing techniques.”

Wolf founded WCRE in early 2012 after 17 years of steady growth and success at a top national commercial real estate firm. Driven by a visionary team with a wide variety of expertise, WCRE quickly took its place among the market leaders.

“We’re happy to add WCRE to the CORFAC family,” said Ray Lyons, CORFAC International president and broker with Thomas L. Johnson Realty/CORFAC International in Toronto. “Their insights and expertise in the Philadelphia region will bring even stronger service to all of our clients.”

Founded in 1989, CORFAC International’s member firms provide a full range of brokerage services across the globe. “It is an honor to have Wolf Commercial Real Estate join the CORFAC family as our newest member firm,” said Jonathan Salk, Executive Director of CORFAC International.

“WCRE is well recognized and respected as the top independent commercial real estate company in the Philadelphia and South Jersey region. Their strong full-service team with years of experience locally, regionally and nationally will be a fantastic addition to our CORFAC network,” Salk added.

“CORFAC is an excellent fit for our regional and national practices in office, retail, healthcare, and industrial properties,” said Anthony Mannino, vice president for corporate strategies at WCRE.

Learn more about Wolf Commercial Real Estate at www.wolfcre.com and CORFAC International at www.corfac.com.

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 CORFAC International

Established in 1989, CORFAC International (CORFAC) is comprised of privately held entrepreneurial firms with expertise in office, industrial and retail brokerage, tenant and landlord representation, investment sales, multifamily, self-storage, acquisitions and dispositions, property management and corporate services. Founded in 1989, CORFAC has 48 firms in the U.S., four in Canada and 26 in international markets, including Colombia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. CORFAC firms completed more than 11,000 lease and sales transactions totaling 550 million square feet of space valued in excess of $8.5 billion in 2015. Learn more at www.corfac.com or on Twitter at @CORFACIntl.

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