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Tag Archives: Wolf Commercial Real Estate


Analysts See Strong Warehouse Demand Despite Varied Concerns

Leasing and sales of distribution centers and other industrial properties reached records across the country last year, signaling strengthening demand in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets as shoppers accelerate their shift to buying online.

Industrial activity was robust for a ninth-straight year in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – as overall economic growth and goods consumption drove unprecedented warehouse sales and leasing across the United States in 2018. The data, however, shows some signs pointing to slower growth this year.

This Co-Star 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.

Investors, meanwhile, continue to pile into industrial space given its strong and consistent occupancy, rent growth, and return on investment. Total sales volume involving U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings tipped the $100 billion mark in 2018, the highest on record, and industrial sale prices rose about 10 percent over the prior year, an impressive feat this late in the economic cycle and easily the largest increase of all the major property types.

CoStar’s forecast expects new logistics buildings will be completed at a record pace this year as developers try to capture the demand. The research firm is tracking about 275 million square feet of industrial space under construction, equal to about 1.7 percent of the nation’s total supply. That amount of development among national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties translates into what’s likely to be a high-water mark for new warehouse and distribution building this year to support the delivery of goods to households shopping online.

That’s a change from last year when the amount of new industrial space in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – dipped 11 percent in 2018 from the prior year. Construction finished the year on the upswing, but even that still may be insufficient to meet demand as more retailers move onto online platforms that require more warehouse space.

White demand remains robust, CoStar predicts the vacancy rate among national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings will gradually rise and rent growth will slow as developers finish new buildings, more space hits the market, and the beneficial effects of tax cuts and fiscal stimulus begin to diminish and cool the economy.

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.

Commercial Rooftop Solar Installations

Commercial Rooftop Solar InstallationsCan rooftop solar installations increase the profitability of your commercial buildings? Lets explore your options. Experts say the US is past the point where solar is ‘alternative energy.’ In 2018 alone, a new solar project was installed in the US every 100 seconds. Although regulations and incentives vary state-by-state, commercial real estate owners in all 50 states are taking advantage of the benefits of adding rooftop solar installations to the buildings in their portfolio.

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Up to now, the owner of the real estate also owned the solar system and was responsible for all maintenance. Starting in 2019, this isn’t necessarily the case for commercial real estate owners and investors in New Jersey. Now, commercial real estate owners in NJ can take advantage of Community Solar due to the newly unveiled/ launched NJ Community Solar Pilot program. Real estate owners in other states, such as Rhode Island, New York, and Maryland, have found great success with similar programs.

About the Program:

The Community Solar Energy Pilot Program enables utility customers to participate in a solar energy project that is remotely located from their property and is currently under development. Subscribers from the community pay for subscriptions. Funds from the subscriptions go to a Community Solar Project Owner or a Subscription Organization. The solar energy from that project goes into the electricity grid. The power from the grid is then delivered to the subscribers, who receive credit on their electric bills for their involvement.

Commercial real estate owners in NJ can take advantage of this program by working with an experienced Community Solar Project Owner. The Community Solar Project Owner pays the commercial real estate owner for use of their rooftop and is responsible for all aspects of the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. The Community Solar Project Owner applies for the program, builds and maintains the solar system, and pays the taxes. Commercial real estate owners simply collect the checks!

Top 5 Perks for Commercial Real Estate Owners:
• Portfolio’s net operating income is immediately increased
• Additional positive cash flow line item is added to the corporate balance sheet
• All costs for the solar projects’ viability and development process are paid for by the Community Solar Project Owner
Ongoing ownerships costs are absorbed by the Community Solar Project Owner
• Additional property tax on the solar equipment is paid by the Community Solar Project Owner

For more information, NJ C/I Real Estate Owners can contact:

Jacob Yaeger
Managing Principal
Green Skyline Solar
267-994-8723
JYaeger@GreenSkyline.Solar

Green Skyline Solar is a vertically integrated partner in the deal-flow process in utility scale, Community Solar, and large net-metered solar projects. Green Skyline Solar’s investor consortium has leased/ purchased and developed 75% of the first Rhode Island Community Solar program equaling $50M in investment capital and 20% of the first Maryland Community Solar program equaling $30Min investment capital. Green Skyline Solar’s team has developed over 500mW nationwide.

Rising Interest Rates Change the Makeup of Securitized Loans

Headwinds from rising interest rates and investor caution as U.S. economic growth approaches a record stretch are likely to lead to less traditional lending terms for commercial real estate loan securitization in 2019 throughout the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate markets.

While the Federal Reserve’s rate increases appear to be having little meaningful economic impact on the U.S. commercial real estate market, including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space, they do seem to be influencing a preference for commercial mortgage-backed securities with shorter-term floating-rate debt or interest-only payments, a survey of credit rating agencies said.

This Co-Star Research 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.

Full or partial interest-only loans among U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings made up 87 percent of the commercial mortgage securitization market last year and, according to CoStar analysts, this trend is continuing in early 2019.

These loan dynamics have contributed to single-borrower deals and commercial real estate collateralized loan obligations among national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties having a very good year in 2018. Those two types of securitizations accounted for $52 billion in deals in 2018, up from $42 billion in 2017, said CoStar analysts.

While the Kroll Bond Rating Agency is forecasting up to $55 billion in these types of issuances in 2019, traditional commercial mortgage-backed deals with longer-term loans in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – started out the first half of 2018 with a solid increase in activity. These deals, however, slowed noticeably in the second half as annual volume in 2018 decreased to $41 billion as compared to $44 billion in 2017.

Overall issuances of this type among national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings could fall a bit more next year. One of the main factors that could drag down lending volume is a shrinking pipeline of loans coming due for repayment. With fewer loans maturing, there is less demand for borrowing. Loan maturity volume dropped from highs of about $83 billion in 2016 and 2017 to about $34.65 billion in combined maturities over the next two years.

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.

WCRE APPOINTED EXCLUSIVE AGENT BY NFI TO MARKET 32,858 SQUARE FEET WITHIN THE VOORHEES CORPORATE CENTER

NFI Voohees NJWCRE | CORFAC International is pleased to announce that it has been appointed by NFI Industries as the exclusive leasing and sales agent to market 1005 Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees, New Jersey.

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This 32,858 square foot property is part of a two-unit 78,205 SF single story building situated within The Voorhees Corporate Center.

The neighboring occupant in the other half of the building is Kellman Brown Academy, which is one of several well-known entities within the corporate center along with Jefferson Health, AAA, CHOP, Kingsway Learning Center, YALE School, UPenn and SunGard.

The office/flex space available for sale or lease and is ideal for a variety of uses including education, back-office operations center, healthcare or for general flex/office use.

The Voorhees Corporate Center is located within close proximity to I-295 and the PATCO High-Speed Line, and provides for immediate access to Eagle Plaza, Voorhees Shopping Center and is within close proximity to many other high-end retailers.

Jason Wolf, managing principal of WCRE commented: 

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with NFI and market a first-class property on behalf of a top tier owner and operator in the region.”

WCRE’s vice president and principal Chris Henderson and Jason Wolf will be working closely together with NFI in order to facilitate the sale or leasing of this well-located property.

A marketing brochure 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 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.

Winter Weather and Its Impact On Your Business

Winter weather is unpredictable and can have a large impact on your business. While maintaining business operations is always at the forefront of your mind, it is important to consider employee safety as well. You should have policies and procedures in place before bad weather hits so that your company and employees are as prepared as possible.

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Driving in Winter Weather on Company Time

winter weatherA major concern regarding winter weather is employees who drive a company car or vehicle as part of their workday. All vehicles should be given a safety check by a mechanic before the bad weather hits, and they should also be equipped with emergency materials such as a snow scraper, blanket, first aid kit and
flashlight.

In addition, employees should be instructed to dress properly for the weather, including a hat, scarf and gloves, or have extra clothing on hand in case of a breakdown or accident. In order to protect your company against liability, any employees who may drive in bad weather on company time should be trained in safe, cautious driving techniques and what to do in case of an accident. Also consider employees who drive as part of their commute—it may be wise to educate them in cautious winter driving techniques to ensure their safety while driving to and from work.

Employee Pay During Winter Weather

Pay issues arise when weather forces your business to close for any length of time or prevents employees from making it to work even if your business remains open. For non-exempt (typically hourly) employees, you are only required to pay them for the hours they actually work. Thus, if your business opens late, closes early or closes for an entire day, you are not required to pay them for any time missed.

If an exempt (typically salaried) employee works any part of the day, you must pay them for a full day. Similarly, if the business is closed for a day or more but less than a full week, you need to pay exempt employees their normal salary if they worked any part of that week. You do not need to pay employees if business is closed for a full week. This applies whether your company uses a five-day or seven-day workweek. You may, however, require that they use available paid time off or vacation time, if available. If your business remains open but an exempt employee cannot come in due to weather conditions, this is a personal reason, and you do not need to pay them. One option to ease the loss of a business day or any missed productivity is to ask exempt employees to work from home if you are already paying them for the day. You may also consider offering a telecommuting option during inclement weather even if your business remains open so employees can avoid the dangers of driving in the extreme cold or snow.

Be Prepared for Winter Weather

Employees should be informed of your company policies related to inclement weather—safety, attendance and pay-related. You should have an established communication method to inform your employees of a business closing or delay. When bad weather is coming, address all your policies again, remind employees of communication channels to address attendance and plan for the worst potential outcome to ensure your company is prepared for the weather.

Brian Blaston
Commercial Lines – Manager
Hardenbergh Insurance Group
phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
fax: 856.673.5955
www.hig.net

Are Letters of Intent a Good Idea?

letters of intentCommercial real estate players use letters of intent (LOIs) or term sheets all the time. Buyers and tenants present offers this way, often to see if a deal can be reached before incurring the costs of negotiating an agreement of sale or a lease (the Definitive Agreement). The key question is whether these agreements are binding or not. The legal principles are fairly easy to state: If the parties intend not to be bound to each other prior to the execution of a Definitive Agreement, the courts will give effect to that intent and the parties will not be bound until the agreement has been fully executed and delivered. This is true even if all issues in the negotiations have been resolved. Conversely, if the parties intend to be bound prior to the execution of a Definitive Agreement, the court will give effect to that intent, and the parties will be bound even though they contemplate replacing their earlier understanding with a later written agreement. Courts have consistently stated that the most important factor in determining whether or which provisions in an LOI are binding is the language used by the parties in the letters of intent themselves.

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Typically, parties draft letters of intent to be partially binding. The letters of intent will contain provisions not intended to be binding and provisions expressly intended to be binding on the parties. The non-binding provisions consist primarily of the “deal points”, such as a description of the key components of a proposed transaction and any important conditions. For an agreement of sale, these include the purchase price, deposit, due diligence period, deal contingencies (e.g. financing, licensing and land use approvals), time for closing and broker payment obligations. For a lease agreement, these include the rental rate, security deposit, tenant allowance, responsibility for repairs and replacements, use and exclusivity terms, brokers and any unique arrangements. The binding provisions focus on the negotiation time period, including access to information, confidentiality, a “no-shop” or exclusivity provision in which the seller or landlord agrees not to sell or lease the subject property to another for a specified period of time, broker representations and protection and non-disclosure (to third parties) obligations. There should be a termination provision and natural end date for the life of the LOI.

The main purpose of typical letters of intent is for the parties to formulate deal points without committing to the actual transaction. Letters of intent provide counsel a blueprint for preparation of the Definitive Agreement, saving time and money. Letters of intent can keep the deal momentum moving forward while negotiating the details of a Definitive Agreement, especially when they contain milestones for delivering a draft and executing a final version. Moreover, an LOI may be necessary for a lender or investor to move to the next step of its process.
However, there are also potential risks in using LOIs. If inartfully drafted, or if the parties act as though they have reached a deal, the LOI may be deemed a binding contract, obligating the parties prematurely.

Further, many courts have found that execution of a letters of intent  creates an obligation for the parties to negotiate, in good faith, a reasonable agreement, which may be an unintended consequence of signing. Another
possible disadvantage of using an LOI is that a party may share the letter with a competing bidder to shop the deal to see if they can get a better offer. Even worse, deal momentum may die while negotiating a trivial LOI provision for a simple transaction that could have gone straight to the Definitive Agreement.

Indeed it is often the case that conceptual agreement on the basic deal points will allow a buyer to prepare
an agreement of sale, without the need to incur the time and expense of negotiating letters of intent. But, for
the complex commercial transaction, an LOI can provide a necessary level of comfort prior to expending significant resources on investigations, inspections, analysis and negotiation of a Definitive Agreement.

If you use letters of intent, be clear and specifically describe the binding provisions, carefully distinguishing them
from the non-binding provisions. If there are no special conditions or complicating factors, go straight to the Definitive Agreement instead of preparing an LOI to avoid unintended consequences, such as a forming a contract or creating an obligation to negotiate in good faith.

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

WCRE ADDS TRIO OF NEW HIRES TO PHILADELPHIA/NEW JERSEY TEAM AND RELOCATES TO LOGAN SQUARE

New Assignments and High Volume of Transactions Lead Commercial Real Estate Firm to Expand Further

Wolf Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is pleased to announce the expansion and relocation of its Center City Philadelphia office, which includes the addition of three new team members serving southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. WCRE quickly outgrew its original Philadelphia office at 1601 Market Street, and has moved to 3 Logan Square, at 1717 Arch Street.

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The new team members are Kevin Coleman, who joins as chief sales officer and executive vice president, and new sales associates Tyler Martin and Mike Scanzano. They join a team that includes several well-known business leaders with deep roots in the city. Among them are Brian Propp, director of strategic relationships, Tony Banks, vice president, Anthony Mannino, senior consultant, and sales associates Mitchell Russell and Joseph Nassib. Each brings a unique skill set, along with energy, passion, and the signature WCRE commitment to the community. Managing principal Jason Wolf and vice president and principal Chris Henderson, also assist the Philadelphia team.

“We’ve been serving numerous clients in and around Center City for the past few years, and we have fully committed to expanding our presence here,” said Henderson. “This move will create more opportunities for our Philly team to network and collaborate with clients and partners, and to deepen our commitment to community initiatives.”

More About WCRE’s New Hires:

Kevin Coleman is a 15-year industry veteran. His role will include sales management and leadership, and business development throughout the region, with a heavy focus on central New Jersey. Coleman will also play an active part in the recruitment of all new team members.

Previously, Coleman served as a vice president of advisory services with Transwestern. During this time, he had the opportunity to work on behalf of office and industrial tenants, investors, and developers. From 2010-2016, Coleman served as director with Colliers International, working out of the Princeton, New Jersey office. He represented national, regional, and local companies with office, industrial, and healthcare requirements. Among many accomplishments, he was instrumental in helping to grow the Princeton office with the addition of a team of brokers.  On joining WCRE, Coleman said,

“Jason has worked very hard to build a strong brand in the region, and I am excited for the opportunity to leverage my diverse background to help the team grow to the next level of performance.”

Tyler Martin is one of the firm’s two new sales associates. Martin is a former new business development representative in the fleet management industry who will be a valuable partner to clients seeking expertise in development and understanding the potential of a space. He will work closely with WCRE’s sales professionals to generate new business relationships and create opportunities for clients in Philadelphia and the suburbs.

Before graduating a year early from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, Martin was a member of the NCAA lacrosse team. He has continued his education by pursuing his MBA with a concentration in Finance at Saint Joseph’s University. His anticipated graduation is in May 2019.

In addition to his professional activities, Martin is an attackman for the Hungarian National Lacrosse Team. He competed with the team in the 2018 World Lacrosse Championships in Israel.

 

Mike Scanzano also joins WCRE as a sales associate. He will focus on the Southern New Jersey market. Scanzano will specialize in sales and leasing, tenant and landlord representation, investment sales, and multi-family dwellings.

Scanzano is an entrepreneur and former professional athlete. He played six years of professional baseball, ending his career in 2010 with the Camden Riversharks. After baseball, he took a sales position with the Southern Illinois Miners, an independent minor league team. Since 2015 Scanzano is also the co-owner of Scanzano Sports in Cherry Hill, a baseball training center. He is responsible for marketing and business development, building relationships in the community, and overall management.

Mike is excited about the opportunity to join the team at WCRE and looks forward to utilizing his sales experience and professional relationships to expand the firm’s client base.

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

“I’m excited to have such talented new team members servicing our clients in the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions. Our people have always been our biggest asset and our biggest advantage in the marketplace.”

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.

How to Increase Productivity

How to Increase ProductivityLet’s look at how to increase productivity at work. So many tasks, so little time. Do you ever complete your  workday feeling like you couldn’t achieve everything you wanted to? It begins with preparation. I get it. Being 100% efficient at work can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming. Setting proper timelines will allow you to increase your own profitability and ease workday stress.

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Take a stab at these tips to increase your productivity at work:

How to Increase Productivity #1. PUT A VALUE ON YOUR TIME

I often ask our sales reps, what is your time worth? If you are able to give yourself an hourly rate, it will help you use your time more efficiently. Giving yourself value allows you evaluate whether what you are doing is actually making you money or costing you money. It will also help you notice when customers or colleagues may be taking advantage of your time. Create a total value of yourself, including your salary, free time, benefits, your TOTAL value. (Hint; this should be more than you earn), then back that number into an hourly rate. While working throughout the day ask yourself if you are earning that rate.

How to Increase Productivity #2. TAKE BREAKS

We may think working longer hours implies we’re accomplishing more, yet we never function well when we’re worn out. Studies indicate taking standard breaks helps focus and lifts your inclination. Take a five-minute stroll around the workplace or go through a 15-minute mid-day espresso or stretch.

How to Increase Productivity #3. SET SMALL TASKS

Some of the time, looking at our objectives can be overpowering. Seeing a bunch of enormous undertakings on our schedule can be distressing… however if you split it up into littler tasks, you’ll feel more in charge and will be considerably more helpful. Instead when you complete a project, write down the words COMPLETE or cross off your task within your check list. That feeling of completion will allow you to further feel that euphoria of completing your projects.

This will keep you on track in your everyday and influence the greater tasks to appear to be less overwhelming.

How to Increase Productivity #4. DO WHAT MATTERS MOST IN YOUR DAY

We at times push aside enormous tasks since we’re not sure we are able to achieve them. When we get these tasks, we’re excessively worn out and may push these tasks day after day after day. You need to understand yourself and how you operate best. Understanding when and how you function best is critical to completing those enormous ventures on time. There’s no set timetable that works for everybody… If you’re a morning person, handle the enormous assignments first thing in your day.

How to Increase Productivity #5. TIME YOURSELF

Optimize your time as much as possible at work by timing yourself on all tasks. Similar tasks should take similar time to complete, be mindful of whether you are quicker or slower for each task. This doesn’t mean you’ll have the capacity to finish each assignment within the same time. However, by setting a standard and holding yourself accountable, you are one step closer to achieving them.

Winter Weather Liabilities

Winter Weather LiabilitiesLet’s explore some winter weather liabilities. The winter months bring more than just cold weather and shorter days; they bring the possibility for winter weather and storms that may result in a snow and ice-covered landscape. While it may be a winter wonderland for some, as a property manager, snow and ice buildup means a hazard with the potential for costly liability.

If you deal with either commercial or residential property, you are responsible for the side effects of winter. In legal terms, snow and ice are the same as any other hazard presented on a property, and just like any other hazard, property managers can be held liable if they cause injury. To avoid litigation resulting from winter injuries, it is important that you are vigilant in your snow and ice removal efforts.

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RECOGNIZING AND PREVENTING HAZARDS

Winter brings a variety of hazards that you need to prepare for; slips and falls are by far the most common injury associated with winter weather conditions. Diligent snow and ice removal can go far in keeping walkways and parking lots safe. Remove snow quickly after snowfalls, and salt regularly to keep ice from building up.

Not all winter hazards are under foot, however, icicles, along with other accumulations of frozen or heavy snow above walkways and building entrances, can cause serious injury if they fall on those below. Remove icicles and other buildup as soon as possible. If it still appears to present a hazard, consider rerouting foot traffic around the area.

Performing preventative maintenance in the summer and fall can also keep you prepared for winter storms. Make sure eaves are properly installed, and check that downspouts are aimed away from walkways. If eaves leak or downspouts direct water onto walkways, snow that melts in the heat of the day has the potential to freeze and create a hazard with cooler nighttime temperatures.

TRANSFERRING RESPONSIBILITIES TO TENANTS

For smaller residential rentals, such as single family homes or duplexes, the responsibility for snow and ice removal is commonly accepted by the
tenant. To make sure responsibility is clearly established in this situation, the lease should include a provision citing the tenants as responsible
for any snow and ice removal. This section of the lease should also establish how long after a snowfall the tenant has to clear public areas
such as sidewalks, as most municipalities have laws requiring prompt snow removal. It is important to be as specific as possible to avoid any
unnecessary liability or disputes after heavy storms.

CONTRACTING SNOW REMOVAL

Based on the size and number of properties you manage and the average snowfall in your area, you may be inclined to contract out snow removal to an independent company. While this can save you the time and costs associated with managing snow removal yourself, it is important that you choose wisely to avoid complicating matters.

First, make sure the contractor has sufficient resources to meet your demands. It is important that they can be onsite quickly after, or even during, a snowfall to make sure walkways and parking areas are cleared. It is also important that they have the equipment and manpower to finish the task quickly to reduce any disruption to tenants’ lives or businesses.

Second, make sure the company you hire carries the proper insurance, covering both its operations and its employees. The last thing you want is to end up being liable for a worker’s injury when liability for injury is the very thing you were trying to avoid. Also, much like the lease agreement with a residential tenant, it is important to specify the conditions and time constraints for removal in writing. When contracting any type of service, it is
essential to have a written contract that will guarantee you receive the services you pay for.

It should be noted that hiring a removal service does not absolve you of liability. If the company you hire provides poor service, or simple does not show up at all, you are still the party responsible for any injury resulting from a winter hazard. Make sure to pick a reputable company that you can trust to do a good job, and always have a plan of action for removal if they are unable to complete the work as quickly or effectively as you require.

For additional questions on your risks and exposures, or on appropriate coverages to protect you from liability or costly disputes, contact Hardenbergh Insurance Group today.

For more information, contact:

winter-weather-liabilitiesBrian Blaston
Commercial Lines – Manager
Hardenbergh Insurance Group
phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
fax: 856.673.5955
www.hig.net

Land Development Strategies

land development strategiesLet’s explore land development strategies for getting the best result with the least pain. Rest easy… I’m not writing this to persuade you all to retain my firm for your design, engineering, and land development needs (though I wouldn’t mind, and my contact information is provided)! But since I’ve been around the block long enough to see even savvy business people get hurt by the convoluted, unpredictable, costly, and sometimes unfair world of land development, I feel compelled to share my experience and offer some advice to help others avoid the pitfalls and heartache of such a process.

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Despite the perception that land developers are all super-wealthy and greedy, I’ve seen development projects get caught-up in litigation for years, at an expense of millions of dollars, for deals that marginally make financial sense, yet provide a needed service, housing, or economic development opportunities for the community. I’ve seen deals that die (and orphaned properties languish in the process), because a developer was denied access to certain incentives that might render a project feasible, all because he/she is perceived to have “deep pockets”.

But more impactful to me as a professional, I’ve seen many that do not have the experience, knowledge, and expertise in land development strategies get themselves in substantial trouble by either not conducting the proper due-diligence, overpaying on property because of ignorance of value, or listening to poor advice. These are not the big developers that we all know and love (or hate), but the small business owner that is fortunate enough to expand a business and now needs to add to his/her facility or even open at a different location. This could also be the franchisee who wishes to operate a retail or restaurant establishment that knows their business well, but is understandably clueless when purchasing and entitling property, and/or seeking capital.

It’s certainly true that no two deals, properties, or situations are ever the same in real estate, but I’ve enumerated several general things to consider when deciding whether or not to “take the plunge”, and also things to be aware of once the “go” decision has been made.

Many of these are more specific to smaller deals and the “non-developer”, but many are also attributable to the larger owner/investor/developer as well:

Land Development Strategies #1.

Understand your true needs… You’ll need to take stock in what you and your organization or operation truly need in terms of space, acreage, accessibility, geography, exposure, proximity to skilled workforce and other resources, etc. Attention must also be paid to future expansion plans based on growth strategies. Only after this is clarified to yourself can it be made clear to your broker, consultant, investors, capital resources, etc. If developing property for investment purposes, your goals are already likely in place…maximize property and get the best possible returns! Read on, as many of the following will resonate for you as well.

Land Development Strategies #2.

Seek assistance as you source property for your program… This one’s easy, as everyone reading this already knows who is the best broker and real estate advisor in the Delaware Valley. Still, there’s no reason not to ask others you trust on issues such as market conditions and trends, property values, likelihood of success to secure entitlements, local government intelligence, etc. Additionally, make certain that the site meets your physical criteria, such as ingress, egress, circulation, parking, loading, building location and orientation on site, and the ability to promote your brand and/or operation.

Land Development Strategies #3.

Understand the challenges and constraints of a property you’re sourcing… There are numerous things to consider under this heading. First, you must know the property’s zoning designation, and how to interpret it’s meaning relative to permitted uses, density, height, number of stories, parking requirements, etc. These things are not only public policy and matters of law, but also make sense for you… Who wants to build a new manufacturing facility next to a group of single-family homes, a high rise commercial building near a horse farm, or build homes next to a nuclear power plant? Beyond zoning, you must also be aware of the local political climate and fervor, and assure that any “Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY)” issues are innocuous and easy to deal with. Quite frankly, I’ve found that if a municipality clearly doesn’t want your development or project, even if the zoning is appropriate, sometimes it’s better to not even start down that path and select another location.

Land Development Strategies #4.

Assess, Manage, and Mitigate Risk… When developing property or expanding a facility or operation, you must pay attention to the following general risk categories:
a.) Environmental Risk
b.) Market Risk
c.) Entitlement Risk
d.) Finance Risk
e.) Construction Risk
All of these can be daunting to the real estate neophyte, and downright dangerous if proper due-diligence isn’t undertaken. However, with the proper consultants, these risks can be understood, identified, quantified, and mitigation strategies can be implemented. Make sure these risks are understood before “hard money” deposits are released to Seller, as the costs associated with these risks are commonly grounds for negotiating purchase price.

Land Development Strategies #5.

Understand property’s value, and DON’T OVERPAY! There are a few methods to determine the fair price that you should be paying for property (sale or lease), but don’t be pressured to accept a price that doesn’t work for you. Chances are that if a price doesn’t pencil-out as you evaluate a deal, it won’t work for other interested parties either. Many times, a rejected offer comes back, and you might find yourself back in driver’s seat a month or two later, and at your number.

Land Development Strategies #6.

Understand all documents you execute… Many savvy business owners, operators, and land developers can review documentation for “business terms”, but I recommend also having your attorney review for “legal terms”. This can include Purchase and Sale Agreements, Option Agreements, Partnership/Operating Agreements, Financial Agreements, Leases, Developer Agreements, etc.

Land Development Strategies #7.

Understand available programs and grants that may apply… If developing property, there may be property tax incentives and other programs to help the deal’s proforma, which can make an otherwise lean deal become more sensible. There are several other grants and programs available for those looking to simply expand their business, based on your positive impact on the community and job creation/retention. The flip side to this is just as important… if not vigilant, a town may impose unfair fees on your project, such as impact fees, off-site infrastructure improvement costs, and funds for affordable housing and others. Again, make sure you’re aware of these, and have your attorney review any documents that memorialize any negotiated impact costs.

Land Development Strategies #8.

Hire the best team of consultants possible… There are numerous strategies to accomplish this goal, and some may have better results than others on a deal-by-deal basis. For instance, many say to retain a local and “connected” land-use attorney to advance the project through Zoning and Site Plan Approval process. I agree in some cases but not others. If your project requires these types of land entitlements, it is imperative that you retain consultants that not only have experience in their specific disciplines, but their expertise must be specific to your project, your program, and with the types of entitlements required. These consultants consist of the land-use attorney, architect, civil engineer, professional planner, landscape architect, traffic/transportation consultant, environmental scientist, wetlands specialist, real estate valuation expert, market research specialist, and others based on specific needs of the deal. It’s also imperative to have a single “quarterback” run the process. For more experienced and savvy developers, this is usually someone in-house (or the principal him/herself). Sometimes it’s the attorney, and sometimes it appears that NOBODY is truly steering the ship.

These considerations are generic in nature, but I’d be delighted to elaborate on these and other deal-specific strategies to assist getting your project or development deal to the finish line. Best of luck to you all on your future growth, expansion or development plans.

Alan S. Brandies
VP Client Relations and Business Development
Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers
42 Okner Parkway, Livingston, NJ
(O) 973-994-9669
(C) 732-966-5273
abrandies@jkarch.com

 

 

Jarmel Kizel Architects and Engineers is a full service and uniquely diversified consulting firm, specializing in architecture, planning, interior design, structural engineering, civil/site planning, and MEPF services, serving building owners, developers, facilities mangers, and end-users. We are active in many sectors, mostly focused on multi-family residential, child daycare centers, corporate interiors, health and wellness, and others. We also possess decades of land-use and development experience, and offer full “Development Advisory Services”, including deal facilitation and entitlement management. Please visit our website for more information, and call Alan Brandies for more details.

 

Philadelphia Employers, Economy Positioned for Growth In 2019

With trade tensions escalating and interest rates in the national and Philadelphia commercial real estate market on an upward path, economists are increasingly warning the U.S. economy is in danger of slipping into recession in 2020.

While risks of an eventual national economic slowdown in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – are real and should not be ignored, Philadelphia-focused real estate investors can take comfort the region’s economic indicators are flashing positive signs for 2019 as the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area’s job gains have strengthened in recent months to a rate of 1.4 percent year-over-year.

This Co-Star Research 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.

The industries powering Philadelphia’s recent job gains are:

Healthcare: In University City, Penn Medicine is now wrapping up construction on the first phase of its 540,000-sf Center for Healthcare Technology. Meanwhile, work continues at the healthcare giant’s largest capital project ever, the 1.5 million-sf Pavilion Hospital, which is expected to be completed in 2021. AmeriHealth Caritas, AmerisourceBergen and Sparks Therapeutics have all recently announced major Philadelphia-area expansion plans.

Information Technology: Philadelphia-based Comcast is in the process of hiring roughly 1,500 new employees as it staffs its recently completed Comcast Technology Center.

Distribution: Retailers and e-commerce firms have been on a tear building new distribution facilities in the region to expedite delivery times for their East Coast customers. Just weeks ago, Amazon completed a major distribution center in Burlington New Jersey expected to employ 600 people, one of five massive distribution centers Amazon has opened in the metropolitan area since 2013.

Many of Philadelphia’s largest publicly traded companies are flush with cash following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which sliced the U.S. corporate tax rate almost in half. Over the most recent four quarters of business among some of the leading national and Philadelphia commercial real estate properties, top local employers – including AmerisourceBergen, Aramark, Comcast, and FMC – reported all-time highs in net operating incomes that more than doubled what had been collected during the preceding four quarters.

While the recent tax cuts affecting U.S. and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings are expected to add at least $1.9 trillion to the federal debt by 2028, according to the Congressional Budget Office, they clearly have boosted companies’ willingness to expand payrolls.

According to data from the world’s third-largest staffing firm, Manpower, the percentage of companies in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area planning to increase staffing levels is at the highest levels recorded during this economic expansion. Meanwhile, the percentage of firms in the U.S. commercial real estate market – including Philly office space, Philly retail space and Philly industrial space – planning to reduce their staff is near rock bottom.

Philadelphia’s employment growth could still decelerate in the quarters ahead despite local companies’ aggressive hiring plans. With the unemployment rate among national and Philadelphia commercial real estate listings now well below 5 percent, employers will likely find it increasingly difficult to fill many open positions.

On the spectrum of economic challenges, this is one of the less-threatening problems to face, in part because a tight labor market also supports above-average wage growth. Still, the dwindling supply of available workers was likely a driving force behind the brief slowdown in job growth that took hold here in 2017.

The stage is set for total employment to continue rising in Philadelphia through 2019. The question is how strong and how sustainable these job gains will be.

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.

NJEDA Small Business Financing Programs

NJEDA Small Business Financing ProgramsLet’s look at some of the NJEDA small business financing programs. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) is an independent state-level financing agency providing various programs and services that support business growth and expansion in New Jersey. NJEDA small business financing focuses on job growth and retention, making loans more accessible to business, and reducing risk for banks while administering several incentive programs that support job creation and real estate development.

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NJEDA Small Business Financing Programs

The NJEDA menu of programs including small- and medium-sized business financing programs that assist with real estate acquisition, fixed assets, and working capital. Three programs in this category are the Premier Lender Program, Direct Loans, and the Small Business Fund.

NJEDA’s Premier Lender Program provides up to $2 million in loan participation to supplement financing from banks for fixed assets. NJEDA may also provide loan guarantees of up to $1.5 million for fixed assets. Funding is limited to $65,000 per job created or retained within two years, with 100 percent loan to value for real estate and 90 percent for equipment.

The program makes it easier for businesses to qualify, creates blended terms, and reduces bank risk. Direct Loans also provide up to $2 million in financing, limited to $65,000 per full-time job created or retained within two years. Businesses located in targeted urban areas, regional centers, and metropolitan planning areas may apply for up to $3 million. NJEDA may also approve loans for working capital of up to $750,000. Direct Loans rates are the higher of either the five-year U.S. Treasury or two percent.

The Small Business Fund focuses on creditworthy small, women- and minority-owned businesses in New Jersey. Businesses that have been in operation for at least one year are eligible for up to $500,000 in fixed-asset or working capital financing.

Not-for-profits in operation for three years are also eligible to apply for this program. These financing programs are just a few of the full menu of NJEDA financing and incentive programs available to business.

In 2019, look for a greater focus on small business with a few new NJEDA small business financing programs as Governor Murphy’s administration implements their goals to develop the state economy with an emphasis on small business, innovation, and technology.

gary marx