Labor market at turning point as wage growth hits recovery high. Meaningful wage growth has been a missing ingredient in the expansion for the past eight years. Yet now, with unemployment holding steady at 4.1 percent, employers are finally feeling the pressure to increase wage hikes to attract and maintain their human capital. Further evidence of tight labor conditions can be found in job openings at or near record levels of 6 million positions over the past 12 months.
New Tax Law Holds Favorable Prospects for Commercial Real Estate; Potential to Boost Space Demand and Capital Flows
New tax law retains key provisions for real estate investors. The highly anticipated tax reform recently signed into law by President Trump retained numerous key commercial real estate provisions. The 1031 tax-deferred exchange, the mortgage interest deduction for investment real estate and asset depreciation had few material changes. This consistency in tax law will enable investors to move forward with most of their existing investment strategies. That said, there are many provisions in the new tax law that will have a more nuanced effect on the sector, and these more subtle adjustments could create significant new opportunities for real estate investors.
Finalization of tax rules to reduce uncertainty. Over the last year, elevated uncertainty generated by the range of potential government policy changes, including tax laws, caused many investors to move to the sidelines. A more cautious outlook pervaded the industry as investors awaited clarity on taxes, fiscal policy and a change in Federal Reserve leadership. This perspective could begin to ease as the implications of the new tax law firm up and investors better under-stand how the new rules will affect their investments. The new tax plan offers generous tax cuts to corporations and pass-through entities such as Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and investors may see the new tax rules as an opportunity to reconfigure their portfolios. The new tax structure will apply to 2018 income for tax filings in 2019.
Naperville retail and office complex sells for $88 million
Retail Properties of America has paid $88 million for a Naperville retail and office complex in downtown Naperville, where it plans to build on.
The Oak Brook-based real estate investment trust today announced the deal for the 182,000-square-foot Main Street Promenade.
The west suburban center, on the east side of Main Street, is 93 percent leased and is zoned for another phase of construction, RPAI said.
“The acquisition of Main Street Promenade includes a vacant parcel that has approval for up to 62,000 square feet of mixed-use space, which will provide us the opportunity to leverage our robust, local operating platform and knowledge to densify the property,” RPAI senior vice president Matthew Beverly said in the statement announcing the acquisition.
Retail tenants include Anthropologie, J Crew, Ann Taylor and Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House.
Main Street Promenade was developed by Dwight and Ruth Yackley, owners of Naperville-based development firm BBM. They developed the property in 2003 and a second phase in 2013.
BBM was represented in the sale by Bob Mahoney and Nick Peters of CBRE. The sale was completed on Jan. 13, the Yackleys said.
“We're semi-retiring, so we decided it would be a good time to sell,” Ruth Yackley said. “We're ready to travel and work a little less.”
They declined to say how much it cost to develop the first two phases of the Promenade.
The property includes about 103,000 square feet of retail and 79,000 square feet of office space.
Source: Crain's Chicago Business Ryan Ori January 17th, 2017
Chinese company bringing more than 200 jobs to Naperville
A Chinese maker of power tools plans to bring more than 200 jobs to its new North American headquarters in Naperville over the next three years.
Chervon North America, the U.S. arm of Nanjing, China-based Chervon Holdings, confirmed plans to move workers from Michigan and several suburban Chicago locations when it opens a new headquarters in Naperville sometime in the spring.
Earlier today, Crain's reported the company was moving its headquarters to the western suburb from Grand Rapids, Mich. At the time, it was unclear how many people would work in the facility at 1203 E. Warrenville Road.
Now, the company said it plans to relocate 75 workers from Grand Rapids and the Chicago suburbs of South Barrington and Geneva, spokesman Joe Turoff said in an email. Also moving there will be 37 employees who were added when Chervon completed its acquisition of Mount Prospect-based Robert Bosch Tool's Skil and Skilsaw brands on Jan. 1, Turoff said.
The company also plans to hire 25 new workers this year and another 75 over the next three years, Turoff said.
Chervon also considered locations in California, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, Turoff said. The company is not receiving any incentives from the Illinois or Naperville governments, Turoff said.
“In the end our decision came down to three key factors: proximity to talent, proximity to current and acquired employees (and) Naperville's pro-business attitude,” Turoff said in the email.
The facility will include research and development, industrial design, sales and marketing jobs, he said.
Chervon is subleasing the entire 124,000-square-foot building from Swedish manufacturer SKF Group, which signed a 15-year deal to use the building for offices and R&D. But SKF decided not to move in as the building's exterior was completed in 2015, and instead began seeking a company to sublease the building.
Source: Crains Chicago Business Ryan Ori January 11th, 2017
Reflecting a lack of suitable global alternatives and a proven track record of steady returns generated by US real estate, the latest annual survey of overseas investors by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) confirmed once again that the United States remains by far the world's most popular destination for foreign real estate capital.
An overwhelming 95% of respondents to the AFIRE survey said they planned to increase or maintain their level of U.S. investment, and 66% said their sentiment was unchanged or more optimistic about the prospect for US real estate.
However, the survey results also indicate investor caution about U.S. real estate is rising. One-third of those surveyed in fourth-quarter 2016 by the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business said they felt more pessimistic about U.S. property markets, up from 8% in the late-2015 survey.
AFIRE CEO James Fetgatter noted that, with the uncertainty over the policies and legislative agenda of a new administration, interest rates on the rise and narrowing spreads between interest and capitalization rates, "it is no surprise that investors have signaled a note of caution."
New York City Rated Top Investment Market for 7th Consecutive Year
In addition to securing its status as the leading U.S. city for foreign capital for a seventh consecutive year, New York City ranked as the world's top city for foreign capital for the third year in a row. Los Angeles again ranked #2 among U.S. cities for the second straight year, followed by Boston, Seattle and San Francisco.
Berlin placed a somewhat surprising second among global cities, followed by London, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Also notable was the falling stature of Washington DC. For the first time since the survey's inception in 1992, Washington, DC dropped out of the top 5 U.S. cities as a preferred global destination for foreign commercial real estate investment, coming in at #6 after ranking #4 in the late 2015 survey. DC alos fell to #15 globally after rising to eighth place in the previous survey.
Fetgatter tells CoStar that the continued decline of DC, as well as the continued ascension of Berlin, were both unexpected results in the latest survey.
DC ranked as the top destination for global capital among the world's cities several times during the early 2000s, but has not been ranked among the top five global cities in terms of investment attractiveness. It has ranked no higher than #8 since 2013, following an extended period of budget disputes and lower federal spending.
Despite the shift in ranking, Catherine Pfeiffenberger, AFIRE chairman and senior vice president of Skanska USA Commercial Development, noted that the District's stable fundamentals will continue to attract capital from around the world, adding that the incoming Trump administration’s expected increased spending on defense and aerospace may also benefit the market's muted leasing activity over the past several years.
London, ranked either first or second among global cities for the last five years, took a hit from the Brexit shock, slipping to third place, and fifth overall in terms of its potential for stable and secure real estate returns.
Leasing commercial office space is one of the largest expenses incurred by new and expanding businesses, so it is important to do your due diligence. Here are some tips for negotiating a commercial lease for your small business.
Lease term and rent are your first negotiation points. You will want to factor in rent increases over the term and renewal options so you are not charged with an unexpected rent increase without warning.
As well as working with a qualified Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Broker, it is also important to consult a knowledgeable real estate lawyer; they can often recommend the right choice for you and protect your interests as you negotiate your lease.
In addition to your monthly lease payment, find out what expenses you may incur beyond rent.
Commercial real estate landlords often incorporate extra expenses into the lease such as maintenance fees, upkeep for shared facilities (Common Area Maintenance or CAM), etc. Other expenses to consider are utilities. These charges are usually the responsibility of the tenant, so find out how these are measured. Are they individually metered or apportioned by square footage? Ask to see these “hidden fees” and policies as well as examples of costs that are typically incurred by tenants.
Maintenance and Repair
While residential leasing often places the burden of maintenance and upkeep on the shoulders of the landlord, commercial leases are different. Commercial leases vary regarding maintenance and repair – some stipulate that the tenant is responsible for all property upkeep and repairs while others specify that the tenant is responsible for systems like air conditioning, plumbing, etc.
Read the Lease
Be sure to read over your lease in detail and hire an attorney who specializes in commercial real estate to walk you through the clauses and fine print.
Protect Your Business
To protect your investment and long-term business interests, it is worth investigating and negotiating some potential add-on clauses to your lease. These might include:
Sublease – This builds in some flexibility, allowing you to sublet your space to another business.
Exclusivity clause – Prevents the landlord from leasing other spaces on the property to a direct competitor of yours.
Co-tenancy – If the property’s anchor tenant closes business, a co-tenancy agreement can protect you from a potential loss of customers, allowing you to break the lease if the landlord does not replace the anchor tenant in a specified time period.
What if You Default?
Should you default on your lease payments, there are steps you can take during the lease negotiation process to protect yourself. Find out what the lease agreement states. Will you be locked out immediately? Will the landlord initiate eviction proceedings? Can you negotiate more time? Could you pay only the current month’s rent instead of the remaining amount owed on the lease?
Source: US Small Business Administration
Coldwell Banker Commercial® (CBC®) professionals specialize in tenant representation and will develop customized real estate solutions for tenants. CBC professionals clearly understand today’s corporate business climate and work to trim expenses and drive value to your bottom line. Whether you need to lease or sublease office, industrial or retail space, a CBC professional can develop a customized solution that meets your real estate needs and expertly provide innovative solutions to multi-market or local requirements. With access to colleagues in over 200 CBC companies across the globe, and completing over 11,000 tenant representation transactions in the past two years, CBC professionals have a proven track record in reducing occupancy cost and increasing profitability for tenants. CBC professionals come to their clients as trusted advisors and all transactions are completed with the client’s needs first.CBC professionals can assist you with any of these services:
What Trump's Election Means for Commercial Real Estate
Like many business sectors, the U.S. real estate industry on Wednesday began to grapple with the unexpected economic and regulatory impact of an upcoming Trump presidency after the famous reality TV star and Manhattan real estate mogul defied pundits and pollsters to defeat Hillary Clinton and become president-elect of the United States.
Although global stock markets girded for a Brexit-style tumult following Tuesday's election, calm prevailed as the shock of the election results wore off and was quickly replaced by the realization that the same party now controls the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives for the first time since 2005, when George W. Bush was in the White House.
With the Republican control of Congress and the executive branch, brokers, economists and industry leaders weighed in on the potential effects on U.S. property and capital markets, citing potentially reduced political gridlock, significant tax reform, increased protective measures for U.S. trade policy and rollbacks in the nation’s financial and business regulatory framework.
However, other than broad positions taken during the campaign, without a previous track record much remains essentially unknown about a Trump administration. He rode the populist wave through the election under his "America First" banner.
"He's basically Bernie Sanders in a better suit with a different agenda," noted one Washington DC-based broker. "We know he's a master campaigner, but we don't really know the details on how he plans to govern."
Observers outlined several potential winners and losers under a Trump administration. With plans to increase active duty military personnel and scale back international alliances, increased spending is likely to provide a boost to defense and aerospace industries. Trump said he also plans a $1 trillion infrastructure spending program over the next decade that could boost construction, and he also supports energy independence under his America First energy policy approach, and is expected to seek to ease restrictions on new off-shore drilling and fracking while vowing to roll back environmental regulations, cancel U.S. involvement in international climate change pacts, increase domestic natural gas production and revive U.S. coal mining.
The biggest changes, of course, are expected in the health care industry as Republicans have long sought to repeal Obamacare. The financial services sector can also expect major changes as Trump has said he plans to join congressional Republicans to fashion major tax reform and also likely rollback the Dodd-Frank regulatory framework enacted in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
Trump's emphasis on border enforcement, increased security and deportation of illegal immigrants suggests immigration reform is likely, along with the imposition of trade barriers and plans to withdraw from TPP and renegotiate NAFTA.
"This outcome was a lot like Harry Truman’s in 1948 - roundly unexpected," noted Hans Nordby, managing director with CoStar Portfolio Strategy, referring to the 33rd President’s stunning upset of Republican Thomas E. Dewey. "Therefore, most analysts were likely not using a Trump victory as their baseline economic scenario for the future."
Nordby said potential impact to commercial property included in Trump's campaign proposals include immigration reform and the potential for trade barriers, including tariffs on manufactured goods coming into the U.S. While higher tariffs could stimulate U.S. auto production, they may also result in rising consumer costs and inflation, and declining household income.
Increased manufacturing production in Rust Belt and auto manufacturing in the Southeast could offset that impact as tenants absorb warehouse and light manufacturing space, and bring increased demand for apartment and retail investments in those regions, Nordby added.
At minimum, enforcement of existing immigration laws by a Trump Administration would likely increase the cost for low-skilled labor. At the same time, immigration reform could also halt the requirement that college students from foreign countries must exit the U.S. soon after graduation.
"There is a shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) talent in the U.S., and these same people are kicked out of the country shortly after they graduate form U.S. universities," Nordby said. "This is an economically stupid practice that, if fixed, could boost economic and job growth, and boost real estate demand for all types of properties."
"Despite all the noise, Trump in my mind won on a promise of growth," said John Kevill, Avison Young principal and managing director for U.S. Capital Markets. "His proposed infrastructure spending, plans for lower taxes, moving jobs back and a target of 4% growth all speak to that. If it appears that things are starting to happen in that regard, expect CRE investment to follow as yield will look to be relatively attractive. For now, investors will be hanging on his every word and every appointment until late January and not making too many major bets."
Most of president-elect Trump's proposed policies on corporate, individual and foreign taxes have been widely embraced by the real estate and financial industries, with the exception of Trump’s vow during the campaign to scrap the deduction for carried interest income, a position also advanced by Clinton.
The Real Estate Roundtable, one of the CRE industry’s most active lobbying groups, said in a statement that the major planks of tax and financial regulatory reform, infrastructure investment, immigration issues, energy policy and physical and cyber security will all present opportunities to advance the economy and the stability of U.S. real estate markets.
"Real estate public policies are non-partisan," said Roundtable CEO and President Jeffrey D. DeBoer. "They should be based on objective economic principles, responsive to changing economic cycles and sensitive to societal demands."
Previous guidance provided by the Trump campaign reported that Trump’s tax reform plan would reduce marginal tax rates on individuals (top rate of 25%) and businesses (top rate of 15%), increase the standard deduction to nearly four times current levels, and put a cap on existing tax breaks other than mortgage interest and charitable giving.
His tax plan would repeal both the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax.
However, in contrast to other Republicans and in keeping with the populist tone of his campaign, Trump would not exempt foreign earnings of US multinationals from the US tax base. He said he would go further than current law - which provides for the deferral of tax on foreign earnings - and tax multinationals currently on their foreign income.
Regarding real estate ownership and investment, Trump said he would tax long-term capital gains at a maximum rate of 20%, impose a “reasonable cap” on the deductibility of business interest expense, and tax carried interest as ordinary income.
According to a widely cited report by the Tax Policy Center (TPC) of candidate Trump's tax proposal, it would “... reduce federal revenue by $9.5 trillion over its first decade and an additional $15 trillion over the subsequent 10 years, before accounting for added interest costs or considering macroeconomic feedback effects."
While most of the revenue loss would come from individual income tax cuts, about one-third would come from reducing the corporate income tax rate and introducing special rates on pass-through businesses.
While the TPC report noted that Trump’s tax proposal would improve incentives to work, save, and invest, unless accompanied by equally large spending cuts, Trump's plan could increase the national debt by nearly 80% of gross domestic product by 2036, (Tax Policy Center, Analysis of Donald Trump’s Tax Plan, Dec. 22, 2015.)
Supports of tax reform contend that the cuts will stimulate economic activity that will offset the projected revenue losses.
Trump will face the same daunting challenges as President Obama to address growth in the federal deficit and ongoing bipartisan pressure to reduce the federal government real estate footprint, said Kurt Stout, executive vice president. government solutions for Colliers International. The impact of Trump initiatives on government-dependent metros such as Washington, D.C. is unclear at present.
"Among individual agencies, there will be winners and losers, but I'm not ready yet to speculate on how each will fare or what that might mean for the federal inventory of leased and owned space," Stout said. "Trump doesn't neatly fit into any of the normal political conventions, so I think the only prudent thing to do is to wait and see."
However, at least one market participant in Washington, D.C. believes that generally slower government growth in recent years and Trump’s military, immigration and infrastructure stimulus initiatives will actually result in growth in the government property footprint.
"We will more than likely see a significant increase in spending on real estate by the General Services Administration (GSA), government contractors, consultants, and, of course, lobbyists," added Avison Young's Kevill.
The smell of warm baked cookies may help you sell your house, but not your commercial property.
If you’ve ever sold a house before, you know the importance of preparing the house in the form of staging. Staging can take the focus off of negative aspects. The same principals used in staging a residential property can also be applied to commercial properties; they just have to be thought of in a different manner.
I know what you’re thinking, I’m not selling a house, and I don’t need the next Design Star from HGTV to help me sell or lease my property.
Let’s be honest, unlike buying a home, where there is sentimental emotion when purchasing, chances are, what the building looks like has less effect on the actual purchase/lease decision. However, it can’t hurt to make the property appear in top shape. You don’t want garbage on the property or a poorly kept lawn act as a factor in the final decision.
Just like buying a home, a potential buyer/tenant for commercial real estate doesn’t want to have to worry about minor things such as landscaping or cleaning. They want to the property to be “move-in” or purchase ready.
Here are some low cost suggestions from the Coldwell Banker Commercial® organization to help prepare your property for sale/lease. Many of the suggestions will seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many of these are often overlooked:
How does the building look to potential buyers/ tenants? Stand back and view your property as if you were seeing it for the first time. What stands out to you? Those same items will stand out to potential purchasers/tenants.
Make sure the bushes are neatly trimmed, the grass is mowed and the lawn looks healthy. You may want to put a couple thousand dollars into new landscaping if needed.
If your parking area or loading dock surface condition is stained or otherwise worn-looking, consider resealing it. If the parking lines appear faded, have them repainted. Remove any obstructions.
Have a cleaning service power wash the building exterior for a fresh look. Don’t forget the windows. Make sure you paint over any graffiti that can be an eyesore.
Replace any cracked or broken glass and as previously mentioned, clean the windows.
The roof may be the single most important aspect of your property. A well-maintained roof will say a lot about the overall condition of the property. Replace any broken or missing shingles or tiles. Repair flashing where needed. If the roof is old and needs to be replaced, consider having the work done before selling the property.
Here is Part II of the low cost suggestions from the Coldwell Banker Commercial organization to help prepare your property for sale/lease. Many of the suggestions will seem like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many of these are often overlooked:
The Building Interior
Keep the common areas neat, clean and free of clutter. Make sure everything is in good working order; check the elevators, restrooms, etc.
If the space is currently under construction, keep these areas clean. Sweep any dust or debris. Have the workers take a break when you are showing a space to a potential tenant/purchaser.
The Tenant’s Space
Remove any remnants of the previous tenant If the previous tenant had a company sign on the wall, make sure it is removed. If the previous tenant had specialty fixtures, have them removed. If they had unusual color choices for paint, have the walls repainted. New tenants moving in want to picture how the space will work for them.
If you are looking to sublease or if the current tenants are still in the space, have them temporarily take down personal items. We know employees love their family photos, awards, diplomas, religious items and other personal treasures, but explain to them that this action is only temporary until the building is sold/leased.
After following a few of these suggestions, you will realize there are simple and effective solutions for virtually any commercial space to get it sold/leased.