Browse Month: April 2014

“Let’s Have Fun With 1031”

Section 1031 exchanges are for deferral of state and federal taxes on sale of investment or business real estate. Check out this video and get a terrific, concise backgrounder on the history and concepts of 1031 exchanges from tax attorney Louis Rogers, CEO of Capital Square Holdings, who actually brings along his original 1984 research notebooks on the topic.  Great stuff!

While I do take issue with the idea presented that taxes are “gone forever” once paid — find me the commercial property that doesn’t benefit from its access to publicly financed infrastructure, after all — Mr. Rogers is a compelling presenter with a plain command of this topic and this clip is absolutely worth a look.

Don’t Miss The IREM Sponsored Panel At Upcoming ICSC RECon


National Association of REALTORS® affiliates CCIM Institute and the Institute of Real Estate Management will be well represented at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon 2014, May 18-20 in Las Vegas. IREM is sponsoring a panel session, Tackling Today’s Marketing and Leasing Challenges From the Management Perspective, which features retail experts Mez R. Birdie, CPM, CCIM and Yvonne A. Jones CPM, CCIM. With moderator Randy Woodbury, CPM, the panel will discuss trends including omni-channel retailing, marketing plan development, tenant retention, pop-up retail, and more.

Logo for ICSC Recon 2014 IREM Logo

Meet The Panelists

Jones - 300 dpi
Yvonne A. Jones CPM, CCIM
Mez Birdie jpg
Mez R. Birdie, CPM
Woodbury 09jpg
Randy Woodbury, CPM (Moderator)


Drop by NAR Commercial!

Attending ICSC RECon 2014? Visit NAR Commercial at booth #C189H and CCIM Institute at booth #C1920, both in Central Hall 5.

Commercial Real Estate Roundup – April 22, 2014

English: Wells Fargo Center, Denver Colorado a...

A Nevada rancher skips on rent while offering a novel excuse, the National Science Foundation lays a new foundation, cheap natural gas lights up Red Stick, two tales of Denver — it’s all here at the Commercial Real Estate News Roundup for April 22, 2014.






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The Quantified Community: Taking Account Of It All

Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project

Once you start counting things, it can be hard to stop. Commercial property in operation presents a huge number of things to count, and it’s only with modern technology tools that we can handle that data on an ongoing basis.

Every type of commercial property from industrial to retail to office offers a universe of data to be collected. In order to find hidden value, areas for improvement, or to create comparative statistics to increase efficiency in property operation, we can count a property’s various dollar flows, square feet, degrees fahrenheit, kilowatt hours, air pressure psi — the list goes on and on. Unlike decades past, thanks to the sharp rise in automated building operations systems, these variables are increasingly being sucked into computers, where all huge piles of data belong.

If you’re counting new terms coined by our technology-infused times, it’s time to add one more. The marriage of new commercial property development and data collections aimed at ongoing improvement of property and community operation has taken on the name quantified community. It’s a holistic way of capturing the vital signs of a commercial property plus the community it’s embedded in.

If that sounds vaguely medical, it’s because the concept is an extension of the quantified self movement, where technology-enabled people are collecting information about their own bodies and diets in order to tweak themselves to maximum health. The simple bathroom scale isn’t enough any more — and in real estate, neither is the simple electricity bill.  The new thinking says we need to know the reasons behind the numbers, and to know our properties as we know ourselves — as systems.

New Thinking, New Developments

New York City’s Hudson Yards project is flying the quantified community banner very conspicuously.  It’s an eye-popping 16-skyscraper, 12 million sq. ft development on Manhattan’s west side.  The details of the project are impressive and include a fully quantified data collections operation encompassing retail (750,000 sq. ft.) office, residential and public space.

The collaboration is being touted as producing the first “quantified community” in the U.S.—which has a rather creepy, 1950s social experiment ring to it, though Constantine Kontokosta, deputy director NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, assured us that all participation will be opt-in. Mr. Kontokosta said that NYU had approached Related about participating in the collaboration, after surmising what a good data set the new development would provide.

“This is just an incredible research opportunity for us,” said Mr. Kontokosta. “We hope to make the data available to other researchers and programmers, to find ways to make it more sustainable, and to apply the findings across the city.”

Mr. Kontokosta added that this marks the center’s first collaboration with a real estate developer. Ideally, he hopes to convince the other Hudson Yards developers to participate as well.

Although what, precisely, the center will measure is still somewhat vague at the moment. Possibilities include pedestrian flows, air quality within buildings and across open space and the health, the activity of residents and workers using a custom-designed, opt-in mobile application as well as solid food and recyclable waste and energy usage.

Mr. Kontokosta said that he believes residents will be interested in participating, not only because the project will be “unprecedented in scale” but because there’s a lot of interest in the “quantified self” at the moment.The Center also hopes the collaboration will help advance its leadership in the emerging field of “Urban Informatics—the observation, analysis, and modeling of cities.”

“The ability to conceive of and develop an entirely new neighborhood creates tremendous opportunities,” Related Hudson Yards president Jay Cross wrote in a statement. “Through our partnership with CUSP we will harness big data to continually innovate, optimize and enhance the employee, resident and visitor experience.”

And presumably, assuming the data is public—which we would hope it will be (Mr. Kontokosta said that Center hopes to make things “as transparent as possible”)—it will also allow journalists like us to analyze how well the city’s investment in the new neighborhood has paid off in terms of creating a viable community. And how it should fund, aid and encourage future developments like Hudson Yards.

The Wisdom Of Opt-In

The success of such a data collection project (and the property operations improvements that could follow) all hinge on collecting sufficient amounts of data.  Some of this collections capacity will be “baked in” to the development in the form of smart thermostats, water distribution and the like. But what’s most interesting, and potentially alarming, is the mobile application mentioned above.

Landlords or developers considering quantified community features should be wondering how to balance the successful collecting of data with the very real privacy concerns of American residents, customers, and public passers-by. It’s tempting to imagine that we have turned a corner technologically and that privacy is no longer a right. But that’s not only simplistic, it’s a great way to accentuate, not extinguish the “creepy” aspects of such applications.  It may be a short hop technologically from keeping tabs on lighting efficiency in a commercial property to compiling a database of comings and goings of tenants and visitors, but it’s a giant leap in terms of civil liberties, and one that should be heeded.

Industrial Market: Hotter Than You Think?

I’ve been a fan of Michael Bull’s Commercial Real Estate show for more than a year.  I spotted this clip last year and made a note to blog it here, but managed to not follow up sooner than now.  What triggered my memory was the appearance on this episode of Brian Cardoza from Prologis, whose firm is dedicated to research on the industrial sector.

In this clip, you can get a sense of how focusing on value in industrial property can cause upward pressure on rents and absorption, and how such a shift works even as a buyer’s market persists.



Reverse Migration Still A Force Shifting The Urban-Suburban Balance

The Suburbs of Silicon Valley


Population trends in many major metro areas include a reversal of the traditional flow of adults from urban centers into suburban enclaves.  Increasingly, these suburbs are greying demographically while thirtysomething workers and apartment dwellers prefer to stay close to the urban action.

Asking different demographers why this is happening will get you different answers. Some point to lows in tolerance for commuting, suggesting that the rise of electronic virtual  workspaces have the effect of naturally avoiding the scourge of commuter traffic. Others suggest the lifestyle preferences of millennials aren’t well-served by postwar conceptions of suburban life. Still others claim the allure of the city is growing in attraction as national crime rates fall.

Whatever the true reason(s) for any changes in your market, the shift in demand for work and apartment space is something you have to stay on top of. Servicing clients with the right solution means understanding and anticipating what is on their minds. When it comes to suburban-urban choices, recent selected market news on reverse suburban migration might help get a picture:

Primary Markets:

Secondary Markets:


(Photo credit: Mark Nye,


REALTORS® Land Institute Honors 2013 Award Winners


farm land


Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) are more than just land professionals, they are the most accomplished, experienced, and highest performing land experts across the country. They specialize in agricultural land, timberland, ranch, and recreational properties, or vacant land for developments. More information.


The REALTORS® Land Institute named the award winners for the 2013 Outstanding Chapter of the Year,  the 2013 Excellence in Instruction awards, and the 2013 ALC-to-ALC Networking awards, at the 2014 National Land Conference in Charleston, SC, on March 12-14. The awards are an honor among the REALTORS® Land Institute and prestigious Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) professional community.


And The Award For Outstanding Chapter Of The Year Goes To…


The Institute recognized the Iowa Chapter #2 of the REALTORS® Land Institute as the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Chapter of the Year award. This honor recognizes a chapter that has demonstrated excellence and creativity in member retention, education, volunteering, technology, outreach, and collaboration. The Iowa Chapter is known for “doing it all” and “doing it well.”  The award was accepted by Kyle Hansen, ALC, 2013 Chapter President; Terry Pauling, 2014 Chapter President, and Molly Suarez, Chapter Administrator.


The Excellence In Instruction Award Goes To…


The 2013 Excellence in Instruction awards honored Randy Hertz, ALC Advanced, and Jim Miller, Esq. Both LANDU instructors bring quality, timely, and accurate information to their students. By updating courses and providing up-to-date technology and discussion on current industry laws, they capture the true spirit of businessmen who share and believe in the importance of knowledge and professional development.


The ALC-To-ALC Networking Awards Go To….


The ALC-to-ALC Networking awards recognized Accredited Land Consultants (ALCs) with the most lucrative peer collaboration during 2013. The deals are a clear indication of increased productivity and business expansion from networking among ALCs. Murray Wise, ALC, and Ben Crosby, ALC, won both the 2013 Largest In-State ALC-to-ALC Transaction by Sales Volume, and the 2013 Largest In-State ALC-to-ALC Transaction by Total Acreage.  The Largest National Referral for an ALC-to-ALC Transaction by Sales Volume was awarded to Randy Hertz, ALC Advanced; Terry Rupp, ALC, and Troy Louwagie, ALC. The final award, the ALC-to-ALC Networking Award for Overall Collaboration, was presented to Ben Crosby, ALC; Squire Smith, ALC; Clay Taylor, ALC; and David Hitchcock, ALC Advanced.

We offer congratulations to the winners and look forward to coming years of top-notch work from the RLI members.

(Photo credit: wangkai)


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Video: Excel How-To: Lease Pro-Forma

Would-be Excel jockeys, take a peek at this. It’s a 40-minute clip detailing the analysis of leases from the tenant and the landlord perspectives. Veterans and rookies alike can learn a thing or two about detailing a lease deal for either side of the table.

Learn about the major variables, learn about how tenants and landlords see these variables differently, and how the math differs between the two. When costs are shared through various means, the numbers jiggle around, and this clip shows how to stay on top of exactly that.

(The video producer is the publisher of a toolkit called  This post is presented as an educational item and is not an endorsement of this offering.)


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Commercial Real Estate News Roundup: April 9, 2014

Downtown Dallas in the background with the Tri...

It is time to round up all the top commercial real estate news from Arizona to Boston and back again.  Online upstarts, effective old-school boosterism, Chinese billions – it’s shaping up to be quite a week.





  • Long Island Index releases downtown retail map, Newsday, April 2, 2014 – This is how a community chamber of commerce (or similar organization) gooses leasing interest: start counting properties and economic date and publish the results.
  • In Voorhees, reinventing the mall, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 6, 2014 -When a REIT takes over a retail space, changes can be afoot. Here’s a Pennsylvania success story.






Latest Economic Census Data Release Schedule

The Economic Census is the U.S. Government’s official five-year measure of American business and the economy. It is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, with responses required by law.

In latter 2012, 4 million businesses were sent response forms by the Census Bureau — to large, medium and small companies representing the statistical entirety of US business locations and industry sectors.

The data set is enormous, and the rollout of the data is staggered over the next two years.

What sectors are important to you?  Look up the date below and keep an eye on to jump on the data as soon as it shows up.


Publication Series Report Title Release Date Range
Core Business Statistics Advance Report March ’14
Industry Series Utilities and Finance June ’14 – Feb ’15
Wholesale July ’14 – Feb ’15
Services July ’14 – Feb ’15
Retail July ’14 – Jan ’15
Manufacturing July ’14 – Dec ’14
Mining July ’14 – Dec ’14
Construction July ’14 – Dec ’14
Geographic Area Series Utilities and Finance Feb ’15 – Nov ’15
Wholesale Feb ’15 – Oct ’15
Services May ’15 – Dec ’15
Retail Feb ’15 – Oct ’15
Manufacturing April ’15 – Aug ’15
Mining Feb ’15 – April ’15
Construction Feb ’15 – Oct ’15
Subjects/Summary Series Industry/Product Analysis (Min & Mfg) May ’15
Subject/Summary – Construction May ’15 – July ’15
Subject/Summary Series – Manufacturing June ’15 – Oct ’15
Subject/Summary Series – Mining June ’15 – Sept ’15
Core Business Statistics Enterprise Statistics Feb ’16
Franchise Feb ’16
Subjects/Summary Series Product Lines – Retail Jan ’16
Establishment and Firms Size – Retail Jan ’16
Product Lines – Services Jan ’16 – March ’16
Establishment and Firms Size – Services Feb ’16 – March ’16
Product Lines – Wholesale Feb ’16
Establishment and Firms Size – Wholesale Feb ’16
Product Lines – Utilities & Finance March ’16
Establishment and Firm Size – Utilities & Finance March ’16
Misc Subjects – Retail March ’16
Misc Subjects – Wholesale March ’16
Misc Subjects – Utilities & Finance June ’16
Misc Subjects – Services June ’16
Core Business Statistics Bridge June ’16
Comparative June ’16
ZIP Codes Retail June ’16
Services June ’16
Annual Survey of Manufactures ASM 2013 Feb ’15
ASM 2014 Nov ’15
ASM 2015 Nov ’16
Commodity Flow Survey Preliminary Dec ’13
GAS, Hazardous Materials, and Exports Dec ’14
Economic Census of Island Areas Northern Marianas Islands April ’14
Guam April ’14
American Samoa May ’14
Virgin Islands July ’14
Puerto Rico Manufacturing Feb ’15
Puerto Rico GAS July ’15
Puerto Rico Construction Sept ’15
Survey of Business Owners Women-Owned Businesses June ’15
Hispanic-Owned Businesses July ’15
Black-Owned Businesses Aug ’15
American-Indian and Alsak Native Owned Businesses Sept ’15
Asian-Owned Businesesses Oct ’15
Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islander-Owned Businesses Oct ’15
Veteran-Owned Businesses Nov ’15
Company Summary Dec ’15
Characteristics of Business & Business Owners Dec ’15


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