Seeing Pros and Cons in “Digitization” of Real Estate

A future-focused Urban Leaders Summit discussion in Frankfurt in May on embracing new technology raised just as many questions as it answered.

Many German business leaders have been fretting about what they call Industry 4.0—the sweeping changes created by machine learning, automation, the “internet of things,” and big data—innovations they categorize under the umbrella of “digitization.” The waves of change triggered by this digital shift are going to be felt for generations to come, as more and more jobs are capable of being done by machines. Will we need humans at all? Will we create a superintelligence that finds us an unnecessary burden?

But going back to the present, Sascha Friesike, professor of digital innovation at VU Universität Amsterdam, wondered why urbanization continues to grow even as we increasingly decentralize work. If jobs can be done from anywhere, why do we still largely choose to move to cities?

Klaus Dederichs of Drees & Sommer was wary about the rush to incorporate the internet of things into properties. Tests have shown that the current generation of smart devices, which usually operate over wi-fi, is easy to hack. “They are compromising buildings’ cybersecurity,” he said. “What if terrorists attack smart buildings rather than drive into crowds?”

But Dederichs did also note some potential for buildings to get smarter, optimizing energy use being one of them. Building information modeling (BIM) is another promising field in the world of smart buildings. This digitizing of the planning, construction, and maintenance of buildings increases efficiency and extends the life of a project. Thus far, BIM has not seen huge adoption rates in Germany; the industry is hesitant largely because of the financial investments and the additional training needed for workers.

Blockchain came up in practically every discussion, as did artificial intelligence. It is difficult to find the middle ground between viral anxiety and tech evangelism, said Thomas Metzinger of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. “What do we do when a smart city crashes? And it will crash. We need graceful degradation,” referring a web design term that refers to designing a project to continue to function even if some features fail.

“We aren’t going to build houses that aren’t future-proof anymore,” said Martin Rodeck of EDGE Technologies, owned by OVG Real Estate. You cannot risk a new building being outdated within five years. And you should not jump on a trend like blockchain or virtual reality just because everyone else is doing it—you need to focus on how to solve the problem at hand.

Read more on Urban Land Institute

 

Property Taxes Surge on Higher Values

Rising property taxes can be a problem for both tenants and landlords.

Corporations that have been focused on the potential windfall that tax reform will bring are getting a reality check when they look at their property tax bills. Commercial and multifamily properties across the country are seeing a spike in property taxes as assessors continue to reset values to higher levels.

It has taken property tax appraisals time to catch up from the bounce back in values that has occurred after the recession. Some jurisdictions assess commercial property values every year, while others reassess values on a two or three-year cycle. In some cases, such as with the Carolinas, assessments occur every seven years, notes Dorothy Radicevich, a principal in the state and local tax practice and national property tax leader with accounting firm BDO. Most markets are now up to speed on property values, which have now exceeded pre-recession levels in many areas of the country.

“There have been major re-evaluations in commercial properties in all of metro Atlanta for the past two years and especially this year,” says John Hunsucker, owner of Property Tax Consulting LLC in Atlanta. Some of the lower valued properties don’t get as much attention. But this year most of the counties in metro Atlanta reassessed values on higher-end properties that resulted in tremendous increases, he says.

Although some states and jurisdictions do have a cap on how much taxes can be raised annually, such as 2.0 percent to 3.0 percent, Georgia has no such cap. Some taxing authorities in metro Atlanta have gotten very aggressive with tax assessments that have jumped by more than 300 percent, notes Hunsucker. In Fulton County, for example, some of the 2018 assessed values on high-end apartments are higher than what properties could trade for in the current market, he says.

 

 

Read more on National Real Estate Investor

 

 

Why clothing stores are still opening in San Francisco

A majority of shuttered mall stores over the past few years have been clothing shops, but new Bay Area leases show a sector not in free fall quite yet.

Hip women’s clothier ModCloth, streetwear brand Supreme, athleisure label outdoor Voice and luxury basics purveyor Everlane are among a new class of specialized labels defying recent trends.

Shifting consumer demands, years of oversupply and the rise of ecommerce combined to trigger more than 7,050 tore closings last year, according to Coresight Research. Already, the New York-based retail analyst has tracked nearly 3,900 store closings compared to about 1,800 openings this year.

Yet, while most clothing brands are racing to weed out underperforming stores, others are ramping up.

 

Read more on San Francisco Business Times

 

 

The future of the shopping mall is not about shopping

When Cirque du Soleil announced plans this week for a “family entertainment” concept inside a Toronto mall, it said a lot about the future of shopping centers.

The 24,000 sq.ft. space, called “Creactive”, will be a circus-inspired playground with a range of activities from juggling to high-wire – allowing fans to “peek behind the curtain and imagine themselves stepping into our artists’ shoes”, according to Marie Josée Lamy, producer of Creactive. “Hanging at the mall” will take on an entirely new connotation as shoppers take to the flying trapeze. And that’s the point.

No longer is it good enough for malls to be passive places to buy stuff – they have to be engaging places to do stuff. Otherwise, this particular retail format will be relegated to relic status – “a historical anachronism, a 60-year or so aberration that no longer meets the public’s, the consumer’s or the retailer’s needs”, as developer Rick Caruso mused.

With that point in mind, I draw your attention to Exhibit A: Randall Park Mall in Ohio. When it opened in 1976, Randall Park Mall was briefly the world’s biggest shopping center. It quickly lost relevance however, and by 2000, Randall Park Mall’s vacancy rate was 92%. Fast forward to 2017 when it was revealed that Amazon was constructing a 855,000 shipping center on the same site. Online triumphs over offline, or “software eats retail” as Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen memorably put it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

 

Read more on Forbes

 

 

Shivu Srinivasan of NAI Northern California named a Top 10 NAI Global Top Producer

Bay Area multifamily investment property top producer ranks among NAI Global’s top sales leaders internationally

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – May 15, 2018 – NAI Global, a leading global commercial real estate brokerage firm, recently announced that Shivu Srinivasan, Senior Vice President, NAI Northern California was recognized in its annual recognition program as a top producer for the organization. The award honors individuals who are handling the highest volume of multi-market business within NAI. The awards will be presented at the 2018 NAI Global Convention in Austin, Texas this September.

“This award represents outstanding performance within the organization,” said Jay Olshonsky, President, NAI Global. “We are proud of Shivu Srinivasan’s success, and the dedication and commitment to service excellence he has shown. It underscores the power of NAI Global in building business and showcases the deep local roots and professionalism of our professionals.”

Shivu Srinivasan is a Vice President at NAI Northern California, specializing in multifamily investment properties and portfolios in the East Bay market.

In 2016, just his second year in brokerage, Shivu was ranked as NAI Northern California’s number one producing broker. With a total sales volume of $38 million, he was also ranked by CoStar as third in the East Bay market as well as third in number of total transactions at 14.

In 2017, just his third year in brokerage, Shivu was again ranked as NAI Northern California’s number one producing broker. With a total sales volume of ~$90 million, he was the number one producing non-institutional broker in Alameda County. His marquee sales of the year included an 88 unit transaction in Fremont for $26.5 million,  a 70 unit transaction he listed in Hayward for $13.2 million, and a high profile portfolio sale in Oakland’s Lake Merritt district, which included three buildings for $13 million.

“Shivu came to NAI Northern California a few years ago with a talented sales background and quickly transformed that into a successful commercial real estate sales machine within our organization,” remarks James Kilpatrick, President and Founder.

On Shivu’s contributions to propelling NAI Northern California forward, James remarks, “Within his first full year he was already in our top 10 agents and dialed his way to the Top Caller of the Year Award. Now Shivu heads up a powerhouse team of agents who dominate East Bay multifamily real estate sales.”

About NAI Northern California
NAI Northern California is a full service commercial real estate firm serving the Northern California Bay Area. Our team delivers technology-enabled commercial real estate services that create value for our clients, industry, and communities.

NAI Northern California is a partner of NAI Global, the largest commercial real estate brokerage network with more than 400 offices worldwide and over 7,000 professionals completing in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions globally.

About NAI Global
NAI Global is a leading global commercial real estate brokerage firm. NAI Global offices are leaders in their local markets and work in unison to provide clients with exceptional solutions to their commercial real estate needs. NAI Global has more than 400 offices strategically located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific, with over 7,000 local market professionals, managing in excess of over 425 million square feet of property.  Annually, NAI Global completes in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions throughout the world.

NAI Global was acquired in 2012 by C-III Capital Partners, a leading commercial real estate services company engaged in a broad range of activities, including primary and special loan servicing, loan origination, fund management, CDO management, principal investment, online capital markets, title services and multifamily property management. C-III’s principal place of business is located in Irving, TX, with additional offices in New York, NY, Greenville, SC and Nashville, TN.

To learn more, visit www.naiglobal.com and www.naiglobalnewslink.com

 

 

AI is Changing the CRE Game: Here’s 5 Ways

CRE industry leaders using artificial intelligence to analyze and apply data to decision making saw productivity increase of up to 6% compared to competitors.

In a study by Harvard Business Review about the revolution of big data as a management tool, it was found that artificial intelligence used to analyze and apply data to decision making by those at the top of the CRE industry saw an increase of up to 6% in productivity compared to their competitors.

AI is changing the CRE game in several different ways and in turn, having an impact on all CRE sectors in different ways.

Read more from NAI Global

 

 

Major office park near new Facebook, Tesla outposts in hot area of Fremont sells for $73 million

A 323,000-square-foot business park in Fremont’s Ardenwood neighborhood is changing hands for $73.3 million.

This is just months after Tesla and Facebook announced plans to open satellite offices in the area, the Mercury News reports.

The four-building complex sits near the intersection of Kaiser Drive and Ardenwood Boulevard, just minutes from the east side of the Dumbarton Bridge. The buildings are currently being leased by Boehringer Ingelheim, a German pharmaceutical company.

Until recently, Ardenwood had largely been popular with relatively stodgy biotech and biomedical companies, flying under the radar while properties just a few miles away in Palo Alto and Mountain View commanded top dollar for space from software startups.

That could be changing.

In October, Tesla signed a lease for 229,000 square feet of office space in Ardenwood, enough room for some 1,500 employees. The buildings had previously been occupied by now-defunct biotechnology company Genitope.

Read more from San Francisco Business Times

What Do Single-Tenant Net Lease Deals Offer High-Net-Worth Investors?

HNW investors are especially attracted to single-tenant net lease deals in the retail sector.

For more and more high-net-worth (HNW) real estate investors, dollar stores and drugstores make for a winning combination, although these assets can turn into losers if the sole tenant leaves.

Office and hotels still draw a lot of attention—and dollars—from HNW investors. But a rising number of them are betting on single-tenant net lease properties such as dollar stores, drugstores and fast-food restaurants to help round out their portfolios.

By and large, net lease properties are magnets for HNW investors because they’re viewed as safe, recession-proof assets that preserve cash flow and yield.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor

Rich San Francisco homeowners get sold-off street back

Residents of an exclusive San Francisco neighborhood who failed to pay taxes on their private, gated street for two decades got the street back Tuesday after supervisors voted to rescind the sale of the tax-defaulted property.

The Board of Supervisors split 7-4 on the move, with those in favor saying residents of Presidio Terrace had not received enough notice before their sidewalks, street and common areas were sold at auction in 2015.

Read more from SFGate

Bitcoin is finally buying into US real estate

Bitcoin is already in retail and restaurants — so it was only a matter of time before the cryptocurrency took on real estate. That time is now. Bitcoin is slowly making its way into closings on everything from Lake Tahoe land in California to Manhattan condos to single-family homes in the heart of Texas.

Read more on CNBC