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The 2017-18 CRE® Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate

CRE recently shared new information about important business disruptors – the issues and trends impacting U.S. commercial and residential real estate. The Counselors of Real Estate® (CRE) is the global professional association which annually announces The CRE® Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate, an update of market trends and conditions which influence real estate opportunities and risks. 

Read the Top 10 issues here.

 Members of CRE are recognized property experts who provide specialized and objective advisory services to clients.  CRE membership is by invitation. Jackie Buhn is a longtime member.

 Political polarization and global uncertainty lead the 2017-18 list because divisiveness–which is occurring at all levels (and is fueled by news headlines, political beliefs and budget constraints)–makes decision making difficult.)  Global uncertainty is also creating challenges for investment and employment in non-U.S. markets, and could negatively impact foreign investment in U.S. properties.

 Other issues include the technology boom – causing extraordinary changes in how real estate is bought, sold, valued, and managed.  Robotics, predicted to replace up to 47% of today’s jobs, clearly will have a serious impact on everything from housing and retail to business offices, tenants and leasing.  Two distinct generations–the Baby Boomers and Millennials–living and working side-by-side – now also present challenges in that they have quite different preferences in the kinds of offices in which they wish to work, as well as housing choices.

The other disruptors on the CRE Top Ten Issues list are:

  • Retail disruption–with malls and downtowns adapting to nationwide store closures with new kinds of experience-driven offerings and the reinvention of the grocery stores which have anchored many upscale shopping malls;
  • Infrastructure investment – such as bridges, ports, and roads, which are now attracting new private investors;
  • Housing: the big mismatch — affordability at all levels is challenging home ownership and even who can rent and where;
  • Lost decades of the middle class – including wage stagnation that significantly restricts purchasing power and home ownership;
  •  Real estate’s emerging role in health care – illustrated by increasing demand for buildings to be designed and operated in ways that promote positive healthy outcomes;
  • Immigration – restrictions could negatively impact this large source of residential tenants and home buyers;
  • Climate change—focusing this year on sea level rises as a serious threat to property values in many parts of the U.S. should  the trend in rising water levels continue.

 

The Counselors of Real Estate organization is known for thought leadership, objective insights and extraordinary professional reach, with more than 50 real estate specialties represented among its member experts who are admitted to the organization by invitation. Members contribute to development of the Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate by participating in the CRE External Affairs (Issues and Trends) initiative.

 

 

 

REO Strategy for Sportsplex Stabilization in Feasterville, PA

We scored big on our latest REO stabilization project at the Sportsplex in Feasterville, PA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sports complex with regional prominence used for both adult and youth sports had seen better days.  AthenianRazak got the assist by transitioning the complicated facility ownership to a stable management team, streamlining their business operations and preparing the property for sale.

 

The Sportsplex is approximately 87,000 square feet. The property includes 3 basketball courts, 2 floor hockey courts with spectator seating and food stand, 16 outdoor tennis courts, an outdoor pool, a rhythmic gymnastics team, a daycare/playground, and other smaller spaces for potential new sports. All courts are multi-purpose and serve many types of sports including an annual women’s roller derby! Notable local sports legends frequent the facility and the Field Hockey team is coached by mom of Olympic athletes, Tina Reinprecht.

 

AthenianRazak handles REO Management for both commercial and residential properties all over the region including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. In the case of the Sportsplex, we worked with them on Property management and stabilization, secured cash flow, prepared an annual budget for the property and oversaw repairs and maintenance. The Sportsplex is now ready for sale and will be able to serve the Feasterville community for years to come.

City of Philadelphia’s Text to Give Campaign

This morning, Mayor Jim Kenney and representatives from the Managing Director’s Office and the Office of Homeless Services introduced a pilot program they’re calling “The Text to Give Campaign.” They are urging people to not give money directly to pan handlers at the vast amount of shared public spaces throughout the city including transit stations, plazas and streets, but donate money by sending a text message to the number 80077 and typing “Share.” The Office of Homeless Services will match each donation. Proceeds go to nonprofits that support housing, jobs and services for homeless.

 

This effort is particularly relevant now as AthenianRazak master leases the retail space owned by SEPTA in Suburban Station. Suburban Station is a significant public space and sees roughly 100,000 passengers pass through daily.

 

AthenianRazak supports this effort wholeheartedly. We are  part of a public-private workgroup comprised of more than a dozen leaders from the business, hospitality and civic communities who work the Mayor’s administration to strategize and take action to ensure that public spaces in Philadelphia can be utilized safely, comfortably and with dignity and respect.

 

What is the Role of a Development Manager?

Much like a conductor leads the individual sections of an ensemble to do their best in achieving a successful performance, a Development Manager directs and coordinates the many team members and complex details involved in a development or construction project. The Development Management role is indispensable on a successful project team, coordinating every phase from defining initial goals and strategy to site identification to acquisition, zoning and approvals, design and construction, as well as supporting fundraising and financing efforts.

A Development Manager can become involved at various phases of a project, and ideally is the first professional engaged. Often the decisions with the biggest financial impact are made right at the start. A Development Manager can also help in a project’s early stages by bringing a professional management structure to the project, providing management continuity and follow-through so that all team members understand how their tasks support the goals of the project as well as the other team members.

The job of the Development Manager can best be encapsulated by two terms –  Project Strategy and Project Management.

Project Strategy: The Development Manger assesses the combination of professions and skills that are required for a specific project. In addition to identifying, recommending, and retaining Architects, Designers, Engineers, and Contractors, the Development Manger assists the Owner in identifying and adding specialty consultants to the project team when needed.

Project Management: The Development Manger facilitates the efforts of the project team, directing the efforts of the individual specialists required to produce the project, providing managerial oversight of the design and construction process itself, and defining the individual tasks that must be completed in the proper time and sequence.

In closing, the art of development requires introducing technical expertise when it matters most to help an ownership team make decisions. That requires a surprising array of skills: legal, finance, design, construction, marketing, management, organizational design and, (often) psychology. Understanding this, a sophisticated in-house project leader will supplement his or her own expertise with a firm that has professional knowledge and experience in all these areas: A Development Manager.

 

The Groundwork for Camden’s Revival

All of this work helped us believe. Read more about other early believers from The Philadelphia Business Journal piece on what laid the groundwork for Camden’s revival.

CRE Member Spotlight on Jackie Buhn

The Councelors of Real Estate (CRE) highlight one member a month to display the diverse expertise, experience, accomplishment and personality found within the incomparable CRE member network. This month the focus is on Jackie Buhn.

“I’m proud of our vision and expertise in hands-on construction and management along with strategic planning and financial structuring,” Jackie says.

Read the full Member Spotlight.

Sixers Facility Selected as Finalist for ULI Philadelphia Awards for Excellence

The Sixers Practice Facility and Home Office Building   has been selected as a finalist for Urban Land Institute’s Philadelphia Awards for Excellence. The Camden, NJ project was completed earlier this year.

Projects must meet ULI’s mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide; achieve excellence in the use of best practices; demonstrate quality planning and design; incorporate elements that build healthy places (ULI’s global theme); promote environmental sustainability and energy reduction; achieve economic success and market acceptance; and meet community needs.

The ULI Philadelphia Awards for Excellence honor the legacy of Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III, civic leader, developer, and a founder of ULI Philadelphia, with a long-term commitment from Liberty Property Trust.

Winners will be announced June 14,

AthenianRazak Supports The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia

AthenianRazak has made a $10,000 donation to the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. Why? They believe excellent schools and a quality education are key to the survival and growth of the city.  Our future depends on the resources made available to kids today. The Fund for The School District of Philadelphia makes sure all students have access to the right kinds of reading resources. Donations such as this help to establish libraries in every K-3 classroom in the District helping to ensure students have what they need, in their classrooms, to read at grade level by the fourth grade and setting them up to succeed in school and in life.

AthenianRazak Joins Mayor Kenney’s Workgroup to Make Philadelphia’s Shared Public Spaces More Enjoyable for All

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and The Office of Homeless Services have announced a new effort to crack down on panhandling, address chronic street homelessness and streamline outdoor meal services at the vast amount of shared public spaces throughout the city including transit stations, plazas and streets.

 

AthenianRazak is part of a public-private workgroup comprised of more than a dozen leaders from the business, hospitality and civic communities will partner with leaders in the Mayor’s administration to strategize and take action to ensure that public spaces in Philadelphia can be utilized safely, comfortably and with dignity and respect.

 

This workgroup is particularly relevant now as AthenianRazak master leases the retail space owned by SEPTA in Suburban Station. Suburban Station is a significant public space and sees roughly 100,000 passengers pass through daily.

 

More

WE CAN SAVE CAMDEN

Hopeworks ’N Camden is training the city’s at-risk and endangered young people for careers in tech.

 

 

 

A recent article in Philadelphia Business Journal states, “What we hear about Camden is that it’s the most violent or the poorest, but what we don’t hear about it is it’s also one of the youngest cities on the East Coast, five minutes from Philadelphia, from major lines of public transportation,” said Rhoton. “You have young people close to an urban center, it’s affordable, if I was putting this in a hipster tech magazine it would sound like a dream destination and, in fact, it is.”

Read the full Philadelphia Business Journal story here.