Category: Commercial Real Estate

Due Diligence – Know What You’re Getting Into
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Due Diligence – Know What You’re Getting Into | George Grace

The Latin phrase caveat emptor, or “buyer beware,” is especially true when making real estate purchases. Many businesses assume that the infrastructure of a property they buy functions. For example:

  • Does the air conditioning work?
  • Do the elevators work?
  • Is the structure sound?
  • Does the roof leak?
  • Is the boiler safe, adequate and operational?
  • Does the plumbing work?
When purchasing a building, the structure and operation of the property “should be” in good working order.

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When Does a Lease End?
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When Does a Lease End | George Grace

The best time to leave a property is upon expiration of the lease term, but there is always room for negotiation. Several months ago, a client (the tenant) had a lease that was close to expiration. The tenant was about to sign a lease for a different space, but something happened: Another property came on the market, they looked at it and decided it was much better suited for their business. However, starting all over in the negotiation process would have put the tenant over their current lease expiration date. In order to acquire the new space, the tenant would have to extend their current lease, or pay a penalty.

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The Art of Negotiation
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The Art of Negotiation | Mendy Lipsker

{4:18 minutes to read} Making the deal is all in the negotiation. The job of an agent or broker is basically to be the matchmaker, bringing people together. When people start to feel confident or comfortable with each other, they may be more willing to make concessions on their original proposal in order to work out a deal.

A lot of agents and brokers try to protect their client’s and their own interests by not having the buyer and seller meet. However, at times, the best thing is to bring the buyer and seller together and let them face each other. The broker can then facilitate a negotiation, whether it’s a small deal or a big deal. I have found many times that, if the buyer and seller are reasonable and rational, they’ll find a way to make a deal when they meet each other.

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Are You Proactive or Reactive with Your Real Estate Planning?
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Are You Proactive or Reactive with Your Real Estate Planning | George Grace

Most companies are reactive in their commercial real estate needs, especially as their business locations increase. To become proactive, companies need to see the big picture – there needs to be a vision that comes from the top. If the CEO or Division Manager hasn’t defined a vision for the business, it’s hard to be proactive with real estate. A vision tells people where they want to go, so real estate can be planned and managed in order to support that vision and those business goals.

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Doing the Property Flip – Part 2
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Doing the Property Flip – Part 2 | Mendy Lipsker

{3:00 minutes to read} My last blog discussed “flipping” a property, a popular way to invest which allows you to create profit and cash flow in a reasonably short time. We talked about acquiring the property and financing in Part 1 of this series.

In Part 2, we are going to touch on two other aspects of “flipping,” renovation of the property and making a profit.

Renovating

Sometimes a property can be sold as is and still make a profit. However, if the property is going to need work, you will want to know how much work it needs and what it will cost. Getting an estimate on the renovation work is an important part of the process. If the renovation required is going to substantially reduce your profit, you may want to bypass that property.

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What is the 2nd Century Master Development Plan?
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What is the 2nd Century Master Development Plan | Curtis Battles

{3:48 minutes to read} Historic Union Station in Washington, D.C., which opened in 1908, is a classic Beaux-Arts building designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham. Since the peak of its demand during the mid-20th century, the station has undergone significant restoration, transforming it into the commercial success it is today. Located in the hub of our nation’s capital, it’s no surprise that it is the second-busiest station (after Penn Station) in the Amtrak system. This transportation hub also offers regional commuter rail lines –

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Economic Opportunity in Iceland
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Economic Opportunity in Iceland | George Grace

There were a few rough years after Iceland’s economy crashed in 2008, but things are starting to heat up again. Invest in Iceland is the economic development branch of the Icelandic government. It frequently invites potential investors to visit the country and explore opportunities for growth and development, as well as Iceland’s breathtaking scenic beauty. One of the most compelling reasons for a business to relocate to Iceland is the availability of highly cost-effective, renewable power:

  • Hydro
  • Wind
  • Geothermal

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New Development on Lexington Avenue
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New Development on Lexington Avenue | George Grace

As an exclusive agent, Mohr Partners, Inc. is pleased to offer a community facility site and/or retail condominium for sale or lease:

  • Lexington Avenue, between 101st  and 102nd  Streets
  • Approximately 50,000 square feet of buildable area
  • Retail Component of approximately 10,000 square feet
  • Ground and Lower Level will have high ceilings
The site presently consists of four brownstone apartment buildings and two vacant lots. It is conveniently located a few blocks from Central Park and Mount Sinai Hospital.

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Roads vs. Rails: Which is the better investment
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Roads vs. Rails: Which is the better investment | Curtis Battles

{3:50 minutes to read} Across the country, many states are facing an epidemic: the basic infrastructure is aging rapidly. Bridges, highways, and railroads often need to be replaced or undergo major repairs. This challenge is here to stay until it’s resolved across the country. It’s a hot topic for debate, especially in large metropolitan areas. In Connecticut, Governor Malloy has recently created a 5 year transportation vision plan to help guide this discussion. He is trying to balance the needs of drivers, as well as public transportation commuters.

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Negotiating the “Total Cost” of Your Rental Agreement
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Negotiating the Total Cost of Your Rental Agreement | George Grace

“Total cost” encompasses more than the rent. When negotiating a commercial lease the “total cost,” including each of these factors, must be considered:

  • Loss factor: The difference between the rentable and the usable square feet. In New York City, a commercial space which is 10,000 rentable square feet might only contain 7,000 usable square feet. It is important to know the difference.
  • Free rent: Sometimes a landlord will draft a lease where the face rent is very high, then give copious amounts of “free rent” to justify the higher face rent amount.

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How Executive Real Estate Decisions are Made
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How Executive Real Estate Decisions are Made | George Grace

When corporations are looking for office space, they typically start by casting a large net. This involves taking the interests of all key players into consideration before narrowing down the choices. For example, we recently met with a client looking to rent commercial space:

  • The chief marketing officer and the sales manager wanted an attractive space to impress clients. It should be noted that their vision was the most costly.

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How Do I Get Out Of My Commercial Real Estate Lease? Part 2
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How Do I Get Out Of My Commercial Real Estate Lease? Part 2 | George Grace

In the previous post, we discussed subleasing, assigning, desk-sharing and the option to cancel as some of the remedies a business might use to get out of a lease. In this post, we discuss the least desirable ways to get out of a lease: buyout and litigation. Buyout The last option before going to court is to buy out the lease. If a business is paying way below market rent for its space, the landlord will be more likely to take the space back for nothing.

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How Do I Get Out Of My Commercial Real Estate Lease?
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How Do I Get Out Of My Commercial Real Estate Lease | George Grace

“Getting out” of a lease for a business is usually a last resort, but sometimes a necessary one. The good news is that there are methods available to expedite an early out. Planning before the lease is signed is essential. Inability to pay the rent isn’t the only reason a tenant may need to break a lease. It may be more important if you are very successful and need larger space. Here are the lease clauses and methods to consider:

  • Subleasing
  • Assignment
  • Desk-sharing agreements
  • Options to cancel
  • Buyout
  • Landlord breaches

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5 Important Factors in Finding a New Headquarters
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5 Important Factors in Finding a New Headquarters | George Grace

When a new client meets with a tenant representative broker, one of the most important pieces of the consultation is utilizing the client’s goals and aspirations as a “road map” to the right building. That map may cover different terrain in each tenant’s case, but there are 5 basic factors to consider that are universal in any move:

  • Operational parameters: This is a question of the circumstances in which the client needs its business to operate,

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Cost vs. Necessity: How These and Other Factors Affect the Decision Making Process
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Cost vs. Necessity: How These and Other Factors Affect the Decision Making Process | George Grace

Helping clients make difficult real estate decisions is an important aspect of a broker’s job. Whether they are starting a new business or relocating an existing one, there are many factors to consider. A client in midtown Manhattan is looking to relocate their business. They have the option to: (a) stay where they are, (b) move to a new space in the same neighborhood, or (c) move to another location (such as lower Manhattan which is a popular option). For this client, together we looked at 30 different buildings.

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How Can You Keep a City’s Character While Preparing for 21st Century Needs?
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How Can You Keep a City’s Character While Preparing for 21st Century Needs | Curtis Battles

{Time to read: 4:10 minutes} Last year, the City of Stamford, Connecticut began a long journey to update and improve it’s “2024 Master Plan.” This document is a “roadmap” for future real estate development and major infrastructure upgrades in the city. City officials and other interested parties have high hopes that the project will attract more residents, visitors and ultimately, boost the local economy. The timeline calls for the project blueprint to be complete around 2024.

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5 Key Factors To Finding The Perfect Space For Your Business
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5 Key Factors To Finding The Perfect Space For Your Business | George Grace

When a company comes to us looking for the perfect space from which to operate and grow their business, we have 5 major factors that we take into account. These 5 key considerations can either greatly enhance or detract from the properties that we evaluate. 1. Architecture: Generally, well lit spaces are more sought after than dark spaces, but it all depends on the client’s type of business. Computer work areas are typically better in darker areas and medical offices prefer fewer windows, due to patient privacy concerns.

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Unique Approach. Unparalleled Results.
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GE Grace of Mohr Partners, Inc. represents corporate and commercial tenants. Whether leasing or buying commercial property, we ensure that you assess all options and that the building can support your business. If you have a vision, Mohr Partners will provide the tools to make the real estate component happen for you and your company. Make your decision with confidence.

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Is Your Broker Looking Out for You or Your Landlord?
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It is a little-known fact among tenants in the commercial real estate market that large, multi-service brokers consistently exhibit a bias that benefits landlords. The business plans of almost all multi-service real estate brokerage companies make it highly improbable that their brokers are motivated by zealously advocating for their tenants. In fact, a multi-service firm has a financial interest in pleasing their landlord clients. For most of these firms, the majority of their incomes are from serving their landlords.

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What Are You Afraid Of?
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{2:20 minutes to read} True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful. – Paul Sweeney Always do what you are afraid to do. - Ralph Waldo Emerson Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. -Dorothy Thompson The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt Everybody is afraid at one time or another. We all face frightening decisions both large and small. We all deal with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in every aspect of our lives.

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The Booming Market of Elder Care
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The Booming Market of Elder Care | Curtis Battles

{Time to read: 2:25 minutes} Over the last month, I've been having conversations with a colleague who acquired a home care assistant franchise in the lower Fairfield County area. With the population aging, baby boomers are becoming elder boomers. Many of them have disposable income and want to make sure they can stay in their homes. Senior care is one of these fastest growing market segments because the population is aging so quickly. There are two primary dynamics involved:

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If You Stay in, You Never Lose!
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If You Stay in, You Never Lose! | Mendy Lipsker

Time to Read: 1.5 mins]

Real estate is an excellent investment, but when investing in real estate, you have to remember that anything can go wrong. You might have a good deal, or end up losing some or even a lot of money. It’s the nature of the deal. You have to be able to pick up the pieces and move on to your next one.

As in any business, in real estate there are good deals and there are bad.

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How to keep your organization attractive to younger generations in the 21st century
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How to keep your organization attractive to younger generations in the 21st century | Curtis Battles

Today, many Congregations, Synagogues and Mosques are seeing a decline in their membership and active participation. This is mainly due to changing demographics where the core membership is aging and attendance is down.A challenge for any denomination is determining how to attract younger members from Gen X and Gen Y to reinvigorate their community. Often these institutions suffer financially as well, as it’s sometimes difficult for people to tithe or make consistent donations due to economic circumstances.

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Are You a Confident Leader?
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Are You a Confident Leader? | Curtis Battles

Leaders must have the confidence to continue growing and learning if they want their team to follow suit. This was just one of the lessons I took away from a leadership development seminar I attended recently called L2 (Learn, Lead). This seminar was sponsored by leadership guru John Maxwell, who has a new book called Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. It’s about people in senior roles asking great questions to obtain the most information they can, in order to effectively lead their team.

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How Smart is the SmartWell™?
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This spring at the University of Connecticut, I mentored a team of graduate students (who were working on Masters degrees in Project Management and Economic Analysis) to help them create a unique new concept. Their startup concept is a unique water purification and beverage delivery system called the SmartWell™.  

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Considering relocating your business? Think outside the box!
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How do you decide where your business home base should be? Think outside the box and consider the technological infrastructure and tax rates of potential areas. At a recent meeting I attended, technology experts from Connecticut talked about the fact that there are markets – Austin and Chattanooga – where connectivity is much faster than…  

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