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Supreme Court Considers Changing Internet Sales Tax Policy

Posted on May 4, 2018

The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision by the end of June in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., et al, a case that could change how sales taxes are collected on Internet purchases.

Two years ago, South Dakota passed a law that would require out-of-state companies to pay sales taxes if they sold more than $100,000 worth of goods or made 200 separate sales transactions in the state. The law was designed as a direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s 1992 ruling in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, which blocked states from collecting sales taxes from Internet retailers if those retailers don’t have a store, warehouse or sales staff physically present in the state.

NAIOP supports the collection of existing sales and use taxes from online retailers that are already owed to state and local governments. Not doing so puts brick-and-mortar retailers at a disadvantage to out-of-state vendors whose purchasers can avoid taxes.

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Does Your Modern Build-out Have a Hearing Problem?

Posted on April 13, 2018

By: Clay Edwards

Open ceilings, exposed concrete floors and glass-walled spaces are the hallmarks of contemporary interiors. These design choices convey a hip and modern mindset for the companies and retailers that inhabit them, but they can come with a drawback that impacts business: noise.

Without the sound-dampening effects of the acoustical tiles used in drop ceilings and wall-to-wall carpeting and other soft surfaces, ambient noises such as conversations, whirring heating and cooling systems, and shifting furniture are amplified. And plans to mitigate this heightened noise can add extra materials, labor costs and time to your build-out.

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Disruptive Forces in the Retail Last Mile

Posted on April 6, 2018

By: Marie Ruff

In 1936, The New York Times claimed, “A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” In 1943, the chairman of IBM said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Advances and tools that once seemed impossible are now commonplace – from flying in a commercial airplane to holding a device as powerful as a computer in the palm of your hand.

At CRE.Insights: The Last Mile, speaker David Schwebel, senior director of business development with Swisslog Technology, began his session on the automated age of industrial with these premises:

  1. Change is constant.
  2. Things don’t always go as you expect them.
  3. You will be wrong more than you are right.
  4. When you become right, it changes the world.
Click here to read the full article.

CRE's Critical Contributions to US and State Economies in 2017

Posted on March 14, 2018

By: Dr. Stephen S. Fuller

Development and construction of new commercial real estate in the United States – office, industrial, warehouse and retail – generates significant economic growth at the state and national levels. This annual study, “The Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate,” published by the NAIOP Research Foundation, measures the contribution to GDP, salaries and wages generated and jobs supported from the development and operations of commercial real estate.

Commercial real estate development and operation of existing buildings generated the following economic benefits:

  • Supported 7.6 million American jobs in 2017 (a measure of both new and existing jobs).
  • Contributed $935.1 billion to U.S. GDP.
  • Generated $286.4 billion in salaries and wages.
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The Hidden Costs of Open Ceilings

Posted on February 22, 2018

By: Clay Edwards

Open ceilings, with their exposed ductwork and industrial vibe have become popular – but trendy rarely equals inexpensive. For many years, omitting the traditional drop ceiling was assumed to be not just cooler but also to cost less. Common sense seemed to be that by choosing open ceilings, the cost of the drop ceiling was simply avoided, saving on labor, materials and time.

2008 study of retail and office interior construction in five cities seemed to back up that assumption. Sponsored by the Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA), the study found that initial construction costs for suspended ceilings were 15-22 percent higher than for open plenums in offices, and 4-11 percent higher in retail spaces.

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Malls Invest More Than $8 Billion to Attract Shoppers

Posted on November 16, 2017

To create destinations that captivate shoppers beyond mere retail purchases, owners have dramatically transformed malls by investing more than $8 billion in renovations over the last three years. JLL’s new report, A New Mall Rises, explores 90 super regional and regional malls that are currently undergoing or have gone through a significant renovation during that time period.

“Malls must respond to changing shopper preferences with laser focus and evolve their purpose through redevelopments to be relevant,” said John Lambert, director of retail development for JLL. “Many of the 90 properties we looked at are elevating their role beyond purely shopping and becoming destinations for dining out and entertainment, community activities and even lodging and residential.”

 The capital improvement upgrades fell into five main categories:

  • Forty-one percent of malls added food and beverage options, and of those, 55 percent also added entertainment offerings.
  • Forty-three percent of malls are adding non-retail uses including multifamily, office, hotels, call centers, schools, distribution centers and/or medical facilities.
  • Twenty percent of malls are dedicating space to the community including open green spaces and kid-friendly play areas.
  • Ninety-four percent of malls are getting a makeover through common area improvements, rebranding and/or making tenant upgrades.
  • Twenty-two percent of malls are de-malling the space or demolishing it for the highest and best use in the community.

To Survive, Malls Must Reposition

Posted on October 5, 2017

A report by CBRE, “What’s Wrong with American Shopping Malls?” finds retailers with low-growth rates, such as department stores, occupy a majority of U.S. shopping malls’ gross leasable area compared to retailers with higher-growth categories such as restaurants and home furnishings. This disparity, according to CBRE, indicates malls should lease to different retailers to stay competitive.

However, shifting the merchandise mix will take time. The report states retail leasing structures, such as reciprocal easement agreements that require a retailer’s permission before modifications are made to the shopping center, and the overall reluctance to change among department stores will delay the process. Those who “shift the tenant mix toward higher-growth, lower e-commerce penetration spending categories can create room for revenue growth.” CBRE also notes super-regional malls, characterized by larger sizes and diverse combinations of tenants, have demonstrated a sharp increase in net operating income over regional malls during the past four years.

The Benefits and Risks of Triple Net Leases

Posted on October 3, 2017

By: Richard R. Spore III

What do office and retail property owners need to know about triple net leases?

A commercial real estate project’s value is typically based on its net operating income, which equals rental income minus operating expenses. The allocation of operating expenses between the landlord and tenants is, therefore, an important factor in the project’s value. Most commercial leases use some variation of two basic operating expense allocation models:

Gross rent model: The landlord pays 100 percent of operating expenses from gross rent paid by the tenants.

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JLL Predicts Where and How We'll Shop

Posted on September 8, 2017

Shoppers today have three main options when they’re looking to buy: Go to a brick-and-mortar store, shop online but pick up at a brick-and-mortar store, or purchase online and have the product delivered. In a report, “Bagged or Boxed,” JLL explains that “the way shoppers value time, touch and money drives on- or offline purchasing,” and predicts which businesses are well-positioned for future growth.

When it comes to physical stores, JLL writes that restaurants, off-price retailers, dollar stores and furniture stores should have the best opportunities to succeed. All provide either an experience or a price that online shopping can’t surpass.

JLL expects that several types of stores will maintain locations, but also step up their online presence. It points to grocery, apparel, sporting goods, and toy stores as examples of categories that are seeing a move toward more online shopping.

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Exploring Urban Food Halls

Posted on August 22, 2017

By: Amanda Tran

Food halls offer small-scale opportunities for landlords, operators, chefs, and diners.

AMID A CHALLENGING retail landscape dominated by news of brick-and-mortar store closings, the food hall has emerged as a promising opportunity for the commercial real estate industry and food entrepreneurs. Although food halls vary greatly in size and focus — ranging from “mega” halls, such as Mario Batali’s Eataly in Boston, Chicago and New York, to much smaller venues in aging strip malls, such as The Block in Annandale, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. — they all feature a mix of vendors offering high-quality artisanal food in a communal atmosphere.

Garrick Brown, vice president and head of retail research at Cushman & Wakefield, credits food halls’ explosive growth to the rise of “foodie culture” over the past 20 years and to the influence of millennial consumers. Brown explains, “For millennials, the emphasis is on authenticity. Processed foods are out; authentic and locally sourced foods are in.”

Click here to read the full article.

Alternative Use for Industrial Space: The Marijuana Market

Posted on August 17, 2017

The co-founder of one of the nation's first funds to provide real estate acquisition and private debt servicing to cannabis-related ventures spoke at I.CON '17: Trends and Forecasts in June. Access the presentation and session recording on the marijuana market as it relates to industrial space, risks to landlords, structuring leases with marijuana tenants and more on the conference resources page. 

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Where the Stores are Closing

Posted August 11, 2017

Retail employment across the country has taken a hit in 2017, as chains including Macy’s, Sears and JC Penney have all shuttered locations. A new report from Reis indicates the country has too many retail outlets and predicts where to future closings may occur.

“A good way of measuring what markets may be over-retailed is to compare retail employment to population,” the report says. It finds Little Rock, Arkansas; Syracuse, New York; Omaha, Nebraska; Orlando, Florida; and Louisville, Kentucky, are the most over-retailed, based on their growth over the last five years. California’s San Bernardino/Riverside, Oakland-East Bay and Los Angeles markets came in as the least over-retailed, along with Tucson, Arizona, and Tacoma, Washington.

“While the numbers show that the retail industry could, in fact, be over-saturated, the impact of this saturation on the real estate industry may not be as troublesome as many would presume,” the report says. That’s partly because different businesses, such as restaurants, yoga studios, and medical centers are taking over vacated retail space. Despite challenges, “the retail industry is performing better than many would assume,” the report concludes.

Food and Beverage Companies Focus on Experiences

Posted on August 4, 2017

The global food and beverage market is growing, and that is helping pick up the slack as brick-and-mortar retailers struggle. According to a report from Cushman & Wakefield, the food industry’s growth is increasingly focused on delivering positive experiences to customers.

“Consumers today are driven by a sense of exploration or simply fear of missing out, and are always on the hunt for new experiences,” the report says. “Restaurants are providing novel, fun and memorable meals through pop-up restaurants, ‘secret’ venues and entertainment themed venues, offering customers a thrill for just finding the location.”

Cushman & Wakefield says the pressure to add restaurant space is reshaping the retail environment. “The space given over to cafés, bars and restaurants in shopping centres was traditionally less than 10% but, in some of the newer schemes it can be as much as 20% or even 30%,” the report finds.

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Value, not Potential Interest Rate Increases, Driving CRE Retail Investment

Posted June 9, 2017

The Federal Reserve Board is indicating that it intends to increase interest rates twice more this year. But a new report from Real Capital Markets indicates that the expected rate hikes are not causing potential investors to move their purchases up.

“[I]n spite of rate increases dating back to last Fall and the prognosis for even further hikes, investors aren’t motivated to accelerate their acquisition plans in order to lock in rates at what continue to be extremely low rates. According to the survey, almost 63 percent of respondents said interest rate activities will not be the motivating factor,” the report states.

Instead, investors tell Real Capital Markets they are motivated by value.

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