By Bisnow, Thursday, July 7, 2016

Experts Say Medical Tenants To Become Even More Prevalent At Shopping Centers

As struggles in the retail sector persist, landlords are looking even more heavily at medical centers. Bisnow sat down with CBRE Americas head of retail owner/agency practices Todd Caruso (below, left) and CSG co-chair of real estate, development and land use Mitchell Berkey (below, right) to discuss the growing presence of medical facilities at retail centers.

Bisnow: Why do we see an uptick in medical facilities taking space in retail centers?

Mitch: There are three major forces at work regarding the growth in urgent care centers in what were traditionally retail properties. One is that Americans are spending an increasing amount on healthcare; two, Americans want healthcare that is easily accessible, faster and less expensive than the traditional emergency room experience; and three, in the real estate world there has been a shrinking in the number of creditworthy tenants over the years. The urgent care center sector has grown substantially, and these establishments generally seek accessible and safe locations with parking, and tend to have strong balance sheets.

Todd: We have an aging demographic that has an enormous appetite for health-related services. One of the driving factors is the overall cost of having someone in a hospital for an extended period of time. Many surgeries are being done through outpatient these days. Urgent care Wikimedia

Bisnow: What benefits are landlords seeing with these tenants?

Todd: It really depends on the market and merchandise mix of the retail shopping center. Investors and owners have been very positive for reasons you might guess—creditworthiness. In general, many of the expanding hospital systems have robust balance sheets. When combined with extended lease terms, it makes for an attractive tenancy. Owners consequently have less attrition in their retail space, and lower overall expenses associated with having to “build out” due to turnover.

Mitch: From the landlord’s side, urgent care operators are attractive because they are strong financially, invest in their space and generate traffic to the center. Their staying power and stability adds certainty to a landlord’s tenant roster and the seven-days-a-week operations drive shoppers to other retail tenants. This new breed of retail tenant is here to stay as landlords seek to reposition centers which have suffered due to the impacts of e-commerce and retailer consolidation.

Bisnow: How has the changing healthcare landscape affected this trend?

Todd: If we’re thinking about growth industries in the US, certainly healthcare would be one of those. Think about the potential for all of the medical-related companies that have been developed over the past several years—from the financial end to outpatient services like dialysis centers, MRI facilities, surgery centers, dental and ortho, chemo centers, urgent care centers, etc.

Mitch: Take urgent care centers, for example. There are over 7,100 urgent care centers now in the US and the typical urgent care center experience includes seeing a healthcare provider in 30 minutes or less and being in and out in 60 minutes or less. Compare that to the typical emergency room visit, and you can see right there why they have become so popular. There is tremendous growth in this field.

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By Globe St, Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sports Authority Sets Auction Date, May Close All Stores

ENGLEWOOD, CO—A date has been set for the auction of Sports Authority Inc. store leases, according to court documents filed Tuesday. Judge Mary Walrath at US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has set May 16 for the auction, which follows the sporting goods retailer’s announcement that it was pursuing a sale of “some or all of the business.”

Published reports have indicated that all 463 Sports Authority stores could end up closing, although the company has not yet committed to that course of action, and that the retailer had abandoned attempts to reorganize because it was unable to get its creditors to agree on a reorganization plan. “It has become apparent that the debtors will not reorganize under a plan, but instead will pursue a sale,” attorney Robert Klyman told Walrath at a hearing last week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Headquartered in Englewood, CO, Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 protection this past March, citing debt of more than $1.1 billion. At the time, the company planned to shutter 140 of its stores.

It’s still proceeding with that plan, but in a statement, the retailer says the outcome of the auction process “will determine whether any additional store closings will be required.” The stores already slated for closure will not be part of the May 16 closing store lease auction, according to court documents. According to the statement, the company has received “initial expressions of interest from a number of potential buyers, and we are optimistic” about the results of the sale process.

When Sports Authority announced its original Chapter 11 filing, which had been widely expected, it cited “a comprehensive review of the Sports Authority store portfolio in light of the increasing amount of shopping that is occurring online. As a result of these changes in consumer buying patterns, Sports Authority determined that it needs fewer stores as part of its long-term business model.”

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We’re already into the second month of 2016… Can you believe how quickly time flies?

February’s start also means you should be moving headlong into your New Year’s Resolutions. What’s that, you haven’t quite sorted out your 2016 resolutions yet?

Well for most business owners and investors, New Year’s Resolutions revolve around improving their business and bettering their investments.

And if you’re like most shopping center landlords, your goals for the New Year revolve around improving your property – thereby bettering your investment.

Here are three of the most common goals for shopping center improvement…

Reducing Vacancy

Are you struggling with lingering vacancies that you just can’t seem to fill? Despite the economy’s improvement, many landlords are in exactly the same boat.

If you’re facing this problem, here are the three most likely culprits:

Unrealistic Expectations

End-cap spaces in prime locations command high dollar rents. Inline and elbow spaces in sub-prime locations do not. It’s really that simple.

So if you’re dealing with a lingering vacancy, it may be time to consider lowering your asking rate or being more flexible with the offers you receive.

Also, if you’re trying to fill a larger space, it may be worthwhile to market small space availability, and offer tenant improvement dollars to subdivide the larger space.

For Lease By Owner

It’s certainly fair to say you know your property, likely better than anyone else. And having owned the property in its current location for some time, you’re probably knowledgeable about the surrounding area.

Leasing agents, however, are zeroed in on the tenants best suited to your property-type, the tenants active in the marketplace, and the real PULSE of the area. If you’re like most landlords, it’s doubtful you have the time to acquire and maintain this board of a knowledge-base.

And a leasing agent’s value doesn’t end with property-type and market knowledge. Typically agents have a list of tenants actively seeking space. And they’re connected to a city, state and even nationwide network of brokers and corporate tenant real estate agents all representing active tenants.

Hiring a leasing agent, who doesn’t get paid until your vacancy is leased, puts all of these resources to work in the effort to find you a higher quality tenant, faster.

Time For Some New Blood

Perhaps your property is already listed with a broker. Maybe it’s been listed with that broker for a long time. A REALLY long time. But with little or no results to show for the time and effort.

This doesn’t mean your current broker isn’t competent or qualified. And it doesn’t mean they’re not doing a good job.

Sometimes listings just get tired. There may have been a rush of activity when your property first came on the market. But that time has long passed, and now your empty unit is just one more in vast sea of vacancies.

In this scenario, the best thing to do is to bring in some new blood. A new broker with a fresh perspective, different connections and another approach to leasing your vacancy.

Lowering Property Expenses

Your shopping center is an investment, right? It’s supposed to generate money. Not rack up costs.

Yet each month as look down your list of property expenses, you scratch your head and wonder “what are all of these charges!?”

Unfortunately, it does cost money to maintain a shopping center. But there is a strong possibility that you’re paying for more than you have to.

Here are three potential property cost-reducing strategies:

Lower Your Vendor Expenses

Of course vendors are necessary to maintain your property. But are their services REALLY worth what you’re paying? In other words, is the quality of the service your current vendors provide really worth the fees they charge?

Could it be other vendors provide comparable or even superior quality services for less money? Seek bids from alternative vendors, and you’re likely to find higher quality, lower cost providers begging for your business.

Reassess Your Property Taxes

The economy has certainly improved since the depths of the Great Recession. But that doesn’t mean your property’s value has rebounded to its pre-recession level. And that means in all probability, your property’s current assessed value exceeds its actual market value.

Fortunately, there are companies that specialize in reducing commercial property assessments. They don’t charge a dime unless they’re successful in lowering your assessment. And their fee is merely a percentage of you assessment reduction.

Convert to Triple Net (NNN) Lease

We probably don’t need to reiterate the details of how a Triple Net lease works, but here’s a quick crash course… Your tenants pay for your property taxes, building insurance, and common area maintenance (with a charge added to their monthly rent).

If your tenants aren’t on Triple Net Leases, your property expenses are SIGNIFANCLY higher than they could be.

But this is an easy fix. As existing tenants come up for lease renewals, and as new tenants enter your shopping center, sign them to Triple Net Leases. It’s the single largest property expense reducing tool at your disposal.

Maintenance

As we’ve already discussed, your property is supposed to generate money, not vacuum it out of your bank account. That’s what makes maintenance, especially big, expensive projects such a bitter pill.

But the reality is, the condition of your property is directly proportional to its value and income generating potential.

Deferred Maintenance

A property in poor physical condition, with lingering issues – leaky roof, cracked and deteriorating parking lot and sidewalks, dying or dead landscaping, ADA non-compliance – isn’t well-patronized. And it winds up filled with frustrated, underperforming tenants that grow more and more eager to vacate the property every day.

One by one, your tenants depart. And you’re left with an empty shopping center no one wants to lease, because no one wants to shop there.

Liability Issues & ADA Non-Compliance

Cracked and broken parking lots and sidewalks are trip and fall lawsuits waiting to happen.

And ADA non-compliance is a huge legal can of worms that no landlord wants opened.

In short, deferring maintenance may improve cash flow in the short term. But it seriously hurts your property’s value in long term. The potential lawsuits can be financially devastating.

How CBM’s Professional Leasing & Property Management Services Can Enhance the Value of Your Shopping Center

Whether you’re facing long term vacancy, rising property expenses or mounting maintenance issues, CBM can help.

Our team of industry leading shopping center leasing and management pros will solve your problems.

And the end result? You’ll achieve your 2016 goal of improving your shopping center’s investment value!

Find Out More About CBM’s Leasing & Property Management Services

Click here for more info on how CBM can help enhance your property’s investment value.


By Globe St, Friday, February 12, 2016

Is Now the Time for Retail Owners to Sell?

CORONA DEL MAR, CA—The supply of retail investment opportunities will increase this year as owners who waited to put their properties on the market rush to take advantage of what feels like a market at its peak, Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors’ president Ed Hanley tells GlobeSt.com exclusively. He says those who have been holding back putting their retail properties up for sale are now beginning to see the window of opportunity close and will be enticed to sell in 2016.

“With the added supply of product and projected rise in interest rates, there will be downward pressure on pricing that will have an impact on transactions in 2016,” says Hanley. He feels that multiple offers on properties will likely no longer be the norm, and those sellers who do not appropriately price their assets or react quickly to what the market is offering may find themselves having to adjust pricing according to macroeconomic factors throughout the year. “Managing expectations will be the key to successfully closing transactions in 2016.”

Demonstrating this trend of increasing sales transactions, HIG has completed the sale of $73 million in retail properties in 30 days. The retail transactions include both single-tenant and multi-tenant retail properties in California as well as an out-of-state neighborhood grocery-anchored shopping center. The bevy of transactions included the sale of a prominent multi-tenant retail investment located within the ground floor of an oceanfront mixed-use development in Southern California, along with record cap-rate sales for a number of single-tenant properties.

In addition, HIG has another 15 retail properties valued at $105 million in escrow, plus a multitude of buyer requirements to fill, according to Hanley. “If January’s volume of activity is any indication to how the rest of the year will go, we believe it is going to be another record year in the retail investment sector.”

The firm has recently been active in retail sales transactions in various areas of California. In Los Angeles County, HIG SVP Carlos Lopez represented the seller in the sale of a 19,717-square-foot multi-tenant retail property situated at the base of an oceanfront luxury residential development at Ocean Avenue South in Santa Monica. Built in 2014, the retail property at 1705 and 1755 Ocean Avenue was sold in an off-market transaction for an undisclosed amount. Babak Ziai, founder of BrandView Capital Partners, represented the buyer, JPMorgan.
Also in L.A., HIG SVP Jeremy McChesney, along with Lopez and Hanley, represented the seller in the sale of a 100%-occupied 21,890-square-foot multi-tenant shopping center near Santa Monica Blvd. and Vermont Ave., adjacent to the Los Angeles City College campus. The two-story retail center was built in 1986 on .72 acres and features a rare parking lot, both in the front and back of the building. The purchase price was $10,965,000. Marc Pollock of Westside Retail represented the buyer, a private investor based in Los Angeles.

In addition, HIG SVP Patrick Kent and EVP Bill Asher represented the seller in the sale of a 15,525-square-foot single-tenant absolute NNN Walgreens in Huntington Park, CA. Located at 6100 Pacific Blvd., the property was built in 2007 on a 47,916-square-foot lot at Pacific Blvd. and Randolph St. The purchase price was $11,850,000, which represented one of the lowest cap rates for a fee-simple Walgreens nationwide at 4.22%. Nigel Keep and Bill Kurfess of Kidder Mathews represented the buyer, a private investor based in Northern California.
In San Diego County, HIG EVP Eric Wohl represented the seller in the sale of a single-tenant absolute NNN Wendy’s sale-leaseback at 8749 Campo Rd. in La Mesa, CA. Built in 1984 on .84 acres, the 2,806-square-foot Wendy’s sold for $4,125,000, representing one of the lowest cap rates in the nation for a Wendy’s sale leaseback, according to Wohl. The sale featured a brand-new 20-year lease with increases every five years. Thomas Ahn of Integrity Capital represented the seller.

McChesney also represented the seller in the sale of a single-tenant corporate-leased O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Contra Costa County, CA. Built in 1981 on .78 acres, the 8,037-square-foot store is located at the corner of 100 E. Cypress Rd. in Oakley. The purchase price was $2,822,500. The buyer, a local private investor, was represented by Dan Diehl of Keller Williams.

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Article originally appeared in Bisnow, Thursday, December 3, 2015

How Consumer-Driven Healthcare Is Transforming Real Estate

Hospitals are moving healthcare delivery into community settings to make care more cost-effective and accommodate the millions of new patients added to the system by the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, high-deductible health plans are making healthcare more consumer-directed, with patients shopping around for the best care, at the best price. To meet these needs hospitals are creating new off-campus treatment facilities in convenient community settings.

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Article originally appeared in Supermarket News, Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dollar General sets 900 openings, names new CFO

Dollar General Corp. said Thursday it plans to increase square-footage growth 7% next year after boosting growth 6% this year. Todd J. Vasos, CEO of the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based chain, said the company anticipates opening 900 new stores in 2016, compared with 730 this year — in a combination of urban, suburban and rural locations. The company said it expects to begin shipments in February from a new distribution facility in San Antonio, Texas.


Article originally appeared in Globe St, Tuesday, Novermber 14, 2015

Grocery Rules Single-Tenant NNN

LOS ANGELES—Grocery is the new “buzz word” for single-tenant investors, who are willing to take on the risk of a big box retail space for a grocery tenant, according to Chris Sands, the founder of Sands Investment Group, and Dan Hoogesteger, principal at Sands Investment Group. The firm recently sold four single-tenant grocery stores in two separate transactions that totaled $47 million, GlobeSt.com has learned exclusively. While the sales show the investor appetite for grocery-occupied single-tenant properties, they also show that sellers are recognizing the market conditions and taking advantage of the good timing.

“People have really turned to the daily needs concept, which includes food, prescription drugs and things of that nature, and grocery stores fall under that category of daily needs,” Hoogesteger tells GlobeSt.com. “A lot of investors believe that it is a subsector within commercial real estate that has a much less likelihood of becoming obsolete with technology.” The four sales include a Food 4 Less single-tenant building in Stanton, CA, which traded for $18.5 million between private investors Katella 111 Partners and Safco Capital Corp. The second transaction was a three-property portfolio sale that traded hands for $28.6 million between an unnamed REIT and Ladder Capital Finance. Hoogesteger and Sands represented the seller in both transactions.

In the Food 4 Less sale, the owner looked at the market conditions and decided to sell the asset and move the capital into multifamily, an asset class with which he and his partner are familiar. “He recognized the risk of potentially owning this asset for the remaining base term,” Sands tells GlobeSt.com. “It is an 81,000-square-foot box, and if it goes vacant, based on the rent that they are paying, there could be a scenario where he is trying to back fill this property. We were able to show that his market was allowing for a cap rate where he could redeploy the equity that he had built up in this asset into another opportunity.” The owner purchased two multifamily properties with the proceeds from the sale, and has almost doubled his cash flow by making the move.

Similarly, in the portfolio transaction in Oklahoma, the seller felt this was the perfect time in the market to dispose of assets that weren’t characteristic its portfolio. In this case, the REIT owns grocery-anchored shopping centers, not single-tenant grocery. “They decided that it would be beneficial to show the market that they are only grocery-anchored owners and that they don’t mix into different categories. As a result, they decided to sell off everything in their portfolio that doesn’t fit directly into the category of grocery-anchored shopping centers,” says Hoogesteger. “We are seeing this more and more in the market right now. These are groups that might not necessarily be sellers, but for one reason or another, if they have a reason to sell, they are looking at the market and saying, ‘now is the time.’”

There were some challenges, however, with the transaction, namely that the leases were flat through the option period. “That was a hard challenge because a lot of buyers out there have a hard time swallowing the pill of buying a property that they are never going to have increases on for 17-18 years, in this case,” says Hoogesteger. Additionally, the properties were located in secondary markets, and although the sales were strong, the location ruled out institutional buyers. “The benefit of these is that they had a higher yield than a other types of single tenant retail, like a Walgreens property, for example,” Hoogesteger adds. Even with the challenges, the brokerage team still received double-digit offers for the sale.

In both of these transactions, the sellers don’t typically dispose of assets. Sands explains that in many cases with grocery anchored retail, the company approaches owners when they see an opportunity. “The product type specialization that we have within the firm to where we have groups working in specific niches, we are finding that is creating opportunity,” says Sands. “It is approaching them and creating a dialogue and showing the value opportunity if they trade money out.”


By SCTWeek, Thursday, November 12, 2015

Downtown LA’s Retail Rush

Now that retailers are no longer kicking the tires about Downtown LA, the race is on to serve the booming residential population (it tripled in the last decade) and the half-million people now working there. Downtown Business Improvement District (DCBID) director of economic development Nick Griffin says that the basic strategy is focused on four sectors: office & industry, retail & hospitality, residential, and arts & culture. Within those sectors, Nick drills down further: content (fact-filled reports for prospective retailers), convening (events like our recent Bisnow retail summit, which brings people together to support a vision), and consulting (one-on-one guidance to help retailers scout locations, connect with the right brokers and navigate the city’s bureaucracies). Nick, who has a decade of experience as a leading commercial leasing and sales broker, says there is 1.8M SF of brand-new retail space being built, ready for the diversified nabes that welcome every taste from H&M and Victoria’s Secret to the more local and cutting edge.

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By SCTWeek, Thursday, November 12, 2015

Small banks get back into retail property finance

Regional and community banks are investing more in retail as the sector’s fundamentals improve. “For commercial real estate, the percentage of loans from regional banks has been increasing,” said Jim Costello, a senior vice president at New York City–based Real Capital Analytics. “While all capital sources have increased lending, the regional banks are expanding faster. What it gets down to is, the regional and local banks have a low cost of capital and want to earn a good return on it; commercial real estate is offering good opportunities.”

In 2011 the regional bank share of the commercial real estate lending market was less than 10 percent. Last year that jumped to 14 percent, according to Real Capital Analytics. As of the start of the fall, retail property lending was still up for the year, versus the year before. But following a torrid first quarter, the market slowed substantially during the summer, with overall retail real estate lending dropping by 6 percent in July, year on year, and then collapsing by 17 percent year on year in August, according to Costello.

Turmoil in the global financial markets put a crimp on the commercial-mortgage-backed-securities market, traditionally the main lending source for retail real estate. Regional banks are stepping into the gap, especially as the yields on multifamily have diminished. In Irvine, Calif., Opus Bank has been actively expanding its portfolio with retail lending. “Our portfolio was mostly multifamily, where we have a competitive product and a robust pipeline, but with cap rates higher on retail than on multifamily, we saw an opportunity to expand the portfolio,” said Ed Padilla, Opus Bank’s head of commercial real estate. “About three to four years ago, we saw multifamily rates were being compressed because of competition, and there was an opportunity to diversify the portfolio while picking the right retail deals and achieving a slightly higher yield.” The bank’s deal pipeline now stands at $1.2 billion, with 40 percent in commercial real estate and 60 percent still in multifamily.

Regional bank deals are often a lot cheaper than even CMBS, because the banks have streamlined loan documentation, reduced closing costs and lowered processing fees, says Shahin Yazdi, a principal at Los Angeles–based George Smith Partners. “Some don’t require phase one [environmental] and don’t have expensive legal fees,” Yazdi said. “A borrower could see $5,000 to $10,000 in savings on a straight retail deal.”

According to a Real Capital Analytics lender composition survey, “regional/local banks have average loan sizes far smaller than other lenders.” Last year insurer loan sizes averaged $27.1 million, CMBS averaged $14.3 million, and regional or local banks trailed, with an average loan size of $5.4 million.

Portland-based Umpqua Holdings Corp. (doing business as Umpqua Banks), which has a five-state footprint in the Northwest, takes a different approach, lending on retail into the low-$20 million range. It will do construction loans, value-add redevelopment and mixed-use. “We look at several types of retail real estate, but what we really focus on is the experienced developers who we have relationships with that are our clients, says John Swanson, Umpqua Bank’s executive vice president of commercial banking. “Retail is so specialized that we try to align ourselves with who we think are the key developers for the types of products that fit our market.” Less than 20 percent of Umpqua Bank’s construction and permanent loan volume is retail, with a major swath still going to multifamily.

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By Bisnow, Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Downtown LA Transformation Continues With Apple Store

An Apple Store is going into Downtown LA, but the question is: where? Speculation had it at The Bloc or Broadway Trade Center in the Historic Core. Now rumor has it that Apple is eyeing the historic Tower Theatre at 8th Street and Broadway.

Once downtown’s theater district, this area of South Broadway is bustling near the Broadway Trade Center, according to DTLA Rising. A little further down the street the Rialto Theatre has already been converted to an Urban Outfitters store.

One of about 250 movie theaters designed by the esteemed architect Simeon Charles Lee, the French Renaissance-style Tower Theatre, which was built in 1927, is one of the most beautiful historic structures in Downtown. The owner, the Delijani family, had already begun making changes to the interior, as they’d originally planned to turn the theater into a restaurant and bar. All the seats on the ground level have been removed, creating an empty box with nearly 7,500 SF on the interior and a similarly sized basement.

Apple has previously adapted its store design in repurposed historic structures. One of its busiest store locations worldwide is in a historic building on Regent Street in London, and Apple’s flagship store in New York is in the historic Grand Central Terminal. An Apple Store in Downtown LA is another indication that retailers are “sitting up and taking notice” to both the demographics and growing residential density there.

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