Office Work Space – Open Reigns

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CubiclesFor several years the square footage of workers private office space has been getting smaller. The trend is toward open concept work areas verses individual offices and cubicles. In those companies that still use office cubicles, workers find these shrinking, as well.

As technology is increasingly mobile, it effects the way we work and the spaces we work in. We are always connected with each other.  We can (and do) work anywhere.  The open concept work space is an extension of that.

Open office floor plans (ideally):DeathtoStock_Creative Community3 (Large)

  • Save money
  • Encourage worker collaboration
  • Promote creativity
  • Increase productivity
  • Attract younger talent

Some of the drawbacks can be: distraction, noise, lack of personal space and overhearing workers who talk too loud on the phone.

Nevertheless, traditional offices are on the way out and the open concept use will continue to grow.

Source: The New York Times

Source: Newtimes.com

Source: Entrepreneur

Source: Los Angeles Times

Source: Quartz

Bottom photo: DeathtoStockPhotos

 

Ann Arbor Parking Structure Upgrade

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Fourth & William Parking StructureAnn Arbor’s parking structure at Fourth and William will be upgraded. The Downtown Development Authority approved approximately a $3.7 million contract with Spence Brothers who will be the main contractor. The DDA had approved $5 million for the project in 2014. The planned improvements are to replace stair and elevator tower along William, ground floor lobby area, new parking equipment, improved electrical system and new exterior signage. An additional 200 square feet is planned for each level.

A possible future project that would create a retail incubator space on the structure’s first floor has a projected cost of $2 million.

Source: The Ann Arbor News

Photo: Google Maps

Malls: Dead or Alive?

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MallEvery adult must know of a mall that they grew up with that is no longer a mall. While some may have been repurposed most have been closed or torn down. If you’re unsure of the status of your childhood mall go to the website deadmalls.com. There is a forecast that hundreds of malls will be gone in the next decade.

Some of their demise can be attributed to consumers doing their shopping online. However, high-end malls seem to be doing better and are getting a help from sales at technology stores, think Apple and Microsoft.

As malls are declining in the US, it appears that investors are interested in financing malls in China and Korea where there is growing demand.

Malls have always been social gathering places and as baby boomers age the mall is still a good place to meet.

Racked has some ideas of what a mall might look like in the future: interactive technologies (full body scanner); hypercustomization (3-D printing); commerce center to community experience (unique activities); digital shopping carts, varied tenant mix and smarter selling floors.

Source:  The New Yorker

Source:  Fortune

Source:  Wall Street Journal

Source: Yahoo Finance

Buying or Selling a Business

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Reinhart Commercial agent, Jay Houghton, specializes in selling businesses. Some points to consider from his experience:

  • Most businesses don’t have real estate and are on leased property
  • The top two reasons owners want to sell are burn-out; which may occur during the first 5-7 yrs of the business, or retirement
  • Businesses on average take six months to sell and it may take another 60 days to complete due diligence and paperwork
  • Every business’s worth is based on it’s individual characteristics like assets, location, earnings, revenue, etc. There is no set magic formula to determine worth

The government’s Small Business Administration’s website has information about buying a business.

Another good resource is Richard Parker’s website and book, How to Buy a Good Business at a Great Price, these are guides for buying an Online, Retail, Restaurant, Gas Station business and more.

Burger & Bar RestaurantJay has a very profitable Burger Restaurant and Bar listed for sale which is located adjacent to the University of Michigan’s main campus in the heart of student housing. A rare opportunity to purchase a business in this location with a Class C Liquor license. This is a busy student hangout. Owner is retiring.

Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 Report

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ULI -Emerging Trends reportThe Urban Land Institute and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) have published their Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 forecast report.

This is a lengthy report but worthwhile to peruse.

Some points in “Chapter 1: Sustaining Momentum but Taking Nothing for Granted” are:

  • Job growth will be in those cities that have an activity in the evening, the live-work-play experience
  • During the next seven years watch whether millennials stay in urban centers or move to the suburbs
  • Boomers actually set the trend of moving to urban areas
  • Medical office use strengthening
  • US labor force may face a worker shortage
  • Technology is pushing the change of how space is used; focus on tech and media companies to lease office space, retailers are using the internet to drive consumers into stores
  • US is not investing in its infrastructure, which will be a problem for real estate if it continue; public/private partnerships may help

“Chapter 2: Real Estate Capital Flows” indicates that for 2015 it may be better to be a seller than a buyer.

A few points in “Chapter 3: Markets to Watch”

  • You have to pick the right market that will be sustainable
  • Crowdsourcing is a movement to raise capital for real estate which may be subject to regulation in the future
  • Equity and debt investors are moving ahead, carefully
  • Capital will continue to flow in more markets in 2015
  • Dollars invested in tertiary markets continue to grow
  • Due to rising labor costs overseas, US manufacturing is coming back

“Chapter 4: Property Type Outlook”, provides an in-depth look at these property types: Industrial, Hotels, Apartments, Retail, Offices, & Housing.

Detroit from Above and Before

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Detroit & People MoverIn the New York Times Sunday Review, aerial photographer and pilot, Alex S. MacLean, showcases Detroit. Not every photo is flattering but all are interesting. Detroit is rebounding and as with all cities that have rebounded, it takes time.

A fantastic place to see photos from Detroit’s great past is at HistoricDetroit.org, on their website they have photos of “Buildings, Places and Landmarks”.

Looking at what Detroit once was it’s easy to be optimistic that the city can reflect that spirit once again.

Repurposing School Buildings

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As schools close across the country a trend is developing to find new uses for these buildings. The school buildings are being sold and finding a variety of new uses. As of June 2013 the Detroit public school district has made $16 million either by selling or leasing closed school buildings or vacant land. One of the purchasers converted a 100 year old school building into a movie theater, Cass City Cinema which is now called Cinema Detroit showing indie films. Other Detroit schools buildings have been turned into lofts, a music school and a recording studio.

In Kansas City a school is being repurposed as affordable senior housing. A school in Portland was bought and turned into a hotel. Chicago has closed nearly 50 schools and is having a harder time finding buyers. They have sold 8 building for approximately $8.3 million in total. They have received interest for turning a school into a community center, affordable senior housing or market rate housing.

When a new high school was built in Ypsilanti, Michigan the former historic 3-story Ypsilanti High School was sold and successfully developed into senior housing units.

The Michigan Historic Preservation Network has “A Community Guide to Repurposing Vacant and Underutilized Historic Buildings”.

Amy Freundl of Reinhart Commercial has an elementary school building in Munith listed for sale which could be developed into a vocational training center, multi-family or senior housing. See Listing info.

Musbach

Source: Huffington Post

Source: Chicago Tribune

We’re not asking for the coat off your back but…

Coat Drive image 2014Donate a coat to those in need.  Reinhart’s 19th Annual Coat Drive is in full swing this month and you may bring your good used coats to any of the Reinhart Sales Offices in Ann Arbor, Saline or Chelsea. Coats will be dry-cleaned and given to local agencies. Your donation will ensure that fewer people will be left out in the cold.  Thank you!!!

Contact our office if you have any questions:  734-747-7888

Upswing in Apartment and Condo Construction

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Building CraneReal estate sales slow while home values surge reducing affordability for some would-be home buyers. Housing starts rose 6.3 percent with almost all gains coming from apartment construction.

High-end apartment and condo construction is going on in and near downtown Ann Arbor with several projects also in the planning process. The price of land, cost of construction and cost of municipal requirements are driving developers to build and market high-end luxury units.

Up to 50% of housing in Washtenaw County’s urban core is rental property. Landlords of small rentals of one to four unit properties may be able to get special financing for energy efficient retrofit projects. A2energy Loan Fund provides loans of up to $8,000 per property. Funds for the program are limited.

 

Source: New York Times

Source: Detroit Free Press

Source: Ann Arbor City Government

 

Women’s Small Business Month

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MP900302939The National Women’s Business Council celebrates Women’s Small Business Month in October. As stated on their website “… the NWBC advises the White House, Congress and the Small Business Association on issues relevant to women business owners – with a critical focus on how to alleviate the obstacles faced by both women business owners and women trying to start their own businesses.”

Locally women business owners will be recognized at a networking breakfast on October 24th, 8:00 am at Ypsilanti Sam’s Club. RSVP by Oct 17th.

According to the 2007 Census, women-owned firms in Washtenaw County represented 33.1%.

Crains Detroit Business lists the largest 5 women-owned businesses by revenue in 2013.

Acknowledge and support Women-Owned Businesses this month!