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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Avison Young Launches New Website

I am very pleased to announce Avison Young’s new website . Our new website has an updated look and feel and features improved search and navigation capabilities. The new site provides easy access to comprehensive Avison Young company information, including Profiles of our Professionals, Property Listings throughout North America, Office Locations, Breaking News, Press Releases, Media Coverage, an overview of our Services, a wide range of multi-market Research reports, links to the Avison Young Blog and social media sites, and a French version of the entire site. Our property listings are searchable on a variety of criteria and provide multiple photos, mapping, flyers and demographic data.

We are excited about our new website and think you will find it to be a useful tool. Please take a few moments to explore it. We welcome your feedback and look forward to assisting you in your real estate decision-making.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Some Key Aspects to Consider Before You Sign a Property Management Contract

By Peter Leroux (Toronto)

Here are a few tips to consider when signing a management contract with a Property Management firm.

First and foremost, consider the experience of the firm as it pertains to your particular property or portfolio. Does the firm have the expertise, people and systems to meet your specific real estate requirements? Have you determined what management, financial reporting and technical support you require, and is the firm a match for you?

Retaining a Property Manager that operates through a hands-on approach is a must. Make sure that the Property Manager will be available to physically be present at the property as needed. There are situations where Tenant-Landlord relations can become strained and issues tend to escalate without the presence of a physical body to represent the Landlord. Remember that the Property Manager works in the best interest of you the landlord. So this hands-on approach is definitely something you should ask for. Paralleling this approach, defined roles of the Property Manager should be clearly stated in the management agreement. This simply ensures the correct management of expectations in an array of situations, and works in both party’s best interest. Also, having a hand in the process of selecting the actual manager who will be overseeing your particular property is very beneficial. It’s important to know that, credentials aside; the property manager has a personality and work ethic that you can see yourself working with.

Clearly outlined deadlines, is another key aspect that you should put in writing, especially when financial reporting is part of the manager’s responsibilities. It is crucial to outline the timing and deadlines for monthly and annual reports. Again, this ensures the management of expectations, and keeps everyone involved and on track.

Another key notable is the Head Office support at the management firm. Recognizing the complexity and demands of managing real estate, management is more than just a one man show. Going back to my opening remarks, does the firm have the expertise, people and systems to successfully meet your specific real estate requirements?

Signing a property management agreement will work to your benefit if you remember to choose carefully, and to ensure that what you set out to achieve, is realized. Having done your due diligence, you can now rest assured that your real estate portfolio will be well taken care of.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tysons Corner, VA: The Next GSA Hot Spot?

Tysons Corner, VA: The Next GSA Hot Spot?
by Dan Gonzalez

Congress, especially the Republican controlled House, is putting intense pressure on the General Services Administration (GSA) to increase efficiencies and savings on office leases for federal agencies in the Washington, DC region. This includes making sure leases adhere to GSA rent caps: $34 per square foot in Maryland, $38 per square foot in Virginia, and $49 per square foot in the District of Columbia.

The coming of the Metrorail system to the Tysons Corner submarket in Northern Virginia, along with its favorable rates vis-a-vis the rent cap, should make Tysons the natural beneficiary of a movement of agencies from closer in facilities in the Rosslyn-Balston and Crystal City areas of Arlington County, and Washington. Metro is slated to open its four Tysons Corner stations in 2013. The area already has a large local labor force, and now with Metro -- the missing link -- it will make Tysons a very viable alternative for federal agencies.

The average rental rate in Tysons is $30.18 per square foot; whereas the average rent in the aforementioned Arlington submarkets is $40 per square foot. At the end of the year Tysons had a vacancy rate of 19 percent which translates to 4.23 million square feet available. In addition, there were were 13 blocks of space larger than 50,000 square feet available in the market.

The largest lease in Tysons in the second half of last year was Capital One taking 129,619 square feet at 8020 Towers Crescent Drive, which was vacated by IBM. Capital One needed the space after purchasing ING Direct.

Construction activity includes Lerner Enterprises breaking ground on 1775 Tysons Boulevard, a 476,000-square-foot building located adjacent to the Tysons II complex. The 18-story building is slated for fourth quarter 2013 delivery. Projected rates for this building will exceed the GSA rent cap. However, it should attract tenants from older buildings that could be backfilled by federal agencies.

These favorable market conditions, coupled with a new master plan, should bode well for a continued bright future for Tysons Corner and as a possible new home for federal agencies. Oh, and don’t forget about the Dulles Toll Road market either. Metro will service this corridor within the next few years providing more opportunities for federal agencies.

Friday, January 6, 2012

On the Road Again

By Michael Fonda - Chicago

In our blog post of June of last year (read here), we wrote how the I-39 Corridor, that 150 mile stretch of interstate highway between Beloit, WI and Bloomington, IL, was poised for manufacturing growth. Today the Wall Street Journal has presented anecdotal evidence that growth of the U.S. manufacturing sector, due to higher productivity, lower dollar-adjusted wage rates and more flexible work rules, is starting to gain traction (read here). Additionally, the U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that overall U.S. non-farm job growth rose by 200,000 new jobs and that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% (read here). Great news on the jobs front for the U.S. We're not out of the woods yet but it appears that we are on the right trajectory.

Update February 4, 2012. More good news for the United States. Caterpillar is moving jobs to right-to-work state Indiana (read here).

The postings on this site are those of the bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Avison Young.