Tag Archives: properties

Tax Reform – Another 1986?

Post By : admin 21 November 2017 Leave a comment

Our government is talking about major tax reform. That will make you really nervous if you were in the commercial real estate business in the 1980’s. You will remember how a Republican president signed into law a tax law which killed our industry for 10 years.

Sure, much of the changes in that law were necessary and appropriate. But they changed the rules retroactively and that’s not fair. That meant that anyone who invested expecting a certain tax treatment got something totally different. When new laws are enacted, they should be for the future and not undermine and unravel everything that came before it.

The industry was building far too much in the way of supply given the demand back then. We haven’t seen supply and demand out of whack to that extent since. But talk of tax reform justifiably makes commercial builders and investors jittery so they are keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Washington.

Steve Brown of the Dallas Morning News quoted Ross Perot Jr. in an article recently (full article) saying, “all of us need to watch this tax code for unintended consequences.” We can’t trust the government to truly understand the consequences of the laws and codes they enact. So it’s the unintended consequences that make us most nervous.

With the president being a commercial real estate guy, hopefully he’ll have some clue as to the unintended consequences and won’t sign anything that will put us in recession like in 1986.

Stay tuned though.

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies which lease or buy office and warehouse properties.

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Working from Home – Does It Work?

Post By : admin 10 October 2017 Leave a comment

One of the pioneers of allowing employees to work from home is IBM. They started doing it in 1979 and had 2,000 IBMer’s working from home within 4 years. By 2009, 40% of their 386,000 employees in 173 countries didn’t have an office.

IBM even sold buildings which they owned or in which they had an ownership interest. I used to work for a company which was one of their partners. That company built many buildings throughout the US with IBM as a major tenant and partial owner. Those buildings were sold as IBM reduced their occupancy.

So it was a surprise when IBM announced earlier this year that they wanted many of their employees back in the office. All of this according to an article in The Atlantic.

Is this the first sign of a trend toward putting employees back into an office where they can collaborate and increase productivity? According to a Gallup poll quoted in article, 43% of US employees work remotely all or some of the time. Various studies have shown this to increase productivity while others show just the opposite – proximity boosts productivity.

Perhaps there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to working from home or the office. Some functions require proximity to working in teams or having access to tools. Others require interaction in the field with clients or other offices of the company.

Lots of technologies have been created to aid in communication for a decentralized workforce – email, teleconferencing, Slack, Skype – again, with mixed results.

I have clients who have consolidated employees previously working in the home to an office and other clients who have sent everyone hone. Again, mixed results.

What has worked for you?

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies which lease or buy office and warehouse properties.

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Office Utilization Far Less Than Expected

Post By : admin 12 January 2017 Leave a comment

Bisnow.com had an article on their website today which started by citing a study by the Harvard Business Review (HBR). It said that “office utilization peaks at 42% on any day, forcing an overhaul of how efficient spaces are designed.” The article goes on to talk about how this is changing the way offices and office campuses are being designed.

But what caught my attention was the 42% utilization. They don’t define what that means exactly so we are left to make our own assumptions. It makes me think that only 42% of the space is being used at any given time, or that only 42% of the people the office was built to accommodate are actually there. I’m not really sure, but either way, it sounds like office spaces are not being used to their full capacity.

This is consistent with something I heard at a lunch presentation today by Robert Jimenez of Granite Properties. Robert told a group of commercial real estate professionals that they are building 3.7 parking space for every 1,000 square feet (SF) in their suburban office buildings. But their own study of Granite Park in Plano shows that only 2.2 parking spaces per 1,000 SF are actually occupied on average. This would seem to support the HBR findings.

The takeaway for me is that landlords can allow much greater density in their buildings than previously thought and tenants could lease much less space for the same number of people. Perhaps it would be feasible to lease only 10,000 SF for 75 people instead of the 15-18,000 SF as previously thought. Of course, this will depend on the corporate culture, how many people get private offices, and, most importantly, whether the landlord can be convinced to allow this.

For creative ways to solve office space needs, please find us at www.texastenantrep.com.

Bob Gibbons is a Real Estate Advisor & Tenant Advocate with REATA Commercial Realty, Inc. which is a tenant advisory firm based in Plano, Texas. Bob serves companies in Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Richardson, Addison, Dallas and the surrounding areas and specializes in companies which lease or buy office and warehouse properties.

Categories: Uncategorized