Tag Archives: tenant advocate

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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Your Building May be Growing – Rentable Square Feet Get an Update

Post By : admin 3 October 2017 Leave a comment

Your building may be growing. That sounds like a ridiculous idea, right? But it may be true. Not physically, of course, but in the way the size is determined.

We have blogged in the past about buildings are measured and the difference between the useable square footage (SF) of a building and the rentable. Here’s a link to our blog post from December 2015. In that post we demonstrate how the common areas of a building are allocated to each tenant based on their share of the building. This commons areas include restrooms, elevator lobbies, electrical rooms, and others. Once the share of the common areas for each tenant is added to the useable area they get to use exclusively, you arrive at the rentable SF. And it’s the rentable SF that is used to calculate rent.

The industry group that determines the methodology of measuring building is called the Building Owners and Managers Association or BOMA. Their main purpose is to create a uniform basis for measuring new and old buildings so that they can be compared with greater accuracy. Periodically, they update the standards and 2017 is a year in which they have done just that.

The architectural firm Gensler just put out a short article about the 2017 update.

Landlords have been adding new amenities to make their buildings more attractive to prospective tenants. These include things like rooftop terraces, tenant lounges, bicycle storage, fitness centers, etc. Some of these amenities are considered common area and should, therefore, be allocated to tenants.

That’s how the building may grow. It’s not really growing, but the common area may increase due to these amenities which increase the allocation to each tenant. Thus, your rentable area may increase.

Many landlords won’t go to the expense of remeasuring their building. Others will already have the data with which to do the calculations. But it’s unlikely that they will try to change the size of your space in the middle of a tenant’s lease term. Typically, they will wait until your lease is up for renewal or you want to expand. Then they will change the size.

This is a legitimate thing for a landlord to do, however. I’m not throwing them under the bus here. Something that is truly an amenity shared by all tenants for which the landlord is not charging a separate fee is fair game for being included in the common area calculations.

Just know that this may occur and be prepared with a corporate real estate advisor like REATA to negotiate your next extension, expansion or relocation.

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