Commercial Property Executive
Jun 24 2017
San Francisco International Airport broke ground on a new Grand Hyatt, a 351-key hotel on airport grounds. Design work by architecture firm Hornberger + Worstell with ED2 International began in March 2016. The $237 million property is constructed by Webcor Builders and is slated for completion in July 2019.
Located at the entrance to SFO on a 4.7-acre site, the asset is close to terminal buildings and parking garages and has direct access to the AirTrain light rail system and U.S. Highway 101. Property amenities will include 15,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a 2,700-square-foot fitness center, a 90-seat restaurant and a lounge. The hotel is designed to achieve a four-star designation and LEED Gold certification for environmentally sustainable design and operation.
Impacting the community
“We are excited to grow Hyatt’s footprint in the Bay area,” said Pete Sears, Hyatt Group president of the Americas, in prepared remarks. “With the team at SFO, we are one step closer to opening this luxury hotel and positively impacting the community by creating jobs and operating the hotel with the help of many local businesses as our suppliers, vendors and partners.”
Constructed and owned by SFO and managed under the Grand Hyatt brand, the project is expected to create 350 construction jobs and 200 hospitality jobs.
Images courtesy of SFO
Jun 24 2017
CBRE Group Inc. appointed Robert Taylor ato senior vice president with its Central Valley industrial practice group. Taylor specializes in tenant and landlord representation within the California Central Valley industrial market, Stockton to Bakersfield, and focuses on facility optimization, supply chain logistics and solutions analysis, incentives, warehouse/distribution and capital markets.
Taylor will be working closely with Senior Vice President Tom Davis, who joined CBRE in January to lead the Central Valley industrial practice group, as well as Senior Managing Director of the firm’s Sacramento, Central Valley and Northern Nevada offices Dave Brennan, in addition to leading its northwest industrial network.
“It is terrific timing to bring Bob on board as the industrial market in Central Valley ended Q1 2017 with record low vacancy rate, 2.2 percent, therefore there is accelerating occupier demand and developer deliveries ramping up to keep pace,” said Brennan in prepared remarks.
A 28-year track record
Taylor brings more than 28 years of experience representing both occupier/buyer and agency/seller relationships and has several transactions under his belt totaling more than 500 acres of development land. Taylor joins from JLL, where he served as an executive vice president within its supply chain and logistics solutions group since 2012. Prior to JLL, Taylor spent 25 years with The Buzz Oates Group of Cos.
During Taylor’s career, he has been responsible for various industrial projects throughout California’s Central Valley from Sacramento, Solano and San Joaquin Counties. During his tenure with Oates, Taylor designed, implemented and executed several million square feet of buildings and hundreds of acres of land for development in the Central Valley.
Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business/real estate and land use from Sacramento State University. He is an active member of several national trade organizations including the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, the Association of Commercial Real Estate and on the local level, the San Joaquin Partnership and Business Council.
Image courtesy of JLL
Jun 24 2017
ZRG Partners, a global leader in executive search and talent management, has added Kevin Jones as managing director. Kevin heads the company’s Pittsburgh, Pa. office where he will lead the firm’s Global Real Estate executive search practice.
Jones’ extensive work history
As managing director, he will be responsible for search engagement, strategy and delivery, offering a unique blend of human capital experience. Jones brings more than 25 years of knowledge in innovative executive search and assessment experience. Previously, he served as a managing director with Christenson Advisors, a boutique real estate consultancy focused on human capital solutions.
“Kevin has a solid track record in the commercial real estate market where he has successfully completed senior level executive search work,” Larry Hartmann, CEO of ZRG, said in a statement. “Kevin will be an asset to ZRG and provide expertise in this niche. We are pleased to add Kevin to the global team as we broaden our North American footprint.”
Jones founded Jones Group ESF, a pioneering boutique-retained executive search firm with a focus to serving the U.S. healthcare real estate markets. Prior to founding Jones Group, he was a partner with Crown Advisors Inc.
Image via LinkedIn
Jun 23 2017
Free shipping is a gift from retail heaven: It is a remarkable convenience to order an item that can arrive at your doorstep within a day, and sometimes, in only a few hours. The amount of packages left at my house last Christmas is reflective of how retail customers’ habits have changed. Sadly, the number of retail broker listing signs and empty shopping centers tell the other side of the same story.
Online shopping created a conscious customer—one who knows where, how and when to find the best deal. But despite its tremendous personal benefit, it has played a big part in not only shifting shopping patterns but also in real estate holdings, development deals and zoning patterns. Some have even called it the demise of brick-and-mortar stores.
The shift in shopping trends has vexed retail development. Local planning departments, evolving zoning ordinances and new policies can play a critical role in making older spaces thrive again. It requires a creative vision and unique zoning approach to revitalize shopping centers decimated by online shopping and free shipping.
Cities Must Be Flexible
Cities and municipalities must become more nimble and flexible in responding to shifting trends and vacant retail centers. By example, the City of Mesa, Ariz. adopted new zoning programs and policies to encourage retail redevelopment by granting renewed flexibility to an otherwise strict zoning code. Rather than enforcing rigid zoning standards that cannot comply with sites developed decades ago, the city created new policies like Substantial Conformance Improvement Permit (SCIP) and Bonus Intensity Zone (BIZ) to afford applicants reasonable flexibility.
Through the SCIP and BIZ programs, we transformed an empty Fry’s grocery store into a Planet Fitness gym and retail building; redeveloped a four-year vacant Office Max into an indoor youth recreational playground called Urban Jungle; and turned an abandoned Fresh and Easy into a CVS Pharmacy. Solutions like this give a pathway—and hope—for traditional brick-and-mortar retail to survive and thrive again.
Developers Must Think Outside the Box (Literally)
With a hyper-competitive online marketplace, retail customers need a reason to visit, shop and stay. Today’s brick and mortar tenants are looking for more than just a box to open their businesses. We advise our clients to implement destination places, lifestyle opportunities, outdoor areas, and draws for customers to make on-site purchases.
This is best exemplified in newly redeveloped buildings we’ve entitled such as Whiskey Row in Gilbert, Ariz., The Yard in Phoenix (a former motorcycle garage and dealership turned restaurant cluster), or the Colony in Phoenix (a cluster of indie shops, restaurants and bars). Each found a way to give customers a reason to visit and stay through the use of outdoor games, music venues, complementary blend of uses, selfie-worthy murals, rooftop amenities and pedestrian connections. In most instances, it was a creative idea that necessitated a novel zoning approach, but the successful execution has given new life to old buildings.
Anticipate Unexpected Issues
With new approaches, you also have to anticipate unexpected issues: overcoming outdated deed restrictions; negotiating overflow parking; dealing with neighborhood opposition; increasing floor area and restaurant uses without adding new parking; getting approval for alternative refuse and trash collection; vacating excess city-owned property; negotiating operational restrictions and hours of use; working through liquor license concerns and spacing issues; advocating for outdoor dining; handling pedestrian and vehicle traffic, etc. It takes a creative approach to address each issue, but a good zoning attorney can lead the way.
Zoning Attorneys Must Get Creative
The value of an effective advocate with strong municipal relationships cannot be understated. Seemingly impossible redevelopments need massaging to work within (and around) the strict requirements of the zoning code.
A skilled zoning attorney with experience solving complex issues can help find solutions when facing impossible hurdles. It requires an individual with strong relationships at City Hall, knowledge of obscure provisions of the city code, novel interpretations of the zoning ordinance, experience with technical appeals, variances and use permits, a vast understanding of the zoning ordinance intent versus the plain meaning, effectiveness at neighborhood outreach and skill identifying parking opportunities.
For the Colony on 7th Street in Phoenix—previously an abandoned assisted living facility and commercial building covering multiple parcels—the initial challenge was converting an older building to a new use given the mixed underlying zoning, the odd parcel shape, the narrow depth, the lack of parking, the poor access, and more. The second set of issues involved resolving concerns from neighbors, HOAs, abutting property owners and area activists. Third, we identified potential concerns and issues with city staff, engineering and development reviews, and elected officials. After weighing all of those items, we developed a strategy to navigate those issues and the city process in the fastest manner possible.
Know the potential issues and hire land use and zoning counsel familiar with that particular municipality’s processes, regulations, norms and likely solutions. Zoning attorneys work directly with city officials, business owners and architects to provide development guidance, streamline the process, reduce the time frame and offer cost savings. An effective zoning attorney with local familiarity and strong municipal relationships is often the key factor towards creating a successful revitalization.
Adam Baugh is an owner at Withey Morris PLC, where he has been practicing land use and zoning law since 2007.
Images courtesy of Withey Morris
Jun 23 2017
SG Property Services has acquired Johns Creek Medical and The Swan Building, two medical office buildings in North Fulton County, Ga., in the greater Atlanta area, for a combined $11.9 million. Jodi Selvey of Colliers represented the owner of Johns Creek Medical, while Lee Asher of CBRE represented the owner of The Swan Building. The two properties total 55,664 square feet and were sold by physician owners.
Located at 6918 McGinnis Ferry Road in Johns Creek, Ga., Johns Creek Medical was fully leased at the time of sale by a single tenant, a children’s medical service provider. The 10,771-square-foot property sits across from Emory Johns Creek Hospital and is near retail amenities at Johns Creek Town Center.
Located at 4165 Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta, Ga., just off Route 120 and near Alpharetta Commons Shopping Center, the Swan Building has multiple tenants, including a plastic surgery center. SGPS plans to fill the remaining vacancies of the 44,893-square-foot Alpharetta facility with a focus on medical users and renew existing tenants with long-term leases.
“The Swan Building is a true, value-add investment due to the opportunity to lease-up existing vacancy,” said Paul Shailendra, president of SGPS, in prepared remarks.
Image courtesy of SG Property Services