Author: Hanna Jackson

Commercial Realty Advisors’ Property Management Team Prepares Informed, Robust Response to COVID-19

Commercial Realty Advisors’ Property Management Team Prepares Informed, Robust Response to COVID-19

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new dangers to office workers. The risk of touching infected surfaces – or breathing contaminated air – can play a dominant role in how diseases spread inside an office environment.

Whether it’s coronavirus, influenza, bacterial pneumonia, measles or the common cold, how smartly a building is managed and operated can affect employees’ safety in the workplace. The “new normal” requires rethinking procedural and physical environmental

changes as workers return. Both immediate quick fixes and long-term plans must be considered to instill a level of confidence in employees that the businesses can function well without compromising their health.

How We Help Businesses Keep Employees Safe

Commercial Realty Advisors’ Property Management division is hard at work to prepare our managed offices for employees’ safe return. Here are some of the changes we initiated:

Doors into common areas are propped open to reduce surfaces employees need to touch, including stairwells, hallways and restrooms. Long term, we will encourage all property owners to install doors that don’t need handles and can swing open both ways by pushing with your foot, shoulder or elbow. We already install motion-activated lights and motion sensors to bathroom fixtures in the buildings we develop and manage (this is also good for the environment) and are encouraging our property owners to do the same.

Our janitorial staff is following all CDC guidelines for safe building maintenance. On-site dayporters disinfect common area touchpoints multiple times a day using Oxivir TB, a hospital grade disinfectant cleaner, and stairwell railings are cleaned two to three times daily at a minimum, depending on traffic. Trash containers were added inside many bathroom doors to dispose of paper towels upon exit to avoid touching door handles. We now offer deep-cleaning add-on services for tenants who request additional maintenance of personal work spaces, including disinfecting desks, chairs, keyboard and computers, phones, etc. as needed. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided in all lobbies and public areas.

Our responsive maintenance team responds to requests as quickly as possible, and limits interactions with tenants by performing building maintenance first thing in the morning. If work must be done during the day, our workers wear protective gear including masks and gloves for protection. Outdoor air ventilation has been adjusted to increase the maximum amount of outside air circulation within the limits of the air handling system.

We request our tenants wear masks in all common areas and we are installing signage for safety protocols. To encourage social distancing, we limit attendance to two people per elevator, two people in the restroom and no more than ten people in conference rooms (space permitting). In appropriate buildings, we have established “one way” traffic direction in stairwells. We reduced the amount of furniture in lobbies and common areas to support social distancing and to minimize waiting.

The Benefit of a Reliable and Experienced Property Management Partner

Managing your own cleaning and maintenance solutions can be an overwhelming responsibility for a property owner or tenant, especially during this challenging time. A reliable maintenance partner can instill confidence in employees, tenants and clients that the business owner cares about safety and comfort.

Commercial Realty Advisors’ Property Management division controls the operations of office, retail, mixed-use, medical office and industrial buildings throughout the Piedmont Triad. Our team currently manages over 15 properties with more than 115 tenants. With many years of experience, we have developed an outstanding reputation as experts in providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to any property management issue. Our maintenance services include:

  • On-site dayporter cleaning of common areas
  • Deep cleaning personal work spaces
  • Exterior building and ground maintenance
  • Monthly financial reporting
  • Capital improvement recommendation and implementation
  • Building income and expense management
  • Rent collection
  • Lease administration
  • Construction management
  • Other duties as requested

Working with a respected and reliable property management team not only ensures your work environment remains safe for your employees and customers, but continued maintenance keeps the property as attractive and functional as possible. This leads to high tenant satisfaction and retention rates, sustained building occupancy, and maximized property values for property owners. To ensure the safety of your employees and tenants and secure the best return on your commercial investments, contact a member of our Property Management team today at 336-793-0890.

New Habits from COVID-19 Trigger Transition in Real Estate

They often say it takes thirty days to form a new habit. So with nearly a nationwide shelter-in-place order on Americans for at least that long, people are likely to continue some of their quarantine behaviors once the orders are lifted. These changes in behavior will have a ripple effect, stretching across many different business sectors, one being commercial real estate.  Less retail storefronts, larger warehouse needs, and the desire to bring manufacturing stateside are potential outcomes.

Stocking Supplies

We have all experienced the shortage of things like toilet paper, cleaning products, and hand sanitizer firsthand over the past few weeks. This will likely trigger both consumers and companies to change their habits. Consumers will begin to stockpile an additional supply of these types of products in their homes to be prepared for the threat of another event of this nature. Companies will re-examine their approach to the way their supply chains function. They will begin to increase the amount of products they have readily available, which will trigger a greater demand for warehousing across the country.

Grocery Warehousing

Traditional retail was already trending from brick and mortar toward e-commerce, but this pandemic will fast-forward that transition. While grocery stores have maintained a strong traditional shopping model with large stores in neighborhood centers, their model is likely to evolve as well. With a lot of consumers forced to begin ordering their groceries for pickup or delivery, we have reached the tipping point of a much more streamlined model. There is expected to be a surge in demand for cooled warehousing in more densely populated areas to allow for timely delivery of perishable goods to a large number of consumers.

Domestic Manufacturing

The lack of critical items like ventilators, masks, and other personal protective equipment during the pandemic has been highly publicized. The United States’ dependence on cost effective foreign manufacturing has shown itself to be a glaring Achilles heel over the past month. While companies in other industries have made efforts to help by shifting their facilities and workforce to produce these critical goods, shortages could lead to some manufacturing shifting back to the US. Companies that make essential items will look to operate at least one production facility domestically to limit foreign dependence. This could lead to new opportunities for areas in the US with low labor costs and the ability to offer incentives to companies.

How Commercial Realty Advisors Can Help

The demand for additional storage, whether for medical equipment, dry goods or perishable groceries, will require creative solutions from commercial real estate firms. In the Triad of North Carolina there is ample land available for warehouse development, empty space that can be re-purposed for warehouse needs, and existing warehouse facilities that are ready for immediate use. Commercial Realty Advisors, experienced full-service commercial real estate providers, will evaluate all opportunities to determine the best location possible – and under the most favorable terms.

Commercial Realty Advisors is developing three industrial buildings, ±920,678 square feet in total, that are ideally suited for cooled or traditional warehousing. Located in Mocksville, NC, within the Piedmont Triad region and just off I-40, the Central North Carolina site is within 30 miles of four additional interstates and is situated between the Triad and Charlotte Metros – the two largest industrial markets in North Carolina. The first phase is already complete, ready for upfit. Click here to visit the Davie Industrial Center website.

For more information about filling our community’s warehouse needs, contact an experienced broker with Commercial Realty Advisors at 336-793-0890.

Courtyard by Marriott To Open | Opportunity Zone Hot Spot in Winston-Salem!

Courtyard by Marriott To Open | Opportunity Zone Hot Spot in Winston-Salem!

Our team at Commercial Realty Advisors is excited to see the completion of Winston-Salem’s Courtyard by Marriott, as finishing touches are applied in advance of the downtown Fourth Street’s 126-room hotel opening in March of 2020.

Although we are co-developing the hotel, Virtua Partners, of Scottsdale, Arizona, purchased the property in the summer of 2019, and joins Hotel Equities of Atlanta to take over management once the completed hotel opens in March.

The addition of this new hotel in downtown Winston-Salem rounds out the region’s booming hospitality market. The new space will feature a full-service restaurant, fitness center, swimming pool, meeting/banquet space, large courtyard and access to a public parking deck. The most unique feature of the hotel is the rooftop bar, called “Top of Fourth”, which provides expansive views of our vibrant downtown. Accessible from both within the hotel and through an exterior entrance, the bar solidifies this hotel as a hot new destination spot for the city.

But that’s not the only significance of this property. The Courtyard by Marriott is one of Winston-Salem’s first Opportunity Zone projects.

What exactly are Opportunity Zones and how will this program benefit Winston-Salem? Developed by the Trump administration and approved through The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zone incentive is a tool to encourage long-term investment in specially designated low-income, distressed and rural communities across the nation with the goal of increasing jobs and housing. Simply stated, Opportunity Zones provide a tax incentive for investors to defer and reduce any of their capital gains liabilities (profits earned from the sale of shares of stock, a piece of land, a business and other taxable incomes) and eliminate future taxes by investing at least 90% of their capital into Opportunity Zone properties. Potential profits in these new types of commercial real estate properties are like other investments on steroids–very attractive incentives for potential investors and receiving communities alike. Consult your tax and legal advisors to determine whether the program is right for you.

The state of North Carolina has 252 Opportunity Zone census tracts, and the city of Winston-Salem identified 10. (Click here to see the Winston-Salem tract map.) In addition to downtown, where the Courtyard by Marriott will be located, other tracts include  property in Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Whitaker Park, Winston-Salem State University and Union Station, Innovation Quarter, Smith/Reynolds airport, and the communities including Happy Hills, the Lakeside Villas and Boston Thurmond.

Commercial Realty Advisors currently has several Opportunity Zone properties available. If you are interested in learning more about how to invest in the Triad’s Opportunity Zone properties, contact an expert broker at Commercial Realty Advisors today.

View of Outside Deck of “Top of Fourth” Rooftop Bar at Courtyard by Marriott on Fourth St in downtown Winston-Salem