Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

What is Green Building?

The office of the Federal Environmental Executive defines a green building as "the practice of 1) increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials, and 2) reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal-the complete building life cycle." Buildings are responsible for almost one-half of all greenhouse gas emissions today.

Sustainable properties are the future of the real estate industry. Consumer demand and government policy are making this happen. Many consumers, real estate professionals, and property owners are taking steps towards greening their properties.

Commercial Demand
Government incentives and policies are increasing the number of green commercial buildings and retrofits as well. Nearly 25% of all new construction projects in the U.S. are LEED-registered. Additionally, the number of states with green building policies, standards, legislation, and programs increased from 13 to 31 between 2005 and 2008

Field Guide to Commercial Green Buildings

Green buildings are popping up in just about every American city. And for good reason -- green design elements not only help save environmental resources, they also boost the bottom line and are good for human health and morale. More and more sophisticated buyers and companies leasing office space are willing to pay a premium for the benefits green buildings offer. This page provides REALTORS® with information on green buildings and their benefits.

Industrial: Two Sides of the Coin

DALLAS-Examining industrial market Q4 statistics is akin to Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities." Depending on which report is being analyzed, absorption is either in the negative regions, signaling some struggles or relatively positive, signaling that bottom has been hit.

On the downside, Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc.'s Year-End 2009 Industrial Market & Submarket Statistics Report notes that absorption was at 1.8 million square feet during Q4. Still remaining in the pipeline is 626,130 square feet. The quarter's vacancy stood at 12.5% out of a 508-million-square-foot inventory.

Transwestern's Outlook for Q4 also shows negative absorption at slightly over one million square feet. Vacancy is just over 12%, with approximately 1.2 million square feet under construction and an inventory of close to 702 million square feet.

"We were hoping it would be slightly positive. We haven't had a negative net absorption in quite some time and we were disheartened to see the year at a negative," Jean Russo, senior director with Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. tells

On the other side of the coin is CB Richard Ellis' MarketView. In this report, absorption stood at a little more than 433,000 square feet, with the inventory reported at 714 million square feet. The vacancy rate was 11.3% and 3.1 million square feet are under construction. CB Richard Ellis First Vice President Steve Berger tells that the results were not surprising. "We'd been feeling as though activity had turned positive later in the year," he comments. "While the absorption is a small number, it does show examples of some growth."

Certainly, the differences in the absorption figures can be pinned to different tracking methods used by each company. However, one thing on which all the reports -- and brokers – agree is that dwindling product in the pipeline should help increase absorption and decrease vacancies in 2010.

Berger points out vacancies have been pushing upward throughout the market, due to construction deliveries during the past two years. Russo agrees, suggesting that the good thing about industrial product construction is it's relatively easy to turn off the spigot once the marketplace gets saturated. There was record construction in 2008, she points out, with some of that falling into completion in 2009. "When you have only 626,000 square feet under construction," she adds, "that's significant."

The result, both brokers note, will be positive net absorption at this time next year. . "Looking into 2010, with construction substantially less than in the past, so long as absorption remains positive, we'll see a stable or declining vacancy rate," Berger notes.

Russo believes that real changes, such as declining vacancy rates, will start occuring during the second half of 2010, so long as construction remains cut off, though cautions that some submarkets are trailing behind others and might be slower to recover. Irving and Coppell, just west of Dallas, have the highest amount of construction, and could struggle to see positive net absorption, she adds.

Houston investor buys Carillon Towers on Preston Road

A Houston investor has purchased two North Dallas office buildings. Boxer Property said Tuesday that it bought the Carillon Towers at 13601 Preston Road north of LBJ Freeway.

The 11- and 10-story buildings have more than 261,000 square feet of office space and are 86 percent leased.

Boxer Property bought the buildings – which were constructed in the early 1970s – from a California investor that had owned the property for more than a decade.

Terms were not disclosed, but the buildings are valued for taxes at more than $11 million.

Boxer Property was founded by Andrew J. Segal and has acquired more than 100 buildings during the last 18 years. It owns properties in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Cleveland, Hartford, Kansas City and Long Island. It owns more than a dozen buildings in the Dallas area.

Dallas Morning News

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Commercial Property Tax Update

Will the 2010 Dallas commercial real estate market overcome its current challenges?

According to the above news article it wont!

The commercial real estate market has many current challenges pushing from all sides. Tenants are hard to come by. Rent is hard to come by. Debt pressures are increasing. And every owner has the burden of real estate taxes (don't pay them and we will see who really owns your property!). Despite these paramount issues many appraisal districts are still increasing taxes.

So just fighting to reduce your property tax assesment at the appraisial district is not enough you need a good case. You have to educate your assessor concerning your occupancy cost ratios for tenants. It appears as though many tenants are at risk of not renewing leases or default due to unsustainable occupancy cost.

In the times ahead occupancy rates wont tell the whole story for commercial properties. Everyone has seen the low holiday sales numbers and headline stories of tenant defaults. This has happen to not just the mom and pop stores but the big boys too remember a store called Circuit City!!!!

Real Estate Taxes due soon!

A little advise for those looking to reduce property tax assesment for 2010 get apprasial now.

January is a great time to get an appraisal of your property to fight your upcoming tax assesment.

Need more commercial property tax advice!

Give Harvard Property Tax Consulting a call to see how we can help with your property taxes or refer a friend!

Harvard Property Tax Consultants specializes in Commercial Property Tax Appeals.
Contact us at 469.737.7708, Harvard Property Tax, 2222 Elm Street, Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75252

Monday, January 4, 2010

Allen Group buildings earn LEED gold

Two speculative industrial buildings in south Dallas developed by The Allen Group have been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification.

The designation by the U.S. Green Building Council places the buildings at 4800 and 4900 Langdon Road in the Dallas Logistics Hub among a handful of industrial buildings in North Texas that have achieved LEED certification.

The award cited The Allen Group for efficiency in energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies for the two industrial buildings.

LEED is a certification program for the design, construction and operation of high performance "green" buildings.

The team members responsible for the project include The Allen Group, MYCON General Contractors, 3i Construction LLC, GSO Architects, Bjerke Management Solutions, and LEED Consultant, GGO Architects.

“By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers," Richard Allen, CEO of The Allen Group said in a prepared statement. "They reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community ... These buildings are the first steps toward the company’s goal of creating a truly green and sustainable industrial park standard.”

The Allen Group has the potential to construct 60 million square feet of space within the Dallas Logistics Hub, a 6,000-acre multi-modal logistics park in Southern Dallas County.

Dallas Business Journal