Archive for July, 2008

Jul
31

RICS Global Commercial Property Survey Q2 2008 Released

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on RICS Global Commercial Property Survey Q2 2008 Released

RICS, the largest organization for professionals in property, land, construction and related environmental issues worldwide, today released the highly-anticipated RICS Global Commercial Property Survey for the second quarter of 2008. RICS members worldwide submitted office, retail and industrial market data for their respective markets, which was then compiled and analyzed on a global scale for the second quarter of 2008 in comparison to Q1 2008 and 2007 data.

Major trends drawn from the survey results include:

• A rise in yields was recorded in emerging markets for the first time in the survey’s history as aggressive inflation fighting in some emerging market locations has impacted upon commercial property pricing.

• The pace of capital values growth halved in the developing world.

• Deterioration in occupier activity/increased vacancy across the developed world in Q2 with some emerging markets also losing steam.

• Tenant demand fell at a faster pace in the developed world in the second quarter as compared to the first quarter of 2008.

• Transaction volumes and capital values plummeted as the commercial property market suffered under financial liquidity constraints, with the worst hit areas being North America, Australasia, Western Europe and to a lesser degree Developed Asia. Office, industrial and Retail sectors all suffered with the retail market the most depressed area and the office sector dropping to a further low.

• Rental expectations were most negative across North America and Developed Asia primarily as a result of weaker U.S. and Japanese economies respectively. Rental expectations remain positive across Australasia and other emerging markets, except for retail sectors of Emerging Europe where rents stagnated in Q2.

• Commercial investment activity continued to slide in all regions with poor activity across North America. Latin America was the exception showing investment growth.

• The weakest investment markets were seen in North America, Australasia and Western Europe. Indeed, of the more than 50 countries surveyed, 7 of the 10 worst performing countries are located in Western Europe with the most negative sentiment towards prices for Q3 expected in the Republic of Ireland and Spain. Outside Western Europe, Hungary, New Zealand and South Africa displayed the most negative sentiment towards future prices with the US positioned only one place above the bottom 10.

To view the RICS Survey in PDF form please visit:
http://www.ricsamericas.org/uploads/files/RICSGlobalCommercialPropertySurveyQ22008.pdf
Categories : National News
Comments Comments Off on RICS Global Commercial Property Survey Q2 2008 Released

Planners’ dream draws fire

July 31, 2008

By David Slade – The Post and Courier

Charleston city planners would like to see some large shopping centers in West Ashley eventually redeveloped as mini-downtowns, their vast parking lots filled in with buildings like one might find on King Street.

That concept was presented Wednesday to a room full of commercial real estate owners and developers, and was met with withering criticism.

The purpose of the potential zoning changes would be to see traditional suburban venues such as Kmart, Home Depot and Citadel Mall replaced over time or supplanted with multistory buildings full of shops, homes and offices.

No changes would be required immediately at the nine locations targeted by the city. “These are sites that could evolve over time,” said Planning Division Director Christopher Morgan. “It’s something we are very excited about, but we realize it represents a big change for these properties.”

Morgan said the code would help create beautiful places full of life in the suburbs, but 40 or so commercial real estate owners representing properties that would be subject to the city’s proposed rules didn’t see it that way.

“This really horrifies me,” said Jerry Garfinkle, representing Cisco’s Cafe and Sunfire Grill in West Ashley. “If I build 20 apartments above a restaurant, I think you’d have 20 empty apartments.”

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.charleston.net/news/2008/jul/31/planners_dream_draws_fire49285/

Categories : Charleston
Comments (1)
Jul
31

Retail Market Trends in Columbia, SC – Boring, In a Good Way

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Retail Market Trends in Columbia, SC – Boring, In a Good Way

July 30, 2008

Recently, a developer remarked that Columbia’s retail market is boring in a good way, which is remarkably true. While Columbia does not see rampant construction and massive jumps in rental rates in the good times, it still has steady, tempered growth even in down times.

During 2007 and the first two quarters of 2008, there has been a bit of a slowdown in new construction; however, development is still strong in emerging growth areas. A majority of the development has consisted of single tenant big box developments and unanchored/junior anchored shadow centers. Possibly due to the opening of four new Wal-Mart Supercenters in 2007, there are currently no nationally anchored grocery store shopping centers under construction.

Because of Columbia’s demographics, a number of value oriented retailers have found the market attractive. Wal-Mart’s expansion in 2007 made it one of the top ten largest private employers in Columbia. While Dunkin Donuts has had a presence in the market for a number of years, they have announced a major expansion in the market, and because of the lower price point of Dunkin Donuts compared to competitors such as Starbucks, they believe that they will do well in this market. Other value oriented retailers that have opened new stores in Columbia include: Cici’s Pizza, Steve & Barry’s, Burlington Coat Factory, Kohl’s, Direct Buy and Little Caesars.

LINK TO ARTICLE AND CHARTS HERE:
http://www.midlandsbiz.com/news/headlines/107/

Categories : Columbia
Comments Comments Off on Retail Market Trends in Columbia, SC – Boring, In a Good Way
Jul
30

Fannie Mae DUS Lending Up 30% in First Half

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Fannie Mae DUS Lending Up 30% in First Half
July 30, 2008

By Poonkulali Thangavelu – National Real Estate Investor

While the government-sponsored enterprise battles fallout from the single-family housing downturn, Fannie Mae’s multifamily side is faring better. For the first half of 2008, Fannie Mae reports that it invested a total of $20 billion in multifamily housing, largely fueled by more than $18 billion in lending channeled through its delegated underwriting and servicing (DUS) channel.

Fannie Mae’s DUS lending activities received the biggest boost in the first half, gaining 30% over production in the first half of 2007. Multifamily investment activity in the first half of 2008, however, declined more than $27 billion from the first half of 2007.

“The multifamily market is considerably smaller so far in 2008, however, Fannie Mae has been able to remain the multifamily market leader. Despite a decline in overall production, our DUS lenders have had their strongest performance at mid-year than they ever have before,” says Jon Searles, spokesperson for Fannie Mae.

Ken Bacon, Fannie Mae’s executive vice president of housing and community development, reaffirmed the GSE’s role in the multifamily market to provide clarity and certainty to the market.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://nreionline.com/industrynews/fannie_mae_lending_up_first_half_0730/

Categories : National News
Comments Comments Off on Fannie Mae DUS Lending Up 30% in First Half
Jul
30

Homes Selling Faster for Less in Grand Strand Area

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Homes Selling Faster for Less in Grand Strand Area
July 30, 2008

By: Jessica Foster – Sun News

Homes sold in the Myrtle Beach area saw the steepest year-over-year price declines in the state during the first half of the year, according to a report recently released by the S.C. Association of Realtors.

The silver lining is that buyers seem to be snapping up the lower-priced homes. Homes spent fewer days on the market during the first half of the year: an average of 202 days on the Grand Strand compared with 225 during the same period last year.

Across the state, homes are spending an average of six days longer on the market than last year, at 142.

Median prices for condominiums and single-family houses sold during the six-month period fell to $184,000, down 11.1 percent from prices in the first half of 2007. That’s compared to a 3.4 percent decline statewide.

Other coastal areas saw prices fall, too. Hilton Head’s median prices fell 11 percent from last year to $332,000 and the Beaufort area saw an 8.5 percent drop to $204,000.

That’s because people flocked to the coast in 2004 and 2005 to buy investment, vacation and retirement properties, said Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors market analyst Tom Maeser. That caused a drastic runup in sales and prices.

“The coastal communities were getting the highest increase in prices and multiple offers and all the things that went with that,” Maeser said. “Those are the communities, I think, that are suffering now the same thing that we are with the high prices, high inventory and sales dropping.”

Home sales also took a dip on the Grand Strand in the first half of the year. They were down 29.3 percent from the same period last year, compared with a 23.1 percent drop statewide.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/business/story/537069.html
Categories : Myrtle Beach
Comments Comments Off on Homes Selling Faster for Less in Grand Strand Area
Jul
30

Hampton Inn Rock Hill Sold For $107,407 per Room

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Hampton Inn Rock Hill Sold For $107,407 per Room

Cleveland-based Rock South has purchased the five-story, 162-room Hampton Inn Rock Hill from Catawba Hotel Associates for $17.4 million or $107,407 per room. The 70,000-square-foot building, which will retain its Hampton Inn brand, will undergo extensive renovations. Hotel amenities include more than 1,700 square feet of meeting and boardroom space, a fitness center and a pool.
Categories : Rock Hill
Comments Comments Off on Hampton Inn Rock Hill Sold For $107,407 per Room
Jul
30

U.S. Office Market Softens in Q2, According to Colliers International

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on U.S. Office Market Softens in Q2, According to Colliers International

July 28, 2008

The United States office market hit the mid-point of 2008 on a lackluster note, as the Q2 vacancy rate increased 27 basis points to clock in at 13.24 percent, according to the Q2 office report from Colliers International, a leading global real estate services firm.

This marks the third consecutive quarter of increased vacancies, Colliers said, and the slowdown in office space demand is consistent with a more sluggish national economy and job losses, particularly in markets tied to housing or financial services. Nationally, Class A vacancy rates increased half a percentage point in both downtown and suburban markets — from 12.19 percent to 12.69 percent — while B and C class vacancy rates increased a more muted 8 basis points from 13.63 percent in Q1 to 13.71 in Q2.

Of the markets surveyed by Colliers, 18 central business districts (CBDs) saw a drop in vacancies, while 33 saw a spike. In the suburbs, 16 markets posted declining vacancy, while 38 experienced a jump.

Absorption, or the change in occupied space, continued its downward trajectory during the second quarter, measuring negative 1.4 million square feet (msf) [-3.7 msf in Q1]. Alongside negative Q2 absorption, another 19.4 msf of new supply was delivered in the April through June period — consistent with the amount of new supply brought on during Q1. As for this quarter’s new construction — almost 85 percent of it occurred in the suburbs.

In terms of rents, downtown Class A lease rates held steady during the first quarter, while suburban rents dropped 3.7 percent. From the year-ago quarter, downtown lease rates have jumped nearly 7.6 percent and suburban rents have increased around 2 percent. Class A downtown rents now average $49.40 (psf), and for suburban office space, the national average rent now comes in at $27.72 psf.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.reis.com/subscriptions/national_news_archive.cfm?general_header=1&l_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww6%2Elexisnexis%2Ecom%2Fpublisher%2FEndUser%3FAction%3DUserDisplayFullDocument%26orgId%3D537%26docId%3Dl%3A828453546%26topicId%3D4303&id=828453546&arc=1

Categories : National News
Comments Comments Off on U.S. Office Market Softens in Q2, According to Colliers International
Jul
30

Banks Paying Property Management Fees to Municipalities?

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Banks Paying Property Management Fees to Municipalities?

I just heard that a number of municipalities around the country are charging banks fees to cover the cost of maintaining vacant properties (REO properties).

At an average of $500 a year, this could make things interesting for lenders. The City of Boston is requiring owners of vacant properties to hire property managers, whether they are foreclosure properties or not. If a lender doesn’t put a maintenance plan in place quick enough, some communities are charging fines up to $1,000 a day.

I haven’t heard of anything like this in South Carolina, have you? I guess it makes sense – the banks certainly charge me fees for almost empty bank accounts…………

MBD
Comments Comments Off on Banks Paying Property Management Fees to Municipalities?
Jul
30

Clemson to Get More Hotel Rooms

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Clemson to Get More Hotel Rooms
Two new hotels to add more than 200 beds; landmark hotel to be razed

July 30, 2008

By Anna Simon – Greenville News

Two new hotels will add more than 200 beds for Clemson guests, while an old hotel that’s been a landmark in the college town is coming down.

A work site is buzzing with people and equipment where a Holliday Inn Express is going up next to the Days Inn on Tiger Boulevard.

The 93-room, five-floor hotel will be “a crown jewel” said project manager Brad Hayden, with Atlanta-based Catamount Construction Inc., the general contractor.

The hotel is expected to open in May and will have an indoor pool in the basement level, a 1,500-square-foot meeting room, a fitness area and a rear deck overlook in the breakfast area, Hayden said.

The exterior will be stone with a large curved-top front window, and there will be a Clemson Tiger Paw on the covered portico entrance, he said.

In the nearby Tillman Village complex at the intersection of State 93 and Tiger Boulevard, a Courtyard by Marriott site is being reviewed for construction, said Bob Vecchio, city Zoning and Codes administrator.

A permit has been issued to start grading and to install water and sewer lines, Vecchio said.

Plans call for 110 rooms, two small meeting rooms and a small restaurant, Vecchio said.

As the new hotels go up on one end of Tiger Boulevard, the Lake Hartwell Inn, formerly a Holiday Inn, is coming down, Vecchio said. The lakeside hotel at the Lake Hartwell bridge has been a landmark for decades.

Demolition permits have been applied for and the demolition should be finished in a month or so, Vecchio said.

The city has approved plans for a mixed use project that includes restaurants, shops and condominiums on the site, Vecchio said.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080730/NEWS01/307300010/1001/NEWS
Categories : Clemson
Comments Comments Off on Clemson to Get More Hotel Rooms
Jul
30

Contract Lapses; West Columbia’s Rivertown on the Ropes?

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Contract Lapses; West Columbia’s Rivertown on the Ropes?

West Columbia tract again for sale, but developers aren’t giving up

July 30, 2008

By Jeff Wilkinson – The State

The economy is delaying another high-profile downtown riverfront project.

Developers Wade Caughman and Wes Taylor have let a contract to buy a prime four-acre tract on the West Columbia Riverwalk slip.

A year ago, Caughman and Taylor signed a contract to purchase the property from the city for $3.85 million.

Caughman said he had trouble inking tenants for office space in Rivertown, the planned $20 million, three-story, 150,000-square-foot complex of shops, restaurants and offices on Meeting Street between State Street and Alexander Road.

The property is on the most-used section of the Three Rivers Greenway and promised to be the centerpiece of Vista West, a West Columbia retail district at State and Meeting streets.

“It’s taking us some time, and the option ran out. But we’re looking for an extension,” he said. “We need about a third more office space” leased to be able to get a loan to build the project.

In the tough economy, banks typically are requiring 50 percent to 60 percent signed leases for office space or pre-sales for condos and homes before approving a loan for a project, experts have said.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.thestate.com/local/story/475253.html

Categories : Columbia
Comments Comments Off on Contract Lapses; West Columbia’s Rivertown on the Ropes?
Jul
30

New Development Planned For Charleston Peninsula

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on New Development Planned For Charleston Peninsula

July 29, 2008

The Associated Press

A large new development with a hotel, marina and homes is planned for the Charleston peninsula on refurbished land once used as a land-fill.

The Ginn Co. plans to build a combined 1,500 hotel rooms, condominiums and town houses on a 200-acre site on the Cooper River next to the Ravenel bridge.

The project, called The Promenade, also includes an amphitheater, stores and offices. Earlier plans for a golf course were dropped.

Buildings will sit on concrete piers reaching as many as 100 feet into the ground through the buried trash and soil to bedrock. The company has also spent $5 million hauling in fill to better cover the landfill.

The company and city are holding three days of workshops to get public feedback.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.thestate.com/breakingbiz/story/474738.html

Categories : Charleston
Comments Comments Off on New Development Planned For Charleston Peninsula
Jul
28

Industrial Market Slows, but Newest Space Does Well

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Industrial Market Slows, but Newest Space Does Well
July 28, 2008

By: Dees Stribling – Commercial Property News

The U.S. industrial property market is sagging somewhat along with the national economy, but certain segments of the business are doing fairly well despite macroeconomic conditions, according to a new report on the national industrial market by brokerage giant Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. As with most downturns, newer, more efficient properties are the winners, while older properties aren’t doing as well.

“Elevated fuel prices and rising production costs have made it increasingly important for companies to create logistics efficiencies,” the company’s 2008 National Industrial Report says. “As a result, newer industrial properties that offer the most modern features, including higher clear heights, larger truck bays and advanced fiberoptic wiring for logistics management, are in strong demand.”

Much of this newer space is still in development as spec space. The report notes that developers ramped up their activity over the past year, with the result that about 70 percent of total square footage now under construction isn’t leased. At the same time, demand for industrial space is slacking off.

The upshot of those two trends will be upward pressure on industrial vacancies and a check on rental growth in most parts of the country. Marcus & Millichap predicts that the national vacancy rate will rise about 70 basis points over the course of 2008 to 10.2 percent by year’s end. Older space will be on the short end of that stick, as tenants relocated to newer space. As for rents, the report expects effective rents to increase 1.7 percent for the year, compared with a 3.3 percent rise in 2007.

Certain local industrial markets will do considerably better than the norm, the report adds. Buoyed by activity at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, metro LA is among the tightest in the nation in 2008, as it was in 2007, though vacancies will edge up a little by the end of this year to 4.1 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, metro Detroit — which has been hit hard by the woes of the automotive industry — is expected to have the nation’s highest industrial vacancy rate by the end of the year, topping out at 15 percent, despite limited construction activity and the continued removal of obsolete stock from the market’s inventory.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:

http://www.cpnonline.com/cpn/content_display/property-types/industrial/e3if7b717939831cbe2ae4dfe9a521fe22e
Categories : National News
Comments Comments Off on Industrial Market Slows, but Newest Space Does Well
Jul
28

Jafza Begins Master Plan for Orangeburg County Logistics Park

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Jafza Begins Master Plan for Orangeburg County Logistics Park

By Daily Journal Staff

Jafza South Carolina LLC has hired a Kansas City-based firm to help create a master plan for its 1,300-acre logistics and distribution hub in Orangeburg County.

TranSystems Corp., which has offices in Charleston in Greenville, will assess market potential to identify tenants to be located at the site and determine services the hub must provide. The company will examine origin and destination patterns of existing and projected freight flows and commodity movements by cargo type and market sector throughout the Southeastern United States.

TranSystems will partner on the project with several South Carolina firms, including Seamon Whiteside & Associates, Atlantic South Consulting and Davis & Floyd.

“TranSystems is an industry leader in global supply chain consulting and the design of large scale intermodal terminals and distribution centers,” said Charles Heath, managing director of Jafza South Carolina. “We are projecting that with our business model and the continued growth of international trade, the Jafza Logistics and Distribution Park will create thousands of jobs and attract substantial private investment in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities over the next two decades.”

Jafza’s planned development is along the Interstate 95 and Interstate 26 corridors, near CSX and Norfolk Southern rail lines.

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.charlestonbusiness.com/dailyjournal/3_197/full-issue.html#12488

Categories : Orangeburg
Comments Comments Off on Jafza Begins Master Plan for Orangeburg County Logistics Park
Jul
28

Smith Travel Research Second Quarter 2008 Hotel Statistics Released

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Smith Travel Research Second Quarter 2008 Hotel Statistics Released

July 23, 2008

Smith Travel Research (STR) announced second quarter and first half 2008 results for the U.S. lodging industry today. Industry occupancy reached 65.0 percent in the three months ending June 2008, down 2.5 percent versus second quarter 2007. Second quarter average room rate gained 3.8 percent to $107.31 and revenue per available room (REVPAR) — the combination of occupancy and average room rate and a key industry productivity measure — increased 1.2 percent to $69.70.
In the first half of 2008, industry occupancy slipped 2.6 percent to 61.4 percent versus same period prior year. Average room rate was up 4.2 percent to $107.64 and REVPAR gained 1.5 percent to $66.11. First half industry room supply increased 2.3 percent while demand (roomnights sold) fell 0.3 percent. Room revenue grew 3.9 percent in the first six months of 2008 to $54 billion.
In the month of June 2008, occupancy tumbled 4.5 percent to 68.0 percent while average room rate improved 3.2 percent to $106.89. June REVPAR declined 1.4 percent to $72.72.
“The U.S. lodging industry is facing strong headwinds,” said Mark Lomanno, President of Smith Travel Research. “A slowing economy and significant fuel and food price increases are squeezing consumers and damping lodging demand. At the same time, room supply growth is increasing. The combination of growing supply and slowing demand has resulted in declining occupancies and slower, though steady, average rate increases. We expect a challenging operation environment in the second half of the year”, Lomanno added.
Smith Travel Research and STR Global— the recognized leaders in lodging industry tracking and analysis — provide regular industry reporting to major hotel companies globally.
Categories : National News
Comments Comments Off on Smith Travel Research Second Quarter 2008 Hotel Statistics Released
Jul
28

New Grocery and Credit Union for Columbia Neighborhood

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on New Grocery and Credit Union for Columbia Neighborhood

July 27, 2008

By Noelle Phillips – The State

After nearly five years of recruiting, a grocery store and credit union are moving into the Celia Saxon neighborhood, bringing economic development to an area often snubbed by other businesses.

The grocery and credit union are the finishing touch to a long effort toward revitalizing the community, said Columbia City Councilman E.W. Cromartie.

Three public housing projects are within walking distance of the new shopping center, and it is close to Benedict College and Allen University.

“It serves the needs of the community,” Cromartie said. “A lot of people in the area do not have transportation. We’re providing a nice place to shop.”

The 20,000-square-foot Columbia Food Fresh Market will be a full-service grocery, selling everything from fresh meat and produce to the usual non-perishable fare. And it will have a deli. The store is scheduled to open on Harden Street in September, said Gilbert Walker, executive director of the Columbia Housing Authority.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE:
http://www.thestate.com/local/story/472397.html

Categories : Columbia
Comments Comments Off on New Grocery and Credit Union for Columbia Neighborhood