Culture

 

Commercial Basis: Location Intelligence & the Future of Real Estate

12 June, 2017 posted by: CORE

Commercial Basis explores how technology, branding and demographic preferences are shaping office and retail real estate in New York City. As these forces break down the barriers from where we live to where we work and shop, Lead Commercial Specialist Alex Cohen assesses the impact on real estate values and opportunities.

The explosion of data collection from many newer sources, including mobile devices, car sensors, wearables, smart power grids, and drones has not yet fully infiltrated the real estate investment and location decision making process. But technology companies like Brooklyn-based CARTO are starting to usher in change. Founded in 2012 by a team of experts in geospatial development, big data analytics and visualization, CARTO organizes and maps data from multiple sources and allows its software users to access and capitalize on this information. For instance, in London, CARTO developed a live interactive mapping application of London’s residential markets overlaying annual home price changes, population growth, transit connectivity, active and future residential and commercial development and infrastructure projects and other datasets. To be able to visualize integrated data sets is what provides users a way to analyze trends and forecast (and map) growth in property values and other key indicators.

As retailers face the headwinds of internet sales and changing tastes, the ability to target prospective store shoppers with the merchandise they are most likely to purchase becomes critical. Socio-demographic profiling and segmentation of population  by housing, age, income and lifestyle by data aggregators, like Claritas, has been around for decades. But CARTO has taken population segmentation data to the next level in terms of visualization and analysis. The firm worked with the 95-year-old French home improvements retailer, Leroy Merlin to integrate and map live sales information and customer demographic data to not only analyze competitors and where Leroy Merlin’s customers come from, but to continually update on a store-by-store basis exactly the households the chain should send marketing collateral. One can imagine that this mapping database will become the most crucial tool the company uses as its grows its 300 location across France and 12 other countries.



 

Commercial Basis: Short-term Investment Strategies

09 May, 2017 posted by: CORE

an interior view of a house attic under construction

Commercial Basis explores how technology, branding and demographic preferences are shaping office and retail real estate in New York City. As these forces break down the barriers from where we live to where we work and shop, Lead Commercial Specialist Alex Cohen assesses the impact on real estate values and opportunities.

With housing prices rising even in unlikely markets like Las Vegas and Detroit, the “fix and flip” phenomenon appears once again to be gaining in popularity. While the opportunity to achieve a quick profit in a rising home market from buying a property in need of a makeover and quickly selling it at a significantly higher price may appear enticing, there are significant risks associated with house flipping, in common with other short-term investment strategies.

The Risks
The renovation required to improve a property to appeal to a higher demographic of buyer may cost more than anticipated. A “fixed” house may face significant competition from newly constructed properties delaying a successful sale and adding to carrying costs or generate significantly less profit than anticipated upon sale. A renovation may also quickly increase property taxes. Finally if the property is resold within a year, there is no opportunity to defer capital gains taxes through a 1031 “like-kind” property exchange.

An Alternative Paradigm 
I’ve previously written about the demographic and housing supply trends that make carefully researched millennial-oriented real estate investments promising, both from an income and an appreciation perspective. The objective is not to hold a property indefinitely, but rather to capitalize on appreciation over time and trade up to a more valuable property, after earning sufficient rent to at least cover carrying costs and financing. With financing, levered appreciation can be particularly dramatic. If a property is purchased for $200,000 with $50,000 in equity and a mortgage of $150,000 and later sold to net $240,000, after transactions costs (brokerage, transfer taxes and closing costs), the initial investment of $50,000 has grown by 80% (to $90,000). If the property is held at least a year and a new real estate purchase meets the 1031 guidelines, taxes on this gain are deferred.


 

Commercial Basis: What Was Once Old Is Now New Again

23 January, 2017 posted by: CORE

saks

Commercial Basis explores how technology, branding and demographic preferences are shaping office and retail real estate in New York City. As these forces break down the barriers from where we live to where we work and shop, Lead Commercial Specialist Alex Cohen will assess the impact on real estate values and opportunities.

Dating back to the 19th century, the famous department stores of New York (Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s etc.) were developed and continue to be owned by the retailers themselves. In some cases, as the fortunes and appeal of certain department store brands waned, it was their real estate that actually retained value because of its locational strength.

For example, Vornado’s Steve Roth purchased the depleted Alexander’s retail chain precisely because of the value of its Manhattan location across from Bloomingdale’s and developed it into Bloomberg’s 731 Lexington Avenue mixed-use skyscraper.

After World War II, most new stores were not typically owned by the retailers, but were in space developed and owned by shopping center developers (later reconstituted into mall REITS) and leased to department stores and specialty retailers. For over 50 years most retail development was channeled into suburban shopping centers.

With the resurgence of urban downtowns over the past 20 years, the focus has returned to “main street” retail and particularly to mixed use developments and nonhomogeneous shopping centers, that often combine shopping, dining, office space and apartments. Interestingly, during the 2010-2020 period, New York City is seeing the largest investment in new and redeveloped retail projects in its history. With the exception of the Nordstrom’s tower, these projects are largely outside the upscale tourist-oriented retail/hospitality core (Fifth Avenue, Madison Avene, 57th Street), that with New York’s tourist boom, has recently seen the largest increases in store rents in history. They follow the post-World War II model of shopping space developed for and leased to retail brands. These range from the redevelopment of South Street Seaport and Brookfield Place to the Shops at Hudson Yards and the Westfield World Trade Center. Each of these shopping centers is geographically proximate, but not necessarily spatially integrated into a much larger mixed-used development. However, with the exception of restaurant and entertainment offerings, these shopping centers are not generally attuned to the consumption habits of those who will live and work in the balance of these developments.

Another model of retail development being pursued by LVMH through its L Real Estate affiliate, which perhaps other global luxury conglomerates would be wise to consider, involves investing in and owning luxury retail-driven urban mixed-use developments in prime shopping/lifestyle neighborhoods where the prospective retail brands (owned by LVMH) generate not only value (and rent) for the investors but in essence become part of the branding of the entire project to attract the highest paying office and residential tenants. This is the basis for L Real estate’s investment in Miami’s Design District http://corenyc.com/culture/2016/12/commercial-basis-brand-meets-space/  and for L Real Estate mixed used retail-center projects in Shanghai, Ginza and Abu Dhabi.



CATEGORIES

ARCHIVES