Tag Archives: Mark Singerman

Economic Forecast

IREM, CCIM announce 9th annual CRE Economic Forecast

IREM and CCIM will present the 9th annual commercial real estate Economic Forecast at the Tempe Center of the Performing Arts on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. IREM and CCIM will begin the program by honoring Jerry Colangelo, who will be recognized as the Person of the Year by the organizations.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Peter Bolton of Newmark, Grubb, Knight, Frank. Each panel member will discuss their area of expertise as it relates to the current commercial real estate environment and then predict, based on the metrics of the commercial real estate business, achievements by year’s end.

The program will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until noon. The program will include;
Jerry Colangelo Program Honor

Multi-Family Panel
o    Cindy Cooke – Colliers International
o    Mark Schilling – MEB
o    Tom Lewis – Alliance

Office Panel
o    Jim Fijan – CBRE
o    Chris Toci – Cushman & Wakefield
o    Matt Mooney – Parkway Properties

Retail Panel
o    Judi Butterworth – Velocity Retail
o    Greg Laing – Phoenix Commercial Advisors
o    Pat McGinley – Vestar

Industrial Panel
o    Stein Koss – Lee & Associates
o    Tony Lydon – JLL
o    Mark Singerman – Rockefeller Group

The Tempe Center of the Arts is located at 700 W Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, Ariz., and more information on the 2015 IREM/CCIM Economic forecast can be found here.

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CoreNet Global makes space in a changing workplace

To add value to a corporate end user, you have to learn to think like one.

That starts with realizing a client’s No. 1 business isn’t real estate, says Colliers International’s Bill Littleton. The executive vice president of Colliers’ corporate solution group works with six national and global corporate end users and has 25 years of experience. Yet, he remains an active member of the local chapter of CoreNet Global, an organization that serves the corporate real estate community comprised of members from the brokerage community, end users and support industries. It’s at the monthly meetings and annual summit, he says, that he really learns the needs of his clients.

“To add value, is to get involved in CoreNet Global,” says Littleton, who has been a member for more than a decade. “CoreNet is a think tank for all the trends and issues related to corporate users of space.”

Arizona Commerce Authority’s Hilary Hirsch says economic developers are seeing more companies create an internal real estate division instead of relying on a third-party source.

“This shift is due in large part to the critical value and insight that corporate real estate professionals add to a company’s overall success whether in increasing their bottom line or forecasting trends in the market,” Hirsch says.

This echoes Littleton’s point of thinking like an end user. Bringing the market trends to the table is important for brokers’ clients, but in return corporate executives can share their concerns — efficiency, for example — with brokerages as well as other CoreNet members, such as furniture suppliers.
“Leaders in the corporate real estate industry have evolved from focusing on leases and facilities management to serving as change agents, innovators, facilitators and strategic experts,” contributes Colliers’ Tivon Moffit.

Mark Singerman, Vice President and Regional Director of The Rockefeller Group, has been a CoreNet member for two years as a means of saving money.
“Knowing what issues end users face and providing cost-effective solutions are what the most successful CRE professionals do,” says Singerman, whose company has built for General Mills, Sumitomo and BASF.

Examples of useful information, Singerman says, includes rent and sale comparisons from commercial brokers, build-to-suit buildings for sale or lease to end users, general contractors for renovations and new facilities for end users.

With the big push for office efficiency and “right sizing.” there’s less need for large leasable areas. Though that means less space for Littleton to lease, the value proposition for his clients is the real gain.

“It’s like anything else, if you’re true to your cause and you don’t waiver in it, you’ll be fine,” Littleton says. “The world is changing; either change and add value or get out of the way.”

There’s may be a third option, though, suggests one corporate executive — make your own way.

CENTRAL COMMAND
While the world is changing, it helps to be ahead of the curve. Leo Bauman recalls jotting a note on a napkin 20 years ago that would take years of lobbying and research before it could be realized. Seven of Wells Fargo’s office leases were set to expire and he thought, “Why not consolidate the workforce on a centralized campus environment?” After nearly a decade of preparation, the first 410K SF Wells Fargo campus in Chandler broke ground, making way for a few thousand employees.

Ten years later, history repeated itself and Wells Fargo announced plans to double its existing presence with a 410KSF expansion — and that’s not even the half of it; the master plan calls for three more buildings that will bring the campus to 1.74M SF. Bauman, the vice president and manager at Wells Fargo, heads the Corporate Real Estate Group for Arizona’s fourth-largest non-government, non-education employer in the state. It’s his department’s job to manage the office space and utility for 85 lines of work comprised of 16,192 employees.

Bauman is a long-time member of CoreNet. Though the Wells Fargo Campus wasn’t facilitated through a CoreNet connection, many corporate executives and brokers are working closely to increase efficiency, even if that means rightsizing office space, and to accommodate the changing workplace. One of the greatest challenges, notes a recent white paper and case study published by CoreNet, is determining respective departments’ needs and how to make sure those are met in a space.

REGUS SPACE
At Avnet, Inc., Bob Gracz’s role is to develop strategic positioning and help his company get most efficient use of space. The CoreNet Global Arizona’s President says the key to success in his position is about being an early adopter and having a discerning eye for trends. Gracz spearheaded Avnet’s Arizona transition to a Regus executive workplace that promoted flexible space for remote workers.

“What has evolved in the last 10 years is phenomenal, where we’ve gone from a work state where everybody is sitting in an office to literally where almost everybody is working remotely these days,” Gracz says.

“Think of what that does for productivity of the employee, think of what that does for cost management inside a company and think of what that does for quality of life of an employee.”

Avnet is also finding ways to make its existing office space versatile for different lines of work within the company through the use of technology.

“As the square footages of offices and work stations are generally decreasing, corporate institutions are definitely paying more attention to creating work environments tailored toward flexibility, mobility and associate amenities,” says Holder Construction Company’s Keyvan Ghahreman.
Regardless of innovation, corporate executives are always battling what Gracz calls the “expense scenario.”

“Everybody looks at real estate as an expense, but if you really understand how that expense is looked at in the corporate world, you can better position your strategies to be very valuable to the company,” Gracz says, adding that 70 percent of Avnet’s expenses is personnel-related.
“We only have 30 percent of expenses that are not people-expenses, so we have to manage that very well,” he says.

“We want to keep the people. We want to bring more in. I look forward to the day when it’s 80 percent.”

Gracz’s staff of three manages offices for 8,000 people. They were recently approached by Avnet to advise on increasing real estate efficiency within the company’s other regions. Gracz credits CoreNet Global’s emphasis on understanding financial acumen, among other things, to his success.

“Technology, where and how people work—the space—has changed dramatically and, more than ever, the relationship among commercial real estate, human resources and IT is fundamentally critical,” says GPE’s Michael Brinkley.

Gracz’s first Regus executive office structure five years ago was unsuccessful due to an expensive and cumbersome dynamic between his existing real estate and IT. His current adaptation, he says, is far more successful and will save $2M annually. That’s about 20 percent of the group’s facility expense — and that’s just the beginning.

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The Rockefeller Group And IPA Form JV To Develop 402 Apartments In Gilbert

Investment Property Associates (IPA) and The Rockefeller Group have entered into a joint venture agreement to develop a 402-unit Class A apartment community at the NEC of Warner and Recker roads in Gilbert.

The 24.67-acre site is fully entitled and the developers plan to break ground on the first of two phases in early 2013; development costs are anticipated to be approximately $57.5M.

The Rockefeller Group expects Liv Northgate to complement the company’s 155-acre, mixed-use North Gateway project, which can accommodate 226,000 SF of office space, 1.1 MSF of industrial /flex and 12.2 acres of retail space in addition to the 402 apartments.

“The Rockefeller Group is very pleased to be partnering with a company of IPA’s experience in developing and managing high quality residential communities in Arizona,” said Mark Singerman, Regional Director of The Rockefeller Group’s Arizona office. “With IPA as a partner, we look forward to bringing quality Class A, highly amenitized, residential living to Gilbert.”

The project, named Liv Northgate, will be managed by IPA and will consist of 402 garden-style, luxury apartment units in two and three story buildings, together with a leasing office, high-tech clubhouse, and extensive recreational amenities. Each apartment will be finished with a premium appliance package, custom cabinets, slab granite kitchen counters, full-size washer and dryer, walk-in closets, ceiling fans, state-of-the-art communications wiring, simulated wood flooring, window blinds, nine-foot ceilings, and private balconies and patios with storage areas.

“We are honored to partner with The Rockefeller Group on the development of Liv Northgate,” remarked Bill Fettis, Partner of IPA and co-founder of IPA Management. “The Rockefeller Group is among the most highly-regarded commercial real estate companies in the world for overall quality and focus on customers. Our companies line up very well in this regard and we look forward to serving our future residents through those shared values.”

According to Fettis, the developers are focused on creating spaces for interaction, encouraging wellness, incorporating leading technology, and promoting sustainability. Some of these features are reflected in intentional gathering spaces, state of-the-art fitness equipment, health and wellness classes, recycling stations, electric car charging stations, and pedestrian walkways throughout the property that connect to surrounding greenbelts. Other amenities include two heated pools with fire and water features, sand volleyball, a 24/7 fitness center, a bark park and pet care station, numerous outdoor picnic and family recreation areas throughout the property, and gated access.

Residents of Liv Northgate will be able to walk or bike to businesses and retail within North Gateway through a series of pathways being incorporated into the site.

“Liv Northgate and North Gateway will represent one of suburban Phoenix’ most desirable mixed-use developments,” Singerman said. “We believe businesses will want to locate in North Gateway due its proximity to freeways, aerospace companies located near Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport, Banner/M.D. Anderson, other hospitals close by and DMB’s new Eastmark development. They will also appreciate being able to tap into the extensive talent pool that will live practically on-site at Liv Northgate.”

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis sees the project supporting the Town’s continued growth. “As the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport continues its expansion, The Rockefeller Group’s North Gateway mixed-used project will provide high-quality amenities and accommodations for those living and conducting business in Gilbert. This project is a tremendous addition to our community and complements the Town’s investment in the Power Road and Morrison Ranch areas.”

IPA was represented by Cindy Cooke, Brad Cooke, Carrie Burton and Alex Sampson of Colliers International in Phoenix. The Rockefeller Group was represented by John Finnegan, Chaz Smith and Ramey Peru, also with Colliers in Phoenix.

“The strengths of these two veteran real estate developers perfectly complement each other and will produce an award-winning development.” Brad Cooke said.

IPA continues to expand its Phoenix portfolio with three additional multifamily developments and one seniors housing development underway. Liv Avenida (www.livavenida.com) is a 322-unit upscale multifamily development under construction in Chandler and scheduled to open this fall.

Liv North Scottsdale (www.livnorthscottsdale.com) is a 240-unit, fully entitled, urban-infill podium development at the hub of North Scottsdale’s trendiest shopping, dining, and nightlife with groundbreaking scheduled for Fall 2012. A third fully entitled multifamily parcel is located in the Ahwatukee submarket with 402 units scheduled to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2012.

IPA also plans to break ground in Fall 2012 on “Generations at Agritopia”, a 118-unit (122-bed) seniors housing community offering independent, assisted, memory care and memory care-lite accommodations, located in the highly sought-after Agritopia community in Gilbert.