Commercial Investment Real Estate

JUL-AUG 2017

Commercial Investment Real Estate is the magazine of the CCIM Institute, the leading provider of commercial real estate education. CIRE covers market trends, current developments, and business strategies within the commercial real estate field.

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Page 37 of 54

CCIM.COM While fundamentals point to a healthy office market overall, fundamen- tal changes are coming. The rising popularity of co-working spaces, the trend toward working remotely, and the demand for creative office spaces are certainly having an impact on traditional office space. Due to these changes, how are property owners staying competitive and attracting tenants? Here are three ways in which owners can help drive leasing and maximize occupancies during 2017. On-Site Meals. With tech companies, such as Facebook, offering employees meal plans, many traditional office tenants are seeking similar food amenities to attract millennials. By offering on-site food options, such as converting the ground floor of an office building into a restaurant or welcoming food trucks, landlords can attract and retain quality tenants, resulting in long-term stability and increased property value. Integrating Amenities. An amenities arms race is underway as own- ers incorporate the latest in lifestyle and tech amenities to attract tenants and secure leases. By integrating a host of cafés, fitness centers, art displays, and bike-sharing programs, owners can create a live, work, and play environment, which will appeal particularly to millennials. In addition, providing high-speed Wi-Fi and internet access property- wide is critical for securing leases with tech tenants. Since the tech sec- tor comprises nearly 25 percent of office leasing activity, owners must offer convenient fiber access and amenities such as USB outlets and video conferencing. Flexible Communal Spaces. As the office sector continues to evolve, tenants are increasingly demanding flexible, creative workspaces, which foster a culture of collaboration and innovation. These communal spaces include multiple open spaces, where tenants can host staff and client meetings. Looking ahead, office landlords that pay attention to shifts in tenant demand and cater to the tastes of the modern workforce will have the most success in leasing their office space in 2017 and for years to come. Tim Lee is vice president of corporate development and legal affairs at Olive Hill Group. Contact him at Strategies for Offi ce Leasing by Tim Lee construction of the buildings for more effi cient operation and management. "We are leveraging the best practices across our teams," Wethington says. "Mixed-use projects touch a lot of specialty teams." Investing Strategically Kamil Homsi, CCIM, has built a company that connects Middle Eastern investors with local U.S. commercial real estate markets. Political and eco- nomic instability in the Middle East and much of the world has created an appetite for buying U.S. commercial properties, which provide investors with stability, along with solid growth. With offi ces in New York City and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Homsi spearheads a team of ana- lysts and assistants in both offi ces, connecting the entire team through video and teleconferencing media. He admits the transcontinental undertak- ing is demanding, yet fundamental as more deals are successfully closed in the U.S. Since Homsi continuously raises capital in Dubai, establishing an offi ce there to demonstrate his abil- ities and to earn the trust of the extended ruling families and other high net worth individuals was integral to the business model. "My business is built on generational wealth — optimally managed to grow and to make it last for future generations," says Homsi, president at Global Realty Capital LLC. "My investors don't always aim for immediate profi ts; they aim for safety, security, and status, while seeking long-term investments." From 2010 to 2013, Homsi invested the portfo- lio primarily in U.S. multifamily properties. In the years that followed, as the multifamily asset class became too competitive, Homsi moved to more sus- tainable investments, such as senior housing, student housing, and industrial properties. "Senior housing is logical because people always grow old, and, at some point, they need to down- size and look for facilities to help care for them," Homsi says. "Kids are always going to college and need apartments because universities don't build enough dorms." For industrial properties, Homsi prefers look- ing into areas with busy ports and easily accessible major highways, such as the northern New Jersey, Maryland, and Florida coasts, as well as Long Beach, Calif., and Houston. Geographically, his senior housing portfolio investments are located in the Northeast and Southeast, while his purchases of student housing focus on the Midwest region closest to college districts. "The value of my business is bridging the invest- ment and cultural difference between foreigners and U.S. markets," he says. Adapting to changing marketplaces is the key to thriving in today's evolving markets. Transforma- tion and innovation in commercial real estate are a winning combination. Sara S. Patterson is executive editor of Commer- cial Investment Real Estate.

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