Slow economy tests property managers’ skills, fortitude

Posted on March 19, 2010 by - Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, In the News, Office

March 19th, 2010
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area

Managing commercial real estate is a balancing act even in the best of times — keeping the building profitable for its owners while providing enough services to keep tenants happy — and renewing their leases.

But that balance gets even trickier in a commercial real estate market such as this one, with tenants shopping around for better deals and owners worried about making their next mortgage payment.

Across the Triad, office vacancies were at 19.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2009, up from 18 percent a year earlier, according to the Karnes Triad Office Report, which tracks the commercial market for the local Realtors associations.

During that time, an additional 200,000 square feet of office space became available. The average asking rent remained relatively steady at $15.80 per square foot, up a nickel from a year earlier. While that may be the asking rent, brokers say most owners are willing to negotiate.

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Burlington Square Mall finds buyer

Posted on March 2, 2010 by - Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, In the News, Retail

March 2nd, 2010
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area

A group of local investors is planning to buy the long-struggling Burlington Square Mall and turn it into a mix of retail and office space.

Holly Hill Mall LLC, led by local investors David Morton, Clark Lindley and Chad Sharpe, will close in the next 45 days on more than 415,000-square-foot mall, which is in receivership after it went into foreclosure in 2008, said David Morton, owner of Dave’s Discount Furniture.

The company plans to pull in tenants with below-market rents. The group is also planning start soon on renovations to the mall, including improving the exterior of the Belk and Sears stores, relandscaping, and redoing the parking lot, lighting and signage.

He declined to give specific rates, but said “we’re going to be at least 60 percent less than what everyone else is charging, and the mall we have is gorgeous.”

A third-quarter 2009 report from Karnes, which tracks commercial space for the Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem and Burlington commercial Realtors alliances, the average retail rent rate in Alamance County was $10.70 per square foot.

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