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Capitalist Sage: Real Estate Strategies for Business Impacted by COVID-19 [Podcast]

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Capitalist Sage podcast about commercial real estate

Frank “Tradd” Cannon, joins us to discuss what businesses can do to improve their situation right now when they reopen, and long term, from a real estate perspective. With your Capitalist Sage podcast hosts Karl Barham and Rico Figliolini. Recorded socially safe in Peachtree Corners.

Resources:

Frank’s Phone Number: (404) 597-5737
Frank’s Email: Frank.Cannon@colliers.com

“We help owners, occupiers, investors of real estate. And for me specifically, I help occupiers of real estate. Office tenants with their whole real estate footprint, whether they own a building, whether they lease two offices in Atlanta and Buckhead, or they have a portfolio across the United States. And right now what we are doing is helping clients with rent deferrals, rent forbearance, renegotiating their leases as this is chaotic as it is. It’s a very opportunistic time for companies to revisit what the real estate footprint looks like and how they can optimize that going forward in a post COVID-19 world.”

Frank “Tradd” Cannon

Timestamp:

[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:03:00] – Frank’s Background
[00:03:57] – Impact on Tenants and Landlords
[00:07:26] – How to Negotiate Rent
[00:09:45] – Difference between Retail Types
[00:13:36] – Changes in Pricing
[00:15:58] – From Location to Innovation
[00:18:21] – Shift in Office Space
[00:26:32] – Investing in Technology
[00:37:51] – Closing

Podcast Transcript:

Rico: [00:00:30] Hi everyone. This is Rico Figliolini with Capitalist Sage and my co host Karl Barham. Hey Karl, how are you?

Karl: [00:00:38] I’m doing good. Rico, how are you doing?

Rico: [00:00:41] Good. Good. Working from home like everyone else had my cat in the background, so if you hear the meows, this was from the cat. But, the Capitalist Sage is on as usual, we have a great guest today. I’m going to let Karl introduce him. Before we get to that, though, I do want to talk about our sponsor for the family of podcasts, and that’s Hargray Fiber. They’ve been a great sponsor of ours, a supporter of Peachtree Corners Magazine that I produce. Hargray Fiber is big in the Southeast, certainly big here in the Metro area in South Georgia. They handle all the fiber optics for a lot of major companies and small businesses, so got to know them a little better. They are so involved in the communities that they go into. They are not your cable guy. So for a fiber cable company to help you with your business connections and provide support like you need to be able to do the telework and that we’re all doing or to work from, you know, the main office as we all go back into reopening, they’re the people to talk to HargrayFiber.com I’ll leave that with you and Karl, why don’t you take this into our guest.

Karl: [00:01:49] Absolutely. Well, today I’m so honored to have Frank Cannon, an associate with Colliers international Atlanta office here to talk about real estate strategies for small businesses that are navigating and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that’s hitting so many businesses. We all know that businesses have been hit hard, especially small businesses. And they were forced to close in many cases all across the country. And they have to still deal with these bills that are coming in. Including bills from landlords, bills from suppliers, bills from utility. And so today we wanted to talk about some ways to approach understanding the landlord side of things, understanding the tenant side and have Frank share some strategies and things that can help people work together and partner. So we all get through this successfully. Hey Frank, how are you doing?

Frank: [00:02:57] I’m doing great. Thanks, Karl. Glad to be with you all today.

Karl: [00:03:00] Oh, that’s fabulous. Well, let’s start off by just, you know, tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you get into real estate, commercial real estate in particular.

Frank: [00:03:08] So I am an associate with Colliers. We’re in Midtown Atlanta. We’re a full service commercial real estate firm. We help owners, occupiers, investors of real estate. And for me specifically, I help occupiers of real estate. Office tenants with their whole real estate footprint, whether that’s they own a building, whether they lease two offices in Atlanta and Buckhead, or they have a portfolio across the United States. And right now what we are doing is helping clients with rent deferrals, rent, forbearance, renegotiating their leases as this is chaotic as it is. It’s a very opportunistic time for companies to revisit what the real estate footprint looks like and how they can optimize that going forward in a post COVID-19 world.

Karl: [00:03:57] So I’ll jump in with the first thing just to kind of ground everybody that that’s, that’s looking at this. What, what have you been hearing? The impact has been on landlords and tenants. Let’s start with hearing from your tenants that you represent. What are some of the things that they’re dealing with in making decisions? And then we’ll talk about things from the tenant standpoint that may have to deal with landlords.

Frank: [00:04:24] So the initial sentiment for most tenants, most companies is like everyone else, a slow down. You know, everyone has pulled back for companies and they budgeted accounts, they budgeted sales for May for June, and simply some of that’s not going to happen. And the sentiment for landlords is almost a trickle effect is, well, tenants may make a quarter or half of their May or June rent as their sales slowed down. And overall it is what we do to solve this rent problem, and solve this revenue problem, and you work together as a landlord and a tenant to ensure we all come out of this together. Communication has been great. For a lot of tenants and landlords. Because at the end of the day, we’re both in the, we’re all in the same boat and we’re working to figure out how to best get out of this together.

Karl: [00:05:27] Yeah. And then it’s an important thing, not only on the, on the pandemic health side. You’ve seen the theme that we’ll get through this together everyone. I think it’s really important when you think about landlords and tenants. So let’s say I’m an operator of a retail shop in a shopping center and I know that I may have the ability to pay this month’s rent, but I’m really concerned about paying the other expenses, maybe trying to keep some employees on, maybe being able to fund opening up again. What are some of the things that I should be thinking about? Just as everything is closed down, I should be doing immediately.

Frank: [00:06:14] So number one right away is have that conversation with your landlord. They, again, like I said, they’re willing to work with you and you just kinda need to tell them, you know, this is what’s going on. I have applied for a stimulus. I have enough funds to keep my staff, and here’s, here’s where I was pre-COVID. Here’s where I am now. And your landlord, you know, makes it easy on them. Let them know you’re working hard and what you need to keep your boat floating. You know maybe that is, maybe that’s May and June, I’m gonna need some help. I’ll repay it back by the end of next year. You know? On the other hand, if your lease is coming up soon. The last thing your landlord wants you to do is leave cause no one’s gonna feel that given all the uncertainty there could be talk to, talk to your real estate advisor, talk to your legal counsel, feel free to give us a call. You know, Hey, what we have right here to make sure that we survive three to four months. We can continue this partnership as you know, the best people placed in your shopping center, for example.

Karl: [00:07:26] What are some of the mistakes you said? So that’s interesting having that conversation in the case of where the lease is coming up within a six to one year period. What mistakes do you see small business owners making. When it’s time for a lease renewal or asks you for a new lease, and then bring it also into the context of with a pandemic COVID-19 happening, where we don’t know if something like this may happen again, where they have to shut down because of an outbreak in a particular area. It may not happen everywhere, but it
could happen in a zip code. Well, they happen for a week. What are some of the things, mistakes people are making when they, when they try to negotiate that?

Frank: [00:08:09] So a lot of, a lot of small businesses upfront, you know, it’s not their world to think about the landlord’s shoes, but at the end of the day, it is very tough for a landlord to fill an empty spot. There are costs to, you know, if you had a, if you were a pizza store and you’re moving and now the landlord wants a, call it a hair salon in there. They’ve got to reconfigure the space. They have to market it, and then they have to, and then they have to give the new tenant a reason to move in such as, you know, free paint, free carpet or a spruce up allowance, if you will. On the other hand, if a tenant just stays, that saves them a lot of money and a lot of headaches. A tenant has a lot of leverage to stay. So the first mistake is not asking for what they deserve to save the landlord a headache. And the tennet, you mentioned now that we have a pandemic world going forward, flexibility for any small business is going to be key. Instead of committing to a five year, we’re going to see a lot more three year commitments because we’re going to want the ability to get out sooner and with less headache. Look for more termination penalties. Maybe, Hey, if something comes up, I’ll give you a six months notice, Mr. Landlord and I’m going to be out of here. And you know, maybe a year ago, that’d be a harder push, but everyone at that table is going to understand what just happened. And again, we have common sense, you know, we can put in a termination penalty into a lease going forward.

Rico: [00:09:45] Do you see, Frank, do you see a difference between maybe retail office space, manufacturing space? Do you see a difference in those industries where there may be more leveraged in one than in another?

Frank: [00:09:57] You know, in the past, absolutely. You know, a retail, you know, the dentist in the dinner with practices, their clients were there. He’s maybe done the braces for all three kids and their mom, you know, he, he’s going to be there. Whereas offices, especially going forward, you know, more people are working from home. An office tenant may not be as inclined to stay in that place for 10 years they’ve been, because now half their guys can, half their guys and gals can work from home. And if there’s a cheap flight, cheaper spot down the road that satisfies their postcoded requirements, it could be a free game. Again, the existing landlord doesn’t want that to happen, but we can ask for a better reason to keep that small business in their current building.

Karl: [00:10:48] There’s something interesting. So when, when we work with business owners and we look at their lease, very often, we get a good sense of what the price per square foot is for a particular retail spot or office spot. So we kinda know what the norms are. But when those numbers came up, it was baked into an assumption for a restaurant space that might be 1,400 square feet versus 2,800 how many people fit in there? There was, or much revenue you can generate in that space? And a lot of commercial real estate is, the value of it is based on the income it can produce. If for a period of time folks are required to social distance in their place, how does that impact the price that they would, a landlord can expect for the same space in new leases?

Frank: [00:11:57] So I think we’re going to see, so you cut out for a bit. How are we going to see the price for space to be affected? Because basically the whole game’s changed. So I’ll harken back onto my original point of a shorter term, a three year commitment versified. The thing is, we don’t know the true appetite for the consumer to come back to these public spaces. You know, are they going to all of a sudden fill up, you know, a J Alexander’s dining room again? Probably not. It’s going to be more of a trickle and same thing for an office. Is everyone gonna run back into their dense open office space? We’ve got, we’re probably gonna return back in phases. I mention this because we don’t know what sales are gonna look like in the post COVID world. What dining out percent demographics is going to look like, and you do not want to be locked into a rate that escalates for five years when you don’t return to pre COVID levels for a while and all of a sudden your rent’s gone up three times.

Karl: [00:13:11] But that’s, that’s one thing that I’m curious about because if, if a business was generating a certain amount of revenue per month for the last five years in a space and not because of anything the business did.

Rico: [00:13:30] You froze up Karl, a little bit.

Karl: [00:13:36] Okay.where folks might have to today. In the last five years, they were generating a certain amount of revenue. Because of the laws, they now have to cut the amount of people they can service, whatever, whatever, the businesses. So let’s be,the reality of it, if rents stay at the same level and revenue, the volume goes down all of these businesses, it’s not just one, many businesses won’t be able to sustain the same rent levels and it’s okay to keep it that way, but a lot of businesses will, will probably fail in that model if they do that. If someone was signing a new lease, do you think that there’s, there’ll be a drag on the price per square foot if this continues on too long?

Frank: [00:14:29] There, I absolutely believe there’ll be a drag on price per square foot, especially in the retail world, because demand is simply not going to be there. Owners of retail establishments are going to be prudent and nervous are my two key words. You kinda hit it. We were doing so many sales with this much space and this many rules. We can’t serve as many people and consumers are scared. That I would say is 99% of a restaurant owners mentality right now. They’re not gonna wanna pay pre COVID rents, and I’m, I’m not a restaurant expert. I can guarantee you the guys who are leasing these restaurant spaces probably think the exact same way, if not way more detail on exactly what the new rent levels will be. And it’s not going to be for, for retail centers, they’re all the same. Rent one, one restaurant is going to be one, one over the other three. They’re not going in either one right now at the levels because they can’t afford it. And I think we will see a drag on a lot of retail rents and especially more reason to not commit to a five year term during this, during this time of uncertainty. You want to argue for flexibility, argue for a reason to get out if things turn sour like in this pandemic, which on one would have seen before this time.

Rico: [00:15:58] I was thinking about the, everything’s location, location, location, right? So the place where a restaurant might be, that might’ve been a hole in the wall place or something like that, where there they have to be found. I could see those going low. I could see sometimes in certain, certain areas, like let’s say prime downtown areas, they’re holding their strength a little bit because there’s still people there, right? Cousens is opening up 20 malls. By the end of the month, they’ll have 20 malls open reopen I should say,

Karl: [00:16:35] No, new malls.

Rico: [00:16:37] No, no. These are the reopening of the existing malls, you know, like, like Gwinnett Place Mall, maybe where the walking dead is being shot or something, I don’t know how many people actually go to these malls. So I can see certain types of properties really losing their renters, right? And, and maybe, does it make a difference whether it’s owned by your rate in New York or whether it’s owned by a local business in Atlanta?

Frank: [00:17:04] So I would say a little bit of both, but first and foremost depends on your relationship with your owner. I actually just read an article today. Add Acts, the, one of the owners of Add Acts. His name’s Mario Salayah. Atlanta was one of the first locations he reopened. As you know, Georgia has pretty aggressive reopening rules. He was able to talk to his landlord and the conversation is pretty much the tune of, Hey man, this is tough for all of us. Stay safe. We’ll get through this. Easy landlord communication. Hallmarks of any relationship, doesn’t matter if you’ve been paying the same guy for 10 years and again, it’s, it’s all the same thing in life. You have a conversation, you open it up. If, you know, if you haven’t had that relationship or, and you’re not transparent with them, your landlord may not be as willing to work with you. And if you, again, you’ve been there forever, the owner of your building or center recognizes your value. You’re tenancy and they want you to, they want, they need you there as much as you need to be there, I would say it doesn’t make a difference in ownership, it matters relationship.

Karl: [00:18:21] If I could ask, we’re talking about retail and I’m curious of how business operations or business models are changing for the office as well. Because many people are being asked to work from home, and that’s been happening in some form or shape for many years. But if we see a 20 point shift in the amount of people that were at home. There’s not as much need for office space combined with the fact that we shouldn’t have people in cubicle farms as dense with a guy next door might be coughing a lot and all of that’s going to create some dynamic. How can businesses shift the way they use their office space or models?

Frank: [00:19:10] So I think we, going forward, we will not recognize the, the office going forward and this pandemic expedited the timeline. We can argue that the last big change was everyone getting dense. You know, you see the old law firm, it’s all private, private offices, big wooden desks, you know, got 10 people in a whole floor just to be, just to be exaggerating. And then we shifted to the rework of the open office where you add 10 people in a 100 square feet. I think this is going to spur the move back towards less dense. Social distancing will be
implemented in the office where you know different teams have their own section, so if one gets sick, everyone goes home and they’re six feet apart, and this’ll be a great time for a business owner to reevaluate how much space they need. Because you may have figured out your sales team can do a lot more at home then you previously thought. You may have discovered that, Hey my top two engineers only need to come in twice a week. They don’t need their whole lean.

Karl: [00:20:30] Employees will love to hear that, but I’m wondering what, how do we, how do we resuscitate the, all the managers that you just put into cardiac arrest where they can’t walk down the hall and see all their people huddled over a computer looking busy.

Rico: [00:20:47] Let’s even stop there for a second. Cause I saw something come across the news and Kemp has extended the state of emergency public state of emergency through until the middle of June and it’s extending the stay at home for certain populations. So just to let you know. It was yesterday.

Karl: [00:21:09] Breaking news and impacting the conversation.

Frank: [00:21:14] So with that in mind, I think is just going to emphasize that a work from home policy is now going to be essential to any company going forward. Whether that is a digital check, a zoom check-in, whether it’s a phone call, whether it’s just an email conversation, how are you doing on your projects? But now again, we just, we have another month and a half to ensure people are being productive. And, well, you know, maybe we have another podcast where we determine how these digital check-ins happened, but at the end of the day, either teams figure out how to work from home for extended periods of time, or there, you know, things may not get done and that’s just not ideal for anybody.

Rico: [00:22:04] You know, I’ve been listening to some companies that have been putting out, if you, if you’re working can be done from home, then you need to do it at home.

Frank: [00:22:13] Right?

Rico: [00:22:14] Because they’re going to fear, right? The news is all talking about fear and people going back to work, being forced to go back to work cause it’s helping, right? And stay at home is gone. That means you should be able to go back. It’s a liability. Where do you put the kids? Kids are out of school. There’s no summer camps. Will these aspects, even if you go back to work, how are you going to deal with the individual office spaces and the common areas, the kitchen areas and all that? It’s going to be a mess now.

Frank: [00:22:47] So we’ve actually, we’re working on the reentry guide. Reentering the work, the workplace, and we’ve got a couple, one of the main points we hit on is beefing up your office’s cleaning schedule. You know, common areas, like you mentioned the lunch room. You know, you may have to start, your cleaning expense may go up twice, twice as much. Having
someone come in and disinfect doors, refrigerators, tables, chairs, people touch it. That’s, that’s now our new normal.

Karl: [00:23:18] I could see, I don’t know if you’ve ever gone into some workspaces that don’t have touchless toilet flushers and sinks. And you know, obviously it’s gone everywhere, but you go into them now and you gotta wonder what’s going on, right? There’s technology that can be played or force a shift. And I’m wondering, businesses that are in that market, installing, implementing those things might be seeing some demand coming as you’ve, people don’t want to touch things. And we have to start figuring out ways to exist in this new, in this new world.

Frank: [00:23:59] So besides the obvious one of toilet paper, I would say, everything digital, you know, the company’s zoom, WebEx, and like you mentioned touchless technology. Doors that, you know, open motion sensing doors, all retrofitting companies to make its workspace healthier. I feel like those will see demand all over the place. It’s interesting adding with a lady who ran, who was one of her biggest clients is Home Depot’s paint department and they’ve been going crazy cause a lot of people are home. What are they doing? Home improvement project. She was actually in a place up in Cumberland and the space next to her was empty and they did a lot of onsite training and we were having a conversation that then they wanted to look at that space, just used for a training room, training employees. They’re one of the bigger offices in Atlanta. And once I’ve gone by, business is booming, they’re training companies on zoom. Now all of a sudden they found they can do more with less. And it’s just, that’s one of the countless examples. This is just expedited change.

Rico: [00:25:15] I work at a newspaper in Sandy Springs, and the same thing we put out two, two papers all online, and so his 1,500 square feet were probably dropped down to maybe 700 square feet.

Frank: [00:25:29] Absolutely. And you’re going to save a lot of money that you can now put towards other avenues of your business. What, just out of curiosity now, that you’re reducing your rent expense by half. What are you going to invest in or what are some wishlist items for the newspaper?

Rico: [00:25:50] Well, so now there’s the problem though, right? It is a newspaper and it’s sort of an industry. My magazine works out fine because it’s where we are, but some publications have fallen by the wayside. Paper newspapers out in Dekalb and Marietta. They might as well close up. I think the last issue was six pages. I mean, they just might as well close. Some other publications are doing this stuff, but even online, Curb Atlanta. I think people know curb.com well, every city sort of has their own curbatlanta.com. Curb Atlanta let go of all it’s people from what I understand. So even online companies are seeing this issue, so.

Karl: [00:26:32] So it’s interesting. Rico, you mentioned about location, location, location when we talk about real estate. That has been the paradigm for as long as I’ve known anyone in real estate. So think about an office building. If you’re a fancy law firm, where do you want to be?
You want to be in Midtown on 14th street. If you’re a retailer, you want the Apple store. The Apple stores are only located in high dense retail areas, type of thing. Is there a shift that, that this may be accelerating where a location is probably not as important as the premium that’s paid on businesses for a location now shifts to something else. And I don’t know if you’ve heard of the building the Edge in the Netherlands. It is the greenest building in the world. But what it, what it highlights is a technologically advanced building that has sensors everywhere and what they built was a building where you want to be there because technology drives the value of the business. The building more than the physical location, and so I could see it, I know the technology exists, I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it in movies where you can measure the temperature of people in the room down to the individual. You see it in the movies when they see the hotspot and they drop the bomb on that place with swell people. And you can see, well, that technology is not that difficult to deploy in building. So if a coworker’s temperature is up three degrees, there might be a way to indicate that that room may have a problem. What do you think about investing in these technologies, types of things in place.

Frank: [00:28:39] Investing, and you cut out there for a bit. Investing in these technologies?

Karl: [00:28:43] Yeah. So to attract new tenants, landlords have been living on location. Now, now the question is, do they have to shift and shift their business model to leverage technology that now addresses safety. As part of.

Frank: [00:28:59] So I primarily think for the really retail and the industrial world, it’s still going to primarily be location. You’re going to put, you know, example Amazon, last mile distribution centers. They’re going to base that decision on location. The Apple store, they’re still going to want to be in a high traffic area. Office sector, I think you hit on it with talking about the Edge. It’s not, it’s going to, location will lose importance. It’s not going to be about where the space is and how much, how big it is, but the quality. There’s going to be an emphasis on quality. Two big reasons that this popped into my head. One, everyone’s going to want it to be clean. Everyone’s gonna want it to be sterile. Everyone’s going to have social distancing, self-opening doors, that’s going to be on the forefront of anybody who goes into the office a lot. I think overall we’re going to see less people go into the office as much. Not drastically, but over time there will be less people going into the office, nine to five, given what happened. So you’re not going to need as much people in there. But when they do go in there, what are they gonna want? They’re gonna want, they’re gonna want the AC to change depending on how people were in the room. They’re going to want the internet of things to know, Oh, Karl’s here at 8:30. He likes his latte at 8:45 delivered from the inside starbucks. Karl would get the text, it texts your phone. Would you like your Starbucks? Yes or no. Rico and Karl are and a meeting with three people. We don’t need the AC running on full blast cause there’s a conference room for 10. We only have three in there. And that recognizes that from your outlook calendar, this technology is there. And again, this is just being expedited in going forward. People will want better, safer more technologically advanced spaces as opposed to the location premium.

Rico: [00:31:05] You know, it’s funny when you think of Tesla, for example, right? The, the biggest, one of the biggest things in there that they talk about is the, is the filtration system in Teslas. That it’s actually better than, let’s say M95, you could be, if there’s something outside the car and you close yourself in, then you would be safe from it, right. Because of the filtration system on that. There’s going to be, and they’re working with, I think it’s ResMed now to make, to make those, what do you call it? The ventilators. What’s the company doing that? That’s based out of Atlanta I think. But I agree with you, Frank. There will be changes and stuff, but I think it also depends on what that business and specific is, right? If you’re a service business that you could do anywhere, that makes less of a big deal where you’re geographically, like you said, if you’re in Amazon, then you’re that last mile fulfillment. Certainly you want to be near transportation likely. A hub like Atlanta.

Frank: [00:32:07] To take a step back. I just remembered, so I’m sure, are y’all familiar with the lead verification system for buildings, energy efficient? Something is, or is lead gold, lead platinum. There’s also, I think we will see an explosion. There’s a relatively younger standards called the well building standard and it basically rates how healthy a building is for its employees. Things you know, how much natural light are buildings getting? What’s the fitness center like? How many times is the air changed? I think we will see that explode and that will take a larger spotlight in decisions going forward. You know, maybe only the Tesla health advocates knew about how many air changes per 1,000 people were happening on a floor. That I think it’s going to start to take a major spotlight.

Karl: [00:33:01] There might be one other interesting thing when we talk about technology, especially mobile technology, all the apps that allow you to check into a location, or you walk into a store and it sends you a coupon to your phone, tracks your Bluetooth. I could see that being used in a different application. Now, if a salon has a customer that five days later tests positive for COVID-19, they have the ability to know everyone that came into that salon. It could be as simple as there is a credit card transaction, to more sophisticated where you walk into some businesses or gyms and you literally have to check in with an ID or your phone so it knows you were there and they can go in, identify all 300.

Rico: [00:33:57] But that’s almost gyms, right, with the passes that you go in

Karl: [00:34:00] With the passes, exactly. Okay. So contact tracing could become easier because you could find and message 350 people that have been in that space or interacting with somebody from the time the person that tested positive and they can get a notification to go to their testing center and get tested and self isolate. Now that technology exists, small business owners are thinking about that. Well, I can think of some companies, point of sale companies, others that could diverge into these areas and offer this to give clients comfort, customers comfort that, that there’s something that’s helping control this as they go into space.

Rico: [00:34:47] Do you, Frank, do you see, I can see that and I can, you’re familiar with like Simply Safe and the Nest thermostats and stuff like that?

Frank: [00:34:56] Right, right.

Rico: [00:34:56] Smart technology, right. All those are plug and play pretty much in a home. I mean I can, I can also see maybe commercial space being like that, right? Because a lot of that is plug and play. A lot of that doesn’t cost a lot of money because it’s either using Bluetooth or wifi technology to communicate. And modualize and put into different rooms in, in an office suite, I mean.

Karl: [00:35:22] We were seeing some of this technology at Smart Expo last year. They’re putting the sensors in lights and…

Frank: [00:35:38] I haven’t seen it in person, but the most common that I’ve read about it’s a sensor in your employee ID badge. You know, the one that you use to get off, you swipe in elevator, it takes you to your floor and then you buzz that and to get into the, if your office has a security system and there’s that. No, this is Karl’s workplace. This is, this is, Karl has an appointment at three and again, the dispensers know how many people are in a conference room, the lunch room at any given time. Maybe we get to that to where it’s on your phones as well.

Karl: [00:36:21] Well, I’ve got a question that comes back to dealing with, with the current state that folks are going. I’ve heard of subsidies partnering with major landlords, that were tenants, where a landlord that give deferral, get some kind of recognition and/or benefit for that. Have you seen that? And can you describe how that really works?

Frank: [00:36:49] Right. For two, and they’re real close to us. Sandy Springs and Peachtree Corners. You know, so I get their alerts all the time. Just trying to stay connected. Peachtree Corners was offering for any landlord that offered their tenants a 60 day rent deferral, a free showcase as a community partner. They get better advertising opportunities. It’s just really a focus on you helping the city, helping these businesses survive and thrive during these tough times. And for Sandy Springs perimeter chamber was offering a free advertising spot for mother’s day essentials during this crisis. I mean, mother’s day is right around the corner these days, all blurred together. And that’s typically a, that’s a big, big sales event for some companies, and these are just a few of the examples, but a lot of people, a lot of these landlords, cities all coming together to try to make things happen during this tough time.

Rico: [00:37:51] Guys, I think we’re towards the end of our time together.

Karl: [00:37:58] Yep, absolutely. Well, you know, I want to thank you so much, Frank, for joining us today and sharing some of your knowledge about, real estate and how to deal with tenants and landlords. Really helpful information to do that. How would people reach out if they wanted to ask you questions? What’s the best way to get in contact with you and learn more?

Frank: [00:38:27] Honestly, I would say just shoot me a text or email me. So I’m Frank.Cannon@colliers.com and then, I mean, shoot me a text at (404) 597-5737. That’s anything from, Hey, you know, my lease is coming up in three, five, six months. I don’t want to leave, but I’m not sure what to do to make a decision going forward. Or if you’re, you know, you might be struggling for May or June rent. You know, this is, this is a headache. This is a time stop for a lot of business owners who have a million things to worry about right now. And for us it is our job and it’s a free service for tenants to occupy space. Just give us a shout and we can, let’s have a conversation. We’ll negotiate with your landlord on your behalf. And so we can do that and get through this together.

Karl: [00:39:19] Thank you so much for that. And we do recommend, get in touch with real estate professionals if you don’t know how to negotiate with your landlord. But it’s as simple as picking up the phone and having a conversation. You’re both in partnership. You both got to work through this together and you got, you’re typically in a contract for a number of years. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld business advisors of Atlanta, Peachtree. We’re working a lot with business owners in this time to help them figure out ways and strategies to continue to improve their business. And help think about different scenarios of where they need, they may want to exit the business. Right now it’s about surviving, but it is the best time to start planning on your exit strategy for your business. And you can contact me at 770-766-9855 or KBarham@TWorld.com if you want to talk to myself or one of our other advisors to help you navigate through this and talk about your exits. Rico, how bout yourself? What have you got coming up in the upcoming months?

Rico: [00:40:36] Sure. So we’re working on, we’re actually working on the next issue of Peachtree Corners Magazine, the June-July issue. It’s going to be chock full of a lot of stuff in there dealing with what’s going on now. Some great stories that we’re going to be telling about what people are doing during this COVID-19, how they’re repositioning themselves a little bit during this time because a lot of people that just home, not that they’re not doing anything, we all should be teleworking, right? But some people are just pivoting if they own their own business or they’re doing a gig economy and the trying to figure out what to do with that. So the magazine will be coming out the first week in June, I believe is where we’ve said it. And if me personally also doing Mighty Rockets, in social media and podcasts and doing a lot more podcasting, with Karl and bunch of other people, doing a lot of branding, a lot of online social media a lot of video work. I’m doing it socially safe. So if you need me, MightyRockets.com if you need anyone to help you with production or social media content or branding, or you can call me or text me, 678-358-7858.

Karl: [00:41:47] Well, thank you so much Rico and Frank. Really appreciate you joining us and give us some, some really good tips and insights that hopefully.

Rico: [00:41:58] Hopefully we’ll be there at some point.

Frank: [00:42:04] It was great. Thank you again for having me

Rico: [00:42:09] And thank you.

Karl: [00:42:10] Alright, take care everyone. Bye.

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Transwestern Completes 100,000 Sf of Office Lease Transactions in Peachtree Corners

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Summit at Peachtree Parkway
Summit at Peachtree Parkway

Transwestern Real Estate Services (TRS) announces its Atlanta Agency Leasing team has executed more than 100,000 square feet of new leases at Summit at Peachtree Parkway, a 179,617-square-foot, six-story office building at 5550 Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

Transwestern Senior Managing Directors Chip Roach and Stephen Clifton, who provide exclusive leasing services on behalf of building owner OA Development, negotiated the following transactions:

  • Soliant Health LLC has executed a new lease for 58,734 square feet. Represented in the transaction by Sean Coughlin of C2 Partners LLC, the national healthcare staffing company occupies more than 32% of the building.
  • Teradata Operations LLC, a leading provider of data intelligence and analytics products and services, has executed a new lease for 25,771 square feet. The San Diego-based company was represented by Clinton McKellar of Cushman & Wakefield in the transaction.
  • Randstad Professionals US LLC, one of the world’s largest employee recruitment agencies, has executed a new lease for 9,467 square feet. Alison Bittel of Colliers represented the tenant in the transaction.
  • Capstone Hospice LLC, which services families in 18 Georgia counties, has executed a new lease for 5,347 square feet. Jeff Richardson and Jason Ferguson of CTR Partners represented the tenant in its relocation to the property. 
  • Carlson Design Group LLC, an architectural and engineering services firm, has executed a new lease for 3,852 square feet. Adomo Piccinni of Walbridge represented the tenant in the transaction.

“In 2019, we worked with ownership to complete renovations to the lobby, corridors and elevators, and add a new conference center and fitness facility with lockers and showers to the property’s already stellar amenity offerings,” said Roach. “These enhancements, as well as the building’s overall flexibility, have been extremely well received by prospects and tenants.”

Additional amenities at the property include a 10,000-square-foot, fully furnished patio overlooking basketball and volleyball courts, and covered parking for more than 50% of vehicles.

Summit at Peachtree Parkway is located minutes from Interstate 285, providing easy access to Buckhead, Midtown and downtown Atlanta. Adjacent to the future Peachtree Corners Technology Park Trail, the property is within 10 miles of more than 10 golf courses and country clubs, and less than a mile from the new 21-acre Peachtree Corners Town Center.

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World’s First Self-Driving E-Scooters Launch in Peachtree Corners

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Tortoise e-scooter

Teleoperated e-scooters will operate on public streets

In keeping with its long history of developing cutting-edge technologies, the city of Peachtree Corners announced the launch of a fleet of the world’s first teleoperated e-scooter to operate on public streets The e-scooters made their debut this week.

The city welcomed the opportunity to work with Tortoise and Go X, which combined forces to offer an e-scooter that has the ability, through the use of remote tele-operators, to reposition itself back to a safe parking spot – or to respond to a call (using the company’s app) for an e-scooter to be delivered right to a customer’s door. The e-scooters are repositioned by Tortoise’s remote teleoperators.

Peachtree Corners has been working with the two visionary companies to revolutionize e-scooter mobility for use in its city. The new technology solves two issues that have plagued the industry: 1) Finding a scooter – and 2) Returning scooters to a home base for safe parking, charging and cleaning.

The e-scooters make their debut in the city’s Technology Park Atlanta, a 500-acre existing technology park that is home to over 7,000 employees. The teleoperated e-scooters will be available for use by the general public and will operate on the city’s new 1.5-mile autonomous vehicle test track that runs alongside lanes used by the motoring public.

“We are excited to showcase this innovative technology,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “It’s another opportunity for the city to look beyond traditional transportation and seek innovative ways to improve mobility. We invite our citizens and the business community to see and experience this new technology.”

The initial pilot will run for six months and marks the first time ever that teleoperated e-scooters are deployed on public streets.

This is not the first time that the city has been the site of innovative transportation technologies. Last fall, Olli, the self-driving shuttle designed and built by Local Motors, began operating along the city’s 1.5-mile autonomous vehicle track. The test track is part of Curiosity Lab, the city’s living lab, which offers companies a facility to test emerging technologies in a real-world environment.

This latest venture into teleoperated e-scooters is part of the city’s drive to further expand its “smart city” technologies.

“An important goal for us was to ensure that residents can enjoy the convenience of using e-scooters, right here in Peachtree Corners,” said City Manager Brian Johnson. “As a reflection of our commitment to making cities smarter, we didn’t hesitate to partner with Tortoise to launch the first-ever fleet of self-driving e-scooters for public use. We are extremely pleased to be a partner in this innovative and world-changing technology.”

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Thompson Ehle to Move to New Offices at 2 Sun Court

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2 Sun Court Peachtree Corners GA

Thompson Ehle Company, a construction management and engineering firm, plans to relocate to new offices at 2 Sun Court, a 98,040-square-foot, Class-A office.

Lincoln Property Company Southeast’s Matt Davis and Matt Fergus represented the owner, Redline Property Partners. CBRE’s Kevin Carroll represented the tenant.

Thompson Ehle Company is a provider of construction management, fire protection, mechanical and electrical engineering services with offices in Atlanta, Ga. and Houston, Texas. Later this year, the company will take occupancy, relocating from its current Peachtree Corner’s office at 50 Technology Parkway.

“We are continuing to see ongoing interest in the Peachtree Corners submarket from a number of top-tier tenants,” said Lincoln’s Davis. “With best-in-class amenities, Redline is committed to offering an exceptional office experience at great value for tenants of 2 Sun and we are pleased that Thompson Ehle has chosen to relocate to the building.”

Ownership recently completed building-wide renovations to the lobby, corridors, common areas, elevators and restrooms, as well as creating an outdoor tenant lounge. Redline has also redesigned and upgraded the original base building systems, installed Wi-Fi connected meeting spaces and incorporated on-site food delivery programs featuring weekly revolving food trucks. Four vacant spaces remain available at the building, ranging in size from 3,154 square feet to 10,227 square feet.

“We tailored our renovation of 2 Sun to meet the needs of today’s tenants in our quest to deliver an improved property that provides exceptional experience at great value,” said Andrew Webb, principal of Redline. “We are honored to be adding Thompson Ehle to the building’s existing group of high quality tenants.”

Source: Press release from Lincoln Property Company Southeast

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