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Market conditions – According to PCRE

Commercial Industrial Market Conditions

Is trouble looming in paradise? Or are opportunities about to emerge and the sun about to shine? Well, that is a great question. One that depends upon where you believe the commercial real estate market is headed and which side of the “buyer/seller” fence you are on.

As professional brokers of Commercial Industrial real estate, we are fully knowledgeable of local market conditions… “real time”. We know what values properties are selling at. And we know what spaces are leasing for. This not only pertains to pricing. But to all associated business terms. And we are always happy to share that knowledge with investors and business owners alike.

And while we are often asked to “predict” where the market is headed, we typically avoid weighing in on that, since we are not clairvoyant. While we can accurately relay what has occurred and what can occur if the strong upward trajectory of the market continues, we cannot say with any level of confidence, that things will continue.

That said, we are in unusual times and we are beginning to see shifts in the wind. So, we felt it important to share our feelings….. and our concerns.

It should be no secret to anyone reading this that interest rates have remained flat, at historically low rates, for years. This is no longer the case, as interest rates on mortgages have nearly doubled in just the past few months. Interest rates are simply the “cost” of borrowing. And when the cost increases significantly, those additional costs must have an impact upon pricing.

Additionally, inflation has been almost non-existent for many years. Now we are experiencing a level of inflation that has not been seen in decades.

Further, for decades, the amount of new speculative construction for industrial real estate has been negligible. Almost non-existent. Today, in contrast, there is more than 10 million square feet of new speculative development either under construction or ready to begin, with all entitlements (permits, designs, site plan approvals, etc.) in hand.

All of these factors seem to be converging simultaneously and the predicted result is of concern to us. Over the past several years, and up until now, demand has far outweighed supply, causing property values and leasing rates to climb both rapidly and significantly. However, we are starting to see signs that we might be on the cusp of “change”.

While we can’t say for sure, we believe more and more properties are going to be coming onto the market and there will be downward pressure on values. In other words, we are feeling that we have reached a plateau of sorts……

A very wise large property owner mentioned years ago that it is best to “sell when you can, not when you have to”. That has been a prudent guide over the years and always looms in the back of our thoughts. Real Estate is cyclical and “timing” is of paramount importance, when it comes to property values.

So, the bottom line is “stay tuned”. It may soon be an optimal time to sell, while it may be the beginning of a period in which buying opportunities will soon emerge. So depending upon which side of the fence you are on, the advice is the same……strap your seat belt on and keep your eyes open

Amazon and Whole Foods Bring Delivery Service to South Florida, New York Markets

Retail Giants to Add More Markets Across US in 2018

Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced Tuesday the start
of home delivery service for natural and organic products through Prime Now, launching the service in South Florida and parts of New York.

Prime members can shop for produce, meat, seafood, bakery items and other products from Whole Foods Market at or by using the e-retailer’s Prime Now app.
Some alcohol also is available for delivery.

The service started earlier this year and will expand across the U.S. throughout 2018, the two
retail giants said.

“We’ve been delighted with the customer response to delivery in as little as an hour through
Prime Now, and we’re excited to bring the service to our customers in Fort Lauderdale, Miami,
Palm Beach, Long Island and New York City,” Christina Minardi, Whole Foods’ executive vice
president of operations, said in a statement.

The New York City service will start with lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Shoppers can enter their zip codes at to see if they’re in the delivery area. The
service is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Online behemoth Amazon acquired Whole Foods last summer for nearly $14 billion.

Nearly two decades ago, Lakeland, FL-based Publix Super Markets started a home delivery
service that ended within two years. Since then, several other chains have launched similar

But Barry Wolfe, a retail specialist and senior managing director at Marcus & Millichap in Fort
Lauderdale, said the service has its challenges.

While many shoppers are comfortable ordering books, clothing or electronics online, they’re
not as willing to buy fresh fruit and vegetables sight unseen, Wolfe said.

“I’m not someone who believes grocery delivery will be an enormous trend,” he said. “I don’t
see it taking over the marketplace.”

Still, Wolfe adds, “You can’t minimize anything Amazon does.”

LI hospital leasing space at former Sleepy’s HQ

LI hospital leasing space at former Sleepy’s HQ

South Nassau Communities Hospital is leasing 50,000 square feet of office space at the former Sleepy’s headquarters in Hicksville and could lease and additional 50,000 square feet at the building in the near future.

The 450,000-square-foot building on nearly 19 acres at 1000 South Oyster Bay Road was opened in 2009 and housed more than 500 employees of mattress retailer Sleepy’s, which was acquired by Houston-based Mattress Firm for $780 million in 2015. Mattress Firm was then bought by South African retail conglomerate Steinhoff International Holdings in a $3.8 billion deal in 2016.

Mattress Firm still occupies 350,000 square feet of warehouse space at the building, which was built by Bethpage-based Steel Equities and an LLC controlled by David Acker, the former owner of the Sleepy’s chain. But Mattress Firm no longer needs the 100,000-square-foot office portion of the building and has already vacated the 50,000 square feet being leased to South Nassau.

Steel Equities, which had a 50 percent interest in the property, is purchasing Mattress Firm’s 50 percent stake in the property. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, which provided economic incentives for the building’s original development, will need to approve the ownership transfer and new lease terms. The item is on the IDA’s agenda for its meeting Tuesday.

South Nassau will be using its new space for back-office operations.

LI developer plans new industrial park at NYIT site

A Long Island developer is pitching a plan to build a new industrial park on the vacant New York Institute of Technology’s 90-acre property in Central Islip.

Bethpage-based Steel Equities is buying the former campus from NYIT and is proposing to develop 10 industrial buildings on the site just east of Carleton Avenue. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed.

One of several boarded up buildings on NYIT’s Central Islip property. / Google Maps image

Executives from Steel Equities, who haven’t responded to a request for comment, have recently met with representatives of local civic groups and the Central Islip Fire Department to discuss its proposal and seek community input. The site has about 20 older brick buildings on it, many of which will need to be demolished to make way for the redevelopment. The property will also need to be rezoned by the Town of Islip to accommodate the industrial park.

A town spokeswoman declined to answer questions about the Steel Equities plan and instead emailed a statement from Ron Meyer, Islip’s commissioner of planning and development.

“We are enthusiastic about facilitating the economic revitalization of the 113-acre vacant NYIT campus,” Meyer said in the statement. “A thorough public outreach process will guide the development of a new land-use plan for this area. The town planning department is committed to involving all stakeholders to participate in establishing the vision of what the subsequent redevelopment will entail.”

Debbie Cavanaugh, president of the Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors, said she thinks Steel Equities will do “a fine job” in developing its plan, though some issues linger.

“I’m concerned about the truck traffic,” she told LIBN.

Trucks servicing the proposed industrial park would have to travel 3.3 miles along Carleton Avenue and Wheeler Road to get to the Long Island Expressway.

Cavanaugh added that she’d like to see one of the NYIT buildings, Robbins Hall, transformed into a fine arts venue and would also want the redevelopment plan to incorporate a walkable downtown area with restaurants.

Formerly occupied by the state’s Central Islip Psychiatric Center, NYIT bought more than 500 acres of the 750-acre site in 1984 for the bargain price of $7,000 an acre to establish a Suffolk County campus. As part of the sale’s covenant, a portion of the property could only be used for medical or educational use. Less than 10 years after they purchased it, the school began selling off large chunks of the site for commercial development.

Since then, NYIT donated about 100 acres to the county for its Cohalan Court Complex and sold about 300 acres to various developers, creating more than 1,000 units of housing, an industrial park, a nine-hole golf course, a baseball stadium for the Long Island Ducks, two hotels and a retail center.

Though NYIT continued to hold courses at its shrinking Central Islip property, the school hasn’t operated a full college campus there since 2005 and has been trying to sell most of the remainder of the site for the last several years.

An NYIT spokeswoman said after the sale to Steel Equities, the school will retain 13 acres on the west side of Carleton Avenue, and continue to operate its Family Health Care Center at 267 Carleton Ave., though she said she couldn’t provide any further details of the plan or the sale.

In 2016, NYIT sold about 29 acres just south of Sunburst Boulevard to Bay Shore-based developer Paul Aniboli, who received economic incentives from the Islip Industrial Development Agency last year to build a 268-unit apartment complex called Gull Haven Commons. The school currently has a 6-acre parcel of undeveloped industrially zoned land at the southern end of S. Technology Drive on the market.

Developer Ron Parr of Ronkonkoma-based Parr Organization, which developed the 560-unit Park Row townhome community and some 300,000 square feet of industrial space of the former NYIT land, funded the $1.5 million master plan for the NYIT property in 1989. Parr said he also supplied the sewer and water infrastructure for much of the NYIT site and gifted $2 million to the school for its plans to renovate Robbins Hall, though NYIT never went ahead with the project.

Parr said he offered NYIT $40 million for 150 acres of the Central Islip property about eight years ago, but the deal didn’t come to fruition. Based in Manhattan, NYIT also has campuses in Old Westbury, Jonesboro, Ark., Canada, United Arab Emirates and China, according to its website.

Civic leaders were set to meet Friday with town officials to further discuss the Steel Equities redevelopment proposal.

Suffolk approves Ronkonkoma development pact

Suffolk approves Ronkonkoma development pact

The Suffolk County Legislature voted Tuesday to approve a memorandum of agreement for redeveloping about 86 acres of municipal-owned property on the south side of the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station.
The MOA was approved 14-3 with 1 abstention.

A development team headed by Jones Lang LaSalle will become the master developer for the project that would transform the site, now mostly used for commuter parking, into a mix of entertainment, hospitality and medical research uses.

The JLL team, which includes a Chicago-based investment group called Ronkonkoma Vision Project, Woodbury-based Cameron Engineering, Crawford Architects and venue management company Spectra, was selected by the county and the Town of Islip in April after answering a request for qualifications to reimagine the site located between the LIRR station and MacArthur Airport.

The development group has initially proposed a $1 billion concept that would create an arena, a convention center, 360,000 square feet of office space (including an 80,000-square-foot medical research facility), a 500-room hotel and 90,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The total project as first pitched would create 1.69 million square feet of development.

The development site includes about 40 acres of county-owned parking lot currently leased to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a 6-acre town-owned parcel just east of the parking lot and a 40-acre Islip-owned compost site south of Railroad Avenue.

According to the MOA, the development team for the south side will have eight months to come up with a final plan and “complete due diligence activities with respect to the feasibility” of the project, including “financial, market, construction, environmental, property ownership, and other aspects of the project.” If the developer decides to go forward with the pan, the term of the MOA can be extended for six more months.

Redevelopment of the property has been supported by the Ronkonkoma Civic Association which conducted a visioning of the site with the Regional Plan Association that began in 2016. The redevelopment on the south side of the LIRR station is aimed at complementing the ongoing Ronkonkoma Hub project, where Tritec Real Estate is bringing 1,450 residential units, 195,000 square feet of retail space and 360,000 square feet of office and commercial space to about 50 acres on the north side of the train station.

Long Island Association Vice President Matthew Cohen sent a letter of support for the proposed development to the Suffolk Legislature before the Tuesday vote.

“With development on the north side of the Long Island Rail Road tracks and renewed efforts to enhance the LIRR station and realize the full economic potential of the airport, the south side of the Ronkonkoma Hub could be a transformative project for the entire region…thus the LIA supports the continued study of Jones Lang LaSalle’s proposal for the south side of the LIRR tracks in order to determine what the market will support there,” Cohen wrote.

New industrial project takes shape in Hicksville

New industrial project takes shape in Hicksville *

After a lengthy approvals process, a project to create a new industrial building in Hicksville is set to begin.

The plan for a 43,000-square-foot industrial building on about 3 acres of mostly vacant land at 400 West John St. first ground-up development for Jericho-based Sanders Equities.

Originally pitched for residential condominiums by the site’s previous owner, who had already gotten approvals fro Town of Oyster Bay for the project, Sanders Equities purchased the property in 2015. The company owns more th million square feet of mostly industrial space on Long Island, about 100,000 square feet of which is on West John near its new development site.

Sanders decided an industrial use made the most sense for the property, especially in light of the area’s tight indu market, where a dearth of supply and increasing demand have combined to create a need for new modern facilitie
“We’re creating something that addresses today’s operational needs and for the future,” said Jordan Sanders, a co principal and son of its founder Art Sanders.

The new building will have ceiling heights of at least 30 feet and no columns for maximum flexibility. It was design the company’s in-house architecture team of Ted Pupilla and Nick Ernst.

Al Centrella Jr., Sanders’ in-house leasing director, is currently in discussions with prospective tenants. He said the building can be leased by a single tenant or multiple tenants. Asking rent for 400 West John will range between $ $19 per square foot. The company plans to start construction on the building this summer and expects it to be fin around the end of the year.

The Sanders project will be the second new industrial building in the neighborhood. Just a couple of blocks away, Rutherford, N.J.-based Lincoln Equities Group is planning to build a 195,000-square-foot warehouse and distributio facility on a 9-acre site on Duffy Ave. The Lincoln Equities project is scheduled to be completed in the second qua 2019.

There should be strong demand for both new projects, as Long Island’s industrial market continues to be ithehott commercial real estate sector. The industrial vacancy rate in the first quarter of the year dropped to 3.1 percent o Island and an even lower 2.9 percent in Nassau County, according to a report from Colliers International. The ave rental rate for Long Island industrial properties in Q1 was $11.36 per square foot, a whopping 9.2 percent rise fro previous quarter, while the average rent in Nassau hit $12.01 per square foot.
Art Sanders founded Sanders Equities in 1999 after serving as president of Spiegel Associates for 16 years. His so Jordan, a former analyst for institutional and private equity real estate investors, joined the firm in 2012. Since the company has focused on updating its portfolio, which is about 80 percent industrial and 20 percent retail and abou percent occupied.

“We’re trying to make a shift into properties that are more current,” Art Sanders said.
Sanders also owns the 5,000-square-foot shopping center next to the Hicksville project site, which it may eventua redevelop as well. The company is also working on another new ground-up industrial building of about 125,000 sq feet in central Nassau that still needs to get through the approvals process.

“We have confidence in this market,” Jordan Sanders said.

His dad echoed that sentiment and said the Hicksville project represents a new beginning.

“It’s important for us to keep growing,” says Art Sanders. “We’re taking a very long-term view.”