MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast Event “A Presentation by FocusMaine”

Breakfast Logo for Press Releases & Social MediaJoin MEREDA for breakfast on February 13 from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor for a presentation by FocusMaine, a 10-year initiative to strengthen and revitalize opportunity and prosperity in Maine by accelerating the creation of quality jobs in the areas of agriculture, aquaculture, and biopharmaceuticals. 

FocusMaine also focuses on knowledge workers, who enable growth in these sectors and has centered its efforts on traded sectors, which sell goods and services outside of the state, thereby generating more full-time work, higher wages, and more new jobs in the local economy. Importantly, they also work alongside talented partners, including Coastal Enterprises Inc., Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Maine Aquaculture Association, and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, and are led by a dedicated leadership team of private sector leaders and others deeply committed to sustainable economic growth in the state. Andrea Cianchette Maker, a partner at Pierce Atwood, and Michael Dubyak, chairman of WEX, Inc., co-chair FocusMaine. Kim Hamilton is the president.

About the Event:

February 13, 2018 – 7:30AM to 9:00AM
Cross Insurance Center
515 Main StreetBangor, ME

Breakfast: 7:30 AM
Program: 8:00 – 9:00 AM

About the Panel:

Andrea Cianchette Maker, Partner and Government Relations Practice Group Leader at Pierce Atwood, LLP provides governmental relations services in Maine and in Washington, DC with Maine’s Congressional delegation. She is pleased to be engaged as Public Policy Counsel for MEREDA. Her government relations practice focuses on real estate, economic development, health care,  education and workforce development issues. Andrea is adept at building coalitions and developing effective stakeholder relations, as well as helping clients create personal relationships with key policy and decision makers. Her sensible, proactive and direct approach is refreshing and empowering in the complex and sometimes perplexing public policy arena. Committed to creating a strong and vibrant State of Maine, Andrea enjoys working with clients and organizations to strengthen Maine’s economy. 

Andrea has developed strong and personal relationships with countless Maine policy makers, business people and association leaders. She has been active with many Maine non?profit organizations, including her current role as Co-Chair of FocusMaine. 

Andrea’s honors and distinctions include receiving the Crystal Heart Award by the American Heart Association (Maine Chapter) in 2017 as well as being named as one of four “Women to Watch” by Mainebiz and recognized by Maine magazine’s “50 Mainers” issue in 2016. 

Kim Hamilton serves as president of FocusMaine. Prior to this, Kim was Chief Impact Officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. While at Feeding America, she led their research, nutrition, and ending hunger programs. Prior to joining Feeding America, Kim served in a variety of senior roles at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including as Director of Strategy, Planning and Management for Global Policy & Advocacy. During her time with the foundation, she also led grant making programs and developed advocacy strategies to advance the foundation’s goals in a variety of fields, including, agricultural development, financial services for the poor, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WSH). Kim has also served as President of NetAid, Director of Program Planning and External Relations at the Migration Policy Institute, and in a variety of other organizations in the think tank and philanthropy fields. Kim grew up in North Yarmouth and went to Greely High School. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology with a focus on Demography from Brown University, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University for Advanced International Studies, and a B.A. from the Robert D. Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon. Kim and her husband, Barry Fitzsimmons, spend their time between Yarmouth and Chebeague Island. 

Registering for this Event:

MEREDA Member: $25 each  | Non – Member: $35 each

Register After February 6, 2018:  Member: $35 each  |  Non-Member $45 each

Your RSVP is requested by February 6, 2018. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after February 6, 2018.

This MEREDA Morning Menu Breakfast Event is Sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, Bowman Constructors, City of Bangor, Epstein Commercial Real Estate and Webber Group.

Visit www.mereda.org for more information and to register.

Posted in Business, Events, Networking | Leave a comment

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast – A Presentation by FocusMaine

Breakfast Logo for Press Releases & Social MediaJoin MEREDA for breakfast on February 1 from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM at the Portland Regency Hotel for a presentation by FocusMaine, a 10-year initiative to strengthen and revitalize opportunity and prosperity in Maine by accelerating the creation of quality jobs in the areas of agriculture, aquaculture, and biopharmaceuticals.

FocusMaine also focuses on knowledge workers, who enable growth in these sectors and has centered its efforts on traded sectors, which sell goods and services outside of the state, thereby generating more full-time work, higher wages, and more new jobs in the local economy. Importantly, they also work alongside talented partners, including Coastal Enterprises Inc., Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Maine Aquaculture Association, and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, and are led by a dedicated leadership team of private sector leaders and others deeply committed to sustainable economic growth in the state. Andrea Cianchette Maker, a partner at Pierce Atwood, and Michael Dubyak, chairman of WEX, Inc., co-chair FocusMaine. Kim Hamilton is the president.

About the Event:

February 1, 2018 – 7:30AM to 9:00AM

Portland Regency Hotel
20 Milk Street Portland, ME

Breakfast: 7:30 AM Program: 8:00 – 9:00 AM

About the Panel:

Andrea Cianchette Maker, Partner and Government Relations Practice Group Leader at Pierce Atwood, LLP provides governmental relations services in Maine and in Washington, DC with Maine’s Congressional delegation. She is pleased to be engaged as Public Policy Counsel for MEREDA. Her government relations practice focuses on real estate, economic development, health care, education and workforce development issues. Andrea is adept at building coalitions and developing effective stakeholder relations, as well as helping clients create personal relationships with key policy and decision makers. Her sensible, proactive and direct approach is refreshing and empowering in the complex and sometimes perplexing public policy arena. Committed to creating a strong and vibrant State of Maine, Andrea enjoys working with clients and organizations to strengthen Maine’s economy.

Andrea has developed strong and personal relationships with countless Maine policy makers, business people and association leaders. She has been active with many Maine non-profit organizations, including her current role as Co-Chair of FocusMaine.

Andrea’s honors and distinctions include receiving the Crystal Heart Award by the American Heart Association (Maine Chapter) in 2017 as well as being named as one of four “Women to Watch” by Mainebiz and recognized by Maine magazine’s “50 Mainers” issue in 2016.

Kim Hamilton serves as president of FocusMaine. Prior to this, Kim was Chief Impact Officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. While at Feeding America, she led their research, nutrition, and ending hunger programs. Prior to joining Feeding America, Kim served in a variety of senior roles at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including as Director of Strategy, Planning and Management for Global Policy & Advocacy. During her time with the foundation, she also led grant making programs and developed advocacy strategies to advance the foundation’s goals in a variety of fields, including, agricultural development, financial services for the poor, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WSH). Kim has also served as President of NetAid, Director of Program Planning and External Relations at the Migration Policy Institute, and in a variety of other organizations in the think tank and philanthropy fields. Kim grew up in North Yarmouth and went to Greely High School. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology with a focus on Demography from Brown University, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University for Advanced International Studies, and a B.A. from the Robert D. Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon. Kim and her husband, Barry Fitzsimmons, spend their time between Yarmouth and Chebeague Island.

Registering for this Event:

MEREDA Member: $45 each  | Non – Member: $55 each

Register After January 25, 2018:  Member: $55 each  |  Non-Member $65 each

Your RSVP is requested by January 25, 2018. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after January 25, 2018.

This MEREDA Morning Menu Breakfast Event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank and Pierce Atwood.

Visit www.mereda.org for more information and to register.

Posted in Advocacy, Business, Events, Networking | Leave a comment

MEREDA’s 2018 Annual Real Estate Forecast Conference & Member Showcase

forecast-conference-2015-artwork-buildings-w-arrowEach January, over 750 of the state’s leading real estate experts attend MEREDA’s TD Bank Sponsored Signature Event, the Annual Forecast Conference & Member Showcase.  Scheduled to be held on January 18, 2018 at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland, this unique conference brings together the largest gathering of commercial real estate professionals in Maine, and is specifically geared toward developers, brokers, architects, bankers, attorneys, accountants and other industry professionals. Each year MEREDA assembles some of Maine’s top real estate leaders to provide an economic overview and outlook on the profession’s key economic indicators, along with the popular market overview by property type, focusing on both commercial and residential real estate forecasts.

This event is well-known as an annual “must attend” for anyone involved in, or touched by, the real estate industry. You should attend if:

  • You want to network with Maine’s top industry professionals.
  • You could benefit from a sneak peek into Maine’s real estate industry – and would like to learn about key trends and transactions in regions and market segments (i.e. Southern Maine vs. Bangor region etc., and multi-family vs. retail transactions, etc.)
  • You desire a front row seat for forecasts from leading insiders about industry trends and the economic recovery.
  • You are in need of continuing education credits.
  • You believe that Maine’s real estate sector is an important economic driver and want to support the future of the industry.

Supplementing the conference each year is MEREDA’s popular Member Showcase with MEREDA members exhibiting their products and services.  The exhibition has become an integral part of our annual event providing a unique opportunity to network with MEREDA’s members.

This course is approved for 4 Hours of Architect, Broker, Appraiser and Legal Continuing Education Credits.

Registering for this Event:

Members: $100.00 ea | Non-Members: $225.00 ea
Prices increase by $15 after January 11

Special pricing is available for municipal officials ($50.00 ea) and students ($25.00 ea).

Your RSVP is requested by January 11, 2018. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after January 11.

The speaker roster for this year’s event is outlined on MEREDA’s website (which can be found by clicking the link below). Be sure to mark your calendar now to attend one of Maine’s premier real estate conferences! 

Click here for more information and to register.

Posted in Advocacy, Business, Events, Networking | Leave a comment

The Right Equation for Responsible Development: Spotlight on Young Street Apartments

In multi-part series, exclusive to the Maine Real Estate Insider, we’ll provide an up-close look at the most notable commercial development projects of the past year that are helping to fuel Maine’s economy in terms of investment and job creation.  MEREDA is proud to recognize responsible development based upon criteria including environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact and job creation.

Please join with us in celebrating Young Street Apartments.  A conversation with Dana Totman, Avesta Housing.

MEREDA:  Describe the building and project.

Dana Totman:  Young Street Apartments is a 28-unit affordable housing building for seniors nestled in downtown South Berwick. It is a short walk from the elementary school, shops, restaurants, banks, churches, and more.

This project employed 208 construction-related workers. The architect for Young Street Apartments was Lassel Architects and the general contractor was Pine Brook Corporation. Financing was provided by Bangor Savings, Neighborworks America, MaineHousing, Federal Home Loan Bank and Boston Capital.

MEREDA:  What was the impetus for this project?

Dana Totman:  In 2010, the Town of South Berwick purchased the former St. Michael’s church, located in the heart of town. The purchase included a vacant parcel of land without a purpose. South Berwick partnered with Avesta Housing and a vision was formed to build affordable senior housing. The idea was great – create a safe, quality, affordable place for seniors to live and thrive while keeping them centrally located so they can walk to the library, school, churches, and shops – but so was the challenge – obtain approximately six million dollars to fund the development.

MEREDA:  That sounds like quite a process.  How long were you in the planning stages before construction started?

Dana Totman:  For nearly half a decade, South Berwick and Avesta Housing worked together tirelessly to recruit funders to the vision of affordable senior housing in South Berwick. Gradually, funders started to be inspired by this vision and pledge their support, and the construction of Young Street Apartments was completed in December 2015.

MEREDA:  Tell us about the most challenging aspect of getting this project completed.

Dana Totman:  Funding and building this infill project in a small, rural downtown was a notable feat! As I mentioned, it took a while to get funders on board. We knew we had a great project on our hands, but it took some time for us to convince others of the merit. Once we did though, we had an enthusiastic team behind us.

MEREDA:  Something unexpected you learned along the way was….

Dana Totman:  I wouldn’t say this was unexpected, but we were reminded that our Core Values really speak to the heart of who we are as an organization. One of Avesta’s core values is Relationships, and the success of this project was all about relationships. The strong relationships established between Avesta, South Berwick, and the many funders of Young Street Apartments exemplify this.

MEREDA:  Now that it’s complete, what feature of the project do you think makes it the most notable? 

Dana Totman:  Another important relationship that was established during development was one between Avesta Housing and York Hospital to improve access to healthcare for the residents of Young Street Apartments. With a focus on “aging in place” and breaking down barriers between low-income residents and healthcare, Avesta and York Hospital are piloting an innovative telemedicine service in the private wellness room at Young Street Apartments. This service is a virtual walk-in clinic meant to bridge the gap between regular visits to a primary care physician and emergency room services with same-day access (by appointment) to medical staff who can assess various symptoms via HIPAA-compliant video conferencing equipment. York Hospital offers the program free of charge to residents.

Posted in Business, Member Articles, People | Leave a comment

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Announces Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

Michael Lane of Richmond, a partner at Preti Flaherty, has been named Co-Chair of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) Public Policy Committee.

Mike Lane Nov 2017Mike chairs Preti Flaherty’s Real Estate Group and has represented clients in all aspects of real estate and land use law, including acquisitions, dispositions, obtaining federal, state and local regulatory approvals; commercial and public financing; title and conveyancing matters. Mike has built a strong timberlands practice representing mills, land management companies and industrial land owners in complex timberlands transactions, including acquisitions, sales, operating agreements, wood supply agreements, underwriting timberland titles, Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) development compliance and permitting. He routinely appears before municipal planning boards, LUPC and the Department of Environmental Protection to permit residential, commercial and industrial projects.

Mike also serves as Vice President and General Counsel to Charter Title Company, LLC, Preti Flaherty’s wholly-owned subsidiary, a respected agent for a number of nationally recognized title insurance companies. He has substantial experience in underwriting and negotiating title insurance coverages involving multisite, multimillion dollar commercial transactions, particularly energy, industrial and timberland properties, covering Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

MEREDA’s active Public Policy Committee meets regularly during each legislative session reviewing pending bills and regulations, identifying those of interest to the membership, and works to ensure the real estate industry’s concerns are considered. The committee works to influence and shape the final form of proposed laws and regulations, and initiates new ones when circumstances warrant.   MEREDA’s Vice President and Public Policy Committee Chair, Gary D. Vogel says, “Mike has been a valuable member of MEREDA’s public policy committee.  He brings a strong and diverse background on a variety of land use and development matters to MEREDA’s public policy committee.  I look forward to working and collaborating with Mike on behalf of MEREDA’s members on the various legislative and regulatory issues that the public policy committee addresses”.

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801 or visit www.mereda.org.

Posted in Business, People | Leave a comment

Maureen Van Uden, TD Bank, Elected to the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s Board of Directors

Maureen Van Uden, Senior Relationship Manager at TD Bank, has been elected to the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA) board of directors.  Her 20+ year career at TD Bank has included Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, Small Business Lending, Regional Small Business Sales and People Management.

“Working primarily in the Lewiston / Auburn area, Maureen will be an invaluable resource for MEREDA’s Membership & Marketing Committee, on which she will also serve,” says Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations.  “We are excited to have Maureen on board.”

Maureen also serves on the Boards of SEDCO (Scarborough Economic Development Corp) as Treasurer and My Place Teen Center, an after school program that feeds and nurtures at risk youth in the Greater Portland area.

Maureen holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and a MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801 or visit www.mereda.org.

Posted in Business, People | Leave a comment

MEREDA Awards Scholarships to College Students

Over the past few weeks, MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark has traveled to meet with those Maine students receiving scholarships raised from MEREDA’s 5th Anniversary “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser.  The event raised enough funds to donate a total of sixteen $1250 scholarships to students studying at the seven schools in the Maine Community College System (MCCS) as well as two students at the University of Southern Maine (USM). The students who received the awards are enrolled as second-year students in a building trades, architecture, construction, engineering or business program.

Keep scrolling to meet some of those deserving students!

Shelly R. Clark, VP of Operations at MEREDA, presents a scholarship check to SMCC student Parastoo Seddiqi

SMCC student Parastoo Seddiqi and Shelly R. Clark 

Shelly R. Clark from MEREDA and Denis Landry from Landry/French Construction present a scholarship check to SMCC Student Nathalie Mitchell.

Shelly R. Clark, SMCC Student Nathalie Mitchell  and Denis Landry, Landry/French Construction 

Shelly R. Clark with CMCC students Nicole Belanger (left) and Sophie Martel (right)

CMCC student Nicole Belanger, Shelly R. Clark and CMCC Student Sophie Martel 

Jenn Khavari, Director of Advancement and Business Services at EMCC (left) and Bev Uhlenhake (right), Epstein Commercial Real Estate and MEREDA Board of Directors present a scholarship award to EMCC Student Luke Malloy

Jenn Khavari, Director of Advancement and Business Services at EMCC, EMCC student Luke Malloy,  Bev Uhlenhake, Epstein Commercial Real Estate and MEREDA Board of Directors 

Shelly R. Clark, VP of Operations at MEREDA presents a scholarship award to KVCC Student Benjamin Main

KVCC Student Benjamin Main and Shelly R. Clark

Bev Uhlenhake - Epstein Commercial Real Estate and MEREDA Board of Directors, EMCC student Stephen Philbrook, Shelly R. Clark - MEREDA and Jenn Khavari - Director of Advancement and Business Services at EMCC

Bev Uhlenhake – Epstein Commercial Real Estate and MEREDA Board of Directors, EMCC student Stephen Philbrook, Shelly R. Clark – MEREDA and Jenn Khavari – Director of Advancement and Business Services at EMCC

Shelly R. Clark (center), with NMCC students Joseph Carroll (left) and Brittni Basu (right)

 NMCC student Joseph Carroll, Shelly R. Clark and Brittni Basu 

MEREDA VP of Operations. Shelly Clark, YCCC Student Kelly Burgess and YCCC President Dr. Barbara Finkelstein

MEREDA VP of Operations. Shelly Clark, YCCC Student Kelly Burgess and YCCC President Dr. Barbara Finkelstein

USM Student Joshua Markee, MEREDA VP of Operations Shelly Clark and USM Student Bradley Fawcett

USM Student Joshua Markee, MEREDA VP of Operations Shelly Clark and USM Student Bradley Fawcett

 

 

An educated workforce is vital to support economic development and MEREDA strongly supports a strong education system. In fact, over the past 5 years, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $67,000 in scholar­ships assisting over 46 Maine students.

Thanks so much to all who participated in the event!  We look forward to our next Strikes for Scholars Fundraiser next year!  Mark your calendar for May 3, 2018!

Posted in Events, Networking, People | Leave a comment

Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s DevelopME Committee Co-Chairs to Participate on Board of Directors

In early 2017, MEREDA announced the formation of a new committee for its enthusiastic emerging leaders. DevelopME was formed with a simple mission: “To engage membership and create professional development opportunities within MEREDA for the next generation of industry professionals”.  In addition to creating a “Lunch & Learn” series, the committee is also working on a mentorship program and other special projects to cultivate and connect MEREDA’s future leaders within the organization.

The MEREDA Board of Directors recently approved a board seat for the DevelopME committee co-chairs. The two co-chairs will each serve one year of the 2-year term on an alternating schedule.  We are excited to announce that Sam LeGeyt of Harnden Commercial Brokers will serve this first year, and Cameron Woodford of Northern New England Housing Investment Fund will serve the following year.

Sam LeGeyt

Sam LeGeyt

Sam LeGeyt joined Harnden Commercial Brokers after graduation from the University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. Since then Sam has used his education in Finance and Real Estate to counsel and advise multiple clients across the office and investment landscapes of the Southern Maine commercial real estate market.

Cam Wood

Cam Woodford

Cam Woodford works as an Acquisitions Analyst at Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, where he helps source and analyze equity investments in affordable housing projects across Maine and New Hampshire.

“MEREDA’s board of directors are thrilled with the success of this new committee, and look forward to seeing it continue to grow”, says Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA. “Sam and Cameron have brought a lot of energy to the committee and we are excited to see what is yet to come.

Posted in Business, People | Leave a comment

Less Parking, More Walking (and Reading and Biking and…)

By Blueprint, presented by CBRE

In the not-too-distant-future, it’s predicted that autonomous vehicles will dominate cityscapes and redefine how urbanites commute.

By 2030, a quarter of all miles driven in the U.S. could be in shared autonomous vehicles, according to research by the Boston Consulting Group.

Take New York City, for instance. If drivers decided to ditch their cars in favor of self-driving vehicles, the shift could potentially free up thousands of square feet of parking space, thereby creating an opportunity for inventive reuse of the space.

To explore these possibilities, The Driverless Future Challenge, an open competition organized by Blank Space and the City of New York, solicited submissions from design and architecture firms from more than 25 countries. The premise: Imagine a New York City (one of the most congested urban centers in the world) where the advent of driverless cars could transform the design of infrastructure and the way New Yorkers regularly commute.

EMBRACING UNPREDICTABILITY

FXFOWLE Architects, a N.Y.-based architecture and urban design firm, jumped at the chance to participate in the competition, as it offered an opportunity to explore new ideas that could impact the urban realm, notes Dan Kaplan, senior partner, FAIA, LEED AP, at the firm. It was, to put it simply, a challenge.

“The one predictable thing about how autonomous vehicles are going to be adapted to daily life is … unpredictability,” says Kaplan. But if the advent of driverless vehicles lessened the demand for public parking spaces, there had to be a new and cost-effective way to reclaim these open spaces for public and pedestrianized uses. By Kaplan’s estimation, if 5 percent of the existing road bed in all of New York City’s five boroughs was converted into pedestrian areas, it would be “the equivalent of gaining a Central Park.”

“If you think of the streets as a resource, and a parked vehicle uses it only a low percentage of the time, why should it take up this very precious space for what is a very low rental?” Kaplan says.

Faced with this problem, Kaplan and his team of 15 designers, along with transportation engineer Sam Schwartz, devised a solution: FXFOWLE’s Public Square, a plug-and-play system of interlocking unitized squares that can be used for a variety of public-friendly applications, from retail stands to gardens and green space.

MODULAR GREEN SPACE

The Public Square modules can be assembled and modified into myriad configurations to meet the needs of different neighborhoods, creating a raised-floor environment for the street.

“They’re very shallow pedestal systems that basically extend the sidewalks out,” Kaplan says.

Another key feature: The squares feature interchangeable permeable surfaces and stormwater retention material that can hold 100 gallons of water. In New York City, where 72 percent of the city’s 305 square miles of land area is covered by impervious surfaces, introducing more water retention material can help offset stormwater runoff into sewers, Kaplan notes.

The installation of a Public Square module isn’t intended to be permanent. “I expect this could be a 20-year solution,” Kaplan says.

And regardless of whether or not autonomous vehicles take off as predicted, Kaplan believes there will be a demand for public space solutions like Public Square in urban areas, as well as on corporate and college campuses.

“There is such a desperate need for public space and streetscape enhancement,” says Kaplan. “And this could be deployed without autonomous vehicles serving as the catalyst.”

Article originally published on August 22, 2017 –   https://blueprint.cbre.com/less-parking-more-walking-and-reading-and-biking-and/?__prclt=Ky8x0J7w

“Blueprint, presented by CBRE, is an online magazine dedicated to telling timely and insightful stories about the transformational role real estate plays in the world.”

Posted in Business | Leave a comment

How To: Sublet your way around a commercial real estate shortage

by Justin Lamontagne, CCIM, Partner | Broker, NAI The Dunham Group

Let me paint a picture and it may sound familiar. You are a small business owner in a tight commercial real estate market. You have grown the company and are looking to hire new talent. Your office space needs have run the gamut. You started out of your home, and then set up shop at your favorite coffee house before reluctantly committing to paying for shared co-working space. Now, finally, you are ready to sign a direct lease for your own office space.

However, there’s a problem. Your company’s growth is such that it is impossible to predict how much space you will need in six months, let alone over the three to five years most landlords would require. This scenario is quite common in Maine as the bulk of our commercial transactions are driven by small- to mid-sized companies. So for the sake of these business owners and others, let’s breakdown what I believe to be the best solution for this common concern: subleasing.

At its most basic level, subleasing gives tenants an opportunity and right to find replacement tenants for their own space if things change. Some companies grow, some shrink, some pivot and need new types of space, and some go out of business. So subleasing is the most effective way to weather whatever transition your company is going through.

In most leases, subleasing is perfectly permissible contingent upon landlord review and approval of the sub-tenant. In some cases, if the new tenant’s use and credit is comparable, landlords will even release the original tenant and sign a direct lease with the new tenant.

Most impactful for some of my clients is simply knowing they have this option if things change. It allows them to rest easier and more confidently sign a long-term agreement. I have even put together deals where a client takes more space than they need, anticipating growth but fixed with a plan to sublease excess space from Day 1. Again, this is a perfectly acceptable and legal course of action if written into a lease up front.

It is important to note that subleasing does not relieve the main tenant from any liabilities or requirements of the initial lease. If anything, there are more liabilities and risks. Proper credit and financial background checks are vital. You should also consider consulting your insurance agent about any additional coverage you should carry as the result of subletting your space. You are, in essence, playing landlord and should act as such.

A common provision in sublease arrangements is that the main tenant cannot, in most cases, make money on the sublease. In other words, if a tenant signs a long term deal at $10 a square foot but the market improves and the tenant can now sublet their space for $15 a square foot, the landlord will get some or all of the additional rent. This is an important caveat that should be properly spelled out in the lease, particularly in volatile markets like we’ve seen the last few years.

Subletting commercial space is a common and important tool. It is best to consult with your attorney or local real estate representative to fully understand its impact and how it may benefit your real estate needs. As your business evolves, rest assured that this lease provision offers you flexibility over the long term.

Justin Lamontagne, CCIM, is a commercial real estate broker at NAI The Dunham Group, specializing in the office and industrial sectors. He can be reached at 207-773-7100 or justin@dunham-group.com

Article originally published in Mainebiz, March 7, 2016, http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/20160307/CURRENTEDITION/303029992/how-to:-sublet-your-way-around-a-commercial-real-estate-shortage 

Posted in Business, Member Articles, People | Leave a comment