Thursday, September 24, 2009

Value Driving Deals in Down Market

The force that is driving deals these days is value. Tenants are looking for value any way they can get it. The value begins with pricing, but goes beyond that. Value can come through, build-out, availability of furniture, term, in-house services provided, etc. Owners need to incentivize tenants by much more than pricing these days in order to get space leased. We have seen firsthand how deals either make or break in this market based on value and ease of the transaction that the Landlord can provide.

We currently represent the office portion of First Industrial’s Montville Business Center. We have approximately 43,000 SF of first class office space available for lease with an asking price of $15.75 per SF gross in a market where the average asking price is still around $25 per SF. Owners need to keep realistic expectations or else they will not have the ability to make deals. First Industrial’s sound history and full understanding of the market give them a distinct advantage over other landlords and buildings in the area when it comes to getting deals done. Our goal at the Montville Business Center is to offer tenants a great space, price and Landlord. With First Industrial as a Landlord, we can provide full in-house services to help ease the deal and move for tenants. We offer tremendous flexibility for growth and have a track record for tenant retention. We feel that all these factors will add up to successfully leasing our available space. We have had remarkable activity on the available units at First Industrial’s Montville Business Center and anticipate the signing of a few leases in the near future.

To further show that value is a driving force in the market, we recently represented a sublet space in a building that has an asking price of $26.50/SF. Our Master Tenant (who was consolidating locations) was practical and simply wanted out. Understanding that timing was vital in this transaction, we agreed to offer the space at $19/SF. There was a great demand for the space due to pricing, availability of furniture and considerable amount of term left on the lease. The amount of activity and offers we received proved that tenants are willing to move when they feel they are getting a great value. The eventual sub-tenant survived a bidding war and got into Class A space, long-term at a great price and everyone was happy. We achieved an average rent above $20/SF while only having the property listed for 2 months. This transaction could not have happened if we didn’t have a Master Tenant who understood the market conditions, a willing and able Sub-Tenant looking to take advantage of a down market (while securing a long-term lease in a quality building), and pricing that undercut the market.

Even as we seem to be sitting at the absolute bottom of a down market, deals are still out there and they are still getting done. However, it requires a lot more effort and creativity to see them through. As we already said, tenants in today’s market are looking for “value” one way or another. We think that these trends will continue moving forward and are the real basis for getting leases inked. Without the availability of these services, you will just be another building in the marketplace. The more services that a Landlord can offer, the better the chance he or she has of getting the deals.

Click on any picture to view our marketing flyer for Montville Business Center.