Commercial Real Estate News Brief: November 2013

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Commercial real estate is a dynamic industry. Keep up with Spaces’ monthly recaps of the most valuable industry articles we’ve recently come across, focused on news in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

U.S. Industrial Speculative Construction Sees Upturn

According to JLL researchers, 95 million square feet of industrial space is currently under construction across the country, and speculative construction accounts for nearly 50%. In fact, a recent study released by JLL revealed that construction of warehouse facilities grew 43.5% from Q3 2012 to Q3 2013.

Based on JLL’s Construction Outlook Report, speculative development will continue to increase, but at a gradual pace. Experts predict higher demand for construction in the Central and Eastern regions of the U.S. In regard to industry, e-commerce is a big driver behind industrial demand, and is also shaping the nature of demand. E-commerce currently represents upwards of 10% of total national construction.

Smart Buildings Are the Smart Choice

Smart building technologies can enhance a company’s bottom line, and result in big savings in the long run.

JLL has found that many CRE owners and investors are experiencing pressure to manage costs, risks and energy consumption,” driving them to make smarter building choices. In a recent report, JLL outlined five key benefits to investing in smart building technology. These include:

  1. Rapid return on investment
  2. Operating-expense advantage
  3. Marketing mileage
  4. Energy savings
  5. Improved corporate social responsibility (CSR) profile

An additional benefit, according to Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at JLL, is that smart technologies give owners and investors a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Interested in how it might work for your company? See how Procter & Gamble saved 13% in energy savings in five months.

It’s All About Building Views

Contrary to popular belief, CRE experts have found that tenants put more emphasis on the view from prospective office space, rather than building height, according to a recent article from National Real Estate Investor.

Steve Smith, head of the landlord leasing group at JLL, explains that building height does not play a big role in leasing negotiations. Smith even told National Real Estate Investor that tall buildings are simply “about regional bragging rights.”

News Wrap-Up In Our Region


  • University Station, a mixed-use development project near Xavier University in Cincinnati, received $43 million in financing from U.S. Bank. The first phase of the project is slated for completion in August 2014.
  • West Chester Protective Gear, a supplier of protective clothing, announced plans to move its headquarters from Monroe to Sharonville by June 2014. The new 260,000-square-foot facility is located at 11500 Canal St. in Sharonville.


  • The Northeast Ohio Media Group and The Plain Dealer Publishing Co. announced plans for relocation. Next year, The Northeast Ohio Media Group will move into renovated space at 1801 Superior Ave., while The Plain Dealer Publishing Co. will move into the Skylight Office Tower at Tower City Center downtown.
  • Starwood Capital Group of Greenwich, Conn. purchased Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted and Belden Village Mall in Canton, along with five other U.S. regional malls from Westfield Group for $1.6 billion. Starwood Retail Partners now operates a total of 19 regional malls.


  • Resource LLC, a marketing agency, announced plans to lease 60,000 square feet in the mixed-use complex located at 250 S. High St. The $50 million building is currently under construction, and is slated for completion in 2015.
  • Steiner + Associates, The Georgetown Company and Limited Brands embarked on a new construction project in the 54-acre addition to the Easton area, known as Easton Gateway. Despite the development being in its early stages, the space is nearly two-thirds full, including big name tenants like Dick’s and Field & Stream. 


  • Blackstone Group LP, owner of the 2.2 million-square-foot Southfield Town Center, has received several offers to buy the Class A office complex.
  • Niowave Inc., a company specializing in superconducting accelerator technology, announced plans for a $200 million manufacturing project near Lansing’s airport to produce radioisotopes used in medical imaging. Groundbreaking of the construction project is slated to begin in the spring.


  • Chevron Corp., an oil and gas conglomerate based in California, received unanimous approval to build its new regional headquarters campus in Moon Township. Chevron has not yet confirmed whether they will move forward with the Moon Township project.
  • The 550,000-square-foot property at 450 Nixon Road in Cheswick acquired a new tenant during the last quarter. This property is one of Pittsburgh’s large “quality industrial properties.” Now, only about 60,000 square feet remain available for lease.

Newspaper image via NS Newsflash