Welcome to the official blog of Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES). BRES seeks to offer insight and news concerning commercial real estate, financial investments, construction and development of the 212 communities we serve locally and nationally.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Slow but steady the forecast for real estate - KansasCity.com

New apartment projects and rebounding area home sales were the highlights of the residential real estate sector in 2012, while industrial parks and spec buildings dominated the commercial real estate sector.

Read the whole story here by the KC Star:  Slow but steady the forecast for real estate - KansasCity.com

Block Real Estate Services is Gearing up for their 2013 Market Report.  As reported by the KC Star we will be reporting growth as well! 

To be the first to get the 2013 KC Market Report click here to sign up:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 12: The KC Market Report: Happy Holidays!

All of us at Block Real Estate Services (BRES) would like to take this time to wish you a safe and wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

Check back mid-January for the full 2013 KC Market Report or sign-up here to be the first to receive when it's available.

Watch the BRES Happy Holiday Video below!

Day 11: 12 Days of the KC Market Report: Investment

The Unites States commercial real estate recovery has remained at a slow but steady pace.  The recovery has seen improved commercial real estate fundamentals, an increased number of investment transactions, increased asset pricing, and the abundance of capital in both debt and equity.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 10: 12 Days of the KC Market Report: Apartment Market Overview

The Multifamily market continues to lead U.S. housing and real estate recovery.  Increasing numbers of retiring baby boomers combined with the entry of the Millennial generation into the renter pool has created tremendous demand for high-quality, high-amenity apartment housing.  The collapse of the single-family market only accelerated these trends over the last several years, causing national multifamily vacancy to fall to 5.0% by year-end 2012, down from 5.4% the previous year. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 9: 12 Days of the KC Market Report: Healthcare Development

Key stakeholders in the industry are now making directional changes in how they practice medicine and strategize for future growth. One of the areas that cannot be overlooked in this significant shift in healthcare strategy is that of the real estate sector. Three areas that are creating a bullish environment in healthcare real estate are the:

  • Upholding of the government mandate
  • Physician reimbursement cuts 
  • Creation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 8: 12 Days of the KC Market Report: Opportunities for 2013

As 2012 comes to a close, we look to the upcoming opportunities of 2013. Where do you see the biggest opportunities for commercial real estate in 2013?

  •  Downtown?
  •  Office?
  •  Industrial?
  •  Retail?
  •  Investment?
  •  Multi-Family?

Click here to weigh in on the survey and check back for the results. Also, be sure to sign up to receive the 2013 Block Real Estate Services Market Report. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 7: 12 Days of the KC Market Report: Rebound Year for Construction

2012 was a rebound year for construction and development as a whole for the Kansas City market place.  The rebound by sector differed slightly across the board, but overall construction activity was up significantly in 2012 compared to the past couple of years.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 6: 12 Days of the Market Report: Industrial Opportunities

As we prepare for 2013, Block Real Estate Services, looks to identify the industrial opportunities in the Kansas City Commercial Real Estate market, like the 175th St. Commerce Centre.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 5: 12 Days of the Market Report: Kansas City Wins IKEA

In September, IKEA announced that they had chosen Kansas City over St. Louis for the location of a new store, due to open in 2014. Merriam Town Center sold to IKEA for a 349,000 square foot store on the site of Meriam Village, a $73.5 million vacant shopping center. They will demolish the center developed in 2008 aimed at housing Circuit City prior to their demise.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 4: 12 Days of the KC Market Report: How Streetcars Will Shape Downtown Kansas City

Late October, Jackson County court administrator’s office mailed out ballots Tuesday to 697 downtown registered voters who qualified for the downtown streetcar mail-in election. Today, those ballots are due and the city will see what will come of the Downtown Streetcar Initiative.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Day 3: 12 Days of the Market Report: Where Do You Think The Unemployment Rate Will Be In 2013

As we wrap up 2012, the unemployment rate stands at 7.9%. This downward trend is promising, but will it continue? Where do you think the unemployment rate is going to land at end of 2013? Click to weigh in and check back for the results. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 2: 12 Days of the Market Report: 2012 Market Report Overview

Every year, Block Real Estate Services releases a comprehensive report that sheds light on trends in the Kansas City Commercial Real Estate sector. This next year, BRES is excited to present the 2013 Market Report with even more rich content that will give the industry a leg up on the year.

A year ago, at the end of 2011, the country faced some pretty grim statistics with a nearly 9% unemployment rate. From 2001 to 2011, the Kansas City Metropolitan area lost over 100,000 jobs over the 10-year period. Good news for Kansas City is that it is expected to add a surprisingly high 36,700 jobs in 2013. Kansas City has also been noted for a variety of other accomplishments that give hope for a fast turnaround out of the bad economy:

Friday, December 7, 2012

12 Days Of Market Report Begins!

Every year, Block Real Estate Services releases our comprehensive Market Report, lending insight on commercial real estate in the Kansas City market. Kansas City continues to see many more exciting development projects planned or already under construction over the next 24 months as well as strong investment activity. Sign up to receive the Market Report in your inbox when it is released.

Managing Principal, Kenneth G. Block, kicks off the 12 days:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

To Lease or to Build?

It is a big decision for an organization to decide to relocate. If time provides, businesses should carefully consider their options with an open mind, as there are many opportunities for businesses to find a location with attractive scenery and an attractive price. In this post, we'll identify the benefits of building and leasing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Employing an Architect Achieves Successful Development Projects

Kevin Berman of Hoefer Wysocki Architecture lends his insight on the role and contribution of an architect to the dollars and sense of successful development projects. 

When exploring a go, no-go decision on a potential development project, employing an architect for a project evaluation is essential. The complexities of a project will vary, and the extent of services needed to evaluate the project will vary as well. A project scope will be defined by the owner’s financial objectives which will in turn be integral with the projects budget. A speculative project balances cost with project scale. Market forces dictate what the project can handle, whether on a basis of lease or sale of the asset.  Some important design studies that an architect will provide include...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why Managing a Property is Like Putting on a Thanksgiving Dinner

Putting on a proper Thanksgiving dinner demands orchestrating and arranging many elements to make the ideal meal. Just like a Thanksgiving dinner, managing a property requires the right ingredients at the appropriate amounts and the proper timing to make everything come together. In light of the Thanksgiving holiday this week, we decided to show how managing a property is very much like putting together a Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Alternative Uses for Retail Property

Like the ghost towns of California that were left to wither away after the gold rush, many retail centers are becoming America's new small scale versions of the ghost town. These buildings are often useless, ugly splotches on communities, unable to maintain retail renters in an already saturated market.

Friday, November 9, 2012

BRES Honors Veterans

This Veterans Day, Block Real Estate Services honors those who served our country with hundreds of American flags on display at 112th and Nall in Overland Park, KS. BRES couldn't have done it without the help of Boy Scout Troop 584 who helped install the flags. The flags will be on display until November 12th. Click here to see the flag display photo gallery on the Kansas City Star.   Or click below to watch our  video. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Creating A Winning Property Presentation

A property presentation is the unique opportunity to get in front of your potential client and have their undivided attention. There are none of the usual barriers that keep you from a potential client: secretaries, appointments, etc. You have the floor.  Now, how will you fill that time in the most effective way possible?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Six Scary Property Management Mistakes

When trying to think of something really terrifying for Halloween, we decided to dive into the depths of a commercial real estate agent's worst nightmares. Among these terrors are poorly managed properties. Don't go to the dark side with these scary property management mistakes, or your property could turn into a haunted house pretty quick!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to Obtain a Commercial Real Estate Loan

This guest blog post is authored by Joe Neuerburg, Vice President at Mutual of Omaha Bank

While most people are familiar with the process of purchasing a home and obtaining a residential mortgage, financing a commercial property is a completely different experience.  Not only is the process more complex, the stakes for your business are high – so it’s important to enter the decision carefully with an understanding of what to expect.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Multifamily Collaboration on a Big Scale

2012 has been a great year for the Multifamily industry. There are new opportunities, developments and technological advances everyday. One of the ways to fully capitalize on what’s happening is by putting yourself out there through networking and sharing information with other professionals.

Elevating Your Elevator Pitch To The Next Level

In our last post about preparing in the last 24 hours before a conference, we briefly touched on having your elevator speech ready for a conference. However, the importance of having a compelling elevator speech extends far beyond the conference realm. As a Commercial Real Estate professional, the handful of minutes that you have someone's attention, on the phone or in person, can make or break the potential for a future deal. Therefore, equip yourself for success by elevating your elevator speech to the next level.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What You Should do in the 24 Hours Before a Conference

As was discussed in our previous blog post, the level of preparation that you put in before a conference determines your success at and after the conference. As you get down to the last 24 hours before your conference, there will be a multitude of items to attend to, not to mention, preparing to leave the office. These items are simple things that can be easily forgotten in the mix, but are so important to remember to cross off your checklist:

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Importance of Incorporating Customer Service into Property Management

In Justin Larson’s previous post, he discussed how apartments should be viewed as a consumable product. Larson touched upon the importance of treating your property as a store front and your managers as the helpful staff. Taking this idea one step further, ask yourself is this kind of approach you are taking as a property manager? More importantly, ask yourself, as CRE Vine does in this article: What have you done for your tenants today?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SIOR Development Day a Success!

The Western Missiouri--Kansas Chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) had it's 23rd Anniversary of it's SIOR Development day! 62 exhibitors had the opportunity to present their properties, products and/or services. The exhibitors include commercial real estate firms, developers, construction companies, engineers, architects, lenders, service companies, and area Economic
Development Associations, among others.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Networking on a National Level

In a previous post about networking, BRES discussed the importance of joining and taking leadership in a club or networking organization. I wanted to build on this share and some insight from recent experiences that have expanded my professional circle and taken my company's presence to a national level.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Preparing for a National Conference

Attending a national conference in your industry is an exciting opportunity to represent your company on a national level and grow as an individual. Unfortunately, simply registering and showing up will not deliver the full value. Anyone going to a conference wants to gain national exposure, but how can you accomplish this with only a few employees attending? The answer: preparation.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Apartments as a Consumable Product

Apartments are consumable products. At our company, Block Multifamily Group, (BMG) we understand this concept through the Retail lens. Through this lens, we imagine the property as a retail shop, with the front door being the property’s entrance; the product for sale being the units; the store being the grounds and the salespeople being every member of the Management, Leasing and Maintenance staff. This approach has proven to be a critical management tool, and we have seen great on site improvements as a result. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Increasing the Value of Commercial Real Estate

Increasing a commercial properties value is the owner’s ultimate goal and it doesn’t always mean you have to spend money to increase the value. NOI, or net operating income, is determined by subtracting the operating expenses from the gross operating income. A savvy property manager can find multiple ways to increase NOI while spending very little. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Evaluating Your Company's Lease

Location, Location, Location! is a phrase most commonly used in commercial real estate. The location of your business is one of the most vital aspects of the success and longevity of a business. Currently, there are a substantial amount of vacancies in various commercial real estate sectors. As a result, many companies are wondering, like the English pop band, the Clash, wondered: “should I stay or should I go now?"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Best Free Apps For CRE Professionals

Commercial Real Estate professionals are always on the go: doing tours, meeting with clients, negotiating contracts. With the rise of technology, brokers and property managers now have tools at their finger tips to make their jobs easier while they are on the go. These free mobile applications are the top picks from the brokers at Block Real Estate Services:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Establishing and Maintaining Positive Relationships with Tenants

High quality customer service and building strong tenant relationships is paramount in property management and is the key to increasing tenant retention.   With these tough market conditions, it is crucial for property managers to sharpen their management skills, attract new prospects, and satisfy current tenants while adhering to a budget.  Combining all of these variables, while attending promptly and properly to tenant needs, can protect and increase the value of the investments.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Outlook on Commercial Real Estate For 2nd Half of 2012

Recently, Block Real Estate Services, (BRES) LLC was honored to be featured in the Midwest Real Estate News Best of the Best 2012. See how BRES ranked. In the issue, BRES' Managing Principal Kenneth G. Block shared his insight on CRE for the remainder of 2012:

Currently, multifamily and the assisted-living side of the market are strong. A tremendous amount of multifamily projects have been sold, thus, showing a significant development opportunity in this sector. Young people are also playing an influential role in the success of multifamily. As a result of the economy, significant changes have developed in young people’s attitudes towards owning homes.  They don’t see buying a home as an investment, and are looking at multifamily residential to provide more flexibility. This is a big change for our country, and it bodes well for the future of the multifamily market.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Generating Value for a Managed Multifamily Property

Block Multifamily Group's (BMG) goal is to generate an increase in value for our managed assets. The increase in value for our managed multifamily asset lies squarely with the line item known as NOI (Net Operating Income). NOI is derived by subtracting your operating expenses (not including mortgage payments) from your Gross Income. Our topic is not about determining a purchase price for an asset, but to concentrate on items that “create value” or “create “an increase in the NOI.  This is the “line item” that all owners and clients focus on.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BRES Banding Together To Make a Difference

Banding together as a company to give back to the community is a vital component in helping enhance and build rapport within your community. In Property Management, we are in a never-ending position to create and maintain solid, long-term relationships with not only our Tenants, but the community in which we work. For Block Real Estate Services, (BRES) this is nearly every community throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan area and growing still. We value and take pride in our jobs every day and are always looking for ways to improve on our services to be ready to assist and contribute to our community...

Developing strong relationships with local government, police and fire personnel is just one of the many ways we can enhance the property management and tenant experience. With an industrial portfolio of over 1.4 million SF in Platte County alone, many opportunities have presented themselves to partner with Riverside Police Department. Since early 2008, BRES has assisted both the SWAT and K-9 divisions with new challenging locations for training opportunities. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tenant Improvements Sustain Landlord / Tenant Relationship

Tenant improvements are essential and vital aspects of leasing. When planning tenant improvements, you are faced with a variety of decisions and questions:
  • Will this result in a ROI?
  • How will I balance scheduling, estimation and job cost?
  • Will I be doing green practices?
  •  How will I manage contracts with designers, vendors and contractors

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Adding Value: Block Technology Solutions

When hitting rough economic times, a company gains a competitive advantage by adding to their services while others cut back. Client services should be a low line item when trimming items out of the budget. Continuing to offer above and beyond service sets you apart from the rest. Seeking to provide further needed services to our clients and tenants,  BRES added a new division called Block Technology Solutions (BTS). This new division assists tenants in: consultation, planning, and installation services for voice, data, and security systems including servers, switches, routers, workstations, access systems, and security cameras/monitoring. BTS also leverages significant relationships with local telephone, cable and wireless providers resulting in improved response time for installations and loss of connectivity repairs.

These services help make our clients' lives easier and in the case of Pinnacle Construction Group; help get the job done.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Going Green, Saving Money

Sustainability is a vital and recurring topic discussed throughout the commercial real estate realm. According to CoStar Group article about "Green Buildings", green practices are “reducing long-term operating and occupancy costs, improving occupant health and boosting employee productivity.” The study also found that “green building demonstrated higher average occupancy levels.” These findings show how sustainability is an essential feature in environmental and cultural preservation. Also, maintaining a healthy community and environment is an invaluable practice in commercial real estate.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BRES makes next round of the KCBJ Social Madness Challenge

Block Real Estate Services (BRES) is thrilled to have made the next round of the Social Madness challenge in the small company size bracket (fewer than 100 employees) and we are the only CRE firm. We started out among 400 companies and now we are a part of the top eight performing companies in Kansas City competing in head-to-head match ups.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Importance of Giving Back to Your Community: BRES in the Community

Supporting a charity or non-profit is a great way to give back to those who have supported and helped sustain your business's success. Giving back to your community has many intangible benefits such as the feeling of connectives, community pride and satisfaction of helping others. There are also tangible benefits to giving back to the community. For example, giving back can raise your business profile and bring in more customers or clients.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

BRES Pushing CRE Edge in Social Madness

It’s been an exciting and competitive two weeks, since starting the Business Journal Social Madness challenge and we are proud to report that we’ve been able to successfully stay within the top eight spots throughout this entire competition.

I’m sure many people are thinking “What is this social madness?” This unique corporate media challenge measures the growth of a company’s social presence. The top eight local businesses will move on to face off in the nationwide Business Journal Social Madness Challenge. Block Real Estate Services (BRES) was chosen out of 400 other companies to compete in this challenge. What's even more exciting is that BRES is one of few CRE (Commercial Real Estate)  companies competing and we are proud to bring some social media to CRE.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Developer Success Found With Flexibility

Stephen Bessenbacher - Block Healthcare Development
One of the key words, if not THE key word, to describe a successful developer is flexibility.  In today’s ever changing economic times, it has never been more true that the only constant is change.  A developer that can’t adjust to change encounters, puts them or their development in a position to fail on multiple fronts. That means they are one step closer to losing trust with key investment partners, one step closer to failed construction projects, one step closer to facing lender recourse.

On the flip side, building a development project that doesn’t just look good on paper, but actually has the ability to be flexible in case of the development “curve balls” that will be thrown your way, will allow for a successful project, bringing solid returns to your investors and provide the foundation for long-term peace of mind.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Innovation In A Recession Leads To Success

At Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES) our priority is to continuously improve the quality and range of services provided to our clients and investors.  By focusing on innovation for the future we have emerged from the recession stronger than ever.  Following are a few examples of new services we have introduced:

Offering New Services to Clients While Others Cut Back
BRES added a new division to provide IT needed services to our clients and tenants called Block Technology Solutions (BTS). This new division:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How To Work Networking as a CRE Professional

As a CRE professional, your connections are everything. Your contacts are an important factor that supplies the business from which you sustain your living. Without your “rolodex”, you may as well roll out of real estate. Social individuals thrive in CRE because when you get down to it: it’s all about networking. However, time is money, so one must be sure to invest in the areas that are going to get a good return in the future.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

BRES Breaks Through The Barriers: Block Multifamily Group

As Real Estate begins to emerge out of a tumultuous economic downturn, individuals seeking housing are less willing to buy and commit themselves to purchasing a house. Also, baby boomers are retiring out of the workforce, seeking condos and senior apartment living. While office, industrial and retail sometimes struggle with a weaker demand, a strong fundamental recovery in rental housing demand has propelled apartments to a broad recovery in occupancy, rental rates and investor pricing.

According to the Block Real Estate 2012 Market Report, “With more than 3 million foreclosures since 2009, profound shifts in demographic, economic and social patterns have changed the way many Americans, particularly those of the millennial generation, feel about home ownership. This, combined with the entry of the first wave of ‘echo boomers’ graduating from college, has resulted in the addition of an estimated 1.4 million renter households.” (Read more from the 2012 Multi-Family blog post).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Block Funds Principal Rallys with the National Association of Realtors

This May, I had the privilege of attending the Mid-Year Meetings for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to advocate for current legislative issues that impact more than 1,000,000 Realtors across the country. With the upcoming election and critical tax reform approaching in the Fall, 2012 is an especially important year for Realtor advocacy. To highlight the importance of the issues at hand, the Realtors organized the Rally to Protect the American Dream at the National Monument that included 13,500 members in person and more than 14,000 members participating online. Several Senators and Congressional Representatives attended the rally to show their support for many of the issues below. After the rally, Realtors from each state went to the hill to meet directly with their respective Senators and Congressional Representatives. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Finding the Right Broker: Knowledge is Power

The evolution of Block Real Estate Services (BRES) is a natural progression for a family committed to success through real estate.  Most people know that Ken, Steve and Mike develop and invest in the real estate market.  Many investors including yours truly has had the experience of investing with the Blocks and receiving a regular monthly dividend.  What many people fail to realize is the incredible pool of real estate talent available at BRES.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Commercial Real Estate Funds: The Alternative Investment

Many investors do not have the experience, time or knowledge to invest directly in commercial real estate and have no desire to quit their day job to solely focus on their CRE portfolio. If this is the case for you, a real estate fund may be the solution. Most well managed funds provide the investor with a portfolio of properties that match the investment objectives of the fund and, at the same time, relieve the investor of the day-to-day activities that come with investing in commercial real estate. Not all commercial real estate funds are created equal and investors need to make sure the fund objectives meet their personal risk tolerance, time frame and return expectations before the investment decision is made. Learn more about the benefits and risks of commercial real estate investments and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recession-Proof Recipe for Growth

In 2006, Block Maintenance Solutions (BMS) began as a simple LLC that was comprised of Building Maintenance Technicians and Engineers in total about 16 employees.  The company remained unchanged until 2009. At that point, BMS began to grow. Over the next three years we grew to over 40 employees, and a full spectrum of building services that include:
  • Construction / build-out
  • HVAC service / installation
  • Electrical service
  • Plumbing
  • Locksmith and security
  • Project Management
  • Inspections
  • General Contracting
The revenues are up from approximately $600K in 2009 to a projected $3.6M for 2012. Anyone that has not spent the last 10 years in a comma, knows that the last three years have been some of the roughest economical times. How did we grow? We followed a simple recipe:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is CRE Prepared for Senior Housing Boom?

Commercial real estate took a deep dive in 2008, and many sectors found their projects incomplete and with lack of capital to continue. However, as Baby Boomers begin to retire, these medical and retirement focused markets are seeing an opportunity in catering to America’s aging population. Investors are beginning to identify a wise choice in putting their money into assisted-living rental properties, which are tied to health care rather than personal housing choices.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not Everything is Peaches in Georgia: Challenges and Success of BRES Atlanta

Although we have been purposefully quiet for the past nine months, the 1.4 million SF Block Atlanta portfolio came under the management of BRES Atlanta in the summer of 2011 and we took off. With budget season coming on for the 19 building portfolio, a load of planning and learning the portfolio was a warp speed experience to be able to meet the budget deadlines and offer up accurate and timely work product. Well, as you can see, we did survive and we did pull it off—but that is why you have not heard a lot out of us here in the Peach State.

The BRES Atlanta management team consists of 
  • Bert S. Calvert, Managing Director, Atlanta Operations
  • Renee Harrison, Property Administrator
Our engineering team consists of
  • Michael Granberry, Building Services Engineer 
  • John “JD” Duncan, Maintenance Engineer
Our combined years of experience will tell you more about our ages than we care to disclose but suffice it to say, we all thoroughly enjoy what we do since we have been doing it for so many years.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Concerns For Office Properties Rise As Leases Roll Over To Reduced Rates

Despite forecasts of decreasing vacancies and increasing rental rates in 2012, there are still major concerns for owners of office properties. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, authors Craig Karmin and Eliot Brown cite that the national delinquency rate of securitized office loans increased 1.4 points from 7.4% last June to 9.0% in December. This is familiar news to real estate professionals in Kansas City who recently witnessed owner Hertz Investment Group default on their $21.5M note for Commerce Tower in Downtown Kansas City. Karmin and Brown explain this trend by saying that due to the typical 5 year office lease, leases signed at peak rates in 2007 are now rolling over with tenants signing at drastically reduced rates.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tips On Property Management During Foreclosure

The Bella Sera Condominiums
During the foreclosure process, properties can often fall into such disrepair and lack of management, that they are completely unattractive to any prospective buyer. Block Real Estate Services Property Manager, Amy Sanchez, shares insight on how to maintain a property during this difficult period to avoid distress.

In an effort to preserve the Bella Sera Condominiums during a 9-month foreclosure process, BRES entered into a property management agreement with M&I Bank in December of 2010.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The KC Foodie Market Report: Unique Client Eats

In such a diverse culinary city as Kansas City, there are more creative places to take clients than the same old. Is another lunch at Capitol Grille going to make a mark on their memory? I love the Capitol Grille's French Onion Soup as much as the next guy, but in a business like CRE, you've got to make an impression. Don't spend your bucks on same old. Below, I have highlighted three delicious joints to take clients that are sure to please and demonstrate your knowledge of the city, broken up by individual submarkets.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Real Estate Tips For Doctors

When choosing which space is best for their practice, physicians and dentists can have unique requests. Compared to general office tenants, they are oftentimes more specific in where they want to be, based upon factors such as proximity to a hospital, demographics, distance from competitors, and co-tenancy.  Doctors also have higher finish-out costs due to extensive plumbing, millwork, and equipment; in many cases, they require 50-100% additional expense.

On account of being more particular on location and the greater investment, as well as that they are relatively stable in size, medical office users tend to make longer commitments and consequently are “in the market” less.  Something else that is important to this group is accessibility – in terms of travel time, being found, visitor parking, and ease into and out of the building.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sowing Seeds for Growth With Value-Added Acquisitions in St. Louis

Joseph Hill from our Block Hawley office, located in St. Louis, weighs in on the investment outlook for the St. Louis area.

In 2011, private Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) and well capitalized private investors began sowing seeds for the future by acquiring investment grade industrial assets at as low as 50% of replacement cost. The wheels were set in motion back in 2009 when the public REITS started offering major rent concessions in order to boost portfolio occupancy for the sake of damage control on Wall Street. It was widely believed that these extremely low rates would be very short-term, but they remained low longer than expected.

Those hardest hit were the private investors whose pre-recession pro formas did not account for a 50% drop in Class A rental rates. Class B and C properties lost their niche as the low cost option, and several of these owners have been forced to sell. Some of the Class B tenants have chosen to upgrade faclities with better functionality and increased efficiencies at minimal additional cost. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Money In Multifamily: The Final Investment Series Post

As the final blog post in our three-part series focused on CRE investments in Kansas City, we look to the multi-family market sector and also sum up the overall 2012 outlook.

The darling of the commercial real estate investment world continued to be multi-family. With long-term debt at sub-4% interest rates provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, buyer activity remained “white \ hot.” Multi-family investment sales activity in 2011 outpaced the number and quality of transactions completed in 2010. The 340-unit Barrewoods Apartments sold at a 5.72% cap rate for $100,735 per unit ($34.25 million). The 324-unit Cordillera Ranch was sold by Sentinel Real Estate Corporation to A.G. Spanos Companies for nearly $32.6 million and at a 6.34% cap rate. Sentinel Real Estate Corporation also purchased the Fairways at Corbin Park, a 276-unit complex in Overland Park, Kansas, for $30.5 million at a 6.0% cap rate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Block Funds Syndications Breakdown

As an active, growing firm, we are constantly presented with property investments. Investor capital is what allows us to readily act on these opportunities. Thus, Block Funds manages our Syndications with a strategic outlook on maximizing investor outcomes.