Posts Tagged ‘commercial real estate’
Civic leader, entrepreneur and urban visionary, Carl Dranoff is president and founder of Dranoff Properties. For over three decades, he has been a leader in creating unparalleled residential destinations that revitalize the urban core. Though based in Philadelphia, Dranoff’s work has gained national recognition and respect, with a portfolio range of historic rehabilitations, ground-up skyscrapers and complex mixed-use projects.
Dranoff earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering at Drexel University and his MBA from Harvard University. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Drexel University and has been named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young.
Q: How did you get your start in the real estate development business?
From an early age I knew I wanted to be a builder. To prepare, I armed myself with the proper education, graduating from Drexel University with a degree in civil engineering and earning an MBA at the Harvard Business School.
I started my career working for Jack Blumenfeld and Company on the 1500 Locust Street apartment project, then under construction. I’ve always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and working for Blumenfeld helped feed my dream of establishing my own company.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job? What do you find most challenging?
I love proving the naysayers wrong, undertaking projects the pundits say are impossible or too risky. Our projects are complex and the coordination and management of all the aspects really separates us from the competition. We go into cutting edge locations, reinvigorate a neighborhood, and deliver an imaginative and high quality project.
Dranoff Properties employs the best and most experienced staff, along with our veteran executive leaderships. However, we work in a very fast paced industry, and as any successful company can attest, keeping everyone on the same path can be challenging. Honestly, finding enough hours in the day is the biggest challenge I have. We have projects underway, irons in the fire and a strong vision for the future – it’s an exciting time for us.
Q: How have economic conditions affected Dranoff Properties’ strategy? Have you widened or narrowed your focus due to present conditions? Read the rest of this entry »
Continuing our series of Top 10′s focused on specific asset classes, here is our list of the Top 10 Industrial Markets in the U.S. This ranking, based on each city’s 2012 transaction volume, comes from Integra Realty Resources’ Viewpoint 2013.
9. Inland Empire
8. East Bay
6. North Jersey
4. Dallas Read the rest of this entry »
Noun, informal. A decent, upright, mature and responsible person.
Noun, slang. An awkward, clumsy, or unlucky person whose endeavors tend to fail; a loser.
Mensch of the Week:
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter
Readers of Llenrock’s Mensch & Schlemiel posts may have picked up on my tendency to cast certain commercial real estate professionals and public figures as both Mensches and Schlemiels, as warranted. That is the case today. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter–formerly honored with Schlemielhood as a result of his increasingly frosty relationship with the city’s unions–is now our Mensch of the Week.
Once again, Mayor Nutter receives the award for opposing certain predominant forces in Philadelphia’s political and economic landscape. I’ll let the Inquirer’s Inga Saffron explain:
The underlying narrative of the Nutter years has been the clash between Old Philadelphia and New Philadelphia. Old Philadelphia wants to keep decision-making within a tight group of insiders… New Philadelphia likes to cast a wider net and crowd-source big ideas. It can hardly wait for this gritty manufacturing town to be remade.
The new zoning code is the creation of New Philadelphia, and it borrows liberally from the latest urban thinking: It favors density and transit while discouraging parking… At the same time, the new code is strongly prodevelopment because it makes it easier to get permits over the counter.
Now that winter has truly arrived–reminding me once again what 20 degrees with a wind chill feels like–I’ve started thinking about energy efficiency and what it would take to avoid massive heating bills for my apartment from now until April. My monetary concerns are in many ways aligned with the environmental concerns expressed in the guidelines for LEED certification.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, created by the U.S. Green Building Council, has for many years presented a significant challenge to commercial real estate developers. While energy efficiency and sustainable building practices are certainly appealing, developers and the investors they report to also have to consider building/renovation costs and the operating income their project will generate. Many have found that LEED credits don’t necessarily contribute to the almighty Bottom Line.
LEED certification also comes with significant building complications and mountains of paperwork.
Week in Review for December 31-January 6:
- Some investors are confident in CRE for 2012, particularly when it comes to multifamily and office properties in tech-oriented markets
- Allstate’s real estate equity branch plans to grow its portfolio by $3.1 billion
In a survey of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), members discussed their top investment choices for 2012. Among other findings, the survey revealed the five most appealing cities for international investors:
- New York City
- Washington, DC
- Sao Paulo
- San Francisco
No one should be surprised that NYC and London occupy top spots on this list, but what I find funny (and maybe it’s just me) is the fact that a significant portion of Washington, D.C.–the center of government for our nation–is owned by foreign investors. (Last year, D.C. was #2 on the list, ahead of London).
We talk about REITs quite a bit here, and there’s good reason for that. REITs have emerged in the last few decades as an extremely viable investment strategy and an essential part of the commercial real estate industry. Though the corporate structure of the REIT is quite dated (it originated in the 1880s, Wikipedia informs me, and received a provision in a tax bill that Eisenhower signed in 1960), it’s proven successful in today’s economic climate.
Though this structure was originally intended to prevent investors from being taxed both corporately and individually, REITs have since proven powerful investment tools because of their ability to pool tremendous amounts of capital. As real estate investment’s answer to the mutual fund, the REIT has become a respected investment strategy. Read the rest of this entry »
Week in Review for December 24 – 30:
- REITs enjoy a successful 2011, with signs of growth for 2012
- In Canada, REITs continue their years-long trend of success with a 14% return for investors
The tension between urban and suburban areas is nothing new. For a great deal of America’s history, this dichotomy has been a major concern in politics, business, culture, and of course, real estate. At risk of oversimplifying, this divide has engendered two different schools of thought, one that supports investment and development in cities and CBDs, another that sees suburbs and sprawl as essential to the nation’s economic and cultural future.
While population statistics are firmly on the side of the former, as I discussed last Wednesday, the question of where to build, renovate, and invest is far less clear. The commercial real estate industry, it seems, must consider the benefits and risks of both market types.
Last week, a New York Times op-ed reignited the city/suburb debate (as if it needed reigniting) by calling attention to suburban office buildings, which since the 50′s have been a mainstay of corporate America. The article’s author criticizes these properties as inefficient and inconvenient, as well as environmentally unfriendly: Read the rest of this entry »