Emergency Alert System Sound!!

What is with that annoying sound that resembles an old dial up modem connection that occurs at the beginning and end of the emergency alert system?  This is a topic that has nothing to do with commercial real estate or new business developments, but I just heard that attention getting sound as it interrupted the radio program and I couldn’t help but wonder why this particular sound is still used?  Isn’t there a modern way to get listeners attention?

Well interestingly, the sound and tones used are called a SAME header, Specific Area Message Encoding.  That specific digital sound contains information and automatically triggers EAS equipment located in each radio station.  Stations do not need to be manned at the time of the alert and the system automatically interrupts whatever is being broadcast at the time. There is data within the tones including who send the message, the type of emergency and what areas are affected.  There is also a different set of tones that occur at the end of the EAS message that signals the end and turns off the equipment.

Interesting bit of info that one rarely thinks about.


Rib Shack in Granger

The Rib Shack is now gone.  The site on which this locally famous restaurant formerly resided shall become additional parking for the adjacent medical practice.

It has been a while since we have seen new developments in the Granger area.  Within a small area, this ‘downtown’ portion of Granger has many businesses serving the local population and those traveling along SR 23.  Banks, a pharmacy, a grocery store, restaurants, a handful of bars, an auto dealer, medical practices and more.  There is even a farmers market.  There is an obvious demand for certain businesses, but what do the residents of east Granger want next and what will they support?

There are a couple properties with homes for sale nearby that require demolition to convert to commercial use.  There is only one small vacant parcel next to the former Rib Shack that is for sale and we look for what the demand is in the area for new construction.  Is there a local bank we need that isn’t here?  I would like your ideas!

Uneven Michiana Recovery

Sunday’s (11/9/2014) South Bend Tribune featured an interesting article written by Kevin Allen about the economic in the Michiana Area.  In the article, Allen wrote about the recovery and then the back step South Bend/Mishawaka took in 2013.  That was compared to the significant downturn Elkhart had in the recession but then the dramatic turnaround that took place from 2010 to 2013.

Interesting to note was the GDP of each city in 2013.  South Bend/Mishawaka GDP was $12.7 billion while Elkhart’s was $11.7 billion.  These numbers are very close to one another.  SB/Mishawaka has significantly more population than Elkhart, but Elkhart has the majority of manufacturing employers, especially those in the RV industry.

The article was comparing the economies of the two cities that share a border.  As Jim Skillen of Newmark Grubb Cressy & Everett points out, it is best to consider the entire region as a whole.  If people can forget about that “invisible border between the counties called Ash Rd” and think about the area as a large economic force, Michiana is truly a dynamic and powerful engine.  Elkhart has the large manufacturing and distribution base and South Bend and Mishawaka have strength in the retail and office market.  Workers from Elkhart shop and seek entertainment in South Bend and Mishawaka, bringing their spending money with them.  Other Elkhart residents find their employment in either South Bend or Mishawaka and make their short commute.  Many people work, shop and live in each of the three different cities.  The point is to consider the entire market as a region.  We should all rejoice when Elkhart adds another manufacturing business or when Mishawaka lands a new Costco.  Elkhart should support research and development companies locating in South Bend.   Never fear, the economic progress in any one of the cities will benefit the entire region and everyone in it.  Let’s just agree each city has it’s focus and strength, accept it and continue to improve upon it.

An uneven recovery


Why should you use a Commercial Broker to lease your office?

After all, leasing an office space or any space for your business seems relatively easy.  Identify the building you like, get the information on the lease rate, decide when you can move in and then sign the landlord’s lease.  Perhaps you would even be able to negotiate a better lease rate than the one advertised by the landlord and save money on rental payments.  So if it’s that easy, why do we need a commercial broker?

There are a few benefits that enlisting the services of a commercial broker will add to the transaction.

  1. Identifying the right office

A good commercial office broker will not only take the time to understand your current and future space and location needs, but they are aware of all alternatives in the market and some of those yet to be available.  Brokers with experience can provide cost savings options to reconfigure space, potentially making due with less.

  1. Further rent savings

Commercial brokers have a good understanding of a landlord’s costs and bottom line.  They know comparable lease deals that the market is demanding, what the leasing activity is like and how to leverage tenant strengths to negotiate a better lease rate.

  1. Handle all lease negotiations

The future relationship between a landlord and a tenant is important and best if it is on good terms.  A broker acts as an independent party and can insulate the tenant from any negative emotions that could arise during negotiations.  A good broker will work to get the best deal for the tenant, knowing where it will likely end up and preserving the relationship.  A broker will also simultaneously get lease proposals from multiple landlords, essentially creating a bidding war and giving the tenant options to consider.

  1. Review the lease document with careful attention to tenant’s rights and responsibilities

Landlords often shift maintenance responsibilities on to the tenant without the tenant even realizing it.  A broker will ensure that the tenant has rights should a landlord default on various services they are responsible for and that a reasonable cure period is in place for default by either party.

  1. Add to tenant’s value with additional terms

Besides the rental rate and term length, there are many items that should be negotiated and can add immense value to the tenant.  Some of these include tenant improvement allowances, parking, first right of refusal, renewal terms, lease assignments, expansion rights and more.

  1. Time

A broker devotes his time to working on real estate and leases.  Business owners have their business to run and should devote their time to that business.  Brokers will handle all the paperwork and negotiations and ultimately speed up the process of signing new leases.

There are various reasons to use a commercial real estate broker for your lease, whether it be a new lease or a renewal, an office space, or a retail or industrial space.  A broker’s service is generally at no cost to the tenant but will add value in time, money and final destination of the business.