Monday, May 23, 2016

Surfing at RECon 2106: The Next Big Wave in Retail?

The out-of-ocean surfing revolution has begun, thanks to American Wave Machines with authentic indoor and outdoor surfing experiences. 

With a proven pay-for-surf model that pairs well with retail, including apparel, sporting goods and dining, surf parks are poised for development around the world, attracting a wide audience from kids to adults, including amateurs on boogie boards to top professional surfers.

According to recent Associated Press reports, retail executives confirm the growing trend toward entertainment attractions. "Shopping centers and the physical retail experience is becoming much more experiential," said Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. "People want to have experiences when they go out. They want that kind of all-in aspect. They want the aesthetics and the look to be something that is engaging and appealing to them."

“In today’s economy where consumers are valuing a premium experience over material goods, surfing provides an exhilarating and unique experience that attracts consumers for an extended stay” said American Wave Machines Founder and President Bruce McFarland. “American Wave Machines is the leader in the out-of-ocean surf revolution, with successful installations in a variety of formats including standalone surf parks, retail facilities, resorts and more.”

The revolution began in 2013 when the first indoor surf park in the United States made its debut. Surf’s Up New Hampshire in Nashua, is powered by American Wave Machines’ SurfStream® technology and features the world’s largest standing wave system in the world with a 32-foot channel. Since its opening, beginners and experienced surfers have been thrilled with the wave technology that can produce two to six-foot waves, including barreling waves, 365 days a year, no matter what Mother Nature has in store for New England.

The following year, American Wave Machines’ SurfStream technology was introduced in a retail shopping center at Oasis Surf. Located within the Quartier DIX30 mall, the SurfStream at Oasis Surf has been a huge success, with Canada’s first indoor surfing attraction drawing crowds with an exhilarating surfing experience and increased dwell time. The 10,000 square-foot venue makes Canadians feel like they are part of the California surfing scene with a beach themed restaurant, bar and retail shop. With the success of Oasis Surf, plans are in the works for new locations in Canada.

“At Oasis Surf, our customers experience real surfing on American Wave Machines’ SurfStream technology,” said Claude Coudry, president and founder, Oasis Surf. “By offering consumers an opportunity for a highly sought after activity like surfing, retail facilities can draw people in and provide an exhilarating experience. Good food and drink, an amazing atmosphere and phenomenal surfing keep people coming back.”

American Wave Machines has invented and manufactured two products, SurfStream®, a tennis-court sized pool that generates natural feeling standing waves and PerfectSwell®, the first and only air-pressure system to recreate naturally occurring ocean swells. PerfectSwell is equivalent to a football-sized pool and allows surfers to paddle out and surf.

The Ultimate in Experiential Retail
Surfing as an anchor attraction not only serves as a daily entertainment destination, but also doubles as a premier event venue, hosting everything from private parties and team building outings to sanctioned competitions. With waves suitable for experienced surfers and professionals, American Wave Machines’ technology has enabled the first indoor surfing competitions in both the United States and Canada, as well as the first indoor wake surfing competition. These events generate buzz as well as increased foot traffic.

“Surfing is the world’s most aspirational sport, and American Wave Machines’ technology has eliminated the barriers to try surfing 365 days a year, no matter how far they are from the ocean,” McFarland continued. “Our waves have proven to attract customers on a daily basis, with special events that bring surfers from around the world and spectators who spend a day watching real surfing.”

“From indoor to outdoor, small scale or large scale, we have the right technology for an authentic out-of-ocean surfing experience, providing surfable waves on demand, no matter the location,” McFarland concluded. “In 2016, the sky’s the limit to where we can bring surfing around the world.”

Sunday, May 22, 2016

First Coast Apartment Association Honors Members with Circle of Excellence Awards

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The First Coast Apartment Association (FCAA) presented their 21st Annual Circle of Excellence Awards on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at the historic Florida Theater in Downtown Jacksonville.

The association recognized the outstanding accomplishments of its members in dozens of categories during the awards gala. 

The FCAA serves the apartment industry in Duval, Clay, St. Johns, Flagler, and Nassau Counties and highlighted the highest level of service and commitment to the multifamily industry.

Prestigious Circle of Excellence trophies, from Best Groundskeeper to Leasing Specialist to Property Management Company, were awarded to individuals and companies who embody the strength of the area’s apartment industry.

Visit www.fcaaonline.com online or call (904) 292-1345 for more information

FIRST COAST APARTMENT ASSOCIATION 
2015 CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS

Conventional Leasing Rookie of the Year: Candice Gainey. Lakeside Apartments
Maintenance Rookie of the Year: Sergey Kirillov, Hunter’s Ridge Apartments
Affordable Leasing Rookie of the Year: Desiray Walton, Leigh Meadows Apartments
Leasing Specialist of the Year: Phaedra Walls, St. Augustine at the Lake Apartments
Conventional Assistant Manager of the Year: Sean Stalvey, The Park at Potenza Apartments
Affordable Assistant Manager of the Year: Carmin Munoz, Leigh Meadows Apartments
Conventional Community Manager of the Year: Michelle Murphy, St. Augustine at the Lake Apartments
Affordable Community Manager of the Year: Pamela Floyd. Leigh Meadows Apartments
Groundskeeper of the Year: Jose Garcia, Gregory Cove Apartments
Conventional Maintenance Tech of the Year: Elijah Albilali, Peppertree Lane
Affordable Maintenance Tech of the Year: Robert Seiler, Leigh Meadows
Conventional Maintenance Supervisor of the Year: Mustafa Martin, The Plaza Apartments
Affordable Maintenance Supervisor of the Year: Stanley McKinney, Leigh Meadows
Regional Maintenance Director of the Year: Ethan Pompey, Horizon Realty Management
Corporate Employee of the Year: Cortnie Schultz. WRH Realty Services Inc.
Regional Property Manager of the Year: Brooks Amster, Avesta Homes
Affordable Community of the Year: Thomas Chase Apartments
Conventional Community of the Year: The Carling
 Luxury Community of the Year: Spyglass Rental Community
Best Rehab/Renovation of the Year: The Grove at Deerwood
Best New Construction of the Year: Sorrel Luxury Apartments
Service Team of the Year: Hacienda Club Apartments
Associate Company of the Year: Maintenance Supply Headquarters
Associate of the Year: Eileen Walker
Best Use of Social Media: Galleria & Cabana Club Apartments
Best Market Concept: Galleria & Cabana Club Apartments
Affordable Curb Appeal: Thomas Chase Apartments
Conventional Curb Appeal: Village Walk Apartments
Volunteer Spirit: WRH Realty Services, Inc.
Property Management Company of the Year: WRH Realty Services, Inc

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

LandSouth Construction Begins Building Portiva Residences in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- LandSouth Construction, a Jacksonville, Fla. based general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed-use development has begun construction on Portiva Residences, a $25 million luxury apartment community on Jacksonville’s Southside.

“We are proud to have been selected for this exciting project, which will expand options for apartment living in a popular area of Jacksonville,” said James Pyle, president, LandSouth Construction. “With spacious interiors, stylish finishes and amenities, the Portiva Residences lifestyle will offer the perfect balance between small-town comfort and big-city convenience.”

Portiva Residences is being developed by LIV Development of Birmingham, Ala. Charlan Brock and Associates of Maitland, Fla. is the architect. Completion is scheduled for November 2017.

With an impressive array of resort style amenities and features, there will be 260 garden style apartments nestled on 10 acres in eight four-story buildings with elevators.

Portiva Residences will be available in nine unique, generous one, two and three bedrooms, two bath, floor plans ranging from 836 SF to 1,605 SF square feet. Interiors will feature LVT flooring, granite countertops, solid wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances.

In addition to courtyard views, resort style amenities include large pool. spacious clubhouse, car wash, state-of-the art fitness room, cyber café and community party room. The clubhouse will be conveniently located on the bottom floor of Building A. Garage and surface parking will be available.

Located off J. Turner Butler at the Belfort Road exit, Portiva Residences is next to Dave & Buster’s restaurant.  Just two exits from St. Johns Town Center’s bustling shopping, dining and entertainment destinations and 15 minutes from the Beaches.

“Portiva Residences is in a great location within a short drive to some of Jacksonville’s most popular destinations. In addition to offering residents a great place to live and relax, the community affords a unique quality of life in this budding area,” said Joe Passkiewicz, senior vice president of development, LandSouth Construction.

LandSouth Construction is currently working on apartments and mixed-use developments throughout the Southeast including Lawrenceville, Ga., Boynton Beach, Daytona Beach, Delray Beach, Sanford, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Davenport, Casselberry, Odessa and Orlando Fla., Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and senior housing in Bonita Springs, Fla.

In the midst of its 18th year, LandSouth Construction has completed more than 12,000 multifamily units, including apartments, senior living, condominiums, and townhomes.

In building Portiva Residences, LandSouth is using its unique integrated construction approach where each service component works together to provide a seamless delivery system.

These components have been designed and refined to be complementary and each is performance enhanced with proven procedures, tested systems and the very latest technology. By emphasizing results and exceptional service, LandSouth Construction has created a construction process to provide the best possible value for clients.

For more information, visit www.landsouth.com or call 904.273.6004.

ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION...Building Ideas
LandSouth Construction, the Southeast's premier general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, was recently named one of the nation’s Top 25 apartment builders by the National Multifamily Housing Council and Fastest Growing Companies in Florida and a Best Place to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Since 1998 the firm has transformed ideas into first-class communities by providing superior construction management services while building long-term relationships. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 12,000 multifamily units including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums, townhomes and mixed use. LandSouth builds projects of the highest quality, aesthetic relevance and enduring value. For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Crossman & Company Opens Office in Miami

JOHN CROSSMAN
MIAMI, Fla. – Crossman & Company, one of the Southeast’s largest retail leasing, property management, and investment sales firms has expanded further into the South Florida market with the opening of a new office in Miami.

“Our services and expertise are perfectly tailored to the high demands of the South Florida market. As the challenges for national, as well as local and regional retailers increase, we have the tools, relationships, and knowledge to match them with the right property,” said Crossman & Company President John Crossman, CCIM, CRX. “The growth isn’t stopping, and we intend to help owners and landlords build upon it.”

As developers and mall operators renovate and magnify shopping centers and retail space across Miami-Dade, Crossman & Company is in an enviable position to strategically market and lease available space, as well as new planned shopping destinations.

“We are excited about our growth and look forward to meeting client’s requirements with a stronger local presence in the Miami-Dade area,” said Crossman & Company Chief Operating Officer John Zielinski, CCIM. “The tourist dollars pouring into Miami, as well as robust regional demographics, make retail strong.”

South Florida’s economic growth since the recession, combined with the influx of new residents moving into the state, have resulted in a ramp-up of the retail landscape. Miami outsold higher-profile shopping destinations such as New York and Los Angeles -  according the latest research by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina, Crossman & Company also has an office on Boca Raton, Fla.


For more information, visit www.crossmanco.com or call (407) 423-5400.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

NAHB: Single-Family Sector Leads Housing to Higher Ground

ROBERT DEITZ
WASHINGTON - Steady job growth, affordable home prices, attractive mortgage interest rates and pent-up demand will help the housing market continue on a gradual upward trajectory in the year ahead, according to economists who participated in yesterday's National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Spring Construction Forecast Webinar. 

However, supply side headwinds led by a shortage of construction lots and labor, along with tight access to acquisition, construction and development (AD&C) loans, continue to hamper a more robust recovery.

"Builders remain cautiously optimistic about market conditions," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "2016 should be the first year since the Great Recession in which the growth rate for single-family production exceeds that of multifamily. And we see single-family growth accelerating in 2017 as the supply side chain mends and we can expand production." 

Steady job growth has bolstered consumer confidence and rekindled housing demand. Nationally, payroll employment has surpassed its pre-recession peak by a modest margin and only a small number of states lag behind pre-recession levels.

The Forecast

Looking at the forecast, single-family production is expected to post a 14 percent gain in 2016 to 812,000 units and rise an additional 19 percent to 964,000 units in 2017.

Using the 2000-2003 period as a healthy benchmark when single-family starts averaged 1.3 million units on an annual basis, NAHB is projecting that single-family production, which bottomed out at an average of 27 percent of normal production in early 2009, will rise to 64 percent of normal by the fourth quarter of this year and climb to 77 percent of normal by the end of 2017. Single-family production currently stands at 58 percent of normal activity.

"Consumer surveys suggest the ultimate goal of millennials is to purchase a single-family home in the suburbs," said Dietz. "We see growth for single-family looking ahead. The recovery continues and is dictated by demand side conditions and supply side headwinds."  

On the multifamily side, production ran at 395,000 units last year, above the 331,000 rate that is considered a normal level of production. Multifamily starts are expected to decline 4 percent to 379,000 units this year and rise 6 percent to 402,000 units in 2017.

Residential remodeling activity is expected to increase 3.3 percent in 2016 over last year and rise an additional 1.3 percent in 2017.

The Best Year Since 2006

Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac, cited several factors that should make this year's home sales the best in a decade:

·    Household formations are projected to accelerate. Between 2008 and 2014, the slowdown resulted in 5.1 million fewer household formations than normal.

·    Purchase applications show solid home sales that match demographics.

·    More owners are current on their mortgages, with fewer defaults and less foreclosures.

·    Solid job gains include rising salaries and wages.

·    House prices are rising about 6 percent annually and appear roughly in line with incomes and rents.

"Demographic tailwinds are helping to propel the housing market forward," said Kiefer.
Freddie Mac is projecting 5.9 million total home sales this year, the highest level since 2006, and 6.2 million in 2017.

Regionally, Kiefer said that house price growth is the strongest in the South and West, with Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Florida all posting double-digit statewide house price appreciation between December 2014 and December 2015.

Back to Basics

Also looking below the national numbers, NAHB senior economist Robert Denk said that housing market conditions are improving across the nation, but the pace of the recovery continues to vary by state and region.

"A common theme has emerged," said Denk. "The progress of market recovery is no longer a function of the boom and bust cycle marked by price bubbles, excess supply and foreclosures. The key driver of the housing recovery is now back to the underlying housing market fundamentals of population and job growth."

The hardest hit areas during the downturn included the "bubble" states of California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida, where housing market excesses were the greatest, and the industrial Midwest, where the longer-term decline in U.S. manufacturing was exacerbated by the recession. Marked by solid job growth, housing markets in the bubble states are on the mend while the Midwest continues to languish due to an ongoing sluggish manufacturing base.

The states with the strongest housing market recoveries are also among the leaders in payroll employment gains since the end of the recession. The strongest housing recoveries to date are in Montana, North Dakota and Utah, all with robust energy sectors, which helped push them near or beyond full recovery in housing production. The next tier of leaders includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Alaska - again, all with prominent energy sectors.

While the collapse in oil prices since mid-2014 will undermine the strength of the economies in these states as their energy sectors contract, the extent of the weakening will depend on the diversity of the economy. "The basic principle remains the same," said Denk. "A strong economy, whether helped, hindered or unaffected by the energy economy, will be a key factor driving housing recoveries going forward."

In another way of looking at the long road back to normal, by the end of 2017, the top 20 percent of states will reach at least 102 percent of normal single-family production levels, compared to the bottom 20 percent, which will still be below 65 percent.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

NAHB: Housing Starts Down 8.8 Percent in March

WASHINGTON - Nationwide housing starts fell 8.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.089 million units in March, according to newly released data from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. Overall permit issuance was also down 7.7 percent.

"Single-family starts are off from their strong showing in February but this slowdown represents a return to a long-run, gradual growth trend that is consistent with builder confidence levels, which are overall positive," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "While we are also seeing a monthly decline on the multifamily front, multifamily construction is expected to level off at a solid rate given the high level of rental housing demand." 

"Starts are up at a double-digit rate from a year ago and builders remain fairly optimistic that more consumers will return to the housing market in the months ahead," said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Ill.

Both housing sectors posted production declines this month. Single-family housing starts fell 9.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 764,000 units in March while multifamily starts dropped 8.5 percent to 312,000 units. On a year-over-year basis, however, single-family starts were up 22.6 percent.

Combined single- and multifamily starts fell in three of the four regions in March. The Midwest, West and South posted respective losses of 25.4 percent, 15.7 percent and 8.4 percent. The Northeast registered a 61.3 percent gain.

Single-family permits fell 1.2 percent to a rate of 727,000 while multifamily permits dropped 20.5 percent to 359,000.

All four regions posted permit losses in March. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respective drops of 17.9 percent, 3.1 percent, 3.2 percent and 15.4 percent. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Crossman & Company Ranks Retail Tenant Activity; Findings in 1st Quarter Market Report Available Online

JOHN CROSSMAN
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 13, 2016) -- Crossman & Company, one of the Southeast’s largest retail leasing, property management, and investment sales firms, has released its much anticipated 1st Quarter 2016 Southeast US Market Report Update, Ranking Retail Tenant Activity: Stop, Wait Grow! 

“The first quarter report is an assessment of analytical data that reflects those retailers with bright futures, as well as those that may have to make critical adjustments to maintain their market position, grow, or even survive. We’ve evaluated public and private companies and summarized their plans and strategy heading into the remainder of 2016,” said Crossman & Company President John Crossman, CCIM, CRX.

The six-page report analyzes a wide range of retailers and their relative health and stability as indicated by announcements of store openings and closings, earnings reports, forecasts, and market activity. Groups of retailers are categorized by well-defined red, yellow, or green light designations:

Red - Retailers who have consistent losses over a number of years, filed for bankruptcy, or are trending downward. Retailers on red must evolve to suit the needs of their customers, and even “safe” categories like fast casual dining, athletic wear, and grocers need to be aware of their position in the market.

Yellow – Companies that have triggered public attention with store closures. They can reposition themselves, but are vulnerable if they misstep. It’s a cautious tale for retailers forging mergers and acquisitions to stay afloat in an increasingly complex and competitive market.

Green – Those leading the pack, and have announced major initiatives to capitalize on their momentum. Discount retailers serving price-conscious consumers continue to see strong gains as do Internet-resistant stores. Understanding the need to pair convenience and price when considering the retail mix is rewarded.

Some of the Crossman & Company report’s insightful findings:

·         Stores with relatively poor performance, locations in non-strategic markets, and those with lower demand from shoppers are getting the ax in favor of reinvesting resources in Class A locations and premium markets.
.
·         Pairing complementary concepts and retailers is helpful for anchors looking to mitigate rent costs and draw customers with strong brand names.

·         Some retailers are considering mergers and acquisitions in the face of disruptive healthcare reform and ecommerce forces.

·         There is no “safe bet” category; retailers must constantly evolve to stay relevant.

The complete report is available online. Crossman & Company is a premier real estate firm with offices in Atlanta, Ga., Orlando, Tampa and Boca Raton, Fla. focused on serving retail landlords exclusively throughout the Southeast US. Founded in 1990, Crossman & Company has built an ever-growing retail portfolio in excess of 340 properties and 25 million square feet.

For a copy of the 1st Quarter 2016 Southeast US Market Report Update, Ranking Retail Tenant Activity: Stop, Wait Grow!  visit www.crossmanco.com.