3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT September 25, 2009

Alan Piker is the managing principal of the Cincinnati office for CresaPartners LLC. He founded the Cincinnati office in 1990 and has grown the office to be a premier tenant representation firm in the region. Piker’s experience includes both real estate development and corporate-user representation.

Q. Are there ways to renegotiate a lease before it’s up?

There is what’s called a ‘blend and extend’ — where tenants can save money by negotiating today and adding additional time on their lease. There are a lot of tenants with two and three years left on their lease who are looking for immediate relief because rental rates today are above the market value. So, they go to their landlord and give them an extra three or five years in the lease in exchange for lower rates or other concessions. By doing that, you can secure a lower rate and get better flexibility than in earlier years.

Q. What should a business consider when looking for a new location?

When you’re looking for a new location, the first thing is to start early. You want to start at least a year out, and once you get within six months, you’re in a red zone to create leverage if you have multiple options to review. The second thing is you need to go into the process with a good plan that starts with programming your needs, so you’re not out in the marketplace looking for something and, all of a sudden, you determine that it doesn’t fit because you didn’t do the initial strategic planning.

Q. How can a business maximize the use of the space it has?

If a company has more space than they need, they can ask if they can sublease that space or can they restack and reprogram the way they currently use that space. During a renegotiation with the landlord, they may be able to give back some of the space or put it on the market. By restacking, they may be able to rearrange in a way that will allow a portion to be subleased.