3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT September 25, 2009

George Sacks is a principal at Commercial Florida Realty Services LLC. Prior to heading the company, Sacks was an executive for Grubb & Ellis Co. after the firm acquired his previous company, Commercial Florida Realty Partners, in 1999. Sacks has orchestrated numerous major transactions in South Florida, including the renewal lease of a 138,000-square-foot office space in Miami.

Q. What are the challenges and opportunities in commercial real estate today?

We’re certainly in a challenging time for all of us in the real estate industry and on the ownership side, but I think that it’s a great opportunity and a unique opportunity for tenants to take advantage of the softness in the market and to reduce their occupancy costs. That will help them get through these difficult times in their respective business or industry.

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

They need to look at that location in terms of proximity to their clients and convenience for their employees. They also need to look at who they are entering into a contract with. It’s not just contracting for space for a price; you’re contracting for a package of services, and they must make certain that the management team of the building and the ownership operation can deliver both efficiently and competently on those services.

Q. What should a business look for when analyzing a new lease?

There are numerous provisions that could have an impact on the company’s profitability for many years. We recommend putting a team together between an attorney, a real estate specialist and a space planner, and that all of the agreed upon terms be in some type of nonbinding letter of intent or final proposal. One of the complexities of a lease is whether rent is on a gross (full-service) or net basis. Most landlords are moving to net leases, where the tenant pays the base rent but also pays additional components, such as taxes and operating expenses.