Staying Ahead of the Game

Aug. 7, 2001
Energy - Without the Sacrifice?

It's both a pain and a pleasure putting together our annual "Who's Who in Commercial Buildings": exciting to see which companies are truly innovative; difficult because there are many extremely savvy organizations that don't make our cut, due to space constraints. Check out pages 26-46 and give us your reaction (and recommendations), please? E-mail me at ([email protected]). In other news …

Energy - Without the Sacrifice?
Close to 1 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity are consumed by America's commercial, industrial, retail, and other nonresidential lighting systems each year. That total could easily be cut by 10 or 20 percent or more - without sacrifice - if only those lighting systems were better maintained, according to the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), a Silver Spring, MD-based public/private not-for-profit lighting information source. However, the organization has gone on record to advise against "panic conservation." According to NLB Chairman Cary S. Mendelsohn, "Lighting involves a variety of energy interrelationships that are somewhat complex, which is why unwise conservation can result in more overall energy consumption rather than less." The NLB supports energy optimization, which means "using energy as wisely as possible, without waste, to achieve real energy savings and, in many cases, real economic benefits, too."

Holding the Fort
The Summer 2001 issue of Retail Market Trends: A Survey of the Nation's Retail Markets, published by Grubb & Ellis Co. (, Northbrook, IL, notes that retail property markets have slowed along with the economy, but not quite to the same degree. Retail sales are down but not out, continuing to register moderate, positive growth on a year-over-year basis. Although retail sales are below the levels in 1999 and most of 2000, they are currently above levels that would signify a recession. Of particular note: Retailers are being more cautious in site selection, with concern over profitability eclipsing desire for market share. As a result, retailers strive to avoid cannibalizing their existing stores and look favorably on infill sites, featuring protected trade areas and more fully developed residential areas. Locations on the urban fringe remain popular, but they may take longer to mature, and retailers are less inclined to tolerate losses, given the slower economy, while trade areas are built out. Overall, the health of the market depends on the economy, which will be slow through the remainder of the year. However, retail leasing activity could slow further if the labor market continues to shed jobs and the stock market fails to recover.

'Bread and Butter' Buildings?
Shunned as wallflowers 12 months ago, bread and butter industrial buildings are Cinderella today, according to property specialists at Van Nuys, CA-based Delphi Business Properties. Growing entrepreneurial businesses are seeking buildings in the 5,000- to 50,000-square-foot range, says Scott Caswell, a long-time Delphi broker. "Big companies are the first ones in the market during a strong economy and first ones out when it slows. Today, companies in basic industries are chasing conventional buildings that would have been overlooked a year ago."

And your news?


Interested in:

  • Positioning your company for changes in real estate finance and investment that will affect future development and property operations?
  • Capitalizing on emerging and evolving trends that will impact future demand for commercial properties?
  • Identifying synergistic partnerships and alliances in outsourcing, design, technology, energy and more?
  • Benchmarking your organization among current best-in-class?
  • Leveraging technology and performance for healthy P & Ls and balance sheets?
  • Benefiting from leading-edge energy choices?
  • Optimizing and adapting workspaces best suited to your customers' business needs?
  • Bringing value to your business in this economy?

When opportunity knocks, it's your prerogative to open the door. Don't miss the definitive industry event: The Buildings Conference, Strategic Leadership for the 21st Century, October 28-31, at the Sawgrass Marriott, Ponte Vedra, FL. See ad on Cover III (inside back cover) of this issue, preview the educational and networking opportunities in the brochure enclosed in this month's package, or visit (

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