Monthly Archives: June 2015

Brownfield Redevelopment Benefits in Georgia

Brownfields are property with a determined contaminate, hazardous material or pollutant which makes it difficult to be redeveloped for public or private use. A brownfield in a successful business or residential community has the obvious attraction of location but liability and cleanup costs most often deter potential developers from pursuing such properties.  

By limiting liability to a new owner, as well as providing tax incentives, Federal and state programs now make the cleanup task more appealing, which produces both environmental and economic benefits. The Georgia Brownfield program removes the future environmental liability from a new owner/developer and provides tax incentives to help recover costs for the investigation and the cleanup by “freezing” the assessed value of the property for up to ten years[1] or until costs have been recovered. So as the property value increases, the owner benefits in tax savings. 

Turning an unused property into a thriving business helps the economic vitality of the community as well. For example, in 2012, McWhirter Realty Partners purchased an abandoned convenient store in Athens, Georgia, that had been vacant for ten years due to a tremendous amount of contamination. The location, within the 5-Points neighborhood of Athens and less than a half-mile from the University of Georgia campus, was redeveloped following a plan successfully approved by Athens-Clarke County and the State’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD). Today, the site is home to Grindhouse Killer Burgers. 

Another example of a successful brownfield project is the former City of Norcross landfill. In the 1970’s the City of Norcross closed its landfill located on Reps Miller Road in the heart of Peachtree Corners. A partnership, led by McWhirter Realty Partners, acquired the 9 acre property for a future industrial development. After holding the land for many years, the company turned its focus to redeveloping the property for residential. With cooperation from the State EDP and geotechnical and environmental consultants, McWhirter Realty Partners removed all of the landfill and successfully rezoned the property for 90 townhome units. Greenwood Townhomes continues to thrive on the property today.  

What’s more, an EPA study found that residential property values increased by up to 12 percent within a one-mile radius of a brownfield assessment or cleanup[2]. And removing abandoned property can also reduce the prevalence of crime, loitering and vandalism. 

For more information on brownfield redevelopment in Georgia visit the EPD of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. 

[1] Georgia Brownfields Program

[2] www.epa.gov/brownfields

Liability and Property Insurance for Landlords

Property owners are often a target for even minor incidents – whether caused by a crack in the pavement or a slick surface – and the injured party wants compensation. As a landlord, having the appropriate insurance is key to protecting your investment and your income. 

All insurance policies for landlords should include: 

  • General Liability Coverage: Property owners are usually considered at fault even if the incident is caused by a personal mistake. A General Liability policy covers most common suits and risks, associated medical costs and property damage. However, an “Umbrella” policy may be necessary depending on the size of the business property. Tenants should also have tenant Liability coverage for damage they cause to their leased space.
  • Property Coverage: This will provide for the cost to repair or replace your property due to some weather-induced damage, fire or new regulations imposed by the city/county that cause for modifications or rebuilding. Additionally, tenants should have proper coverage to insure improvements built to the leased space. 

Selecting proper insurance is just one decision for landlords and different businesses require different policies. For a full understanding of the needs associated with your property it is best to talk to a licensed agent.

Atlanta Industrial Market Continues to Grow

Touted as one of the top five industrial markets in the nation, all key indicators continue to confirm that the industrial market in Atlanta will remain strong. Vacancy rates are less than 9 percent and rental rates are climbing.

What’s driving Atlanta to be the largest market for industrial buildings in the southeast?

  • E-commerce: The growing number of retail sales attributed to online purchases is driving the demand for distribution space. Atlanta’s proximity to inland and coastal port markets make it a prime location.
  • Logistics companies: Georgia is home to 90 percent of the top 25 global third-party logistics providers[1]. Its location and infrastructure attracts companies transporting goods nationally and globally. Whether via air, rail, road or sea, its accessibility helps save company’s time and money.
  • Warehouses: National retailers growing their distribution channels and the use of third-party logistics firms drives the need for warehouse space in excess of 100,000 SF.
  • Service companies for residential developments:  The growth of granite, marble, HVAC, supply houses, etc. leasing space in the metro Atlanta area is contributing to a tighter industrial market.

 

Georgia’s location, relatively affordable land rates and business-friendly climate often help position the state as a top selection site for big business. McWhirter Realty Partners helps companies find current space, and also identifies, develops and manages new construction opportunities. Contact us today or visit our listing page for more information.

[1]http://www.georgia.org/industries/logistics-services/

 

Green Cleaning Programs in Commercial Properties

“Environmentally friendly” and “green programs” are promoted in our homes and our businesses and commercial property management is not exempt. Property managers and owners alike are making environmentally conscious decisions through water conservation, onsite recycling and energy efficient building systems. Yet, more than any other practice, green cleaning is growing to the top of the list of priorities. 

An effective green cleaning program can: 

  • Reduce health hazards: An obvious benefit to using green cleaning products is that it reduces the use of chemicals found in industrial cleaning supplies that can be dangerous if they come in contact with the skin or are inhaled. However there are less obvious tactics such as using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. A HEPA vacuum will capture more than 99%[i] of microscopic air contaminants leaving a room cleaner and significantly eliminating allergens. 
  • Protect the environment: Switching to green cleaning products will reduce air pollution, water pollution and the use of nonrenewable natural resources. Using chlorine free paper products or ones made from post-consumer recycled fibers will save trees as well as decrease water and energy waste. 
  • Save money: The availability of green cleaning products and services is growing making them comparable in cost to conventional ones. However, investing in green practices also reduces the impact on human health which results in fewer sick days, injuries and potential worker’s compensation claims and directly benefits a company’s bottom line.

[i] Building Operating Management, March 2015