Monthly Archives: July 2015

Real Estate Focus: Henry County

Henry County, located just 20 miles south of Atlanta, is primed for growth and strategically working to increase corporate investment in the county. Having already attracted corporations such as Carter’s Inc., Georgia Power and Ken’s Foods, Inc., county officials are focused on further expansion and retention. Leading the charge is the Henry County Development Authority whose mission is to promote economic development by attracting new business and retaining existing industries.

Recently, the Henry County Development Authority launched a study to determine which industries the county would be most likely to attract. The results identified Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare Services, Logistics and Professional Solutions as the industry’s most likely to locate in Henry County.

Henry County has many attributes, including transportation and distribution connectivity with direct rail service from Norfolk-Southern Railroad, accessibility via Interstate 75, a direct route to the Port of Savannah – not to mention being just minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Henry County also has the skilled workforce available to meet the needs of corporate growth with a renowned selection of major university, college and technical school campuses located within an hour’s drive.

Henry County’s quality of life also ranks high within the community. Residents enjoy a low cost of living, quality K-12 education system and excellent access to healthcare through Piedmont Henry Hospital.

Given these factors, Henry County is well-poised to attract real estate investors and developers. McWhirter Realty Partners has extensive knowledge of the county and surrounding area to help organizations maximize the benefits of relocating to, or within, Henry County.

Current opportunities include:

If you have questions about real estate in Henry County of the metro Atlanta area, contact us today.


Insurance Requirements for Property Managers

Property owners rely on their property management company to maximize the return on the investment of the property. Property management companies also handle day-to-day tasks associated with the marketing, finance, occupancy and facility management that owners can find too tedious and time consuming. 

Property management requires a thorough understanding of laws, regulations and requirements for everything from lease terms to risk management.  This high level of responsibility also comes with specific risks, making it important for property managers to be protected with appropriate insurance. 

All insurance policies for property managers should include: 

  • Professional Liability Coverage: Property managers are responsible for tenants and occupancy which puts them at risk for legal claims such as wrongful eviction or tenant discrimination. Professional liability coverage – also known as errors and omissions insurance – protects the business in such cases when no mistake was made.
  • General Liability Coverage: Managing commercial real estate property such as office buildings, warehouses and medical buildings means there are not only employees but also numerous visitors to the site where accidents might occur. General liability insurance offers protection from third-party claims for injuries, medical costs and property damage.

Selecting proper insurance is just one decision for property managers and different businesses require different policies. A responsible property management company ensures the owner is thoroughly covered with appropriate insurance, without being over insured.  For example, the property management group at McWhirter Realty Partners conducts an annual insurance audit for all of its clients to ensure the appropriate level of coverage. 

For a full understanding of the needs associated with your property it is best to talk to a licensed agent.

Information regarding insurance for landlords can be found here.



Atlanta Secures #4 Spot for Green Building 

Atlanta is moving up, and now ranks fourth in the 2015 Green Building Adoption Index, an initiative to quantify and understand green building in the top 30 US markets [1]. The US uses the Energy Star ranking and LEED certification to identify sustainable building in commercial real estate.  Of Atlanta’s office space, 57.9 percent is considered “green” where the national average is only 38.7 percent. 

Both inside and out, green buildings positively impact the environment by using resources such as water and energy more efficiently and thereby reducing waste and pollution. Developers also incorporate sustainable building materials with minimal product emissions, which protect workers’ health and ultimately improves employee productivity. Additionally, landscaping and native plant selection for outdoor spaces help reduce water usage and increase greenspace in urban areas. 

This increase in green building is applauded for its obvious environmental benefits, however its economic impact is also becoming more widely realized.  Initially, green building was assumed to be more costly and time consuming. However, with the right research, evaluation and planning, many green products and materials cost the same or less than conventional ones. Energy efficient design can often result in the use of smaller HVAC equipment which provides additional savings. What’s more, there are federal tax credits for specific energy efficient building and states are establishing tax benefits as well. 

Read our other recent blog posts for more information on environmental initiatives in commercial real estate including brownfield redevelopment and green cleaning



Preventative Maintenance of Commercial Property Saves Time and Money for Owners

Regular maintenance of building systems and property components can sometimes be pushed to the side when there isn’t a pressing problem. However, waiting until there is a problem can be more costly and time consuming – for the owner and tenant – than making routine maintenance a priority.

Property managers, whether in house or outsourced, need to have a thorough preventative maintenance plan in place with regular inspections scheduled in advance so they aren’t overlooked or delayed. A successful preventative maintenance plan includes the following:

  • Major building systems: HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems can often be the most costly to repair, and inspections should be scheduled according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Special care should be considered during seasonal changes to prevent issues like frozen pipes or clogged air filters that can occur during periods of extreme weather or idle use. 
  • Building and grounds: Roofing, gutters, parking garages and pavement surfaces need to be inspected and cleaned regularly. Repairs to fix loose tiles, fill cracks or remove excess debris not only maintains the health of the building but also prevent accidents and injuries which could incur additional expense and liability to the property owner.   
  • Fire and safety systems: A licensed professional should check fire and safety systems to ensure they are in working order and proper reporting and certifications are maintained. A dedicated employee needs to know where the appropriate documentation is kept for easy access. Additionally, inspection certificates and licenses need to be displayed according to state jurisdiction to prevent further penalty.

Thorough preventative maintenance programs have significant economic benefits by reducing the risk of costly emergency repairs and extending the life of critical systems. If you are considering hiring a property management company, McWhirter Realty Partners has 30 years of experience and manages commercial properties throughout the metro Atlanta area.