February 15, 2014 on 11:14 pm | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Green, Investment Opportunities, Trends, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

by Jodi Summers

You are the green businessman. You’re in solar stocks, net zero options. You are on top of the green world. Now, be on top of the next wave of green trends…

* Global spending on smart energy management services is projected to grow from $291M in 2012 to $1.1 billion by 2020. (Source: Pike Research)

* Solar projects established as a solid asset class attracting traditional Wall Street financiers, crowd-funding to fund small- to medium-sized solar projects, and institutionally-led residential solar lease facilities. REITs will emerge as a potential funding source with the prospect of opening the REIT structure to solar projects.

* Micro-hybrid battery technology that stops a vehicles motor during idling, then starts it again with a battery – not gas – when needed, is coming to the U.S. in a big way with more than eight million vehicles, not including hybrids, to be equipped with this stop-start technology in North America by 2017 (Source: Lux Research). An estimated 35 million vehicles to be produced with this stop-start technology worldwide (Source: Johnson Controls).

* Biomimicry – using designs found in nature as the template for creating modern industrial products and processes – begins to make its mark on clean technology, especially in clean technologies that generate energy from natural sources like the sun and the wind, as well as on the energy-efficiency front, such as energy-saving (and more reliable) screen technologies for devices and the creation of new tougher, lighter and stronger materials.

* U.S. Geothermal industry comes of age in the U.S., with installed cumulative capacity growing to 3,187 MW, which represents more than a quarter of the worldwide total of 11,244 MW.



November 15, 2013 on 2:10 pm | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Green, Historic Properties, Investment Opportunities, New Developments, Property Maintenance, Solutions, Trends, Uncategorized, Winning Properties | 3 Comments

Edited by Jodi Summers

Bravo to the City of Los Angeles. Through innovative public policy and creative private development, demonstrating how older buildings can be repurposed and repositioned for the new economy while reducing carbon emissions.

Believe it or not, Downtown Los Angeles contains one of the nation’s finest collections of early 20th century architecture. Most of these buildings sat vacant for decades, until a carefully targeted Adaptive Use Ordinance (ARO) removed regulatory barriers, provided incentives, and helped make it possible to repurpose more than 60 historic buildings over the past 14 years as new apartments, lofts, and hotels.

But many more buildings remain empty or underused in the downtown area and nearby commercial districts.

A recent report from the Urban Land Institute and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Green Lab concludes that more than 10 million square feet of space in the city’s urban core is currently vacant. The report, Learning from Los Angeles, was presented to Mayor Eric Garcetti this morning, at an event organized by the ULI Los Angeles District Council. It describes strategies that build on the success of the ARO to unlock the economic and community development potential of underused older buildings. The report documents demolition, building, and vacancy trends throughout the city and recommends strategies for removing regulatory barriers, streamlining approvals, and providing incentives to make building reuse easier to accomplish.

Conversations organized by the Preservation Green and ULI Los Angeles identified key barriers to building reuse and recommend solutions to overcome these obstacles. The Los Angeles Conservancy, a key partner in this effort, served on the project Advisory Committee along with practitioners in real estate development, planning, design, construction, community revitalization, and local government.

Learning from Los Angeles is the first in a new series of research and policy reports being developed by the Preservation Green Lab through the Partnership for Building Reuse, a joint effort of the National Trust and ULI. Launched in Los Angeles in 2012, the Partnership for Building Reuse is designed to foster market-driven building reuse in major U.S. cities through dialogues with community stakeholders about building reuse challenges and opportunities.



October 31, 2013 on 8:54 am | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Green, Historic Properties, Investment Opportunities, Market Snapshot, Property Maintenance, Solutions, Trends, Uncategorized, Winning Properties | 2 Comments

by Jodi Summers

You’ve heard about all of those fabulous loft conversions in downtown Los Angeles – old office buildings and factories that have been renovated into apartments and condos. That’s what’s happening with a lot of that extra office space…that’s in cool buildings.

In 2012, nationwide, office stock shrunk in a third of the 54 top U.S. markets. Buildings worth saving are being converted, while lesser buildings are being demolished. The result is that the net inventory has dropped by about 21.6 million square feet > or 0.3% of inventory. In Los Angeles, available office space has declined by -16.2% according to Loopnet.

Over the next four quarters, approximately 11 of the top 54 U.S. metros and almost half of the 1,400 submarkets in those metros will have a net loss of inventory.

Conversion to residential usage is the most prominent reason that an office building is removed from inventory. Condo and apartment conversions comprise 34% of the lost office space, according to CoStar. Additionally another 13% of office space has been demolished to make way for new residential construction.

In high density urban areas where housing is needed, multifamily repositionings benefit both owner and user. The ideal conversion candidate – transit-accessible office structures built circa 1930 with 22,000-square-foot floor plates.

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.




August 15, 2013 on 6:53 pm | In Bravo, Green, Property Maintenance, Statistics, Trends, Uncategorized, World | 2 Comments

By Jodi Summers

Woohoo! The U.S. has more green LEED certified building space than anyone else in the world. Curiously, although we have the most, and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system was conceived in the United States, LEED space is measured in meters…so for record, 1 square meter = 1.196 square yards = 10.764 square feet.


Now that you have the power, be proud. North America leads the world with 611.6 gross square meters (GSM) LEED certified or registered (1,000,000 sq.ft. +/-) as part of some 44,998 projects, according to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Rapidly developing East Asia had the second highest amount of building space certified or registered under LEED, with 107.3 GSM from1, 995 projects. Latin America and the Caribbean had the least, with 39.5 GSM and 1,704 projects.

Here are the top 10 countries with the most LEED certified or registered space as of April 2013:

United States (44,270 certified or registered projects)

China (1,156)

United Arab Emirates (808)

Brazil (638)

India (405)

Canada (383)

Mexico (322)

Germany (299)

Turkey (194)

Republic of Korea (188)

As the LEED rating system was founded in the U.S. one benefit we do get is a jump on the game…but watch China grow. Pundits predict that by 2015, half of the world’s new construction will be in China. It is also the leader for the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (Beijing already has significant air quality issues), which makes it the perfect candidate for green building.

It is also not surprising that India made the list, largely due to decreasing premiums for building green and high energy costs.



May 10, 2013 on 8:45 pm | In Green, Investment Opportunities, Lights Camera Transaction, Office Fodder, Uncategorized, Winning Properties | 3 Comments

by Jodi Summers

You can buy the National Office Portfolio = six significant office assets have attained a level of LEED certification and the portfolio is available free and clear of existing debt.

Spread across the country in such desirable cities as Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach, FL. all totaled, nearly 2 million square feet of office space.

Here’s what’s included in the deal:

• Los Angeles – 500 North Brand Ave. Located in the heart of Glendale’s Central Business District, this 22-story, 413,274-square-foot office building provides tenants with one of the area’s most exceptional office space alternatives. This premier high-rise is conveniently located adjacent to numerous retail, restaurants, and hotel amenities, including the Glendale Galleria, the to-be built Americana at Brand, and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (Bob Hope Airport).

• Washington, D.C – One Washingtonian Center, a Class A, LEED, 14-story, 315,929-square-foot office building in the Gaithersburg submarket of Washington, D.C. that recently renewed a lease with Sodexo Inc. to keep its headquarters in the building. Sodexo, is on Fortune’s list of The World’s Most Admired Companies, has the ambition is to become the premier expert in Quality of Daily Life service solutions.

• Palm Beach – Esperante Corporate Center, a 20-story, 256,151-square-foot, and LEED Gold landmark located at the gateway to Palm Beach – Esperante Corporate Center commands spectacular views of the Atlantic, the Intracoastal Waterway and Downtown. Having recently completed a $4.5 million renovation, achieving status, this Class A asset offers WiFi-enabled common areas, a 24/7 lobby attendant, valet parking and a six-story atrium ideal for corporate events. Tenants automatically become members of 5-Star Worldwide, an exclusive program of tenant services that adds value to every square foot.

• Houston – 2603 Augusta, a 16-story, 243,348-square-foot office building located in the West Loop/Galleria area, described as “Houston’s premier submarket.” 2603 Augusta offers Class A, boutique office space and all the amenities of the Galleria at your doorstep.

• Dallas – Preston Commons, 8111-8117 Preston Rd., Dallas 75225 – an office complex totaling 427,800 square feet that includes a pair of eight-story buildings located in the Preston Center submarket of Dallas. The building description boasts, “A revolution in tenant service, 5-Star Worldwide is an uncommonly smart choice for tenants who need a wide array of business and personal amenities to include conference facilities, technical support, a cafe and 5-Star Worldwide personal attention.”

• Dallas – Sterling Plaza, a 302,747-square-foot building asset at 5949 Sherry Lane in the Preston Center submarket of Dallas. Sterling Plaza has one prime objective: To become North Dallas’s premiere office destination offering VALUE, SERVICE, and a fabulous package of AMENITIES. Here, tenants enjoy a one-of-a-kind 5-Star Worldwide amenities program featuring executive conference facilities and concierge services. Come see why Sterling Plaza is “Where Business Shines.”

Interested? Contact us. We’re here to help you with your real estate needs. Please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.



March 9, 2013 on 8:48 pm | In Fascinating Information, Government, Green, New Developments, Office Fodder, Statistics, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Time flies. Do you remember back in 2007 when Arnold Schwarzenegger was governor and the state assembly passed AB 1103 Commercial Building Energy Use Disclosure Program? It was supposed to begin in 2010, but of course, it got changed and delayed and modified and finally, low and behold, the time to disclose energy data is upon us. The first phase of the Energy Use Disclosure Requirements begins July 1, 2013.

To refresh our memories, Assembly Bills 1103 and 531 require owners of nonresidential buildings located in California to disclose energy usage of such buildings in advance of any sale, lease, or financing of the entire building.


Here is the schedule for when commercial buildings need to keep and disclose energy usage records:

1. On and after July 1, 2013, for buildings with a total gross floor area of more than 50,000 square feet;

2. On and after January 1, 2014, for buildings with a total gross floor area between 10,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet; and

3. On and after July 1, 2014, for buildings with a total gross floor area between 5,000 square feet 10,000 square feet.

AB 1103 and 531

Assembly Bill 1103, signed into law on October 12, 2007, requires the tracking of the energy use of all nonresidential buildings and the disclosure of such energy use as part of the sale, lease, or financing of an entire nonresidential building. T

The disclosure requirement is intended to “motivate building operators to take actions to improve their buildings’ energy profiles” and “to allow building owners and operators to compare their buildings’ performance to that of similar buildings and to manage their buildings’ energy costs.”

Since we’re talking government, AB 1103 then added Section 25402.10 which contained a compliance deadline of January 1, 2010. Assembly Bill 531 removed that deadline, and replaced it with the disclosure of energy usage data on a schedule of compliance established by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.


Compliance with Assembly Bills 1103 and 531 expects owners of nonresidential buildings to take certain actions at least 30 days before the sale, lease, or financing of the entire building.

1. Register for an account with “Portfolio Manager,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program online tool for managing building energy use data.

2. Create a profile within Portfolio Manager for the nonresidential building.

3. Use Portfolio Manager to request that utilities serving the building release the last 12 months of energy use data for the building to Portfolio Manager. What you’ll get is:

  • Disclosure Summary Sheet;
  • Statement of Energy Performance;
  • Data Checklist; and
  • Facility Summary (collectively, the “Disclosure Data”).

4. After the utility data has been provided, download the Disclosure Data; and provide the Disclosure Data as part of the sale, lease, or financing.

(Regulations section 1683(a) + 1684(c).)

Here’s the curious caveat, there is no specific penalty for non-compliance, but a failure to disclose a building’s energy usage could be viewed as a material fact in the transaction.


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