Jeff Coyne
Director, GRS Group
(510) 962-9534

Commercial real estate can be complicated, but it doesn’t always have to be.  It can be interesting and fun too.

Recently, I have come across a few experiential Internet sites that are worth checking out to either improve the process or enjoy it a bit more. Here are some CRE summer experiences that may make the business a bit simpler:

Cushman & Wakefield’s “Location Lens”
Would you like an interactive mapping site that gives you vital economic stats on most major metro areas in the United States? Brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield has come up with a great one.

Looking across the country, from Atlanta to Seattle, it zeros in on several key metrics that could influence whether one would want to invest in commercial real estate in a particular locale.  Depending on the location, property type, and metrics, it shows regional/local macroeconomic information like total population, the percentage of bachelor’s degrees in the area, and the inventory of available office space by square feet.

The site also grades cities, on a scale of 100, regarding their walkability scores.  With transit-oriented development one of the biggest new development drivers, the site offers access to walkability info, transit maps and cost of living metrics, among other features.

Bloomberg’s “American Mall” game
Do you look back fondly on late-1980’s style video/computer games complete with the bad graphics? If so, this may be a fun thing for you as long as you are not a retail mall owner. If you are, it could be the video game that haunts you in your dreams.

Bloomberg gives viewers a look at a mall that is near failure, and your job is to fix it by leasing up the vacant spaces, renegotiating deals with current tenants, choosing the tenant mix and more.

The player gets the option of giving a distressed tenant in a center a rent concession to keep them in the center. A broker occasionally comes by to give some advice on other uses for space.  Shuttered space has two possible tenants, which do you pick (and will the deal fall through)?

I tried to crack the code for you and have come up with absolute failure on how to win the game. Luckily I am not in retail ownership or leasing.  Even with the game’s apparently bad news for retail, recent headlines show that malls are not doing as bad as one might expect.

Curbed Maps
Curbed is always a great resource for commercial real estate reading.

The link in the headline, specifically, gives a great perspective on the multifamily affordable housing situation in New York City. A viewer can see the details about prospective projects around the five boroughs.

The site also has different maps of properties, some entertaining, around the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and other major metros.

We are always looking for cool and different sites and articles (summer reading) on the commercial real estate industry. If you come across anything we might enjoy, please send us a link to our LinkedIn or Twitter widgets below.

About GRS Group:  
GRS Group is a leading provider of commercial real estate (“CRE”) services worldwide. With offices across the United States, Europe, and affiliates around the globe, GRS Group provides local market knowledge with a global perspective for institutional real estate investors, occupiers and lenders worldwide. The GRS Group team has evaluated and advised on over $1 trillion in CRE transactions.