April 2016
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Welcome to BuildingsOne April 2016 Newsletter   

Tom Griffin

Following several horrific terrorist attacks, including bombings in Belgium and Pakistan, our newsletter article Department of Homeland Security "If You See Something Say Something" highlights the importance of the greater public's assistance in terrorism indicators awareness and reporting.  Additional information is available at U.S. Department of Homeland Security's web-site:  April's newsletter article Quality Services in the Commercial Real Estate Profession introduces the quality concepts - customer perception, quality contributors & assessors, form and content - and their unique applications within the CRE industry. OPEX Recovery CAP Applications provides insight into the owner-tenant lease clause "Building Operating Expenses - CAP".  The monthly feature property is the super-sized, seven building, mixed-use complex - General Motors Renaissance Center, in Detroit, MI.

We hope you enjoy, and we look forward to hearing from you.  

Warmest regards,

Tom Griffin, CPM, LEED Green Associate
BuildingsOne Founder

Quality Services in the CRE Profession

For top-performing Commercial Real Estate (CRE) professionals, the goal of providing quality services is inherent in one's committed approach to managing and operating property.  Our customers’ views and perceptions of quality can differ significantly dependent upon the roles, needs, and expectations of these individuals and organizations assessing our services.      

CRE professionals must first understand their organization’s service offering, within the expectations of their customers, in order to provide an effectual contribution to consistent service quality.  The art-form associated with operating commercial facilities is dynamic and effects a variety of people and organizations including on-site building staff, tenant employees, visitors, corporate occupier executives, and owner-investors.  In the operation and administration of CRE services, “form” is often as important as “content”.  For example, an owner’s assessment of a favorable property income statement may not have the quality impact it would otherwise have if the report’s grammar, structure, and overall presentation is less than exceptional.  Are we striving for excellence in the operational and administrative performance of our properties? 

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Institute of Real Estate Management
Leadership & Legislative Summit
Featuring Capitol Hill Visit Day
Washington, DC | April 9 - 13, 2016

International Conference & Expo
Gaylord National Resort &              Convention Center
Washington, DC | June 25 - 28, 2016

General Motors Renaissance Center
The General Motors Renaissance Center is the global headquarters of General Motors.  

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OPEX Recovery | CAP Applications   

An operating expense ‘Cap’, also referred to as an ‘expense increase limit’ or ‘expense stop’, is regularly included in the landlord-tenant lease in order to reduce the potential increase in operating expense liability to the tenant.  From the tenant’s perspective, an expense Cap provides assurance in controlling their proportionate share of the property’s annual operating expense increase.  From the landlord’s perspective, a Cap on property’s operating expenses may increase their liability in that expenses exceeding the defined Cap amount would not be recoverable.
Expense caps apply to different forms of leases including a ‘net lease’ and ‘modified gross lease’.  In occupancies where the tenant's base rent does not include (net of) operating expenses - net lease - the tenant reimburses the landlord their proportionate share of all common area maintenance (CAM) expenses.  The tenant’s proportionate share comprises [operating expenses x the percentage of the size of the tenant’s leased premises relative to the size of the entire building], e.g., 10%, 25% or 50% pro-rata share.  Retail and industrial occupancy expenses are typically structured within a net lease (allocated CAM expense) format.  Net lease allocated and CAM expenses are generally comprised of real estate taxes, insurance, landscaping, snow removal, building structure maintenance, common area utilities (parking lot lighting) and other expenses ‘shared in common’ with the entire property tenancy.  In a net lease structure, the tenant is typically responsible for all expenses associated with cleaning services, HVAC, general maintenance and repairs, and utilities consumption within their premises.  Therefore, the expense cap applies to common area expenses only. 

In a modified gross lease, the tenant is typically responsible for reimbursing the landlord their proportionate share of the annual increase, in all property operating expenses, above the tenant's operating expense 'base year' as defined in the lease.

Read Full Article



Department of Homeland Security 
"If You See Something Say Something"   

Prompt and detailed reporting of suspicious activities can help prevent violent crimes and terrorist attacks.  If you see suspicious activity, please report it to your local police department.  Local law enforcement officers can respond quickly.  If there is a life threatening emergency, call 911.  

When reporting suspicious activity, it is helpful to give the most accurate description possible including:
  • Brief description of the activity
  • Date, time, and location of the activity
  • Physical identifiers of anyone you observed
  • Descriptions of vehicles
  • Information about where people involved in suspicious activities may have gone
  • Your name and contact information (optional)
The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a joint collaborative effort by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners.  

It Takes a Community to Protect a Community.  "If You See Something, Say Something"
  is a national campaign that raises public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, as well as the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement.  The campaign was originally implemented by the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority and is licensed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a nationwide campaign.  In July 2010, DHS launched the campaign in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice's Nationwide Suspicious Activity Initiative.   

About BuildingsOne

BuildingsOne maintains a comprehensive library of commercial real estate documents and templates, covering all core property operating and administrative practices, that can be easily modified to suit the real estate manager's specific needs.

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Library Series
Accounting & Operating Expenses
Administration & Operations 
Energy & Utilities
Lease & Legal Administration
Life Safety & Security
Technical Services

Documents and templates, recently added to the library, include:
Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) - Concepts & Applications {PDF Document} 
Outdoor Air Standard - Ventilation Procedures {PDF Document}
Outdoor Air Standard - Calculations {Excel Template}
Security Services Request for Proposal {Word Template}
Fire & Evacuation Drill - Best Practice Procedures {PDF Document}
Fire & Evacuation Drill - Forms Package (Excel Template}
Fuel Systems & Underground Storage Tank (UST) - O & M Best Practice {PDF Document}
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