Pappas Realty Co... "Commercial Real Estate...Exclusively" in Northeast Ohio since 1957

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: FR), the nation's largest provider of diversified industrial real estate, today announced that it recently acquired a portfolio of ten industrial buildings totaling 1.8 million square feet in the greater Cleveland area. The portfolio was primarily comprised of bulk distribution centers in the Glenwillow, Solon and Strongsville submarkets.

"This acquisition of institutional quality assets is an excellent addition to our portfolio and reinforces our commitment to establishing First Industrial as a market leader in the Greater Cleveland Area," said Brady Scott, senior investment officer of First Industrial. "In this transaction, First Industrial demonstrated one of our key competitive strengths in our ability to quickly close on large, multi-property deals."

"We are pleased to complete the acquisition of this portfolio of best in class' facilities" said Mark Volkman, director of First Industrial's Ohio region. "These properties are located in Cleveland's premier submarkets, which have exhibited solid fundamentals as customers seek efficient distribution to and from Ohio."

"First Industrial's national platform and diverse capital base position us to complete acquisitions ranging from sizeable portfolio transactions, such as this transaction, to single tenant properties and developable land," added David O'Reilly, investment officer.

First Industrial owns and manages more than 3.6 million square feet in Cleveland.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Three red flags landlords should consider when screening tenants.

By Andrea Coombes

The recent housing boom made becoming a landlord relatively easy, but becoming a successful landlord is another matter.

One key to managing rental property successfully is choosing the right tenants, said Janet Portman, an attorney, author of "Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants" and a managing editor at legal publisher Nolo.

Often, that decision goes dreadfully wrong. "Landlords who don't screen carefully end up with poor tenants," Portman said. "When they have to evict ... they almost always come out on the losing end financially."

That's because evictions often drag on for a long time, she said. Plus, "to rub salt in the wound, if the tenants want to take revenge and trash your property, then you've really been burnt -- and that happens all the time."

Some 2.3 million homes were bought as investment properties in 2005, up from 1.6 million in 2003, according to the National Association of Realtors. About 80 percent of those homes were bought as a source of rental income, according to NAR's survey data.

So, how to go about finding a good tenant? Weed out renters who are likely to be less than reliable. Consider the following three warning signs, Portman said.

1. In a Hurry
Applicants who say they need the place immediately, within a day or two, are risky bets. "Now and then, that's a legitimate situation [but] by far the more common situation is that the person has been asked to leave or has been evicted," Portman said.

"When you encounter someone who's desperate, there's almost always a reason behind it that doesn't augur well for you," she said.

To find out the true story, "always call the previous landlord and, not only that, call the landlord before that, because if you're dealing with someone who's a pain in the neck to his current landlord, you might get a glowing recommendation just to get rid of him. Also, call the employer to confirm the person has a job, and always pull a credit report."

2. Please Don't Call!
If a prospective tenant asks you not to call their current landlord or employer, you need to find out why.

"Sometimes they're going to say 'my landlord doesn't know I'm looking; he may terminate me or he may raise the rent.' That can be a legitimate fear. You have to handle it carefully," Portman said.

But still, "you never want to rent to somebody without corroborating that they are living where they're living and they've not been asked to leave," Portman said.

"If you get close to offering that place to that person, you have to say, 'I'm sorry but I have to talk to your landlord and your employer,'" she said.

With employers, "there can be a legitimate fear that if the landlord in Los Angeles calls the employer in San Francisco who had no idea the guy was looking for a job in Los Angeles, that could precipitate a firing. But you do have to deal with that eventually. Confirm the person had that job and confirm there's a new job, unless you've been assured this person has ample savings or is in a field where they'll be hired immediately," Portman said.

"If you secure the tenant's permission to make these calls, which is a function of your rental application -- you're informing them that you're going to pull a credit report and talk to former and current landlords and employers," you're on sound legal footing, Portman said. "If they don't want you to do that, they can opt out" of the rental application.

3. History Gaps
Another potential red flag: Gaps in rental or employment history. "Someone who has gaps in both employment and housing history is someone you want to look at a little more carefully," Portman said. That does not mean you "necessarily turn them down, but you need to find out" why those gaps are there.

"If you're a landlord and you're hesitant to [ask those questions], you don't belong in the landlord business, because you're putting your investment at risk. You can be ruined by an unwise choice," she said.

More Tips for Landlords
As well as heeding the red flags, there are other ways to ensure you select a reliable tenant, Portman said.

Check the credit report. Make sure the information on the credit report jibes with what's on the rental application.

"Besides corroborating answers, you want to make sure this person is not so overextended that they are likely to be unable to pay the rent. You're looking at credit-card balances and things like that."

A background check? Some landlords may consider paying for background checks on prospective tenants. That's fine, Portman says, as long as you remember two things.

First, "the value of these checks is very debatable because there are false positives and false negatives all the time," she said. Second, you need to run the check on every applicant, to avoid the possibility of a discrimination claim.

Equal treatment. "You've got to treat everybody pretty much the same so you don't court a fair-housing claim," Portman said.

That means if you pull a credit report, request an application or run a background check on one prospective tenant, you need to do the same with all of the prospective tenants.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mayer Building ** SOLD ** SOLD

Pappas Realty Co. represented the Seller and the Buyer in the disposition and acquisition, respectively, of the Mayer Building at 168 East Market St.

Future plans for the buildings use or occupants was not disclosed.

Please contact Sean Dreznin or Mike Pappas for further details.

Existing home sales off 4.1 pct. in July

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer 1 hour, 25 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - House hunters shied away from buying in July, driving down sales of previously owned homes to a 2 1/2-year low. The inventory of unsold homes climbed to a record high.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fed Holds Line On Rates, But Is It Too Late?

The economic slowdown that inspired the Federal Reserve to pause after two years of interest rate hikes could soon escalate to a recession, economists warn. Meanwhile, commercial real estate professionals welcomed the news as a sign that the brisk volume in investment sales will continue uninterrupted.

On Tuesday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMA) let the overnight Fed funds rate stand at 5.25%. The committee had raised the rate 25 basis points at each of its previous 17 meetings since June 2004.

The move was largely anticipated, as evidenced by the 10-year Treasury yield’s drop to below 5% in the week preceding the meeting. Nonetheless, the Fed’s announcement brought a sigh of relief from most commercial real estate professionals, including Eric Anton, senior managing director at New York-based Eastern Consolidated, a full-service real estate investment services firm.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Help define what Akron is all about

By David Giffels
You can take the Akroness out of Wikipedia, but you can't take the wiki out of Akron.

The fact that some of you are completely baffled by that sentence and others are dumbfounded by its cleverness is further evidence of the Internet's cultural divide.

For some people, the online world is more familiar than their own physical neighborhood; for the rest, it is still a wilderness. (Perhaps MapQuest could help.)

So for the sake of all, we'll begin with a definition.

(From Wikipedia) Wiki: ``a type of Web site that allows users to easily add, remove, or otherwise edit and change some available content... ''

A week ago, I wrote about the failed effort by members of the Cool People From Akron online community to get the word ``Akroness'' into Wikipedia, the online, user-written encyclopedia. After vigorous debate, Wikipedia's editors decided the term wasn't valid and deleted it.