Kevin May, a Business Development Director at GRS | Corteq, was recently at the Marcus & Millichap CRE Forum in Los Angeles. This expert at Property Condition, Seismic, and Environmental Assessments took some time to give his thoughts on the commercial real estate market and what he sees in the field.
You’re at the front lines when a transaction or a development is going to take place? What are you seeing in the market?
We’re definitely seeing more development. We’re currently working on multifamily, office, industrial and retail. We’re seeing a lot of renovation and TI build outs but the majority of ground-up development is multifamily.
What is the financing picture right now?
CMBS lenders are definitely back and predicting a great year and the DUS lenders, regional banks, and Life Cos are still active. We’re seeing everything from a one-off strip center to 100+ property portfolios.
What is the main thing your clients are asking for right now?
Traditionally I’ve been a PCA and Phase I guy so it’s been exciting to also help clients–through GRS Group’s Global Services Connection–with Title Insurance, ALTA Surveys, Appraisals, and Zoning Compliance. GRS Group truly is a one-stop shop for transaction services.
How do you feel about the overall commercial real estate industry right now? Are things going well?
We were at the MBA conference in Orlando last month, and everybody was more positive than they have been since the downturn, so I think it’s going to be a great year. It got off to a little bit of a slow start, but has been picking up steam.
And there seems to be less hesitation between buyers and sellers right now?
Oh yeah. The banks are aggressively lending again and there is plenty of equity chasing deals.
So would you consider the recession over for commercial real estate?
Absolutely! We’re seeing a ton of acquisitions, refi’s and construction nationwide so that’s a pretty strong benchmark as far as we’re concerned. Downtown Los Angeles alone has more than a dozen major construction projects happening now and our Chicago, NY and San Francisco offices are busy as well.
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