Commercial Property & Real Estate News

Will New Technology Dominate Post-Pandemic Business?The direction has been clear for some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic may have helped define future touchless technology. The timeline for development may also have been compressed significantly as the world recovers. International hotel chains are rolling out improvements from check-in to room cleaning. Food and beverage service is likely to be affected as well. Improved health screening, for both guests and employees, promises to revolutionize the hospitality industry. The future is likely to include more automation and less human contact, and it promises to extend not only throughout the business sector but to every aspect of life. As the world starts traveling once more, the new technology will become not only more evident, but more sophisticated.

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The tried and true real estate adage about "location" may be overused—and everyone knows it's not all about location. However, when making initial decisions about a commercial real estate project, location is certainly an important factor.

Location has an impact not only on what can be developed, but also on cost projections, long-term viability, type of development, return on investment, the environment, and myriad other topics.

Whether the planned development is for a hotel, a warehouse, retail space or a restaurant, a medical clinic or a mini-golf course, adjacent land use, streets and neighboring properties all play a part in the decision-making process.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate

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The Future of Local CRE: Is a Construction Slowdown Coming?One of the few constants in commercial real estate and construction is that business trends are somewhat cyclical. That's not to say there's consensus or predictability concerning the timing or the duration of market ups and downs, but rather a sense of inevitability that, after several years, a slowdown is looming.

Many companies figure periodic slowdowns into long-term business projections, and they have contingency plans in place to compensate for possible negatives. In terms of planning for the future economy, forecasts include a guarded warning that there is, at present, no way to predict exactly when or for how long the effects of the economic downturn will appear.

The plan, at present, at least for major players, is to continue with

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Office Design Trends for a Future of DistancingEven though Minnesota may be more cautious about reopening business than some other states, Minnesotans may be ahead in studying how to reopen.

New Strategies for Making the Workplace Safe

The Mayo Clinic's Well Living Lab is situated adjacent to the Mayo campus in Rochester, and it is a center of activity. The facility is "uniquely positioned," according to Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Veronique Roger, who also serves as the lab's director of research. By simulating office environments in the lab, she believes the confluence of "building and health science technologies and expertise" will generate knowledge that can prepare safe environments.

The research focus centers around how to best decontaminate surfaces, employ thermal screening at

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Working Together in a Time of DistancingFinding new ways to transact business as well as socialize during the time of quarantine is a prime concern throughout the country, and technology is the prime mover. From business teleconferencing to teaching, enjoying concerts and visiting museums to furnishing a new home or perfecting cooking skills, creative new paths are being forged. And new technology is the driver – across all industries. That's part of the good news.

It's as easy to attend a concert in Rome or visit a historical site in Bangkok as it once was to go to the local library. It's all because of those ubiquitous screens.

Today, when the news is all about keeping your distance, it's more than a little encouraging that the technology exists to keep us all together, both on a

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The Future Seems Steady for Minneapolis Commercial Real EstateThe mood of commercial real estate professionals in the Twin Cities appears to have shifted from an expectation that top-of-the-cycle declines would soon begin to be felt to a more optimistic outlook for the first year of the new decade. A survey of 50 commercial real estate industry leaders, conducted by the University of St. Thomas in May 2019, reported new optimism when compared with results of a 2018 assessment of opportunities and challenges.

Survey Results Signal Stability

Although the overall survey response remains "slightly pessimistic," there are mood upswings in important areas, including a nine-point increase in expected investor return during the coming two years. The survey is designed to forecast movement in the commercial real

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Housing Development is the Basis of Minneapolis' New Growth PlanIn the Twin Cities today—and for the foreseeable future—one must look up. Real estate development is going higher and higher, particularly in Minneapolis. That's not only a metaphor for physical growth and rising prices, but it's an observation in a literal sense. High-rise buildings are the new normal throughout the city, not only in the urban core, but now in Dinkytown and uptown as well. And those high-rises are as likely to be mixed-use developments with retail, office space and affordable apartments as they are to be luxury condominiums.

That skyward focus is most likely here to stay, but there is also something new at ground level, if the city's current efforts to deal with population and employment growth trends, transportation needs and

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Development Conference to Explore Current Trends, Local ConcernsAlthough the CRE world is never static, there are some mixed signals that deserve closer examination as the new year gets underway. A one-day event planned for March 12 at The Dayton's Project, 700 Nicollet Ave. in downtown Minneapolis, will focus on topics that anyone involved in commercial real estate, building, leasing or development in the Twin Cities won't want to miss.

Touching on topics that range from zoning concerns to modular construction to the effect of tariffs on the cost of materials, individual speakers and panels will consider the hard questions and try to find consensus about how to deal with challenges.

Scheduled speakers will include Shauen Pierce, director of economic development and inclusion policy for the city of

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The Big News: Housing Starts & SalesInventory is down, prices are up, record numbers of permits are being issued. What is going on with both single-family and multi-family housing in Minneapolis? Is this the beginning of a new growth cycle? If so, where will it lead?

New Activity for Housing Starts

According to recent reports, the increase in new permits over the same period last year represents a 15% increase over 2019, for both single-family and multi-family starts. However, based on statistics from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, there has been a decline in housing inventory of approximately 15%. Housing First Minnesota spokeswoman Katie Elfstrom notes that more families are choosing to build new homes because there are fewer homes currently available on the market,

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New Lease Accounting Standards Will Require Diligent Effort for ComplianceIt's tax season.

Amid the collective groans from business firms and individuals alike, there are also some new standards that will affect private companies and non-profits with a lot of leased space on the books. The new standards are already in effect for publicly held corporations.

Updated standards were originally timed to become effective in December 2019 for all business entities, but the target date for implementation by private firms is now the first fiscal reporting year after December 15, 2020. Even with the year-long reprieve, the change may well be burdensome, according to some tax accountants.

Affected businesses must treat operating leases as liabilities, according to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), under the new

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