November 22, 2010 - Upstate New York
By Thomas Thaney, NAIOP
On November 4, NAIOP Upstate New York Chapter hosted its Annual Awards Dinner at the Woodcliff Resort in Fairport, N.Y.
Our first award presented for the evening was for Environmental Awareness and it was won by the T.M. Montante Development Corp. for their 600 Riverwalk Parkway Project. This project is a two-story building consisting of 32,000 s/f of office space and 72,000 s/f of warehouse space and was designed around flexibility to accommodate a collection of uses from manufacturing to data centers as well as class A office tenants. The building facade has a high percentage of reflective glass providing abundant natural light and was positioned facing south to incorporate solar panels on the roof. The storm water retention was placed underneath the parking lot, also help minimize green space disturbance. This project is also a qualified New York Energy $mart project with a shell that is tilt-up concrete consisting of thermal mass construction which helps provide an ambient temperature throughout the year. It is also New York's State's first Solar Ready Commerce Park and is located in an Empire Zone. Accepting the Award for T.M. Montante was Daniel Montante.
Our next award for Outstanding Design went to Glenn Pawloski from Kideney Architects for their design of a new M & T Branch in West Seneca, New York. This office designed to
LEED standards, includes a large main lobby open banking hall reminiscent of the way banks were constructed in the early 20th Century. It features natural light with three large skylights.
It's interior lighting uses a combination of fluorescent lamps, ceramic metal halide lamps, and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Heating is provided by 97% efficient gas-fired hot water boilers. They also have an automated control system that constantly monitors the heating, cooling and ventilation systems which also has a "free-cooling" mode that draws in cool air at night to pre-cool the building. The walls were made with a highly insulated, recyclable steel panel system.
Paul Iskalo of the Buffalo-based Iskalo Development accepted our Office Design Award for their 2410 North Forest Project. This LEED Silver building features floor to ceiling glass and occupancy sensors which maximize daylight, utilization of recycled materials, an under floor air distribution system which improves indoor air quality and energy efficiency and green cleaning and water conserving fixtures. They also have an underground rain water storage basin that they use for landscaping irrigation.
Our final award for Architectural & Economic Impact went to Bob Healy from LaBella Associates for their ESL Federal Credit Union Headquarters Project in Downtown Rochester, New York.
This 170,000 s/f, five plus story, environmentally-sound building with its gently curving facade is LEED Certified and used recycled materials in its construction. It also is a key factor in the redevelopment of Downtown Rochester by creating and bringing many high-quality jobs to the Center-City District of Rochester.
Our speaker for the evening was our president and CEO of NAIOP Corporate, Tom Bisacquino. He brought us all up to date on the state of our industry both on national and state levels.
He also gave his analysis of how he sees the legislative agendas moving forward after last Tuesday's mid-term elections.
His views on the current state of the industry he said that the Capital and credit markets are still on the sidelines with almost $1.5 trillion in commercial mortgages on the books or bundled into securities between now and 2014. He says it is time to start repricing CRE. He also said that in 2005 CMBS were $178 billion and in 2010 only $6.4 billion. This is a problem for the industry.
He also said that the National Vacancy Rates for office, industrial and retail are at 13.6%, 10.5% and 7.8% respectively. His outlook for CRE is capital investments into core assets - not '90s empty space scenario, occupancy up, but rents generally not moving, flight to quality properties will continue and demand for build to suit is picking up, but spec development is declining.
On the legislative side he said that with the House now controlled by the Republicans and the Senate with 47 Republicans making it filibuster proof , the White House Agenda will be severely slowed down, stopped and modified. He did however caution that the White House might try to move their agenda through regulatory efforts (ie:EPA). He said it is imperative that all tax extenders be reauthorized and to be aware of FASB proposed lease accounting changes on the horizon. the new proposal would put all leases on the balance sheet, eliminating the distinction between operating and capital leases causing leverage ratios and capital ratios to deteriorate and tenants to seek shorter leases.
We would like to thank LaBella Associates, LeChase Construction, Chicago Title Insurance and NorthMarc for sponsoring our dinner and making this festive and informative evening possible. The final quote comes from Bisacquino, "If you are not willing to be at the legislative table, be assured that you will be on the legislative menu!"
Thomas Thaney is the 2010 president of the Upstate chapter of NAIOP.