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Welcome to the Commercial Real Estate Expert Blog! A host of industry leading real estate professionals, lawyers, and consultants providing the latest in real estate relevant news and advice.

How LEED Can Help You Qualify For SBA 504 Funding

The US Small Business Association (SBA) recently made some changes to its 504 Loan Program. The program, which offers loans with low down payments and low, fixed long-term interest rates, normally requires that borrowers have projects that will deliver certain public benefits such as job creation and a number of community development goals.  But, the…

Ready or Not, Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance Requires Action in 2014!

Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.’s Bob Geiger and Joanne Choi discuss Chicago’s new benchmarking ordinance and the requirements for compliance. In September 2013, the Chicago City Council approved the Building Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance in Chapter 18-4 of the Chicago Municipal Code.  The Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance became effective on September 21, 2013 and requires building owners with over 50,000…

How Did Environmental Contamination Become a Factor in the Appraisal World?

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Handbook on Commercial Real Estate published in 2013 mandates that environmental contamination should be discussed and considered in real estate appraisals.  In the same year the OCC updates were published, the Appraisal Institute released a document providing guidance to appraisers for how environmental contamination should be…

File reviews: digging to uncover business environmental risks

Under ASTM E1527-13, file reviews are a much more pertinent part of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA) to accurately identify the potential for Recognized Environmental Conditions (REC) and assess business environmental risk associated with a property.

Due Diligence in Motor City – why Phase I ESAs are different in Detroit

The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (or ESA), considered by many in the real estate and finance industries as the most essential form of environmental due diligence, can vary in complexity and challenge when conducted in a city with a storied industrial history known as the automotive capital of the world.  The development of Detroit…

Cliff Notes on the Winter EBA 2014

Entry by JoeDerhake The winter Environmental Bankers Association (EBA) meeting just concluded in Orlando, Florida.   The EBA is celebrating its 20th year as an organization.  Thank you to Jeff and Tacy Telego for running this business for 20 years! A few highlights from the meeting: Bank Regulators and Environmental:  The new OCC Commercial Real Estate…

Regulators will take a harder look at environmental policy in 2014

Entry by JoeDerhake Entry The OCC’s new Commercial Real Estate Lending Booklet, which contains guidelines for commercial real estate loan concentrations and sound risk management practices for banks, is now well and truly in effect. The document was released on August 20, 2013 to replace a booklet published in 1995. This was the first time…

Guiding Property Managers through Environmental Issues

Guiding Property Managers through Environmental Issues Property Managers are an indispensable part of the real estate industry.  They are the “eye on” people dealing with everything from tenant relations to trash disposal, and are the early warning in keeping the property in good order. Today, they are usually third party entities who contract with the…

Hire Veterans for Careers in Environmental Science

Entry by JoeDerhake Entry As the Phase I Environmental Assessment continues to bounce back after the recession, we are all looking for staff.  Three years ago no one was hiring Environmental Professionals.   Now we’re seeing a hole in our pipeline of talent.   At the same time, we have a large number of veterans returning…