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Changes To Supply Chain Will Benefit Commercial Real Estate


Changes To Supply Chain Will Benefit Commercial Real Estate

Online shopping is now the preferred method for 68% of consumers, which has increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. Since the pandemic began, supply chain issues have impacted the eCommerce sector significantly.

What does this mean for the commercial real estate industry?

Keep reading as we discuss what is causing the changes to supply chains and how these changes will impact demand in the commercial real estate sector. This guide will provide essential information on market conditions affected by supply chain issues.


What Is Causing Supply Chain Changes?

Trends and changes in consumer habits can significantly impact supply chain conditions, and the pandemic caused drastic changes.

Supply chain changes have been occurring since the beginning of the pandemic. With most of the world’s population forced to stay home and minimize shopping trips, eCommerce was the best option for shopping. Online grocery shopping and eCommerce ensured people could access the products and items they needed during the lockdown.

Since the pandemic, eCommerce has continued to thrive – causing a greater need for warehousing and logistics. Supply chains have been strained as competition has recently grown in the eCommerce sector.

Additionally, there have been issues regarding labor shortages, trucking and shipping restrictions, and other structural factors. eCommerce businesses have also faced supply shortages and production delays that push them to seek other options and mitigate risk. 

For eCommerce businesses, it is a great time to capitalize on the increased consumer demand, but supply chain changes can inhibit success. However, this rise in eCommerce presents an opportunity for investors to profit from their portfolio of commercial properties in seaport cities like New York.

How Will This Affect The Commercial Real Estate Industry?

Although supply chain issues will be challenging for eCommerce businesses, commercial real estate businesses stand to benefit from these supply chain disruptions. 

The changes to the supply chain will benefit commercial real estate in the following ways:

Increased Demand For Warehouse Space

eCommerce businesses will be desperate to increase their inventories and mitigate any risks associated with supply chain disruptions. If they need more stock, they will need more warehousing space. The increased demand for warehouse space means that properties become more valuable, benefitting CRE investors looking to add warehousing spaces in areas like Nashville with large ports into their portfolio.

Increased Demand For Flexspaces

Many eCommerce businesses are investing in flex spaces that serve the function of an office building and a warehousing facility. Investors may take advantage of the rise of remote working to purchase Manhattan office space at a lower cost, repurposing it to provide sought-after flex space for the eCommerce sector.

E-commerce businesses can streamline their daily operations by hosting them in a single area by investing in flex spaces. For CRE investors, the increased demand presents an opportunity.

Since the pandemic forced many businesses to turn to remote work, the demand for office spaces has waned. The need for flex spaces allows CRE investors to transform their commercial office properties into flex spaces, meeting the demand for more warehousing and making their properties more attractive in the current market.

Properties Near Ports Will Increase In Value

Supply chain changes present a valuable opportunity for a CRE investor with many properties near ports and air hubs. Many eCommerce businesses will seek properties close to seaports, inland ports, and air hubs to facilitate logistics. This means CRE investors can maximize their profits on properties in these areas.

Rising Demand For Last Mile Locations

Last mile locations help eCommerce businesses lower the cost of transporting goods once they have been shipped to their warehouse locations. Last-mile sites are situated close to the customer base to reduce ‘last-mile’ fuel and truck labor costs by reducing the travel time to all customer base locations. 

The increased demand for eCommerce has caused a rise in the need for last-mile locations, which presents the opportunity for CRE companies and investors to capitalize on this change.

Changing Distribution Center Design And Layout

Due to the increased competitiveness in the eCommerce and supply chain spheres, there has come a need for CRE companies to reconsider distribution center design and layout. By rethinking distribution center design and layout, CRE companies can create warehousing facilities that provide more operational efficiency and increase automation in eCommerce warehousing.

Industrial Real Estate Construction

In addition to logistics, manufacturing is a significant element in the eCommerce boom. eCommerce companies are opening new manufacturing locations to mitigate future risks caused by supply chain disruptions.

There will be an increased interest in industrial real estate properties for the commercial real estate sector. In sought-after areas such as port cities, CRE companies can construct industrial real estate properties to meet the increasing demand for industrial real estate. CRE companies can build smart buildings that facilitate automation and operational efficiency to maximize their ROI and increase profit margins.  


Although the competition in the eCommerce sphere is challenging for eCommerce businesses, it presents many benefits for those in the CRE sphere. CRE investors can expect increased demand for properties in port locations, warehousing facilities, flex spaces, and more innovative industrial real estate design. Consider these changes in line with your current CRE investment portfolio to identify an opportunity to profit from the recent supply chain changes.


The Future of Work is Flexible: Reimagining Office Designs and Strategies to Thrive in Our New Reality

With the Covid-19 vaccine finally making its way through the country, bringing staff back into the workplace is at the forefront of companies’ minds. This has continued to push conversations from when staff will come back to the office, to how.

Archetypes of the workplace

As companies explore the future of the return to the workplace, it has challenged new ways of thinking – how the office will adapt and change, what will be its purpose, and how can it become better for staff.  However, how businesses approach the workplace evolution will be different. From conservative approaches to pushing the boundaries, three mindsets have emerged as we look at the future of the workplace.

Traditionalists – cultures grounded around in-person environments with low investment in virtual working and higher investment in physical work environments.

Progressives – cultures that are flexible and promote a hybrid work model with employees being comfortable working remotely or in offices. Investment for this model will equally be split in the virtual and built environments to support hybrid work models.

Visionaries – cultures encouraging autonomy and remote work with employees who come into the office as needed. This includes a significant spend in technology to enhance the virtual environment and to monitor productivity and performance.

Regardless of your future workplace strategy – scaling, adapting, or staying the same, the pandemic has altered the real estate landscape as we know it. Social distancing, sanitization processes, working from home, and virtual communication are here to stay, even if the vaccine turns out to be everything we’ve hoped for. While we’ve had no choice but to accept this new reality, many occupiers and landlords are struggling with “what’s the best next move” for their space.

As we navigate these unchartered workplace waters, flexibility has emerged as a key player. Office strategy and design will need to be flexible to support the changing needs of staff and companies both in the short and long-term. The question remains, what does flexibility look like in the future workplace?

Riding the Evolutionary Forces

As the saying goes, “change is the only constant,” and while inevitable, change gives us the opportunity to grow and evolve. How and where we work is different from a year ago, which has influenced changes from workplace strategies to business models and processes, to workforces. This has caused decision makers to pause on making long-term real estate commitments until we better understand the lasting effects of the pandemic.

Driving regional and industry trends

As real estate shifts and trends begin to emerge, many will play out differently depending on their location. By the end of 2021 it’s expected businesses will return to the office at a reduced capacity, however, how this will be done is the question.

The pandemic has accelerated an already growing migration of knowledge workers from cities like New York and California to less-expensive locales. Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Texas, are among the boomtowns attracting young workers. These cool, vibrant cities offer culinary experiences, cultural and social scenes that appeal to young professionals who enjoy an urban lifestyle but find large metro areas too dense or expensive.

The recent growth of these midsize cities shows the pandemic and work-from-home policies aren’t undermining all of urban America. It illustrates a reshaping of what many companies, families and individuals are now looking for, a location that is more affordable, has more space, and access to job opportunities and talent.  Several recent high-profile corporate relocation announcements suggest companies are inclined to follow this migration.

Solutions for “the next best move”

What should be your next move? Research is saying space will be used differently and we still don’t fully know how Covid-19 will influence office use and behaviors in the future. Before making permanent, long-term decisions, companies are trialing office strategies to see how their people are working in a new environment.

Pilot spaces and employee surveys are a good way to learn what will work best for your people. Companies are starting to accelerate these programs, repurposing the workplace to align with work modes and conducting 60-day utilization studies to see if these new workplace designs are effective.  Some actions may include improvements to office décor, an increase in collaborative hubs, and bringing back some private offices or quiet areas, providing staff with a place to go to work and build relationships.

Occupiers with larger real estate portfolios may adopt strategies like maintaining the hub location but adding the spokes (hub & spoke model). This allows them to expand their footprint, keeping their CBD presence, while providing staff with much-craved collaboration, culture, and connection in spoke locations. We’re even seeing C-suite focused hubs emerging to support board related tasks, client meetings, and leadership-driven activities.

The impact of transformational technology on workplace design

With this fundamental shift to incorporate flexibility, transformational technology is going to play a critical role. Firms have already adopted this status quo- leveraging digital tools to improve business operations and communication. As technology continues to power collaboration in the workplace, from Microsoft Teams video meetings, to AI wearables and VR presentations to smart whiteboards, it’s likely work styles are going to shift into more team-oriented environments.

In turn, offices will need to be outfitted to support in-person and remote workers, providing them with the technology and space to seamlessly connect. Leadership communication and change management will play an essential role in navigating the return to the workplace. Outlining clear protocols and processes can guard against burnout, help manage meetings and communication expectations (in-person and virtual), and coordinate teams to make sure they are driving the right outcomes.

As digital innovations continue to emerge, virtual sharing and collaborating will increase, causing reimagined horizons, like a world without email, creating monumental changes in the workplace.

Meeting the pace of change

With the current real estate landscape and continued disruption, there is still uncertainty about what the future workplace will look like. Partnering with a company that has an agile and flexible end-to-end approach to workplace creation, can empower smarter and responsive decision making to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses and their people.

Propeller, a workplace framework, provides stability and a solution for companies’ next real estate move. Using data, the model can help outline what teams’ experiences should be in the office and at home, from purpose and work modes, to behaviors and culture. Whether it’s a long-term commitment to remote work, embracing a flexible model, or taking a wait-and-see approach, this workplace strategy can help outline the best next step.


Ryan leads the Americas region, managing the United States and Latin America. With more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Ryan has led teams to execute complex workplace projects, driven global initiatives, and redefined Unispace standards. With a strong knowledge of local and global markets, he brings his strategic vision to drive growth and improve operational excellence across all aspects of the business.

real estate

7 Insights to Prepare Investors for the Impact of the Presidential Election on Real Estate

The 2020 presidential election campaign is a highly contentious affair. Doubtless, the results of the election will have a far-reaching impact on a number of sectors of the American economy. But what are the true implications for the housing market?

How will each candidate’s policies affect real estate? Whether you’re investing in real estate or just looking to buy or sell a house, here are some tips and insights to help you prepare and prosper, regardless of who wins.

1. Keep calm and carry on

Regardless of who wins on election day, real estate prices probably won’t see any drastic long-term changes. Historically speaking, the housing market performs consistently (and consistently well) under both Democrats and Republicans. Since 1979, the annual rate of property returns averaged between approximately 7 and 10 percent for both Democratic and Republican presidential administrations.

Real estate under Republicans and Democrats

2. Prosperity often follows uncertainty

In election years, home sales usually drop off from October to November more steeply than in non-election years (-15% vs -10%). This reflects buyer caution facing the uncertain outcome of a presidential election. However, the year following a presidential election is typically the strongest housing market year in every four-year election cycle, suggesting that the dropoff in November simply delays demand until the following year.

House Price Trends During Election Years

3. Ignore red herrings, watch for black swans

Our system ensures that presidents alone don’t make laws or control fiscal and monetary policy. This means the president’s impact on housing may be overrated. On the other hand, natural disasters, geopolitical events, and ongoing developments with COVID-19 are more likely to have an impact on property values and rent trends than election results. Exogenous shocks to the system can increase unemployment and force interest rate changes, which in turn disrupt financial and housing markets.

4. Pay attention to investor incentives

Election results in the 2020 cycle probably matter a bit more to real estate investors than to retail home buyers. This is because the candidates have divergent policy prescriptions on several investor-oriented policy tools, including 1031 Exchanges and opportunity zones.

5. To the victor go the construction spoils

Red states have reported higher consumer confidence levels than blue states since the 2016 election. Likewise, single-family building permit growth was stronger over the same period in Trump-voting counties than in Clinton-voting ones, despite similar job and wage growth. It logically follows that a Biden win could benefit home building in blue counties, while a Trump re-election could continue propelling strong performance in red counties.

6. Follow the money

Over time, as presidential administrations roll out their spending priorities, different economic sectors respond in varying ways. The true consequences of the election on real estate markets will likely take a couple of years to materialize. Opportunities for investors and consumers to seize will present themselves based on what industries a president focuses on, and how well their administration works with Congress.

7. Weather the storm (and hope it passes quickly)

The biggest short-term risk to the housing market and the larger economy overall is a disputed election and protracted legal battle. Such a scenario would likely be accompanied by widespread civil unrest, which would spook stock markets, rattle consumer confidence, and in extreme scenarios cause massive property damage across the country. During the disputed 2000 election, the Dow Jones average fell 4% in the month between election day and the moment Al Gore conceded. It rebounded rapidly thereafter.


This article originally appeared here. Republished with permission. 

Ware Malcomb

Ware Malcomb Announces Executive Leadership Transitions

Ware Malcomb, an award-winning international design firm, today announced Lawrence R. Armstrong, who has served as CEO for 28 years, has elected to transition into the new role of Chairman of Ware Malcomb. Kenneth Wink, a 25-year veteran of Ware Malcomb and currently Executive Vice President, has been promoted to CEO, and Jay Todisco, currently Executive Vice President who has been with the firm for 21 years, will assume the role of President. Ware Malcomb also announced the promotion of Matt Brady from Regional Vice President to Executive Vice President, and Tobin Sloane from Chief Financial Officer to EVP/CFO.

All executive leadership changes are effective January 1, 2020. Armstrong, Wink, Todisco, Brady, and Sloane will also continue to comprise the Ware Malcomb Board of Directors.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity to lead this incredible firm and its team of talented professionals for the past 28 years,” said Armstrong. “Together, we have grown Ware Malcomb from our foundation as a strong regional operation to a leading international design firm with a future that has never been brighter. As I hand over responsibility for day-to-day operations to the capable hands of our new leadership team, including CEO Ken Wink and President Jay Todisco, I look forward to continuing to serve the firm in my new role as Chairman. Together with the additional contributions of seasoned executive team members Matt Brady and Tobin Sloane, I know Ware Malcomb is poised for continued growth and success in this new decade, and beyond.”

“I want to thank Larry for his incredible leadership of Ware Malcomb spanning three decades,” said Wink. “I share his excitement for the future of Ware Malcomb and am honored to take on the role of CEO to implement a strategic vision for the ongoing expansion of the scope and reach of our services, the professional development of our team members, and the success of our clients.”

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Larry, Ken and the entire team to accelerate Ware Malcomb’s business development and growth in the years to come,” said Todisco. “Ours is a firm committed to cultivating long-term relationships with our team members, partners, and clients alike, all while creating an industry-leading design that puts Ware Malcomb at the forefront of commercial real estate.”

Lawrence R. Armstrong – Chairman

Armstrong is transitioning from the role of CEO to Chairman of Ware Malcomb, as of January 1, 2020. Under his leadership as CEO for the past 28 years, Ware Malcomb has grown to become a leading international design firm with 25 offices in four countries. Armstrong’s strategic, visionary approach to the firm’s management and growth, as well as his commitment to fiscal discipline, has laid a strong foundation for future success. In his new role as Chairman, Armstrong will lead the Board of Directors for Ware Malcomb.

Kenneth Wink – CEO

Wink has been promoted from Executive Vice President to CEO. With Ware Malcomb for over 25 years, Wink has consistently demonstrated excellence in every challenge and opportunity he has been given during his tenure with the firm. He has been instrumental in leading the growth of Ware Malcomb, including developing and overseeing operations companywide. He has also coached and mentored key leaders across the firm. As CEO, Wink will lead the overall company vision, growth and management of Ware Malcomb.

Jay Todisco – President

Todisco has been promoted from Executive Vice President to President. With the firm for over 21 years, Todisco’s leadership has significantly contributed to the firm’s continued growth, and to the execution of numerous strategic and innovative initiatives companywide. As President, Todisco will oversee the overall growth and business development for Ware Malcomb, with a focus on exceptional client service and relationship management. An accomplished architect, Todisco is also highly engaged with Ware Malcomb’s Design Studio and oversees all aspects of design from the executive level.

Matt Brady – Executive Vice President

Brady has been promoted from Regional Vice President to Executive Vice President. With Ware Malcomb for over 20 years, Brady has led the expansion of firm services into multiple new markets in the U.S., as well as Panama and Mexico. He has been directly responsible for the launch of the firm’s San Diego, Phoenix and Atlanta offices, while also taking on many corporate responsibilities and leading select companywide initiatives. As Executive Vice President, Brady will oversee many corporate, growth and operations initiatives for the firm.

Tobin Sloane – EVP/CFO

Ware Malcomb Chief Financial Officer Tobin Sloane has been promoted to the additional role of Executive Vice President and CFO. With Ware Malcomb for over 15 years, Sloane’s leadership has helped ensure the financial health of the firm while facilitating strong growth. He will continue to remain a critical member of the executive team, while leading the financial functions of the firm and directing the accounting, administration, contracts, legal and human resources operations.

About Ware Malcomb (
Established in 1972, Ware Malcomb is an international design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, branding, civil engineering and building measurement services to commercial real estate and corporate clients. With office locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Panama, the firm specializes in the design of commercial office, corporate, industrial, science & technology, healthcare, retail, auto, public/educational facilities and renovation projects. Ware Malcomb is recognized as an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company and a Hot Firm and Best Firm to Work For by Zweig Group. The firm is also ranked among the top 15 architecture/engineering firms in Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms and the top 30 interior design firms in Interior Design magazine’s Top 100 Giants. For more information, visit and view Ware Malcomb’s Design video at