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S. Ira Grossman's Posts

A closer look at the new ASTM E2018-15 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments

ASTM has updated it A2018-15 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. What were the key changes? Read More »

The Value of Designing to the Budget

Because construction projects can be risky it is difficult to determine the cost upfront, which means that cost estimates frequently exceed budgets.  Changing construction plans to fit within budget can have consequences, but the need for the new or renovated building may be such that the owner understands the risk of cutting corners in the design and decides to push the project ahead. To effectiv... Read More »

How Climate Change Poses Risks for Banks and Insurers

In 2010 the Securities and Exchange Commission passed a rule requiring publicly traded companies to report their corporate risks from climate change. CERES, a non-profit organization that tracks this disclosure prepared a report cited in a 2014 Wall Street Journal article that concluded that climate-related disclosures by S&P 500 companies are terse, provide little discussion of “materia... Read More »

John Hancock Centre – Structural Engineering Creating Value

I recently wrote a blog about the value of architecture, in which I concluded that a building’s cultural symbolism or history, and the way its design is perceived by the public and the industry affects the return it delivers to investors.  Having spent many years living in Chicago, I decided to look at how this theory holds true for one of the city’s iconic buildings: the John Hancock Centre.  As ... Read More »

The Value of Architecture

There is value in investing in great architecture. Ira Grossman looks at how distinct design turned the Lever House into a NYC icon. Read More »

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 considered in the ... Read More »

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 owner or asset manager. In the late ‘80s and ... Read More »

Going beyond ASTM – Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)

When and how certain investors go beyond ASTM because they require more intense investigation based on their risk profile. Read More »

Going beyond ASTM – Property Condition Assessments

The satisfactory completion of real estate transactions relies on the satisfactory completion of due diligence. The broad definition of due diligence includes a number of non-physical issues, such as leases and contracts, property title issues, taxes and assessments, approvals and entitlements, historic and open space provisions and personal property. The physical issues related to a property are ... Read More »

The Best Laid Plans – or Rather, the Best Laid Lighting…

I had just started as an in-house architect for a Real Estate Investment Advisory firm.  The company had just secured the acquisition of an eighteen story office in the state capital. The building was recently completed and three floors of 12,000 sf each were occupied by a state agency. I was sent to the building to discuss with the agency’s representative a number of their complaints.  Their floo... Read More »

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