Posted by: Bob Wiley | May 23, 2017


Park Ave



Highly visible 3,298 SF Commercial/Retail Building Available on corner lot in Wind Gap with plenty of parking. The 1st flr consists of an open showroom area, office, private restroom, and rear workshop. The 2nd flr offers additional rental income with a 1 BR, 1 BA apartment with private entrance. The property is currently being used as a vacuum cleaner store. This successful store has been in business for 30 + years and is included in the sale of the building. Many financing options available including lease and lease to purchase. Contact the listing agent to schedule and appointment to explore the possibilities.  See More



APRIL 18, 2017 BY


The residential and commercial real estate markets have recovered spectacularly since the dark days of the late 2000s. And technology is making it easier than ever to get a real estate loan. But developing and executing an effective real estate investing strategy is as tough as ever.

That’s especially true in the commercial sector, which has a long history of bewildering supposedly savvy investors. As powerful social and technological forces rapidly reorder our built environment and create new challenges for American property investors, the value of strategic thinking has never been clearer.

Sound strategy begins with a sound grasp of the fundamentals. These four major commercial real estate investing strategies account for the lion’s share of activity in the sector, encompassing a wide range of risk tolerances and property types.

Strategy #1: Opportunistic

This is the highest-risk, highest-reward CRE investing strategy. It’s not for the faint of heart. Despite that, Preqin predicted that nearly half of all U.S. CRE investors would pursue an opportunistic strategy in 2016. (No word on how that prediction panned out.)

Opportunistic strategies target “properties that need a significant amount of work—either because of renovation needs, high vacancy, or relative strength of the market,” says Billy Fink of the leasing management platform VTS. “With a typical time horizon of 3–7 years, “opportunism” is a medium-term approach that banks on a turnaround—preferably of the investor’s own making.

Strategy #2: Value-added

Value-added strategies also carry substantial risk. According to Fink, value-added targets include “properties that have significant execution risk to add the necessary value to drive enhanced returns—like major renovation, repositioning, or lease-up to stabilization.” Value-added strategies typically take a full business cycle to execute—time horizons can stretch to or beyond seven years, ideally with substantially increased cash flow on the back end.

Strategy #3: Core-plus

Core-plus strategies target quality properties that present some opportunity to add value with relatively little downside risk. Since core-plus strategies tend to focus on “known quantities” with little execution risk, the potential return isn’t as high as opportunistic or value-added strategies. The upshot: Investors typically don’t have to pony up for major renovation projects or devote lots of energy to addressing pending lease expirations.

Click HERE to read more




Lou Pektor and his team at Ashley Development Corporation have done it again! Teaming up alongside Thomas Lubben with Easton Arts Academy Charter Elementary School in the revamping of the old Express Times Building. Covering Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, the Arts Academy will bring in over 400 students looking to further their education through the arts. The property is owned by Pektor, who is currently building the city’s new Police Station.

“We will have extra security knowing there is a police station there,” Lubben stated in a previous interview, when asked why he thought the site would be a good location for the school.

“We have always enjoyed our collaboration with Mayor Sal Panto and his team at the City as we collectively continue to transform the beautiful city of Easton we all know and love,” said Peter Reinke, VP of Development at Ashley Development. “We anticipate following up the Police Station and Charter School projects with a new addition to the city’s residential market.”


Posted by: Bob Wiley | January 25, 2017

Rodale to sell three Emmaus properties, asking $4.6M

By Wendy Solomon, January 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM
Rodale's Headquarters in Emmaus (Contributed photo)

Rodale’s Headquarters in Emmaus (Contributed photo)

Rodale Inc. plans to sell three properties in Emmaus, a move the publishing giant says will help centralize operations at its headquarters in the borough.

The three properties include two office buildings and a 10-acre parcel that could generate about $4.6 million for the company if sold.

NAI Summit in South Whitehall Township listed the properties: a two-story silk mill converted to offices at 554 North St. listed for $3.42 million; the Rodale Energy Center and Food Services building at 1134 Pennsylvania Ave. listed for $825,000; and a 9.85-acre lot and 1,600-square-foot service garage at 1480 Pennsylvania Ave. listed for $394,000.

Rodale plans to renovate its headquarters on East 10th Street, including photo and video studios, a food-testing kitchen and fitness facilities.

“This is a move that is smart for our business and our culture,” chief operating officer Beth Buehler said in a statement.

“With a centralized South Mountain campus, we will be looking to refresh and modernize our work environment to be reflective of our transforming culture,” Buehler said.

“We will be developing a workplace that will further break down silos, enhance collaboration across departments and offer a more dynamic floor plan and vibe.”

In 2015, Rodale sold for $2.95 million three properties that comprised its former corporate headquarters on East Minor Street to the borough of Emmaus.


Source:  LVB

Posted by: Bob Wiley | January 6, 2017

A Practical Guide to Understanding Zoning Laws

Why is zoning important? Zoning laws determine what kind of structures can be built, whether or not an existing property can be re-purposed, and even whether or not an existing structure can be replaced with something new at all. Of course, even if these aren’t changes you are currently considering, you might have a neighbor trying to make one of these changes… to the detriment of your own property.

Understanding zoning is important because it will in large part determine whether or not you get the change you want, and also whether or not you can prevent or modify the change you don’t want. In this article we’ll give you a practical guide to how zoning works, step by step.

I. The Purpose of Zoning

First of all, let’s start with the big picture. What exactly is zoning and what is its purpose? Zoning is the legislative process for dividing land into zones for different uses. Zoning laws are the laws that regulate the use of land and structures built upon it.

If you’ve ever dealt with a city, then you’ve probably heard some variation of the phrase “For the health, safety and general welfare of the public.” It means that every act of governance should (ideally) be made in the best interests of the people. Accordingly, zoning laws are created for the simple purpose of protecting the health, safety and general welfare of the people as relates to land use.

To achieve this purpose, zoning laws regulate the impacts of land use that may not be in the best interests of the people, generally including such things as:

  • Protecting the value and enjoyment of properties by separating incompatible land uses and minimizing their potentially negative impacts upon each other
  • Protecting the value and enjoyment of properties by allowing a property its most appropriate land use given its location and surrounding uses
  • Providing for the orderly development of a city, including making provisions for land uses in the best interests of its citizens, and
  • Providing adequate public infrastructure, e.g., roads, water and sewers

Cities want industrial uses for economic growth, but cities also want single-family residential areas for people to live. But will either the industrial users or residential users be happy if the two uses sit side-by-side? Not likely. When are neighboring uses happy? When they are compatible. This compatibility of the whole is the task of zoning; a sort of government-imposed “love thy neighbor as yourself.”

To accomplish this compatibility of uses, zoning gives the community a road map and a set of rules for driving. It considers how the city would like to grow. It then divides the city into different districts, limiting the uses allowed in each. It then creates laws regulating:

  • How each district can be used (e.g., commercial, residential, agricultural),
  • What types of buildings and other structures can be constructed within each district (e.g., size, number of stories, configuration)
  • Where those structures can be located (e.g., setbacks, green space), and
  • What measures the landowner must take to further compatibility with neighboring uses (e.g., buffers, flood control).

And then because the law recognizes life is not black and white, zoning laws provide flexibility for inevitable changes (who knew the state would construct that overpass, and make west-side ideal for retail instead of a quarry?) and also for inevitable special circumstances.

Let’s take a closer look at how zoning works.



Source:  Property Metrics


Posted by: Bob Wiley | January 4, 2017

Uncertain 2017 ahead for Lehigh Valley business community

Scott Kraus

By: Scott KrausContact ReporterOf The Morning Call

What’s in store in 2017 for Lehigh Valley business community?

Past performance, as investment advisers often remind us, is no guarantee of future results.

That could be the maxim for the Lehigh Valley’s business community in 2017 as it braces for a year of potentially unprecedented change.

The biggest question, and a common thread that runs through nearly every business sector with a local presence, is how the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump will affect the region’s economy?

“Certainly at the top of the list in a broad sense is what will this new administration mean to this country, this business community?” said Tony Iannelli, president and CEO of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.  Ready More

When renting office, retail or warehouse space there are basically three essential kinds of commercial real estate leases that revolve around two different approaches to calculating the rent: ‘gross’ and ‘net’.

The net type of lease involves a smaller base rent, with the tenant also paying other expenses. On the other hand, a gross lease generally indicates that a tenant pays rent in one lump sum, whereby the landlord then pays their expenses. A modified gross lease is a plausible combination of the two. Although the terms will vary widely according to each building, this general outline will help businesses and individuals get the best deal available.

Full Service Lease or Gross Lease

The rent is basically all-inclusive regarding a gross lease. The landlord pays most or all of the expenses related to the property, including maintenance, insurance, and taxes from the rent money received from each tenant. Both janitorial services and utilities are included for just one easy payment from the tenant.

When it comes to negotiating the terms of a gross lease, ideally the tenant should ask which specific janitorial services are included along with how often they’re offered as well. Overconsumption of utilities that surpass typical building standards is charged back to the renter sometimes. Therefore, if a certain tenant is a particularly excess consumer of electricity or gas, this needs to be pointed out in the terms of the lease. The tenant will pay their own taxes and property insurance.

A key advantage of this kind of lease is that it’s incredibly easy for the renter since it can predict expenses without the need to worry about an unforeseen lobby maintenance fee, for instance. The landlord is responsible for the building in general, while tenants focus on expanding their businesses.

What is a Net Lease?

In the case of a net lease, generally the landlord charges a lesser base rent regarding the commercial space as well as all or some of the typical costs, which usually include key expenses related to operations, use, and maintenance that the landlord covers. Some of these expenses may include, property insurance, real estate taxes, and CAMS (common area maintenance items), which involve:

• Property management fees
• Janitorial services
• Water
• Sewer
• Trash collection
• Fire sprinklers
• Parking lots
• General landscaping
• Any commonly shared service or area

There are a number of different kinds of net leases overall.

1. N Lease (Single Net Lease)

In this kind of lease, the occupant pays the base rent in addition to a pro-rata share of the property tax of the building, which refers to a part of the entire bill based on a portion of the total building space that’s leased by the occupant. Although the tenant pays for janitorial services and utilities, the landlord is responsible for all other expenses concerning the building itself.

2. NN Lease (Double Net Lease)

For a double net lease, the occupant is liable to pay base rent in addition to a pro-rata share regarding property insurance and property taxes while the landlord covers any expense for common area maintenance and structural repairs. Once again, the occupant is responsible for their own utilities and janitorial expenses.

3. NNN Lease (Triple Net Lease)

A triple net lease is the most common kind of net lease regarding retail & warehouse space, and freestanding commercial buildings. It’s also becoming more common for landlords to use this type when leasing office space.  It’s referred to as a ‘net’, ‘net’, ‘net’ lease (NNN lease), whereby the occupant pays part or all of the three said ‘nets’, including CAMS (common area maintenance items), insurance, and property taxes in addition to the base rent each month. Operating expenses and common area utilities are generally thrown in as well. For instance, the expense for hiring a lobby attendant would stem from the NNN fees. Naturally, occupants also pay for the costs of their own occupancy as well, including their own taxes and insurance, utilities, and janitorial services.

4. Absolute Triple Net Lease

Although this option is less common, it’s more binding and rigid than an NNN lease in general, whereby occupants carry virtually every real estate risk imaginable, for instance, being liable for the expense of rebuilding following a disaster or for paying rent even if the building is condemned. Appropriately referred to as the ‘hell or high water lease’, occupants are ultimately responsible for the building regardless of what happens.

5.  Modified Gross Lease

While the net lease is more landlord-friendly, and the gross lease is somewhat more tenant-friendly in nature, there’s a ‘compromise’ lease that exists for both parties. Sometimes referred to as a modified net lease, the modified gross lease is much like a gross lease in that the primary rent is provided in one lump sum and can include all or any of the ‘nets’, such as CAMS, insurance, or property taxes. Janitorial services and utilities are generally covered by the occupant. Both landlords and tenants negotiate which specific ‘nets’ will be included in the base rate of the rent.

With most tenants, the modified gross lease appears to be more popular overall due to its flexibility that translates into much easier terms of agreement between the landlord and the tenant. Different from the NNN lease, the rate of the lease will not change if taxes, insurance, or CAM fees increase.

Overview of NNN Lease, Full Service, or Modified Gross Commercial Leases

When weighing all the pros and cons of leasing office, retail, or warehouse space for your business, it’s crucial to compare all the different options available to you with a keen eye on all expenses, rather than just the primary rental rates. Overall, NNN primary rental rates tend to be substantially lower, with added fees for the actual monthly rate.

Regardless of the specific kind of lease, market forces will generally even out the rental rates regarding comparable properties. Occupants should expect to shell out the same amount with a full service, modified gross, or NNN lease for comparable quality office spaces around the same vicinity.

When it comes to commercial leases, the most important rule to remember is to thoroughly read the entire lease from beginning to end very carefully, and to clarify which expenses and fees you’re liable for. Certain situations for which additional charges may arise should be readily acknowledged and negotiated.

Source:  Austin TenantAdvisors

By Colin McEvoy on November 8, 2016

The new issue of the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report covers data from the third quarter of 2016.

Just over a month after the announcement that the Lehigh Valley’s GDP has reached record levels, there is more good news again for the regional economy, according to the latest issue of the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report.

Released quarterly by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), the new report indicates the fundamentals of the region’s office and industrial real estate markets remain strong, with vacancy rates in both markets comparing favorably to national averages.

“The Lehigh Valley industrial market is the second-largest in Eastern Pennsylvania, and is easily one of the healthiest markets in the United States,” said Brian Knowles, principal with Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania. He is one of several experts quoted in the report.

“Given its advantageous geographical position relative to major MSAs in the North Eastern U.S., its strong labor pools, and its logistical proximity to interstates 81 and 78, the Lehigh Valley will continue to attract new tenants, institutional investment and development opportunities through Q4 and well into 2017,” Knowles said.

Released this week, the new issue of the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report covers data from the third quarter of 2016. It is available digitally on the LVEDC website, and hard copies can be made available upon request at no cost.

The Lehigh Valley’s office vacancy rate for all combined real estate classes is currently 8.8 percent, according to the report, compared to the national average of 9.9 percent. The regional vacancy rate has dropped by roughly a half-percentage point each year since the third quarter of 2013, when it was 10.4 percent.

Rents have remained relatively stable over that time, coming in at $20.37 percent this quarter, compared to $19.80 exactly one year ago, according to Jarrett Witt, LVEDC Director of Business Development.

The industrial real estate market remains strong in the Lehigh Valley, with an aggregate vacancy rate of 4.9 percent, compared to a national average of 5.6 percent, according to the report.

The regional vacancy rate is a drop compared to 6.5 percent in the second quarter of 2016, but around the same as the 4.5 percent regional vacancy rate from the third quarter of 2013, according to the report.

Larger buildings in particular continue to have low vacancy rates, coming in at 3.7 percent for 500,000 square-feet or above, Witt said. The most significant movement in the industry market’s 1.1 million square-foot lease of warehouse space in 33 Logistics Park in Palmer Township.

Cindy McDonnell Feinberg, co-founder of Feinberg Real Estate Advisors, said in the report that office consumers are looking for a new experience consisting of shared office facilities, collaborative environments, technology services, vibrant environments and a sense of community.

“The Lehigh Valley is seeing success with collaborative work environments through new facilities in the Trifecta Building and Velocity in Allentown and traditional shared office spaces through Office Quarters in Upper Macungie, Madison Executive Center in Bethlehem, and Regus in Center Valley,” Feinberg said. “The environments match small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs in energetic environments.”

The report also includes such information as net absorption, average asking prices, year-over-year rent growth, and current economic data such as employment by industry, growth rates, historical unemployment data, and workforce growth. It also reports on the Lehigh Valley’s gross domestic product, which reached a record-high $37 billion in 2015.

The data featured in the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report was gathered by John Lamirand, LVEDC’s research specialist. To obtain copies, contact Director of Communications Colin McEvoy at or 610-266-3817.


Source:  Lehigh Valley Economic Development



Posted by: Bob Wiley | November 11, 2016

Attention Developers & Investors!

Golden Oaks Golf Club Available For Sale

Extraordinary opportunity for an investor, developer, or owner/user to own 168 AC w/a 2 sty clubhouse, farmhouse, & maint bldg. The course known as Golden Oaks Golf Club, is an award winning 18 hole, 7,100 yd course, fully sprinklered & has full macadam cart paths-tee to green, beautifully maintained landscaping. The 10,400+ SF clubhouse offers a pro shop adjacent to the restaurant which includes a lg wrap around bar & 2nd level w/a breezeway on the 1st level. In addition, there are men/women locker rms & a banquet rm. Outdoor seating on the deck overlooks the beautiful greens. The 6,900+ SF maint bldg is a metal panel bldg. w/16’ clgs, 2 – 10’ garage drs, 1-12’ garage dr, an office, bath, lunch rm, & mechanical rm. This property could be used turn-key or would make for an awesome development to accompany the existing 52 houses surrounding the property. Location is accessible to Rt 662, just S of Fleetwood, 115 miles to NYC, 60 miles to Philadelphia, & 25 miles to Allentown.

Click HERE for additional information.

Posted by: Bob Wiley | October 27, 2016

Simple Ways to Invest in Real Estate

By Andrew Beattie

Buying real estate is about more than just finding a place to call home. Investing in real estate has become increasingly popular over the last 50 years and has become a common investment vehicle.

Although the real estate market has plenty of opportunities for making big gains, buying and owning real estate is a lot more complicated than investing in stocks and bonds. In this article, we’ll go beyond buying a home and introduce you to real estate as an investment.

Click HERE for video

Basic Rental Properties

This is an investment as old as the practice of land ownership. A person will buy a property and rent it out to a tenant. The owner, the landlord, is responsible for paying the mortgage, taxes and costs of maintaining the property.

Ideally, the landlord charges enough rent to cover all of the aforementioned costs. A landlord may also charge more in order to produce a monthly profit, but the most common strategy is to be patient and only charge enough rent to cover expenses until the mortgage has been paid, at which time the majority of the rent becomes profit.

Furthermore, the property may also have appreciated in value over the course of the mortgage, leaving the landlord with a more valuable asset. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, real estate has consistently increased in value from 1940 to 2006, then proceeded to dip and rebound from 2008 to 2010 and has been increasing overall.

There are, of course, blemishes on the face of what seems like an ideal investment. You can end up with a bad tenant who damages the property or, worse still, end up having no tenant at all. This leaves you with a negative monthly cash flow, meaning that you might have to scramble to cover your mortgage payments. There is also the matter of finding the right property. You will want to pick an area where vacancy rates are low and choose a place that people will want to rent.

Perhaps the biggest difference between a rental property and other investments is the amount of time and work you have to devote to maintaining your investment.

When you buy a stock, it simply sits in your brokerage account and, hopefully, increases in value. If you invest in a rental property, there are many responsibilities that come along with being a landlord. When the furnace stops working in the middle of the night, it’s you who gets the phone call. If you don’t mind handyman work, this may not bother you; otherwise, a professional property manager would be glad to take the problem off your hands, for a price, of course.

Real Estate Investment Groups

Real estate investment groups are sort of like small mutual funds for rental properties. If you want to own a rental property, but don’t want the hassle of being a landlord, a real estate investment group may be the solution for you.

A company will buy or build a set of apartment blocks or condos and then allow investors to buy them through the company, thus joining the group. A single investor can own one or multiple units of self-contained living space, but the company operating the investment group collectively manages all the units, taking care of maintenance, advertising vacant units and interviewing tenants. In exchange for this management, the company takes a percentage of the monthly rent.

There are several versions of investment groups, but in the standard version, the lease is in the investor’s name and all of the units pool a portion of the rent to guard against occasional vacancies, meaning that you will receive enough to pay the mortgage even if your unit is empty. The quality of an investment group depends entirely on the company offering it. In theory, it is a safe way to get into real estate investment, but groups are vulnerable to the same fees that haunt the mutual fund industry. Once again, research is the key.

Real Estate Trading

This is the wild side of real estate investment. Like the day traders who are leagues away from a buy-and-hold investor, the real estate traders are an entirely different breed from the buy-and-rent landlords. Real estate traders buy properties with the intention of holding them for a short period of time, often no more than three to four months, whereupon they hope to sell them for a profit. This technique is also called flipping properties and is based on buying properties that are either significantly undervalued or are in a very hot market.

Pure property flippers will not put any money into a house for improvements; the investment has to have the intrinsic value to turn a profit without alteration or they won’t consider it. Flipping in this manner is a short-term cash investment.

If a property flipper gets caught in a situation where he or she can’t unload a property, it can be devastating because these investors generally don’t keep enough ready cash to pay the mortgage on a property for the long term. This can lead to continued losses for a real estate trader who is unable to offload the property in a bad market.

A second class of property flipper also exists. These investors make their money by buying reasonably priced properties and adding value by renovating them. This can be a longer-term investment depending on the extent of the improvements. The limiting feature of this investment is that it is time intensive and often only allows investors to take on one property at a time.


Real estate has been around since our cave-dwelling ancestors started chasing strangers out of their space, so it’s not surprising that Wall Street has found a way to turn real estate into a publicly-traded instrument.

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is created when a corporation (or trust) uses investors’ money to purchase and operate income properties. REITs are bought and sold on the major exchanges, just like any other stock. A corporation must pay out 90% of its taxable profits in the form of dividends, to keep its status as an REIT. By doing this, REITs avoid paying corporate income tax, whereas a regular company would be taxed its profits and then have to decide whether or not to distribute its after-tax profits as dividends.

Much like regular dividend-paying stocks, REITs are a solid investment for stock market investors that want regular income. In comparison to the aforementioned types of real estate investment, REITs allow investors into non-residential investments such as malls or office buildings and are highly liquid. In other words, you won’t need a realtor to help you cash out your investment.


With the exception of REITs, investing in real estate gives an investor one tool that is not available to stock market investors: leverage. If you want to buy a stock, you have to pay the full value of the stock at the time you place the buy order. Even if you are buying on margin, the amount you can borrow is still much less than with real estate.

Most “conventional” mortgages require 25% down, however, depending on where you live, there are many types of mortgages that require as little as 5%. This means that you can control the whole property and the equity it holds by only paying a fraction of the total value. Of course, your mortgage will eventually pay the total value of the house at the time you purchased it, but you control it the minute the papers are signed.

This is what emboldens real estate flippers and landlords alike. They can take out a second mortgage on their homes and put down payments on two or three other properties. Whether they rent these out so that tenants pay the mortgage or they wait for an opportunity to sell for a profit, they control these assets, despite having only paid for a small part of the total value.

The Bottom Line

We have looked at several types of real estate investment. However, we have only scratched the surface. Within these examples there are countless variations of real estate investments. As with any investment, there is much potential with real estate, but this does not mean that it is an assured gain. Make careful choices and weigh out the costs and benefits of your actions before diving in.

Read more: Simple Ways to Invest in Real Estate | Investopedia
Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »