Olde Town Rental Market Update



 Hi, Today we are talking about a rental market update for the Old Town neighborhood.


Overall, in Old Town, we see rental rate rising.  We see young professionals increasingly being tenants in the Old Town neighborhood. They want to be close to downtown work. We’re seeing a trend that buyers and tenants tend to be overwhelmingly young and female. Tend to be young professionals.  And we’re also seeing more families with children moving into the neighborhood.  

In the video you’ll see a diagram of the rent rate curves.  The curve can help you visualize rental rates as a function of size, so you  can deduce that if you have 500 SF apartment, on average your guessing about 80 cents a foot.

The next chart is a diagram of rent per SF against average score–we gave each unit a ranking from one to five for condition and location.  And so we averages those two numbers together to give us and average score and of course, you can see here that there is a correlation between location and the rental rate.   Now, it’s not as tight as you would expect. so there are some people that are leasing units that are not quite that nice or not in a great location and their still getting $1.05 a square foot.

You know, so I think would tell you if it’s not a perfect market in Old Town and that there’s a lot of demand and sometimes people are making due with units that aren’t quite that nice.

The overall trend of the rental rates is rising, so here you see that over the past four years the rental rates have gone from an average of 80 cents a square foot to about 87 cents a square foot. So your seeing slow and steady increase in the rental rate.

We also have a shown the changes in the rent curves over time.    You see a for a 500 square foot apartment it would give you about $1.10 and then these are the two curves for 2019 and 2020. So you see pretty evenly spread here. We actually removed a few rentals form 401 Broad, listened to their legacy, rents, they actually brought the curve down so when you remove those outliers, the curve actually fits pretty steadily in there.

So, that is our Old Town rental market report. Overall, a great trend, we are seeing a lot of good things happening in the neighborhood.

We would love to hear from you. What are you seeing Downtown?  What are you experiencing with rental rates? Please like and share, comment below, subscribe. We’d love to hear from you and thanks for watching, and have a great day.


Three Things to Consider regarding Personal Guarantees in Commercial Leases



If you’re a business person and you’re leasing commercial space, you’ve probably come across personal guarantees. Most commercial leases for high quality space include a personal guarantee.  It’s incredibly important that you understand what impact they can have to you personally and professionally. Most small businesses don’t succeed, so it’s important to have a plan for what to do if the business fails.  I always advise a business person to have an exit plan that includes some bankruptcy planning. What are you going do if the business doesn’t do well? So, if you’re signing a personal guarantee, if you’re signing in a shopping center or even you know a warehouse, flex-pay space, complex, that could be a few million dollars. And so, should your business start to fail and you have seven years left on the term of your lease and you have signed a personal guarantee, you could be on the hook for a few million dollars.


  • Bankruptcy Planning.  If you’ve got a long line of creditors, your landlord may not want to spend the money to go after you for that or he may have a very low probability of getting anything out of the bankruptcy but you still, when you get to that point, that’s not a great option. So, my advice is always talk to a bankruptcy attorney in advance. Usually, what that means is putting all of your assets that you want to keep in your wife’s name or your spouse’s name or a trust, it means that you’ve thought through and you only are personally connected to things that are connected to the business and that you can afford to lose. So, worst case scenario is that your business starts struggling, you get behind, and suddenly, you luck up and the only option for you is bankruptcy and your house, your car, your stocks, your rental properties, everything is in your personal name. And that means when you start trying to figure out how to work your way through the bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee has access to all of those assets. Please talk to a bankruptcy attorney.
  • Franchise Agreement.  Also, look at your franchise agreement. It’s a great idea to have an attorney look at your franchise agreement. Often, there’s language in there about what will happen if the business shuts down.  Worst case, the franchisor may have the right to step in and take the business.  Often the franchisor has the right but not the obligation to satisfy the lease–and this could potentially save you from having to satisfy the personal guarantee.  
  • Waiving the Guarantee.  Finally, there may be a chance with a strong balance sheet, you don’t have to sign a personal guarantee, or the corporate guarantee may be strong enough to satisfy the landlord.  That’s something that could be negotiated away by the commercial broker whose representing you on your lease.  Also, if you’re renewing the lease and you’ve been there for a long time, there may be a way, an opportunity to do away the personal guarantee.  It’s also important to remember that if you sell the business you may not be released from the personal guarantee–this needs to be a part of the conversation if you sell your business.  

Hopefully that’s helpful.  Again, this is Jonathan Aceves. Thanks for watching and have a great day!


Calculating Capital Gains for 1031 Exchanges


Hi, I’m Jonathan Aceves with Meybohm Commercial, where we help business leaders make wise commercial real estate decisions, and today we’re going to be talking about the basics of 1031 Exchanges and capital gains. 


How do you determine what your capital gain will be on a sale?  Let me tell you a story.  I have an acquaintance who sold a building that he’d owned for a very long time for what he thought was a very good price.  He didn’t consult with an accountant, and he didn’t get a commercial broker to review the transaction.  He closed on the sale, and when he sat down with his tax preparer, he learned that he was going to be responsible for over $300,000 in taxes! This means he lost nearly $90,000 on the transaction. This was devastating to him and his family.  


So—how do you determine your capital gain and keep this from happening to yourself or someone you care about?  First, you’ll need to know your adjusted basis.  If you own commercial real estate, I can’t tell you how important it is to have a good CPA.  Not a tax preparer but someone who routinely analyses and advises commercial real estate owners on transactions.  Someone like this can compute your adjusted basis in a property quite easily.  Here’s the formula:

Basis at acquisitions

+ Capital Additions

– Cost Recovery Taken

– Basis in partial sales

= Adjusted Basis at Sale


Now we can calculate your capital gains: 

Sale Price

-cost of sale

-Adjusted basis

-participation in partial sale


-Straight line cost recovery

-Suspended losses

= Capital gain from Appreciation


That’s it!  We’ll put our Meybohm Sale Worksheet on the blog that you can download to do this.  Although make sure you have a good CPA perform or check any figures, and advise you on tax implications.  If you don’t have one, reach out to us and we can give you a few recommendations. 


If you’re considering selling a property and want to talk about your 1031 exchange options, we’re happy to sit down and review your transaction.  Thanks for watching! Please like and share!  We’d love to hear your feedback and comments! 


More resources: 

CSW Capital Overview of 1031 Exchanges

Cherry Bekaert overview of 1031 Exchanges

Major improvements coming to I-20 Exit 183, making way for Amazon Fulfillment Center

The Augusta Chronicle reported that United Infrastructure Group Inc. of Charlotte, NC won the bid for redesigning the Exit 183 interchange, adding two roundabouts and new bridge.  According the GDOT, the bridge will have 12-foot lanes, 12-foot medians, and 8-foot shoulders.  


Austin Rhodes broke the story last week that Amazon fulfillment center is coming to the White Oaks Business Park, Columbia County Development Authority’s Industrial park located right off of I-20 at Exit 183, in what could be a 2,000,000 Square Foot facility, bringing 1000 jobs to the area.  


What are your thoughts on the development?  Are roundabouts going to be good or bad for this intersection?  
We’d love to hear from you!  

The Four Primary Uses of Sale-Leasebacks


Today we’ll be discussing the four primary uses of sale leasebacks: Financing, Improved Returns, Balance Sheet Improvements, and Exit/Repositioning.  


The Four Primary Uses for Sale-Leasebacks

  1. Financing: Allows for off-balance sheet financing (100% of equity can be made available for investment, as opposed to 75% with traditional financing) and at a lower cost
  2. Improved Returns: Firms may earn a higher return on their primary business rather than in real estate, so they consider moving capital to principal business to expand operations
  3. Balance Sheet Improvements: Tool for improving the balance sheet which can be important for exit planning and larger corporations
  4. Exit/Repositioning: When a firm determines they want to exit a given market/location, they can execute SLB to cash out of a given asset in advance, and then have 5-10 years to find new location.


Sale-leasebacks are a popular means for companies to fuel growth by moving capital out of real estate and into their principal business.  Often, releasing capital in real estate is more affordable and has better terms than bank financing.  With bank financing, you may only be able to release 75-80% of the equity in your real estate, and that loan will likely come with a 3-year balloon payment.  And often the appraised value of the building is the value of the vacant building.  With a Sale-leaseback, a business owner can tap into 100% of the equity in the real estate, with no balloon payment, and often the value of the NNN lease to an investor is higher than the appraised value of the empty building (depending on the owner’s creditworthiness and balance sheet).  Also, a risk of bank financing is that if the appraised value falls below the agreed-upon LTV, the loan is in default and immediately called (think 2008).  The sale-leaseback puts the market risk on the new owner.

Improved Returns

If the returns from a company’s principal business are higher than the returns on the real estate, it often makes sense to move equity out of real estate and invest it in the company’s core business.  The goal is always to maximize return.  For example, if the business is able to gain a 20% return from day-to-day operations, and the ownership of the real estate where the business resides is only netting an 8% return, returns would increase if the business could divest of the real estate to allow for greater investment in the core business.  Through the signing of a long-term lease, the real estate can be sold, the business remains in operation in its current location, and operations could conceivably be expanded with the opening of a new location or other operational expansion. 

Balance Sheet Improvements

As a seller looks to exit their business, it can become important to improve financial statements.  With this strategy, the seller replaces a fixed asset with a current asset. This increases the current ratio (current assets/current liabilities).  Sometimes referred to as the Working Capital Ratio, investors see this as an indication a company’s ability to service its short-term debt. 


A Sale-leaseback can be a useful tool for a business that knows it wants to move from a given location into another market or trade area in the future.  It can also be a means to exit from an overly specialized or obsolete building.  An example could be a prison or a hospital, or a retailer realizing that growth is moving in a given direction and determining that in 10 years it will move to follow growth, or that they will centralize their operations in a new building. 


What are your thoughts on SLBs?  Have you ever performed one?  As a growth plan, have you evaluated a SLB?  What are pros and cons in your opinion?  We’d love to hear from you.  Please comment below, share with friends, and thanks for reading! 


Sale Leaseback Overview and Medical Office Case Study

Sale Leaseback Overview

What is a Sale-leaseback and how could it impact your business?  A Sale-Leaseback (SLB) is when an owner of real estate sells their real estate subject to a new long-term lease, and then sells the real estate to an investor.  This can have a variety of benefits and uses including providing a means to raise capital for growth, as an effective exit-planning tool, helping improve the balance sheet, and potentially positioning owner for exit of market.  If a growing company’s returns on their core business outweighs the returns on real estate deal, then it is generally recommended to sell the real estate and invest in operations. Often terms for a sale-leaseback are preferable to debt financing, especially for a growing company.   Many national retailers, fast-food franchises, and medical practices utilize sale-leasebacks to grow their business.  A sale-leaseback analysis and comparison to debt financing should be something every executive should review for their business. 


The Definition

  • A Sale-Leaseback is when an owner sells their real estate to an investor, and in the same transaction leases the building back from the new owner. Typically, these leases are long-term triple-net leases. 


The Four Primary Uses for Sale-Leasebacks

  1. Financing: Allows for off-balance sheet financing (100% of equity can be made available for investment, as opposed to 75% with traditional financing) and at a lower cost.  This can allow for faster growth.
  2. Improved Returns: Firms may earn a higher return on their primary business rather than in real estate, so they consider moving capital to principal business to expand operations.
  3. Balance Sheet Improvements: Tool for improving the balance sheet which can be important for exit planning and larger corporations.
  4. Exit/Repositioning: When a firm determines they want to exit a given market/location, they can execute SLB to cash out of a given asset in advance, and then have 5-10 years to find new location.


Case Study: Exit plan for Medical Office

Hypothetical case study based on real-life business: A local medical practice with an almost 40-year history is determining how to transition from the founders to the two younger partners.  The senior partner owns the building.  The business is grossing about 3.5M per year.  The building has a tax value of 1.4M.  What’s the best way for the senior partner to sell the practice and real estate? 

The building is a 10,000 SF building.  Leased at $18NNN, at an 8% discount rate, that would be a sale value of 2.25M.  Likely an investor could do a little better than that, depending on balance sheet. The 180,000 rent payment would be about 5%, which is within the industry standard of 5-7%.   The building empty would likely sell for around $160/SF, or about 1.6M.  

Executing a sale leaseback could allow the senior partner to cash out of his investment with a lump sum, and finance the business to his partners. The junior partners could also get bank debt to purchase the business and the building, potentially with SBA and competitive terms.  Often, the value of a leased asset can be higher than the value an appraiser would put on the building, and higher than the valuation a bank would put on a building.   Regardless, the value of the lease to an investor can help the senior partner set a value on the practice. 

The Medical Practice engages a commercial broker to create an analysis of the sale leaseback.  Working with a commercial lender and business financial planner, the team reviews the past three years’ tax returns, balance sheets, and P&Ls for the practice.  With this information, the team generates the analysis.  The financial planner gives an analysis of the business sale with and without the real estate.  The commercial real estate broker generates an opinion of value for the building itself and its potential value to an investor subject to a long-term lease.  Also, the commercial lender can present terms for financing for both the business and the building.  


What are your thoughts on SLBs?  Have you ever purchased or evaluated a SLB?  If you’re a business owner, what have been your considerations regarding SLBs?

Economists project positive 2020 economic outlook, but with a few concerns

Overall there was good news for a room full of business leaders gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Augusta.  The 2020 forecast was hosted by the Terry College of Business at UGA, and presented by Dr. Ben Ayers and Cal Wray.  

Dr. Ayers outlined a number of economic development announcements from across the state, including the Union Agener and Acoustics & Insulation Techniques announcements which themselves will bring 245 jobs to the CSRA.  

Cal Wray, president of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, noted that Augusta has experienced 8.5% population growth since 2010, and unemployment sits at historic lows near 2.9%.  With Fort Gordon continuing to expand, Augusta’s future looks bright, even as nationally and internationally there are warnings signs of an economic slowdown.  
For an in-depth review, real the Amanda King’s article in the Augusta Chronicle.  

What are your thoughts?  What are you seeing in the local economy?  

New Apartments Coming to Downtown Augusta and implications to Rental Rates


Rendering of  54 unit mixed-use development ‘The Atticus’ planned for 10th at Ellis.


Damon Cline reported on Monday that Downtown Augusta will see one of the first downtown multifamily projects in decades at the corner of 10th and Ellis next year.  Known as “Connell’s Corner”, and long home to the local favorite “Sandwich City”, the property will soon be the home to a new high-end four-story apartment building. 

‘It will boast a covered and gated 57-space parking lot, ground floor retail/restaurant space, a rooftop patio and high-tech features such as keyless entry – the types of amenities that appeal to urban-minded young professionals migrating to the downtown area.’


The story was broken by Damon Cline, who also shared some statistics and details about the overall rental market in Augusta.  Overall, apartment rents are rising quickly, and what was once considered a “Class-A”  apartment renting at $1.15-$1.25/SF/Month, has been eclipsed by new super-luxury apartments renting at $1.30-$1.40/SF/Month.  This new class of apartments come equipped with similar finishes found in luxury homes, including granite and high-end appliances.


We recently discussed charting rent curves and what they tell us about rent rates and forecasting rent rates.  I think this is a great case study.  Here’s what the rent curves for downtown apartments looks like:

You can download the spreadsheet here.   These are asking rates at the major downtown apartment complexes vs. downtown lofts and upstairs apartments.  You can see a big difference between the two.  I think what we’re seeing is that the curves are moving out–driven by a higher demand for downtown apartments like Canalside and Ironwood.  My guess is that the Atticus could probably plot a new curve–maybe ask $2.15 for their smallest units, and maybe $1.50-$1.65 for their larger ones.  If they’re successful with this project, I think we’ll start to see redevelopment of buildings that have up to now been impossible to redevelop with existing rental rates.  


What are your thoughts?  What are your observations about Augusta’s rental market?  Do you think Downtown will continue to grow and develop?  

Development Authority negotiates Greenjackets Stadium Lease


The former home of the Augusta Greenjackets is getting a second life. Last week Augusta leaders agreed on a deal to bring more entertainment to the Augusta area. A 10-year master lease agreement to bring big acts and events to the Lake Olmstead Stadium will have us seeing the area around Lake Olmstead transformed starting this April. The Augusta Commission voted and approved for the Augusta Development Authority’s “stadium master lease” of the facilities. C4 Live, the subtenant, will be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to make upgrades to the structure and in addition to Masters Week, we can expect other entertainment events through out the year. This is great news for Augusta and this piece of land getting a second life!


What’s a master lease, you may ask?  Here’s Bigger Pocket’s summary, but in short, it’s when an owner leases a space to a tenant who then has the right to sublease to another tenant.  The city of Augusta will lease to the EDA, who in turn will lease to C4 Live.  This is generally good when the landlord trusts the master tenant, but has no relationship to the subtenant–the master tenant is guaranteeing the performance of the lease.  






Using Rent Curves to Study Multifamily Rental Rates

This is Jonathan Aceves with Meybohm Commercial Real Estate, advising business leaders and helping them make wise real estate decisions.  Today we’re going to be discussing Multifamily Rent Curves.  


How does one set out to study multifamily rental rates?  We do this by building a rent curve.  Let’s say you want to study the rental rates for housing in Martinez, GA.  We would do a survey of rental rates at apartment complexes in the area, and plot them on a graph.  The graph would start out looking like this:

Then we would separate them by class.  Class is a ranking system given to multifamily properties by investors, generally A, B, C, and D.  A properties are generally newer, amenitized, and really nice.  B properties are usually good, but maybe a little older, maybe not the same level of amenities.  C properties are in not-so-great areas, in fair condition, usually schools aren’t so good.  D properties are in bad condition and really rough areas, these are the kind that you wouldn’t go to at night.  Once you’ve broken them apart by class, you draw a curve over them.  You would end up with something like this:


It is interesting to note the steepness of the curve, and the distance between the different curves.  Another thing to note is that market changes shift the curves.  This is what we see in rapidly gentrifying areas—the entire curve moves out.


So how do you use the rent curve?  Well this helps investors identify opportunities for repositioning.  It also helps you identify management problems.  If I see a complex with below-market rents, I try to figure out why.  Is it a problem that an investor can fix?  


Thanks for reading!  Please like and share with those you think might benefit from this.  We’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts about rental rates?