Jewel of the Finger Lakes Region Plans Reopening

The former North Shore Grill located at 5870-5872 Big Tree Road in Livonia, NY is getting an upgrade.

Owned by Cole Dixon Properties, LLC, the 6,193 square foot restaurant, affectionately referred to as “Key West on Conesus Lake,” is the only restaurant/bar on the lake with a dock. Its new lessee, Alison Demarco, will be changing the restaurant’s name to Hook & Spoon and is planning to reopen in August.

One of the crown jewels of the Finger Lakes region, Hook & Spoon will feature a private dining room, Tiki bar, built-in outdoor fire pit, outdoor stage, separate cottage, and spectacular views of Conesus Lake.

The deal, which closed in December 2016, was brokered by Eric Whitlock and Gary Thomas of HUNT Commercial Real Estate in Rochester. Both Whitlock and Thomas specialize in restaurant real estate.

11 Organizing Tips From Bright Organizing Solutions

HUNT Commercial Real Estate would like to thank Aly Luccari from Bright Organizing Solutions, LLC. for meeting with us to discuss organization techniques and solutions. Luccari discussed ways that organization can help with balancing life both inside and outside of work, as well as how being disorganized in one part of your life can affect the others. Luccari also shared her

11 Organizing Lessons From the Past 11 Years.

  1. You are not broken, your current system is.
  2. Everyone has a system that works; it just needs to be discovered and built upon.
  3. It’s not about the stuff, it’s about how it is handled.
  4. Empty space is good space; for your eyes, your mind, and your body.
  5. The one tool everyone needs to be successfully organized is honesty.
  6. Attempts to organize can get a person to a level 5 out of 10. (The day-to-day sweet spot is an 8.)
  7. Working with a professional organizer can get a person close to a 10.
  8. Goals for a business professional is to increase their bottom line, not their work-load.
  9. Goals for the everyday individual is to increase their sense of space and clarity.
  10. Working with a professional organizer saves hours of time and work spent organizing a space as an individual.
  11. Everyone has enough. Enough time, enough energy and enough space. It just needs to be used to its fullest potential.

Aly Luccari started Bright Organizing Solutions, LLC. in 2005. Her business has grown from working in homes to working in offices with numerous business professionals. She works to establish unique organization systems and processes to support a variety of situations including professionals, creatives and solopreneurs.

Organizing with Aly can be done on location or virtually. A free consultation is the first step! Follow the link below to see how it is done! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJXU4P_g_G0

 

Western New York Invests in Solar Energy

HUNT Commercial would like to thank Montante Group for hosting us at their River Road 200+ acre Riverview Solar Technology Park (RSTP) and taking time to discuss their unique role in WNY as the only development firm with expertise in Commercial Solar Installation, Construction and Real Estate Development.

Montante Solar’s commercial solar installation business reduces a businesses’ carbon footprint while providing an excellent return on investment. An example of the groundbreaking work Monante Solar has done in WNY includes a project developed in partnership with D & S Capital, a real estate investment firm located at Waterfront Village in Buffalo. Montante Solar was hired to develop a solar project concept to power tenant operations.  The final project, located only steps away from Erie Basin Marina converted an open roof into an onsite power generating facility.

Building tenants can now brag that their operations are powered from a renewable energy source, while D & S Capital benefits by monetizing the value of the solar electricity.  Montante Solar collaborated with D & S Capital to establish a project structure that not only optimized the incentive and tax benefits, but also worked efficiently with the existing tenant leases.  D & S Capital President, Dr. Fadi Dagher shared, “Since making this significant investment, we have realized benefits in our overall marketability to existing and new tenants, raised our company profile and given our employees and tenants something to be proud of.”

Donna L. Kostrzewski, Director of Leasing at TM Montante Development also shared some facts and fiction about solar energy:

Fiction: Solar doesn’t work well in WNY.
Fact: Solar works great in WNY! Panels are actually at their most efficient point when its sunny but not blazing hot. This makes WNY’s spring, summer, and fall seasons optimal for solar.

Fiction: Solar is too expensive.
Fact:  Solar prices have dropped dramatically over the past few years and the typical ROI on a commercial solar project is 5-7 years.

Fiction: I can’t do solar because my roof isn’t compatible.
Fact: In WNY you can utilize remote net metering and build a solar array off-site for your business.

Fiction: The technology is too new
Fact: The modern solar array technology has been in deployment for nearly 50 years with increases in efficiency growing expedentially.  The typical array is warranted for 25 years but can produce energy well beyond that time frame.

Fiction: You can’t do solar on a Brownfield.
Fact: Solar is eligible for the tangible assets Brownfield tax credits.

For more information on becoming a solar hero visit Montante Solar online. http://www.montantesolar.com/

Commercial Tax Assessments in WNY

HUNT Commercial Real Estate would like to thank Michael J. Hughes and Ashley L. Swan from the Law Offices of Michael J Hughes, PLLC for meeting with us to discuss property tax assessments and the potential property tax assessment issues business owners can face when buying, selling, or renovating commercial real estate properties. Hughes discussed what assessments are based on, how assessments can change, how to know if an assessment is too high, and the process of challenging an assessment.

Hughes shared that residential assessments are based on size, condition, and recent comparable sales in the neighborhood or similar neighborhoods. They can also be based on recent sales of the residential property itself. Commercial assessments however are based on recent comparable sales, as well as an analysis of the income and expenses of the property.

A property’s tax assessment is not set in stone. It will typically change when there is a reevaluation of the entire town or city. An assessment may also change if there have been improvements made to the property, or if the property has undergone some type of destruction.

If a property is assessed higher than recent sales of similar properties in the area, including the sale of the property itself, or a recent appraisal of the property, the assessment may be too high. For commercial properties, an income and expense analysis will indicate the proper assessment.

The tentative tax rolls for towns are published on May 1st each year. If you disagree with this number, a grievance must be filed by last week of May. If your property is located in a city however, these dates may vary. Once a grievance has been filed, a hearing is held before the Board of Assessment Review, and a decision will be rendered by July 1st. If you still feel that the assessed value is incorrect, the decision can be appealed. For residential properties, a Small Claims Assessment Review or “SCAR” appeal is filed. For commercial properties, an Article VII appeal is filed in Supreme Court. The deadline for these proceedings is July 31st. Hughes represent owners at all stages of these proceedings.

 

The Law Offices of Michael J. Hughes, PLLC has over 30 years of experience in representing municipalities, homeowners and commercial property owners in property tax assessment challenges across western New York and adjoining counties. His office also offers services in Real Estate Closings and other property related matters. Find The Law Offices of Michael J. Hughes, PLLC online at mjhugheslaw.com.

 

Golf Team Speaks at 2016 NYSAA Seminar

Congrats to HUNT Commercial agents and Golf Links Properties members Rolf Bruckert, Barbara Dodge, and Kristen Hundshamer for being selected to speak at the 2016 New York State Assessors Association (NYSAA) seminar held in Lake George, NY. The discussion was hosted and monitored by Town of Clay assessor Robert Bick and centered on determining real estate market value. Other panelists included assessor Curt Schoeberl, attorney Rebecca M. Speno, appraiser John LaClaire, mortgage broker Rick Wilson, and construction engineer Cranson Gates​.

The purpose of the panel discussion was to discuss the meaning of market value, however all agreed that while there is a method to determine the market value of a property, rarely is that number exact. “We learned that market value can be based on perception and that an appraisal is the best educated guess of an appraiser. Cost, income and sales approaches were discussed as well as the condition of the economy dictating the market values.” Hundshamer reported.

The panel also discussed a Syracuse newspaper article titled “Bank Decides How Much It Will Lend.” This article talked about a bank appraiser appraising a property for $365,000 and then later changing the appraisal to $350,000, which is what the buyers originally offered. Ultimately the point of the article was that often, appraisers work for the benefit of lenders, not buyers or sellers. Many panelists agreed that there is a need for restructuring the appraisal process within the banking structure.

Members of the Golf Links Properties team shared an experience where a bank appraisal wasn’t congruent with their opinion of value for a particular golf property. They challenged the bank and demonstrated how they arrived at that number. “If we can prove that our valuation process is a more solid approach than that of an appraiser, based on our expertise, then we have been able to satisfy the challenge and have proved our method for arriving at value.” Hundshamer stated.

All the panelists essentially agreed that there is nothing set in stone from one appraiser to the next or one opinion to the next. Often times they will use a parameter of value as opposed to an exact number for this very reason.

NYSAA’s objective is to improve the standards of assessment practice and to educate the taxpaying public on the importance of work performed by assessing officers. They look to research and improve assessment techniques, promote equity in the distribution of real property tax, and sponsor legislative proposals related to assessing and taxation.

Golf Links Properties aims to be the partner of choice for clients and investors seeking to expand personal and professional portfolios in the Northeast USA and Southeast Florida, specifically related to golf and hospitality property and businesses. They continue to offer their clients and investors up-to-date information, demonstrating market awareness to enhance portfolio expansion or dissolution with prompt and professional service.  They invest in continuing their professional education, maintaining their membership in professional organizations and cutting edge marketing platforms to bring value to all of their clients. Visit them online at http://www.golflinksproperties.com/.

For more information on the assessment process visit the New York State Assessors Association online at http://www.nyassessor.com/.

Changing Workforce Means Changing Workspace

The extensive use of mobile devices combined with a new generation of working millennials has created a new question in the workforce. Why go to work every day?

Changes to the workforce began with the introduction of the smartphone which was quickly followed by the integration of other mobile devices. Such devices have since made their way into almost all aspects of everyday life. A few decades ago, business calls had to be made from an office phone. Now, phone calls, emails, texts, and other forms of communication can be sent from virtually anywhere.

The workforce has also changed due to the wave of millennials that has been integrated. Currently millennials make up the largest generation of people in the workforce, even surpassing baby boomers. They have not only changed how work is done, but they have also changed how businesses and organizations function as a whole.

The days of employees bunkering down in their offices for 10+ hours a day are gone. So too is the notion of an organization hiring one superstar employee to pump out one genius idea after another. So why bother going into work at all? One word, collaboration. Organizations now look to hire employees who can collaborate well with others.

Research has shown, organizations that promote collaborative efforts among employees produce more innovative and higher quality ideas. Successful organizations embrace teamwork. Some go even further to reconfigure workspaces to foster such collaborations. How can this be done? It first begins with a radical departure from the use of private offices. Such a drastic departure from the traditional office configuration might be intimidating, but companies like Prentice Office Environments specialize in helping all kinds of organizations make the most of their space to create an environment that promotes innovation. In other words, space planning.

Prentice advices businesses on how their space can be used efficiently in the changing workforce. Some employees, for example, might just need a place to plug-in while not being tied down to a desk. Such employees don’t require as much space as someone who works best at a desk they can call their own. It depends on the type of employee. All businesses however should keep the goal of fostering collaboration in mind when space planning.

Prentice practices what they preach. They’ve completely done away with individual office spaces and cubicles for a more innovative environment. Their Environments & Showroom Office, located at 472 Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo features a unique open workspace configuration designed to promote collaborative efforts among employees. For circumstances that require more discretion, several sound-proof privacy rooms have been constructed as well as a number of traditional conference rooms.

Mobile devices enable business to be conducted almost anywhere. So what does this mean for your organization? To motivate employees, especially millennials, to spend time in the office, businesses should design workspaces that promote collaborative efforts among employees. Doing so will make employees feel more engaged with the company and each other.

Prentice Office Environments began in 1834. They work to provide workplace insights and innovations while solving the unique challenges posed by today’s workplace needs. Special thanks to Amanda Schroeder of Prentice Office Environments for taking time to meet with HUNT Commercial to discuss how they can assist with WNY’s design, space planning, furniture, and move management needs.