The A. J. Advisor September 2015

Volume 21, Issue 3 | Download

Value of Community  |  101: Role of the Broker

The True Value of Community

Winer on Odenton by Jay Winer

I  attended my grandson’s elementary school graduation from Piney Orchard Elementary in June. As I listened to the songs and speeches of the children about their experiences from the first, most formative years of their formal education, I was struck by every child and teacher that made reference to Piney Orchard.

I explained to my grandson that he’d graduated from a place that was at one time just a colored blob on a land use plan representing the Piney Orchard community. I reminded him I had worked on the plan when Odenton was barely more than a rail stop, a strip center, and a post office.  I told him I was doubly proud because he lives and graduated from a school in a place his family helped to build into a community we can all enjoy now, just as we envisioned.

I realized the institutionalizing of the name Piney Orchard meant its’ economic, recreational and cultural impact had been felt. Not only has Piney Orchard been a fine example of development excellence, its delivered on its promise as a place to live, work and play for thousands of households and families.   It not only made me thankful for him and his parents and the rest of my family, it made me proud of the effect Piney Orchard has had on the community as a whole.

We set out to set an example. It took a long time, but Piney Orchard connected the past with the future. By creating a home and nurturing environment for so many new residents and businesses, Piney Orchard sowed the seeds in the market that grew to create the demand for the rest of the plan that became the Odenton Town Center. The Town Center has been in the planning just as long as Piney Orchard. But Piney Orchard needed to mature to help support the timing for the construction of the density required to allow for a real center of town that would create a sense of place for this region of West County.

The full build out of Piney Orchard and many more residences in the town center area, has created a significant constituency demanding better services and access and could no longer be denied by the County.  Even though most of the “anchor” types of commercial services have gone to some surrounding developments in West County such as Waugh Chapel and Arundel Mills, the county-wide economic impact of Odenton is clear.

Though the infrastructure for public facilities has for the most part been provided up to this point by the private sector as development took place, the need for public investment has been clearly demonstrated.  As a result, the county and state have finally begun the real funding necessary to support the growth that the plan envisioned more than 40 years ago. The County commitment of $19 Million in the FY2016 budget to help fund the Town Center garages at the Odenton MARC station means the center of town for our growing community can finally become its own place; a heart of the community for which it was intended. The transit-oriented development that will follow is the element that will tie together all the disparate pieces of our community puzzle, separated by 4 decades of fits and starts.

To think that Piney Orchard in so many ways helped spark the light at the end of this tunnel for the fruition of a full community, really makes me proud. I’m happy to have been a part of it and look forward to seeing it through, for my grandson’s and my family’s sake.

Do You Know

A. J. Properties serves renown tenants such as Johns Hopkins, Kennedy Krieger, Pizza Hut and Exxon, as well as local tenants. We are big enough to do the job and small enough to give personal attention.

Back to School: 101 The Role of the Commercial Real Estate Broker

by Stuart Title booksapple

Over the course of my 34 years in real estate as an agent/broker, connecting tenants and landlords/buyers and sellers, there still seems to be a general misunderstanding of how and when to use such a professional. As with other professionals such as an accountant, lawyer or financial planner, you are in contact on a regular basis during the year and certainly clear on when you should utilize their services. With a real estate broker/agent, their services generally come on an as needed basis which could be years apart between a lease or sale unless you have a multiple location business. Below are some reasons to use a Real Estate professional for commercial transactions.

Generally in the case of representing a landlord or seller, the broker should have a good familiarity with the market, pricing, incentives, marketing, showing the property and closing a deal.

The expertise of a broker can save a tenant or buyer thousands of dollars during the term of a lease or off a purchase price. Knowing the market, landlord tendencies with other deals, property values and the demise of a property when  going into negotiations is an advantage to you.

In the case of representing a tenant or buyer, the broker’s services are paid for by the landlord or seller 95% of the time. There are few occasions when the broker will look to the tenant or purchaser they represent for their fee if not covered, but then usually compensated for in rental rate or purchase price.

How to engage a Commercial Real Estate Broker:  Whether you have space to lease (landlord) or sell, or if you are looking for space for your business (tenant), here are some things to remember.

  • Referrals and local signs are ways to locate a broker. You might choose to return to the last broker who satisfied you with good service or use the broker of your current landlord if you have one (it’s okay to let your current landlord know your business needs are changing as they may be able to accommodate you or assist in a relocation). The local Chamber of Commerce can also refer you.
  • Explain exactly what you are looking for or what you have to offer for sale or lease.
  • If you come across a property/prospective tenant of interest, let your broker know! and then let them handle it.
  • Once a broker is chosen, let the broker worry about the real estate aspect for your business and you worry about running your business to pay the rent.
  • If you do happen to speak with another broker or landlord directly, PLEASE let them know immediately you are represented by a broker to protect both you and your broker.
  • Signing a representation agreement is good to show both parties’ seriousness of the commitment to each other. It usually includes a termination clause in case needs change or there are relationship issues with the broker.
  • Using a broker to lease or purchase a listed property by another broker should NOT cost you more rent or purchase price! Quite the opposite as a good broker should be able to assist you in avoiding mistakes that could be costly down the road.
  • It is okay for your broker to have similar listings which draws additional prospects from each other. Even though they may be similar, every property has its own unique appeal. If your broker doesn’t list it someone else will.
  • Likewise, having your property type as the only one your broker has listed is also okay as they can create more focus on the presentation of the listing as unique.

Leasing, selling or buying, A. J. Properties is happy to serve you. Contact us!

Value of Community | 101: Role of the Broker


Master Plan MakeoverOTCMP Draft 2015

While your toes were (hopefully) in the sand, we worked with the West County Chamber to review and make recommendations to the Preliminary Draft of the OTCMP (June 2015). Revisions to prior Plans had unintended consequences which continued to delay Town Center development as well as cause hardship to some local residents.  We’re hoping for a more sound Plan with this revision. We hope you followed along on facebook to attend public meetings and provide your comments to the County.

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AJP Welcomes Lisa

We are pleased to welcome Lisa Jean and her friendly smile to the AJP office. Lisa recently joined us to handle accounts in the bookkeeping department.