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8 Questions to Ask Before Leasing Commercial Office Space

The Anderson Group's Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson of The Anderson Group

Leasing commercial office space is a big step for your businesses, so it’s important that you do your due diligence. Greg Anderson, partner at The Anderson Group, offers answers to the top eight questions prospective tenants should ask when considering an office space move.

  1. How much space does my business need?

There are general industry guidelines for commercial office space (i.e., 150 square feet for a standard office and 25 square feet for a standard cubicle), but these guidelines fail to account for the corridors and common areas included in most leases. The best way to determine your business’s size requirements is hiring a space planner who can help you visualize your space based on your unique business needs and workflow. A good commercial developer / property management company may offer this service for free, saving you time, money, and the hassle of hiring an architect or space planner who must develop unique plans for each office building you’re considering.

  1. Should I rent the square footage my business needs now, or find space with room to grow?

Unless you know for sure that your business will grow significantly in the near future, it makes sense to rent only the space you need now. In many instances, when a tenant realizes substantial or unexpected growth, property management companies are happy to place that tenant in a larger space without penalty. Your ability to expand will depend upon the building you’re in. Ask for “right of first refusal” if space adjacent to yours becomes available.

  1. Can I make improvements and modifications to my office space?

In many cases, new office space is either “plain vanilla” (unfinished walls and floors) or is tailored to the previous tenant’s needs. In either case, you likely will want updates and modifications to bring the space to your standards. Many property management companies will price your construction requests and amortize the amount over the length of your lease. Some will give you an allowance per square foot (typically around $2 per square foot per year) that you can use to complete construction with an approved contractor. Your best-case scenario is finding a property management company that offers free construction management services and will invest the time to help you customize your space on time and on budget.

  1. How can I make sure this space supports my brand?

Many business owners hire interior designers to ensure that their office space supports their brand. A good commercial real estate developer / property management company provides professional interior design services free of charge to prospective tenants. Whether you want an open office layout or individual offices, or specific wallpaper, paint, lighting, furniture and carpet, experienced in-house designers can help you tailor your space to fit your business needs and ensure that your space sends the right message about your company.

  1. Does the office space meet my technology needs?

Most commercial properties today offer a variety of networking options, such as cable, DSL, T1s and fiber. Tenants whose business practices demand heavy bandwidth should verify that potential properties have the infrastructure to support their business needs.

  1. How do I know if I’m choosing the right location for my business?

You’ve heard it before: in real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. And where you locate your office may depend upon the type of business you operate. Do you need a central location close to airports and train stations to accommodate out-of-town clients and heavy business travel? Do you need to be near major highways or bus lines to make it easier for your employees to get to work? Are ample parking and proximity to shopping and restaurants important? Or are you looking for a quiet location away from the hustle and bustle? Consider all of your options and weigh the pros and cons of each property before you zero in on the one that’s best for your business. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. What is included in my rent? 

What is included in your commercial rent will vary dramatically from company to company. Many property management companies offer modified gross leases, which means you’ll be charged a base rent, plus an additional fee per square foot. When you sign a modified gross lease, items such as utilities, housekeeping, maintenance, and insurance are often additional—and can significantly add to the cost of your rent. A modified gross lease can also mean that you’ll be financially responsible for major mechanical, electrical, and plumbing issues. Don’t like surprises? Find a property management company that offers full gross leases, which means you pay a base lease with everything included.

  1. Is the property owner trustworthy?

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you’ve done your homework on the property owner and/or property management group. Is the owner creditworthy?

Does the owner have a good reputation? Are they responsive? What kinds of security measures are in place? Is the property up to code and ADA compliant? Be sure to ask, and don’t be afraid to ask other building tenants. A reputable property management company has nothing to hide.

For more information, or to begin searching for your commercial office space, email Greg Anderson at ganderson@tagny.com or call 518.458.7726.

About The Anderson Group

The Anderson Group is a full-service real estate management, development, and brokerage firm offering premiere commercial real estate across the Capital Region of New York. Experts in office-space efficiency, productivity, and profitability, The Anderson Group offers leases with flexible terms tailored to fit your needs. All leases include utilities, housekeeping, construction services, space planning, interior design services and more.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, Commercial Property Management, General News, Managing Your Business, Office Productivity, Office Space Efficiency, Smart Office Audit | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Anderson Group Offers A Suite Solution

Executive Suites Albany NY

Bill Petersen
Publisher of The Renters Guide

The Anderson Group’s executive suites answer an area publisher’s office needs

When Bill Petersen, owner and publisher of The Renters Guide and 55+ Living Guide, opened for business 25 years ago, he wasn’t quite ready to commit to his own office space. So he shared space with other businesses, procuring an unused corner here, an empty cubical there. As his business grew, however, he knew he needed his own place—and his own presence. He turned to The Anderson Group.

The Anderson Group responded to Petersen’s needs with an executive office suite in their 292 Washington Avenue Extension property. The 500-square-foot, two-room suite provided Petersen with cost-effective, private office space in a commercial office building he shared with other businesses. That was 12 years ago…and Petersen is still successfully publishing his magazines from that same suite.

“Most of the people who were in this building when I moved in more than a decade ago are still here. There’s very little turnover,” Petersen says. “Anderson buildings give us a prominent address and the support we need to project a professional image and focus on business.”

What’s more, The Anderson Group’s executive suites at 125 Wolf Road offer receptionist service, voicemail, administrative support, fax and copy machine usage, mail drop, daily FedEx pickup, and use of a conference room with a flat-screen television, computer and Internet connectivity. They even offer on-site amenities such as food services and banking, a central location near major highways, restaurants, and the airport, and ample free parking.

Why consider an executive suite for your business? Executive suites can help you:

  • Make a good impression. Executive suites give your business a professional address and image in ways a home office cannot. Anderson’s executive suites feature renovated common areas, energy-efficient lighting, and free parking.
  • Do more. Spend less. Shared building amenities, such as conference and training-room facilities, video conferencing equipment, kitchens, restrooms, and copy rooms can lower your cost of doing business and improve your bottom line.
  • Downsize. Your size. Anderson’s executive suites range from 100 to 1,500 square feet, and our flexible leasing terms make it easy to grow or downsize, as needed. Short-term leases are also available to accommodate your changing business needs—an ideal solution for small companies, satellite offices, and start-ups.
  • Maintain your focus, not your building. Because The Anderson Group takes care of all housekeeping, landscaping, maintenance, and administration, you can focus your time and energy on your business, not your building.
  • Make friends in all the right places. Sharing a commercial office building with other like-minded professionals can lead to networking and social opportunities that help you build, promote, and improve your business.

Ready to make a move? For more information about The Anderson Group’s executive suite options and locations, contact Susan Anderson Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

Posted in Albany NY Business, Commercial Office Space, Executive Suites, General News, Tenant News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Anderson Group Offers The Suite Life to Harry and Helene (Kushner)

The Anderson Group offers the "Suite Life" to Harry and Helene Kushner. For more than 34 years, Harry Kushner and his wife, Helene, have occupied executive suites in The Anderson Group’s 125 Wolf Road office building

For more than 34 years, Harry Kushner and his wife, Helene, have occupied executive suites in The Anderson Group’s 125 Wolf Road office building

For more than 34 years, Harry Kushner and his wife, Helene, have occupied executive suites in The Anderson Group’s 125 Wolf Road office building. Their current suite, Room 503-4, is a 120-square-foot (that’s 10ft x 12 feet) corner office with sweeping views of Wolf Road and Computer Drive East. This particular suite has been home to the Kushners’ thriving real estate and brokerage business for 13 years—a space Harry calls their “penthouse.”

Married for 55 years and business partners for nearly as long, the Kushners have carved out one of the area’s most successful real estate and business brokerage firms. And even though the two of them could easily work from home, they say it’s simply not an option.

“There are too many enticements and distractions at home,” Harry explains. “The executive suite gives us a business presence. It gives us an opportunity to meet and be around other business people. It just doesn’t feel like we are ‘going to work’ when we work from home.”

Harry said they also benefit from their location in the middle of a busy business corridor. And they enjoy their proximity to area restaurants. He said they once counted 67 eating establishments from one end of Wolf Road to the other, and they frequent six or seven of them.

“This building [125 Wolf Road] carries prestige. It’s a flagship building that’s easy to find and get to,” Harry says. “We also appreciate having access to the building’s conference room and audio visual equipment, and the ease of parking. My only problem is that I never remember where I parked my car.”

But at age 77, Harry says he and Helene, 75, have no intention of retiring.

“Working keeps us young. You rust out earlier than you wear out,” Harry says. “Retirement is a dirty word.”

He knows. He tried it.

A former real-estate developer, Harry “retired” on Friday, January 10, 1997 after his final and most difficult closing. He says he gave The Anderson Group notice that he was closing up shop and would begin emptying out his office the following Monday, although he warned it would take him a month to finish. He spent that month skiing, playing basketball, and traveling. But he quickly realized that, for him, retirement wasn’t an option.

“Playing around all the time wasn’t as fun as I thought it was going to be. I called the Anderson Group at the end of that month and said, ‘Susan, I changed my mind. Don’t rent out our office after all,’” Harry recalls.

So Harry and Helene returned to their executive suite and went back to business. He earned his real estate license and brokerage certification a few months later, and business has been booming ever since.

Harry says work keeps their minds active, and they take continuing education courses to stay on top of business trends. But they also take time out to pursue other interests. For Harry, it’s woodworking, gardening, and bike riding, while Helene enjoys tennis, walking, and playing cards with friends.

“The Anderson Group’s executive suites fit a niche for any small business or regional office that wants a professional, centrally located environment,” Harry says. “The Anderson Group is better than sliced bread. After 34 years, they’re like family, and this is like a second home.”

For more information about Harry Kushner, The Business Broker, visit www.hkthebusinessbroker.com. For more information about The Anderson Group’s executive suites and other commercial properties, visit tagny.com.

Posted in Albany NY Business, Commercial Office Space, Executive Suites, General News, Office Space Efficiency, Tenant News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Team Work. Dream Job. The Anderson Group

Dave Eck Maintenace Manager for The Anderson Group

Dave Eck, Maintenance Manager for The Anderson Group

Team Work. Dream Job.

Employee Profile: Dave Eck, Maintenance Manager, The Anderson Group 

There isn’t much that Dave Eck, The Anderson Group’s maintenance manager, hasn’t seen. And it’s his sense of adventure—and the thrill of facing a challenge—that keeps him coming back for more.

A Slingerlands native, Dave’s long resume includes supervisory roles at restaurants, ambulance companies, and country clubs from Texas to New York. Dave also served for more than 20 years in the Slingerlands Fire Department (five of them as commissioner) and has been a member of the New York State Urban Search and Rescue team.

The Anderson Group was fortunate to land Dave in March of 2011. Dave immediately implemented a team approach in the company’s maintenance department, ensuring that his department worked seamlessly with other Anderson departments, from housekeeping to legal and administration. A self-described “working supervisor,” Dave is a hands-on manager who earned his team’s respect from the ground up—mowing, cleaning bathrooms, and responding to tenant calls right along with them.

Dave’s responsibilities span properties from Saratoga to Selkirk and everywhere in between. On Wolf Road alone, Dave coordinates maintenance activities for 10 properties. He’s also responsible for nine properties on Madison and Washington Avenue Extensions, as well as one property in Selkirk one in Saratoga Springs.

“What do I do? You name it,” Dave says with a smile. “My job as maintenance manager is customer service, and everybody is my customer—my guys, my tenants, and my bosses. Our job is to keep everybody happy.”

His “guys,” as Dave affectionately refers to them, are made up of 13 maintenance professionals, including six qualified technicians proficient in HVAC, plumbing and electric. And he’s pretty proud of them.

“Most of our tenants know my guys by name. And I make it a point to know my guys. They’re good people who work hard and know their stuff,” Dave says. “When you know your guys, you can use them to their—and your tenants’ and company’s—best advantage.”

One such advantage is The Anderson Group’s business partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). In fact, The Anderson Group is the only property management company with maintenance professionals who have earned certification through NYSERDA’s Quality Maintenance (QM) Program.

Anderson’s participation in the QM Program signifies the company’s heavy investment in the two biggest utility cost drivers—HVAC systems and lighting.

With Dave at the helm, trained Anderson technicians use diagnostic tools and national quality-maintenance standards to ensure that its HVAC and lighting systems operate at peak performance and improve their (and their tenants’) bottom line. Last year, The Anderson Group’s team conducted 65 tests throughout nine Anderson-owned buildings, resulting in an estimated savings of more than 400,000 kWh. By the end of 2014, The Anderson team will have conducted more than 125 tests across all of its properties. Testing is also provided to tenants who take advantage of Anderson’s property management services.

“This maintenance program saves energy, reduces costs, and maximizes office efficiency,” Dave says. “It helps our tenants avoid costly repairs during heating season and run greener and cleaner all year long. We’re proud to be the only property management company in the state to offer this, and our team is well qualified.”

As maintenance manager, Dave is on call 24/7—ready to respond to emergencies and routine matters alike. He’s also in charge of the company’s safety plans and procedures and is constantly improving tenant and employee safety alike.

“We’re always busy,” Dave says, “but I wouldn’t trade this job for the world.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Commercial Office Space, Commercial Property Management, Energy Efficiency, Office Space Efficiency | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Albany Pine Bush Offers Tenants Far More than Office Space

For Delaware Engineering, PC, The Anderson Group’s commercial office space properties on Madison Avenue Extension offer the best of both worlds: a location with convenient access to major roads and highways that is tucked away in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, one of the nation’s most unique and endangered natural communities. (And recently designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior.)

From right to left: Larry Rogers, president of Delaware Engineering, Susan Olivares, Office Manager and two part time employees

From right to left: Larry Rogers, president of Delaware Engineering, Susan Olivares, Office Manager and two part time employees

 

“We never set out with the idea that we’d find a place next to the Pine Bush, but when we found this office location, the Pine Bush did factor into our decision to lease here,” says Lawrence Rogers, P.E., president of Delaware Engineering.

 

Delaware Engineering, a leading provider of water, sewer, environmental, and municipal engineering services, takes matters of environmental protection seriously—on and off the clock. So it should come as no surprise that Rogers and his colleagues take year-round advantage of their Pine Bush office location. During lunchtime, and before or after work, you’ll find Delaware Engineering employees walking, jogging, snowshoeing and cross-county skiing the Pine Bush’s nearly 18 miles of marked, multiple-use trails. Rogers says he keeps his snowshoes ready and waiting behind his office door.

 

The Delaware Engineering team also enjoys eating lunch and barbequing on their patio, which overlooks the Pine Bush Preserve. And its employees make sure to keep their bird feeders filled—a detail that doesn’t go unnoticed by many of the preserve’s more than 90 bird species. (The Albany Pine Bush is a designated New York State Bird Conservation Area.)

 

The firm’s manager of corporate operations, John Brust, even serves on the Pine Bush Commission, a public/private partnership that works with landowners and municipal, state, federal and others to protect, restore and manage the Albany Pine Bush’s natural and cultural resources.

 

But Rogers is quick to point out that his company’s Pine Bush office location suits them for more reasons than proximity to the Pine Bush alone. “There’s more to this location than just heading out and hitting the trails,” says Rogers.

 

Since moving into 28 Madison Avenue Extension in 1998, Delaware Engineering has grown from an office of 10 people to one with more than 50 professionals spread throughout their Albany, Oneonta, and Walton, New York office locations. Rogers said The Anderson Group ensured that their Albany office space was “move-in ready” so the growing firm could hit the ground running. He said The Anderson Group was also flexible and responsive to their space needs, enabling Delaware Engineering to expand its space as the company itself expanded.

 

And although some companies prefer to be located on busy, heavily trafficked corridors, Rogers said that he and his colleagues are happy to be somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle.

 

“We like that we’re not located right in the middle of downtown or on a busy road. We have lots of parking right outside our door, and we’re close enough to Western Avenue, Central Avenue, and Washington Avenue Extension that we can get where we need to go quickly and easily,” Rogers says. “We serve a lot of surrounding communities, including the Towns of Guilderland, Bethlehem, and Colonie, so our location is perfect for accessing our client base.”

 

As for the company’s long-term plans, Rogers says they have no intention of leaving their Pine Bush location anytime soon.

 

“The Anderson Group provides us with a great property, and they are very responsive to all of our needs, which is extremely important to us,” Rogers says. “They don’t mess around, and they keep this place in great shape.”

 

For more information about The Anderson Group’s Albany Pine Bush properties at Madison Avenue Extension, call 518.458.7726 or email info@tagny.com.

Posted in Albany NY Business, Albany Pine Bush Properties, Commercial Office Space, General News, Tenant News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment