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10 Simple Ways to Reduce Office Waste

Save money, save time, save the planet. reduce office waste

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. commercial and manufacturing activities are responsible for as much as 45% of the 150 million tons of waste the country generates each year. In addition, transporting and burning this waste creates greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

What is your business or office building doing to reduce office waste and its carbon footprint? If the task of managing and reducing office waste seems daunting, fear not. The reality is that it’s not difficult at all. And small changes can add up to big dividends.

Consider these 10 simple tips to help your company and office building improve waste management operations, reduce costs and enhance sustainability.

1. Buy Recycled Paper

It’s an easy first step: Purchase chlorine-free paper with recycled content. According to RecycleWorks, buying 20 cases of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 390 gallons of oil, 7000 gallons of water, and 4100 kwh of energy, in addition to eliminating 60 pounds of air-polluting emissions and 8 cubic feet of landfill space.

2. Get Comfortable Going Paperless

Before you hit “print,” determine if it’s something you really need on paper. Can it just as easily sit on your hard drive for access when needed? Much of what we print at the office is set aside and then discarded without a second glance.

3. Reuse Boxes and Packing Material

When you get a shipment, save the box and packing materials to use when you have a shipment going out. You can also shred old documents and reuse them as packing material.

4. Buy Used or Remanufactured Furniture

In the market for office furniture? Check Craigslist for inexpensive used furniture, or purchase like-new remanufactured furniture at a fraction of the cost from a dealer near you.

5. Reduce Your Junk Mail

Take a periodic look at the junk mail your office receives. Unsubscribe from lists and publications you no longer need. Call companies and advertisers and tell them to remove you from mailing lists. And make the switch to digital delivery of publications and newsletters you still want.

6. Reduce or Replace Paper and Styrofoam Coffee Cups

Consider getting rid of your company’s supply of disposable cups and encourage employees to bring in their own reusable mugs.

7. Replace or Properly Dispose of Your Single-Use Batteries

Invest in rechargeable batteries and battery chargers for small office devices like cameras. It’s less expensive over time and much better for the environment. If you do stick with single-use batteries, be sure to dispose of them properly.

8. Buy Recycled Toner Cartridges

Save money (typically 15% to 50% per order) and landfill waste when you buy toner cartridges that have been refurbished and refilled. When the toner runs out, simply package up your cartridge and send it back to the manufacturer for reuse. Contrary to popular belief, remanufactured ink cartridges do not damage your print heads or result in poor print quality.

9. Make Paperless Payments

Ask vendors to send your bills electronically. Online billing is greener, quicker and more secure than paying by mail. According to PayItGreen.org, a 20% reduction in paper-based billing cuts gas consumption by 102,945,600 gallons, prevents nearly 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saves 1,811,275 trees.

10. Make the Switch to Compact Fluorescents

When your light bulbs burn out, consider replacing them with compact fluorescent bulbs. They’re more energy efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs, which saves money and the environment.

Dave Eck, maintenance manager with The Anderson Group, says commercial property managers who understand the benefits of sustainability programs reap rewards in terms of tenant loyalty and the bottom line.

“We practice energy efficiency throughout our property portfolio, and we help our tenants save money with Smart Office Audits. We helped one company save $50,000 by retrofitting their light fixtures,” says Dave Eck, maintenance manager with The Anderson Group. “Successful waste management needs to be an ongoing, well-publicized, company-wide initiative.”


The Anderson Group helps keep your business running. For information about commercial property management services or available commercial properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

Posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, Commercial Property Management, Energy Efficiency, Managing Your Business, Office Productivity, Office Space Efficiency | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Making a Quick Office Space Move

office space albany nyOne facility manager’s tale.

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a facilities manager for the Albany, NY office of an international provider of financial services technology solutions. Now let’s imagine that you have a week to find a new office space that not only accommodates your employees, but also meets strict security and data-protection standards. Sounds daunting, right?

That’s what happened after Broadridge Financial Solutions (Broadridge) purchased DST Systems’ North American Customer Communications Division. Competition between the two companies made sharing office space, networks and phone lines an impossibility. So Broadridge had to find new office space…fast.

Finding new space quickly was further complicated by a host of technical and security issues that needed to be addressed prior to employees moving in. The new Broadridge space needed to be outfitted with a secure network, cable, fiber optics, swipe-card readers and new door locks.

So Broadridge, headquartered in New Jersey, gratefully accepted Joe Gunther’s offer to find the company new office space. Gunther is a lifelong Capital Region resident and a system administrator/facilities manager in Broadridge’s Albany, NY office.

Through word of mouth, Gunther found The Anderson Group and gave them a call. The very next day, he was looking at office space on Madison Avenue Extension in Albany, NY. He says he knew right away that the office building was a perfect fit in terms of size, immediate availability and close proximity to the company’s former office building.

“The Anderson Group gave me access to the building right away so I could get measurements and layouts and get contractors and tech vendors in for estimates,” Gunther says. “There was such a feeling of trust, commitment and flexibility. I never got a ‘no’ from them on anything I asked. It was nice to know that the last thing I needed to worry about was my landlord.”

In addition, Gunther said he thought he needed more space than he actually did. It was The Anderson Group that advised on square footage based on the company’s very specific needs.

“Anderson was able to meet our needs and save us money. They also worked with us on flexible lease terms that met our company’s strict guidelines,” Gunther says.

Broadridge now calls 28 Madison Avenue Extension, Albany, NY, located in the historic Pine Bush Preserve, home. Its employees moved into their new Albany office in February, a full week ahead of schedule.

“The Anderson Group’s crew took care of everything. Basically, we had to pick up the stuff on our desks and move right in. Our secure network was up, and our cubicles were moved in. When our people arrived on Monday, they were working,” Gunther says. “On Day One, all of our security systems were in place.”

Gunther says although making a quick corporate office move can be stressful, it’s far easier when you find a real estate partner not only capable of helping you find a new space, but also with the resources and expertise to make sure you have what you need when you need it.

“Ours was a complex move because of very strict technical aspects. Some people thought there was no way we’d be able to pull it off in such a short timeframe,” Gunther says. “Working with The Anderson Group, not only did we pull it off, it was smooth and extremely easy. If I ever had to do this again, they would be my first call.”

Andy Anderson, partner at The Anderson Group, says that’s the kind of experience they’re known for.

“There’s an old adage about things ‘moving at the speed of business.’ We know that every day a business is down is a day the business loses money,” Anderson says. “Our goal is to make finding and moving into office space as efficient and worry-free as possible. We’re very happy that Broadridge put their trust in us and that they are happy in their new location.”


The Anderson Group helps keep your business running. For information about commercial property management services or available commercial properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Albany Pine Bush Properties, Commercial Office Space, Small Business Articles, Tenant News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Commercial Office Lease Terminology 101: What to know before you sign on the dotted line

commerical office leaseYou’ve found commercial office space, and you’re ready to sign your lease. But before you do, make sure you’ve done your homework.

Whether you’ve hired an attorney to help you negotiate or you’re a seasoned professional going it alone, it’s a good idea to brush up on your commercial office lease terminology. Here’s a quick primer on common lease types and commercial office lease terms and what they do – and don’t – mean.

Common Area Maintenance (CAM)

Common area maintenance costs derive from the care of building areas that are used by all tenants. CAM areas can include spaces such as hallways, lobbies, restrooms, sidewalks and parking lots. Your lease should spell out the CAM areas (and related maintenance services, such as snow plowing, landscaping, etc.) included in your rent.

Double Net Lease (NN)

A double net lease incorporates taxes and insurance into your lease payment, but the landlord is responsible for paying maintenance costs.

Gross Lease

When you sign a gross lease, you agree to pay for your space’s square footage, and your landlord agrees to pay for all other operating expenses, including utilities, maintenance, insurance and property taxes.

Leasable Area

“Leaseable area” is a blend of your office square footage plus a percentage of the square footage in the building’s common areas.

Improvements and Alterations

If you plan to customize or otherwise alter your leased space, make certain that you and your landlord are on the same page about who is responsible for doing the work, how long the work will take, and who will pay for it. You will also want to iron out how the changes you plan to make will impact your rent now and in the future.

Insurance

Your landlord may require you to carry insurance to supplement policies they carry on your building. It’s a good idea to discuss your insurance needs with your insurance agent before you sign a lease. To learn more about commercial insurance needs, see Commercial Renters Insurance: Does Your Small Business Need It?

Maintenance and Utilities

This clause spells out your responsibility to maintain your leased space. Are you responsible for paying utilities or are they included in your rent? Is routine maintenance covered under your lease terms? How about housekeeping services? This section of your lease should answer these types of questions.

Net Lease

A net lease includes your cost per square foot, as well as some costs associated with daily operation of the property, including common area maintenance (CAM) costs, utilities, insurance and property taxes.

Permitted Use

The permitted, or general, use clause will define how you are allowed to use your leased space. Permitted use will depend upon a number of factors, including building location and zoning laws, but might include such uses as manufacturing, retail and food service. Communicate your business as fully as possible when searching for space to ensure that your prospective landlord and prospective office space can meet your needs.

Premises

The premises clause should clearly define the space you’ll be leasing. In addition to physical office space, for example, your lease may give you access to common areas, such as conference rooms, break rooms, parking lots and storage rooms.

Renewal Option

You may have a renewal clause in your lease giving you the right to extend your lease term. The renewal clause should include a start and end date and specify rent costs.

Term

The term clause states your lease start and end dates. Although it seems like a no-brainer, be sure to read the fine print. Some lease terms begin the date you sign the lease; others begin upon move-in. Be sure the lease you’re signing defines your start date so you know when you can move in and when rent begins.

Triple Net Lease (NNN)

A triple net lease is a lease agreement where the tenant (or lessee) is responsible for the property’s ongoing expenses, including real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance, in addition to paying rent and utilities.

Signing a lease is a big step for your business, so it pays to make sure you know what you’re signing before you put your name to it.

“Don’t be afraid to ask your landlord to walk you through your lease, and be sure to ask questions along the way,” says Willard Anderson, partner at The Anderson Group. “A reputable landlord and a fair lease have nothing to hide.”


The Anderson Group helps keep your small business running. For information about commercial property management services or available commercial properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

Posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, Managing Your Business, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , | Comments closed

An Office Space of Their Own

Office Space

John Graziano, president of Capitol Hill Management Services, Inc.

Capitol Hill Management Services Finds the Perfect Fit with The Anderson Group

After seven years at his company’s Western Avenue, Albany, NY location, John Graziano, president of Capitol Hill Management Services, Inc., decided it was time for his firm to spread its wings.

“We had about 5,000 square feet of office space, and I was looking for more. I also wanted the ability to design our office space to meet our needs,” he says.

He spent a few years searching for a building he could buy, but he was unable to find one that checked off all the boxes. So, he turned to The Anderson Group.

Now settled into his new 10,500-square-foot office space at 230 Washington Avenue Extension in Albany, NY, Graziano says his company has found its home. The office currently houses 32 employees with plenty of room to grow.

“The Anderson Group redid our office space to our specifications and their staff worked seamlessly with our staff and contractors to make sure it’s exactly what we need,” Graziano says.

He and his employees are also pleased with the new office’s location, providing an easy commute to the airport and downtown Albany. In addition, he says the office is now centrally located for his employees.

“The whole process was great,” he says. “There were no problems.”

Susan Touhey, managing partner at The Anderson Group, says they work hard to ensure just that.

“We want our tenants’ office space to meet their needs over the entirety of their lease,” Touhey says, “It’s about building positive working relationships from Day One.”


Capitol Hill Management Services, Inc., an association management and government affairs firm, provides an array of professional services for more than 50 state, national and international organizations.

To learn more about The Anderson Group’s portfolio of available commercial properties, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

 

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Commercial Office Space, General News, Managing Your Business, Office Space Design, Small Business Articles, Tenant News | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Winter is coming. Is your office building ready?

winter office building

Winter is coming. Is your office building ready?

It may still feel mild outside, but living in the Northeast there is no doubt that winter is, indeed, coming. That makes this the perfect time of year to make sure your office building is ready for the colder months – and the usage changes, temperature drops, and potentially damaging weather events that come with it.

“A few routine maintenance steps now can help prevent costly problems this winter,” advises Dave Eck, maintenance manager with The Anderson Group. “Winter can bring everything from burst pipes and leaking roofs to heating problems and slippery sidewalks and parking lots.”

Here are some of the most important maintenance areas to add to your office building’s winterization checklist:

Heating system

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that in the U.S. alone, buildings account for 39% of total energy use, 68% of total electricity consumption and 38% of carbon dioxide emissions. And as a facility owner, it likely represents one of your largest expenses. Tuning up and optimizing your HVAC system is a good first step. Inspect, clean and repair your furnace and boilers, and change your air filters.

Leaks

Find and seal leaks that could let warm air out or cold air in. This may mean applying caulk or weather stripping around doors and windows or installing storm doors and windows. Also, if your building uses gas heat, be sure to check gas lines and connections for leaks and corrosion.

Roof

The flat roofs typical of most commercial buildings need regular maintenance during snowy winter months. Conduct a weekly inspection and clearing of your roof throughout the winter, keeping an eye out for pooling water and ice or snow buildup. Built-up precipitation and melting snow and ice can lead to costly leaks and affect your roof’s structural integrity.

Gutters

Make sure all roofs and gutters are clean and free of leaves and other debris that could clog them. Remember, pooling water from rain, sleet and snow can build up and cause water leakage inside your building.

Parking lots, sidewalks and yards

Clear leaves, sticks, branches, and other debris from the yard, landscaping, walkways, and common areas outside your building. Before storms and after clearing snow, use deicers on exterior walkways and parking lots to prevent ice from forming and to keep people safe from slip-and-fall accidents.

Technology and Data

Protect data and equipment from costly power outages due to winter weather. Consider backing up your files via cloud-based storage, which secures your data daily and eliminates the risk of data loss when a severe storm hits. In addition, test your back-up system and make sure computers and sensitive electrical equipment are connected to surge protectors.

Sprinkler Systems

Test your sprinkler systems and make sure they are protected from cold air so your pipes don’t freeze. A frozen sprinkler system is an unusable sprinkler system.

Winterizing your office building may seem like a never-ending list of chores, but investing the time and money now can save you a bundle of time and money in the long run.

“Preparation is key to lessening or eliminating the impact of extreme and routine winter conditions on your facility,” Eck says. “Experience has shown that it’s more than worth the time and effort you put into it.”


 

The Anderson Group helps keep your small business in great shape. For information about commercial property management services or available commercial properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

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