Here we are working, some of us, through the dog days of summer in the commercial real estate world. I remember early on in my career, whenever that was, some wily Veterans would tell me to take the summer off since nothing happens anyway. I could never get myself to buy in that approach other than taking a little more time off every summer. My daughter is renting a house in the Hamptons for the summer makes those words of wisdom in the past resound even louder. I am hearing more moans from agents about finishing deals this time of year. Leases are out for signature, agreements of sale are sitting in the attorney’s offices. I guess somebody believes the old saying about the summer months.On the absolute sunny side, is the fact that there are leases to be signed and agreements to be negotiated. Here at NAI Summit, I have been more content to dress for a day at the office in the 90+ degree weather. We have seen more activity in the office market than in any past summer. An 8,000/ft office deal here, an 18,000/ft deal there and the sale of a number of office condos. I would mention these represent suburban deals since the main artery of publicity concerning office deals in the Lehigh Valley has revolved around the NIZ in downtown Allentown. I have said on many occasions, downtown is for some, but not all. It humors me now when I receive calls from reporters asking me about the impact the NIZ is having on the office market. The levity stems from the fact that I have never seen so much publicity for an office deal as when someone moves downtown from the suburbs. So there it is for everyone to see. Since there has not been a stampede downtown from office users, keeping your reporter’s pen on this pulse is not very difficult. Morgan Stanley is the most recent and publicized defector. They combined two local locations to a downtown office. We handle leasing at one of the buildings they left and have a prospect for the other. So maybe doing business in the summer will take on a new meaning although I would never tell my daughter not to rent that summer house.
John Crampsie is a founding principal of NAI Summit.