Spotlight On: Ian Richman, Senior Managing Director | Southern New Jersey, Colliers International

Spotlight On: Ian Richman, Senior Managing Director | Southern New Jersey, Colliers International

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read March 2020 — The Southern New Jersey region’s low real estate costs and strategic location near major highways is bolstering demand in the industrial market. Ian Richman, senior managing director in the Southern New Jersey at Colliers International, specializes in the leasing and sale/acquisition of commercial and industrial properties in Southern New Jersey. In a recent interview with Invest:, Richman shared the trends in the market and the possible disruptions that could take place in the face of COVID-19.  

How are you preparing to face a possible economic downturn?

We haven’t seen signs of a slowdown yet. Construction is still going on and demand has been outpacing supply to an extent. But with the development of COVID-19, we are expecting to see disruptions in the supply chain and people are starting to get nervous about the impact on the economy. Companies that import raw materials or have their products manufactured in China or elsewhere overseas expect to see a lag in production, delay in delivery or in the extreme case, a stoppage of manufacturing in certain factories altogether. This is uncharted waters and a global pandemic will have ripple effects throughout all industries, not just real estate. 


How strong is the industrial market in South Jersey?

The demand in the industrial market has continued to increase over the last 12 months. One of the biggest drivers has been our rental rates and sale prices on a price per square foot basis relative to neighboring areas such as Northern New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area. A significant part of our activity has been coming down the New Jersey Turnpike from these northern-based tenants, owner-user purchasers and investors. 


What market trends are emerging?

The Philadelphia Port is one of the largest, if not the largest, food port in the country. We see a lot of demand from food-related companies looking for warehouse/distribution facilities or manufacturing facilities. This is not a new trend but rather one sector that has been increasingly growing from a demand perspective in Southern New Jersey. Additionally, the overall demand for warehouse space has continued to remain strong, especially with the uptick in e-commerce and the expectation by the consumer to have goods in their hands as quickly as possible. When Amazon Prime was introduced, two days for delivery seemed fast and quickly became the norm. We are now finding that next-day delivery, if not same-day delivery, is an integral part of the supply chain That is driving a lot of companies to look for warehouse space in South Jersey. 


The new speculative and build-to-suit development in our market has been mostly in the northern parts of Burlington County and the southern parts of Gloucester County, 


How do you expect the market to evolve in the near future?

We expect more companies to continue to consider South Jersey as a home. The prices are what is really driving most of the activity and that is a trend that we will continue to see. We are now seeing a lot of multi-generational family-owned real estate companies starting to sell some of their properties to more institutional owners. We are also seeing the presence of more institutional owners and large regional owners with real estate holdings in our market. Some of that is attributed to the development of large distribution centers and some of this is attributed to the merger and consolidation of ownership groups. 


To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Colliers International:



Spotlight On: Sam Miles, First Senior Vice President, Central Florida Regional President, Valley Bank

Spotlight On: Sam Miles, First Senior Vice President, Central Florida Regional President, Valley Bank

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read November 2019 — Central Florida’s economic growth has driven many financial institutions to rebrand and adjust to the latest innovations and client needs. That is the case of Valley Bank. In a discussion with Invest:, First Senior Vice President Sam Miles, who oversees the regional bank’s Orlando and Jacksonville markets, addressed trending business areas for the bank, the impact of its Professionals Group and the bank’s branch rebranding effort. 


Which of the bank’s lending areas are seeing the most demand?


Our largest piece of business revolves around commercial real estate financing. There is a significant amount of capital being invested in real estate in Central Florida. As an example, there are 38 new multifamily projects either under construction or in the planning stages that represent $1.7 billion in investment. That growth, combined with strong employment, is creating high demand for residential developments, and we are very active in multifamily construction lending. In the last year, we also expanded our SBA team to help address the small-business lending market in Orlando. We have a full array of professionals in place with expertise in residential lending and SBA lending to complement our commercial real estate and C&I teams. 

What are your expectations for the relaunched Professionals Group? 

With the relaunching of the Professionals Group we’re trying to reach an affluent population that we haven’t specifically targeted previously. The Professionals Group is a team of commercial lenders dedicated to customizing products and services for any 

group of professionals, including doctors, attorneys, accountants and centers of influence operating throughout our bank’s footprint. It can be a wonderful source of referrals and, by establishing relationships with these professional groups, we will be able to drive new business.


How is Valley Bank improving customer experience? 


We are in the process of rebranding and redeveloping our branches to make them more user friendly. Clients will no longer have the traditional walk-in when they visit our branches. We are providing a modern feel with a warm and welcoming setting. Each branch that we are building now is going to have that model. We are also refurbishing existing branches to fit a more modern and welcoming environment. These new branches fit the trend of people wanting a different, fast-paced environment. 


How does Valley Bank give back to the Orlando community? 


We’ve played a big part in LIFT Orlando, and the redevelopment of the West Lakes area. We have been heavily involved in financing the projects there that are revitalizing that community. That is a wonderful community effort and we’re proud to play a part in it. Our team also spends a lot of time in the community with local groups such as The Ronald McDonald House, Second Harvest Food Bank and The Coalition for the Homeless. We provide paid days off to encourage our employees to volunteer and give back to the communities where we serve. 


To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Valley Bank:


Miami BIDs Put Customer First, Profits Later

Miami BIDs Put Customer First, Profits Later

By Sara Warden

2 min read October 2019 — As commercial real estate evolves and retail stores move online, Miami’s authorities are addressing vacancy rates with an innovative business improvement district (BID) program that unites private business and local store owners to take back Main Street.

A BID is a legal mechanism that has successfully been put in place in Miracle Mile, Coconut Grove, Lincoln Road and Wynwood, and most recently was established in South Miami. The South Miami BID provides a budget of $200,000 annually to provide services to businesses and commercial properties that include “enhanced safety, marketing, advocacy, promotions, and maintenance,” which are provided by the City Commission in addition to basic services.

Lincoln Road is one BID that, rather than focusing on vacancy rates, is focusing on creating a community for the public to attract foot traffic to the area. “I look at Lincoln Road differently,” said Lyle Stern, a member of the Board of the Lincoln Road BID to RE: Miami Beach. “I’m trying to encourage all of us who live in Miami Beach to look at Lincoln Road differently.” He believes that vacancy rates are the concern of individual property owners and that by creating an attractive environment, people will come.

Despite a significant hole being created right in the middle of Lincoln Road by the collapse of shopping giant Forever 21, the BID is planning a $67 million makeover, with Miami Beach authorities contributing to the cost of construction. The private business owners in the area will foot the bill for the promotional events by increasing their own taxes.

The idea behind the BID is not directly to attract investment to a given area, but to nurture the area so that investment comes as an added bonus. The Wynwood BID has taken a look at what the public really wants, and one of its priorities was to re-open the beloved shuttered O Cinema. “O Cinema is a cultural icon in South Florida and a home for independent cinema,” said Albert Garcia, chairman of the Wynwood BID to the Miami Herald. “We were just as blindsided by the news of their closing as everyone else. As a long-time property owner in Wynwood as well as a member of the BID, it was important to me to see how we could keep O Cinema here.”

As the age of e-commerce dawns, BIDs are a way for traditional store owners to tune into the desires of the public, who now want more than just a traditional shopfront. Not only is investment being made in the community, but new business models are emerging that evolve with real demand.

“Nespresso has a very successful store on Lincoln Road,” Stern said to RE: Miami Beach. “As a company they’ve decided they don’t need cafés in the stores. They’re expensive and you have to maintain employees.” Instead, Lincoln Road’s Nespresso is downsizing from 4,500 square feet premises to 2,500 square feet, but staying on the same street, allowing it to maximize its value and provide its customers what they really want.


To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Top Philly Neighborhoods for Commercial Real Estate

by Yolanda Rivas


2 min read AUGUST 2019 — Philadelphia’s real estate sector has been in growth mode for a long time. Affordability, a strong economy and the city’s strategic location are some of the drivers behind investment. According to local market leaders, King of Prussia, Fishtown and Kensington are among the neighborhoods experiencing a high volume of commercial real estate activity.

“The construction and new development activity going on in the King of Prussia market is very attractive. Numerous businesses and baby boomers are moving to the area. There is more land available, beautiful housing stock, good school districts and less traffic congestion,” Sean Beuche, regional manager of Marcus & Millichap, said in an interview with Invest:.

King of Prussia’s proximity to a variety of interstates, strategic location and the emerging growth and development going on in the area, makes it an attractive destination for real estate investors. In addition, King of Prussia is home to the largest mall in America by leasable space, which is another major driver for retail activity. 

Another area of high activity is the I-78/I-81 Corridor, especially in the industrial and logistics space. 

“The shift to e-commerce and modernized supply chains have not only created one of the largest warehouse distribution markets in the world in our backyard, the Pennsylvania I-78/I-81 Corridor, but demand continues to be robust for Philadelphia industrial properties. A variety of users, including retailers and third-party logistics companies, are driving demand so they deliver goods to consumers more efficiently than ever before,” Adam Mullen, market leader for the Greater Philadelphia Region at CBRE, told Invest:.

CBRE’s Pennsylvania I-78/I-81 Corridor Industrial MarketView Q2 2019 report showed that the corridor saw occupancy gains of 1.9 million square feet and observed a total of $135 million in capital investment. 

Other areas attracting interest are Point Breeze, which is gaining value, while Fishtown and Kensington have been hot for some time. According to Beuche, areas further along the Main Line region are also seeing numerous investments. Lehigh Valley and Central PA markets, for example, are driving many new investors into Pennsylvania

“As the yields continue to deliver in some of these secondary and tertiary markets, investors want to move outside of areas where they’re getting squeezed by some popularity. There is a bit of a ripple effect being created by the economy being strong for a long time, and many of the investments that have been made or taken in these core markets are pushing investors further out,” Beuche said. 

Opportunity Zones are also an attractive area to build market rate, workforce housing and to expand commercial development. 

“In Philadelphia, land is still relatively cheap compared to other getaway northeastern markets. Some of the most attractive undeveloped parts of the city are in Opportunity Zones. For example, in Center City East, on the west side of University City, on North Broad Street and in South Philadelphia,” Managing Partner at Alterra Property Group Leo Addimando told Invest:.  


To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Alterra Property Group: 


Marcus & Millichap: