The NREV Edge
NREV’s Edge stems from the combined real estate, legal, economic and governmental experience of its founder and CEO, Peter Monroe. Monroe has developed, managed, and leased numerous commercial real estate projects in Florida, and sold over 50 properties. He provides legal and financial services required for commercial real estate—from leases, land use agreements and mortgages to sales and purchase documents. Monroe’s federal government career and success in working with Florida state and local jurisdictions enable him to work through complex problems not often dealt with by real estate practitioners. His experience is complemented by the accounting, financial, valuation and entrepreneurial skills of NREV’s CFO and EVP, Linda Ermatinger.
NREV can manage a property with the mindset and goals of the owner and has the in-house experience to achieve such goals. Adding value to a property and maximizing internal rates of return are normally the owner’s top priorities. A recent 22 month project, Northwood Commons, a troubled retail/office project in Safety Harbor, Florida, illustrates how each service provided by NREV was consistent with a “Value Plan” mutually developed by the owner and the asset manager for the property. Real estate companies often manage up to 100 properties, with as many as 5 to 10 employees handling discrete duties, making it difficult to synchronize services with a Value Plan. NREV only accepts projects where it is confident that it can implement a Value Plan mutually agreed upon with the owner.
An owner’s goals, however, may also be a quick sale or financing, attracting a particular tenant, or resolving a particular problem. An investor may ask NREV to find, evaluate and purchase a property. A judge or attorney may need an expert witness. A City may need a consultant to develop a plan to seek new businesses. NREV can assist with these and other difficult assignments.
NREV’s asset management provides:
- In depth assessment of the property;
- A comprehensive Value Plan;
- Monitoring and reporting on progress; and
- Dedication to Plan goals.
NREV manages within the framework of a budget and provides variance analyses. Value Plans for different property types vary widely. Retail leasing typically targets tenants who attract customers within a demographic profile, while office leasing does not target similarly. NREV seeks out the tenants most likely to achieve the property’s goals. One way to incentivize an asset manager is to tie compensation to success in increasing a property’s value. Monroe authored an article in Southeast Real Estate News describing how granting a “carried interest” to the asset manager provides such incentive.
Peter Monroe has sold more than $750 million of commercial properties throughout the Southeast ranging from shopping centers and offices to assisted living facilities, mobile home parks, single credit tenants and ground leases throughout the Southeast, focusing on the Florida market. A map showing the names and locations of many of Monroe’s Florida property sales is available on this website.
A key to success in property sales is removing obstacles to sale, ranging from title to environmental issues. Monroe is expert in assembling “due diligence” information prior to sale, finding possible impediments to sale, and then removing them. He uses the latest marketing techniques, stays current on market situations, and has over 3,000 active commercial real estate broker and buyer contacts. As a skilled attorney, he has rescued deals by “turning them around” more swiftly than the competition, solving tough legal issues and creative legal drafting.
NREV has earned its reputation as one of the best in the leasing business. To maximize a property’s value, quality property management must be linked with a first class leasing program. Peter Monroe has drafted, negotiated, and closed over 400 leases of nearly all commercial real estate product types.
NREV prepares its leasing plan in accordance with the Asset Manager’s Value Plan. NREV works closely with graphic artists and web experts to prepare optimum marketing materials, and distributes them effectively by all methods. NREV cultivates strong relationships with tenant representatives. NREV emphasizes first class leasing signage, and “showability” of vacant units, and the entire project. When a suitable prospect has been identified, NREV obtains a comprehensive lease application, and analyzes credit support, business history, and the prospect’s business plan. Monroe negotiates all leases in close collaboration with the owner of the project.
NREV uses a unique approach to assist all parties in understanding a proposed lease transaction:
• Provides a spreadsheet containing the formulas used to calculate all rents and other tenant financial obligations during the lease term and extensions.
• Prepares an abstract of all key deal points.
• Drafts all leasing documents and assists tenants with space planning and value engineering of tenant improvements. When necessary, NREV will obtain a construction bid so that the owner and Tenant will be able to estimate leasing costs.
Owners and tenants, including their attorneys, have praised this approach as saving legal time, while giving parties the confidence to proceed to lease execution.
After lease execution, NREV provides comprehensive tenant coordination, including construction management of tenant finish, and assisting new tenants with matters ranging from insurance to utility transfers. Several tenants at Northwood Commons have made this point in writing, such as Elizabeth’s Bakery and Café, Cuvee 103, Enterprise Animal Hospital and Northwood Floral. After closing, NREV prepares a final lease abstract, showing a lease’s impact upon a property’s valuation.
The Case Study of Northwood Commons summarizes leasing actions and results. NREV leased and renewed the leases of several businesses with national or regional scope—Craig Duncan (State Farm) Insurance Agency, Wild Birds Unlimited, Nicholas Financial Corporation, H & R Block, Oreck vacuums, Burger Monger and Roth-Sodexo, as well as local tenants of the highest quality. NREV, as property manager and exclusive listing agent, leased or renewed 70% of the property’s square footage. NREV achieved retail occupancy of 100% (an increase from 50%) and Project occupancy of 90% (increased from 60%).
NREV maintains that quality property management increases sustainable net operating income (NOI), and must be supportive of a project’s leasing program.
NREV’s property management process is as follows:
• Conduct a comprehensive property review;
• Notify all parties of management change, from tenants and contractors to utilities and local government;
• Review all property and liability insurance and verify that there are no serious “life-safety” issues.
• Meet all accessible tenants within the first 7 business days, and interview important vendors reviewing their contracts, scope of work, performance standards and costs;
• Examine all existing leases and CAM reconciliation letters; and prepare lease abstracts, structured to facilitate valuation of the property;
• Obtain estimates for needed project deferred maintenance and capital repairs, as well as vacant unit repairs, maintenance and preparation of the center for effective leasing;
• Assess compliance with ADA, environmental and other applicable laws;
• Perform a compliance review of all key legal documents, including mortgages, zoning ordinances and insurance policies;
• Acquire updates of surveys and title documents;
• Analyze the current tax assessment;
• Meet with local officials to verify code compliance, establish working relationships and obtain all available permit plans;
• Prepare a rent roll, cash budget and valuation of the property and discuss a proposed Value Plan with for the client’s review, revisions; and
• Upon commencement of management operations:
…….o Institute strict collection procedures and cost controls to maximize net operating income;
…….o Ready vacant units for showings to maximize the project’s leasability;
…….o Manage the Property in accordance with the Value Plan; and
…….o Provide clients with monthly reconciled financial reports that tie with the cash budget, and progress reports on meeting the goals set for the project.
The Case Study of Northwood Commons demonstrates the impact of these management techniques. A number of long time tenants who renewed their leases, including Ed’s Fine Wines, Sole n Heel and Nicholas Financial stated in writing that NREV was the best manager which the center had ever had.
NREV is a skilled asset manager, a requisite for a quality receiver. The receiver first protects and stabilizes a property in foreclosure, then seeks to maximize value of the Receivership Estate. The court order of appointment should grant sufficient flexibility and protection to allow a receiver to maximize a property’s value, while saving court time and legal expense resulting from possible motions and hearings. As Vice Chair of the Florida Bar’s Receivership Subcommittee, Monroe has insight into all phases of a receivership—from appointment to discharge, and recently spoke at a Florida Bar conference on receiverships. He has just completed a successful 22 month receivership for the country’s largest special service. NREV received favorable feedback letters from the special servicer, the City of Safety Harbor, numerous retail, restaurant, and office tenants, professionals and other property stakeholders.
Peter Monroe has 15 years of experience as an owner/developer of shopping centers, office parks and triple net tenant projects. His skills as a Florida lawyer, Florida real estate broker and Florida Class A General Contractor complement his direct development experience. A map and listing of his Florida developments is included in the About NREV section of this website entitled “Developments and Projects Sold in Florida”. These projects comprise over 600,000 square feet, and every project was profitable. In these projects, Monroe and his companies personally assumed all development responsibilities from design and development oversight to final sale, and all management responsibilities from accounting and property management to leasing and construction management. Details of all developments are available by contacting NREV.
In-house Legal Support
Commercial real estate experts understand that swift and accurate legal drafting of leases and contracts can often make or break a deal. As a Florida attorney, Monroe often drafts leases and contracts for his properties- saving owners significant legal fees and expediting transactions from leasing to sales. The Case Study provides detail as to how competent in-house legal skills accelerated the turnaround of the subject property. The quality and importance of NREV’s in-house legal skills has been emphasized in writing by the Special Servicer and several tenants.
Monroe has managed consulting assignments ranging from development strategy and commercial workouts to environmental remediation. He has engaged in large scale consulting, as an advisor to both Detroit and Los Angeles, facilitating their receipt of billion dollar Empowerment Zone grants from the federal government. He is experienced in interpreting codes and ordinances, and has obtained many “no further action” and compliance letters. At Northwood Commons in Safety Harbor, Florida, he took a difficult SWFWMD enforcement action on a drainage area and converted it to a “full compliance” condition, avoiding large fines. He then helped convert such area to a wild bird habitat which has become a draw for the property. He negotiated a variance to increase the height of the center’s main pylon sign, which allowed a 50% increase in the pylon’s allowable signage. Additionally, he obtained approval for an innovative tenant signage program to facilitate the leasing of the center’s primary office building. Monroe’s success in completing consulting assignments, particularly for governmental agencies, stems from his own federal government experience, and his belief in private-public partnerships, versus private-public confrontations.
Monroe can provide expert advice and testimony. As a Florida attorney, broker, and developer, with significant knowledge of the commercial real estate field, his opinions have assisted in reaching settlements and avoiding protracted litigation. Monroe’s experience in commercial development, management, leasing, and sales, as well as knowledge of Florida law, make Monroe a smart choice for lawyers and judges seeking expert advice and testimony related to Florida commercial real estate.
Monroe’s Florida credentials as an expert witness include: member of the Florida Bar for 40 years, current service as Vice Chair of the Florida Bar Receivership Subcommittee; Florida registered broker for 39 years; and Class A Florida general contractor for 18 years (now inactive). His training in Economics was at Williams College (B.A.) and at Oxford University (M.A.). His legal training was at Harvard Law School (J.D.) His government credentials include service as President of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Additional information is available in the “About NREV” section of this website, and on LinkedIn.