COVID-19 Response: UES Continues Business Operations as Normal

We continue to operate our office and are actively performing site inspections and delivering reports to our clients. We are also accepting new jobs and will be here to serve you in the days and weeks ahead. We realize that this situation is ever-evolving and are implementing a number of strategies that will allow us to continue to deliver reports and perform inspections in our local Kansas City community and nationally for the foreseeable future.

We are taking the necessary steps while performing site inspections to keep our consultants and our clients’ on-site personnel safe and in compliance with social distancing guidelines. We realize that we may need to re-evaluate or adjust some of our practices as the situation evolves. If you have any standards in place we should be aware of, please let us know and we are happy to accommodate.

Communication is crucial during this time. We have always taken an approach to open communication lines with our clients during their inspection and report process. We continue to put this into practice as we move forward to conduct business and deliver our environmental and engineering services with as limited interruption as possible, while ensuring we’re keeping our staff, our clients’ staff and the public safe during this unprecedented time.

Thank you for your continued trust in UES Consulting Services as your partner. We know working together, we will get through this uncertainty. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call our office at 816.221.0627 or reach out to via email to our communication team info@uesconsulting.com

 

MBA CREF 2020 Recap

The UES team attended MBA CREF in San Diego this week. It’s always a great meeting, chocked full of quality education, networking with clients and making new connections. The MBA does a good job of delivering market trends, forecasts for the year ahead and information that we need to help guide our environmental consulting services.

A few things that stood out this year:

1. Most leaders agree that while we’ve heard a recession is coming, we are still in a good space in terms of growth and liquidity in the market. Lenders are making better credit choices and commercial real estate professionals are focusing on making good deals that can ride out hiccups or shifts should they arise. From listening in on one panel Monday morning, several market leaders believe we are still 18-24 months away from seeing a slow to growth and decreased liquidity. Globe St.Com has a deeper dive into this particular panel and their discussions. 

2. Across the board, commercial real estate professionals are in agreement that international affairs, such as concern over the spread of the coronavirus, and the upcoming US election has the potential to impact Q4 of 2020 and the start of 2021. Speakers at MBA stated that their organizations are planning ahead for some volatility in Q4 and working to see how many deals they can close prior to November.

3. Multifamily continues to have it’s moment. And, the market is seeing a wide variety of lending players jumping in. Banks are more involved than in prior years in providing capital. CMBS is making a comeback and the ultra-wealthy are getting involved in the space through investment funds.

MBA CREF 2020 Multifamily Lenders

Lenders involved in the multifamily market in 2020

Stay tuned to the UES blog for a few more highlights from the last day!

UES Consulting Services, Inc is an environmental and engineering firm specializing in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Subsurface Investigations and Property Condition Assessments for Commercial Real Estate transactions. We frequently research and write on trends, market updates, news and other happenings affecting our clients and partners in the commercial real estate industry

 

 

 

Lifestyle Forward Amenities, the Digital Frontier and Multi-Family

As our digital footprint expands, so does our innate desire to connect with and be apart of a community. Much community starts with our living environment and how we are able to connect with those in close proximity, along with the neighborhood for which we inhabit.

As mixed use multi-family continues is growth across all markets in the US, developers and planners are thinking less about privacy and isolation, and more about connecting those that will life, work and play in the space. Along with how they will interact with the retail, restaurants and other “neighbors” within their ecosphere.

The Science Behind Lifestyle Amenities and Community Building

A recent blog featured on multifamilybiz.com by author Kerry Kirby, highlights this burgeoning trend and how it looks to affect not only developers, but commercial brokers looking to lease space and place clients in these new mixed use multi-family complexes.

Kirby highlights a social psychology phenomenon called the  “propinquity effect”. Social psychologists theorize and tested the concept that physical space is the key to friendship formation as opposed to original thinking that values, opinions and beliefs were the key factors in friendship formation. As the author dives further into this concept, it’s clear that trends in more communal living spaces within a multi-family complex such as digital meet-up areas, living rooms, shared workspaces and other community building spaces are changing the way we build relationships and build community.

Putting it to Work

A great example of this lifestyle forward amenity offering is going up right in our own backyard in Kansas City, MO. The Opus Group is developing a lifestyle amenity rich luxury apartment living experience to the vibrant historic Westport area. Along with that luxury living experience, comes the opportunity for mixed use retail space marketed by Colliers International. Restaurants, retail shops and other neighborhood oriented business are being attracted to the lower levels of this complex. A welcome addition to the urban landscape.

UES Consulting Services, Inc is an environmental and engineering firm specializing in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Subsurface Investigations and Property Condition Assessments for Commercial Real Estate transactions. We frequently research and write on trends, market updates, news and other happenings affecting our clients and partners in the commercial real estate industry.

 

Advice on Avoiding Issues with the ADA

First and foremost, what is the ADA?

It is the American Disabilities Act which pertains to all Commercial Real Estate transactions. The ADA defines disability as – “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” This Federal bill includes everything from how you can hire and fire to how you can enter a building.

So how do you avoid issues with the ADA on Retail Properties?

Reading below is a good start to gain intel on some crucial accessibility problems to avoid.

The American Disabilities Act appoints retail businesses as “places of public accommodation” so developers must provide access for people with disabilities when constructing new facilities. Every space is unique and has its own set of problems but there are more common issues that will be discussed below.

  1. Curb Ramps. Not up to standards curb ramps are very common. The property may have curb ramps but, unfortunately, often times they do not comply since they do not have regulation slopes, dimensions, or landings. ADA requires curb ramps along the accessible route which includes the path from parking spaces. Noticeable warnings are necessary in local jurisdictions and certain states. Design details for curb ramps encompass clear landings at the top of the ramp, appropriately flared sides, and maximum slopes.
  2. The Legend of The Grandfather Clause. This is a major misunderstanding about the ADA in general, not specific to retail properties. The ADA is federal law, not a building code. Properties built before 1991 are not excluded by a grandfather clause. The ADA regulates that tenants and building owners are required to constantly remove familiar barriers.
  3. No Entry from Public Sidewalks. Retail properties need to include at least one accessible route from public transportation stops, streets and sidewalks. It’s necessary for these accessible routes to include maximum slopes, proper head clearances, free from obstructions, and minimum dimensions. Retail properties also need to grant easy access from buildings that are on the same site.
  4. Parking. This area of compliancy is often times complicated. Common issues are unacceptable striping/identifications of the parking spaces and too few ADA spaces. ADA Standards are very stringent about the markings, size, parking identification of accessible parking spaces, the ground slope, free from obstructions, and has to be adequately conserved.
  5. Historically Significant Facilities. City governments usually believe they have no duty to change historically significant buildings and facilities to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

UES Consulting and our team of inspectors are well-versed in any needs related to Commercial Real Estate transactions. We’re aware how thorough and time-sensitive Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and Property Condition Assessments are and we can help the process run smoothly and close on time.

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MBA CREF 2020

MBA CREF 2020 Recap

The UES team attended MBA CREF in San Diego this week. It’s always a great meeting, chocked full of quality education, networking with clients and making new connections. The MBA does a good job of delivering market trends, forecasts for the year ahead and information that we need to help guide our environmental consulting services. […]

Lifestyle Forward Amenities, the Digital Frontier and Multi-Family

As our digital footprint expands, so does our innate desire to connect with and be apart of a community. Much community starts with our living environment and how we are able to connect with those in close proximity, along with the neighborhood for which we inhabit. As mixed use multi-family continues is growth across all […]

Advice on Avoiding Issues with the ADA

First and foremost, what is the ADA? It is the American Disabilities Act which pertains to all Commercial Real Estate transactions. The ADA defines disability as – “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.” This Federal bill includes everything from how you can hire and fire to how you can […]

Rethinking Adaptive Reuse Projects

What is an Adaptive Reuse Project? Adaptive reuse projects is the process of taking old buildings or sites, and reusing them for a purpose other than it was designed. When considering Adaptive reuse projects it’s important to understand if these investments make sense? Competition is increasing for developable land within certain asset classes, not to […]

Wrapping up summer with UES sponsoring the RISE Rooftop Crawl

RISE ROOFTOP CRAWL What is it?! Kansas City’s fifth annual rooftop crawl is an exciting and exclusive night to explore private rooftops all with unique eccentric themed parties benefitting nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters.  When is it?! Aug 24, 6:00 pm Come to the Crossroads to celebrate an evening full of networking, food, drinks, live […]

UES to sponsor CREW KC’s 16th Annual Golf Classic!

Join us at CREW Kansas City’s 16th Annual Golf Classic for an unforgettable day full of golf, networking, and supporting a wonderful organization! WHEN: AUGUST 15, 2019 WHERE: CREEKMOOR GOLF COURSE TIME: 8:00 AM REGISTRATION, 9:00 AM SHOTGUN START MORE DETAILS CREW KC and Creekmoor Golf Course have joined together for a great annual event. […]

What’s Next with Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial Real Estate has never been in a better spot but you have to ask the question, what’s coming next? MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research Jamie Woodwell expressed his opinion for the sector at the MBA Commercial/Multifamily Servicing & Technology Conference. “We’re currently in the longest economic expansion ever,” Woodwell said. “There […]

UES Investing in the Next Generation

UES employees were excited to sponsor a local event that raises support for youth in low income regions. We are passionate about empowering and equipping the next generation for success. The event, Power of Words, was held in the Power and Light District in Kansas City, Missouri by Youth Ambassadors(YA). YA is a not-for-profit organization […]