Experience On Your Side—How Tenant Representation Can Affect Your Bottom Line

There are many questions that come to mind when considering the best location for your business. How can I find a location that not only fits my needs, but is also within budget? What factors do I need to consider when determining the best area for my specific business? What terms are most important to address in my lease?

Diving head first into the commercial real estate world can be daunting for some, and having in-depth knowledge of suitable locations, key competitors, and industry trends can help you determine what available locations are the best fit for you. Having access to all of that knowledge and more through experienced tenant representation can also save you time and money.

Here are some ways tenant representation can help set you up for success.

Lock down the best location

One of the often underrated factors in ensuring a successful business is choosing the right location. Location affects everything from amenities to capturing the proper demographics for your business to making it convenient for customers, clients, or patients to visit your business. Considering things like traffic counts, parking availability, visibility, and accessibility are essential in the search for the right property. These are all things that brokers have an in-depth knowledge of within their markets.

Targeting the right location is a puzzle, and hiring tenant representation will help you on your search for researching median income, population, trends, and more. Many times, brokers have exclusive resources that are not available to the general public and can assist in the analysis of each specific location.

“At Crunkleton, your initial meeting with a broker will include a detailed evaluation that helps identify what demographics, features, co-tenants, amenities, etc… will help make your business as successful as possible,” said Zac Buckley, Vice President of Leasing. “The broker will then create a list of properties, complete with property details and comparative information, that will help you determine the ideal location for your investment.”

Have someone by your side when negotiating lease terms

One of the most common mistakes tenants can make during commercial lease agreements is going in with limited knowledge of the negotiation process. Sometimes it’s difficult to get up-to-speed when time is a factor and you have to get business moving.

Many commercial leases are 25 pages or more in length and can be quite overwhelming to someone not experienced in all the different components and terms.

Lease negotiations can be a tedious process, and even small details can bring about unexpected costs. Brokers with years of insight and experience can effectively guide tenants through the process of commercial lease negotiations ensuring you get the best deal for your investment.

“We can certainly advise a tenant in making sure all the important business points in regards to the commercial real estate aspect are accounted for,” said Zac, “but we do recommend that tenants seek legal, tax, and other competent advice in areas not directly related to real estate.”

Save time and money

Searching for the perfect property is a time-consuming and at times frustrating process. Having tenant representation allows you to focus on what matters to you while leaving the devilish details to experienced professionals.

A tenant representative will do the legwork to find you the property that best fits your needs. They will take the time to find spaces that meet your criteria and coordinate with landlords to schedule site visits. They will even be able to point you in the direction of properties that might not yet be on the market. This might just give you a leg up on other tenants or competitors looking for similar space.

And finally, they can help you save money by seeking out the most competitive deals and advise you on acceptable rental rates based on the market.

Working with experienced counsel 

“It is our goal to not only help clients secure a prime location with lease terms that will set them up for success, but to do so in a manner that is as efficient and pleasant as possible,” said Zac. “We value the relationship with our clients, and we work hard to ensure their needs are taken care of.”

Want to learn more about how Crunkleton can help improve your bottom line? Click here to download our Tenant Representation guide.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

5 Things To Consider When Leasing Medical Office Space

When it comes to negotiating a lease for medical office space, several unique factors play into identifying the appropriate property. Working with hazardous materials, complying with HIPAA, easy access, and convenient parking—all of these things should be considered when looking at a potential medical facility.

Having experienced counsel on your side can help identify key issues in the lease that make a difference down the road. Eric St. John, Broker at Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate, has brokered various medical office negotiations and has outlined some of the major factors that play into finding the ideal space for medical use.

“There are many differences between a general office space lease and a medical space lease,” said Eric. “You have to look at everything from the flow of the space to determining what specific pieces of equipment will be used in it. While every deal is unique, there are a few major questions that always need thoughtful answers. And it’s up to the tenant to understand what those are to ensure an effective practice.”

So, here they are—five things to consider when leasing medical office space:

1) Does the space work with your needs?

This may seem like an obvious question, but taking note of certain factors will help you come up with more concrete answers. Close your eyes and imagine the space at your current family doctor’s office. Are the exam rooms far away from the waiting area? Does the space allow the staff to be productive and efficient? All of these things play into proper flow within a space.

“The first thing many medical tenants look at when it comes to location is the space’s proximity to the major hospital system they are affiliated with,” said Eric. “From there, things like the flow of a space and accessibility are at the forefront of decision making.”

Making sure your location is easily accessible for your patient base—including those with limited mobility—is something that should be deliberated. Know what major roadways and paths your patients will take to get to your building, and make sure it’s an easy one.

 2) How will you handle the disposal of hazardous waste/materials?

Medical office spaces often house materials that are a biohazard. With general office spaces, most leases prohibit the introduction of any hazardous wastes on the property. This is not the case with medical leases. Instead, the lease should provide well-defined guidance as to who will be responsible for the removal of such wastes. Liability for this issue shouldn’t be ignored.

“Most leases address the guidelines for hazardous materials,” said Eric. “The tenant is usually responsible for the handling and disposal of such waste.”

It may be just a few sentences within the lease that save you from any future trouble. Have confidence that the materials are stored and disposed of properly. Make sure the lease is crystal clear on how it will be executed, as well as who will be granted access to those materials.

3) What will you do to ensure HIPAA compliance?

While every office space is sure to contain some form of confidential documents, medical spaces are required to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The laws outlined by HIPAA vastly affect the functionality and accessibility of medical office spaces.

“It’s important to include information in the lease that outlines the landlord’s access to the space,” said Eric. “Usually, landlords are required to provide a certain notice before entering, unless there is an emergency. Leases can also outline the restriction of certain areas at certain times.”

4) Will you need to accommodate special equipment/procedures?

Special equipment requires specialized accommodations. Because many machines need their own rooms, generate extra heat or require specific insulation, these terms need to be outlined in the lease. Completing your homework beforehand will ensure that utility services are able to accommodate any additional needs.

“You’ll notice that not every practice has an X-ray machine,” said Eric. “These types of machines need shielded rooms lined with lead or other materials to operate—something that may not be readily available in certain spaces. Knowing what equipment or procedures the physician plans on offering certainly affects the deal, what type of space they need, and the negotiation as a whole.”

5) Who are your neighbors?

Many medical doctors seek spaces that include other primary care and internal medicine specialists because it allows for a “built-in referral system.” Rather than sending your patient across the city to follow up on a matter, doctors can send them to another office within the building, cutting down on confusion and adding convenience for the patient.

“Knowing who is in the building with you is important,” said Eric. “Because their business can affect your business.”

Thinking ahead.

At Crunkleton, we do our best to help clients find the medical office space that fits their needs. By paying attention to the diverse needs of medical tenants, anticipating future trends, and connecting with clients, we create a relationship that aims to meet the unique needs of medical office lessees.

“We do our best to understand the medical business to make sure clients get what they need,” said Eric. “Our job is to read between the lines and make sure they are taken care of in any situation. It’s always rewarding when we are able to negotiate a lease that benefits both the landlord, the tenant, and the public who needs exceptional medical care.”

To learn more about how Crunkleton can help you with your medical office leasing needs, contact Eric St. John at eric@crunkletonassociates.com.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Downtown Huntsville’s Newest Adventure—Paddle The Canal Festival!

Urban kayaking, friendly competition, entertainment, giveaways, and food—all of these things will be coming together soon in Big Spring Park for the Paddle the Canal Festival hosted by Downtown Huntsville, Inc.!

On April 22nd and 23rd, the canal between the Von Braun Center and Embassy Suites will be the showground for the city’s first-ever timed kayak and canoe races. Participants can choose to enter into one of three categories: Expert, Novice, or Costume. Paddlers will be chip-timed electronically and teams of two and four will be ranked per the sum of all team members.

After racers have a go around the course, they can join the rest of the crowd to enjoy giveaways from Redstone Federal Credit Union, souvenir booths, and free entertainment and activities.

There will also be plenty of food trucks to choose from, including Huntsville favorites like:

  • Angel’s Island Coffee
  • Beast Mode
  • House of Kabob
  • Little Red Lunchbox
  • Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream
  • Pearl Asian Cuisine
  • The Perfect Pucker
  • Shiver Shaved Ice
  • What’s Popp’N

Don’t have a kayak to participate?

No problem! The North Alabama Canoe and Kayak Club will have on-site rentals available for $5 for both days (use cash). But, of course, you are free to bring your own to the event.

On Friday evening, there will be a drop-off area in Paddler’s Park for your kayaks and canoes. And don’t worry! Downtown Huntsville Inc. has hired overnight security to monitor them for both nights.

Are you part of the Expert, Novice, or Costume category?

If you’re an expert paddler who loves the thrill of competition, you will be the first to race. All participants in the Expert category will have one chip-timed run of the course. It’s expected that these runs will each take 4 minutes or less.

Novice paddlers will follow once the Expert category is complete. You will also have one chip-timed run and will share the course during your run with one other racer who will be released when you are approximately half way through the course.

And finally, the Costume category will close out the races on the 22nd. This group of participants will complete an untimed run of the course and instead be reviewed by a panel of third-party judges. Expect to share the course in 30-second increments with others in this category.

Time

Races will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 22nd with the Expert category and will have a rolling schedule.

Once all of the races have been completed, participants can complete two additional untimed runs on the canal as a “free paddle” run. Racing will be completed by Saturday evening.

Registrants are welcome to return on Sunday, April 23rd for open paddle time between 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Place

This brand-new event will take place in beautiful Big Spring Park in Downtown Huntsville. The start-line area is called Paddler’s Park and is located behind the South Hall of the Von Braun Center.

Here’s the address:

Big Spring Park Canal – Downtown Huntsville

800 Monroe St. SW

Huntsville, AL 35801

Cost

The cost to compete is $30 for individuals, $50 for teams of two, and $95 for teams of four.

Your registration includes an event t-shirt, the guarantee of three course runs, and access to the private Paddler’s Park event area.

Members of Redstone Federal Credit Union are eligible for an exclusive 10% discount and can get more information here.

Purchase Tickets

Purchasing your tickets for the event is simple. Just click here to register as an individual or team. But remember, tickets are going fast—very fast!

Do you plan on participating this year? Comment below and let us know!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Everything You Need To Know About Earth And Stone Wood Fired Pizza’s Madison Location

On March 17, Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza shared some wonderful news with its fans—“We signed the lease yesterday on our new location! Very excited to be opening in Madison. We are projected to open our doors by mid-May!”

That’s right, Madison! You are about to have delicious, farm-to-table pizza right in your backyard. While most of Huntsville is already a fan of the restaurant’s Yellowhammer location, Stan Stinson and Tina Ford—co-owners and founders of Earth and Stone—have committed to expanding the business to Medical Park Station in Madison.

The Location

Situated off of busy Highway 72, the new Earth and Stone location immediately caught the eyes of Stan and Tina.

“We have a really good following in Madison because we spent several years building our brand there. This new location was very serendipitous,” said Stan. “It’s a former pizza place, so we were able to get a restaurant going without all the expense of a start-up.”

Stan said that business partner Tina Ford will handle the day-to-day operation of the Madison location while he maintains the restaurant at Campus 805.

“Tina will bring a group of trained folks from our current location and we will grow from there,” said Stan. “We plan to flip-flop back and forth between locations so we can both be involved in maintaining the customer experience.” In addition to experience, the Madison location will have the same menu offerings that are available at Campus 805.

The Menu

“We want our Madison customers to enjoy everything that we have available at our Yellowhammer location,” said Stan. “So, our menu will be duplicated.”

The restaurant will also have 4-6 beers on draft and will serve a selection of craft beers, wine, and ice cream (including their adult ice cream flavors). As for the pizza, all of the fan favorites will be there.

But where did the team come up with the flavors and offerings that customers have come to know and love over the years? According to Stan, it all comes down to experimentation.

“The Latham—for example—has a really cool story behind it,” said Stan. “A few years ago, we were at Latham Farmers Market. Every year, the Methodist Church has a food drive where northern Alabama farmers donate sweet potatoes.”

On that particular day, the church had received a large shipment of donated sweet potatoes, and Stan was tasked with coming up with a clever way to use them. As a fan of starchy sweet potatoes cooked with caramelized onions, Stan knew he was up to the challenge of creating something delicious and unique.

Image courtesy of Earth and Stone

“At Latham’s, we were usually set up next to Humble Heart Farms: Goat Cheese,” said Stan. “We had the arrangement to trade our pizza for their goat cheese. Suddenly, it clicked. I could create a pizza with all of the ingredients together.”

And so, The Latham was born. Stan credits the success of the pizza inventions to quality ingredients and research.

The Earth and Stone Difference

When it comes to being a dedicated foodie, Stan goes the extra mile. From the moment Earth and Stone became a concept, the team started researching best practices for making dough and even gave away pizza to willing taste testers until they discovered the perfect recipe.

“Right after we bought our first wood fire oven, we spent two months perfecting our dough recipe,” said Stan. “After giving away nearly 1,000 pizzas, we think we have it just right. We believe Madison will see a difference in the quality we offer.”

All of Earth and Stone’s pizzas cook in two minutes flat and use flour from Italy that can withstand 900 degrees. This commitment to excellence creates a noticeable difference.

“You’ll see black spots on our dough that develop flavor; you’ll see browning and blistering,” said Stan. “We aren’t a pizza chain. We are in this to be a unique offering to the market.”

(Speaking of unique, Earth and Stone’s adult ice cream selection is growing in popularity. The restaurant’s house-made ice cream comes in flavors like Bourbon Butter Pecan and Tequila Sunrise!)

The Future

What started as one of Huntsville’s first food trucks has become a sensation that the Rocket City can’t seem to get enough of. So much so, that Earth and Stone has been approached about adding more locations outside of the Huntsville-Madison area. But for Stan and Tina, customer experience comes before anything else, which plays a huge factor in any future plans.

“We want our customers to have the same experience wherever they eat our product,” said Stan. “It’s our customers that allowed us to grow, and that’s why we will always stay heavily involved with the daily operations of Earth and Stone. It’s because of them we are successful. And we can’t wait to connect with our fans in Madison. We will see you soon!”

Be sure to follow Earth and Stone on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM