Crime’s effect on NM’s commercial real estate and what buyers look for – Albuquerque Business First

Once you’re in, you’re hooked for the long haul.

That is the case for many in the commercial real estate industry. Take a gander at some of the top commercial real estate firms in New Mexico. Their longstanding employees have been in the business for 30, 35 or nearly 45 years. For many, that means staying in the same industry their whole career.

On the other hand, the industry is still attractive to newcomers. Many of the firms have agents who have been in the industry for two years or less. There will always be a need for office and warehouse space, and a steady stream of new brokers shows the industry is still kicking.

Largest New Mexico Commercial Real Estate Firms

Ranked by 2017 commercial transactions value

Rank Business name 2017 commercial transactions value 1 CBRE New Mexico $447.24 million 2 NAI Maestas & Ward Commercial Real Estate $193.7 million 3 Colliers International | Albuquerque-Santa Fe $179.65 million View This List

Commercial real estate deals differ from other types of real estate deals in what they require and the length of time it takes to get them done. Many commercial real estate deals take about two or three months from start to finish, according to our List respondents. Buyers or leasers have a list of amenities they look for in their space, including parking, security and easy access.

There are over 1,200 listings in New Mexico for office space, according to the Commercial Association of REALTORS – New Mexico, as of January 2018.

Albuquerque has been grappling with crime for years. The FBI Uniform Crime report for 2016 showed Albuquerque saw an increase in violent crime of 15.5 percent since the previous year and a 41.8 percent increase in murder.

Crime affects all industries but presents a unique challenge to commercial real estate, from managing property to selling and leasing. Here’s what some local real estate leaders had to say about several issues related to crime.

“Crime has affected our apartment communities that we manage. Lots of auto break-ins and auto theft,” said John Menicucci, qualifying broker and principal at Berger Briggs Real Estate & Insurance Inc.

Crime in the real estate and construction industries isn’t new, though.


Walt Arnold, managing director of SVN Walt Arnold Commercial Brokerage Inc.

“[Crime] continues to be a problem. Lighting is an important part of deterring crime. Increased patrol and tenant involvement have also been important,” said Walt Arnold, managing director of SVN/Walt Arnold Commercial Brokerage Inc.

Some longtime problems are still prevalent, in addition to new problems with security.

“Copper wire theft is still a big problem. Crime has increased the cost typically spent on security and raised the cost to insure property,” said Jim Chynoweth, managing director for CBRE New Mexico.

The problem doesn’t exist just in Albuquerque, either. In other areas of the state, property managers and sellers are making changes to better ensure safety at their locations.

“In Gallup, all larger shopping centers have on-site security and video systems,” said Dan Frady, owner and broker at RE/MAX Combined Investments Inc.

Crime’s effect on the industry isn’t just hurting the real estate companies.

“Albuquerque’s crime reputation is hurting all local businesses and causes lots of out-of-state companies to reconsider locating here,” said Michael Leach, managing member of Sycamore Associates LLC.

Whatever the solution — extra lighting, security cameras, patrols, fencing (all of which are measures the biggest commercial real estate firms in the state have taken) — it is clear crime is having an impact on the real estate industry.

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