Office unease: Tenants are paying up but staying away

first_imgClockwise from top left: Boston Properties’ Owen Thomas; Empire Real Estate Trust’s Tony Malkin; Equity Commonwealth’s David Helfand; Columbia Property Trust’s Nelson Mills; SL Green’s Marc Holliday; Vornado Realty Trust’s Steve Roth; and Brookfield’s Brian Kingston (Getty)A pattern has emerged among office landlords reporting their third quarter results: The vast majority of tenants kept up with rent payments, but an equal number also kept their workers away.Investment firm and REIT executives reported strong rent collections across much of their office portfolios, a positive sign for their immediate bottom line. At many of their earnings calls over the past two weeks, CEOs emphasized their efforts to create a safe environment for tenants.But they acknowledged that the work-from-home environment has persisted longer than expected, as fewer tenants brought employees back to the office.On its Oct. 22 call, SL Green reported that just 15 to 20 percent of tenants returned to their offices, acknowledging the previous projection — 50 percent physical occupancy after Labor Day — was overly optimistic.“It’s hard to put a finger on it. It’s always sort of right around the corner,” CEO Marc Holliday said during the call. “It feels imminent and yet the numbers don’t bear that out. Eighty to 85 percent of the people who work in office buildings are still at home. And that’s frustrating.” SL Green — as with several other landlords — has brought most its employees back to the office, offering them perks such as subsidized commuting, meals and childcare, Holliday said.David Helfand, president and CEO of Equity Commonwealth, shared a similar problem. Occupancy was just 10 percent across the REIT’s four remaining office buildings, which total about 1.5 million square feet.“Our buildings are open,” Helfand said. “And while many tenants continue to be cautious about their return, we’ve implemented precautionary measures to promote safety when they are ready to come back.”While the offices may be empty, tenants are paying their rent. Of the eight landlords whose third quarter earnings calls The Real Deal reviewed, seven had rates of 95 percent or higher: Boston Properties, Paramount Group, Columbia Property, Equity Commonwealth, SL Green, ESRT and Vornado. Brookfield Property Partners — which reported a $135 million net loss — did not disclose its collection rate during Friday’s earnings call. But CFO Bryan Davis said the firm’s rent collection “in our core office business has remained normal.”Tony Malkin’s Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the Empire State Building and other office properties in New York City, Westchester and Connecticut, reported physical occupancy at just 15 percent in the New York offices from July through September. Malkin said the company — which reported its second consecutive quarterly loss — invested in costly renovations to improve environmental quality even before the pandemic. At its properties outside the city, return to work rates rose. About 45 percent of tenants in its Westchester buildings were back, and 55 percent in Connecticut had returned.Read moreSL Green’s lament: Office comeback “always right around the corner”Boston Properties’ Q3 income drops 17%Columbia Property Trust collects 98% of its rent in Q3Paramount Group back at work, but tenants waiting until 2021Steve Roth: No Democratic sweep is good news for NY real estateEmpire State Realty Trust reports second consecutive quarterly lossBrookfield Property Partners reports $135M net loss in Q3 This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now Message* Paramount Group CEO Albert Behler said the company had extended lease expiration deadlines for tenants.While Paramount’s employees are back in the office, Behler said he expected the “vast majority” of tenants to return to the office in early 2021.Boston Properties’ CEO Owen Thomas projected an even slower pace of return. He estimated workers will return to office in the second half of 2021, depending on when a Covid vaccine becomes widely available. Thomas said the company, which reported a 17 percent drop in income, only had about 16 percent of tenants return to its offices in Q3.Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steve Roth also said a full return to office would be unlikely before a vaccine hits the market. Pfizer’s announcement that its trial vaccine was over 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 in its volunteers sent real estate stocks soaring on Monday. In the meantime, Roth said he isn’t mandating his employees return to the office.“Out of respect for our employees, we have basically said that if you are uncomfortable with the health risk of returning to the normal office environment, then by all means please continue to work from home,” he said. But he added, “Now, we’re not going to let that go on forever.”Nelson Mills, president and CEO of Columbia Property Trust, didn’t say how many tenants had returned to the landlord’s buildings. While Columbia Property collected nearly 98 percent of its rent in the third quarter — it operates 7 million square feet of office space, mostly in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — Mills acknowledged “physical occupancy is down across the industry.”Contact Akiko Matsudacenter_img Email Address* Full Name*last_img read more

Persimmon breaks £1bn annual profit barrier for first time

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UTEC StarNet Team Up with Sky Futures for 3D Inspection

first_imgUTEC StarNet, part of the UTEC group of companies, partnered with Sky Futures for 3D inspection and onshore and offshore asset management.  The move further enhances both companies’ positions  in the oil and gas, renewable and telecommunications markets.The relationship will provide clients with a total solution utilizing Sky Futures’ advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) inspection and measurement services combined with UTEC StarNet’s IMDC and laser scan capabilities.  These will be delivered through UTEC StarNet’s market-leading i-Site™ integrated 3D web-based software package.Commenting on the announcement, UTEC StarNet’s Director of Operations & Business Development, Bill Miller, said: “This partnership reinforces UTEC StarNet and Sky Futures’ focus on innovation and technology to enable knowledge-based decision making in complex and challenging environments.”James Harrison, Director, Sky Futures added: “By partnering with UTEC we are able to provide a unique, world-leading service that can be delivered directly to existing and new clients. We’re very excited about this, and are looking forward to working with the UTEC family globally.”Sky Futures is a UK-based company providing UAV inspection services to clients globally in the oil and gas, renewable and utilities sectors with world-leading expertise in engineering inspection and reporting using HD video and thermal camera imagery.  They have also recently developed proprietary DTL-VU software that is used to measure defects and corrosion.UTEC StarNet is part of the UTEC group of companies which provides a wide range of survey services including offshore positioning and construction support, metocean, geophysical and AUV surveys, geotechnical sampling and consulting services to the oil, gas and energy industries.  With a focus on people, performance, excellence and ethics, the company also offers dimensional control surveys, laser scanning, 3D modeling and the iSITE™ asset management software. UTEC has offices located around the world including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.Press Release, April 02, 2014last_img read more

Spotlight on underwater forest

first_imgExploring a sun-shafted underwater world with no barrier between your skin and the creatures of the kelp forest. A film-maker and naturalist wants to put our underwater forest on the world map. The kelp forest – which is 100m wide in places and has fronds up to 17m high – stretches around our coastline.Craig Foster’s journey into this aquatic wonderland started some 10 years ago. Memories of happy childhood days in the ocean inspired him to dive like our ancestors, without a wetsuit or scuba gear, using the kelp to pull himself down to the ocean floor.Craig spoke last week at the launch of the book, Sea Change, which tells of his experiences diving the kelp forest along with co-author, surfer, and founder of Wavescape Ocean Festival Ross Frylinck, of the City Bowl, and conservation journalist Pippa Ehrlich, of Kalk Bay, who also edited the book.Craig says it took one year of diving every day, building up brown adipose tissue (or brown fat) – a substance found in small pockets in the body that acts like natural heaters – before he stopped shivering.And after three years of daily diving, he says, his chronic chest infections, colds and flu disappeared, and he started playing squash again after having stopped 10 years previously. But it was adapting what he had learned both from indigenous people and scientists that enabled him, he says, to create a unique way to track sea creatures. Craig says nowhere in the world has underwater tracking been documented in the way he and Ross have been doing. “It’s normally done using modern technology, focusing on one technique, involving capture, tag, release it back into the wild. For the San Bushmen of the Central Kalahari, the wind and the insects are the timekeepers for tracking. In the sea, it’s the molluscs and the swell,” says Craig.Over the past eight years and hundreds of hours of underwater exploration, they have also made biological discoveries, including 40 new animal behaviours and seven new species of shrimp, one of them named after Craig, Heteromysis Fosteri.They also founded SeaChange Trust, working alongside WWF-SA Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) and the Mission Blue: Sylvia Earle Alliance to change the laws and ultimately promote marine-protected areas.Craig says only 0.4% of South Africa’s oceans are protected, falling well short of the country’s required goal of 10%.Their underwater tracking technique has attracted interest from ocean conservation and marine biology circles from around the world including UCT’s Professor Charles Griffiths who attended the book launch, at the Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club.Craig describes this master marine tracker, who has spent years decoding the kelp forest on his own, as a “gracious and patient” teacher.The underwater story is told through double-spread pictures and experiences that combine indigenous knowledge, marine biology and Paleo-science. But, more importantly, it tells the story of how they build relationships with some of the sea creatures they meet on these regular dives, including Craig’s experiences of being wrapped in a stingray’s embrace.At first Ross was sceptical of Craig’s experiences until he began having them himself. Sea Change also chronicles how the divers have undergone a transformation as they patiently watched and recorded the secrets of these often alien-like creatures.And there is also the story of letting go of fear and the relationship between fathers and sons. Craig taught his son, Tom, how to dive the same way his father taught him – piggyback style. Tom’s initiation to becoming a teenager was a ride on the back of a three-metre-long shark.Sea Change is the start of a number of initiatives for the trust that includes exhibitions, field courses, an outreach campaign and a documentary, My Octopus Teacher. This records Craig’s relationship with a wild octopus he named Superstar, which, he says,became the greatest inspiration in his life. In September 2017, Craig gave a talk in Parliament about how this animal’s wisdom translates to conservation and science. “These animals are incredibly intelligent. Every time I dive, there are fewer and fewer of them, with 30 000 animals taken out each year, not to mention the by-catch from long lines attached to drop pots attached on a kilometre long rope. They’re not only catching octopus, they’re entangling whales,” says Craig.“This is an inhumane way to catch thousands of incredibly intelligent, wild creatures, trapped inside tiny plastic boxes for days, terrified, waiting, slowly starving only to be killed by a blow to the head. It’s torture for a creature with a mind that rivals high-intelligence mammals,” says Craig. He adds that it is illegal in Europe to carry out scientific studies on octopuses without sedating them. With Superstar, he built a relationship of trust, going on hunting forays and eventually being allowed to put a small camera in the creature’s den. This led to him becoming scientific adviser to BBC’s Blue Planet 2 and shooting a film highlighting the uniqueness of octopuses.Pippa stresses the massive threats to the kelp forest, from climate change, pollution, overfishing, poaching, and that 98% of the ocean territory surrounding our coast has been earmarked for mining for gas and oil. All these threats impact on the kelp forest ecosystem.Sea Change: Primal joy and the art of underwater tracking, is published by Quivertree Publications. To find out more, visit or contact Carina Frankal on [email protected] 1 of 2 Sea Change Trust members Ross Frylinck, Craig Foster and Pippa Ehrlich.center_img Exploring a sun-shafted underwater world with no barrier between your skin and the creatures of the kelp forest.last_img read more

Donaire dismantles Hernandez to take WBC Silver title

first_imgDespite being out from boxing for a while, Donaire still had the speed against Hernandez as he quickly dominated the Mexican with left jabs to the body and right straights.It was Donaire’s first fight in nearly 10 months after his unanimous-decision loss to Jessie Magdaleno in the WBO world super bantamweight bout.Hernandez failed to catch up with Donaire as the Filipino boxer evaded his attacks. Midway in the match, Donaire made Hernandez wobble with consecutive punches to the right side of the body.The Mexican had his best round in the seventh with a right straight but Donaire countered with sweeping right hooks and four-punch combos in the last two rounds for a decisive 100-90, 99-91, 97-93 win.“When I came into the sport, there was one goal: to become the undisputed champion of the world,” said Donaire. “That is, to fight all the champions.“I almost got there but I got caught up with success. This time success will be the strategy flowing in me.”Donaire, 34, improved his record to 38-4-0, including 24 stoppage wins, while Hernandez’s boxing slate dropped to 22-3-1, with nine stoppage victories.Meanwhile, WBC Youth Intercontinental lightweight champion Romero Duno of the Philippines scored a unanimous-decision win over Mexican Jose Pablo Sanchez at the Forum in Inglewood.It was Duno’s second win in the United States after his stunning knockout win over Christian Gonzales of Mexico earlier this year to capture his Youth belt./PN[/av_textblock][/av_one_full] [av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’ Donaire dismantles Hernandez to take WBC Silver title ‘ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=’30’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”]BY ADRIAN STEWART CO[/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]Monday. September 25, 2017[/av_textblock][av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]MANILA – Nonito Donaire Jr. hardly showed any rust in his unanimous-decision victory over Mexican Ruben Garcia Hernandez to bag the WBC Silver featherweight title at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.last_img read more

Final: Tennessee 27, South Carolina 24

first_imgTennessee running back Jalen Hurd (1) warms up with his teammates before the Vols play South Carolina on Nov. 7, 2015.Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd (1) warms up with his teammates before the Vols play South Carolina on Nov. 7, 2015. Tennessee wide receiver Von Pearson (9) scores a touchdown in the first quarter against South Carolina on Nov. 7, 2015.Tennessee wide receiver Von Pearson (9) scores a touchdown in the first quarter against South Carolina on Nov. 7, 2015. VolsVolsLive coverage of the Tennessee Volunteers against the South Carolina Gamecocks from Knoxville.Vols prevent comeback, beat South Carolina MOBILE USERS: Click here for live coverage of the Tennessee-South Carolina game.  Tennessee defensive lineman Owen Williams (58) and linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. (34) cover up South Carolina running back Brandon Wilds (22) on Nov. 7, 2015.Tennessee defensive lineman Owen Williams (58) and linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. (34) cover up South Carolina running back Brandon Wilds (22) on Nov. 7, 2015.Live Blog Tennessee vs. South Carolina  window.cilAsyncInit = function() { cilEmbedManager.init() }; (function() { if (window.cilVwRand === undefined) { window.cilVwRand = Math.floor(Math.random()*10000000); } var e = document.createElement(‘script’); e.async = true; var domain = (document.location.protocol == ‘http:’ || document.location.protocol == ‘file:’ ) ? ‘’ : ‘’; e.src = domain + ‘/vw.js?v=’ + window.cilVwRand; = ‘cilScript-9d8b2997c8’; document.getElementById(‘cil-root-stream-9d8b2997c8’).appendChild(e); }());last_img read more

Against all odds

first_imgGILBERT John Poxon was born in Lilydale on 17 May, 1927, but grew up in Bass with his parents and…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Cuppas fight cancer one brew at a time

first_imgBy Bonny Burrows and Helena Adeloju Cancer Council Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea fund-raiser was in full swing across Cardinia shire…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Mallard’s Team of the Week — Nelson Blueliners

first_imgThe hockey season may be over for some — farewell Blackhawks — but it’s never too late to highlight a local team that continues to shine on the ice — the Nelson Blueliners. The women’s hockey team finished second at the annual Icebreaker tourney after claiming the top prize the week before in Vernon. Management at Mallard’s Source for Sports would love to honour the Blueliners with Team of the Week accolades. The team includes, back row, L-R, captain Loreli Dawson, Jessie Tovey, Deb Morris, Chelsea Mathiessen, Cat Gracey, Kathleen Dempster, Justine Thielker, Shannon Sargent and coach Rob Wright. Front, Frances Maika, Magali Holt-Lachance, Genevieve Lachance, Gerri Stillwell (goalie), Yannick Holt-Lachance (front), Branwen Hainsworth and Rachel Holt.last_img read more

SFA Cruises into NCAA Tournament after Southland Tournament Win

first_imgTournament most valuable player Thomas Walkup scored 19 points and added five rebounds and four assists for the Lumberjacks, who led just 35-32 with 18:12 remaining before going on their decisive run, which put them up 56-37 with 7:08 left after a basket from Conner Brooks. The Bearkats were up 22-17 following Terrance Motley’s jumper at the 6:45 mark of the first half, but the Lumberjacks responded with a 14-2 run that was highlighted by a pair of treys from Deshaunt Walker, the latter which gave SFA a 31-24 lead with 3:17 before intermission. Sam Houston would get within 31-28, but Walkup’s layup with 31 seconds remaining allowed the Lumberjacks to take a 33-28 cushion into the locker room. The win was also the 28th straight for the Lumberjacks (31-2), the nation’s second-longest streak in the nation. Only undefeated Wichita State has a longer run. “We couldn’t let this opportunity fade away from us,” said all-tournament selection Desmond Haymon, one of six players on the SFA roster which lost to Northwestern in last year’s tournament finale. “The focus the team had stayed there the whole night.” SFA went undefeated in 18 Southland Conference games en route to earning the school’s second tournament championship and now awaits its destination when the NCAA tournament bracket is formally announced Sunday at 5 p.m., CT, on CBS. Sam Houston State guard Kaheem RansomOn mentality at halftime of close game:“First half, we had an early dead but they made a push at the end to take the lead at half. We just wanted to make adjustments and come out and be aggressive and make shots and outplay them a little bit. They frustrated us. It’s clear we didn’t take good shots in the second half and it showed.” “For us to be on the national stage and represent who we are and what we’re about….that means the world,” he said. “I’ve said it all along: we play for the name on our front, not on the back, and we take great, great pride in being able to play for Stephen F. Austin State University. “You’ve got to give them credit,” Bearkats coach Jason Hooten said. “They defended us pretty well. I thought early in the game, we got some pretty good shots that didn’t go in. That happens … when you don’t make shots, you get a little frustrated, but we probably carried that over on the defensive end.” On SFA success defensively:“They totally deny you on the wings and play over the top. They do a really good job on ball screen motions. They make things very difficult every possession so when you do get good shots you’ve got to knock them in. I thought in the first half we had a couple good looks at threes that didn’t go down. We had some layups early and some really good looks and just didn’t finish them; part of that is our fault and also had a lot to do with their defense.” Lumberjacks coach Brad Underwood felt overjoyed about being able to not only represent SFA, but also the conference, as his first season at the helm still has him and the school on the biggest stage in college sports. “This is a good league. It’s got great teams. It’s got great players,” Underwood added.center_img Sam Houston State coach James Hooten“First of all, congratulations to Stephen F. Austin. Obviously, they’re having a season for the ages. I thought our guys played really hard. We were ready to go. It just wasn’t our night. We’ve got to give them credit because a lot of that was due to them. They defended us really well. I thought early in the game we got some really good shots, it just didn’t go in. It happens; when you don’t make shots you get a little frustrated; and we probably carried that over on the defensive end. Down three at halftime, felt pretty good considering how we finished off the half but second half we just couldn’t get anything going offensively and it just snowballed on the other end of the court.” Joining Walkup and Haymon on the all-tournament team were Sam Houston State’s Jabari Peters and Kaheem Ransom along with Northwestern State’s Jalan West. Despite the loss, the Bearkats stand a very good chance to play in either the National Invitational Tournament or the College Basketball Invitational. A selection to either would give Sam Houston its third postseason trip in school annuals. “We deserve it,” said Hooten. “We’ve won 23 games, played a great schedule and I think we’ll get that opportunity.” On perspective of the season:“I’m a pretty competitive person. With that being said, we have our whole team except those four great seniors coming back. Looking on down the road that’s pretty exciting but I also don’t think we’re done playing basketball this year either. I think we’ll get some kind of invitation to a tournament and we deserve it. We won 23 basketball games and played a great schedule with an RPI of less than 120 out of 350-something schools and these guys deserve to keep playing and I think we’ll get that opportunity.” Postgame Quotes…Stephen F. Austin coach Brad Underwood“We beat a very good basketball team tonight. Give a lot of credit to Sam Houston, who played three games to get here. We knew this would be a tough game. I thought we were a little tight in the first half. In the second half, I thought our defense was tremendous. We did a great job on the backboards. Overall, I was very pleased. Tom got us off to a great start and these guys were spectacular.”On their 21-5 run midway through the second-half:“That was the difference in the ball game … it really broke it open. Most of it was based on our ability to guard and handle their ball screens. We changed and altered shots at the rim. The thing I was most impressed with was that we did it without fouling. When our team has to rotate, we are at our best defensively because it is something we do very well.”On their 28-game winning streak:“I don’t know how to explain it, but whatever ‘it’ is, but this team has “it” and it starts with Desmond. I couldn’t be happier for him to be a part of this program for four years and get to experience the NCAA tournament. This is an unbelievable group … and not just of basketball players, but of tremendous individual people.”Stephen F. Austin guard Desmond HaymonOn getting the chance to play in the NCAA tournament:“It’s a blessing. It took me to my senior year to get here. I’m blessed to have such great teammates and coaches. The opportunity was there and we took it … I’m just blessed to have it.”On maintaining the big lead late in the game:“We knew that we couldn’t let this opportunity fade away from us. Our defense intensity in the second-half was locked in and we just didn’t want this opportunity to slip away. We had great leadership from everybody.”Stephen F. Austin forward Thomas WalkupOn being named tournament MVP:“It’s an honor but it’s not an individual award. Desmond could easily have the MVP or Jake; it could have gone to any of them. It’s not like I played better than any of them. It just happened to be my night tonight.”On their 28-game winning streak:“We come out to the court every single day and work hard. It’s a tribute to that. Every single night we come out with focus and intensity and we enjoy playing the game with each other.” Box Score (PDF)  |  Photo Gallery  |  Highlights  |  ReplayTrophy PresentationPress Conference: SFA and SHSU KATY, Texas – Stephen F. Austin used a 21-5 second-half run to turn a tight game into a 68-49 rout of Sam Houston State to win the 2014 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship at the Leonard E. Merrell Center Saturday night to earn the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament in the process. Sam Houston (23-10) hit just 2 of 8 shots and committed six turnovers during the pivotal run and the Bearkats were held to only 38.6 percent shooting on the night.last_img read more