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Niche Knack 

When it comes to commercial real estate brokerage, the days of trying to be everything to everyone are numbered, experts say. Instead, many commercial real estate professionals are discovering a wide range of opportunities in narrow niches. “Today's broker must

Ready-Made Investments 

Ten years ago, mobile home parks suffered from an image problem and languished in the back of the proverbial real estate investment closet. Savvy investors were aware of their generally low acquisition price tags, attractive operating expense history, and stable

The Self-Storage Transformation 

Self storage has evolved from the homely stepsister to the Cinderella of the commercial real estate industry. Once relegated to sites unsuitable for other productive uses and stigmatized as unsightly metal buildings, self storage properties historically haven't attracted sophisticated investors'

Sizing Up Self-Storage 

The self storage property sector currently provides great opportunities for investors and developers across the nation. F.W. Dodge reports decreases in the number of self storage property starts during the last five quarters, which bodes well for the supply demand

The Rising Tide of Seniors Housing 

To visualize the demographics of the seniors housing market, imagine a shoreline as the tide comes in, each wave slowly yet inexorably creeping higher up the beach. But out on the horizon is a tsunami, a tidal wave of unbelievable

Student Housing 101 

In 10 years, U.S. campuses will host a million more college students than they do today. To meet the steadily growing demand for student housing, college and university markets are seeing a proliferation of multifamily development projects driven by the

Score! 

In a country where most kids learn the names of sports stars before the name of the president, it is no wonder that cities across the United States place so much emphasis on building stadiums to house their local teams

Smooth Sailing 

Long ago considered the domain of sunburned sailors with red and white striped shirts, eye patches, and spyglasses, boating has blossomed into a trendy recreational activity, especially among families. In the past decade, the number of recreational boats owned has

Degrees of Success 

Church Street Plaza, a mixed use development near Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., includes a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, which caters to students’ increasingly expensive tastes. In the past decade, commercial real estate activity in U.S. college and

What's Cooking With Restaurants? 

As day to day life becomes more hectic, Americans increasingly rely on services that save them time and energy. Nowhere is this more evident than in the restaurant industry. With projected sales of $354 billion, 1999 should mark the eighth

Investing in the Arts 

"John says he found us a needle in a haystack," says Diane Litsey, executive director of the Children's Dance Foundation in Homewood, Ala. "And he did." The needle was at least 10,000 square feet of dance studio space with 50

Feasting on Fast-Casual 

Amid high fuel and energy costs, rising interest rates, and wages that aren't keeping pace, consumers' disposable incomes are waning and the restaurant industry is suffering because of it. "Dining out frequency has long been considered a leading economic indicator,

Niche Nosh 

What’s the No. 1 down market strategy from The Donald’s blog, Inside Trump Tower? Explore overlooked niches. And what could be more overlooked than boutique hotels catering to the gay and lesbian community? That’s where Jaime M. Rook, CCIM, broker

New Wave Investments 

In 1994, resort pioneer Stan Anderson expanded his Wisconsin Dells, Wis.–based Polynesian Resort to include an indoor waterpark. Wisconsin lenders were willing to fund the development because they had been financing outdoor waterparks for years. Despite the steep construction costs,

Seniors Housing Blossoms 

In terms of net operating incomes and real estate market values, America's long term care industry is about equal in size to the hospitality lodging industry a fact that surprises most people but makes sense given the aging U.S. population.

Polish Your Portfolio 

Specialized retail businesses pose risks for commercial real estate investors, but they also can provide rewards in the form of strong return on equity. Carwash investments are on the fast track to becoming a top performing retail niche in many

Manufactured Success 

When Warren Buffet&rsquo s Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes Inc. for $1.7 billion in 2003, investors took notice. In commercial real estate circles, the acquisition drew attention to a sometimes overlooked specialty property manufactured housing communitites, also known as land

Healthy Investments 

When southeastern grocery store chain Ingles Markets needed help subletting its 32,000 square foot box in an ailing strip center, the prognosis for leasing to another retail tenant didn't look good. But John D. Spake, CCIM, president of Spake Real

Restructuring Infrastructure 

The infrastructure sector has become an increasingly popular investment class in recent years. While countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom already have established infrastructure platforms to facilitate private capital flows, investing in U.S. infrastructure has been relatively

Historic Undertakings 

Historic properties may present commercial real estate professionals with many challenges, but they also offer both tangible and intangible rewards. While brokers and developers may have to meet current building codes and obtain government approval for redevelopment projects, they can

Lots of Opportunity 

Many commercial real estate developers today realize the importance of functional parking structures. If a parking structure is inefficient due to poor design or inadequate site dimensions, the development's cost may be too high to make it feasible. And if

A Maturing Market 

By 2030, an estimated 20 percent of Americans will be older than 65 years of age. Accordingly, the long term prospects in seniors housing look more promising as the baby boom generation retires, presenting developers with a unique set of

Homing In on Manufactured Housing 

Manufactured housing is a marriage of two industries the companies that build and distribute manufactured houses, which are single family homes constructed in factories, transported to a location, and installed on site, and the manufactured home communities, which are either

Hitting Out of the Rough 

Like most commercial real estate property types, golf course development is cyclical. From 1986 to 1990, demand (measured in rounds) for new courses outpaced development, according to the National Golf Foundation. But by 1991, golf course developers had caught onto

Indoor Waterparks 

In 1994, indoor waterpark pioneer Stan Anderson expanded his Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Polynesian Resort to include an indoor waterpark. Since then, other investors have followed suit by getting involved in this lucrative niche. Madison, Wis., based Great Lakes Cos. issued