Weston Welcomes Jeff Kennedy as Director of Transactions


Jeff Kennedy, Director of Transactions, Weston Inc.

Jeff Kennedy, Director of Transactions, Weston Inc.

Cleveland, Ohio, December 29, 2016 — Jeff Kennedy has joined Weston Inc. as the Director of Transactions.

In his new position, Kennedy will oversee the leasing and marketing of available spaces throughout Weston’s expanding portfolio. In addition, his responsibilities include assisting existing tenants in their lease renewals, developing strong relationships with economic development directors and other community leaders, and maintaining Weston’s strong ties and reputation within the brokerage community.

Kennedy was most recently a Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in Cleveland and has over 12 years’ experience as a real estate salesperson. His accomplished career saw him involved in hundreds of transactions, from 2,400 square feet to his largest transaction of 1.4 million square feet. On top of his ability to source and advance a business deal, Kennedy gained widespread attention for his innovative marketing efforts.

Weston is Northeast Ohio’s largest privately held industrial building owner and manager with over 600 tenants in approximately 12 million square feet of space in 9 states. Founded in 1972, it is a second generation commercial real estate business led by the Asher Family. For more information about Weston and Jeff Kennedy, log on to http://www.teamweston.com .

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Weston Making Strides with Boss Pro-Karting on Brand-New Facility

The bustle of construction workers and their equipment is all that can be heard standing alongside the partially built facility on Brookpark Road. This austere structure will soon become home to Boss Pro-Karting, the racing retreat center that will provide a unique and exciting go-karting experience. The exterior of the 36,000 square foot facility is in the process of being completed, leaving the interior wide open. While being inside the facility and surrounded by nearly finished walls and an enormous ceiling, the space takes on a powerful appeal.

The might of the structure itself was matched with the welcoming arms of the Copley family, John, Joel, and Brad, who are working together in the completion of the project. John is overseeing the operation from a fatherly position, possessing a welcoming and trustworthy aura. Joel, the overseer of construction, and Brad, the future operator of the business, seem to have inherited both their smiley faces and fluorescent personalities from their dad. Together, these three men make the seemingly perfect team and are always on the same page.

When the facility is completed, it’s going to function with multiple purposes. Along with the option to arrive and drive, Boss Pro-Karting can facilitate corporate meetings, team building events, leagues, and many more special event options. There will be conference rooms, catering, and the main racetrack to compliment the various uses. Through this, the karting experience stretches far beyond mere thrill. The bonding and camaraderie that racing provides is utilized and readily made accessible.

Boss Pro-Karting is projected to open in the beginning of August. Clearly, there is plenty of work still, but the Copley family seems to be the right fit in getting it done.


The renderings of the future home to Boss Pro-Karting


The current state of the 36,000 sq. ft. facility in Brookpark, OH

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Paul Downey Joins Weston to Form Weston Capital Markets Group

Weston Inc. and Cambridge Capital have combined to establish Weston Capital Markets Group (WCM) and will be headed by Paul Downey. WCM will provide a full range of acquisition, management, fiduciary and valued advisory services to banks, investors, private equity firms, REIT’s, real estate owners/builders, lenders, insurance companies and others actively involved in real estate, securities, lending, and banking related pursuits.

Paul joins us with a wealth of experience. His background in commercial banking and fifteen years providing crisis/turnaround management consulting services to borrowers and lenders alike allows this group to provide essential single course solutions in difficult and complex situations.

Paul has conducted a number of complex court appointed receiverships on behalf of local and national financial institutions as well as trusted advisory services to institutions in the management and disposal of their troubled/non performing loan portfolio(s).

If you have any questions for Paul, please don’t hesitate to contact him.

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The Skylights Have Been Placed

exteriorAs many of you are aware, Team Weston is getting ready to move our corporate offices to a new location. We bought Overlook Court, located one building north of where we are now on Richmond Road, and we are currently experiencing the chaos of building out our offices in our newly purchased facility.

This week, the skylights in our new space have been cut in. There are four above the cubes, one over the collaboration area, and one in the development area. It’s like the sky has opened up – there was always some light coming in with the large windows, but now there is a huge amount of light travelling through the space.

One of the goals for the build-out that we maintained all along is to achieve more natural light. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the amount of natural light and productivity. To me, it just makes us all feel better! With the use of skylights, low cubes, and glass, this goal will be achieved.

Stay tuned, I will post another update next week. Thanks for sharing in my excitement.

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4 Commercial Real Estate Lessons Taught By Our Teenagers

DSCN5584The commercial real estate industry can learn from teenagers.

Bold statement, I know.

Generally speaking, adults are smarter than teenagers. Call it life experience, additional schooling, etc, but being more advanced than our children is usually a given. However, there are times when teenagers show tenacity and initiative that those of us in the commercial real estate industry can learn a thing or two from. Here’s how:

They Never Take No For an Answer – I know from firsthand experience that the word “no” does not sit well with a teen. Whatever the question may be, if they don’t get the answer that they want, they find ways around it. Call them determined, call them smart, but whatever the case may be, they end up with what they want in some form or fashion. This too can help in commercial real estate deals. If you want the deal, find ways around the objection to achieve your goals.

They Get More “Likes” Than We Do – Our teenagers maintain large networks of friends across all major social media sites. On Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or whatever platform they choose, they get more “likes” (I’m using “likes” as a generic term – it could be favorites, re-tweets, re-pins, etc.) than most of us could ever dream of. They achieve this in two ways – they stay very active on the sites, and they return the favor by “liking” their friends’ posts as well. The lesson here is to collect, maintain, and respond to large networks of people.  Be an active social media presence; a relationship farmer that make as many personal connections as possible.

They Are Technologically Advanced – Teenagers stay on top of the latest technology. Whatever the latest app is, they know about it and have it. The commercial real estate industry can learn from this. There are many apps that can help us become more productive: LoopNet Commercial Real Estate Search and CoStarGo are both excellent apps to search for commercial real estate. There are many financial calculator apps to assist in financial calculations. LinkedIn has an app, as well as other social media networks, including YouTube, to record a video walk-through of an available space being listed.

They Are Great at Garnering Other People’s Money –What teenager doesn’t know how to get extra cash from you? They have mastered the art of spending other people’s money. Using OPM, or other people’s money is key in commercial real estate. Leverage is a powerful tool and the means to getting a larger deal done. The lesson to those of us in commercial real estate is to use OPM and maintain relationships with lenders to achieve yours or your client’s goals.

The funny thing is, ask a teen about these qualities and they’re second nature to them. So while we continue to teach and lead our teenagers by example, let’s not forget that they have a lot to offer, and try to harness some of their effortless personality traits into our daily lives of commercial real estate.

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153 Hayes Drive is Looking Good and Available for Lease

153 Hayes Drive

153 Hayes Drive
Brooklyn Heights, OH 44131

Brooklyn Heights  44131
23,700 Total Square Feet
600 Square Feet of Office
4 Docks
20′ Clear Height
Central location, near I-480, I-77, and SR. 176.
This is a high-image, freestanding, fully sprinklered facility in the heart of Brooklyn Heights’ industrial district. It is centrally located and within minutes of I-480, I-77, and SR.176.Don’t forget to watch the video walk through of the property.Let us know how we can help! Visit our website, and send us an email or give us a call to get through the space.
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And The Competition Is On


Weston Inc.

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Rob Namy and Chris Grobelny, two of Weston’s rainmakers, have volunteered to consult a group of students competing in The ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Now in its 12th year, this program offers graduate-level students the opportunity to form multidisciplinary teams and engage in a challenging exercise in responsible land use.

Given a two week deadline, the teams of five students each from many different schools across the country are charged with designing a development plan for a real, large-scale site full of challenges. Cleveland, OH, in particular, was represented by 5 teams through a coalition between Case Western Reserve University, Kent State, and Cleveland State University. This year, the students will design a development around the adjacent properties surrounding the chosen location for the Nashville Sounds Baseball Stadium in Downtown Nashville, TN.

Large format presentation boards are created that include drawings, site plans, tables, and market-feasible financial data. Although ideas are submitted without any future expectation of idea acceptance, each team does compete for the final prize of $50,000 ($5,000 of which goes to their school) and four teams make it to the finals and receive $10,000 each.

ULI’s goal is to raise awareness and interest among our future leaders in forming better communities, improving development patterns, and the need for multidisciplinary solutions to development and design challenges.

Rob and Chris have advised students in the past with last year’s team receiving an Honorable Mention. Let’s root for them to bring home a winner again this year.

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Mace Security International Sets Up Shop At a Weston Facility

A big Weston Welcome to all the folks at Mace Security! We are fortunate to have them as our customer at our new warehouse that was for lease at 4400 Carnegie Avenue in Cleveland’s Midtown area. As one of Weston’s newest tenant, Mace Security International was the focus of a recent article featured in The Plain Dealer.  Featured writer Michelle Jarboe McFee explains how Mace (maker of many security products but best known for their pepper spray) went through some growing pains and re-emerged as a power house and are making their corporate headquarters right here in downtown Cleveland.  We look forward to working with Mace, and are thankful for the recognition and opportunity they bring to Cleveland.

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Top 10 Most Frequently Used Commercial Industrial Real Estate Terms

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The language of commercial industrial real estate is a dialect unto itself. Unless you have a need to speak the language on a regular basis, the terminology can be as foreign to you as speaking in tongues. In an effort to help translate, below are definitions for the most often used words when you are considering signing a commercial real estate lease.

Lease Rate – This is quoted as the annual cost per square foot of a commercial industrial real estate location. For example, if the lease rate quoted is $5.00 per square foot and the size of the warehouse is 10,000 square feet, then the rate is $5.00 x 10,000 square feet, or $50,000 per year. Divide $50,000 by 12 to get your monthly rate of $4,166.67.

Base Rent – The minimum rent of the Lease Rate, net of Tenant Improvements.

Triple Net Lease – Many times the Lease Rate is quoted as a triple net lease, or, for example, $5.00 per square foot NNN. This means that the lease rate is quoted net of taxes, insurance, and Operating Expenses. Some lease documents refer to it as Additional Rent. In the case of the example above where the monthly rate is quoted as $4,166.67, there are additional costs on top of that to cover for the net charges. This can potentially be beneficial for a tenant because if the landlord can get their operating costs down during the year, the savings will be passed along to the tenant.

Gross Lease – This is a lease where the Net Charges, or Additional Rent, is built into the monthly lease rate, so the tenant ultimately pays a flat sum of agreed upon charges.

Utility Costs – Although we all know what utility costs are from home ownership, it is a lease standard for a tenant to pay the utility costs directly to the provider. It is aside from Additional Rent and Operating Expenses.

Lease Term – This is the length of time that a tenant is legally bound to pay rent. Most landlords prefer a longer lease term. And, the longer the lease term, the more negotiating power there is for the tenant.

Lease Agreement – A legally binding agreement between a Landlord and a Tenant where the Owner or Lessor gives the right of possession to a Tenant or Lessee under mutually agreed upon terms.

Operating Expenses – The costs associated with running commercial property. The expenses may include but are not limited to real property taxes, property insurance, landscaping, snowplowing, building maintenance, and all mechanical and electrical systems. As discussed above, tenants pay their own utility expenses directly to the provider. Refer to your lease for a full and complete description of everything that a lessee is responsible for.

Pro-Rata Share – This is the proportionate share of the building that the tenant occupies and therefore the share of the Operating Expenses that the tenant is required to pay.

Tenant Improvements – Tenant Improvements (or Leasehold Improvements) are enhancements or work done to a space that is specific to a tenant’s use. A Lease Agreement may or may not have improvements included. Generally speaking, the costs of the improvements are incorporated into the monthly lease rate.

There they are. Confusing at times when you don’t have a need to use them. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us at 440.349.9000 or http://www.teamweston.com.

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14 Tips to Letting Your Customers Know That Your Business Has Moved

Getting ready to relocate? Here are some quick tips to letting your customers know in advance about your new location, so that they have no trouble finding you:

2 Months Before Moving Day

1.  Order new letterhead – This can be done well in advance of the actual moving date. And if you have a relationship with your printer, they will probably store it for you so that you can pick it up after you relocate to avoid having to move it twice.

2.  Flag your website – Add a banner to your website with a notice about your move. Leave it a little bit obscure by saying, “New location coming soon” or “Our business is expanding…stay tuned for information”.

3.  Social media – Alert your customers about your impending move via your social media channels. Again, be a little bit vague with a Coming Soon message.

4.  Signage – Design signage for your new location, so that on the day of your move it can be seen by your customers. Also, post a sign in your current operation for customers to see when they stop by.

1 Month Before Moving Day

5.  Press release – Take some time to craft a well-written press release, or leave it to a professional. You can distribute it yourself or use a service like PR Web. If you circulate it yourself, send it to as many media services as you can.

6.  Postcard – Take time to design and mail a postcard to your customers with a “We’re Moving” description, the date of your move, and your new address.

7.  Add a note to your invoices – If you send out bills, post a note that is easily noticed on the invoice, or add a letter to the envelope with the details of your move.

8.  Place an ad – If the budget allows, place an ad in relevant places for your customers to see. Choose from TV, radio, or printed journals, whatever your customers will read.

9.  Social media – you can begin using a firm date in your social media posts.

10. Email – send an email to your customers with the details of your move.

Post Moving Day

11. Grand opening party – begin plans for a grand opening party to celebrate your new location. If you choose you can hand out collateral marketing items to reconfirm your new address.

12. Google+ – Claim your new location on Google+.

13. Social media – You can now shift to the We’ve Moved post.

14. Email – if you choose you can reinforce your move with another email. Or, perhaps it can be combined with the grand opening invitation.

Whatever the reason for your business move, following these tips will ensure that your transition is a smooth one, and most importantly, that your customers can find you. Putting your name out in the marketplace via social media and email announcements just reinforces your branding as well, moving your business onward and upward.

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