Listen Up! The January 2024 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

A Conversation with Jeanne Hulit of Maine Community Bank and Steve deCastro of Gorham Savings Bank

Jeanne Hulit, President and CEO of Maine Community Bank, and Steve deCastro, President and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank, sit down with MEREDA Board Member Josh Soley for the thirteenth episode of MEREDA Matters – the podcast that puts you in the room with the people who are driving responsible development in Maine.

Hulit and deCastro share how the recent merger of Gorham Savings Bank and Maine Community Bank came together – an 18 month process that has resulted in a win-win for both banks. The group discusses some of the barriers to the merger process, the succession planning they have in place for bank leadership, and their focus on communication as a key strategy. Zooming in and sharing more details, Hulit and deCatstro review some of the opportunities for pricing synergies in the merger, such as how much the bank will need to spend on technology investments. The group goes on to talk about the difference between mutual savings banks and stock banks, as well as some of their predictions for the economy in 2024.

Hulit and deCastro also share a bit about their backgrounds and the paths that led both of them to the role of CEO.

https://mereda-matters.simplecast.com/

Catch up on past episodes while you’re there!

The MEREDA Matters podcast is sponsored by NBT Bank and Landry French Construction. Additional sponsors include Bangor Savings Bank, Clark Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, and The Boulos Company. A new episode will be released each month and each will feature new voices from the real estate and development industry.

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu – Housing the Unhoused and Asylum Seekers: Understanding the Complexities of Housing and Social Services

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DevelopME Committee’s Lunch & Learn Event – Tax Preparation and its Role in the Development Process

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Listen Up! The December 2023 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

A Conversation with Tom Watson and John Laliberte of Reveler and Port Properties Management

Tom Watson, Founder of Reveler and Port Properties Management, and John Laliberte, CEO of Reveler and Port Properties Management, sit down with MEREDA President Craig Young for the twelfth episode of MEREDA Matters – the podcast that puts you in the room with the people who are driving responsible development in Maine.

Watson shares how he got his start in real estate development with a four-unit building and talks about why, after earning degrees from Stanford and Boston University, he chose to be a sheet rocker in Boston. Watson goes on to discuss how buying The Metropolitan in downtown Portland in the late nineties was a turning point in his career, marking a shift into managing bigger buildings. Laliberte discusses his career trajectory as well, from professional hockey player to real estate, and talks about the Riverdam project, his first project with Watson. The group goes on to talk about the evolution of Biddeford, how close to 50% of people renting their units are from out of state, and how renters are hungry for amenities in their buildings. Watson and Laliberte also share what is happening in the first phase of their West Bayside development project, which includes 201 affordable housing units.

What is Tom Watson’s favorite vacation spot? Listen to the episode to find out!

https://mereda-matters.simplecast.com/

Catch up on past episodes while you’re there!

The MEREDA Matters podcast is sponsored by NBT Bank and Landry French Construction. Additional sponsors include Bangor Savings Bank, Clark Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, and The Boulos Company. A new episode will be released each month and each will feature new voices from the real estate and development industry.

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Coworking in Modern Business: Evolving Trend or Here to Stay

By Cameron Foster, Associate Broker, The Boulos Company

Merriam-Webster defines coworking as the practice of working within a shared building, where multiple tenants rent working spaces such as desks or offices and enjoy access to communal facilities. According to Google, the first coworking space started in 1995 in Berlin, Germany. It was called “C Base” and was primarily used by hackers. The goal was to share space and knowledge to work on coding projects. In the United States coworking first started in August of 2005 when Brad Neuberg set up the first-ever coworking space in San Francisco, known as the “Spiral Muse.”

Since then, the trend has grown, along with the internet boom, cellular communication, and the connectedness of modern global businesses. The ability to increase staff, revenue, and global presence without purchasing real estate or committing to a long-term lease has been a huge win for some businesses. This, coupled with 21st-century technological advancements, the ever-inventive entrepreneurial spirit, and customers demanding more, has led to an interesting industry story.

The business idea came from a problem. The founders of these companies saw a need in the marketplace for “shared space” as small companies grew, launched their businesses, and started to hire. The goal was to create an option between working out of an entrepreneur’s basement and signing a multi-year commercial lease with a landlord. The use of coworking is also beneficial for businesses that are slowing down their operations. As a sole proprietor, you can rent a desk or an office to maintain a professional address at a coworking space, keep your business running, and maintain flexibility. Coworking can offer limitless advantages for early-stage and end-stage companies. Coexisting with other businesses can create an incubator of ideas and can also be a great networking opportunity, growing the professional and personal relationships of the business owner.

When it comes to catching the wave— or seismic shift—in how people work, this is a developing story. The Pandemic caught everyone off guard and spurred more companies to adopt work-from-home or hybrid models. Naturally, this creates a tougher road ahead for coworking businesses. WeWork was hit the hardest. Post-pandemic the company has shut down forty (40) locations.

In 2022, the Real Deal named the top ten coworking operators in the United States. All ten companies were established within the last thirty years, and they all share the same model: providing shared office space services for workers and companies looking for ready-to-operate space with low commitments in prominent locations.

https://therealdeal.com/new-york/2022/12/30/the-10-largest-co-working-operators-of-2022/

The office market is currently caught between companies that would like to return to the workplace and a tight labor market. If employees would rather work from home, and small businesses can continue to effectively scale, hire, train, and grow in revenue remotely, this will exacerbate the issue for coworking companies.

So, fad or future? I think coworking is here to stay as it serves a vital need for growing businesses and folks at the end of their business cycles looking for space to slow down operations. Much of the story is yet to be told.

If you are a tenant or a landlord and you have a question about whether coworking makes sense for your strategic real estate plan, please contact us at The Boulos Company.

Article originally published on October 31, 2023, https://boulos.com/coworking-space-in-modern-business-from-hackers-hub-to-business-necessity-is-it-a-fad-or-the-future/?mc_cid=ef0a973a8e&mc_eid=87a9b15008

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Listen Up! The November 2023 Episode of the “MEREDA Matters” Podcast is Now Available!

A Legislative Update on Housing with Senator Matt Pouliot and Representative Traci Gere

Maine Senator Matt Pouliot of Augusta and House Representative Traci Gere of Kennebunk sit down with MEREDA President Craig Young and Pierce Atwood attorney and government relations’ advocate Elizabeth Frazier for the eleventh episode of MEREDA Matters – the podcast that puts you in the room with the people who are driving responsible development in Maine.

Both Senator Pouliot and Representative Gere serve on the Joint Select Committee on Housing. They provide an overview of the history and focus of the committee and discuss Maine’s dire need for housing – the state needs some 80,000 new units to be built in the next seven to ten years. The group discusses some of the solutions the Joint Select Committee is working on to reduce the barriers to housing creation and democratize development, such as a government program to map out sewer and water lines in the state, investment in training programs for the trades, and a bill to establish a process to vest rights for land use permits.

The conversation also includes an exploration of other creative ideas that will support the housing industry, including a program to identify vacant properties in the state and partnerships with the forest products industry to make innovative materials for building.

What are Senator Pouliot and Representative Gere’s favorite restaurants? Listen to the episode to find out!

https://mereda-matters.simplecast.com/

Catch up on past episodes while you’re there!

The MEREDA Matters podcast is sponsored by NBT Bank and Landry French Construction. Additional sponsors include Bangor Savings Bank, Clark Insurance, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, and The Boulos Company. A new episode will be released each month and each will feature new voices from the real estate and development industry.

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu: Harvesting the Future: Seaweed in Maine

December 14, 2023 – 8:30 – 10:00 AM

In-Person – Pre-registration is required.

Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Buffet Breakfast: 8:30-10:00 am
Program: 9:00-10:00 am

About the Event:

Join MEREDA on December 14th at the Holiday Inn By the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland as our panelists discuss the rise of aquaculture in Maine and the growing significance of seaweed in commercial real estate.

Presenters include: 

Benjamin Whitney, Plant Manager at International Flavors & Fragrances

Sebastian Belle, Executive Director, Maine Aquaculture Association

Briana Warner, CEO, Atlantic Sea Farms

Don’t forget, this breakfast will now run from 8:30 – 10:00 AM in an effort to accommodate those working around childcare and bus drop offs and pick ups.

Ticket Prices:
Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 each — Prices increase by $10 after December 7th.

Register HERE.

This event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

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4 ways to plan for a better 1031 exchange process

By: Dannielle Lewis, Teri Samples | Partners at Wipfli

1031 exchanges are common in the real estate world. However, they are often wrought with hidden complexity that can quickly send a straightforward project into chaos.

Here are four common mistakes to avoid when planning and executing your 1031 exchange:

1. Comingling personal property

Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), taxpayers were allowed to do 1031 exchanges on both personal and real property. However, personal property can no longer be part of a tax-deferred exchange post TCJA.

Initially, this led to complicated questions regarding how real property is defined. Much of this was answered by regulations that became final in 2020.

The regulations are fairly taxpayer friendly but are not without their own complexities. Many still comingle their 1031 exchanges with personal property and end up recognizing gain as a result. In the worst scenarios, this can ruin the exchange.

If you are selling any real property that has personal property in it, connect with your certified public accountant (CPA). They can help you determine the best way to break out personal property from the rest of the property so that it doesn’t affect your exchange.

2. Missing the 1031 timeline

Missing the prescribed timelines is another commonly seen mistake in 1031 exchanges.

A 1031 exchange must generally adhere to the following timeline from the date of the sale of the relinquished property:

  • 45 days to identify a property
  • 180 days to complete the exchange

The best advice is to know your replacement property prior to selling the relinquished property.

Since this can be challenging, people often try to close deals too quickly. They miss the important step of identifying the properties in time, or they schedule the closing too late.

3. Confusing different roles

For some 1031 exchanges, tax issues aren’t discovered until the return is being completed.

The taxpayer may be relying on their qualified intermediary (QI) to identify any issues with the 1031 exchange itself. However, that is not necessarily their role.

It is important to understand what advice your QI is giving you and what their role is in the exchange. While they may have all the information that pertains to your exchange, they generally never provide any tax advice. To ensure you have a valid 1031 prior to closing, you need to meet with your CPA. Finding out a tax issue too late can make it unfixable.

On the other hand, if errors are discovered early on, you can either restructure the deal or even invest your gain dollar in an opportunity zone fund instead.

4. Overlooking partnerships

Another common mistake to avoid is with partnerships.

Often, issues with partnerships involve two partners who want to roll proceeds from a property that has been held for several years into another property, while the third partner wants to cash out.

Depending on when this situation comes up, it could create a lot of issues for the exchange, especially when an alternative structure is rushed too close to closing.

It’s important to look at your real estate holdings and ownership each year to determine if your partnership is still on good terms or if you think one of the partners will want to exit.

Planning allows for more time to work through an ownership structure that will facilitate a 1031 exchange, while ensuring each partner is able to achieve their end goal.

How Wipfli can help

At Wipfli, our team is here to help you navigate the complex regulations surrounding 1031 exchanges. We’ll help you understand your eligibility and tax consequences so that you can plan with confidence.

Contact us today to get started with your exchange.

Sign up for more real estate information, or keep learning:

Original article posted on January 17, 2023: https://www.wipfli.com/insights/articles/re-4-mistakes-to-avoid-in-the-1031-exchange-process

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MEREDA’s Morning Menu – Using the Condominium Act to Solve Land-Use Issues

November 29, 2023 – 8:30 – 10:00 AM

In-Person – Pre-registration is required.

Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Buffet Breakfast: 8:30-9:00 am
Program: 9:00-10:00 am

About the Event:

Under the Maine Condominium Act, an entire condominium development is treated as only one parcel of land for many zoning related issues, such as lot size, frontage, density, etc. In addition, there are typically no space and bulk restrictions relating to the location of buildings or units to one another. This presentation will show how a number of recently developed projects have been able to meet project objectives by structuring the project as a condominium and being able to develop the project in ways that would not have been possible without the use as a condominium. It will review the use of land parcel condominiums or “lot line condominiums” where the unit boundaries are lots on the ground and show how the condominium structure enabled the development. It will also review the use of the Condominium Act as a development tool to meet other project financial or programmatic requirements. Finally, it will review a change in the language of the Condominium Act that MEREDA got enacted during the last legislative session and the importance of that change to make the Condominium Act a more useful development tool.

Presenters include:

Gary Vogel, Drummond Woodsum

Brooks More, Development Director, South Portland Housing

Nathan Szanton, President, the Szanton Companies

Don’t forget, this breakfast will now run from 8:30 – 10:00 AM in an effort to accommodate those working around childcare and bus drop offs and pick ups.

MEREDA’s Refund Policy: Your RSVP is requested by November 22. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after November 22.

Ticket Prices:
Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 each — Prices increase by $10 after November 22.

Register HERE!

This event is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

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A Fresh Forecast – MEREDA to Hold Annual Forecast Conference in February 2024

PORTLAND, Maine – Mark your calendars! The Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) Annual Forecast Conference and Member Showcase has a new date: February 29th, 2024. As we leap into the new year, leaders from the state’s real estate and development community will gather at the refreshed Holiday Inn By the Bay to provide an economic overview and outlook on the industry’s key economic indicators. Along with the new date, the 2024 Forecast Conference will have a new afternoon format that will allow attendees to choose between various presentations from leading industry insiders.

“If you care about responsible development in Maine, the Forecast Conference is where you want to be,” shares MEREDA President Craig Young. “MEREDA really excels at facilitating important conversations about the issues facing our industry and our state. To be able to be in the room with some of Maine’s top real estate leaders is invaluable; it’s simply the best way you can start the new year. ”

MEREDA Vice President and Conference Committee Chair, Shannon Richards, echos Young’s enthusiasm: “MEREDA’s cornerstone event brings us all closer as a community, a community that is working to design, build, and develop responsibly in Maine. I’m thrilled that we will be gathering to look forward to 2024 in a new way.”

This unique conference brings together the largest gathering of commercial real estate professionals in Maine, and is specifically geared toward developers, brokers, architects, bankers, attorneys, accountants and other industry professionals. According to Shelly R. Clark, MEREDA’s Executive Director, MEREDA’s Forecast Conference will be in-person only and held at the Holiday Inn By the Bay on February 29 from 8am to 5pm. Registration is available at MEREDA.org for both the event and Member Showcase.

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