• Ward Richmond understands the 3PL business. We rely on Ward to help solve our customers’ supply chain opportunities and provide them with logistics solutions that fit their needs.

    BRYAN KELLER Chief Executive Officer – Keller Logistics
  • Ward has consistently demonstrated a high level of customer service, a strong work ethic, and comprehensive understanding of transportation & logistics-related real estate.

    ED Brickley Fund Manager, Realterm Logistics
  • Ward and his team have consistently delivered a high level of customer service over the course of several years and hundreds of transactions by working closely with our team in an effort to assist us with developing and implementing creative real estate solutions.

    Frank Mazzone RM, Real Estate, TFI International
  • Positive attitude and customer-centered approach made for a great working relationship.

    Joe Fidalgo MD, N America, Marine Harvest
  • Ward and his team have consistently exceeded our expectations while working closely with our Properties Team to execute our real estate strategies and achieve our stated objectives.

    MAYNARD F. SKARKA COO, Yrc Freight
  • The Colliers team worked quickly and efficiently to leverage their local market relationships to find KW multiple short term, flexible space solutions in an expedient and professional manner.

    DEAN DOKGO Vice President, KW International
  • Ward has acted as our strategic real estate partner for several years having assisted our team during our rapid growth by utilizing strong relationships and unparalleled market knowledge to source off-market opportunities for property expansion needs.

    TAYLOR WHITE CEO, Performance POP

Ward Richmond


Corporate real estate solutions



Time Kills Deals: Analysis Paralysis and Other Trends in Corporate Decision Making

April 3, 2018 Life Coaching, Etc. 0 Comments

In case you didn’t know already, my job is to provide Decision Makers aka Leaders with the intelligence needed to make corporate

Time Kills Deals: Analysis Paralysis and Other Trends in Corporate Decision Making

by Ward Richmond

In case you didn’t already know, my job is to provide Decision Makers aka Leaders with the intelligence needed to make corporate real estate decisions. It’s that simple.

As a whole, our team operates like a nimble and powerful little army to provide our clients with the innovative strategy, deep dive analysis and killer market intelligence needed to make rock solid decisions and execute these decisions with certainty in a timely manner.

I’ve found that at the core of all business strategy execution, there comes that critical moment in time when someone in charge AKA a Decision Maker has to make a decision. This may sound like an elementary observation to you. Don’t worry, I am aware.

One problem: Very few people in “Corporate America”, not to mention all countries around the world, and life in general, are able to – or like to – make decisions.

This is mind blowing to me. It sounds simple enough, right? I have always been a fairly decisive guy and only recently have I realized that my own natural ability to make decisions has undoubtedly helped me out in business and in life!

The inability to make a decision, however, is like driving a forklift into a wall.

Over the years, having worked on hundreds of transactions with businesses ranging from small family owned companies to Fortune 10 companies, I’ve found that powerful leaders know how to make decisions. I’ve also found that I absolutely love getting to work with these likeminded, badass, decision making professionals.

I considered calling this blog “Top 10 Ways To Make A Badass Decision” but there aren’t 10 things to put on the freakin’ list!

There are only 3 simple things you need to know when it comes to making a killer decision!


Consult with a badass team of experts to gather needed intelligence to make your decision.

Thoroughly review the needed intelligence provided by the experts.

Don’t procrastinate! Overcome your fears and limiting beliefs and make a motherflipping decision!

Through my experience, I’ve determined that mediocre leaders have a tough time making decisions.

This leads to “analysis paralysis”. This leads to a giant time waste. Everyone in my industry knows the old adage, “Time Kills Deals”. Truth. Fact. Write it down.

The more time you spend procrastinating making a decision and causing unnecessary delays, the less value you create. This leaves a ton of money on the table and if you are a Decision Maker for a living, this behavior needs to stop.


I am thinking about getting “Time Kills Deals” tattooed on my right arm so that I can quickly remind my valued customers that the inability to make timely decisions will result in massive inefficiencies and the potential loss of millions of dollars! Maybe even billions.

On my left arm, I will get “Shitty Lawyers Kill Deals”. I’ll save that for another blog post!

The inability to make decisions will always, inevitably lead to a total waste of precious time aka MONEY!

In my opinion, Procrastination and Fear are the number one and two causes of Failure. Action is King.

As Tim Ferriss says, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” Yes- Making a decision is uncomfortable. That is why excellent decision makers get paid the big bucks.

Sometimes, excellent decision makers also make horrific decisions – but that’s OK. Believe me, I do it all the time. You just have to be able to learn from the bad decisions and try your best to not repeat them!

If you ever have the opportunity to visit with a super powerful leader or even a plain old badass of a human being, they will most likely tell you that the lessons learned from their worst bad decisions are gigantic contributing factors to their ultimate success.

When it comes to my own business and team, I will take a BAD decision over NO decision any day of the week.

You hired me to help with real estate strategy but I may as well be your head of HR because after we complete a project, I will be able to tell you who the true leaders are (and aren’t) within the organization. It’s easy. They all share one common trait. Can you guess which one it may be?

The leaders who give a stiff middle finger to Procrastination, smash the shit out of their Fear of Failure and Limiting Beliefs and assertively Make Killer Decisions based on Expert Advice are the ones who become Presidents and C-level executives and go by the name “El Jefe”. These BAMF’s take organizations to the next level.

They are the ones with the power. You know the ones. Name one influential leader who struggles with making decisions. You can’t. They don’t exist.

Lease Accounting Changes For Dummies!

March 21, 2018 Strategy & Solutions 0 Comments

As a commercial real estate expert, it is critical to have a base level understanding of the extremely...

Q & A with Ward Richmond & Marc Maiona

By: Ward Richmond & Marc Maiona

As a commercial real estate expert, it is critical to have a base level understanding of the extremely confusing and subjective changes to new lease accounting standards which have been created by the FASB & IASB and are about to go into effect.

Yeah, I’m already confused too. I attempted to write this blog on my own for about 7 hours one day and then I had to throw in the towel. I did what I usually do when I don’t know the answer to something: I brought in an EXPERT.

You don’t need to master this info but I am confident that this Q & A with lease accounting badass, Marc Maiona, over at LeaseCalcs www.leasecalcs.com will provide you with the right amount of intel to sound dangerous and pick up some simple actionable items.

In case you only want to read 1 question and not 21, I suggest you scroll to #21. Trust me, #21 is jam packed with some quick and easy actionable items related to lease negotiation and administration strategies that you can utilize to take advantage of the new accounting standards!

That being said, if you want to know everything there is to know about these changes, start right here. Good luck, my friends. You’re gonna need it!


Are FASB and IASB somehow interconnected?

Technically, no. However, there has been an effort by both accounting boards to converge their respective accounting standards over the past several years. The new lease accounting standards were supposed to be one area where they would achieve one unified set of standards. Unfortunately, they did not achieve that goal.

When do new standards take effect?

Public companies must adopt new standards by 2019 and private companies by 2020.

The collective FASB and IASB goal was to achieve consistency and transparency. Was this achieved at all?

In my opinion, the FASB and IASB did not achieve either goal. Their respective standards are very different, such that the exact same lease being accounted for under IFRS versus under US GAAP will have completely different impacts on the balance sheet, shareholder equity, net income and EBITDA results.

Which companies use GAAP vs those that use IFRS?

It generally follows where a company is headquartered, or, in some cases, listed (i.e., on the NYSE vs. FTSE, etc.). US headquartered companies almost always report their consolidated financial results under GAAP; whereas, international companies tend to use IFRS.

How is a “lease” defined? Is it the same under GAAP and IFRS?

The definition of a lease is the same under both standards and is essentially this: a contract that conveys the exclusive use and control of a defined asset with no reasonable right of substitution of the asset.

How is Finance Lease defined? Is this the same under GAAP and IFRS?

Under IFRS the definition is easy — every lease is a Finance lease under the new IFRS standards.
Under GAAP, a Finance lease is any lease that meets any one of the following 5 criteria:

What are the positives of a Finance lease? Is this the same under GAAP and IFRS?

From a financial reporting perspective, the one big benefit of a Finance lease is it provides a significant boost to EBITDA performance as compared to an Operating lease. Accounting for Finance leases is also a bit simpler than the new Operating lease model.

What are the negatives of a Finance lease? Is this the same under GAAP and IFRS?

Due to the differences in the way the Right of Use Asset amortizes under a Finance lease versus an Operating lease, a Finance lease will have a more detrimental impact on shareholder equity than the same lease classified as an Operating Lease.

Additionally, Finance leases are technically classified as “debt” on the balance sheet, while Operating leases are not (Operating leases are classified as operating liabilities).

Finally, the expense profile of a Finance lease on the income statement is “front loaded”, meaning the combination of interest expense and amortization expense is higher at the beginning of the lease term than it is at the end, causing differing impacts to net income as the lease term progresses.

How is an Operating Lease defined under GAAP?

Any lease that is not a Finance lease.

Why does IFRS not use an Operating Lease? Did they ever?

In short, the IASB decided the complexity of the Operating lease model was not worth the purported benefits.

What are the positives of an Operating Lease?

Operating leases have a better impact on shareholder equity than the same lease classified as a Finance lease. Also, the straight line expense profile may be preferred by some companies as compared against the front loaded profile of a finance lease.

What are the negatives of an Operating lease?

Primarily the complexity of the accounting — though with our software the complexity goes away.

What impact do the new standards have on Sale Leasebacks?

There will be major impacts on both the “sale” accounting and the “leaseback” portion as well. The biggest impact or change has to do with the timing of how any gain (or loss) on the sale is recognized. Generally speaking, under current standards, the gain is required to be deferred over the leaseback period.

Under the new standards, the gain must all be recognized on the date of the sale!

This greatly changes the P&L profile of sale-leaseback transactions and is causing some companies to look to accelerate deals to have them close before the new rules take effect. It is worth noting the sale-leaseback rules – both current and new – have a number of nuances to them which can yield different outcomes. NOTE FROM WARD: NOW IS THE TIME TO DO A SALE/ LEASEBACK. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE BULLISH MARKET CONDITIONS AND ACCOUNTING CHANGES SIMULTANEOUSLY!

Do you think the world would benefit from one set of standards or is it good we have two?

I think it would have been beneficial if the FASB and IASB had met their objectives of having consistent and transparent lease accounting, globally.

In a nutshell, what is happening with this whole change to lease accounting?

This is the end of off-balance sheet lease transactions (with the exception of very short term leases.)

Which companies are affected by this change in the accounting rules? Is it just publicly traded companies?

Public companies, private companies, non-profits and governmental agencies. The standards basically impact any company that is require to issue GAAP or IFRS audited financial statements.

Does this just effect new leases?

No, this applies to any existing lease that has any part of its lease term go beyond the effective date of the new rules (including any comparative reporting periods).

What changes are you seeing in the way companies are negotiating leases in light of these new rules?

These changes are driven by whether a company is more sensitive to the impact the new rules will have on their Balance Sheet / Shareholder Equity results or whether they are more sensitive to their Income Statement results, or even more specifically their EBITDA results.

One of the more interesting changes – and one that virtually nobody predicted when these rules were first proposed in 2010 – is the shift to longer term leases for companies that are focused on the impact their leases have on net income and EBITDA performance.

What are the biggest traps with these new lease accounting rules?

I think there are two really significant traps, one being more “big picture” in terms of the accounting and the other being more “transactional” on new deals.

The “big picture” trap is thinking about this all as purely an accounting exercise. Any company thinking that the change in lease accounting standards is merely an accounting exercise will miss tremendous opportunities to improve financial performance, potentially in a material way.

The “transactional” trap is not knowing the true financial statement impact of any lease while it is still being negotiated.

The commercial real estate brokerage world has almost exclusively relied on discounted cash flow analysis as it’s “go-to” analysis to help tenants decide what deal is the better deal.

That may have sufficed in a world where virtually all leases were off balance sheet. But the irony is this: there is not a company in the world that reports financial results on the basis of discounted cash flows. Discounted cash flow analysis will not suffice going forward.

Most of our customers are Third Party Logistics companies (3PL’s). How does this impact 3PL’s contracts with their customers?

Depending on company goals, 3PL’s should definitely consider a shift from a true “lease” with their customers to a “service contract” when possible. This shift can potentially generate value for their clients and keep these transactions off of the books.

A true “service contract” should be doable in shared warehouses. That being said, a “service contract” will not provide their clients with the exclusive use, access and control of a defined area like a lease can provide.

How can real estate brokers assist tenants in dealing with these new accounting rules, particularly as new leases are being negotiated or existing leases are being amended? NOTE FROM WARD: IF YOU ARE JUST GONNA READ ONE Q&A, READ THIS ONE!

There are a lot of ways for brokers to assist tenants here!
First things first: Brokers need to understand what is important to their clients!
Is it the Balance Sheet? Is it the P&L? Is it the EBITDA?

For Balance Sheet focused companies

For P&L Focused companies:

For EBITA Focused companies (This seems to be a common trend among my customers!):

If a company is considering a Sale Leaseback or a Sublease, NOW IS THE TIME!

There is also a tremendous opportunity for brokers and their in-house lease administration teams to help tenants through the transition process by:

Keep In Mind: It is only at that point in time – during lease negotiation – where a company can have any influence over what the accounting outcome will be, and this is why it is so important for the brokerage community to be that knowledgeable resource for tenants.

Read More

Success Story: 472K SF Final Mile Logistics Center Disposition

March 16, 2018 Success Stories 0 Comments

Keller Logistics Group, Your True Blue Logistics Crew is an asset-based 3PL solutions provider headquartered in Defiance...

472K SF Final Mile Logistics Center Disposition

By Ward Richmond

Market Making sale of 472,234 SF Final Mile Logistics Center


Keller Logistics Group, Your True Blue Logistics Crew is an asset-based 3PL solutions provider headquartered in Defiance, OH with affiliate locations currently in six states. Their 3PL services are supported by the affiliates of Keller Freight Solutions, Keller Trucking, Keller Warehousing & Distribution, and Keller Packaging. http://www.kellerlogistics.com

Details of the deal:


    • Developed innovative marketing strategy by recognizing opportunity to transform an obsolete, oddly configured 1970’s distribution center into one of kind final mile distribution opportunity.
    • Rebranded property as “Final Mile Logistics Center” to change perspective of marketplace and take advantage of the “Amazon effect” related to ever increasing demand for customer delivery speed.
    • Created extremely competitive environment via targeted marketing to industrial users with final mile transportation needs (Amazon, WalMart, Geodis, XPO). Additionally, we targeted a wide range of investors including multi-family developers to leverage the rare 21.19 Acre urban location.
    • Provided our client flexibility to lease back on a temporary basis.
    • Identified 1031 Investor with close relationship to strong industrial user with a need for a large, rail served, final mile distribution center.
    • Market making sale price traded 162% higher than initial bank appraised value generating close to $10 million in value to our client.

Customer Experience:

“Ward Richmond understands the 3PL business and has a network across the country. I believe that is the reason he is one of the top industrial real estate brokers in the country. We rely on Ward to  help solve our customers’ supply chain opportunities and provide them with logistics solutions that fit their needs.”
-Bryan Keller, CEO, Keller Logistics Group


March 16, 2018 0 Comments

Ward Richmond understands the 3PL business. We rely on Ward to help solve our customers’ supply chain opportunities and provide

Ward Richmond understands the 3PL business. We rely on Ward to help solve our customers’ supply chain opportunities and provide them with logistics solutions that fit their needs. Read More

Back To The Future: Are Your Real Estate Strategies 1955 or 2017?

February 27, 2018 Strategy & Solutions 0 Comments

Take Your Corporate Real Estate Strategies Back To The Future! One of my favorite trilogies of all time is Back

Take Your Corporate Real Estate Strategies Back To The Future!

One of my favorite trilogies of all time is Back to the Future. Marty McFly is one of the best heroes, ever. I wanted to be the guy for most of my youth. Still do. He’s the reason I learned how to play the guitar. I owned the same Valterra skateboard that he skated on, and tailgated on the back of cars just like in the movie. I love Dr. Emmitt Brown. The man was a mad genius. 1985 Jennifer and 1955 Lorraine were possibly my first and second loves. How about Biff Tannin? He is arguably the best character of all not to mention a collegiate nickname for yours truly! Sometimes, and not in a good way, I feel like I am living in the movie Back to the Future: Part II. The one with the altered hell-future where Biff turned into Donald Trump on cocaine and Hill Valley turned into 1985 Compton. Why? Because even though it is 2017, some of the corporate tenants out there, ranging from international corporations to small family owned businesses still do not truly understand the massive value that can be created by partnering with a legitimate commercial real estate services provider. When I run across these companies, I can’t help but think that these C level executives and real estate directors don’t know what they’re doing.  They attempt to negotiate real estate transactions without a strategic partner and might as well have bought a DeLorean with a flux capacitor from Doc Brown, and then went back to 1955 to learn how to develop their corporate real estate strategies. Don’t worry folks, I’m here to take you back, back to the future!


Commercial real estate strategy needs to be viewed as a rifle shot from a Seal Team 6 sniper, not a shotgun blast from Dick Cheney. Keep in mind that while the Seal Team 6 sniper may be the guy pulling the trigger, he does not work alone hence the “Team” in Seal Team 6! He has a high caliber team in place to support him throughout the process to accomplish the mission and execute with certainty – no pun intended. In the world of commercial real estate, our clients are buying a unique commodity that is an expensive long term, relatively illiquid obligation. When I say expensive, I mean several million dollars. In some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars. In my opinion, the best way to deploy such a large amount of capital in a value driven manner is to partner with an expert to help. I feel like this concept should be pretty simple to understand. Today, we are living in an age of specialists. I believe that in every profession, we have the benefit of having specialists out there who can add substantial value when it comes to strategy and execution of whatever it may be that these specialists specialize in. My suggestion to you is to utilize such professionals to generate value. In my opinion, if you are not engaging an expert to assist you in areas outside of your realm of core expertise, you are leaving time and money on the table. Not a little. A lot. Every single time. If I need an electrician, I don’t pretend to be one. I hire one. Not just anyone, the best one for the particular job. Same goes for my plumber. Same goes for lawyers and accountants. If I need a marketing brochure, I partner with a marketing specialist. If I need a logo, I hire a branding specialist. Website developer? Who do you think built this website? I can assure you that it was not me! Why would you not work with an expert? Cost? Living, breathing experts like me create value, not cost. This is not an empty promise. It is a fact and it is backed up by hard evidence. Please do yourself a favor and don’t negotiate directly with your landlord on your lease renewal. He is your buddy? Of course he is. He likes you because you are not using a real estate transaction expert to represent you! Think about it. He is your landlord. His fiduciary duty and interests lie with the Landlord’s bank account. Not the Tenant’s. Please do not hire your brother-in-law to rep you – unless he happens to be the best. Please do not hire a residential broker to help you with a commercial transaction. And vice versa. Hire the best guy or gal for the job. Think about this: why wouldn’t you work with the best real estate partner available to you? We all cost the same! It’s not like you have to pay double to use me because I am a badass. The guy fresh out of college with no experience and a real estate license gets paid the same market fee as me! This is crazy. Take advantage of it! Hire an expert.  


If you have the mindset that all your corporate real estate partner can offer is help with locating properties, you are living in 1955 and you are leaving a lot of value on the table. You are either not utilizing your real estate partner to their fullest extent or you are not working with a true expert. If you don’t understand what else it is that we do, please call me. We need to sit down and have a chat. I think you will find it beneficial to build a strong, value driven relationship with your real estate partners that will be rooted in trust and mutual respect. Let me provide an example of how a true partnership can create value: My wife and I just bought a house this year. When we began the process, we hired Kelley McMahon, a world class East Dallas residential real estate expert to help us! – After years of looking for the right home, I wound up finding our new house before Kelley did and before it hit the market. Yes- I am that good! The first call I made when I found this new house was to my wife. The second was to Kelley. Sure- I found the house. Who cares? How many houses have I bought? This was my second. Do I know anything about buying houses? Absolutely not! I could have just called the seller’s agent and done the deal direct and taken 3% since I am a licensed real estate broker. Did I do this? No I did not. Why? For many reasons. First off Kel-Kel is a close friend of mine (I was a groomsman in her wedding) and she had been showing us houses for 2 years. Most importantly- she is a true expert. She is one of the best agents that works in the area where I live. She had also spent a lot of time up front helping me with my needs analysis. She assisted me with valuing my old house and helping me to analyze build versus buy scenarios. She introduced me to architects and home builders. She knew that I might just build a new house on my old lot and she wouldn’t get paid a dime. That didn’t stop her from adding value all along the way. Why? Because she is a pro. She added value – constantly. She helped me understand that certain elementary schools can swing home value by six figures! She explained minute details to me about the residential world, like the fact that having the master bedroom on the first floor of a two story home contributes to resale value. Who knew? So, for one thing, I didn’t want to screw her over because she is my friend and had already been helping me out (for free) for almost 2 years! That type of behavior might actually send a real estate guy like me straight to hell. That being said, being a “nice guy” isn’t the only reason I immediately called her to get involved once I found the off-market gem of a home. I wanted an expert in my corner to help me close the deal like a boss.  I knew that I needed a true partner to help me maximize value and streamline efficiencies. That’s what I preach. That’s how I roll! As a corporate tenant representation specialist, I am well aware that finding the property is not rocket science. It is not our core value proposition. Finding the property falls into the commodity category. It is just one step in what should be a multi step complex strategic process that you develop and execute with a true partner. (INSERT PROJECT TIMELINE)  


When I was ready to buy my new house, I recognized that I needed an expert to help me negotiate in order to maximize value and give me the peace of mind that I was not leaving any money on the table. You might think you know how to negotiate better than anyone. That may be true. Let me give you a pat on the back! Believe me, I know exactly how you feel! Being a negotiation expert is the primary reason why I understand the value in partnering with specialists to help me negotiate. I have negotiated hundreds of commercial real estate transactions in cities all over the world. On top of that, I have been involved in thousands of negotiations related to listing agreements, commission agreements, co-broker agreements, lease agreements and don’t forget  exclusive tenant representation agreements! Basically, I am a certified negotiating machine! Despite the fact that I am an expert negotiator, I still knew I needed my residential agent to help me negotiate. Why? For one thing, she knew the seller’s agent. They were friends. This helps communication. Communication helps negotiation. She also knew the intricacies of the local residential marketplace. She knew the comps in the neighborhood better than I did. She knew how to negotiate a residential sales contract as it relates to the specific market that we were working in. We partnered together to negotiate the best deal possible. The results were phenomenal. This is how a true partnership is supposed to work.


I spoke to the real estate director at a major corporation the other day. They have about 50 distribution facilities across the US. This dude negotiates all renewals for all of these properties by himself with no help from a real estate partner. He claimed to have saved 5% last year via his negotiations which is why he does not feel like he needs to work with a commercial real estate partner. Sorry. I don’t buy it. Here is my question: how do you know that the alleged 5% in savings wasn’t supposed to be 15%? Did Loopnet confirm that for you? In my opinion, the only way to truly know the answer to that question is to partner with a true market expert and assemble a killer team. It will never cease to amaze me. Much like the Libyans keep coming after Doc Brown to get their plutonium back, I keep running into business owners and corporate real estate executives that don’t understand the value created by having an innovative commercial real estate partner on their team. When I hear a corporate real estate director say, “We handle this in-house,” it has the same effect on me as if a person tells me “Cigarettes don’t cause cancer.” I can’t help but shake my head. My grandmother would have responded, “Bless your heart.” If “handling it in-house” is your policy, there is a strong likelihood that you are leaving a shitload of value on the table. Please, give me an opportunity to prove it to you. What do you have to lose?


As we approach Q4 2017, it is time to start thinking about what innovative approaches you want to bring to the table in 2018 to drive value for your organization. As a reminder, if you are working with a top tier service provider who is a bona fide expert, they will create value, not cost! They improve efficiencies. Drastically. Financial analysis? Push it on your service provider! I promise, they will make it look tighter that you can. Proposal documentation? Push it on your service provider. What- are you a secretary? Negative. You are a strategist. Why are you wasting your time messing with drafting proposals? Lease administration? Push it on your service provider. Bill pay? Push it on your service provider. Expense reconciliation? You know what to do. Are you a transportation company or a real estate company? Are you an office supply company or a real estate company? Ecomm or real estate? Do you want to speak to 50 different landlords who you do a deal with once every 5 years or do you want to speak to 1 certified expert whose team does 50 deals a year with each of your landlords? Does it make sense for a macro strategy expert to attempt to understand local market conditions in an industrial submarket on the other side of the country once every five years? I don’t think so. A true, bona fide expert for a real estate partner will save you a lot of time and a lot of money. Our job is to make you look good. Our job is to make your life easier. If you are not utilizing this approach to drive value and maximize operational efficiencies for your company, you might want to give it some serious thought and bring that 1955 mindset Back to the Future.   Read More

WTF is a FTZ?!

February 19, 2018 Strategy & Solutions 0 Comments

Welcome back readers and let me apologize in advance. If you thought the Triple Freeport article...

The Top 5 Things To Know About Foreign-Trade Zones

By: Ward Richmond & Cole Hooper

Welcome back readers and let me apologize in advance. If you thought the Triple Freeport article was a sleeper, it’s time to go prep a batch of Bulletproof Coffee and take an ice bath to get yourselves ready for our rundown on Foreign Trade Zones!

Cole Hooper, my business partner who specializes in the DFW Airport submarket encouraged me to write a blog about Foreign Trade Zones because they play such an integral role in making DFW such a popular place to be for big-time logistics companies!

Cole did some fantastic deep-diving research and then I tried my best to make this content as entertaining and concise as possible for all of you logistics nerds out there who keep forgetting about these wonderful zones and keep asking that same nagging question, WTF is a FTZ?!


Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ’s) are secure areas under US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) oversight. FTZ’s were established by the US government under the FTZ Act of 1934 and they are the USA’s version of what are known internationally as Free Trade Zones.

FTZ’s are located in the USA and in or adjacent to a CBP port of entry—like DFW Airport!

The point of these “zones” is to provide a place to store commercial products without having to deal with formal customs entry procedures and payment of customs duties. Basically- FTZ’s are meant to make life easier and lower costs for companies based in the US engaged in international trade. Funny, that sounds a lot like our job description!!


Duty Deferral- When foreign goods are imported into a FTZ, no customs duty is owed until those goods leave the zone and technically enter the U.S. for commerce. Simply keeping the imported product as inventory within a FTZ enhances the user’s cash flow by postponing the time duty must be paid.

Elimination of Duties —Customs duties are eliminated entirely on goods re-exported either in their original form or as components of finished products produced in the zone.

Inverted Tariff – When goods are manufactured into other products within the FTZ, the importer may elect to pay the duty rate applicable to either the imported part or the finished product, whichever is lower.

Improve Delivery Speed & Cost— Speed up and streamline the supply chain process by utilizing “direct delivery” and “weekly entry” procedures.

State & Local Tax Savings – A FTZ specifically prohibits state and local governments from assessing business personal property tax on inventory that has either been imported into a foreign trade zone and is being held in a foreign trade zone for export.


First, call Ward Richmond & Cole Hooper! Our team specializes in working with our customers to identify FTZ sites to maximize value and operational efficiency. As a general rule of thumb, FTZ’s must be located within 60 miles or 90 minutes driving time from the outer limits of a CBP port of entry.

Furthermore, there are third party consultants and/or attorneys who not only specialize in FTZ activation for companies but also provide expertise in conducting a feasibility analysis and are knowledgeable about the regulations, requirements, and all the different nuances involved in the activation process.

If you have interest in relocating to an FTZ but don’t know if the benefits outweigh the costs, our team has a vetted list of third party experts that we could recommend to help speed up the process so you avoid unexpected problems. Please call us to discuss!


The opportunity for lower processing costs and cutting logistics costs have become an important strategy for lowering the overall costs to the supply chain for several of the world’s largest manufactures and logistics related companies who operate in FTZ.

The primary manufacturing industries are oil refining, vehicles/automotive parts, consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals. Logistics oriented companies can utilize FTZ’s for warehousing, labeling, salvaging and distribution related operations.

Due to the increased demand from users and importers, the nation’s largest developers and institutional landlords of “Big Box” industrial real estate including, Prologis, Duke Realty, Hillwood, and CenterPoint Properties, among others, are establishing and creating new FTZ sites to support their customers using the FTZ program to reduce importing costs and improve supply chain efficiencies.

A few major DFW tenants operating within FTZ’s include: Geodis, BMW of North America, XPO Logistics, Cartier, Fossil Watches, Apple, Dallas Cowboys Merchandising, Inc., DB Schenker, Dal-Tile and CEVA Logistics.


FTZ status can provide a significant cost benefit for certain companies, but it’s not for everyone. Companies who should be considering FTZ opportunities typically have large customs duty payments, a high volume of entries into U.S., history of shipment delays, or plan to increase manufacturing capabilities.

Companies should first undertake an internal due-diligence process to make sure that the savings associated with operating in an FTZ justify the set-up and ongoing maintenance costs associated with the benefit.

As mentioned 3 times at least, feel free to give us a call if the FTZ program is something your company wishes to consider. We’d love to help provide any additional insight, identify strategic locations with FTZ status, and get you in touch with one of our 3rd party experts who truly understand what the hell they’re talking about!

For Additional Information, Check Out some Helpful Links to the FTZ Board’s Website Below:

SIOR Spring Conference

February 16, 2018 0 Comments Read More

DFW Market Update – Q4 2017

February 9, 2018 Market Reports 0 Comments

DFW Industrial absolutely crushed it in 2017. As we bust through the 800,000,000 SF inventory mark...


By Ward Richmond

“A mic drop is the gesture of intentionally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech to signal triumph.
Figuratively, it is an expression of triumph for a successful event and indicates a boastful attitude toward one’s own.” – WIKIPEDIA

DFW Industrial absolutely crushed it in 2017. As we bust through the 800,000,000 SF inventory mark, industrial real estate owners everywhere are buying Ferraris.

According to our high caliber research team at Colliers International, the DFW industrial market is at an all-time low at 5.9% vacancy. 10% used to be normal when I started in the business 12 years ago.

DFW delivered 28 million SF of new industrial construction in 2017, and we have another 18 million under construction.I might need to change my business plan and become a leasing agent instead of a tenant rep. Just kidding! Or am I?

The critical stat is that we had 24 million SF in net absorption. Honestly, I have lost track of how many consecutive years this has occurred, but I believe we have been building and absorbing +/- 20 million SF of industrial space every year since Amazon signed their first 1 million SF lease in Dallas. They now have 10 million SF thanks to Jeff Bezos taking down another 1.5 million SF in DFW in 2017.

My team continues to evolve our execution techniques and strategy as we work with top logistics companies, retailers, e-tailers and shippers, helping them to improve their supply chain efficiencies as they deal with increased consumer demand, a tightening (not to mention expensive) labor market, and capacity constraints due to massive pressure on the supply chain caused by the e-commerce boom. It’s not about the real estate anymore. It’s about transportation cost, labor availability, and government incentives programs. That’s why DFW is killing it — a strategic location, robust labor pool, and business friendly government. Here’s to keeping on

keeping on in 2018!

To get further inside my supply chain brain,
please check out my website and blog:


    • Prologis signs on to build and sell Kohler a 1.3 million SF Big Bomber in the South Dallas submarket
    • Exeter builds and sells UPS 1 million SF in Arlington, TX in the GSW Submarket.
    • Amazon signs 920,275 SF lease for 18 months in Lancaster, TX with Van Trust in South Dallas.
    • Duke buys the 875K SF Wayfair deal for a sub 6% cap on cost. Try to compete with that, bro! The City of Lancaster also offered the e-commerce giant a sweet incentives package to seal the deal. Another victory for the South Dallas submarket.
    • Haier signs on for 700K with Crow Holdings in Grand Prairie, TX in GSW submarket. This actually just seems boring after reading the Top 4. #DFWIndustrial


    • TF Final Mile – City of Industry (50K SF Sublease), Teterboror, NJ (70K Sf Renewal), North Hollywood, CA (50K SF Site Selection), Atlanta, GA (50K SF Sublease).MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Syncreon – Grapevine, TX – 250K SF – Sublease – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Post Foods – Farmers Branch, TX – 145K SF – Property Sale MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • The Ledbetter Family – Lancaster, TX – 70 Acres – Industrial land Sale MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
    • Keller Logistics – 280K SF – Site Selection MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Key Takeaways

Q4 2017 was a record quarter for Big-Box net absorption with over 7.1 million square feet. After a slow first three quarters, absorption more than caught up in Q4, posting a record year with 17.9 million square feet. Major Q4 move-ins included Amazon moving into 2.5 million square feet in three properties, UPS moving into 1 million square feet, and TTI occupying its 600k build-to-suit.

Due to strong absorption, vacancy decreased 0.5% from Q3 to 9.9%. South Dallas is still the market with the highest vacancy, but it saw a significant drop to 19.2% after absorbing two million square feet. Infill markets such as DFW Airport and the West I-30 corridor are in demand and posted 2.6% and 3.9% vacancy rates, respectively.

For all of 2017, the market added 22 million square feet in 43 properties, the most in our statistical history. In Q4, 13 properties delivered and were 51% leased on completion. The construction pipeline still holds 33 properties totaling 16 million square feet, of which two-thirds are speculative.

Asking rental rates were flat from Q3 to Q4 at $3.79. Rates are up 1.9% year-over-year showing that supply and demand are reaching a balance.


Ward Richmond has over eleven years of experience specializing in industrial real estate, and has negotiated over 500 transactions
while working in over 100 cities across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Several publications have featured Ward for his expertise
in this field including the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, and Dallas Business Journal. He also serves on Colliers International
Industrial Advisory Board, and is a member of the Logistics & Transportation Solutions Group.

The Richmond team also includes Liam Logan, Cole Hooper, Brad Balke, Zack Rutland, and Rachel Hendrix. They assist with market
analysis, financial analysis, strategic real estate and facilities planning, site selection, and acquisition and disposition services.

Executive Vice President

Senior Associate



February 20-22, 2018: Colliers Americas Conference — Phoenix, AZ
March 11-13, 2018: IWLA — Tampa, FL
May 2-4, 2018: Colliers L&T Group Conference — San Francisco, CA
May 5-9, 2018: IAMC Spring Forum — Savannah, GA



Client Services Coordinator

Research Director

Research Associate

The Richmond team is supported by Colliers International Research Team:


Check out this killer new infographic developed by our talented Colliers Chicago & DFW marketing teams, which highlights some of the
Top Distribution Markets in the USA.


Office 214.217.1201
Mobile 214.336.5757
Email ward.richmond@colliers.com

Trucker Hat

February 6, 2018 0 Comments

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