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Hackensack, NJ |

Faced with high vacancy rates, commercial property managers confront growing challenges to retain and attract tenants. By employing a team of tenant service experts, including leasing agents, managers and construction services professionals, property owners position their assets to compete within the marketplace.

One of New Jersey’s most active real estate development firms, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, views a proactive, hands-on approach to its commercial property management as a priority. “In-house property management is one of our greatest assets,” notes David Sanzari, company president and CEO. “Working with our department heads in each discipline – construction, leasing and finance – our team employs a cohesive and nimble decision-making process that benefits our organization and our tenants.”

Many owners today are renovating office buildings from Class A corporate parks to industrial facilities. The changes address internal systems, aesthetics and work styles of today’s companies. They also incorporate “green” sustainable retrofits while upgrading equipment and features.

“Our stable property management department and staff recommend the required upgrades and constantly assess our properties to accomplish improvements whenever something is needed,” said David Cali, vice president of property management.

Satisfying Tenants: Interior Updates Impact Working Environment and Aesthetics

Property management teams are a key liaison with ownership and construction, and are the first line of communication with tenants. “Close communication with tenants enables us to stay ahead of improvements that are needed at our buildings,” said Cali.

For example, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has completed multi-faceted renovations at its hallmark Glenpointe mixed-use complex in Teaneck to create a more vibrant environment. Improvements to Class A office spaces at Glenpointe Centre West, Glenpointe Centre East and the Atrium at Glenpointe have included renovations to all entrances and public areas, such as elevators, restrooms and public corridors; the addition of new common area seating and lighting; new interior plantings, parking lots and new HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) systems. Extensive new landscaping further enhances the 50-acre complex, which has attracted a number of new tenants in the past year and is now 98 percent leased.

Recent upgrades to Court Plaza in Hackensack include the installation of new rooftop HVAC units and the modernization of elevators to include state-of-the-art technology.

Typical ongoing projects throughout the company’s commercial portfolio include new HVAC units; new Building Management System controls to better regulate and monitor a building’s mechanical and electrical equipment; significant elevator and parking garage upgrades; and various sustainability initiatives to help reduce energy expenses. “Advancements in technology are incorporated in some of the most important improvements which impact the working environment,” Cali explained.

Industrial Improvements

Alfred Sanzari Enterprises continues to improve its industrial portfolio as well through hands-on client service, affording manufacturers and distributors an array of features and amenities designed to maximize efficiency, productivity and profitability.

The firm recently made improvements to four of its six-building portfolio in Norwood, N.J. Upgrades include freshly painted warehouse space, new office windows, new front canopies and loading dock improvements. Shrubs and plantings are being added to further enhance the properties’ existing landscaping.

Similarly, the company added new windows, landscaping and walkways, and assorted cosmetic enhancements throughout its South Hackensack portfolio located in the Meadowlands submarket. Dora’s Naturals, an organic food distributor, recently increased its headquarters space there by 34,249 square feet.

Attractive and Usable Outdoor Space is Valued by Tenants and the Community

Other notable upgrades at corporate office parks often involve exterior improvements. At Court Plaza, there has been extensive structural work to the complex’s patio area and ongoing refurbishments to the parking garage. The company also has completed a unique outdoor area – the Alfred and Mary Sanzari Garden – open to the public as well as tenants. “There is a synergy in neighborhoods that contributes to the working environment that a project like this brings out,” Cali said. The new public garden was built to honor the legacy of Alfred and Mary Sanzari, the company’s founders who were very devoted to the city of Hackensack. The 10,000-square-foot site offers an area of respite and retreat for members of the community as well as Court Plaza’s tenants and area professionals.

At Glenpointe, the construction of a walking bridge adjacent to Frank Burr Boulevard allows tenants and visitors to easily access the Teaneck Creek Conservancy, a 46-acre natural woodlands area featuring 1.3 miles of landscaped walking trails.

After the Storm: Opening the Lines of Communication

Superstorm Sandy and weather events during the past year have brought additional property management responsibilities to a new level. “We know emergencies can strike at anytime and with little warning,” Cali explained. “One of the best defenses against such emergencies is close communication with tenants, and a well thought out preparedness plan.”

When confronted with unexpected damage and widespread power outages posed by the storm last fall, many property owners and managers realized firsthand the importance of being able to reach employees and tenants in a timely manner. Alfred Sanzari Enterprises has since implemented a new emergency notification system designed to quickly disseminate information about properties, safety procedures and related content. Now, as future property-related issues arise, such as disruptions to power, water or heat; or announcements about repairs and renovations, commercial tenants and employees will be informed via real-time phone, email and text messaging.

“Effective communication builds trust, which is the foundation for our long-term relationships,” Cali said. “Crises will happen, and most people understand that. It is how we handle those crises that define us to tenants.”

Successful property management also is contingent on building relationships, and the ability to anticipate tenants’ needs and exceed expectations. “Tenants appreciate working with a stable property owner/manager who they know will be there throughout the length of their lease term and renewal process. By providing leadership to the entire Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ team, we are able to consistently keep occupancy levels above industry standards,” concluded Cali.