John Birkeland, CCIM Elected PA/NJ/DE CCIM 2019 Chapter President

The PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter has elected John Birkeland, CCIM as its Chapter President for the 2019 calendar year. Birkeland replaces Jeffrey Hoffman, CCIM who served as Chapter President since 2016.

Mr. Birkeland has been an active member of the chapter, and has served on its board since 2016. He served as Chairperson of the Central Pennsylvania Region.

“Due to Jeffrey Hoffman’s tireless efforts, our chapter is headed in the right direction and has good momentum to continue educating commercial real estate practitioners on the benefits of earning the CCIM designation. I am grateful for the foundation that Jeffrey has built for our Chapter and am excited to build upon that foundation through educational and networking events,” says Birkeland.

“After three years, I am very excited to turn over the presidency to John Birkeland. I’m also looking forward to continuing to serve under his direction and help wherever I can,” says Hoffman on the transition.

The PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter is comprised of over 150 members, both CCIM designees and candidates. The CCIM Designation is awarded to commercial real estate professionals upon successful completion of a graduate-level education curriculum and presentation of a portfolio of qualifying industry experience. Less than one percent of commercial real estate professionals in the world hold the CCIM designation. All CCIMs earn the designation by passing the Institute’s Comprehensive Examination, the final element in the designation process.

CCIMs are recognized experts in commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, asset management, valuation, and investment analysis. The Chicago-based CCIM Institute is an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors® and is the governing body of the largest commercial real estate network in the world. For more information about CCIM, please visit:

The mission of the PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter is to provide its designees and candidates with the highest quality of marketing and networking opportunities, services and education to broaden, enhance and enrich their business. For more information, please visit:

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Building Tour, Holiday Party and Leadership Transition

Phil Earley, CCIM, Past President recognizes the leadership of Jeff Hoffman, CCIM

True to our form, the PA/NJ/DE CCIM chapter holiday party was educational, cutting edge, and fun.

Hosted by Brandywine Realty Investment Trust, our party began with a tour of 426 West Lancaster Avenue in Devon, PA.  426 is a 1980s-era building that has recently been gutted and is presently being marketed for lease.

After discussing the project’s history, upgrades and marketing goals, the Chapter’s holiday party began with the installation of John Birkland, CCIM who will serve as our 2019 Chapter President. Jeff Hoffman, CCIM was recognized for his exceptional service and leadership to the Chapter, most recently serving as Chapter President for the past three years.

“I have had a wonderful run as Chapter President since 2015, and now I am looking forward to continuing to support our chapter and the leadership of John Birkland, CCIM,” said Hoffman.

What REALTORS® Need to Know About the New Tax Law

NAR Released a great video series with Evan Liddiard, Director of Federal Tax Policy for the National Association of REALTORS®, and Peter Baker of the Business Planning Group giving an overview of 2018’s new tax laws. The series offers guidance for individuals and families filing tax returns, the tax incentives of owning a home, as well as business tax changes for real estate professionals. The four-part series is made up of:

  1. An Introduction to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
  2. Major Changes Affecting Individuals
  3. Changes Affecting Tax Incentives of Owning a Home
  4. Tax Changes for the Real Estate Professional

The entire series, including videos, slideshows, transcripts, is available online at:

Developer’s Forum 2018: A Smashing Success!

The only constant of the Commercial Real Estate field seems to be change. One thing that hasn’t changed as the PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter led its fourth annual Developer’s Forum was that it was, again, deftly moderated by Natalie Kostelni, reporter for the Philadelphia Business Journal. She was a fantastic panel moderator as she was able to tease out the items and trends that make modern mixed-use developments work. She led the discussion among a panel consisting of innovative mixed-use developers, consisting of: Paul Commito, Senior Vice President of Development at Brandywine Realty TrustMark Fitzgerald, President & Chief Operating Officer of High Associates, Ltd.; Michael Hankin, Chief Operating Officer of Hankin Group and Michael Markman, President of BET Investments.

A mixed-use development is different from the multi-use development of 20 to 40 years ago.  Historically, multi-use projects segregated uses and was more about efficient use of land and grouping similar uses together.  With mixed-use in the present day, the interplay of the uses is at the heart of the development.  The mixed use developments that work are not contrived or forced by government,  rather they are created to be part of the community and bring the community together. The developers discussed the various challenges of developing vertical and horizontal mixed-use projects in diverse locations from urban to suburban to exurban. Each developer designed their respective developments to each create a sense of “place”.

Another observation was that amenities are a key differentiator in creating that place-making experience. It was noted that all demographics are interested in the amenities, but that they are used most often by the baby boomer generation as the millennials cite that they don’t have the time to take advantage of having them.

Special thanks to Natalie Kostelni, and to our developers to make tonight’s event a success. Additionally, thanks to the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate at Villanova University for to continue to host our developer’s forum. What great night!

PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter Honors New CCIM Designees (Fall, 2018)

The PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter has recognized three chapter members who recently earned the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation, the global standard for professional achievement, from the CCIM Institute.

The following PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter members were among the 210 industry professionals who earned the CCIM designation during the organization’s 2018 Fall Business Meetings October 7-11 at the Swissotel in Chicago, IL:

“Through hard work and determination, each designee dedicated themselves to achieve the CCIM designation, which will pay off throughout their entire commercial real estate career,” says 2018 PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter President Jeffrey Hoffman, CCIM. “I am honored to welcome this new group of designees into our esteemed network of CCIM real estate professionals that are consistently sought out globally for their competence, work ethic and expertise.”

To earn the CCIM designation, commercial real estate professionals must complete more than 160 hours of case-study driven education covering topics such as interest-based negotiation, financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and ethics in commercial investment real estate. Candidates must also compile a portfolio demonstrating the depth of their commercial real estate experience and pass a comprehensive examination.

CCIM Institute is a global community of 13,000 members, more than 50 chapters, and 30 countries that educates and connects the world’s leading experts in investment strategy, financial analysis, and market analysis.

Discussing the Impact of Oil & Gas on the Real Estate Market

Last Thursday, the PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter held an innovative program focusing on the impacts of oil and gas development on the real estate market at the Lancaster Country Club.

This event was an eye-opening affair. Greg Elko from Langan Engineering presented an amazing talk about how oil and gas are forging change in the real estate industry. Beginning with an overview of the science behind oil and gas, he then discussed the present technologies related to the field concluding with the extraction and use of the fossil fuels. Elko also discussed the real estate development opportunities that are being fed by this industry saying, “we are on the precipice of a boom in the industries and development opportunities surrounding oil and gas. As the industry continues to mature, the real estate opportunities that support the industry will continue to grow.”

This event is another great example of how the PA/NJ/DE CCIM chapter remains on the cutting edge of real estate opportunities, news and education, consistently bringing first-rate presentations to its membership and guests.

Special thanks to the event sponsors: Langan Engineering and Ephrata National Bank. Additionally, we are always thankful to our annual sponsors who enable us to create such dynamic events together.

Ephrata National Bank

Ephrata National Bank

Langan Engineering

Langan Engineering

CCIM Receives Inaugural Welcoming Environment Organizational Award by The Association Forum

In June CCIM was honored by The Association Forum (the association of associations in Chicago) as the inaugural recipient of “The Welcoming Environment Organizational Award”

This honor recognizes an association that has demonstrated exemplary outcomes in providing an inclusive and welcoming environment and culture. Association Forum created a short video featuring the EVP/CEO of the CCIM Institute, Gregory J. Fine and Alex Hanba, the CCIM Institute’s Director of HR and Administration.


CCIM at the historic Union League of Philadelphia for a RealNex Presentation

The PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter held a sold-out event at the historic Union League of Philadelphia to learn about RealNex. Jeffrey M. Finn, RealNex President and CEO demonstrated the power of the RealNex solution, which is a full-service commercial real estate deal engine combining an area for agents to manage and upload their listings, a marketplace to shop for properties along with a Customer Resource Management (CRM) tool. RealNex, which describes itself as “the technology behind the deal” combines the former REA, REI Wise and Property Line. This streamlined solution is a great tool for both commercial real estate owners and brokers. There is a huge amount of interest in learning about – and deploying – the RealNex technology, as evidenced by the amount of participants at today’s event.

Chapter Tours Univ. of Delaware STAR Campus in Development

Once again the PA/NJ/DE CCIM Chapter had an early invitation to visit a major development in our region.  25 CCIMs and guests met for lunch and a tour of University of Delaware’s new STAR Campus. The focus of the campus is Science Technology and Advanced Research (STAR). The development is in located on the site of Chrysler’s former plant in Newark, DE.  The total site is approximately 272 acres and is in early stages of development.  The main building fronting on RT-896 is part of the former Chrysler facility that has been repurposed, and is now home to the University of Delaware’s College of Health Science which offers a state-of-the-art-facility and cutting-edge technology to its students as well as an active patient facility operated by the University and third-party medical companies.  Coming out of the ground and near completion is a 10 story Star-shaped building that will be used by the University, partners and third-party tenants.  Bloom Energy was the first tenant for the project and maintains its facility on the campus along Route 4.  Construction is underway on a $50 million train station and track renovation project. Both Amtrak and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) are expected to increase service to the station, where both rail operators already offer semi-limited daily service.

In partnership with University of Delaware, The Chemours Discovery Hub will conduct cutting edge research focused on new process, product, and application development to better meet customer and market needs.  Construction on the new 312,000-square-foot facility, representing an investment of approximately $150 million, is expected to be completed by early 2020

The University has also announced its plans for construction of a six-story, $156 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building.

It will be a gateway, University officials hope, to a major role for Delaware in the emerging biopharmaceutical sector, where scientists and innovators will tackle some of the world’s most vexing diseases: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and cancer (to name a few) and help to train a world-class workforce.

We want to thank Mike Smith and the entire staff at the STAR campus for providing the tour and insights to our group. A full view of the master plan is published online at:

Presentation by PA Economic Development Staff

Another productive and informative event held by our PA/NJ/ DE CCIM Chapter.

Ted Martin, Regional Director of the Governor’s Action Team (GAT) and Ann Brennan, Project Manager for DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development) gave an eye-opening hour-long presentation about the resources that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania makes available to us in the form of tax incentives, grants and support staff for entrepreneurs and businesses.

Even if you don’t know the difference between a “Main Street” or an “Elm Street” Project, or if you’re looking for available grants from your community to upgrade your commercial building’s façade or you need an introduction to someone at PennDOT to discuss planned roadway requirements,  these folks can help, and their resources are available on the DCED web site:

Special thanks to Centric Bank for hosting, and to the event sponsors: BL Companies and Rock Commercial Real Estate.  Immediately following their presentation was a sponsored happy hour with hors d’oeuvres.

Special Thanks to our Annual Corporate Chapter Partners
1031 Corp.
1031 CORP
BL Companies
BL Companies
Brandywine Realty Trust
Brandywine Realty Trust
Capstan Tax Strategies
Capstan Tax Strategies
Centric Bank
Centric Bank
Certified Abstract
Certified Abstract Company
Rittenhouse Capital Advisors
Rittenhouse Capital Advisors
Stark & Stark
Stark & Stark Attorneys at Law
Title Resource Group
Title Resource Group
Univest Bank Corp.
Univest Bank and Trust Co.
Sponsorship Opportunities
Sponsorship Opportunities are Available!