Category Archives for "News"

Multi-family Homes for First Time CRE Investors

Real estate investing is the perfect complement to the equity and bond allocations of your financial portfolio because it provides a blend of diversification. Over the long term, the asset class is less volatile than the stock market, yet consistently achieves higher returns than bonds. (source:

If you have not yet taken advantage of this tool to create wealth for you and your family, the article (link below) is especially written for you. According to the article, Multi-family (apartments) investing has consistently outperformed almost every property sector, with vacancy rates falling and rents increasing.

A gateway asset means multi-family investing is a good fit for the first time investor. Furthermore, we have the benefit of living in a state that has two out of the top 10 multi-family markets based on current market performance and long term fundamentals (Raleigh, NC & Charlotte, NC). (source: 2021 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute)

Please call us at Christopher Commercial in Winston-Salem, NC if you would like to learn more about the benefits of Real Estate Investing….A Gateway to Financial Freedom! 336.442.9495

Cindy Christopher Triad Business Journal Top Deal Maker 2020

Congratulations to Cindy Christopher who was recognized for being a trailblazer for women in the commercial real estate industry. She was honored to be chosen as Triad Business Journal's top deal maker in the Retail Leases category at the Commercial Real Estate Awards.

Cindy was also delighted to be part of the Triad Business Journal's CRE awards panel discussion alongside Robbie Perkins and Brian Hall. Furnitureland Contract provided their beautiful showroom and did a fantastic job on production.

Here is an excellent excerpt on their discussion where Cindy Christopher provides insight into the downtown market and innovation quarter’s growth potential at the Triad Business Journal commercial real estate round table discussion. 

Perkins: As an outsider coming from Greensboro to Winston Salem, I find what has been accomplished in Winston-Salem’s downtown to be fantastic. Why has it happened and where do you see it going in the next five years?

Christopher: The driving force of that has been Innovation Quarter, which is a public private venture between the city, Wake Forest and Wexford, the developer, where they've taken these Reynolds tobacco warehouse buildings, and used tax credits and repurposed them. And so now you have down there office, you have life sciences, you have labs. But what's really been fun is the last couple of years is to see the retail and restaurant develop. So with Bailey Power Plant, the old power plant for RJ Reynolds tobacco, you have multiple restaurants, you have more office, and now Front Street Capital has now started bringing to market, in 2020, their new building, which is 75,000 square feet of offices. The Variable went there, and I just finished a restaurant deal, 600 Degrees, which will be on the ground floor, and it's actually going to open right at the end of the year. 

Perkins: Give us an idea about the magnitude of square footage and total investment in the Innovation Quarter.

Christopher: There's like 263 acres there, so they have different phases. They're in phase one, going into phase 2, and I think with Atrium, which they're completing that merger (with Wake Forest Baptist, you'll see more activity and more development coming. They're going to begin with an eye center, The Eye Institute,  starting a new building down there, and then hopefully you'll see more to follow. So that's going to be a real positive for Winston-Salem downtown but also Innovation Quarter.

Perkins: What the leadership did that was really wise is they had a long term plan, and they invested infrastructure dollars in putting in place that whole intersection at 52 and Business 40, and a lake there, and so that it creates a real amenity. But that didn't happen quickly. That plan has been in place for at least 10 or 15 years.

Christopher: It has. You'll start seeing more development go south of I-40. Now that they've completed 40, that's going to help hugely just with coming into town seeing the first phase to the north, and then starting to see these buildings, and they're going to try to recruit corporate headquarters going down to the south, but also you've seen a big growth in residential. I worked with Chris Harrison probably seven eight years ago to plan Plant 64, which was like 277 apartments and we did some commercial space with it. And it seemed like it was before its time, but since then, you've had Goler and now Clay Grubb (of Grubb Properties) is on his third residential project downtown. 

Perkins: Who's living in downtown? 

Christopher: You have students but also people like us deciding to maybe not have a larger home and have an apartment downtown. You have a lot of workers with the hospital, with Wake Forest, with Novant, that are living there. There's a big component of affordable housing. So, you have school teachers or other residents living there, so it's been exciting to see how many projects are going on. There's a new one under construction now, right off I-40 near the ballpark. And Clay Grubb is also doing his third, at what I call the old GMAC building, 500 West Fifth, where Don Flow has also consolidated his operations downtown. So you've really had a lot of synergy downtown, and then to see the restaurants, follow up, has been fun. 

Perkins: The city of Winston-Salem has executed a plan. This just didn't happen. This was a concerted effort by the community to reinvest in the downtown and make it an exciting place. It's great to see that it is paying off. Talk about office downtown. I know that with some of the corporate moves, there is a fair amount of office vacancy.

Christopher: Office has been struggling, and we have quite a bit of vacancy in downtown. However, over the last couple months, I have had more activity. I know of four law firms that are actively looking for space right now and some other deals. We're still trying to recruit new companies, new jobs, to Winston-Salem. I just had lunch with Mark Owens at the chamber and (Mayor) Allen Joines, the mayor, and Laura Lee, the new economic development person, and there's a trend to try to get companies (from larger cities) to come to our area where it's very livable. Also, some technology companies that are small, and then we can be competitive to have them hopefully to grow. So I think it's going to get better. 

For the entire article click here.

Greensboro & Winston-Salem Ranked #1 Place for New Business

Greensboro/High Point  & Winston-Salem have been nominated as two the best places to start a business in the country. Winston-Salem came in at #4 while Greensboro/High Point wins the field at #1.

Congratulations to the Triad! 

Let Christopher Commercial help you start that business by handling your real estate needs.

To read the full article click here.

1031 Tax Exchange in Estate Planning

The Brilliance of 1031 in Estate Planning

We often talk about the immediate benefits of a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange. 1031 is a great way to preserve equity, reposition assets and defer substantial amounts in taxes.  What many do not realize is that 1031 Exchanges are a great estate planning tool.

Think about this. If you sold an investment property outright, between federal and state capital gains tax, depreciation recapture, and the possible 3.8% net investment income tax due, you may pay approximately 25-40% of your profits to the government that tax year.  That payout would result in you having just the remaining funds left over to deposit into your savings account to be eventually passed on to your heirs.  

Alternatively, with your sale structured as a 1031 Exchange, you would sell the property and use all of your profits to purchase new investment property.  By using all proceeds to purchase replacement property of at least equal value to the property you sold, you defer 100% of the capital gains tax and other taxes otherwise due.  That means you keep all of your equity working for you. And in fact the income generated would most likely be higher than any savings account earnings.

1031 BENEFIT: Heirs Receiving Stepped-Up Basis

If you are holding investment property that had been part of a 1031 Exchange, upon your death, your heirs get the Stepped-Up Basis.  All of the built in gain disappears upon the taxpayer’s death.   What that means is the value of the property at the date of your death would pass through your estate to your heirs.   If they decide to sell the property for that same appraised value, there would be NO capital gains tax due to be paid by your heir, as opposed to the 25% to 40% cash you would have had to otherwise pay the government if you sold outright, rather than exchanging.  What better way to help the future of your heirs?

Here’s an example:  You own an apartment building for many years. You are making estate plans and strategizing how to leave this one property to your three children in your estate. Rather than hold the one building you know your children do not want to own or manage, you decide to sell it for $1,800,000 as part of a 1031 Exchange.   

Presumably you would consult with each of your children in the selection and acquire three separate replacement properties, each worth $600,000, to benefit from the 100% tax deferral.  

Working with your legal counsel, each property could be placed into its own revocable living trust with one of the children being named as the beneficiary of the trust. When you pass away, the properties will automatically transfer to the named beneficiary, free of taxes and with a stepped up basis equal to the value of the property at the time of death.

1031 BENEFIT: Pulling Out Equity Later  

By participating in a 1031 Exchange, you could have continued income from the new rental property. And you have the option later on to potentially pull equity out if you need funds for something else, such as supplemental living, improvements to be made or even paying for college tuition.

Here’s an example:  You bought a rental property a few years back for $400,000 and now you are able to sell the property for $600,000. That is a potential gain of 200,000. That amount, minus any improvements made and closing costs, would be taxable at the capital gains rates.   Paying $50-$80K in taxes now just to put the remaining funds in a low interest savings account may not be the best use of your equity. 

Christopher Commercial can help you analyze your existing real estate investments to determine how you can benefit from this strategy.  Call us today to schedule a complimentary portfolio review.


Unbox the Dress Leases Downtown Space on Fourth Street

Tabitha Tisdale of Christopher Commercial recently leased space to, Unbox The Dress LLC, a woman owned business relocating from Ohio to Winston-Salem. This creative service takes one's existing wedding dress and refabricates it into heirloom pieces for the daughter, granddaughter and family, including robes, christening dresses and home decor.

Since starting in 2017, the company has grown exponentially in the last 3 years, delivering over 2.4K heirlooms to 900 families across the country in the last year alone.  The owner and founder, Grace Rojek, envisions a positive, creative environment for their team at the new downtown headquarters at 632 W. 4th Street - enabling the company to reach more clients and grow!

Prior to relocating to Winston-Salem, Grace worked with Winston Starts and received a NC Idea Grant to move to Winston-Salem.  What a great success story for a woman owned business bringing new jobs to Downtown Winston-Salem.  Tabitha was excited to find the perfect space for Grace and her mother & Co-founder Lorraine Stewart , at Unbox the Dress. Check out what you can do with your wedding dress via their website here.

Link Apartments Innovation Quarter Welcomes New Tenants

Christopher Commercial is excited to have worked with Grubb Properties at Link Innovation Quarter Apartments on leasing their three retail spaces on Fifth Street to The Butcher’s Block, DeBeen Espresso, and Cycle Your City. They will open late summer to fall.

The Butcher’s Block currently has a location in Lexington which Eric Everhart opened in 2017 after 28 years in the retail grocery industry. His goal is to provide customers with the highest quality meat and seafood products at an affordable price. They have become widely popular with customers driving from surrounding areas.

DeBeen Espresso will be opening their second location with their first being High Point’s most established coffee shop. They will serve coffee, fresh vegan baked goods, gelato, and more. The shop will feature local art and possibly yoga.

Cycle Your City is an authorized Giant and Liv retailer that offers professional service, assembly, instruction, and repairs. With the growing bike culture in Downtown Winston-Salem they will definitely be a wonderful resource for residents.

For more details please click here for the Press Release from Grubb Properties.

Mayberry Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe opens in Downtown Winston-Salem

Christopher Commercial is excited to welcome Mayberry Ice Cream & Sandwich Shoppe to their downtown location in Winston-Salem at 216 West Fourth Street at the corner of Cherry Street. It is their fourth location, and could not be a better time to serve ice cream as the summer heats up! 

The restaurant offers a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and ice cream treats and is now open for lunch and dinner daily.

Lou Baldwin with Baldwin Properties represented the Tenant and Cindy Christopher with Christopher Commercial represented the Landlord. 

Click here for the full article.

Cindy Christopher recognized in Insight Magazine

Cindy Christopher is honored to be among a fine group of women recognized for their work in Commercial Real Estate in the May issue of Insight Magazine. 

Our "hometown girl" Cindy enjoyed sharing the story of her 30+ years in the business and what it is like to be a woman in this field. 

To read the full article click here

Christopher Commercial assists in Strickland Oil Portfolio Sale

Christopher Commercial is excited to have represented Strickland Brothers 10-Minute Oil Change in the sale of their existing portfolio which consisted of 11 stores in 4 states. The sale was to raise capital for a major expansion throughout the Southeast and to launch a franchise program throughout the country. 

The owner, Justin Strickland, is passionate about his business and growing it exponentially. They provide fast and friendly oil change & maintenance services. Currently they are building a flagship store at 6061 University Parkway in Winston Salem, which will be the start of many more to come.  We are still looking for good corner locations at a signalized intersection with great visibility and high traffic counts. 

Stay tuned to watch Strickland Oil grow and see new stores popping up everywhere. To learn more about Strickland Brothers visit them here

Christopher Commercial would be honored to assist you with your investment sales as well. Please contact us if we can help find income properties or help you sell an income property.