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Trouble Ahead?

Financing issues in the commercial building space

The Wall Street Journal had a sobering report on the commercial building space, saying that the boom that fueled a ton of its growth is now coming to a very bumpy landing. Basically, these landlords were dealing in “interest only” loans and kicking the can down the road. Now, because of the myriad of issues in the finance space, this bill has come very due and it’s left two options for those affected—sell or default. And selling is not exactly appetizing or easy.

The entire article is on their website, but my point in bringing this up is in every presentation I give, I talk about the volatility of the banks and financial markets and this article gives the background on why. There is no doubt that the area where we like to do so much work—in the commercial building—is probably not the healthiest. By the way, the dollar amount of commercial mortgages in this mess is almost 1.5 trillion. That is “trillion” with a T. Wow. Never a dull moment eh?


Commercial drops, says Dodge Momentum Index

More evidence of that challenge in the commercial space? The latest Dodge Momentum Index was battered and the blame fell on the commercial structures along with the hotel side. Now, I have been bullish on the recreation (lodging) area and I am not alone (past podcast guest Nick St. Denis noted that, too) so I think that will find its footing, but the concern elsewhere is real and should continue to impress on upon you to be diverse in your approaches. 

Strong attendance at AIA points to busy events ahead

OK on to some better news … from all indications, attendance at the AIA show this past week was positive. I know that the NGA’s annual Blueprint for Collaboration event was a huge hit, and I heard from others that traffic was solid.

Shows are most decidedly “back,” which has me absolutely geeked out for GlassBuild this fall. Nothing better than getting everyone together and pulling our industry forward with the best exhibits, education and networking!

The latest on Bird-friendly glazing

Before GlassBuild though, we do have the NGA Glass Conference: Tacoma and one of the lead subjects is bird-friendly glazing. The NGA Super Hero tech team will be running down the latest there which has a few interesting twists and turns still to play. So, don’t get left behind on the latest. Learn more and register today.

Three big anniversaries in our space

  • First, to Brian and Gloria Hale and their company, Hale Glass, hitting the 45 year mark! That is awesome. Brian and Gloria are great people and huge supporters and ambassadors to the industry. Also Brian has one of the best senses of humor in our space which is always appreciated. Great company and thrilled that they are rolling along.
  • Next is Kenpat, marking 20 years, which I saw online thanks to my good pal Frank D’Aprile. Kenpat started as framing, acoustical and drywall and now has grown dramatically and has their very competent fingers into a bunch of items. Congrats to everyone there!
  • And last but certainly not least, SPIL Software celebrated its 14th year in business. Lakshman “Lax” Kalupathirana is one of the nicest people around and he and his team have built an incredible fabricated glass software platform being utilized worldwide. They represent our space well and I love that they continue to innovate and evolve to help companies become more efficient. Congrats to Lax and team! 

In praise of the Houston Airport

Last this week… two items from the airport in Houston. First, I am on a streak of always always, always picking the wrong lane in TSA Security (and super markets, toll booths, etc.) It is incredible the run I am on, no matter what lane I choose, it inevitably goes a lot slower than the others. If you are with me at any lane-choosing scenario, pick the opposite.

Second, kudos to the Houston Bush Airport. Have not been there in years and it’s a solid place led by the fact that it easily has the best food options of any airport going right now. They have a Blaze Pizza (which is amazingly clutch) along with Chick-fil-A, Jack in the Box, Wich Wich, and many (healthier) others. Just a huge range of options that work. Note: I may be jaded because a few of the recent airports I have been in and out of have really been weak food option wise… so this was nice!


Read on for links of the week...


Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. Contact him at