Frank Crivello of Milwaukee’s Phoenix Investors on understanding different commercial real estate classes | Local News | Ezine Daddy

Private real estate can be roughly divided into two types: residential and commercial. Although headlines often lump commercial real estate under a single headline, the commercial real estate industry spans multiple sub-sectors. Read on to learn more about the property types that fall under the commercial real estate umbrella.

office properties

  • Class A. Class A office properties are typically in prime locations and are considered the best of the best.
  • Class B. Many Class B buildings were formerly Class A buildings, but time has taken its toll. Class B office locations generally offer favorable locations, good function and aesthetics, and medium rents.
  • Class C. While Class A and Class B buildings typically appeal to larger businesses, Class C buildings offer affordable, no-frills office space for small businesses and start-ups that need a place to set up and work.

apartment building

  • Apartment structures typically have a single owner or property management company that leases units to tenants.
  • In a condominium, each occupant owns their individual unit and shares ownership and responsibility for common areas.
  • Townhomes function similarly to condos, except that each unit resembles a multi-story home rather than an apartment.
  • Other types of multi-family dwellings include houses or small buildings that are divided into multiple rental units, such as B. Duplex or Fourplex apartments.

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retail properties

  • Shopping centers. Shopping malls often span hundreds of thousands of square feet, accommodating dozens of stores under a single roof.
  • Big box. Big box retailers are huge stores that often take up almost as much space as a small mall.
  • Shopping centers. Usually anchored by a large national retailer – think Best Buy or Dick’s Sporting Goods, for example – malls often have a mix of national and local brands.
  • Shopping centers. A mall is a chain of small, interconnected retail spaces along a busy local road.
  • standalone. These smaller, free-standing buildings house a single retail store or restaurant.

Travel/Hospitality Properties

  • hotels and motels. Hotels and motels rely on tourism and business travel for their success. The success of these properties depends heavily on the economy.
  • restaurants. Restaurants are on the border between retail and hospitality real estate. Similar to hotels, restaurants can suffer when the economy takes a downturn, which can make this a riskier investment.

Agriculture, Special Purpose and Mixed Use

  • Agricultural real estate can be considered residential or commercial depending on the specifics of the operation and the zoning of the land.
  • Specialty properties can house amusement parks, cemeteries, museums, hospitals, sports clubs, and numerous other types of businesses that don’t exactly fit into any of the other categories.
  • mixed use. Mixed-use real estate often serves more than one commercial real estate sub-sector. For example, an apartment building with an attached resort or shopping center would be considered mixed use.


  • Logistics. Warehouses and distribution centers make up a significant demand in the industrial real estate sector. Warehouses primarily store goods or raw materials for production, while distribution centers fulfill orders to consumers or other businesses. As a subset of logistics real estate, cold stores provide important storage for temperature-controlled products.
  • manufacturing. Manufacturers range in size from small workshops to large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Manufacturers occupy industrial sites because they tend to generate noise and may have high levels of traffic.
  • flex room. In these buildings, industrial companies can adapt the number of office spaces within the structure to their needs.

About Phoenix Investors

Founded in 1994 by Frank Crivello, Milwaukee-based Phoenix Investors and its affiliates (collectively, “Phoenix”) are a leader in the acquisition, development, renovation and repositioning of industrial assets in the United States.

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