Zoom Meeting February 5, 2021
The link for the meeting is below and will also be sent out on Thursday as a reminder.
WHEN DOES THE MEETING START?  Here is the schedule:
  • At 12:00 pm the Zoom room will be available for our "breakout room/virtual tables" to have a conversation with other members.  President Julie will draw us all back into the main meeting room at 12:28 pm
  • At 12:30 pm the meeting will be called to order
  • At approximately 12:55 p.m. we will introduce our speaker
  • Speaker will start at approximately 1:00 p.m.
  • Meeting concludes at 1:30 p.m.
SPEAKER:   David Shiflett
TOPIC:  "Renewable Energy in Michigan"
FOLLOW UP:  Please keep your microphone muted when you are listening.  Be aware of the lighting in your room, a well lit room with natural light if possible.  Please feel free to use Chat throughout the meeting.  If you have any questions for the speakers, ask them through Chat.
Zoom Meeting Link 
Below is the meeting link and dial in phone number for our Friday Rotary Club of Lansing Meetings on Zoom.  You will find the SAME link each week in the Rotogram so you will not have to look for a new weekly link. Thank you!
Topic: Rotary Club of Lansing Meeting
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 899 2218 2374
Passcode: 016004
One tap mobile
+16468769923,,89922182374#,,,,,,0#,,016004# US (New York)
Time: Noon, Friday, January 29, 2021
International Grants
The Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation Board of Directors approved a total of $35000 to fund 9 International Grants at the January 14, 2021 meeting. The projects funded are:                                                                    
  • Our Biswas - Women's Health -India - $3500
  •  Health Care Clinic - Rural access to health care Dominican Republic - $4500
  • Global Dental Relief - Children's oral care and education Guatemala - $2500
  • Integrate Health - Rural Health transport Togo - $5000
  • Health/Sanitation Project - outdoor latrines Dominican Republic - $5000
  • Rescue South Sudan - school furnishings/books South Sudan - $3500
  • Guatemala Literacy - teacher training/books/computers Guatemala - $5000
  • Smokeless Stoves - Guatemala - $2000
  • Solar Circle - solar panels for a school in Tanzania - $4000
Thanks to Curt Sonnenberg, chair, and his committee for their thoughtful and thorough review of the grant proposal and to the Rotarians from our club and neighboring clubs who serve as champions for these projects.
Donna Gardner, President of the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation
Editarian Report for January 22, 2021
At 12:30 pm we were plucked from our virtual lunch tables by President Julie Pingston to begin our weekly meeting. President Julie reluctantly turned the program over to Kevin Schumacher for our invocation. Kevin’s invocation was a meditative presentation to help us all reset and center ourselves very relaxing, my biggest worry was the club would be lulled into a carb overload induced slumber. My concerns were for naught as the club’s participation and questions later for our speaker were numerous and on point to the speaker’s presentation. We must be eating better in our new captive environment more protein, salads, and energy packed consumption choices.
President Julie moved to our patriotic song “America the Beautiful” performed by a Disney cast ensemble the Voices of Liberty. With the compliments in the chat room and with a quick online check on the Yahoo Finance, it looked like Disney stock went up 1% in a matter of moments. Next was introduction of guests, with our newish virtual format the number of guests was impressive with many joining us more that once and with some former Rotarians reengaging with the club. This can only be credited to word traveling that Kevin Schumacher would be presenting an inspiring and life changing invocation.
Diane Sanborn reported that Rebecca Bahar-Cook was recovering well from knee replacement, so well in fact she was in attendance for the meeting. All other health matters for the club was in good order. President Julie thanked the club members that represent Sparrow Health System for all of the workers there administering the COVID vaccines.
After a recent break we moved to a new member presentation, while we can’t have these in person it was nice to welcome our new member Sara Shepard with her husband Don Shepard joining us as one of our guests. Sara has spent her career in real estate, currently as a real estate agent, but having spent time as a mortgage officer, title agent as well as being a buyer and seller. Welcome Sara, we all look forward to meeting you face to face some day or at least face guard to face guard.
Next on the day was special music, a dance piece performed by Chorographer Sadeck called “Murmuration. Anyone interested in this interesting and impressive performance can google it or look them up on Facebook. President Julie announced that due to COVID our special music portion of our meetings may be missing from time to time due to our new meeting format, but we will replace it with a different form or entertainment when we are able.
Our President moved to the program for the day with thanks to Melody Warzecha our chair of the month and passed the program to Todd Gute our chair of the day. Todd introduced today’s speaker David Mielnicki former of CBRE and beginning a new phase of his career at the People’s Company as an appraisal supervisor. Mr. Mielnicki started by commenting that commercial real estate is a resilient industry and is fairing well so far dealing with the effects of COVID on our economy. He likened the effects to this point as similar to the 2008 financial and banking crisis felt throughout the globe.
Mr. Mielnicki broke down his presentation on commercial real estate into four areas, multi-family, industrial, retail and office focusing on the Lansing and East Lansing market. With respect to multi-family and apartments, we enjoy the advantage of having the Michigan State University campus and the student influx each year to insulating our market compared to other similar markets around the country without a university close by to bring students into the market. The Industrial segment is currently able to sustain itself due to the essential workforce with needed production of products for the COVID fight. Retail is struggling in some cases with the decline in large mall retail locations, however Mr. Mielnicki pointed out that these owners are beginning to find alternative uses for this space and the land still has significant value due to the scope and location of these buildings. However, grocery and personal service establishments remain strong as we must travel to these locations for their products and services. On the other hand, local restaurants and family owned single purpose establishments are struggling with the effects of COVID and the restrictions imposed on their operations.
Office or more broadly business locations including hospitality and banking are a somewhat of a mish mash in this environment. Office tenants are seeing concessions on improvements and rent holidays from landlords as the COVID crisis continues to disrupt our world. Businesses are anticipating an easing in certain on sight requirements and the ability to be able to meet face to face with customers and clients. Hospitality will have the challenge of dealing with continuing travel bans and the fear of occupying their facilities even after the current crisis wanes. Banks both main street and larger institutions are currently propped up by stimulus programs and governmental incentives.
Mr. Mielnicki concluded his presentation in summarizing that the key to commercial real estate’s current state is based in the foundations such as location, continued low inflation and the level of employment as has always been the case for this market segment. So, in this scribe’s summary, location, location, location and employment, employment and employment are as relevant as ever.
After questions submitted via the chat feature in Zoom, President Julie brought the meeting to a close and reminded us we will all reconvene next Friday at our same virtual place and time.
Tim Adam's email is:
Thank you to our speaker David Mielnicki who was gracious in answering questions that were not addressed during the presentation due to time constraints.
From Chris Chamberlain:
It seems people were leaving the cities due to COVID closures do you see that trend reversing post COVID?
HI Chris. There was a lot of speculation that folks would permanently leave large cities due to health concerns of congested/densely populated areas. We have seen this issue arise in Asia over the last couple of decades, yet folks still occupy these areas on a global scale. In Detroit, for example, the alternative to leave the city, and the elasticity to leave the city, is high (in other words there are many options nearby in lesser populated areas and the ability to transit into and out of the city is evident). In other cities throughout the world, this might not be the case; so the population is left to face the health risks such as a COVID pandemic. For example, traveling into and out of the downtown New York area or Manhattan is a bit of a chore and thus reduces elasticity of living outside the city. Time will tell if the current and any future pandemics will leave an indelible mark on population trends in urban cores. I suspect it will have some effect, but not quite as bad of an effect as most may think. Certainly with the vaccine administration becoming in more full effect and the younger population reportedly being at less risk; these two things might help reduce the potential for a downtown population drain.
From Patrick Hanes:
The owner of Meridian Mall recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Lansing Mall, if not in bankruptcy is a shadow of prior self. Do you see either mall being in operation in 2 years?
HI Pat. Unfortunately the operational strength of these malls has been eroded/decaying for several decades as technology and logistics has provided a very viable alternative to in-person shopping. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been to a mall in the last 5 years. Some malls across the nation have been able to weather the storm better and or strive in this environment as they provide a lifestyle/dining/shopping environment that fits some demographics. Other malls haven't been so lucky. The good part about these malls is that they are often located in densely developed areas and an alternative use for these malls could suit the local population well. Examples would be a logistics hub, senior living, etc. This will likely take some retrofit and/or demolition of existing improvements. In short, I do believe in the near term, we will drive by the former malls and be able to say "such and such mall used to be here". Yet real estate is constantly changing and the outcome could be good for a community as another use might arise and take its place.
From Mark Hooper:
Have you changed the weighting you might place on discounted cash flows given the fact that many aspects of coming out of Covid are so volatile. If so, what do you weight more heavily in valuing commercial property? 
HI Mark- In the instance of multi-tenant office property we have certainly changed our outlook. We can press many levers when it comes to this. In terms of discounted cash flows we look at the additional costs and concessions landlords will likely incur to maintain occupancy/tenancy as the landscape becomes more and more competitive. We look at the durability of income, potential for lack of future rent growth, as well as risk of future cash flows (discount rates) and overall perceived risk in the investment (capitalization rate). I believe the market fundamentals specifically for multi-tenant office are on the front end, such as length of time to achieve leasing, length of time to achieve lease up, hitting your target rental rate for vacant space, and enticing a future tenant with slightly higher TI allowance, etc. With the rollout of the vaccine and the stimulus money in place I'm hopeful that landlords have been provided with some dry powder to weather COVID.
From Rebecca Bahar-Cook:
Should small businesses who have been closed but maintaining rent payments be asking for a lower monthly rate since we are not adding any wear and tear to the property while we work from home?
HI Rebecca- I would certainly reach out to your local commercial sales agent or realtor and ensure that if you are paying rent that your rental rate is at or near market levels. At the very least, if your lease is nearing expiration and you anticipate renewing your lease, you can ask the landlord to freshen up the space, provide some free rent (rent concessions in the form of a few months free) and or a lower rental rate. Especially if the business is enduring a hardship. The alternative is that you vacate the space, which the landlord likely does not want. I would certainly open up the negotiations with the landlord early to get a temperature of what they are willing to do for you.
Feb 05, 2021
"Renewable Energy in Michigan"
Feb 12, 2021
"Big Astronomy: A Project Showcasing Careers in Astronomy and Observatories in Chile"
Feb 19, 2021
"Diversity Equity Inclusion"
Feb 26, 2021
"Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: What does the U.S. Have to Learn from the Rest of the World"
View entire list
Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156
Meeting Responsibilities
January Birthday Chair
Hamilton-Allen, Vicki
Sanborn, Diane
Chair of the Month
Warzecha, Melody
Chair of the Day
Warzecha, Melody
Duimstra, Scott