Stepping Back

April 5th, 2021

To our Customers and Dear Friends,

It has been an honor to fulfill your commercial real estate needs over the past twenty-three years.  Many of you began your real estate journey with me at York Properties, then followed me to Keller Williams Commercial, for which I am most grateful.  I wanted to share that In May of this year, I will be stepping away from day-to-day brokerage activities to focus on non-profit work and management of family properties, two things I enjoy immensely.

There is a strong chance you have already met Anna Acerra, who has worked by my side for the past six years.  Anna learned the business from the ground up, possessing the rare skill set to handle all facets of Commercial Brokerage. She is the hardest working person I know and is directly responsible for helping me build a successful business.  It is my hope you will work with Anna for your future real estate needs.  In my opinion, no one has earned the opportunity more and she will ensure the transition is seamless.  Please be on the lookout for a communication from Anna in the near future.

I wish you continued good health and prosperity in the time to come. Thank you for your loyalty and friendship, which I will always cherish.


Amy Bush.

COVID-19 Update

February 2nd, 2021

As we approach the anniversary of the pandemic, we hope that you are staying safe and healthy.
Here is a copy of an email that we sent to our clients last spring as you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Dear Valued Clients and Friends,

In these challenging times, when events we could not have even imagined a couple of weeks ago are happening on a daily basis, it is difficult to fully understand the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Commercial Real Estate. My 20+ years of experience has witnessed that, in time, there is no better investment. We will come back (strong) from this crisis.

However, the short-term effects are being felt and they are dramatic. Many activities have come to a grinding halt. The hospitality, retail, restaurant, and travel industries have been particularly hard hit – and may not survive without extensive government help.

But help is in the pipeline and furthermore, the Triangle area is well diversified: we have a very strong economic base, our Universities and research institutions (like biotechnology!) are in great demand, and the quality of life is unmatched bringing in scores of new residents each day.

Due to the uncertainty, overall real estate transactions will slow and not fully rebound until after the virus is contained. But there is good news, we are still receiving inquiries for available property from prospective tenants and buyers everyday.

Amy Bush Commercial is here to help you navigate through these uncertain times. Please reach out to our team with any questions or concerns. It has been a privilege to serve you and look forward to our continued success.

Warmest regards,

Amy Bush
Anna Acerra

Its been Raining all week

June 17th, 2020

We all know someone like Eeyore.  In fact, we know people that fit into the personalities of all of AA Milne’s characters.  Pooh is “a bear of very little brain”, Piglet is scared of almost everything, Owl is wise, Tiger is full of joy, and of course Eeyore is the epitome of depressiveness.

But the beauty of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and something that children pick up much more readily that adults, is that the animals often surprise the reader with actions and works quite different from their caricature.  Pooh clever, Piglet brave, Owl pompous, Tiger sad.  In fact, Eeyore is perhaps the most content creature in The Hundred Acre Woods.

My favorite Eeyore story is of his birthday, when everything goes “wrong” and all he is left with is a burst balloon and an empty jar.  His friends were trying to console him, “But Eeyore wasn’t listening. He was taking the balloon out, and putting it back again, as happy as could be . . .”

The rain this week has added another layer to our spring malaise.  In times like these, I suggest that we channel Eeyore, the disinterested realist, and make the best of our circumstances.   We can all use role models like Eeyore sometimes!

Opportunity Zones

February 20th, 2020

Raleigh Area Census Tract Opportunity Zones

The definition of Opportunity Zones from the IRS: “Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These zones are designed to spur economic development and job creation in distressed communities throughout the country and U.S. possessions by providing tax benefits to investors who invest eligible capital into these communities.”

I am sure this definition is exciting to tax attorneys and wealth management advisers.   But to me, I think of Opportunity Zones as equal parts civic leadership and strategic imagination.   Developers need have a vision of what ‘could be’ in their community and invest a considerable amount of their capital — long before any potential tax benefits are reaped.

We are excited that our first Opportunity Zone based deal closed this month: The Distillery at Rand Mill !

According to the developer, Cary based CityPlat,  the tenants will be local wedding planning veteran Chad Biggs with an 8,300-square-foot event hall dubbed The Distillery, Old North Distillery, and a startup led by N.C. State graduates.  This will be an awesome addition to Downtown Garner.

Commercial Real Estate deals are often “processes”, but as one can imagine regarding Opportunity Zone projects, the sale at Rand Mill took a lot of relationship building, thoughtful negotiation, and great patience.  Fortunately,  Sonya Wagner worked the deal and we at Amy Bush Commercial are very proud of her.

Here is a ‘before’ photo and an ‘after’ concept drawing:








Thanks again to Sonya and congratulations to everyone involved in the deal.  We are looking forward to more opportunities like this as well as frequent visits to Downtown Garner.

The power of showing up

January 20th, 2020


Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George” is based on this Seurat painting

At Amy Bush Commercial, we strive to meet and try to exceed the expectations of our clients.   We negotiate Real Estate deals between passionate Buyer and Sellers, as well as spirited Landlords and Tenants — there is always a lot of energy in the room.   Yet, we have successfully closed well over a hundred transactions a year, year after year.  What is the secret to our success, what is our magic?    Well, there is no secret, there is no magic;  it is the power of showing up and doing the hard work.

  • Some of the time, we are rewarded with high compliments.
  • Seldom, but it happens,  the feedback isn’t too complimentary.
  • Much of the time no one notices, but that is okay, a good job is its own reward.
  • But in each and every time, we showed up and did the work.

Our Commercial Real Estate business reminds me of one of the most prolific talents in musical theater, Stephen Sondheim.  He has produced an amazing body of work in a very demanding industry year after year.  Fortunately for us, Amy Bush Commercial does not have to deal with Broadway critics!

There was a Stephen Sondheim interview many years ago.  When the interviewer asked him how he came up with all those clever words and rhymes and puns in his music.  Without missing a beat, Sondheim said that he used a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary.  The interviewer was shocked and implied that was cheating.  Sondheim responded, “Not at all, there’s no adherent genius – it’s just hard work.”

If you would like us to show and and do the hard work, we would be honored to assist you with your Commercial Real Estate needs.

If it make you happy, part 2

November 30th, 2019

A couple of blog posts ago, I wrote about academic studies that concluded that spending money for an experiences (as opposed to conspicuous consumption on “things”) can provide sustainable happiness.   This Thanksgiving week, I did my own study and have concluded that family and friends and traditional holiday food and especially dogs and “turkey trots” make me happy.

We at Amy Bush Commercial wish that you had a very happy Thanksgiving, too.

Grand Opening

October 3rd, 2019

Dr. George Ghneim and friend

Of course I am writing a blog about Wegmans.  Search engine algorithms will systematically archive any Triangle based website that doesn’t include page devoted to Wegmans this week.  So is my thought after the obligatory visit to the grand opening of the mega-grocery store: wow!

What all the newcomers to the area (and there were 30,000 of them on opening day) might not know is that the Wake Forest Road Wegmans is built on a former industrial brownfield site. Toxic chemicals, contaminated soil, polluted streams; this site had it all. It took quite the hard work and imagination of Triangle developers to unlock the potential of this property.

The developers were able to return the land to productive use and eliminate of the drawbacks of unoccupied or under-utilized property.  This takes advantage of existing transportation infrastructure, increases tax revenue, and provides opportunities for additional commercial, office, and retail space for the area.  This is “smart growth” – use of land in an already developed area, which avoids unnecessary urban sprawl. And like any development, there is the creation of construction jobs as part of the redevelopment process and permanent jobs after redevelopment is complete.

While Amy Bush Commercial did not have any involvement in the Wegmans development, we did play a part in another redevelopment that makes us very proud.

South Saunders Street in Raleigh, just south of downtown, has been known as the longtime destination for auto repair body shops, a motorcycle dealership, and Earps Seafood Market.  But like Wake Forest Road, this area has quite a bit of under-utilized property and is now seeing exciting new redevelopment.

A few years ago, we meet Dr. George Ghneim and were able to help him find a property he could redevelop to expand his Oak Heart Veterinary Hospitals.   His newest location is now open on South Saunders Street!

Dr. George Ghneim has brought his “passionate veterinary care” to the pet lovers in the downtown Raleigh neighborhood.  This Saturday, October 5th is the grand opening “Barktoberfest”.  We are excited to be there and celebrate.  Hope to see you there (and at Wegmans, too).

If it makes you happy

August 1st, 2019

Go ahead and buy the latte!

One major academic finding reported that spending money for an experience – concert tickets, exotic travel, cocktail bitters classes – produces longer lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.  But even the authors of  that academic study acknowledge that “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping”.

For years, financial writers have been scolding us on the dangers of discretionary spending, particularly that $5 latte a day habit.   Refreshingly, I read a Bloomberg article earlier this year where the writer, Barry Ritholtz, tells us why “A Latte a Day Isn’t Going to Ruin Your Retirement”.  His personal blog post is a little more blunt, “Buy Yourself a F*^king Latte“.

At Amy Bush Commercial, our clients all have goals of financial success.  I have found that the entrepreneurs, professionals, and investors that I have the pleasure to work with on a daily basis are wisely managing their portfolios, building capital, and saving for their retirement and posterity.   I don’t recommend conspicuous consumption, but my unsolicited advice today is (borrowing from Sheryl Crow) If it makes you happy; It can’t be that bad.

So if I see you Sola Coffee Cafe or the Apple Store, be sure to wave and say hi.

Is it summer yet?

June 20th, 2019

Is it summer (feels that way) or is it still spring (technical definition)?

The 2019 Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 11:54am EDT on Friday, June 21st.
This is the first day of summer and marks the longest day of the year

For some folks, summer begins on the Memorial Day Weekend.  For others, it officially isn’t summer until the Fourth of July.  But the real mark of summer is when baseball takes center stage on the sports calendar.

The Durham Bulls have a day baseball game at 1pm on Tuesday June 25th at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  It will be hot and humid, but the hot dogs will be tasty and the beer will be cold.  School is out for the students and most everyone else there will be playing hooky from work.  [editors note] Amy Bush Commercial probably won’t be making it out to the ball park for the day game, but we did enjoy a game last weekend where the Durham Bulls set an attendance record.

Regardless of how you measure the season, we wish you the best summer ever.

Adapting to Change

June 16th, 2019

The only thing that is constant is change

The statue quo is comforting.  Change can be difficult.

Our front yard had three large red oak trees. In the fall, the one on the left fell after the rain and wind of Hurricane Florence. We had an arborist take a look at the situation and inspect the remaining two trees.  His opinion was that these trees were all in very good shape and had been there for 60-80 years – the fallen tree was an anomaly.

During one of our heavy spring rains, the one on the right fell.  Anomaly indeed.
So we are adapting to change and proactively taking down the remaining tree in the middle.

When conditions change, the status quo is no longer appropriate.  And The Times They Are a-Changin’.

This is a lesson in Commercial Real Estate, too.  We all see this quite strongly in the brick and mortar retail sector.  Big boxes were once new and disruptive; now in many places, they are out of fashion.  Co-working is disrupting traditional office space.  Of course it is not just real estate – major disruptions are occurring in the transportation, television, and grocery businesses.  Income inequality is growing, our population is aging, and, of course, The Robots are Coming.

At Amy Bush Commercial, we might not know where all of this change is going, but we are in touch with the Triangle Commercial Real Estate market every day.  We talk with bankers, appraisers, landlords, tenants, investors, developers, and other clients.  We identify what is selling, what is leasing, where the action exists and where it does not.  We know the ever changing market and would be pleased assist you with your Commercial Real Estate needs.