grif_Current Folio_10K-A

Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K/A

Amendment No. 1

 

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended November 30, 2018

 

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

Commission file number 1-12879

GRIFFIN INDUSTRIAL REALTY, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)

06-0868496
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

 

 

641 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York
(Address of principal executive offices)

10022 (Zip Code)

 

(212) 218-7910

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 (b) OF THE ACT:

 

 

Title of Each Class

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock $0.01 par value per share

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12 (g) OF THE ACT: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined by Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐  No ☒

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐  No ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒  No ☐

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer ☐

 

Accelerated filer ☒

 

Non-accelerated filer ☐

 

Smaller reporting company ☒

Emerging growth company ☐

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐  No ☒

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $111,373,000 based on the closing sales price on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on May 31, 2018, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer, director and persons or entities known to the registrant to be affiliates of the foregoing have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates. This assumption regarding affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

As of January 31, 2019,  5,065,173 shares of common stock were outstanding.

 

 

 


 

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

Griffin Industrial Realty, Inc. ("Griffin") filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended November 30, 2018 (the "Original Filing") with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on February 12, 2019.  Griffin is filing this amendment (this “Amendment”) to the Original Filing due to an inadvertent omission of the auditor’s tenure in the Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm appearing in Item 8 of the Original Filing (the “Audit Report”). Accordingly, this Amendment amends the Original Filing to include the auditor’s tenure in the Audit Report.

In addition, pursuant to the rules of the SEC, the exhibit list included in Item 15 of Part IV of the Original Filing has been amended to reference new certifications from Griffin’s principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as required by Sections 302 and 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The new certifications of Griffin’s principal executive officer and principal financial officer are attached as exhibits to this Amendment. The exhibit list has also been amended to reference a new consent of the independent registered public accounting firm attached as Exhibit 23.1.

Except as described above, this Amendment does not amend or update any other information contained in the Original Filing. This Amendment is presented as of the filing date of the Original Filing and does not reflect events occurring after that date. Griffin has included a complete copy of the Original Filing, as amended per above, in this filing.

 

FORWARD‑LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10‑K (the “Annual Report”) contains forward‑looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). For this purpose, any statements contained in this Annual Report that relate to future events or conditions, including without limitation, the statements in Part I, Item 1. “Business” and Item 1A. “Risk Factors” and in Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” as well as located elsewhere in this Annual Report regarding industry prospects or Griffin Industrial Realty, Inc.’s (“Griffin”) plans, expectations, or prospective results of operations or financial position, may be deemed to be forward‑looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward‑looking statements. Such forward‑looking statements represent management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. There are a number of important factors that could materially impact the value of Griffin’s common stock or cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward‑looking statements. Such factors include: adverse economic conditions and credit markets; a downturn in the commercial and residential real estate markets; risks associated with a concentration of real estate holdings; risks associated with entering new real estate markets; risks associated with competition with other parties for acquisition of properties; risks associated with the use of third-party managers for day-to-day property management; risks relating to reliance on lease revenues; risks associated with nonrecourse mortgage loans and a construction loan; risks of financing arrangements that include balloon payment obligations; risks associated with failure to effectively hedge against interest rate changes; risks associated with volatility in the capital markets; risks associated with increased operating expenses; potential environmental liabilities; governmental regulations; inadequate insurance coverage; risks of environmental factors; risks associated with the cost of raw materials or energy costs; risks associated with deficiencies in disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting; risks associated with information technology security breaches; litigation risks; risks related to issuance or sales of common stock; risks related to volatility of common stock; risks of future offerings that are senior to common stock, or preferred stock issuances; and the concentrated ownership of Griffin common stock by members of the Cullman and Ernst families. These and the important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2018, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward‑looking statements made in this Annual Report and presented elsewhere by management from time to time. Any such forward‑looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this Annual Report. While Griffin may elect to update such forward‑looking statements at some point in the future, Griffin disclaims any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause Griffin’s views to change. These forward‑looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Griffin’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this Annual Report.

 

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GRIFFIN INDUSTRIAL REALTY, INC.

FORM 10-K

Index

PART I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 1

BUSINESS

4

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 1A  

RISK FACTORS

13

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 1B

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

23

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 2

PROPERTIES

24

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 3

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

26

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 4

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

26

 

 

 

 

PART II 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 5

MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

26

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 6

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

27

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 7

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

28

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 7A

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

42

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 8

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheets

43

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statements of Operations

44

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)

45

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders’ Equity

46

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

47

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

48

-

 

 

 

 

ITEM 9

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

74

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 9A

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

74

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 9B

OTHER INFORMATION

76

 

 

 

 

PART III 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 10

DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

76

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 11

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

80

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 12

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

84

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 13

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

86

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 14

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

87

 

 

 

 

PART IV 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 15

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

88

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT INDEX

89

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signatures

94

 

 

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PART I

ITEM 1.  BUSINESS.

Griffin Industrial Realty, Inc. (“Griffin”) is a real estate business principally engaged in developing, managing and leasing industrial/warehouse properties, and to a lesser extent, office/flex properties. Griffin seeks to add to its property portfolio through the acquisition and development of land or the purchase of buildings in select markets targeted by Griffin. Periodically, Griffin may sell certain portions of its undeveloped land that it has owned for an extended time period and the use of which is not consistent with Griffin’s core development and leasing strategy.

Griffin’s buildings are located in the north submarket of Hartford, Connecticut, the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. Griffin expects to continue to seek to acquire and develop properties that are consistent with its core strategy of developing and leasing industrial/warehouse properties. Griffin targets properties that are in close proximity to transportation infrastructure (highways, airports, railways and sea ports) and can accommodate single and multiple tenants in flexible layouts. Griffin expects that most of such potential acquisitions of either undeveloped land or land and buildings will likely be located outside of the Hartford area in select markets targeted by Griffin.

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin owned thirty‑seven buildings comprising approximately 4,078,000 square feet that was 93% leased. Approximately 89% of Griffin’s square footage is industrial/warehouse space, with the balance being office/flex space. As of November 30, 2018, approximately 95% of Griffin’s industrial/warehouse space was leased and approximately 72% of Griffin’s office/flex space was leased. As stated in “Item 2. Properties” below, Griffin generally uses nonrecourse mortgage loans and occasionally uses construction loans to finance some of its real estate development activities, and as of November 30, 2018, approximately $147.2 million was outstanding under all such loans. In fiscal 2018, profit from leasing activities (which Griffin defines as rental revenue less operating expenses of rental properties)1 was approximately $23.2 million, while debt service (interest and scheduled principal payments) on nonrecourse mortgage loans and a construction loan was approximately $9.8 million.

In fiscal 2018, Griffin completed and placed in service two industrial/warehouse buildings, one of which was an approximately 234,000 square foot build-to-suit building (“220 Tradeport”) in New England Tradeport (“NE Tradeport”), Griffin’s master‑planned industrial park near Bradley International Airport and Interstate 91, located in Windsor and East Granby, Connecticut. As a build-to-suit building, Griffin entered into a twelve and a half year lease for 220 Tradeport prior to the start of construction. The other building completed in fiscal 2018 was an approximately 134,000 square foot building (“6975 Ambassador”), built on speculation, in the Lehigh Valley. 6975 Ambassador is not yet leased. In fiscal 2018, Griffin also leased approximately 70,000 square feet of previously vacant NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse space, including the remaining 63,000 square feet in 330 Stone Road (“330 Stone”) an approximately 137,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in NE Tradeport that was placed in service and partially leased just prior to the end of fiscal 2017. Griffin also extended leases aggregating approximately 408,000 square feet in fiscal 2018, including a full building lease of 4275 Fritch Drive, an approximately 228,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in the Lehigh Valley. Also in fiscal 2018, Griffin completed a lease of approximately 11,000 square feet of previously vacant office/flex space. Leases for approximately 55,000 square feet (mostly industrial/warehouse space) expired in fiscal 2018 and were not re-leased. The net effect of Griffin’s leasing transactions in fiscal 2018 was an increase of approximately 256,000 square feet of industrial/warehouse space under lease as of November 30, 2018, as compared to November 30, 2017, and an increase of approximately 4,000 square feet of office/flex space under lease as of November 30, 2018, as compared to November 30, 2017.

In fiscal 2017, Griffin entered the Charlotte, North Carolina market with the purchase of 215 International Drive (“215 International”), an approximately 277,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in Concord, North Carolina. Subsequent to completing the purchase, Griffin leased the approximately 73,000 square feet in that building that was vacant at the time of the acquisition. Also in fiscal 2017, Griffin completed construction, on speculation, of 330 Stone

 

 ___________________

1Profit from leasing activities is not a financial measure in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”). It is presented because Griffin believes it is a useful financial indicator for measuring results of its real estate leasing activities. However, it should not be considered as an alternative to operating income as a measure of operating results in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

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and leased approximately 74,000 square feet of that building to a tenant that relocated from approximately 39,000 square feet in another of Griffin’s NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse buildings. The balance of 330 Stone was leased in fiscal 2018. Griffin was able to backfill the approximately 39,000 square feet that was vacated with a new tenant that took occupancy in the first quarter of fiscal 2018. In fiscal 2017, Griffin also leased approximately 104,000 square feet of previously vacant NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse space, including a ten and a half year lease for approximately 89,000 square feet. Griffin extended leases aggregating approximately 387,000 square feet in fiscal 2017, including a full building lease of 100 International Drive (“100 International”), an approximately 304,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in NE Tradeport. That lease extension, done in connection with refinancing the mortgage loan on 100 International, resulted in an additional six years of lease term beyond the original lease expiration date of July 31, 2019. In fiscal 2017, Griffin completed a full building lease of approximately 23,000 square feet of office/flex space, replacing the tenant that did not renew its lease of that building. The net effect of Griffin’s construction, acquisition and leasing transactions in fiscal 2017 was an increase of approximately 461,000 square feet of industrial/warehouse space under lease as of November 30, 2017, as compared to November 30, 2016, and a decrease of approximately 11,000 square feet in office/flex space under lease as of November 30, 2017, as compared to November 30, 2016.

In fiscal 2016, Griffin completed and placed in service an approximately 252,000 square foot industrial building (“5210 Jaindl”) in the Lehigh Valley, thus completing the development of an approximately 50 acre parcel of undeveloped land acquired in December 2013. As of November 30, 2016, 5210 Jaindl was fully leased. In addition to the two leases at 5210 Jaindl, Griffin entered into several other leases aggregating approximately 240,000 square feet in fiscal 2016, all but approximately 21,000 square feet of which was for industrial/warehouse space. Included in the fiscal 2016 leasing activity was a lease for approximately 101,000 square feet in 4270 Fritch Drive (“4270 Fritch”), an approximately 303,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in the Lehigh Valley built in fiscal 2014. In addition to the Lehigh Valley leasing, Griffin completed several leases aggregating approximately 139,000 square feet for its Connecticut properties, including approximately 118,000 square feet of industrial/warehouse space, mostly in NE Tradeport. In fiscal 2016, Griffin also extended leases aggregating approximately 248,000 square feet, most of which was NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse space. Also in fiscal 2016, leases for approximately 132,000 square feet expired, including a lease for an entire approximately 57,000 square foot NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse building that was subsequently re-leased during fiscal 2016. The net effect of these transactions was an increase of approximately 410,000 square feet in industrial/warehouse space under lease as of November 30, 2016, as compared to November 30, 2015, and a decrease of approximately 51,000 square feet in office/flex space under lease as of November 30, 2016, as compared to November 30, 2015.

There is no guarantee that an active or strong real estate market or an increase in inquiries from prospective tenants will result in leasing space that was vacant as of November 30, 2018 or leasing space in buildings expected to be completed in 2019. Additional capacity or an increase in vacancies in either the industrial or office markets could adversely affect Griffin’s operating results by potentially resulting in longer times to lease vacant space, eroding lease rates in Griffin’s properties or hindering renewals by existing tenants. There can be no assurances as to the directions of the Hartford, Lehigh Valley or Charlotte real estate markets in the near future.

In fiscal 2018, Griffin completed a land sale of approximately 49 acres of undeveloped land in Southwick, Massachusetts (the “2018 Southwick Land Sale”) for approximately $0.9 million. The proceeds from the 2018 Southwick Land Sale were placed in escrow at closing and subsequently used in the acquisition of an approximately 22 acre parcel of undeveloped land in Concord, North Carolina (the ‘Concord Land”) as part of a like-kind exchange (a “1031 Like-Kind Exchange”) under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The 1031 Like-Kind Exchange enabled Griffin to defer the gain on the 2018 Southwick Land Sale for income tax purposes. In fiscal 2018, Griffin commenced construction of two warehouse/industrial buildings totaling approximately 283,000 square feet on the Concord Land. Additionally, Griffin also completed one smaller land sale in fiscal 2018 for approximately $0.1 million.

In fiscal 2017, Griffin completed several land sales, the largest being the sale of approximately 67 acres of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing (the “2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale”) for approximately $10.3 million. The land sold under the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale is part of an approximately 268 acre parcel of land in Bloomfield and Windsor, Connecticut known as Phoenix Crossing. The proceeds from the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale were placed in escrow at closing and subsequently used in the acquisition of 215 International as part of a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. In addition to the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale, Griffin also sold approximately 76 acres of undeveloped land in Southwick, Massachusetts (the “2017 Southwick Land Sale”) for approximately $2.1 million. The proceeds from

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the 2017 Southwick Land Sale were also placed in escrow at closing and subsequently used for the purchase of approximately 14 acres of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley under a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. In fiscal 2018, Griffin constructed 6975 Ambassador on the Lehigh Valley land acquired.

In fiscal 2017, Griffin also completed two smaller sales of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing for a total of approximately $1.3 million and the sale of two small residential lots for a total of approximately $0.2 million. Griffin also recognized the remaining $0.1 million of revenue from the fiscal 2013 sale of approximately 90 acres of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing (the “2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale”). Under the terms of the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale, Griffin and the buyer each were required to construct roadways connecting the land parcel that was sold to existing town roads. As a result of Griffin’s continuing involvement with the land sold, the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale was accounted for under the percentage of completion method, whereby revenue and gain were recognized as costs related to the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale were incurred. From the closing of the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale through fiscal 2017, when Griffin completed its required roadwork, Griffin recognized total revenue of approximately $9.0 million and a total pretax gain of approximately $6.7 million from the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale.

In fiscal 2016, Griffin completed one land sale for approximately $3.8 million and recognized revenue of approximately $0.6 million related to the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale.

Periodically, Griffin may sell certain portions of its undeveloped land that it has owned for an extended time period and the use of which is not consistent with Griffin’s core development and leasing strategy. Such sale transactions may take place either before or after obtaining development approvals and building basic infrastructure.

Griffin’s development of its land is affected by regulatory and other constraints. Subdivision and commercial or residential development of land may also be affected by the potential adoption of initiatives meant to limit or concentrate growth. Development of Griffin’s undeveloped land may also be affected by traffic considerations, potential environmental issues, community opposition and other restrictions to development imposed by governmental agencies. Portions of Griffin’s landholdings in Connecticut are zoned for residential and office uses. The weakness in these markets has adversely affected Griffin, and may continue to do so in the future, by potentially lowering selling prices for land intended for such uses or delaying sales or development of such land.

Griffin maintains a corporate website at www.griffinindustrial.com. Griffin’s Annual Report on Form 10‑K (including audited financial statements), quarterly reports on Form 10‑Q, current reports on Form 8‑K and the proxy statement for Griffin’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders can be accessed through Griffin’s website at www.griffinindustrial.com/investors or through the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov. Griffin will provide electronic or paper copies of its foregoing filings free of charge upon request. Griffin was incorporated in 1970.

 

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Industrial/Warehouse Properties

Connecticut

A summary of Griffin’s Connecticut industrial/warehouse square footage at the end of each of the past three fiscal years and leases in Griffin’s Connecticut industrial/warehouse buildings scheduled to expire during the next three fiscal years are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Square

    

Square

    

 

 

 

 

Footage

 

Footage

 

Percentage

 

 

 

Owned

 

Leased

 

Leased

 

November 30, 2016

 

1,681,000

 

1,564,000

 

93

%

November 30, 2017

 

1,817,000

 

1,748,000

 

96

%

November 30, 2018

 

2,051,000

 

2,004,000

 

98

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2019

    

2020

    

2021

 

Square footage of leases expiring

 

 

46,000

 

 

97,000

 

 

225,000

 

Percentage of total space at November 30, 2018

 

 

 1

%  

 

 2

%  

 

 6

%

Number of tenants with leases expiring

 

 

 2

 

 

 3

 

 

 6

 

Annual rental revenue (including tenant reimbursements) of expiring leases

 

$

334,000

 

$

784,000

 

$

1,812,000

 

Annual rental revenue of expiring leases as a percentage of Griffin’s total fiscal 2018 rental revenue

 

 

 1

%  

 

 2

%

 

 6

%

 

Griffin’s total portfolio of approximately 2,051,000 square feet of industrial/warehouse space in Connecticut was 98% leased as of November 30, 2018. A significant portion of Griffin’s industrial development in Connecticut is in NE Tradeport, where Griffin has built and currently owns fifteen industrial/warehouse buildings aggregating approximately 1,837,000 square feet. Griffin owns three industrial/warehouse buildings in Connecticut that are not located in NE Tradeport, including a 165,000 square foot industrial building (“1985 Blue Hills”) in Windsor, Connecticut, that is being used principally as a data center and call center. Under the terms of the full building lease of 1985 Blue Hills, which runs through March 31, 2024 with several options to renew, the tenant has the option to purchase the building from March 1, 2021 through May 1, 2021 at a purchase price that is the greater of $11.5 million or fair market value as determined under the terms of the lease.

In fiscal 2018, Griffin leased approximately 331,000 square feet in NE Tradeport, including the full building lease of approximately 234,000 square feet in 220 Tradeport and approximately 63,000 square feet in 330 Stone. Approximately 27,000 square feet of the fiscal 2018 leasing replaced existing leases that expired and were not renewed.  Also in fiscal 2018, Griffin renewed several leases aggregating approximately 180,000 square feet, including a full building lease for approximately 127,000 square feet at 759 Rainbow Road. The rental rates for leases in NE Tradeport that were renewed in fiscal 2018 were, on average, essentially unchanged from the rental rates of the expiring leases. Management believes that the rental rates on the two NE Tradeport leases aggregating approximately 46,000 square feet that are scheduled to expire in fiscal 2019 are approximately 10% below market rates for similar space.

The Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Marketview Report (“Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Report”) from CBRE Group, Inc. (“CBRE”), a national real estate services company, stated that the vacancy rate in the greater Hartford industrial market decreased to 7.2% at the end of 2018 from 8.8% at the end of 2017, and that net absorption in the greater Hartford industrial market in 2018 was approximately 1.2 million square feet. The Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Report also stated that the vacancy rate in the north submarket of Hartford, where Griffin’s properties are located, decreased to 5.4% at the end of 2018 from 6.3% at the end of 2017, with net absorption of approximately 0.3 million square feet in 2018. The decrease in the Hartford industrial market vacancy rate in 2018 continued the downward trend from 2014, when the vacancy rate in the Hartford industrial market was 12.3%.

In NE Tradeport, Griffin holds entitlements to potentially develop an additional approximately 440,000 square feet, consisting of one approved building site on approximately 34 acres and approved additions to two of its existing buildings. Griffin owns an additional 99 acres of undeveloped land within NE Tradeport, 60 acres of which are in Windsor and the abutting 39 acres of which are in East Granby. Full approvals for the development of this remaining

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land for industrial use are not in place, and the East Granby land would require a zone change for industrial development. Parts of such acreage may not be developable. Griffin believes that additional infrastructure improvements, which may be significant, may be required to obtain approvals to develop portions of this land, particularly the land in East Granby. Griffin expects to continue to direct much of its real estate efforts in Connecticut on the construction and leasing of industrial/warehouse facilities in NE Tradeport and other suitably located land currently owned. As of November 30, 2018, Griffin also owns approximately 76 acres of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing that is zoned for industrial and commercial development.

As of November 30, 2018, approximately $86.4 million was invested (net book value) by Griffin in its Connecticut industrial/warehouse buildings, approximately $2.8 million was invested (net book value) by Griffin in the undeveloped NE Tradeport land and approximately $1.5 million was invested in the undeveloped Phoenix Crossing land. As of November 30, 2018, sixteen of Griffin’s Connecticut industrial/warehouse buildings were mortgaged for an aggregate of approximately $82.6 million.

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

A summary of Griffin’s Lehigh Valley industrial/warehouse square footage at the end of each of the past three fiscal years and leases in Griffin’s Lehigh Valley industrial/warehouse buildings scheduled to expire during the next three fiscal years are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Square

    

Square

    

 

 

 

 

Footage

 

Footage

 

Percentage

 

 

 

Owned

 

Leased

 

Leased

 

November 30, 2016

 

1,183,000

 

1,183,000

 

100

%

November 30, 2017

 

1,183,000

 

1,183,000

 

100

%

November 30, 2018

 

1,317,000

 

1,183,000

 

90

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2019

    

2020

    

2021

 

Square footage of leases expiring

 

  

 —

 

  

201,000

 

 

609,000

 

Percentage of total space at November 30, 2018

 

  

 —

%  

  

 5

%

 

15

%

Number of tenants with leases expiring

 

  

 —

 

  

 1

 

 

 3

 

Annual rental revenue (including tenant reimbursements) of expiring leases

 

$

 —

 

$

1,356,000

 

$

4,577,000

 

Annual rental revenue of expiring leases as a percentage of Griffin’s total fiscal 2018 rental revenue

 

  

 —

%  

 

 4

%

 

14

%

 

Since Griffin entered the Lehigh Valley market in fiscal 2010, Griffin has purchased a fully leased approximately 120,000 square foot industrial building, acquired approximately 114 acres of undeveloped land and built, on speculation, five industrial/warehouse buildings aggregating approximately 1,197,000 square feet on the land acquired. As of November 30, 2018, Griffin owned six industrial/warehouse buildings in the Lehigh Valley aggregating approximately 1,317,000 square feet.

In fiscal 2017, Griffin acquired an approximately 14 acre parcel of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley, and in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 completed 6975 Ambassador, an approximately 134,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building, built on speculation on that land parcel. 6975 Ambassador is not yet leased, however, Griffin’s other five buildings in Lehigh Valley are fully leased. In fiscal 2018, Griffin renewed a full building lease for one of its Lehigh Valley industrial/warehouse buildings at a rental rate 12% higher than the rental rate in effect at the time of the renewal.  Approximately $72.9 million was invested (net book value) in Griffin’s Lehigh Valley buildings as of November 30, 2018. All Lehigh Valley industrial/warehouse buildings, except 6975 Ambassador, are mortgaged under three separate nonrecourse mortgage loans for a total of approximately $48.4 million as of November 30, 2018. 

The vacancy rate of Lehigh Valley industrial/warehouse properties, in the counties where Griffin’s Lehigh Valley properties are located, as reported in CBRE’s Q4 2018 Marketview Lehigh Valley PA Industrial Report (the “Q4 2018 CBRE Lehigh Valley Report”) was 4.8% at the end of 2018, with a net absorption of approximately 5.5 million square feet in 2018.

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On January 11, 2018, Griffin entered into an agreement to purchase an approximately 14 acre parcel of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley (the “Lehigh Valley Land”). Subsequently, the agreement was amended to reduce the purchase price from $3.6 million in cash to $3.1 million in cash and extend the due diligence and entitlement periods. If the transaction closes, Griffin plans to construct an approximately 156,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building on the Lehigh Valley Land. The closing of this purchase, anticipated to take place in fiscal 2019, is subject to several conditions, including obtaining all governmental approvals for Griffin’s development plans for the Lehigh Valley Land. There is no guarantee that this transaction will be completed under its current terms, or at all.

Charlotte, North Carolina

A summary of Griffin’s Charlotte, North Carolina industrial/warehouse square footage at the end of each of the past two fiscal years and leases in Griffin’s Charlotte, North Carolina industrial/warehouse building scheduled to expire during the next three fiscal years are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Square

    

Square

    

 

 

 

 

Footage

 

Footage

 

Percentage

 

 

 

Owned

 

Leased

 

Leased

 

November 30, 2017

 

277,000

 

277,000

 

100

%

November 30, 2018

 

277,000

 

277,000

 

100

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2019

 

2020

 

2021

 

Square footage of leases expiring

 

 

 —

 

  

 —

 

 

108,000

 

Percentage of total space at November 30, 2018

 

 

 —

%  

  

 —

%  

 

 3

%

Number of tenants with leases expiring

 

 

 —

 

  

 —

 

 

 1

 

Annual rental revenue (including tenant reimbursements) of expiring leases

 

$

 —

 

$

 —

 

$

591,000

 

Annual rental revenue of expiring leases as a percentage of Griffin’s total fiscal 2018 rental revenue

 

 

 —

%  

  

 —

%  

 

 2

%

 

In fiscal 2017, Griffin completed its first acquisition of property in the Charlotte, North Carolina area when it acquired 215 International, which was constructed in 2015 and 74% leased when it was acquired. Subsequent to the closing, one of the tenants in 215 International leased the remaining approximately 73,000 square feet that had been vacant at the time the building was acquired. As of November 30, 2018, approximately $17.4 million was invested (net book value) in 215 International, and this building was mortgaged under a nonrecourse mortgage loan for approximately $11.9 million. CBRE’s Q4 2018 Marketview Charlotte Industrial Report stated a vacancy rate of 5.3% for warehouse space at the end of 2018 and absorption of 4.8 million square feet of warehouse space in 2018.

In the fiscal 2018 third quarter, Griffin purchased the Concord Land for approximately $2.7 million in cash, including acquisition expenses. Approximately $0.8 million of the purchase price of the Concord Land was paid using the proceeds from the 2018 Southwick Land Sale to complete a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. In the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter, Griffin started site work and construction, on speculation, on two industrial/warehouse buildings aggregating approximately 283,000 square feet on the Concord Land. Griffin expects to spend approximately $15.0 million for the site work and construction of those two buildings, with expected completion of the buildings in the second half of fiscal 2019.

On June 26, 2018, Griffin entered into an agreement for the purchase of approximately 36 acres of undeveloped land in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in the greater Charlotte area (the “Mecklenburg Land”) for approximately $4.7 million in cash. On December 5, 2018, Griffin entered into an agreement for the purchase of approximately 9 acres of undeveloped land (the “Additional Mecklenburg Land”) that is adjacent to the Mecklenburg Land for approximately $0.9 million in cash. If acquired, the Additional Mecklenburg Land is expected to be combined with the Mecklenburg Land to enable Griffin to construct more industrial/warehouse space than could be constructed on the Mecklenburg Land alone. Closings on the purchases of the Mecklenburg Land and the Additional Mecklenburg Land are subject to several conditions, including obtaining all governmental approvals for Griffin’s development plans. Griffin would only complete the purchase of the Additional Mecklenburg Land if the Mecklenburg Land is acquired. The amount of industrial/warehouse space to be developed on the Mecklenburg Land and, if also acquired, the Additional Mecklenburg Land, will be based upon findings during the approvals process. The closings on the purchases of the Mecklenburg Land 

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and the Additional Mecklenburg Land are not anticipated to take place until the third quarter of fiscal 2019. There is no guarantee that the purchases of the Mecklenburg Land and the Additional Mecklenburg Land will be completed under their current terms, or at all.

 

Griffin may seek to acquire additional properties and/or undeveloped land parcels to expand the industrial/warehouse portion of its real estate business. Griffin continues to examine potential properties for acquisition in the Middle Atlantic, Northeast and Southeast regions and selected markets targeted by Griffin. Real estate acquisitions may or may not occur based on many factors, including real estate pricing. Griffin may commence speculative construction projects on its undeveloped land that is either currently owned or acquired in the future if it believes market conditions are favorable for such development. Griffin may also construct additional build-to-suit facilities on its undeveloped land if lease terms are favorable.

Office/Flex Properties

A summary of Griffin’s office/flex square footage at the end of each of the past three fiscal years and leases in Griffin’s office/flex buildings scheduled to expire during the next three fiscal years are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Square

    

Square

    

 

 

 

 

Footage

 

Footage

 

Percentage

 

 

 

Owned

 

Leased

 

Leased

 

November 30, 2016

 

433,000

 

319,000

 

74

%

November 30, 2017

 

433,000

 

308,000

 

71

%

November 30, 2018

 

433,000

 

312,000

 

72

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2019

 

2020

 

2021

 

Square footage of leases expiring

 

 

55,000

 

  

70,000

 

 

34,000

 

Percentage of total space at November 30, 2018

 

 

 1

%  

  

 2

%  

 

 1

%

Number of tenants with leases expiring

 

 

 3

 

  

 6

 

 

 3

 

Annual rental revenue (including tenant reimbursements) of expiring leases

 

$

895,000

 

$

1,220,000

 

$

639,000

 

Annual rental revenue of expiring leases as a percentage of Griffin’s total fiscal 2018 rental revenue

 

 

 3

%  

  

 4

%  

 

 2

%

 

All of Griffin’s office/flex properties are located in Griffin Center in Windsor and Bloomfield, Connecticut and Griffin Center South in Bloomfield, which are in the north submarket of Hartford. The Hartford office/flex market remained weak in 2018, as evidenced by vacancy rates at the end of 2018, as stated in the Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Report, of 17.2% for the overall Hartford market and 33.6% in north submarket of Hartford.

In Griffin Center, Griffin currently owns two multi‑story office buildings that have an aggregate of approximately 161,000 square feet, a single story office building of approximately 48,000 square feet and a small restaurant building of approximately 7,000 square feet. In Griffin Center South, Griffin currently owns eight office/flex buildings with an aggregate of approximately 217,000 square feet of single story office/flex space. Griffin’s office/flex square footage was approximately 72% leased as of November 30, 2018.

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin’s total office/flex space of approximately 433,000 square feet comprised approximately 11% of Griffin’s total square footage. Griffin expects that its office/flex space will continue to become a smaller percentage of its total space as Griffin expects to focus on the growth of its industrial/warehouse building portfolio either through the acquisition of fully or partially leased buildings, development of buildings on land currently owned or to be acquired, or both.

In fiscal 2018, Griffin entered into a five year lease for approximately 11,000 square feet at 320 West Newberry Road in Griffin Center South that was previously vacant. Additionally, Griffin renewed a lease for approximately 8,000 square feet of office/flex space in fiscal 2018 at the same rate as the expiring lease and the lease for the approximately 7,000 square foot restaurant building expired. Management believes that the rental rates on the leases for office/flex space scheduled to expire in fiscal 2019 are approximately 15% higher than the market rates for similar space.

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Currently there are approximately 156 acres of undeveloped land in Griffin Center and approximately 75 acres of undeveloped land in Griffin Center South that are owned by Griffin. As of November 30, 2018, approximately $17.8 million was invested (net book value) in Griffin’s office/flex buildings and approximately $1.6 million was invested by Griffin in the undeveloped land in Griffin Center and Griffin Center South. Griffin’s two multi‑story office buildings in Griffin Center are mortgaged for approximately $4.3 million as of November 30, 2018, and Griffin’s single story office building in Griffin Center and the eight single-story office/flex buildings and an industrial/warehouse building in Griffin Center South are the collateral for Griffin’s $15.0 million revolving line of credit. There were no borrowings under the revolving line of credit as of November 30, 2018.

Residential Developments

Simsbury, Connecticut

Several years ago, Griffin filed plans for Meadowood, a proposed residential community in Simsbury, Connecticut (“Simsbury”). After several years of litigation with the town regarding this proposed residential development, a settlement was reached. The settlement terms included, among other items, approval for up to 296 homes, certain remediation measures and offsite road improvements to be performed by Griffin and the purchase by Simsbury of a portion of the Meadowood land for open space. The sale of land to Simsbury closed in fiscal 2008. In fiscal 2012, Griffin performed a portion of the required remediation work on the site and completed the required offsite road improvements. In fiscal 2014, Griffin completed the required remediation work. As of November 30, 2018, the book value of the land for this development, including design, development and legal costs, was approximately $8.5 million. Griffin is continuing to evaluate its plans for Meadowood.

Suffield, Connecticut

In fiscal 2006, Griffin completed the infrastructure for a fifty lot residential subdivision in Suffield, Connecticut called Stratton Farms. Griffin sold twenty‑five residential lots in Stratton Farms to a local homebuilder in fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2007. Griffin subsequently sold six additional lots. As of November 30, 2018, Griffin held nineteen Stratton Farms residential lots. The book value for Griffin’s Stratton Farms was approximately $1.0 million at November 30, 2018.

Other

Concurrent with Griffin’s sale in fiscal 2014 of its landscape nursery business, Imperial Nurseries, Inc. (“Imperial”), Griffin and the buyer, Monrovia Connecticut LLC (“Monrovia”) entered into a Lease and Option Agreement, which was amended in fiscal 2016 (as amended, the “Imperial Lease”) pursuant to which Monrovia leased Imperial’s production nursery located in Granby and East Granby, Connecticut (the “Connecticut Farm”) for a ten year period. The Imperial Lease grants Monrovia options to extend the term for up to an additional fifteen years and to purchase the land, land improvements and other operating assets that were used by Imperial on the Connecticut Farm during the first thirteen years of the lease period for $9.5 million, or $7.0 million if only a certain portion of the Connecticut Farm is purchased, subject in each case to certain adjustments as provided for in the Imperial Lease.

Prior to the fiscal 2009 third quarter, Imperial operated a production nursery in Quincy, Florida (the “Florida Farm”). In fiscal 2009, Imperial shut down its growing operations on the Florida Farm and leased that facility to a grower of landscape nursery plants. After the expiration of that lease, Griffin entered into a new three year lease of the Florida Farm with another grower that started July 1, 2016. On December 18, 2017, the tenant leasing the Florida Farm filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and subsequently rejected the Florida Farm Lease effective September 15, 2018. The lease of the Florida Farm had a rental rate of $0.5 million per year at the time it was terminated. On September 28, 2018, Griffin and the tenant entered into a Stipulated Order whereby Griffin agreed to allow the tenant to remain on the Florida Farm through October 31, 2018 at the then current rental rate under the Florida Farm Lease. Griffin received all rent due under the Florida Farm Lease and the Stipulated Order. The Florida Farm was not leased as of November 30, 2018. Griffin is currently marketing the Florida Farm for sale or lease.

In fiscal 2018, Griffin leased approximately 427 acres of undeveloped land in Connecticut and Massachusetts to local farmers. Approximately 560 acres and 650 acres were leased to local farmers in fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2016, respectively. The revenue generated from the leasing of farmland is not material to Griffin’s total revenue.

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On January 25, 2016, Griffin entered into an Option Purchase Agreement (the “Simsbury Option Agreement”), subsequently amended on January 22, 2019. Under the terms of the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, Griffin granted the buyer an exclusive option to purchase approximately 280 acres of undeveloped land in Simsbury, Connecticut for approximately $7.7 million. Through November 30, 2018, the buyer paid approximately $0.3 million of option fees to extend its option period through January 25, 2019. In fiscal 2018, the buyer received approval from Connecticut’s regulatory authority for the buyer’s planned use of the land, which is to generate solar electricity. Subsequent litigation challenging that approval was settled during fiscal 2018, thereby allowing the buyer to use the land to be purchased as planned. On January 24, 2019, the buyer exercised its option to purchase the land under the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended. As per the terms of the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, closing on the land sale contemplated by the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, is required to take place within 90 days from the date the buyer exercised its option to purchase the land. There is no guarantee that the sale of land as contemplated under the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, will be completed under its current terms, or at all.

On May 5, 2017, Griffin entered into an Option Purchase Agreement (the “EGW Option Agreement”) whereby Griffin granted the buyer an exclusive option to purchase approximately 288 acres of undeveloped land in East Granby and Windsor, Connecticut for approximately $7.8 million. The buyer intended to use the land to generate solar electricity. The buyer’s option expired on May 5, 2018 and was not extended, thus terminating the EGW Option Agreement. Accordingly, the buyer forfeited the option fees (approximately $50,000) paid through that date.

Employees

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin had 34 employees, including 33 full‑time employees. Presently, none of Griffin’s employees are represented by a union. Griffin believes that relations with its employees are satisfactory.

Competition

The market for leasing industrial/warehouse space and office/flex space is highly competitive. Griffin competes for tenants with owners of numerous properties in the areas where Griffin’s buildings are located. Some of these competitors have greater financial resources than Griffin. Griffin’s real estate business competes on the bases of location, price, availability of space, convenience and amenities.

There is a great amount of competition for the acquisition of industrial/warehouse buildings and for the acquisition of undeveloped land for construction of such buildings. Griffin competes for the acquisition of industrial/warehouse properties with real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and institutional investors, such as pension funds, private real estate investment funds, insurance company investment accounts, public and private investment companies, individuals and other entities engaged in real estate investment activities. Some of these competitors have greater financial resources than Griffin, and may be able to accept more risk, including risk related to the creditworthiness of tenants or the degree of leverage they may be willing to take on. Competitors for acquisitions may also have advantages from a lower cost of capital or greater operating efficiencies associated with being a larger entity.

Regulation: Environmental Matters

Under various federal and state laws, ordinances and regulations, an owner or operator of real estate may be required to investigate and clean up hazardous or toxic substances or petroleum product releases at such property and may be held liable to a governmental entity or to third parties for property damage and for investigation and cleanup costs incurred by such parties in connection with contamination. The cost of investigation, remediation or removal of such substances may be substantial, and the presence of such substances, or the failure to remediate properly such substances, may adversely affect the owner’s ability to sell or rent such property or to borrow using such property as collateral. In connection with the ownership (direct or indirect), operation, management and development of real estate properties, Griffin may be considered an owner or operator of such properties or as having arranged for the disposal or treatment of hazardous or toxic substances and, therefore, potentially liable for removal or remediation costs, as well as certain other related costs, including governmental fines and injuries to persons and property. The value of Griffin’s land may be affected by the presence of residual chemicals from the prior use of the land for farming, principally on a portion of the land that is intended for residential use. In the event that Griffin is unable to remediate adequately any of its land intended for residential use, Griffin’s ability to develop such property for its intended purposes would be materially affected.

 

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Griffin periodically reviews its properties for the purpose of evaluating such properties’ compliance with applicable federal and state environmental laws. In connection with the sale of Imperial, Griffin incurred a small amount of costs to remediate a small area of the Connecticut Farm that is leased to Monrovia under the Imperial Lease. As of the date of this Annual Report, Griffin is in discussions with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) regarding findings of exceedances of certain residual pesticides on a limited portion of the Connecticut Farm being leased to Monrovia. At this time, Griffin does not anticipate experiencing, in the next twelve months, any material expense in complying with such laws on any of its properties. Griffin may incur remediation costs in the future in connection with its development operations. Such costs are not expected to be significant as compared to expected proceeds from development projects or property sales.

 

 

ITEM 1A.  RISK FACTORS.

Griffin’s real estate business is subject to a number of risks. The risk factors discussed below are those that management deems to be material, but they may not be the only risks facing Griffin. Additional risks not currently known or currently deemed not to be material may also impact Griffin. If any of the following risks occur, Griffin’s business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows could be adversely affected. Investors should also refer to Griffin’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for any material updates to these risk factors.

Risks Related to Griffin’s Business and Properties

Griffin’s real estate portfolio is concentrated in the industrial real estate sector, and its business would be adversely affected by an economic downturn in that sector.

89% of Griffin’s buildings are warehouse/distribution facilities and light manufacturing facilities in the industrial real estate sector. This level of concentration exposes Griffin to the risk of economic downturns in the industrial real estate sector to a greater extent than if its properties were more diversified across other sectors of the real estate industry. In particular, an economic downturn affecting the leasing market for industrial properties could have a material adverse effect on Griffin’s results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, ability to satisfy debt obligations and ability to pay dividends to stockholders.

Griffin’s real estate portfolio is geographically concentrated, which causes it to be especially susceptible to adverse developments in those markets. 

In addition to general, regional, national and international economic conditions, Griffin’s operating performance is impacted by the economic conditions of the specific geographic markets in which it has concentrations of properties. The portfolio includes holdings in Connecticut, the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area, which represented 61%, 32% and 7% of Griffin’s total portfolio by square footage, respectively, as of November 30, 2018. This geographic concentration could adversely affect Griffin’s operating performance if conditions become less favorable in any of the states or regions in which it has a concentration of properties. Griffin cannot assure that any of its markets will grow or that underlying real estate fundamentals will be favorable to owners and operators of properties. Griffin’s operations may also be adversely affected if competing properties are built in its target markets. The construction of new facilities by competitors would increase capacity in the marketplace, and an increase in the amount of vacancies in competitors’ properties and negative absorption of space could result in Griffin experiencing longer times to lease vacant space, eroding lease rates or hindering renewals by existing tenants. Any adverse economic or real estate developments in Griffin’s target markets, or any decrease in demand for industrial space resulting from the regulatory environment, business climate or energy or fiscal problems in these markets, could materially and adversely impact Griffin’s results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, ability to satisfy debt obligations and ability to pay dividends to stockholders.

Griffin’s ability to grow its portfolio partially depends on its ability to develop properties, which may suffer under certain circumstances.

Griffin intends to continue to develop properties when warranted by its assessment of market conditions. Griffin’s general construction and development activities include the risks that:

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§

Griffin’s assessment of market conditions may be inaccurate;

§

development activities may require the acquisition of undeveloped land.  Competition from other real estate investors may significantly increase the purchase price of that land;

§

Griffin may be unable to obtain, or may face delays in obtaining required zoning, land-use, building, occupancy, and other governmental permits and authorizations, which could result in increased costs and could require Griffin to abandon its activities entirely with respect to a project;

§

construction and leasing of a property may not be completed on schedule, which could result in increased expenses and construction costs, and would result in reduced profitability;

§

construction costs (including required offsite infrastructure costs) may exceed Griffin’s original estimates due to increases in interest rates and increased materials, labor or other costs, possibly making the property less profitable than projected or unprofitable because Griffin may not be able to increase rents to compensate for the increase in construction costs;

§

Griffin may abandon development opportunities after it begins to explore them and as a result, Griffin may fail to recover costs already incurred. If Griffin alters or discontinues its development efforts, costs of the investment may need to be expensed rather than capitalized and Griffin may determine the investment is impaired, resulting in a loss;

§

Griffin may expend funds on and devote management's time to projects that it does not complete;

§

occupancy rates and rents at newly completed properties may not meet Griffin’s expectations. This may result in lower than projected occupancy and rental rates resulting in an investment that is less profitable than projected or unprofitable; and

§

Griffin may incur losses under construction warranties, guaranties and delay damages under Griffin’s contracts with tenants and other customers.

Griffin’s ability to achieve growth in its portfolio partially depends in part on Griffin’s ability to acquire properties, which may suffer under certain circumstances.

Griffin acquires individual properties and in the future, may acquire portfolios of properties.  Griffin’s acquisition activities and their success are generally subject to the following risks:

§

when Griffin is able to locate a desirable property, competition from other real estate investors may significantly increase the purchase price;

§

acquired properties may fail to perform as expected;

§

the actual costs of repositioning or redeveloping acquired properties may be higher than Griffin’s estimates;

§

acquired properties may be located in new markets where Griffin faces risks associated with an incomplete knowledge or understanding of the local market, a limited number of established business relationships in the area and a relative unfamiliarity with local governmental and permitting procedures; and

§

Griffin may be unable to quickly and efficiently integrate new acquisitions, particularly acquisitions of portfolios of properties and operating entities, into its existing operations, and as a result, Griffin’s results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Griffin may acquire properties subject to liabilities and without any recourse, or with only limited recourse, with respect to unknown liabilities. As a result, if a liability were asserted against Griffin based upon ownership of those properties, Griffin might have to pay substantial sums to settle such liabilities, which could adversely affect its cash flow and financial position.

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Weakness in Griffin’s office/flex portfolio could negatively impact its business.

Griffin’s office/flex portfolio, which comprises 11% of its total square footage and was 72% occupied as of November 30, 2018, is concentrated in the north submarket of Hartford.  The demand for office/flex space in this market is weak and competitive, with market vacancy in excess of 33% as of December 31, 2018, according to the Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Report. There is no certainty that Griffin will retain existing tenants or attract new tenants to its office/flex buildings.  Re-leasing Griffin’s office/flex properties typically requires greater investment per square foot than for Griffin’s industrial/warehouse properties and could negatively impact Griffin’s results of operations and cash flow.

Griffin may experience increased operating costs, which could adversely affect Griffin’s results of operations.

Griffin’s properties are subject to increases in operating expenses such as real estate taxes, fuel, utilities, labor, repairs and maintenance, building materials and insurance. While many of Griffin’s current tenants generally are obligated to pay a significant portion of these costs, there are no assurances that existing or new tenants will agree to or make such payments.  If operating expenses increase, Griffin may not be able to pass these costs on to its tenants and, therefore, any such increases could have an adverse effect on Griffin’s results of operations and cash flow.

Griffin relies on third party managers for day-to-day property management of certain of its properties.

Griffin relies on local third party managers for the day-to-day management of its Lehigh Valley and Concord, North Carolina properties. To the extent that Griffin uses a third party manager, the cash flows from its Lehigh Valley and Concord properties may be adversely affected if the property manager fails to provide quality services. These third party managers may fail to manage Griffin’s properties effectively or in accordance with their agreements with Griffin, may be negligent in their performance and may engage in criminal or fraudulent activity. If any of these events occur, Griffin could incur losses or face liabilities from the loss or injury to its property or to persons at its properties. In addition, disputes may arise between Griffin and these third party managers, and Griffin may incur significant expenses to resolve those disputes or terminate the relevant agreement with these third parties and locate and engage competent and cost-effective alternative service providers to manage the relevant properties. Additionally, third party managers may manage and own other properties that may compete with Griffin’s properties, which may result in conflicts of interest and decisions regarding the operation of Griffin’s properties that are not in Griffin’s best interests. Griffin likely would rely on third-party managers in any new markets it enters through its acquisition activities.

Unfavorable events affecting Griffin’s existing and potential tenants and its properties, or negative market conditions that may affect Griffin’s existing and potential tenants, could have an adverse impact on Griffin’s ability to attract new tenants, re-let space, collect rent and renew leases, and thus could have a negative effect on Griffin’s results of operations and cash flow.

The substantial majority of Griffin’s revenue is derived from lease revenue from its industrial/warehouse and office/flex buildings.  Griffin’s results of operations and cash flows depend on its ability to lease space to tenants on economically favorable terms. Therefore, Griffin could be adversely affected by various factors and events over which Griffin has limited control, such as:

§

inability to retain existing tenants and attract new tenants;

§

oversupply of or reduced demand for space and changes in market rental rates in the areas where Griffin’s properties are located;

§

defaults by Griffin’s tenants due to bankruptcy or other factors or their failure to pay rent on a timely basis;

§

physical damage to Griffin’s properties and the need to repair such damage;

§

economic or physical decline of the areas where Griffin’s properties are located; and

§

potential risk of functional obsolescence of Griffin’s properties over time.

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If a tenant is unable to pay rent due to Griffin, Griffin may be forced to evict the tenant, or engage in other remedies, which may be expensive and time consuming and may adversely affect Griffin’s results of operation and cash flows.

If Griffin’s tenants do not renew their leases as they expire, Griffin may not be able to re-lease the space. Furthermore, leases that are renewed, or new leases for space that is re-let, may have terms that are less economically favorable to Griffin than current lease terms, or may require Griffin to incur significant costs, such as for renovations, tenant improvements or lease transaction costs.

Any of these events could adversely affect Griffin’s results of operations and cash flows and its ability to make dividend payments and service its indebtedness.

A significant portion of Griffin’s costs, such as real estate taxes, insurance costs, and debt service payments, are fixed, which means that they generally are not reduced when circumstances cause a decrease in cash flow from its properties.

Declining real estate valuations and any related impairment charges could materially adversely affect Griffin’s financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, ability to satisfy debt obligations and ability to pay dividends on, and the per share trading price of, its common stock.

Griffin reviews the carrying value of its properties when circumstances, such as adverse market conditions, indicate a potential impairment may exist. Griffin bases its review on an estimate of the future cash flows (excluding interest charges) expected to result from the property’s use and eventual disposition on an undiscounted basis. Griffin considers factors such as future operating income, trends and prospects, as well as the effects of leasing demand, competition and other factors. With respect to undeveloped land, Griffin evaluates the cash flow to be generated from the potential use or sale of such land as compared to the costs, including entitlement and infrastructure costs for the intended use or costs required to prepare the land for sale. If Griffin’s evaluation indicates that it may be unable to recover the carrying value of a real estate investment, an impairment loss would be recorded to the extent that the carrying value exceeds the estimated fair value of the property.

Impairment losses have a direct impact on Griffin’s results of operations because recording an impairment loss results in an immediate negative adjustment to Griffin’s operating results. The evaluation of anticipated cash flows is highly subjective and is based in part on assumptions regarding future occupancy, rental rates and capital requirements that could differ materially from actual results in future periods. A worsening real estate market may cause Griffin to reevaluate the assumptions used in its impairment analysis. Impairment charges could materially adversely affect Griffin’s financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay dividends on, and the per share trading price of, its common stock.

Griffin’s use of nonrecourse mortgage loans and construction loans could have a material adverse effect on its financial condition.

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin had indebtedness under nonrecourse mortgage loans and a construction loan of approximately $147.2 million, collateralized by approximately 89% of the total square footage of its industrial/warehouse and office/flex buildings. If a significant number of Griffin’s tenants were unable to meet their obligations to Griffin or if Griffin were unable to lease a significant amount of space in its properties on economically favorable lease terms, there would be a risk that Griffin would not have sufficient cash flow from operations for payments of required principal and interest on these loans. If Griffin was unable to make such payments and was to default, the property collateralizing the mortgage loan could be foreclosed upon, and Griffin’s financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected. In addition, two of Griffin’s nonrecourse mortgage loans contain cross default provisions. A default under a mortgage loan that has cross default provisions may cause Griffin to automatically default on another loan.

Griffin’s use of financing arrangements that include balloon payment obligations could have a material adverse effect on its financial condition.

Approximately 92% of Griffin’s nonrecourse mortgage loans as of November 30, 2018 require a lump-sum or “balloon” payment at maturity. Griffin’s ability to make a balloon payment at maturity may be uncertain and may

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depend upon its ability to obtain additional financing. At the time the balloon payment is due, Griffin may or may not be able to refinance the balloon payment on terms as favorable as the original mortgage terms. If Griffin were to be unable to refinance the balloon payment, then it may be forced to sell the property or pay the balloon payment using its existing cash on hand or other liquidity sources, or the property could be foreclosed. Any balloon payments that Griffin makes out of its existing cash or liquidity may have a material adverse effect on its financial condition and leave it with insufficient cash to invest in other properties, pay dividends to stockholders or meet its other obligations.

Griffin’s failure to effectively hedge against interest rate fluctuation could have a material adverse effect on its financial condition.

Griffin has entered into several interest rate swap agreements to hedge its interest rate exposures related to its variable rate nonrecourse mortgages on certain of its industrial/warehouse and office/flex buildings. These agreements have costs and involve the risks that these arrangements may not be effective in reducing Griffin’s exposure to interest rate fluctuations and that a court could rule that such agreements are not legally enforceable. The failure to hedge effectively against interest rate fluctuations may have a material adverse effect on Griffin’s results of operations if interest rates were to rise materially. Additionally, any settlement charges incurred to terminate an interest rate swap agreement may result in increased interest expense, which may also have an adverse effect on Griffin’s results of operations.

Griffin may suffer adverse effects as a result of the terms of and covenants relating to its revolving credit facility.

Griffin’s continued ability to borrow under its $15 million revolving credit facility is subject to compliance with financial and other covenants. Griffin’s failure to comply with such covenants could cause a default under this credit facility, and Griffin may then be required to repay amounts outstanding, if any, under the facility with capital from other sources. Under those circumstances, other sources of capital may not be available to Griffin, or may be available only on unattractive terms. 

Griffin relies on key personnel.

Griffin’s success depends to a significant degree upon the contribution of certain key personnel, including but not limited to Griffin’s Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Griffin Industrial, LLC’s Senior Vice President and Griffin Industrial, LLC’s Vice President of Construction.  If any of Griffin’s key personnel were to cease employment, Griffin’s operating results could suffer. Griffin’s ability to retain its senior management group or attract suitable replacements should any members of the senior management group leave is dependent on the competitive nature of the employment market. The loss of services from key members of the management group or a limitation on their availability could adversely affect Griffin’s results of operations and cash flows.  Griffin has not obtained and does not expect to obtain key man life insurance on any of its key personnel.

Risks Related to the Real Estate Industry

Changing or adverse political and economic conditions and credit markets may impact Griffin’s results of operations and financial condition.

Griffin’s real estate business may be affected by market conditions and political and economic uncertainty experienced by the U.S. economy as a whole, conditions in the credit markets or by local economic conditions in the markets in which its properties are located. Such conditions may impact Griffin’s results of operations, financial condition or ability to expand its operations and pay dividends to stockholders as a result of the following:

§

The financial condition of Griffin’s tenants may be adversely affected, which may result in tenant defaults under leases due to bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, operational failures or for other reasons;

§

A decrease in investment spending, the curtailment of expansion plans or significant job losses may decrease demand for Griffin’s industrial/warehouse and office/flex space, causing market rental rates and property values to be negatively impacted;

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§

Griffin’s ability to borrow on terms and conditions that it finds acceptable, or at all, may be limited, which could reduce its ability to pursue acquisition and development opportunities, refinance existing debt, and/or increase future interest expense;

§

Reduced values of Griffin’s properties may limit its ability to obtain debt financing collateralized by its properties or may limit the proceeds from such potential financings;

§

A weak economy may limit sales of land intended for commercial, industrial and residential use;

§

Changes in supply or demand for similar or competing properties in an area where Griffin’s properties are located may adversely affect Griffin’s competitive position and market rental rates in that area; and

§

Long periods of time may elapse between the commencement and the completion of Griffin’s projects.

An increase in interest rates could adversely impact Griffin’s ability to refinance existing debt or to finance new developments and acquisitions.

Rising interest rates could limit Griffin’s ability to refinance existing debt on favorable terms, or at all, when it matures. Interest rates have been in recent years, and currently remain, low by historical standards.  However, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate multiple times in 2017 and 2018, and further interest rate increases may occur. If interest rates increase, so will Griffin’s interest costs, which would adversely affect Griffin’s cash flow and could affect Griffin’s ability to pay principal and interest on its debt.

From time to time, Griffin enters into interest rate swap agreements and other interest rate hedging contracts, including swaps, caps and floors. These agreements, which are intended to lessen the impact of rising interest rates on Griffin, expose Griffin to the risks that the other parties to the agreements might not perform, or that Griffin could incur significant costs associated with the settlement of the agreements, or that the agreements might be unenforceable and the underlying transactions would fail to qualify as highly-effective cash flow hedges under relevant accounting guidance.

In addition, an increase in interest rates could decrease the amounts third parties are willing to lend to Griffin for use towards potential acquisitions or development costs, thereby limiting its ability to grow its property portfolio. 

Griffin may not be able to compete successfully with other entities that operate in its industry.

Griffin experiences a great amount of competition for the acquisition of industrial/warehouse buildings, for the acquisition of undeveloped land for construction of such buildings and for attracting tenants for its properties.  Griffin competes with well-capitalized real estate investors such as pension funds and their advisors, private real estate investment funds, bank and insurance company investment accounts, public and private investment companies, including REITs, individuals and other entities engaged in real estate investment activities. Some of these competitors have greater financial resources than Griffin, and may be able to accept more risk, including risk related to the creditworthiness of tenants or the degree of leverage they may be willing to take on. Competitors for acquisitions may also have advantages from a lower cost of capital or greater operating efficiencies associated with being a larger entity. Some of these competitors may be able to offer prospective tenants more attractive financial or other terms than Griffin is able to offer.

Griffin may experience increased costs of raw materials and energy, which could adversely affect its operations.

Griffin’s construction activities and maintenance of its current portfolio could be adversely affected by increases in raw materials or energy costs. As petroleum and other energy costs increase, products used in the construction of Griffin’s facilities, such as steel, masonry, asphalt, cement and building products may increase. Additionally, government international trade policies, including implementation of or changes in tariffs, could impact the cost of products used in Griffin’s facilities. An increase in the cost of building new facilities could negatively impact Griffin’s future operating results through increased depreciation expense. An increase in construction costs would also require increased investment in Griffin’s real estate assets, which may lower the return on investment in new facilities. An increase in energy costs could increase Griffin’s building operating expenses and thereby lower Griffin’s operating results.

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Real estate investments are illiquid, and Griffin may not be able to sell its properties when Griffin determines it is appropriate to do so.

Real estate properties are not as liquid as other types of investments and this lack of liquidity could limit Griffin’s ability to react promptly to changes in economic, financial, investment or other conditions. In addition, provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, provide for the ability to exchange “like-kind” property to defer income taxes related to a gain on sale. The illiquidity of real estate properties may limit Griffin’s ability to find a replacement property to effectuate such an exchange.

Potential environmental liabilities could result in substantial costs.

Griffin has properties in Connecticut, the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and Concord, North Carolina in addition to extensive land holdings in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida. Under federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, Griffin may be required to investigate and clean up the effects of releases of hazardous substances or petroleum products at its properties because of its current or past ownership or operation of the real estate. If previously unidentified environmental problems arise, Griffin may have to make substantial payments, which could adversely affect its cash flow. As an owner or operator of properties, Griffin may have to pay for property damage and for investigation and clean‑up costs incurred in connection with a contamination. The law typically imposes cleanup responsibility and liability regardless of whether the owner or operator knew of or caused the contamination. Changes in environmental regulations may impact the development potential of Griffin’s undeveloped land or could increase operating costs due to the cost of complying with new regulations.

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and fire, safety and other regulations may require Griffin to make expenditures that adversely impact Griffin’s operating results.

All of Griffin’s properties are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The ADA generally requires that places of public accommodation comply with federal requirements related to access and use by people with disabilities. Compliance with the ADA requirements could require removal of access barriers, and non-compliance could result in imposition of fines by the United States government or an award of damages to private litigants, or both. Expenditures related to complying with the provisions of the ADA could adversely affect Griffin’s results of operations and financial condition. In addition, Griffin is required to operate its properties in compliance with fire and safety regulations, building codes and other land use regulations, as they may be adopted by governmental agencies and bodies and become applicable to Griffin’s properties. Griffin may be required to make substantial capital expenditures to comply with those requirements and these expenditures could have a material adverse effect on Griffin’s operating results and financial condition and Griffin’s ability to satisfy debt obligations and issue dividends to stockholders.

Governmental regulations and control could adversely affect Griffin’s real estate development activities.

Griffin’s operations are subject to governmental regulations that affect real estate development, such as local zoning ordinances. Any changes in such regulations may impact the ability of Griffin to develop its properties or increase Griffin’s costs of development. Subdivision and other residential development may also be affected by the potential adoption of initiatives meant to limit or concentrate residential growth. Commercial and industrial development activities of Griffin’s undeveloped land may also be affected by traffic considerations, potential environmental issues, community opposition and other restrictions to development imposed by governmental agencies.

Uninsured losses or a loss in excess of insured limits could adversely affect Griffin’s business, results of operations and financial condition.

Griffin carries comprehensive insurance coverage, including property, fire, terrorism and loss of rental revenue. The insurance coverage contains policy specifications and insured limits. However, there are certain losses that are not generally insured against or that are not fully insured against. If an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits occurs with respect to one or more of Griffin’s properties, Griffin could experience a significant loss of capital invested in and potential revenue from the properties affected.

Volatility in the capital and credit markets could materially adversely impact Griffin.

Volatility and disruption in the capital and credit markets could make it more difficult to borrow money. Market volatility could hinder Griffin’s ability to obtain new debt financing or refinance maturing debt on favorable terms, or at

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all. Any financing or refinancing issues could have a material adverse  effect on Griffin. Market turmoil and the tightening of credit could lead to an increased lack of consumer confidence and widespread reduction of business activity in general, which also could materially adversely impact Griffin, including its ability to acquire and dispose of assets on favorable terms, or at all.

If Griffin fails to maintain appropriate internal controls in the future, it may not be able to report its financial results accurately, which may adversely affect the per share trading price of its common stock and its business.

Griffin’s efforts to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, and the related regulations regarding its required assessment of internal control over financial reporting and its external auditors’ audit of that assessment requires the commitment of significant financial and managerial resources. Griffin’s system of internal controls may not prevent all errors, misstatements or misrepresentations, and there can be no guarantee that its internal control over financial reporting will be effective in accomplishing all control objectives all of the time. Deficiencies, including any material weakness or significant deficiency, in Griffin’s internal control over financial reporting that may occur in the future could result in misstatements of its results of operations, restatements of its financial statements and a decline in its stock price, or otherwise materially adversely affect Griffin’s business, reputation, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity.

Information technology (“IT”) security breaches and other incidents could disrupt Griffin’s operations, compromise confidential information maintained by Griffin, and damage Griffin’s reputation, all of which could negatively impact Griffin’s business, results of operations and the per share trading price of its common stock.

As part of Griffin’s normal business activities, it uses IT and other computer resources to carry out important operational activities and to maintain its business records. Griffin’s computer systems, including its backup systems, are subject to interruption or damage from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, computer viruses, security breaches (including through cyber-attack and data theft), usage errors and catastrophic events, such as fires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. If Griffin’s computer systems and its backup systems are compromised, degraded, damaged or breached, or otherwise cease to function properly, Griffin could suffer interruptions in its operations or unintentionally allow misappropriation of proprietary or confidential information, which could damage its reputation and require Griffin to incur significant costs to remediate or otherwise resolve these issues. There can be no assurance that the security efforts and measures Griffin has implemented will be effective or that attempted security breaches or disruptions would not be successful or damaging.

Griffin is subject to litigation that may adversely impact operating results.

From time to time, Griffin may be a party to legal proceedings and claims arising in the ordinary course of business which could become significant. Given the inherent uncertainty of litigation, Griffin can offer no assurance that a future adverse development related to existing litigation or any future litigation will not have a material adverse impact on its business, consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

Griffin is exposed to the potential impacts of future climate change and climate-change related risks.

Griffin is exposed to potential physical risks from possible future changes in climate. Griffin’s properties may be exposed to rare catastrophic weather events, such as severe storms and/or floods. If the frequency of extreme weather events increases due to climate change, Griffin’s exposure to these events could increase.

As a real estate owner and developer, Griffin may be adversely impacted in the future by stricter energy efficiency standards for buildings.  Griffin may be required to make improvements to its existing properties to meet such standards and the costs to meet these standards may increase Griffin’s costs for new construction.

Griffin’s properties may contain or develop harmful mold or suffer from other air quality issues, which could lead to liability for adverse health effects and costs of remediation.

When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth may occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or is not addressed. Some molds may produce airborne toxins or irritants. Indoor air quality issues can also stem from inadequate ventilation, chemical contamination from indoor or outdoor sources, and other biological contaminants such as pollen, viruses and bacteria. Indoor exposure to airborne

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toxins or irritants above certain levels can be alleged to cause a variety of adverse health effects and symptoms, including allergic or other reactions. As a result, the presence of significant mold or other airborne contaminants at any of Griffin’s properties could require Griffin to undertake a costly remediation program to contain or remove the mold or other airborne contaminants from the affected property or increase indoor ventilation. In addition, the presence of significant mold or other airborne contaminants could expose Griffin to liability from its tenants, employees of its tenants or others if property damage or personal injury is alleged to have occurred.

Risks Related to Griffin’s Organization and Structure

The concentrated ownership of Griffin common stock by members of the Cullman and Ernst families may limit other Griffin stockholders’ ability to influence Griffin’s corporate and management policies. 

Members of the Cullman and Ernst families (the “Cullman and Ernst Group”), which include Frederick M. Danziger, Griffin’s Executive Chairman, Michael S. Gamzon, a director and Griffin’s President and Chief Executive Officer and Edgar M. Cullman, Jr., a director of Griffin, members of their families and trusts for their benefit, partnerships in which they own substantial interests and charitable foundations on whose boards of directors they sit, owned, directly or indirectly, approximately 44.9% of the outstanding common stock of Griffin as of November 30, 2018. There is an informal understanding that the persons and entities included in the Cullman and Ernst Group will vote together the shares owned by each of them. As a result, the Cullman and Ernst Group may effectively control the determination of Griffin’s corporate and management policies and may limit other Griffin stockholders’ ability to influence Griffin’s corporate and management policies.

Griffin’s board of directors may change its investment and financing policies without stockholder approval and Griffin may become more highly leveraged, which may increase Griffin’s risk of default under its debt obligations.

Griffin’s investment and financing policies are exclusively determined by its board of directors. Accordingly, Griffin’s stockholders do not control these policies. Further, Griffin’s charter and bylaws do not limit the amount or percentage of indebtedness, funded or otherwise, that Griffin may incur. Griffin’s board of directors may alter or eliminate its current policy on borrowing at any time without stockholder approval. If this policy changed, Griffin could become more highly leveraged which could result in an increase in its debt service. Higher leverage also increases the risk of default on Griffin’s obligations. In addition, a change in Griffin’s investment policies, including the manner in which Griffin allocates its resources across the portfolio or the types of assets in which Griffin seeks to invest, may increase its exposure to interest rate risk, real estate market fluctuations and liquidity risk. Changes to Griffin’s policies with regard to the foregoing could adversely affect Griffin’s financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and its ability to pay dividends on, and the per share trading price of, its common stock.

Changes to the U.S. federal income tax laws, including the recent comprehensive tax reform legislation, could have an adverse impact on Griffin’s business and financial results.

In December 2017, the United States enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) that includes significant changes to the U.S. federal income taxation of business entities. These changes include, among others, a permanent reduction to the corporate income tax rate, an expansion of the bonus depreciation provisions relating to the deductibility of certain eligible capital expenses, a limitation on the utilization of net operating losses to offset taxable income, and a partial limitation on the deductibility of business interest expense. Griffin is currently evaluating the potential impact on its operations of certain aspects of the TCJA that have not yet become effective for Griffin. The impact of those aspects of the TCJA that are not yet effective for Griffin could be material to Griffin’s results of operations in future periods.

Risks Related to Griffin’s Common Stock

Issuances or sales of Griffin’s common stock or the perception that such issuances or sales might occur could adversely affect the per share trading price of Griffin’s common stock.

Griffin’s ability to develop and acquire proprieties in part depends on Griffin’s access to capital which may in the future include the issuance of common equity. Griffin’s board of directors can authorize the issuance of additional securities without stockholder approval. Furthermore, on May 10, 2018, Griffin filed a shelf registration statement on

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Form S-3 with the SEC that allows it to offer up to $30 million of securities from time to time in one or more public offerings of its common stock.

The issuance or sale of Griffin common stock, including under Griffin’s shelf registration statement, in connection with future property, portfolio or business acquisitions, to repay indebtedness or for general corporate purposes, or the availability of shares for resale in the open market, could have an adverse effect on the per share trading price of Griffin’s common stock and would be dilutive to existing stockholders.

The exercise of any options or the issuance of any common stock granted to certain directors, executive officers and other employees under Griffin’s 2009 Stock Option Plan or other equity incentive plan could also have an adverse effect on the per share trading price of its common stock and be dilutive to existing stockholders. The existence of such options could also adversely affect the terms upon which Griffin may be able to obtain additional capital through the sale of equity securities.

The market price and trading volume of Griffin’s common stock may be volatile.

The trading volume in Griffin’s common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. If the per share trading price of Griffin’s common stock declines significantly, stockholders may be unable to resell their shares at or above the price paid for them. Griffin cannot assure stockholders that the per share trading price of its common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future.

Some of the factors that could negatively affect Griffin’s share price or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of its common stock include:

 

 

 

 

actual or anticipated variations in Griffin’s quarterly operating results or dividends;

 

changes in Griffin’s results of operations or cash flows;

 

publication of research reports about Griffin or the real estate industry;

 

prevailing interest rates;

 

the market for similar securities;

 

changes in market valuations of similar companies;

 

adverse market reaction to any additional or future issuance of debt or equity Griffin incurs in the future;

 

additions or departures of key management personnel;

 

actions by institutional stockholders;

 

speculation in the press or investment community;

 

the realization of any of the other risk factors presented in this annual report;

 

the extent of investor interest in Griffin’s securities or attractiveness of Griffin’s equity securities in comparison to other equity securities, including securities issued by other real estate-based companies;

 

Griffin’s underlying asset value;

 

investor confidence in the stock and bond markets, generally;

 

changes in tax laws;

 

future equity issuances; and

 

general market and economic conditions.

 

In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the price of their common stock. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and divert Griffin’s management’s attention and resources, which could have an adverse effect on Griffin’s financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and Griffin’s ability to pay dividends on, and the per share trading price of, its common stock.

Future offerings of debt securities, which would be senior to Griffin common stock upon liquidation, and/or preferred stock, which may be senior to Griffin common stock for purposes of dividend distributions or upon liquidation, may adversely affect the per share trading price of its common stock.

In the future, Griffin may attempt to increase its capital resources by making offerings of debt or additional equity securities, including medium-term notes, senior or subordinated notes and classes or series of its preferred stock

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under the Shelf Registration Statement. Upon liquidation, holders of Griffin debt securities and shares of Griffin preferred stock, and lenders with respect to other borrowings will be entitled to receive its available assets prior to distribution to the holders of its common stock. Additionally, any convertible or exchangeable securities that Griffin issues in the future may have rights, preferences and privileges more favorable than those of its common stock and may result in dilution to owners of its common stock. Holders of Griffin common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights or other protections against dilution. Any shares of Griffin preferred stock that are issued in the future under the Shelf Registration Statement or otherwise, could have a preference on liquidating distributions or a preference on dividend payments that could limit Griffin’s ability pay dividends to the holders of its common stock. Because Griffin’s decision to issue securities in any future offering under the Shelf Registration Statement or otherwise will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond its control, Griffin cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of its any such future offerings. Thus, Griffin’s stockholders bear the risk of any such future offerings reducing the per share trading price of its common stock and diluting their interest in Griffin.

 

ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

Not applicable.

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ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES.

Land Holdings

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin’s land holdings were as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Land Area (in acres)

 

Location

 

Developed

 

Undeveloped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecticut

 

 

 

 

 

Bloomfield

 

34

 

151

 

East Granby

 

15

 

525

(a)

East Windsor

 

 —

 

116

 

Granby

 

 —

 

333

(a)

Simsbury

 

 —

 

774

(b)

Suffield

 

 —

 

33

(c)

Windsor

 

274

 

535

(d)

Florida

 

 

 

 

 

Quincy

 

 —

 

1,066

(e)

Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 

Southwick

 

 —

 

297

 

North Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

Concord

 

18

 

22

(f)

Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

Lower Nazareth Township

 

51

 

 —

 

Hanover Township

 

49

 

 —

 

Breinigsville

 

17

 

 —

 

Upper Macungie Township

 

14

 

 —

 


Note: The development of some of Griffin’s undeveloped land may be limited by difficulties in obtaining entitlements, government regulations such as zoning, traffic considerations, potential environmental issues, initiatives intended to limit or concentrate residential growth, other restrictions to development imposed by governmental agencies and the nature of the land itself (i.e. the presence of wetlands or topography of the land).

 

(a)

347 acres in East Granby and 323 acres in Granby comprise the Connecticut Farm that is leased to Monrovia under the Imperial Lease.

(b)

Includes 280 acres under the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, and 277 acres for the site of the approved Meadowood residential development.

 

(c)

Includes 19 acres for the Stratton Farms residential development.

 

(d)

Includes 94 acres of undeveloped land in NE Tradeport and 61 acres of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing.

(e)

Reflects the Florida Farm.

(f)

Two industrial/warehouse buildings aggregating approximately 283,000 square feet are currently under construction on the 22 acre parcel in Concord.

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Developed Properties

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin owned thirty‑seven buildings, comprised of twenty-five industrial/warehouse buildings, eleven office/flex buildings and a small restaurant building. A listing of those facilities is as follows:

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Industrial/Warehouse Properties

    

 

 

100 International Drive, Windsor, CT*

 

304,200 sq. ft.

 

220 Tradeport Drive, Windsor, CT*

 

234,000 sq. ft.

 

1985 Blue Hills Avenue, Windsor, CT*

 

165,000 sq. ft.

 

755 Rainbow Road, Windsor, CT*

 

148,500 sq. ft.

 

758 Rainbow Road, Windsor, CT*

 

138,400 sq. ft.

 

754 Rainbow Road, Windsor, CT*

 

136,900 sq. ft.

 

330 Stone Road, Windsor, CT*

 

136,900 sq. ft.

 

759 Rainbow Road, Windsor, CT*

 

126,900 sq. ft.

 

75 International Drive, Windsor, CT*

 

117,000 sq. ft.

 

20 International Drive, Windsor, CT*

 

99,800 sq. ft.

 

40 International Drive, Windsor, CT*

 

99,800 sq. ft.

 

35 International Drive, Windsor, CT*

 

97,600 sq. ft.

 

16 International Drive, East Granby, CT*

 

58,400 sq. ft.

 

25 International Drive, Windsor, CT*

 

57,200 sq. ft.

 

15 International Drive, East Granby, CT*

 

41,600 sq. ft.

 

14 International Drive, East Granby, CT*

 

40,100 sq. ft.

 

131 Phoenix Crossing, Bloomfield, CT

 

31,200 sq. ft.

 

210 West Newberry Road, Bloomfield, CT*

 

18,400 sq. ft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pennsylvania Industrial/Warehouse Properties

    

 

 

4270 Fritch Drive, Lower Nazareth, PA*

 

302,600 sq. ft.

 

5220 Jaindl Blvd., Hanover Township, PA*

 

280,000 sq. ft.

 

5210 Jaindl Blvd., Hanover Township, PA*

 

252,000 sq. ft.

 

4275 Fritch Drive, Lower Nazareth, PA*

 

228,000 sq. ft.

 

6975 Ambassador Drive, Allentown, PA

 

134,000 sq. ft.

 

871 Nestle Way, Breinigsville, PA*

 

119,900 sq. ft.

 

 

 

 

 

North Carolina Industrial/Warehouse Property

    

 

215 International Drive, Concord, NC*

 

277,300 sq. ft.

 

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Office/Flex Properties

    

 

 

5 Waterside Crossing, Windsor, CT*

 

80,500 sq. ft.

 

7 Waterside Crossing, Windsor, CT*

 

80,500 sq. ft.

 

29 - 35 Griffin Road South, Bloomfield, CT*

 

57,500 sq. ft.

 

21 Griffin Road North, Windsor, CT*

 

48,300 sq. ft.

 

55 Griffin Road South, Bloomfield, CT*

 

40,300 sq. ft.

 

340 West Newberry Road, Bloomfield, CT*

 

39,000 sq. ft.

 

206 West Newberry Road, Bloomfield, CT*

 

22,800 sq. ft.

 

204 West Newberry Road, Bloomfield, CT*

 

22,300 sq. ft.

 

330 West Newberry Road, Bloomfield, CT*

 

11,900 sq. ft.

 

310 West Newberry Road, Bloomfield, CT*

 

11,400 sq. ft.

 

320 West Newberry Road, Bloomfield, CT*

 

11,100 sq. ft.

 

1936 Blue Hills Avenue, Windsor, CT

 

7,200 sq. ft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


*     Included as collateral under one of Griffin’s nonrecourse mortgage loans, Griffin’s construction loan or Griffin’s revolving line of credit as of November 30, 2018.

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Griffin subleases approximately 1,920 square feet in New York City for its executive offices from Bloomingdale Properties, Inc. (“Bloomingdale Properties”), an entity that is controlled by certain members of the Cullman and Ernst Group. The sublease with Bloomingdale Properties was approved by Griffin’s Audit Committee and the lease rates under the sublease were at market rate at the time the sublease was signed.

As with many companies engaged in real estate investment and development, Griffin holds its real estate portfolio subject to mortgage debt. See Note 5 to Griffin’s consolidated financial statements for information concerning the mortgage debt associated with Griffin’s properties.

 

 

ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

From time to time, Griffin is involved, as a defendant, in various litigation matters arising in the ordinary course of business. In the opinion of management, based on the advice of legal counsel, the ultimate liability, if any, with respect to these matters is not expected to be material to Griffin’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

 

 

 

ITEM 4.  MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.

Not applicable.

 

 

PART II

ITEM 5.  MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.

Market Information

Griffin’s common stock is traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC under the symbol GRIF. As of January 31, 2019, there were 146 holders of record of Griffin common stock, which does not include beneficial owners whose shares are held of record in the names of brokers or nominees. The closing market price as quoted on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC on such date was $33.63 per share.

Dividend Policy

Griffin’s dividend policy is to consider the payment of an annual dividend at the end of its fiscal year, which enables the Board of Directors to evaluate both Griffin’s prior full year results and its cash needs for the succeeding year when determining whether to declare an annual dividend and the amount thereof, if any.

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ITEM 6.  SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.

The following table sets forth selected statement of operations data for fiscal years 2014 through 2018 and balance sheet data as of the end of each fiscal year. The selected statement of operations data for fiscal 2016, fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 and the selected balance sheet data for fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018 are derived from the audited consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report. The selected statement of operations data for fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 and the balance sheet data for fiscal 2014, fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016 were derived from the audited consolidated financial statements for those years. This selected financial data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other financial information included elsewhere in this Annual Report. Historical results are not necessarily indicative of future performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

    

2014

 

 

(dollars in thousands, except per share data)

Statement of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenue

 

$

33,800

 

$

43,884

 

$

30,851

 

$

28,088

 

$

24,219

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

 

11,404

 

 

10,064

 

 

8,797

 

 

7,668

 

 

6,729

Operating income

 

 

4,971

 

 

12,622

 

 

5,627

 

 

4,314

 

 

1,809

(Loss) income from continuing operations

 

 

(1,653)

 

 

4,627

 

 

576

 

 

425

 

 

(1,248)

Income from discontinued operations (1)

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

144

Net (loss) income

 

 

(1,653)

 

 

4,627

 

 

576

 

 

425

 

 

(1,104)

Basic (loss) income per share from continuing operations

 

 

(0.33)

 

 

0.92

 

 

0.11

 

 

0.08

 

 

(0.24)

Basic income per share from discontinued operations (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.03

Basic net (loss) income per share

 

 

(0.33)

 

 

0.92

 

 

0.11

 

 

0.08

 

 

(0.21)

Diluted (loss) income per share from continuing operations

 

 

(0.33)

 

 

0.92

 

 

0.11

 

 

0.08

 

 

(0.24)

Diluted income per share from discontinued operations (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0.03

Diluted net (loss) income per share

 

 

(0.33)

 

 

0.92

 

 

0.11

 

 

0.08

 

 

(0.21)

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

 

263,469

 

 

249,037

 

 

223,623

 

 

208,050

 

 

185,690

Mortgage and construction loans, net of debt issuance costs

 

 

145,052

 

 

129,203

 

 

109,697

 

 

89,185

 

 

69,481

Stockholders’ equity

 

 

94,828

 

 

93,053

 

 

90,803

 

 

94,809

 

 

95,879

Cash dividends declared per common share

 

 

0.45

 

 

0.40

 

 

0.30

 

 

0.30

 

 

0.20

 


(1)

Fiscal year 2014 includes the results from the growing operations of the landscape nursery business, which was sold on January 8, 2014.

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ITEM 7.  MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.

Overview

Griffin Industrial Realty, Inc. (“Griffin”) is a real estate business principally engaged in developing, managing and leasing industrial/warehouse properties, and to a lesser extent, office/flex properties. Griffin seeks to add to its property portfolio through the acquisition and development of land or the purchase of buildings in select markets targeted by Griffin. Periodically, Griffin may sell certain portions of its undeveloped land that it has owned for an extended time period and the use of which is not consistent with Griffin’s core development and leasing strategy.

The notes to Griffin’s consolidated financial statements included in Item 8 of this Annual Report contain a summary of the significant accounting policies and methods used in the preparation of Griffin’s consolidated financial statements. In the opinion of management, because of the relative magnitude of Griffin’s real estate assets, accounting methods and estimates related to those assets are critical to the preparation of Griffin’s consolidated financial statements. Griffin uses accounting policies and methods under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”). The following are the critical accounting estimates and methods used by Griffin:

Revenue and gain recognition: Revenue includes rental revenue from Griffin’s industrial and commercial properties and proceeds from property sales. Rental revenue is accounted for on a straight‑line basis over the applicable lease term in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) ASC 840, “Leases.” Gains on property sales are recognized in accordance with FASB ASC 360‑20 “Property, Plant and Equipment‑Real Estate Sales” based on the specific terms of each sale. When the percentage of completion method is used to account for a sale of real estate, costs included in determining the percentage of completion include the costs of the land sold, allocated master planning costs, selling and transaction costs and estimated future costs related to the land sold.

Impairment of long‑lived assets: Griffin reviews annually, as well as when conditions may indicate, its long‑lived assets to determine if there are any indications of impairment, such as a prolonged vacancy in one of Griffin’s rental properties. If indications of impairment are present, Griffin evaluates the carrying value of the assets in relation to undiscounted cash flows or the estimated fair value of the underlying assets. Development costs that have been capitalized are reviewed periodically for future recoverability.

Stock based compensation: Griffin determines stock based compensation based on the estimated fair values of stock options as determined on their grant dates using the Black‑Scholes option‑pricing model. In determining the estimated fair values of stock options issued, Griffin makes assumptions on expected volatility, risk free interest rates, expected option terms and dividend yields.

Derivative instruments: Griffin evaluates each interest rate swap agreement to determine if it qualifies as an effective cash flow hedge. Changes in the fair value of each interest rate swap agreement that management determines to be an effective cash flow hedge are recorded as a component of other comprehensive income. The fair value of each interest rate swap agreement is determined based on observable market participant data, such as yield curves, as of the fair value measurement date.

Income taxes: In accounting for income taxes under FASB ASC 740, “Income Taxes,” management estimates future taxable income from operations, the sale of appreciated assets, the remaining years before the expiration of loss credit carryforwards, future reversals of existing temporary differences and tax planning strategies in determining if it is more likely than not that Griffin will realize the benefits of its deferred tax assets. Deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are measured using the enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities of a change in tax rates on income is recognized in the period that the tax rate change is enacted.

 

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Summary

In the fiscal year ended November 30, 2018 (“fiscal 2018”), Griffin incurred a net loss of approximately $1.7 million as compared to net income of approximately $4.6 million in the fiscal year ended November 30, 2017 (“fiscal 2017”). The net loss in fiscal 2018, as compared to the net income in fiscal 2017, principally reflected: (a) a decrease of approximately $7.7 million in operating income in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017; (b) an increase of approximately $0.6 million in interest expense in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017; and (c) a gain of approximately $0.3 million in fiscal 2017 from the sale of Griffin’s holdings of common stock of Centaur Media, plc (“Centaur Media”); partially offset by (d) a decrease of approximately $2.2 million in the income tax provision in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017.

The lower operating income in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, reflected: (a) an approximately $9.3 million decrease in gain from property sales; and (b) an approximately $1.3 million increase in depreciation and amortization expense in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017; partially offset by (c) an approximately $2.2 million increase in profit from leasing activities2 (which Griffin defines as rental revenue less operating expenses of rental properties); and (d) an approximately $0.8 million decrease in general and administrative expenses in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017. The lower gain from property sales in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected a gain of approximately $8.0 million in fiscal 2017 on the sale of approximately 67 acres of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing (the “2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale”). The higher depreciation and amortization expense in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected depreciation and amortization related to: (a) 215 International Drive (“215 International”), an approximately 277,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building that was acquired in the fiscal 2017 third quarter and is Griffin’s first property in the Charlotte, North Carolina area; (b) 330 Stone Road (“330 Stone”), an approximately 137,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building that was completed and placed in service just prior to the end of fiscal 2017 in New England Tradeport (“NE Tradeport”), Griffin’s industrial park located in Windsor and East Granby, Connecticut; and (c) tenant improvements and lease commissions related to new leases in the latter part of fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018.

The increase in profit from leasing activities to approximately $23.2 million in fiscal 2018, from approximately $21.1 million in fiscal 2017, principally reflected an approximately $2.8 million increase in rental revenue in fiscal 2018 as a result of more space under lease in fiscal 2018 than fiscal 2017, partially offset by an increase of approximately $0.7 million in operating expenses of rental properties, due principally to 215 International and 330 Stone being in service for the entire year in fiscal 2018. The lower general and administrative expenses in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected a decrease of approximately $0.5 million of expenses related to Griffin’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan in fiscal 2018 and an expense of approximately $0.3 million in fiscal 2017 for the write-off of costs related to a land purchase that was not completed. The higher interest expense in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected the higher amount of debt outstanding in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017.

The lower income tax provision in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, reflected pretax income in fiscal 2017, as compared to a pretax loss in fiscal 2018, partially offset by approximately $1.0 million in the fiscal 2018 income tax provision for the re-measurement of Griffin’s deferred tax assets and liabilities from the reduction in the U.S. federal corporate statutory tax rate from 35% to 21% under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) that became effective for Griffin in the fiscal 2018 first quarter. As Griffin had net deferred tax assets when the TCJA became effective for Griffin, the re-measurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities resulted in the charge that is included in the fiscal 2018 income tax provision.

 

 

 

___________________

2Profit from leasing activities is not a financial measure in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”). It is presented because Griffin believes it is a useful financial indicator for measuring results of its real estate leasing activities. However, it should not be considered as an alternative to operating income as a measure of operating results in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

 

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Results of Operations

Fiscal 2018 Compared to Fiscal 2017

Total revenue decreased from approximately $43.9 million in fiscal 2017 to approximately $33.8 million in fiscal 2018, reflecting a decrease of approximately $12.9 million in revenue from property sales partially offset by an increase of approximately $2.8 million in rental revenue.

 

Rental revenue increased to approximately $32.8 million in fiscal 2018 from approximately $29.9 million in fiscal 2017. The approximately $2.8 million increase in rental revenue in fiscal 2018 over fiscal 2017 was principally due to: (a) approximately $1.0 million of rental revenue from two newly constructed buildings added to Griffin’s portfolio, 330 Stone and 220 Tradeport Drive (“220 Tradeport”), an approximately 234,000 square foot build-to-suit industrial/warehouse building in NE Tradeport that was completed and fully leased in the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter; (b) an increase of approximately $0.8 million of rental revenue from 215 International as a result of owning that building for the entire year in fiscal 2018 versus a partial year in fiscal 2017; (c) approximately $1.8 million of rental revenue from leasing previously vacant space; and (d) an increase in rental revenue of approximately $0.2 million from all other properties; partially offset by (e) approximately $1.0 million of rental revenue from leases that expired.

 

A summary of the total square footage and leased square footage of the buildings in Griffin’s real estate portfolio is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Total

    

Square

    

 

 

 

Square

 

Footage

 

Percentage

 

 

Footage

 

Leased

 

Leased

As of November 30, 2018

 

4,078,000

 

3,777,000

 

93%

As of November 30, 2017

 

3,710,000

 

3,515,000

 

95%

 

The approximately 368,000 square foot increase in Griffin’s real estate portfolio from November 30, 2017 to November 30, 2018 was due to the completion and placing into service in the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter of 220 Tradeport and 6975 Ambassador Drive (“6975 Ambassador”), an approximately 134,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building, built on speculation, in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. 6975 Ambassador is not yet leased. 

 

The approximately 262,000 square foot net increase in space leased as of November 30, 2018, as compared to November 30, 2017, reflected: (a) an increase of approximately 234,000 square feet from the completion of and lease commencement at 220 Tradeport; (b) an increase of approximately 63,000 square feet from leasing the remaining vacant space at 330 Stone, resulting in that building, which was built on speculation, becoming fully leased; and (c) leasing approximately 47,000 square feet of previously vacant space (mostly industrial/warehouse space); partially offset by (d) a reduction of approximately 82,000 square feet from lease expirations, including approximately 48,000 square feet in a NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse building as a  result of a  lease amendment (the “Lease Amendment”) with a tenant that had filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code whereby the tenant reduced its space under lease from approximately 100,000 square feet to approximately 52,000 square feet. In fiscal 2018, Griffin renewed several leases aggregating approximately 415,000 square feet (mostly industrial/warehouse space), including a three year renewal of a full building lease of an approximately 228,000 square foot building in the Lehigh Valley scheduled to expire on September 30, 2018, at a rental rate 12% higher than the rental rate in effect at the time of the lease renewal and a three year renewal of a full building lease of an approximately 127,000 square foot building in NE Tradeport that was scheduled to expire on February 28, 2019.

 

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin’s approximately 3,645,000 square feet of industrial/warehouse space, which comprised approximately 89% of Griffin’s total square footage, was 95% leased, with the only significant vacancies being 6975 Ambassador and the approximately 48,000 square feet in NE Tradeport that was vacated as a result of the Lease Amendment. Griffin’s office/flex buildings, aggregating approximately 433,000 square feet (11% of Griffin’s total square footage) are located in the Hartford, Connecticut area, and were approximately 72% leased as of November 30, 2018.

 

All of Griffin’s industrial/warehouse buildings and office/flex buildings in Connecticut are in the north submarket of Hartford.  The Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Marketview Report (“Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Report”)

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from CBRE Group, Inc. (“CBRE”), a national real estate services company, stated that the vacancy rate in the greater Hartford industrial market decreased to 7.2% at the end of 2018 from 8.8% at the end of 2017, and that net absorption in the greater Hartford industrial market in 2018 was approximately 1.2 million square feet. The Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Report also stated that the vacancy rate in the north submarket of Hartford, where a portion of Griffin’s properties are located, decreased to 5.4% at the end of 2018 from 6.3% at the end of 2017, with net absorption of approximately 0.3 million square feet in 2018. The decrease in the Hartford industrial market vacancy rate in 2018 continued the downward trend from 2014, when the vacancy rate in the Hartford industrial market was 12.3%. The Hartford office/flex market remained weak in 2018, as evidenced by vacancy rates at the end of 2018, as stated in the Q4 2018 CBRE|New England Report, of 17.2% for the overall Hartford market and 33.6% in north submarket of Hartford.

The strong growth and active leasing market for industrial/warehouse space that the Lehigh Valley experienced in recent years continued in 2018. The vacancy rate of Lehigh Valley industrial/warehouse properties, in the counties where Griffin’s Lehigh Valley properties are located, as reported in CBRE’s Q4 2018 Marketview Lehigh Valley PA Industrial Report, was 4.8% at the end of 2018, with a net absorption of approximately 5.5 million square feet in 2018.  The Charlotte, North Carolina industrial real estate market remained strong in 2018. CBRE’s Q4 2018 Marketview Charlotte Industrial Report stated a vacancy rate of 5.3% for warehouse space at the end of 2018 and absorption of 4.8 million square feet of warehouse space in 2018. There is no guarantee that an active or strong real estate market or an increase in inquiries from prospective tenants will result in leasing space that was vacant as of November 30, 2018 or leasing space in buildings expected to be completed in 2019.

 

Revenue from property sales of approximately $1.0 million in fiscal 2018 reflected approximately $0.8 million from the sale of approximately 49 acres of undeveloped land in Southwick, Massachusetts (the “2018 Southwick Land Sale”), approximately $0.1 million from the sale of a residential lot at Stratton Farms, Griffin’s residential subdivision in Suffield, Connecticut, and approximately $0.1 million from a buyer’s forfeiture of a deposit on a potential land sale that was not completed. The aggregated cost related to the 2018 Southwick Land Sale, the Stratton Farms residential lot sale and the deposit forfeiture was approximately $0.1 million, resulting in a total pretax gain of approximately $0.9 million from property sales in fiscal 2018.

 

Revenue from property sales of approximately $14.0 million in fiscal 2017 reflected: (a) approximately $10.3 million from the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale; (b) approximately $2.1 million from the sale of approximately 76 acres of undeveloped land in Southwick, Massachusetts (the “2017 Southwick Land Sale”); and (c) approximately $1.3 million from the sale of two smaller parcels of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing. In addition, Griffin sold two small residential lots for total revenue of approximately $0.2 million and recognized approximately $0.1 million of revenue from a prior year land sale. The costs related to the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale, the 2017 Southwick Land Sale and the sale of two smaller Phoenix Crossing parcels of undeveloped land were approximately $2.3 million, $0.2 million and $1.2 million, respectively, resulting in pretax gains of approximately $8.0 million, $1.9 million and $0.1 million, respectively. Property sales occur periodically and year to year changes in revenue from property sales may not be indicative of any trends in Griffin’s real estate business.

 

Operating expenses of rental properties increased to approximately $9.5 million in fiscal 2018 from approximately $8.9 million in fiscal 2017. The approximately $0.6 million increase in operating expenses of rental properties in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected approximately $0.2 million of expenses at 330 Stone (placed in service just prior to the end of fiscal 2017), a total of approximately $0.2 million of expenses at 220 Tradeport and 6975 Ambassador (both were placed in service in the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter), an increase of approximately $0.1 million of expenses at 215 International (acquired in the fiscal 2017 third quarter) and an increase of approximately $0.1 million of expenses across all other properties.

 

Depreciation and amortization expense increased to approximately $11.4 million in fiscal 2018 from approximately $10.1 million in fiscal 2017. The approximately $1.3 million increase in depreciation and amortization expense in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected: (a) an approximately $0.4 million increase from a full year of depreciation and amortization expense at 215 International in fiscal 2018 versus a partial year in fiscal 2017; (b) approximately $0.4 million of depreciation and amortization expense at 330 Stone; (c) approximately $0.2 million of depreciation and amortization expense related to 220 Tradeport and 6975 Ambassador;  and (d) approximately $0.3 million of depreciation and amortization expense on tenant improvements and lease commissions related to new leases in the latter part of fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018.

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Griffin’s general and administrative expenses decreased to approximately $7.7 million in fiscal 2018 from approximately $8.6 million in fiscal 2017. The approximately $0.8 million decrease in general and administrative expenses in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected approximately $0.5 million of lower expenses related to Griffin’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan, a decrease of approximately $0.2 million of incentive compensation expense and approximately $0.3 million of expense incurred in fiscal 2017 for the write-off of expenditures incurred for a potential purchase of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley that was not completed, partially offset by an increase of approximately $0.2 million for all other general and administrative expenses. The lower expense related to Griffin’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan reflected the effect of lower stock market performance on participant balances in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, which resulted in a smaller increase in the non-qualified deferred compensation plan liability in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017. 

 

Griffin’s interest expense increased to approximately $6.3 million in fiscal 2018 from approximately $5.7 million in fiscal 2017. The approximately $0.6 million increase in interest expense in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected interest expense of approximately $0.8 million on the higher amount of outstanding debt in fiscal 2018, partially offset by an increase of approximately $0.2 million of interest capitalized in fiscal 2018 as compared to fiscal 2017.

 

Griffin’s income tax provision was approximately $0.5 million in fiscal 2018 as compared to approximately $2.7 million in fiscal 2017. The income tax provision in fiscal 2018 included approximately $1.0 million for the re-measurement of Griffin’s deferred tax assets and liabilities as a result of the reduction in the U.S. federal corporate statutory tax rate from 35% to 21% under the TCJA. As Griffin had net deferred tax assets at the time the TCJA became effective for Griffin, the re-measurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities resulted in the charge included in the fiscal 2018 income tax provision. Partially offsetting the charge for the re-measurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities were income tax benefits of approximately $0.3 million on the approximately $1.1 million pretax loss in fiscal 2018 and approximately $0.2 million related to the exercise of stock options in fiscal 2018.

 

Fiscal 2017 Compared to Fiscal 2016

Total revenue increased to approximately $43.9 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $30.9 million in fiscal 2016, reflecting increases of approximately $9.6 million in revenue from property sales and approximately $3.4 million in rental revenue. Rental revenue increased to approximately $29.9 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $26.5 million in fiscal 2016. The approximately $3.4 million increase in rental revenue in fiscal 2017 over fiscal 2016 was principally due to: (a) an increase of approximately $1.9 million from leasing previously vacant space; (b) an increase of approximately $1.8 million from 5210 Jaindl Blvd. (“5210 Jaindl”),  an approximately 252,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in the Lehigh Valley that was placed in service and fully leased in fiscal 2016 with tenants taking occupancy and generating rental revenue starting in fiscal 2017; and (c) approximately $0.7 million of rental revenue from 215 International, the industrial/warehouse building acquired in the fiscal 2017 third quarter; partially offset by (d) a decrease of approximately $1.0 million from leases that expired.

 

A summary of the total square footage and leased square footage of the buildings in Griffin’s real estate portfolio is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Total

    

Square

    

 

 

 

Square

 

Footage

 

Percentage

 

 

Footage

 

Leased

 

Leased

As of November 30, 2017

 

3,710,000

 

3,515,000

 

95%

As of November 30, 2016

 

3,297,000

 

3,066,000

 

93%

 

The approximately 413,000 square foot increase in total square footage as of November 30, 2017, as compared to November 30, 2016, was due to the acquisition of 215 International and the completion of construction and placing into service of 330 Stone just prior to the end of fiscal 2017.

 

The approximately 449,000 square foot net increase in space leased as of November 30, 2017, as compared to November 30, 2016, was principally due to: (a) approximately 277,000 square feet at 215 International, which was 74%

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leased when acquired and subsequently became fully leased; (b) approximately 74,000 square feet being leased in 330 Stone; and (c) two new leases of industrial/warehouse space aggregating approximately 104,000 square feet in NE Tradeport; partially offset by (d) the expiration of an approximately 12,000 square foot lease of office/flex space in Griffin Center South in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

Revenue from property sales increased to approximately $14.0 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $4.4 million in fiscal 2016. Property sales revenue in fiscal 2017 included: (a) approximately $10.3 million from the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale; (b) approximately $2.1 million from the 2017 Southwick Land Sale; and (c) approximately $1.3 million from the sale of two smaller parcels of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing. In addition, Griffin sold two small residential lots for total revenue of approximately $0.2 million and recognized approximately $0.1 million of revenue from a prior year land sale. The costs related to the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale, the Southwick Land Sale and the sale of two smaller Phoenix Crossing parcels of undeveloped land were approximately $2.3 million, $0.2 million and $1.2 million, respectively, resulting in pretax gains of approximately $8.0 million, $1.9 million and $0.1 million, respectively. The costs of the two smaller Phoenix Crossing parcels were relatively higher than the costs of other Phoenix Crossing land sold because those parcels were acquired more recently than the other Phoenix Crossing land, which had been held for many years and had a low cost basis.

Revenue from property sales in fiscal 2017 included recognition of the remaining approximately $0.1 million from the sale of approximately 90 acres of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing (the “2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale”) that closed in the fiscal year ended November 30, 2013 (“fiscal 2013”) and was accounted for under the percentage of completion method whereby revenue and gain were recognized as costs related to the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale were incurred. Under the terms of the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale, Griffin constructed roads to connect the land sold to existing town roads. Such construction was completed in fiscal 2017. Accordingly, because of Griffin’s continued involvement with the land that was sold, the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale was accounted for under the percentage of completion method. From the closing of the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale through the end of fiscal 2017, Griffin recognized total revenue of approximately $9.0 million and a total pretax gain of approximately $6.7 million from the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale. Property sales occur periodically and changes in revenue from year to year from property sales may not be indicative of any trends in Griffin’s real estate business.

Griffin’s revenue from property sales of approximately $4.4 million in fiscal 2016 reflected approximately $3.8 million from the sale of approximately 29 acres of undeveloped land in Griffin Center (the “2016 Griffin Center Land Sale”) that resulted in a pretax gain of approximately $3.2 million and the recognition of approximately $0.6 million of revenue from the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale that resulted in a pretax gain of approximately $0.4 million.

Operating expenses of rental properties increased to approximately $8.9 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $8.3 million in fiscal 2016. The increase of approximately $0.6 million in operating expenses of rental properties in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected: (a) an increase of approximately $0.4 million at 5210 Jaindl, which was in service for the entire year in fiscal 2017 versus five months in fiscal 2016; (b) approximately $0.1 million at 215 International; and (c) increases aggregating approximately $0.1 million across all other properties.

Depreciation and amortization expense increased to approximately $10.1 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $8.8 million in fiscal 2016. The increase of approximately $1.3 million in depreciation and amortization expense in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected: (a) an increase of approximately $0.6 million related to 5210 Jaindl; (b) approximately $0.5 million related to 215 International; and (c) an increase of approximately $0.2 million across all other properties.

Griffin’s general and administrative expenses increased to approximately $8.6 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $7.4 million in fiscal 2016. The increase of approximately $1.2 million in general and administrative expenses in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected: (a) an increase of approximately $0.6 million in compensation expense, which includes increases of approximately $0.4 million of incentive compensation expense and approximately $0.2 million of salary expense; (b) an increase of approximately $0.3 million related to Griffin’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan; and (c) approximately $0.3 million for the write-off of costs incurred for a potential purchase of a parcel of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley that was not completed. The increase in incentive compensation expense in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, reflected Griffin’s improved results of

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operations in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, that led to the achievement of certain objectives of Griffin’s incentive compensation plan. The increase in salary expense in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected the addition of the Director of Acquisitions position in fiscal 2017. The expense increase related to the non-qualified deferred compensation plan reflected the effect of higher stock market performance on participant balances in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, which resulted in a greater increase in Griffin’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan liability in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016.

Griffin’s interest expense increased to approximately $5.7 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $4.5 million in fiscal 2016. The increase of approximately $1.2 million in interest expense in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected: (a) approximately $0.5 million from financing 5210 Jaindl, which closed just prior to the end of fiscal 2016; (b) approximately $0.4 million from financing two previously unleveraged NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse buildings in fiscal 2017; (c) approximately $0.2 million less interest capitalized in fiscal 2017 as compared to fiscal 2016; and (d) approximately $0.1 million from financing 215 International in fiscal 2017.

In fiscal 2017, Griffin sold its remaining holdings of the common stock of Centaur Media for cash proceeds of approximately $1.2 million and a pretax gain of approximately $0.3 million. The approximately $0.1 million gain on the sale of assets in fiscal 2016 was from the disposition of certain fully depreciated equipment.

Griffin’s income tax provision increased to approximately $2.7 million in fiscal 2017 from approximately $0.7 million in fiscal 2016. The income tax provision in fiscal 2017 reflected an effective tax rate of 36.7% on pretax income of approximately $7.3 million as compared to an effective tax rate of 56.1% on pretax income of approximately $1.3 million in fiscal 2016. The approximately $2.0 million increase in the income tax provision in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, reflected approximately $2.2 million as a result of the higher pretax income in fiscal 2017 than fiscal 2016, partially offset by the inclusion in fiscal 2016 of a charge of approximately $0.2 million related to the reduction of the expected realization rate of tax benefits from Connecticut state net operating loss carryforwards as a result of a change in Connecticut tax law, effective for Griffin in fiscal 2016, that limits the future usage of loss carryforwards to 50% of taxable income. The charge for the reduction of the expected realization rate of tax benefits from Connecticut state net operating loss carryforwards increased the fiscal 2016 effective tax rate by approximately 12%.

Off Balance Sheet Arrangements

Griffin does not have any off balance sheet arrangements.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Net cash provided by operating activities was approximately $8.4 million in fiscal 2018 as compared to approximately $9.4 million in fiscal 2017. The approximately $1.0 million decrease in net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected a decrease in cash of approximately $3.4 million from changes in assets and liabilities substantially offset by an increase in cash of approximately $2.4 million from results of operations as adjusted for gains on property sales and noncash expenses in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017. The increase in cash provided by results of operations as adjusted for gains on property sales and noncash expenses principally reflected the approximately $2.2 million increase in profit from leasing activities in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017.

 

The approximately $3.4 million decrease in cash from changes in assets and liabilities in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected: (a) a decrease in deferred revenue of approximately $1.2 million in fiscal 2018 as compared to an increase of approximately $2.4 million in fiscal 2017; (b) an increase in other liabilities of approximately $0.2 million in fiscal 2018 as compared to an increase of approximately $1.1 million in fiscal 2017; and (c) a decrease in accounts payable and accrued liabilities of approximately $0.3 million in fiscal 2018 as compared to an increase of approximately $0.3 million in fiscal 2017; partially offset by (d) a decrease in other assets of approximately $0.3 million in fiscal 2018 as compared to an increase of approximately $2.1 million in fiscal 2017. The unfavorable change in deferred revenue in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected less cash received in fiscal 2018 for tenant and building improvements that will be recognized as rental revenue over the tenants’ respective lease terms. The less favorable change in other liabilities in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected a smaller increase of Griffin’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan liability, reflected through lower general and

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administrative expenses, as a result of the effect of lower stock market performance on participant balances in fiscal 2018. The unfavorable change in accounts payable and accrued liabilities in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected the timing of payments. The lower increase in other assets in fiscal 2018, as compared to fiscal 2017, principally reflected a decrease in amounts due from tenants.

In fiscal 2017, net cash provided by operating activities increased to approximately $9.4 million from approximately $7.2 million in fiscal 2016. The approximately $2.2 million increase in net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected an increase of approximately $1.6 million of cash provided by changes in assets and liabilities in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, and an increase of approximately $0.6 million of cash provided by results of operations as adjusted for gains on property sales and noncash expenses in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016. The increase in net income as adjusted for gains on property sales and noncash expenses reflected the approximately $2.8 million increase in profit from leasing activities in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, partially offset by the approximately $1.1 million increase in interest expense and the approximately $1.2 million increase in general and administrative expenses, a portion of which were noncash and reflected in the favorable changes in assets and liabilities.

The approximately $1.6 million increase in cash from changes in assets and liabilities in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected: (a) an increase in deferred revenue of approximately $2.4 million in fiscal 2017 as compared to a decrease of approximately $0.7 million in fiscal 2016; and (b) an increase in other liabilities of approximately $1.1 million in fiscal 2017 as compared to an increase of approximately $0.4 million in fiscal 2016; partially offset by (c) an increase in other assets of approximately $2.1 million in fiscal 2017 as compared to a decrease of approximately $0.1 million in fiscal 2016. The favorable change in deferred revenue in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected cash received for tenant and building improvements that will be recognized as rental revenue over the tenants’ respective lease terms. The favorable change in other liabilities in fiscal 2017, as compared to fiscal 2016, principally reflected the increase of Griffin’s non-qualified deferred compensation plan liability, reflected in general and administrative expenses, as a result of the increase in participant balances in fiscal 2017. The unfavorable change in other assets principally reflected differences in reported rental revenue and cash received from tenants due to the effect of rent abatements given to tenants primarily at the start of leases and an increase in amounts due from tenants, principally due to timing of payments received from tenants for additional tenant and building improvements related to new leases.

Net cash used in investing activities was approximately $45.3 million in fiscal 2018, as compared to approximately $19.9 million in fiscal 2017 and approximately $16.6 million in fiscal 2016. The net cash used in investing activities in fiscal 2018 reflected: (a) cash payments of approximately $28.6 million for additions to real estate assets; (b) net cash of $17.0 million used for short-term investments; and (c) cash payments of approximately $0.8 million for deferred leasing costs and other uses; partially offset by (d) cash proceeds of approximately $1.0 million from property sales; and (e) approximately $0.1 million of cash proceeds from a fiscal 2017 property sale returned from escrow.

 

The approximately $28.6 million of cash payments for additions to real estate assets in fiscal 2018 reflected the following:

 

 

 

 

 

New building construction (including site work)

    

$

20.7 million

Tenant and building improvements related to leasing

 

$

4.6 million

Purchase of undeveloped land

 

$

2.7 million

Development costs and infrastructure improvements

 

$

0.6 million

 

Cash payments for new building construction (including site work) in fiscal 2018 included approximately $12.8 million for the construction of 220 Tradeport and approximately $7.7 million for the construction, on speculation, of 6975 Ambassador. Griffin completed construction of both 220 Tradeport and 6975 Ambassador in the fiscal 2018 fourth quarter. The total cost of site work and construction (excluding tenant improvements) of 220 Tradeport and 6975 Ambassador were approximately $13.2 million and approximately $8.1 million, respectively. Cash payments for new building construction (including site work) in fiscal 2018 also included the approximately $0.1 million of final payments for the construction of 330 Stone, which was completed in the fiscal 2017 fourth quarter, and approximately $0.1 million for the start of construction, on speculation, of two industrial/warehouse buildings aggregating

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approximately 283,000 square feet on a land parcel in Concord, North Carolina (the “Concord Land”) that was purchased in fiscal 2018 (see below). Griffin expects to spend approximately $15.0 million for the site work and construction (excluding tenant improvements) of the two buildings being built on the Concord Land, with expected completion in the second half of fiscal 2019.

 

Cash payments for tenant and building improvements in fiscal 2018 principally related to the full building lease at 220 Tradeport (approximately $2.0 million), the approximately 74,000 square foot lease at 330 Stone that commenced just prior to the end of fiscal 2017 (approximately $1.5 million) and approximately $1.1 million related to other new leases and lease renewals signed in the latter part of fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2018.

 

The cash payment of approximately $2.7 million, including acquisition costs, for the purchase of undeveloped land in fiscal 2018 was for the purchase of the Concord Land, an approximately 22 acre parcel in the greater Charlotte area. Approximately $0.8 million of the purchase price of the Concord Land was paid using the proceeds from the 2018 Southwick Land Sale to complete a like-kind exchange (“1031 Like-Kind Exchange”) under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (see below).

 

Net cash payments of $17.0 million used for short-term investments in fiscal 2018 reflected the investment in repurchase agreements with Webster Bank, N.A. (“Webster Bank”) that are collateralized with securities issued by the United States Government or its sponsored agencies. These repurchase agreements have maturities of up to six months, and as of November 30, 2018, had a weighted average maturity of less than 90 days. Cash payments of approximately $0.8 million for deferred leasing costs and other uses in fiscal 2018 reflected approximately $0.7 million for lease commissions and other costs related to new and renewed leases and approximately $0.1 million for purchases of equipment.

 

The approximately $1.0 million of cash proceeds from property sales in fiscal 2018 reflected approximately $0.8 million from the 2018 Southwick Land Sale, approximately $0.1 million from the sale of a Stratton Farms residential lot and approximately $0.1 million from a buyer’s forfeiture of a deposit on a potential land sale that did not close. The approximately $0.1 million of cash proceeds from property sales returned from escrow in fiscal 2018 reflected the amount remaining after approximately $1.8 million of the approximately $1.9 million of total cash proceeds from the 2017 Southwick Land Sale, deposited into escrow at closing, were used to purchase the Lehigh Valley land site for 6975 Ambassador in fiscal 2017 to complete a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange.

 

In fiscal 2017, net cash used in investing activities of approximately $19.9 million reflected: (a) cash payments of approximately $18.4 million for the acquisition of 215 International; (b) cash payments of approximately $17.6 million for additions to real estate assets; and (c) cash payments of approximately $1.6 million for deferred leasing costs and other uses; partially offset by (d) cash proceeds of approximately $13.0 million from property sales; (e) approximately $3.4 million of net cash proceeds from property sales returned from escrow; and (f) cash proceeds of approximately $1.2 million from the sale of Centaur Media common stock.

On June 9, 2017, Griffin paid cash of approximately $18.4 million (net of allowances) for the acquisition of 215 International, using the approximately $9.7 million of proceeds from the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale that were deposited in escrow at the closing of that transaction for the purchase of a replacement property for a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange, with the balance of approximately $8.7 million paid from cash on hand. Subsequent to the acquisition, Griffin closed on a nonrecourse mortgage loan of $12.15 million collateralized by 215 International (see below).

Cash payments for additions to real estate assets in fiscal 2017 reflected the following:

 

 

 

 

Tenant and building improvements related to leasing

 

$

7.9 million

New building construction (including site work)

 

$

7.0 million

Purchase of undeveloped land

    

$

2.4 million

Development costs and infrastructure improvements

 

$

0.3 million

 

Cash payments for tenant and building improvements in fiscal 2017 related to new leases signed in the latter part of fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017. Cash payments for new building construction in fiscal 2017 were for 330 Stone, which was 54% leased as of November 30, 2017, as a result of a lease for approximately 74,000 square feet with a tenant

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that had leased approximately 39,000 square feet in one of Griffin’s other NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse buildings. The balance of 330 Stone was leased in fiscal 2018 and that building was fully leased as of November 30, 2018. Cash of approximately $2.4 million (including acquisition expenses) was paid for the purchase of approximately 14 acres of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley that had been under agreement. In fiscal 2018, 6975 Ambassador was built on the Lehigh Valley land acquired.

The approximately $13.0 million of cash proceeds from property sales in fiscal 2017 reflected approximately $9.7 million from the 2017 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale, approximately $1.9 million from the 2017 Southwick Land Sale, approximately $1.2 million from the sale of two smaller parcels of undeveloped land in Phoenix Crossing and approximately $0.2 million from the sale of two small residential lots. The approximately $3.4 million of net cash proceeds from property sales returned from escrow reflects approximately $3.5 million from the 2016 Griffin Center Land Sale, offset by approximately $0.1 million of cash that remained in escrow from the 2017 Southwick Land Sale. The cash proceeds from the 2016 Griffin Center Land Sale were deposited into escrow at closing for the potential purchase of a replacement property under a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. The net cash proceeds from the 2016 Griffin Center Land Sale were returned to Griffin in fiscal 2017 because a replacement property was not purchased in the time period required for a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. The cash proceeds of approximately $1.9 million from the 2017 Southwick Land Sale were deposited into escrow at closing and subsequently, approximately $1.8 million of such proceeds were used to purchase the approximately 14 acre parcel of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley where 6975 Ambassador was built (see above). The approximately $0.1 million of proceeds from the 2017 Southwick Land Sale that remained in escrow were returned to Griffin in fiscal 2018.

Cash payments of approximately $1.6 million in fiscal 2017 for deferred leasing costs and other uses reflected approximately $1.5 million for lease commissions and other costs related to new and renewed leases and approximately $0.1 million for purchases of equipment.

In fiscal 2016, the net cash used in investing activities of approximately $16.6 million reflected cash payments of approximately $15.7 million for additions to real estate assets and approximately $0.9 million for deferred leasing costs and other uses. The approximately $3.5 million of proceeds, net of transaction expenses, received from the 2016 Griffin Center Land Sale were placed in escrow for potential acquisition of a replacement property under a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. As a replacement property was not purchased in the time period required for a 1031 Like-Kind Exchange, the proceeds from the 2016 Griffin Center Land Sale were returned to Griffin in fiscal 2017.

Cash payments for additions to real estate assets in fiscal 2016 reflected the following:

 

 

 

 

New building construction (including site work)

    

$

9.2 million

Tenant and building improvements related to leasing

 

$

5.4 million

Development costs and infrastructure improvements

 

$

0.6 million

Other

 

$

0.5 million

Cash payments in fiscal 2016 for new building construction reflected the construction, on speculation, of 5210 Jaindl, which was started in the fiscal 2015 fourth quarter and completed in fiscal 2016. Cash payments in fiscal 2016 for tenant and building improvements principally reflected tenant improvement work related to leases signed in the latter part of fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016. The cash spent on development costs and infrastructure improvements in fiscal 2016 principally reflected road improvements related to the 2013 Phoenix Crossing Land Sale. The cash spent on deferred leasing costs and other in fiscal 2016 principally reflected lease commissions paid to real estate brokers for new leases.

Net cash provided by financing activities was approximately $15.4 million in fiscal 2018, as compared to approximately $15.9 million in fiscal 2017 and approximately $15.8 million in fiscal 2016. The net cash provided by financing activities in fiscal 2018 reflected proceeds of approximately $31.6 million from a  mortgage loan and a  construction loan and approximately $1.8 million from the exercise of stock options; partially offset by: (a) approximately $15.4 million of principal payments on mortgage loans; (b) a payment of approximately $2.0 million for a dividend on Griffin’s common stock (“Common Stock”) that was declared in the fiscal 2017 fourth quarter and paid in fiscal 2018; and (c) approximately $0.6 million for payments of debt issuance costs.

 

The proceeds from a  mortgage loan and a construction loan in fiscal 2018 reflected approximately $18.8 million from a mortgage loan refinancing (see below) and approximately $12.8 million from a construction loan (see below).

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The principal payments on mortgage loans reflected a payment of approximately $11.8 million in connection with the mortgage loan refinancing and approximately $3.6 million of recurring principal payments.

 

On March 15, 2017, a subsidiary of Griffin closed on a $12.0 million nonrecourse mortgage (the “2017 People’s Mortgage”) with People’s United Bank, N.A. (“People’s Bank”). On January 30, 2018, that subsidiary refinanced the 2017 People’s Mortgage with a new approximately $18.8 million nonrecourse mortgage loan (the “2018 People’s Mortgage”) with People’s Bank. The 2017 People’s Mortgage had a balance of approximately $11.8 million at the time of refinancing. The 2018 People’s Mortgage is collateralized by the same two NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse buildings (aggregating approximately 275,000 square feet) that collateralized the 2017 People’s Mortgage, in addition to 330 Stone. Upon closing the 2018 People’s Mortgage, Griffin received proceeds of $7.0 million (before transaction costs), net of the approximately $11.8 million used to refinance the 2017 People’s Mortgage. The 2018 People’s Mortgage has a ten year term with monthly principal payments based on a twenty-five year amortization schedule. The interest rate for the 2018 People’s Mortgage is a floating rate of the one month LIBOR rate plus 1.95%. At the time the 2018 People’s Mortgage closed, Griffin entered into an interest rate swap agreement with People’s Bank that, combined with an interest rate swap agreement with People’s Bank entered into at the time the 2017 People’s Mortgage closed, effectively fixes the interest rate of the 2018 People’s Mortgage at 4.57% over the mortgage loan’s ten year term. Under the terms of the 2018 People’s Mortgage, Griffin entered into a master lease for 759 Rainbow Road (“759 Rainbow”), one of the buildings that collateralize the 2018 People’s Mortgage. The master lease would become effective only if the full building tenant in 759 Rainbow does not renew its lease when it is scheduled to expire in fiscal 2022 and would stay in effect until either the space is re-leased to a new tenant or the maturity date of the 2018 People’s Mortgage.

 

On March 29, 2018, a subsidiary of Griffin closed on a $13.8 million construction to permanent mortgage loan (the “State Farm Loan”) with State Farm Life Insurance Company (“State Farm”), to provide a significant portion of the funds for the construction of 220 Tradeport and tenant improvements related to the full building lease of that building. As a build-to-suit building, Griffin entered into a twelve and a half year lease for 220 Tradeport prior to the start of construction. Through November 30, 2018, Griffin had borrowed approximately $12.8 million under the State Farm Loan. Upon the commencement of rent payments by the tenant in 220 Tradeport, the terms of the State Farm Loan provide that it will convert to a fifteen year nonrecourse permanent mortgage loan, which is expected to take place in fiscal 2019. Under the terms of the State Farm Loan, the interest rate on the State Farm Loan is 4.51% during both the construction period and for the term of the permanent mortgage. Monthly principal payments, which begin after the conversion to a nonrecourse permanent mortgage loan, will be based on a twenty-five year amortization schedule. The State Farm Loan may be increased to approximately $14.3 million if certain additional improvements are made to 220 Tradeport.

 

The net cash provided by financing activities of approximately $15.9 million in fiscal 2017 reflected proceeds of approximately $39.1 million from new mortgage loans partially offset by: (a) approximately $19.3 million of principal payments on mortgage loans; (b) a payment of approximately $1.5 million for a dividend on Griffin’s Common Stock that was declared in the fiscal 2016 fourth quarter and paid in fiscal 2017; (c) approximately $1.5 million paid for the repurchase of Common Stock; (d) approximately $0.6 million of payments for debt issuance costs; and (e) a payment of approximately $0.3 million for the termination of an interest rate swap agreement. The principal payments on mortgage loans include approximately $16.0 million for the repayment of two mortgage loans that were refinanced (see below) and approximately $3.3 million of recurring principal payments.

On September 22, 2017, two subsidiaries of Griffin closed on the refinancing of a nonrecourse mortgage (the “2012 Webster Mortgage”) with Webster Bank that was collateralized by 5 and 7 Waterside Crossing, two multi-story office buildings aggregating approximately 161,000 square feet in Griffin Center in Windsor, Connecticut. Immediately prior to the refinancing, the 2012 Webster Mortgage had a balance of approximately $5.9 million with a maturity date of October 2, 2017. The refinanced nonrecourse mortgage loan (the “2017 Webster Mortgage”) was for approximately $4.4 million, has a five year term with monthly principal payments based on a twenty-five year amortization schedule and is collateralized by the same properties that collateralized the 2012 Webster Mortgage. The 2017 Webster Mortgage has a variable interest rate of the one-month LIBOR rate plus 2.75%, but Griffin entered into an interest rate swap agreement with Webster Bank that effectively fixes the interest rate on the 2017 Webster Mortgage at 4.72% over the term of the 2017 Webster Mortgage. The 2012 Webster Mortgage had a variable interest rate that was effectively fixed at 3.86% through an interest rate swap agreement with Webster Bank. Griffin used cash on hand of approximately

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$1.0 million and approximately $0.5 million of cash that had been held in escrow by Webster Bank to repay a portion of the 2012 Webster Mortgage in connection with the refinancing.

On August 30, 2017, a subsidiary of Griffin closed on a $12.15 million nonrecourse mortgage (the “2017 40|86 Mortgage”) with 40|86 Mortgage Capital, Inc. The 2017 40|86 Mortgage is collateralized by 215 International, which Griffin acquired on June 9, 2017. The 2017 40|86 Mortgage has an interest rate of 3.97% and a ten year term with monthly principal payments based on a thirty year amortization schedule.

On July 14, 2017, a subsidiary of Griffin closed on a $10.6 million nonrecourse mortgage loan (the “2017 Berkshire Mortgage”) with Berkshire Bank. The 2017 Berkshire Mortgage refinanced an existing mortgage loan (the “2009 Berkshire Mortgage”) with Berkshire Bank that was due on February 1, 2019 and was collateralized by 100 International Drive (“100 International”), an approximately 304,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building in NE Tradeport. The 2009 Berkshire Mortgage had a balance of approximately $10.1 million at the time of the refinancing and a variable interest rate of the one month LIBOR rate plus 2.75%. At the time Griffin closed on the 2009 Berkshire Mortgage, Griffin entered into an interest rate swap agreement with Berkshire Bank (the “2009 Berkshire Swap”) to effectively fix the interest rate on the 2009 Berkshire Mortgage at 6.35% for the term of that loan. The 2017 Berkshire Mortgage is collateralized by the same property that collateralized the 2009 Berkshire Mortgage. Just prior to the closing on the 2017 Berkshire Mortgage, Griffin completed a lease amendment with the full building tenant in 100 International to extend the lease from its scheduled expiration date of July 31, 2019 to July 31, 2025. Under the terms of the 2017 Berkshire Mortgage, Griffin entered into a master lease of 100 International that would become effective if the tenant in 100 International does not renew its lease when it expires. The 2017 Berkshire Mortgage has a ten year term with monthly principal payments based on a twenty-five year amortization schedule. The interest rate for the 2017 Berkshire Loan is a variable rate of the one month LIBOR rate plus 2.05%. At the time the 2017 Berkshire Mortgage closed, Griffin terminated the 2009 Berkshire Swap and entered into a new interest rate swap agreement with Berkshire Bank that effectively fixes the interest rate of the 2017 Berkshire Mortgage at 4.39% over the loan term. Griffin paid approximately $0.3 million in connection with the termination of the 2009 Berkshire Swap.

The net cash provided by financing activities of approximately $15.8 million in fiscal 2016 reflected approximately $45.5 million of proceeds from new mortgage debt (see below) and $0.6 million of mortgage proceeds released from escrow, partially offset by: (a) approximately $24.8 million of principal payments on mortgage loans; (b) approximately $3.4 million paid for the repurchase of Common Stock (see below); (c) a payment of approximately $1.5 million for a dividend on Griffin’s Common Stock that was declared in the fiscal 2015 fourth quarter and paid in fiscal 2016; and (d) approximately $0.6 million of payments for debt issuance costs. The principal payments on mortgage loans included approximately $21.1 million for the repayment of two mortgage loans that were refinanced (see below), approximately $2.7 million of recurring principal payments and a $1.0 million principal repayment from mortgage proceeds that had been held in escrow.

On November 17, 2016, Griffin closed on a nonrecourse mortgage (the “2016 Webster Mortgage”) for approximately $26.7 million. The 2016 Webster Mortgage refinanced an existing mortgage with Webster Bank, which was due on September 1, 2025 and was collateralized by 5220 Jaindl Blvd. (“5220 Jaindl”) (see below). The 2016 Webster Mortgage is collateralized by the approximately 280,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building, 5220 Jaindl, along with 5210 Jaindl, the adjacent approximately 252,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building. Griffin received net proceeds of $13.0 million (before transaction costs), net of approximately $13.7 million used to refinance the existing mortgage with Webster Bank. The 2016 Webster Mortgage has a ten year term with monthly principal payments based on a twenty-five year amortization schedule. The interest rate for the 2016 Webster Mortgage is a variable rate of the one month LIBOR rate plus 1.70%. At the time the 2016 Webster Mortgage closed, Griffin entered into an interest rate swap agreement with Webster Bank that, combined with two existing swap agreements with Webster Bank, effectively fixes the rate of the 2016 Webster Mortgage at 3.79% over the mortgage loan’s ten year term.

On April 26, 2016, Griffin closed on a nonrecourse mortgage (the “2016 People’s Mortgage”) with People’s Bank and received mortgage proceeds of $14.4 million, before transaction costs. The 2016 People’s Mortgage refinanced an existing mortgage (the “2009 People’s Mortgage”) with People’s Bank that was due on August 1, 2019 and was collateralized by four of Griffin’s NE Tradeport industrial/warehouse buildings totaling approximately 240,000 square feet (14, 15, 16 and 40 International Drive). The 2009 People’s Mortgage had a balance of approximately $7.4 million at the time of the refinancing and a variable interest rate of the one month LIBOR rate plus 3.08%. Griffin had entered into an interest rate swap agreement with People’s Bank to effectively fix the rate on the 2009 People’s Mortgage at 6.58%

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for the term of that loan. The 2016 People’s Mortgage is collateralized by the same four properties as the 2009 People’s Mortgage along with an additional approximately 98,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building (35 International Drive) in NE Tradeport. At the closing of the 2016 People’s Mortgage, Griffin used a portion of the proceeds to repay the 2009 People’s Mortgage. The 2016 People’s Mortgage has a ten year term with monthly principal payments based on a twenty-five year amortization schedule. The interest rate for the 2016 People’s Mortgage is a variable rate of the one month LIBOR rate plus 2.0%. At the time the 2016 People’s Mortgage closed, Griffin entered into a second interest rate swap agreement with People’s Bank that, combined with the existing interest rate swap agreement with People’s Bank, effectively fixes the interest rate of the 2016 People’s Mortgage at 4.17% over the loan term. The terms of the 2016 People’s Mortgage require that if either the tenant that leases approximately 58,000 square feet in 40 International Drive or the tenant that leases approximately 40,000 square feet in 14 International Drive does not extend its respective lease when it expires in fiscal 2021, a subsidiary of Griffin will enter into a master lease of the vacated space. The master lease would be guaranteed by Griffin and be in effect until either the space is re-leased to a new tenant or the due date of the 2016 People’s Mortgage Loan, whichever occurs first. Also in fiscal 2016, Griffin received additional mortgage proceeds of approximately $2.6 million and approximately $1.8 million from mortgages that closed in fiscal 2015.

On July 22, 2016, Griffin renewed its revolving credit line with Webster Bank (the “Webster Credit Line”) that was scheduled to expire on August 1, 2016. The terms of the renewal increased the amount of the credit line from $12.5 million to $15.0 million and granted Griffin an option to extend the credit line for an additional year  provided there is no default at the time such extension is requested. On June 18, 2018, Griffin exercised its option for a one year extension of the Webster Credit Line that was scheduled to expire on July 31, 2018. Interest on borrowings under the Webster Credit Line remained at the one month LIBOR rate plus 2.75%. The Webster Credit Line is collateralized by Griffin’s properties in Griffin Center South, aggregating approximately 235,000 square feet, and an approximately 48,000 square foot single-story office building in Griffin Center. There have been no borrowings under the Webster Credit Line since its inception in fiscal 2013. As of November 30, 2018, the Webster Credit Line secured certain standby letters of credit aggregating approximately $1.1 million that are related to Griffin's development activities.

 

In fiscal 2016, Griffin’s Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program whereby, effective May 11, 2016, Griffin could repurchase up to $5.0 million of its outstanding Common Stock over a twelve month period in privately negotiated transactions. The stock repurchase program did not obligate Griffin to repurchase any specific amount of stock. In fiscal 2016, Griffin repurchased 105,000 shares of its Common Stock for approximately $3.4 million. In fiscal 2017, Griffin repurchased 47,173 shares of its outstanding Common Stock for approximately $1.5 million before the repurchase program expired on May 10, 2017. Under the stock repurchase program, Griffin repurchased a total of 152,173 shares of its outstanding Common Stock for approximately $4.8 million.

On April 11, 2018, Griffin filed a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 (the “Universal Shelf”) with the SEC. Under the Universal Shelf, Griffin may offer and sell up to $50 million of a variety of securities including common stock, preferred stock, warrants, depositary shares, debt securities, units or any combination of such securities during the three year period that commenced upon the Universal Shelf becoming effective on April 25, 2018. Under the Universal Shelf, Griffin may periodically offer one or more types of securities in amounts, at prices and on terms announced, if and when the securities are ever offered. On May 10, 2018, Griffin filed a prospectus supplement with the SEC under which it may issue and sell, from time to time, up to an aggregate of $30 million of its Common Stock under an “at-the-market” equity offering program (the “ATM Program”) through Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated (“Baird”), as sales agent. Under the sales agreement with Baird, Griffin sets the parameters for the sales of its Common Stock under the ATM Program, including the number of shares to be issued, the time period during which sales are requested to be made, limitations on the number of shares that may be sold in any one trading day and any minimum price below which sales of shares may not be made. Sales of Common Stock, if any, under the ATM Program would be made in offerings as defined in Rule 415 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In addition, with the prior consent of Griffin, Baird may also sell shares in privately negotiated transactions. Griffin expects to use the net proceeds, if any, from the ATM Program for acquisitions of target properties consistent with Griffin’s investment strategies, repayment of debt and general corporate purposes. If Griffin obtains additional capital by issuing equity, the interests of its existing stockholders will be diluted. If Griffin incurs additional indebtedness, that indebtedness may impose financial and other covenants that may significantly restrict Griffin’s operations.

 

With its significant amount of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and availability under the Webster Credit Line, Griffin does not expect to issue Common Stock under the ATM Program or issue other securities

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under the Universal Shelf in the near term. Griffin cannot give assurance that it could issue Common Stock under the ATM Program or obtain additional capital under the Universal Shelf on favorable terms, or at all. See “Risk Factors-Risks Related to the Real Estate Industry-Volatility in the capital and credit markets could materially adversely impact Griffin” and “Risk Factors-Risks Related to Griffin’s Common Stock-Issuances or sales of Griffin’s common stock or the perception that such issuances or sales might occur could adversely affect the per share trading price of Griffin’s common stock” included in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report.

 

On January 25, 2016, Griffin entered into an Option Purchase Agreement (the “Simsbury Option Agreement”), subsequently amended on January 22, 2019. Under the terms of the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, Griffin granted the buyer an exclusive option to purchase approximately 280 acres of undeveloped land in Simsbury, Connecticut for approximately $7.7 million. Through November 30, 2018, the buyer paid approximately $0.3 million of option fees to extend its option period through January 25, 2019. In fiscal 2018, the buyer received approval from Connecticut’s regulatory authority for the buyer’s planned use of the land, which is to generate solar electricity. Subsequent litigation challenging that approval was settled thereby allowing the buyer to use the land to be purchased as planned. On January 24, 2019, the buyer exercised its option to purchase the land under the Simsbury Option Agreement. As per the terms of the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, closing on the land sale contemplated by the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, is required to take place within 90 days from the date the buyer exercised its option to purchase the land. There is no guarantee that the sale of land contemplated under the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended, will be completed under its current terms, or at all.

On May 5, 2017, Griffin entered into an Option Purchase Agreement (the “EGW Option Agreement”) whereby Griffin granted the buyer an exclusive option to purchase approximately 288 acres of undeveloped land in East Granby and Windsor, Connecticut for approximately $7.8 million. The buyer intended to use the land to generate solar electricity. The buyer’s option expired on May 5, 2018 and was not extended, thus terminating the EGW Option Agreement. Accordingly, the buyer forfeited the option fees (approximately $50,000) paid through that date, which is included in revenue from property sales in the fiscal 2018 statement of operations.

 

On January 11, 2018, Griffin entered into an agreement to purchase an approximately 14 acre parcel of undeveloped land in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania (the “Lehigh Valley Land”). Subsequently, the agreement was amended to reduce the purchase price from $3.6 million in cash to $3.1 million in cash and extend the due diligence period. If the transaction closes, Griffin plans to construct an approximately 156,000 square foot industrial/warehouse building on the Lehigh Valley Land. The closing of this purchase, anticipated to take place in fiscal 2019, is subject to several conditions, including obtaining all governmental approvals for Griffin’s development plans for the Lehigh Valley Land. There is no guarantee that this transaction will be completed under its current terms, or at all.

 

On June 26, 2018, Griffin entered into an agreement for the purchase of approximately 36 acres of undeveloped land in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in the greater Charlotte area (the “Mecklenburg Land”) for approximately $4.7 million in cash. On December 5, 2018, Griffin entered into an agreement for the purchase of approximately 9 acres of undeveloped land (the “Additional Mecklenburg Land”) which is adjacent to the Mecklenburg Land for approximately $0.9 million in cash. If acquired, the Additional Mecklenburg Land is expected to be combined with the Mecklenburg Land to enable Griffin to construct more industrial/warehouse space than could be constructed on the Mecklenburg Land only.  Closings on the purchases of the Mecklenburg Land and the Additional Mecklenburg Land are subject to several conditions, including obtaining all governmental approvals for Griffin’s development plans. Griffin would only complete the purchase of the Additional Mecklenburg Land if the Mecklenburg Land is acquired. The amount of industrial/warehouse space to be developed on the Mecklenburg Land and, if also acquired, the Additional Mecklenburg Land, will be based upon findings during the approvals process. The closings on the purchases of the Mecklenburg Land and the Additional Mecklenburg Land are not anticipated to take place until the third quarter of fiscal 2019. There is no guarantee that the purchases of the Mecklenburg Land and the Additional Mecklenburg Land will be completed under their current terms, or at all.

 

In the near-term, Griffin plans to continue to invest in its real estate business, including construction of additional buildings on its undeveloped land, expenditures for tenant improvements as new leases and lease renewals are signed, infrastructure improvements required for future development of its real estate holdings and the potential acquisition of additional properties and/or undeveloped land parcels in the Middle Atlantic, Northeast and Southeast regions to expand the industrial/warehouse portion of its real estate portfolio. Real estate acquisitions may or may not

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occur based on many factors, including real estate pricing. Griffin may commence speculative construction projects on its undeveloped land that is either currently owned or acquired in the future if it believes market conditions are favorable for such development. Griffin may also construct additional build-to-suit facilities on its undeveloped land if lease terms are favorable.

 

As of November 30, 2018, Griffin had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaling approximately $25.6 million. Management believes that its cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments as of November 30, 2018, cash generated from leasing operations and property sales (including the potential approximately $7.7 million property sale contemplated under the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended) and borrowing capacity under the Webster Credit Line will be sufficient to meet its working capital requirements, to purchase land parcels currently under agreement, to make other investments in real estate assets, and to pay dividends on its Common Stock, when and if declared by the Board of Directors, for at least the next twelve months.

 

Forward‑Looking Information

 

The above information in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the costs of site work and construction of the buildings under construction on the Concord Land; near-term expectations regarding any potential issuance of securities under the ATM Program or the Universal Shelf, and anticipated use of any future proceeds from the ATM program; completion of the land sale under the Simsbury Option Agreement, as amended; the purchases of the Lehigh Valley Land, the Mecklenburg Land and the Additional Mecklenburg Land, anticipated closing dates of such purchases and Griffin’s plans with regard to the foregoing properties; the conversion of the State Farm Loan to a nonrecourse permanent mortgage loan and related use of proceeds; the acquisition and development of additional properties and/or undeveloped land parcels; construction of additional buildings, tenant improvements and infrastructure improvements; Griffin’s anticipated future liquidity and capital expenditures; and other statements with the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects” or similar expressions. Although Griffin believes that its plans, intentions and expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such plans, intentions or expectations will be achieved. The forward‑looking statements made herein are based on assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by Griffin as of the date hereof, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive and regulatory uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of Griffin. Griffin’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward‑looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those set forth under the heading Item 1A “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

 

 

ITEM 7A.  QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.

Not applicable.

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ITEM 8.  FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.

 

GRIFFIN INDUSTRIAL REALTY, INC.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nov. 30, 2018

 

Nov. 30, 2017

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real estate assets at cost, net

 

$

213,621

 

$

196,740

Cash and cash equivalents

 

 

8,592

 

 

30,068

Short-term investments

 

 

17,000

 

 

 —

Deferred income taxes

 

 

1,556

 

 

1,904

Real estate assets held for sale

 

 

2,652

 

 

1,932

Other assets

 

 

20,048

 

 

18,393

Total assets

 

$

263,469

 

$

249,037

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mortgage and construction loans, net of debt issuance costs

 

$

145,052

 

$

129,203

Deferred revenue

 

 

10,599

 

 

11,818

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

 

 

3,333

 

 

4,991

Dividend payable

 

 

2,279

 

 

2,000

Other liabilities

 

 

7,378

 

 

7,972

Total liabilities

 

 

168,641

 

 

155,984

Commitments and Contingencies (Note 10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders' Equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common stock, par value $0.01 per share, 10,000,000 shares authorized, 5,635,706 and 5,541,029 shares issued, respectively, and 5,065,173 and 5,000,535 shares outstanding, respectively

 

 

56

 

 

55

Additional paid-in capital

 

 

112,071

 

 

108,770

Retained earnings (deficit)

 

 

(211)

 

 

2,806

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax

 

 

2,395

 

 

(284)

Treasury stock, at cost, 570,533 and 540,494 shares, respectively

 

 

(19,483)

 

 

(18,294)

Total stockholders' equity

 

 

94,828

 

 

93,053

Total liabilities and stockholders' equity

 

$

263,469

 

$

249,037

See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

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GRIFFIN INDUSTRIAL REALTY, INC.

Consolidated Statements of Operations

(dollars in thousands, except per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Fiscal Years Ended

 

 

Nov. 30, 2018

    

Nov. 30, 2017

    

Nov. 30, 2016

 

Rental revenue

$

32,777

 

$

29,939

 

$

26,487

 

Revenue from property sales

 

1,023

 

 

13,945

 

 

4,364

 

Total revenue

 

33,800

 

 

43,884

 

 

30,851

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses of rental properties

 

9,532

 

 

8,866

 

 

8,250

 

Depreciation and amortization expense

 

11,404

 

 

10,064

 

 

8,797

 

General and administrative expenses

 

7,749

 

 

8,552

 

 

7,367

 

Costs related to property sales

 

144

 

 

3,780

 

 

810