Organization, Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2019
|Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]|
|Organization, Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies||
Organization, Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies
Gladstone Commercial Corporation was incorporated under the General Corporation Law of the State of Maryland on February 14, 2003. We have elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for federal income tax purposes. We focus on acquiring, owning and managing primarily office and industrial properties. On a selective basis, we may make long term industrial and office mortgage loans receivable; however, we do not have any mortgage loans currently outstanding. Subject to certain restrictions and limitations, our business is managed by Gladstone Management Corporation, a Delaware corporation (the “Adviser”), and administrative services are provided by Gladstone Administration, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (the “Administrator”), each pursuant to a contractual arrangement with us. Our Adviser and Administrator collectively employ all of our personnel and pay their salaries, benefits, and general expenses directly. Gladstone Commercial Corporation conducts substantially all of its operations through a subsidiary, Gladstone Commercial Limited Partnership, a Delaware limited partnership (the “Operating Partnership”).
All further references herein to “we,” “our,” “us” and the “Company” mean Gladstone Commercial Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries, except where it is made clear that the term means only Gladstone Commercial Corporation. All references to annualized GAAP (as defined below) rent are rents that each tenant pays in accordance with the terms of its respective lease reported evenly over the non-cancelable term of the lease.
We conduct substantially all of our operations through the Operating Partnership. We currently control the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership and own, directly or indirectly, a majority of the limited partnership interests in the Operating Partnership (“Non-controlling OP Units”) through two of our subsidiaries, GCLP Business Trust I and II. The financial position and results of operations of the Operating Partnership are consolidated within our financial statements. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, the Company owned 98.6% and 97.5%, respectively, of the outstanding OP Units (See Note 10, “Equity and Mezzanine Equity” for additional discussion regarding OP Units).
Gladstone Commercial Lending, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“Gladstone Commercial Lending”), a subsidiary of ours, was created to conduct all operations related to our real estate mortgage loans. As the Operating Partnership currently owns all of the membership interests of Gladstone Commercial Lending, the financial position and results of operations of Gladstone Commercial Lending are consolidated with ours.
Gladstone Commercial Advisers, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Commercial Advisers”), and wholly-owned taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”) of ours, was created to collect any non-qualifying income related to our real estate portfolio. There has been no such income earned to date. Since we own 100% of the voting securities of Commercial Advisers, the financial position and results of operations of Commercial Advisers are consolidated within our financial statements.
GCLP Business Trust I and GCLP Business Trust II, each a subsidiary and business trust of ours, were formed under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on December 28, 2005. We transferred our 99% limited partnership interest in the Operating Partnership to GCLP Business Trust I in exchange for 100 shares of the trust. Gladstone Commercial Partners, LLC, a subsidiary of ours, transferred its 1% general partnership interest in the Operating Partnership to GCLP Business Trust II in exchange for 100 trust shares.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Actual results could materially differ from those estimates.
Real Estate and Lease Intangibles
We record investments in real estate at cost and capitalize improvements and replacements when they extend the useful life or improve the efficiency of the asset. We expense costs of repairs and maintenance as such costs are incurred. We compute depreciation using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life, or up to 39 years, for buildings and improvements, five to 20 years for equipment and fixtures, and the shorter of the useful life or the remaining lease term for tenant improvements and leasehold interests.
Most properties that we acquire are already being operated as rental properties, which we consider to be asset acquisitions under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 360, “Property Plant and Equipment” (“ASC 360”) after adopting Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2017-01 “Clarifying the Definition of a Business” (“ASU 2017-01”), described in more detail below. When an acquisition is considered an asset acquisition, ASC 360 requires that the purchase price of real estate be allocated to the acquired tangible assets and liabilities, consisting of land, building, tenant improvements, long-term debt assumed and identified intangible assets and liabilities, typically the value of above-market and below-market leases, the value of in-place leases, the value of lease origination costs and the value of tenant relationships, based in each case on their fair values. ASC 360 allows us to capitalize all expenses related to an acquisition accounted for as an asset acquisition into the cost of the acquisition.
Management’s estimates of fair value are made using methods similar to those used by independent appraisers (e.g. discounted cash flow analysis). Factors considered by management in its analysis include an estimate of carrying costs during hypothetical expected lease-up periods considering current market conditions and costs to execute similar leases. We also consider information obtained about each property as a result of our pre-acquisition due diligence, marketing and leasing activities in estimating the fair value of the tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed. In estimating carrying costs, management also includes lost reimbursement of real estate taxes, insurance and other operating expenses as well as estimates of lost rents at market rates during the hypothetical expected lease-up periods, which generally range from nine to 18 months, depending on specific local market conditions. Management also estimates costs to execute similar leases, including leasing commissions, legal and other related expenses to the extent that such costs are not already incurred in connection with a new lease origination as part of the transaction.
We allocate purchase price to the fair value of the tangible assets of an acquired property by valuing the property as if it were vacant. The “as-if-vacant” value is allocated to land, building and tenant improvements based on management’s determination of the relative fair values of these assets on the date of acquisition.
Above-market and below-market in-place lease fair values for acquired properties are recorded based on the present value (using an interest rate which reflects the risks associated with the leases acquired) of the difference between (i) the contractual amounts to be paid pursuant to the in-place leases and (ii) management’s estimate of fair market lease rates for the corresponding in-place leases, measured over a period equal to the remaining non-cancelable term of the lease. When determining the non-cancelable term of the lease, we evaluate which fixed-rate renewal options, if any, should be included. The capitalized above-market lease values, included in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as part of deferred rent receivable, are amortized as a reduction of rental income over the remaining non-cancelable terms of the respective leases. Total amortization related to above-market lease values was $1.1 million, $1.1 million, and $0.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. The capitalized below-market lease values, included in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets as part of deferred rent liability, are amortized as an increase to rental income over the remaining non-cancelable terms of the respective leases, including any below market renewal periods. Total amortization related to below-market lease values was $2.5 million, $2.0 million, and $1.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.
The total amount of the remaining intangible assets acquired, which consists of in-place lease values, lease origination costs, and customer relationship intangible values, are allocated based on management’s evaluation of the specific characteristics of each tenant’s lease and our overall relationship with that respective tenant. Characteristics to be considered by management in determining these values include the nature and extent of our existing business relationships with the tenant, growth prospects for developing new business with the tenant, the tenant’s credit quality and our expectations of lease renewals (including those existing under the terms of the lease agreement), among other factors.
The value of in-place leases and lease origination costs are amortized to amortization expense over the remaining term of the respective leases, which generally range from seven to 15 years. The value of customer relationship intangibles, which is the benefit to us resulting from the likelihood of an existing tenant renewing its lease, are amortized to amortization expense over the remaining term and any anticipated renewal periods in the respective leases, but in no event does the amortization period for intangible assets exceed the remaining depreciable life of the building. Total amortization expense related to these intangible assets and liabilities was $19.2 million, $17.7 million, and $15.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.
Should a tenant terminate its lease, the unamortized portion of the above-market and below-market lease values would be charged to rental income and the unamortized portion of in-place lease values, lease origination costs and customer relationship intangibles will be charged to amortization expense through the revised termination date.
We account for the impairment of real estate in accordance with ASC 360-10-35, “Property, Plant, and Equipment,” which requires us to periodically review the carrying value of each property to determine if circumstances indicate impairment of the carrying value of the investment exists or that depreciation periods should be modified. If circumstances indicate the possibility of impairment, we prepare a projection of the undiscounted future cash flows, without interest charges, of the specific property and determine if the carrying value of the investment in such property is recoverable. In performing the analysis, we consider such factors as each tenant’s payment history and financial condition, the likelihood of lease renewal, business conditions in the industry in which the tenants operate, whether there are indications that the fair value of the real estate has decreased or our intended holding period of the property is shortened. If the carrying amount is more than the aggregate undiscounted future cash flows, we would recognize an impairment loss to the extent the carrying amount exceeds the estimated fair value of the property. We evaluate our entire portfolio of properties each quarter for any impairment indicators and perform an impairment analysis on those select properties that have an indication of impairment.
Held for Sale Property
For properties considered held for sale, we cease depreciating and amortizing the property and value the property at the lower of depreciated and amortized cost or fair value, less costs to dispose. We present qualifying assets and liabilities and the results of operations that have been sold, or otherwise qualify as held for sale, as discontinued operations in all periods when the sale meets the definition of discontinued operations. Under GAAP, the definition of discontinued operations is the disposal of a component or group of components that is disposed or is classified as held for sale and represents a strategic shift that has (or will have) a major effect on our operations and financial results. The components of the property’s net income (loss) that are reflected as discontinued operations if classified as such include operating results, depreciation, amortization, and interest expense.
When properties are considered held for sale, but do not qualify as a discontinued operation, we present qualifying assets and liabilities as held for sale in the consolidated balance sheet in all periods that the qualifying assets and liabilities meet the held for sale criteria under ASC 360-10-49-9. The components of the held for sale property’s net income (loss) is recorded within continuing operations under the consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive income.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
We consider cash equivalents to be short-term, highly-liquid investments that are both readily convertible to cash and have a maturity of three months or less at the time of purchase, except that any such investments purchased with funds held in escrow or similar accounts are classified as restricted cash. Items classified as cash equivalents include money-market deposit accounts. At times, the balance of our cash and cash equivalents may exceed federally insurable limits.
Restricted cash consists of security deposits and receipts from tenants for reserves. These funds will be released to the tenants upon completion of agreed upon tasks, as specified in the lease agreements, mainly consisting of maintenance and repairs on the buildings and upon receipt by us of evidence of insurance and tax payments. For purposes of the consolidated statements of cash flows, changes in restricted cash caused by changes in reserves held for tenants are shown as investing activities. Changes in restricted cash caused by changes in security deposits are reflected as financing activities.
Funds Held in Escrow
Funds held in escrow consist of funds held by certain of our lenders for properties held as collateral by these lenders. These funds will be released to us upon completion of agreed upon tasks, as specified in the mortgage agreements, mainly consisting of maintenance and repairs on the buildings, and when evidence of insurance and tax payments has been submitted to the lenders. For the purposes of the consolidated statements of cash flows, changes in funds held in escrow caused by changes in lender held reserve balances are shown as investing activities.
Deferred Financing Costs
Deferred financing costs consist of costs incurred to obtain financing, including legal fees, origination fees and administrative fees. The costs are deferred and amortized using the straight-line method, which approximates the effective interest method, over the term of the secured financing. We made payments of $2.5 million, $0.4 million, and $2.0 million for deferred financing costs during the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. Total amortization expense related to deferred financing costs is included in interest expense and was $1.6 million, $1.4 million, and $1.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.
Gains on Sale of Real Estate, Net
Gains on sale of real estate, net, consist of the excess consideration received for a property over the property carrying value at the time of sale, or gains on real estate, offset by consideration received for a property less than the property carrying value at the time of sale, or loss on sale of real estate. We recognize gains on sale of real estate, net, in accordance with GAAP.
Lease revenue includes rents that each tenant pays in accordance with the terms of its respective lease reported evenly over the non-cancelable term of the lease. Most of our leases contain rental increases at specified intervals. We recognize such revenues on a straight-line basis. Deferred rent receivable in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet includes the cumulative difference between lease revenue, as recorded on a straight-line basis, and rents received from the tenants in accordance with the lease terms, along with the capitalized above-market in-place lease values of certain acquired properties. Deferred rent liability in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet includes the capitalized below-market in-place lease values of certain acquired properties. Accordingly, we determine, in our judgment, to what extent the deferred rent receivable applicable to each specific tenant is collectible. We review deferred rent receivable, as it relates to straight line rents, on a quarterly basis and take into consideration the tenant’s payment history, the financial condition of the tenant, business conditions in the industry in which the tenant operates and economic conditions in the geographic area in which the property is located. In the event that the collectability of deferred rent with respect to any given tenant is in doubt, we record an allowance for uncollectible accounts or record a direct write-off of the specific rent receivable. We incurred $0.2 million in deferred rent write offs during the year ended December 31, 2018. No such reserves or direct write offs were recorded during the year ended 2019 and 2017, respectively.
Tenant recovery revenue includes payments from tenants as reimbursements for franchise taxes, management fees, insurance, maintenance and repairs, utilities, and ground lease payments. We recognize tenant recovery revenue in the same periods that we incur the related expenses. We do not record any tenant recovery revenues or operating expenses associated with costs paid directly by our tenants for our net leased properties.
We have operated and intend to continue to operate in a manner that will allow us to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and, accordingly, will not be subject to federal income taxes on amounts distributed to stockholders (except income from foreclosure property), provided that we distribute at least 90% of our REIT taxable income to our stockholders and meet certain other conditions. To the extent that we satisfy the distribution requirement but distribute less than 100% of our taxable income, we will be subject to federal corporate income tax on our undistributed income.
Commercial Advisers is a wholly-owned TRS that is subject to federal and state income taxes. Though Commercial Advisers has had no activity to date, we would account for any future income taxes in accordance with the provisions of ASC 740, “Income Taxes.” Under ASC 740-10-25, we would account for income taxes using the asset and liability method under which deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases.
We may recognize a tax benefit from an uncertain tax position when it is more-likely-than-not (defined as a likelihood of more than 50%) that the position will be sustained upon examination, including resolutions of any related appeals or litigation processes, based on the technical merits. If a tax position does not meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold, despite our belief that the filing position is supportable, the benefit of that tax position is not recognized in the statements of operations. We recognize interest and penalties, as applicable, related to unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense. We recognize unrecognized tax benefits in the period that the uncertainty is eliminated by either affirmative agreement of the uncertain tax position by the applicable taxing authority, or by expiration of the applicable statute of limitation. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, we did not record any provisions for uncertain tax positions.
Asset Retirement Obligations
ASC 410, “Asset Retirement and Environmental Obligation,” requires an entity to recognize a liability for a conditional asset retirement obligation when incurred if the liability can be reasonably estimated. ASC 410-20-20 clarifies that the term “Conditional Asset Retirement Obligation” refers to a legal obligation (pursuant to existing laws or by contract) to perform an asset retirement activity in which the timing and/or method of settlement are conditional on a future event that may or may not be within the control of the entity. ASC 410-20-25-6 clarifies when an entity would have sufficient information to reasonably estimate the fair value of an asset retirement obligation. We have accrued a liability at the present value of the estimated payments expected to be made and corresponding increase to the cost of the related properties for disposal related to all properties constructed prior to 1985 that have, or may have, asbestos present in the building. The liabilities are accreted to their estimated obligation over the life of the leases for the respective properties. We accrued $0.2 million of liabilities in connection with acquisitions for the years ended December 31, 2019, and no liabilities in connection with acquisitions for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017. We recorded accretion expense of $0.1 million in each of the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively, to general and administrative expense. Costs of future expenditures for obligations are discounted to their present value. The aggregate undiscounted obligation on all properties is $6.2 million and the discount rates used in the calculations range from 2.5% to 7.0%. We do not expect to make any material payments in conjunction with these obligations in each of the next five years.
Stock Issuance Costs
We account for stock issuance costs in accordance with SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) Topic 5.A, which states that incremental costs directly attributable to a proposed or actual offering of securities may properly be deferred and charged against the gross proceeds of the offering. Accordingly, we record costs incurred related to our ongoing equity offerings to other assets on our consolidated balance sheet and ratably apply these amounts to the cost of equity as stock is issued. If an equity offering is subsequently terminated and there are amounts remaining in other assets that have not been allocated to the cost of the offering, the remaining amounts are recorded as a general and administrative expense on our consolidated statements of operations.
We record the effective portion of changes in the fair value of the interest rate cap and swap agreements that qualify as cash flow hedges to accumulated other comprehensive income. For the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, and 2017, we reconciled net income to comprehensive income on the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive income in the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
We manage our operations on an aggregated, single segment basis for purposes of assessing performance and making operating decisions, and, accordingly, have only one reporting and operating segment.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued guidance regarding the recognition of revenue from contracts with customers. Under this guidance, an entity will recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. This guidance also requires improved disclosures regarding the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from contracts with customers. We adopted this guidance for our annual and interim periods beginning January 1, 2018 and used the modified retrospective method, under which the cumulative effect of initially applying the guidance is recognized at the date of initial application. Our adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. Further, as discussed below, we adopted the new guidance regarding the principles for the recognition measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases on January 1, 2019. The new revenue standard applies to executory costs and other components of revenue due under leases that are deemed to be non-lease components (examples include common area maintenance and provision of utilities), even when the revenue for such activities is not separately stipulated in the lease. Revenue from these non-lease components, which were previously recognized on a straight-line basis under previous lease guidance, are recognized under the new revenue guidance as the related services are delivered. As a result, while our total revenue recognized over the lease term does not differ under the new guidance, the revenue recognition pattern could be different. The new leasing guidance allows for an accounting election to account for each separate lease component and its associated non-lease components as a single lease component. As a lessor, we have made an accounting election to account for each separate lease component and its associated non-lease components as a single lease component. As a result of this election, our revenue recognition pattern for our leasing arrangements is consistent with how we recognized lease revenue prior to our adoption of the new leasing standard.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, “Leases: Amendments to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification” (“ASU 2016-02”). The new standard requires lessees to apply a dual approach, classifying leases as either finance or operating leases based on the principle of whether or not the lease is effectively a financed purchase of the leased asset by the lessee. This classification will determine whether lease expense is recognized based on an effective interest method or on a straight line basis over the term of the lease, respectively. A lessee is also required to record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for all leases with a term of greater than 12 months regardless of their classification. Leases with a term of 12 months or less will be accounted for similar to existing guidance for operating leases today. The new standard requires lessors to account for leases using an approach that is substantially equivalent to existing guidance for sales-type leases, direct financing leases and operating leases. We adopted ASU 2016-02, as amended, as of January 1, 2019, which resulted in the recording of additional right-of-use assets from operating leases and operating lease liabilities of approximately $6.0 million for the four operating ground lease arrangements with terms greater than one year for which we are the lessee. We adopted the modified retrospective method, where we recorded the cumulative effect of applying the guidance as of January 1, 2019. We also adopted the full suite of practical expedients provided under this guidance, whereby we are not reassessing whether a contract is or contains a lease, the lease classification and the initial direct costs incurred upon onset of our leases. We have also adopted the hindsight practical expedient whereby we can use hindsight to determine the lease term as of the date of implementation, and we adopted the land easements practical expedient where we do not have to assess whether existing or expired land easements contain a lease. We analyzed our operating ground leases on the date of implementation and identified any option periods we believed were appropriate to include in the lease term, and discounted the future lease payments using a discount rate equivalent to a treasury rate with a similar lease term plus a spread ranging from 2.50% to 2.60%. This spread was determined by reviewing market premiums over treasuries for fully securitized assets. The weighted average discount rate used was 5.34%. Three of our ground leases have fixed rental charges, and one has variable charges that are driven by the consumer price index. Three of our ground leases have options to extend, and one ground lease has multiple early termination options. We will include option periods or exclude termination options in future lease payments for ground leases located in our target markets.
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, “Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326).” The new standard requires more timely recognition of credit losses on loans and other financial instruments that are not accounted for at fair market value through net income. The standard also requires that financial assets measured at amortized cost be presented at the net amount anticipated to be collected, through an allowance for credit losses that is deducted from the amortized cost basis. We would be required to measure all expected credit losses based upon historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts that affect the collectability of the financial assets. ASU 2016-13 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. We are currently evaluating the impact from adopting ASU 2016-13, but we anticipate adopting this standard will not have a material impact to our consolidated financial statements.
The entire disclosure for the organization, consolidation and basis of presentation of financial statements disclosure, and significant accounting policies of the reporting entity. May be provided in more than one note to the financial statements, as long as users are provided with an understanding of (1) the significant judgments and assumptions made by an enterprise in determining whether it must consolidate a VIE and/or disclose information about its involvement with a VIE, (2) the nature of restrictions on a consolidated VIE's assets reported by an enterprise in its statement of financial position, including the carrying amounts of such assets, (3) the nature of, and changes in, the risks associated with an enterprise's involvement with the VIE, and (4) how an enterprise's involvement with the VIE affects the enterprise's financial position, financial performance, and cash flows. Describes procedure if disclosures are provided in more than one note to the financial statements.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef