We sold the Maple Avenue property last month. The owners went to a lot of effort to make the property market-ready. This included painting both the inside and outside of the building. They installed new ceiling foil, repaired the lighting, spray washed the floors, slurry-coated and striped the parking. The single biggest expense was installing a new concrete yard. During the marketing period all the landscaping was maintained and the building was kept clean. The purpose of all this effort was to make the building look attractive and ready for a buyer to occupy. Because the building looked better than others on the market, we were able to obtain a premium. In today’s maket, making sure your building looks good and is in “move-in” condition will result in a reduced vacancy, a better tenant, and higher rent. Owners need to spend money on their property if they want to have good results.

Earlier this month we leased the final unit at the Avalon Distribution Center. Not sure if it is worth a celebration because the leasing assignment took over two years. When the project was originally conceived, vacancies were at an all time low and the logistics business was on fire. Our typical user was a freight company who handles cargo at LAX and the Ports. We have a central and freeway-close location to serve both areas. During the recession, cargo volumes dropped, vacancies soared, and many of the smaller freight companies went out of business. What saved this project is its superior design. Loading, ceiling height, fire sprinkler, and cubic capacity made the units very funtional and productive for its tenants. Tenacity on the part of the building owner was also important. Now with the worst behind us, the Avalon project will be the success we originally planned.

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