Older Buildings Upgraded With Latest Features
With so much property in the county, local property management companies look to improve themselves by distinguishing their holdings from the rest of the pack. The San Diego Business Journal’s List of the Largest Property Management Companies is ranked by the total square footage of local property managed as of June 1, 2000. So far in 2000, the top 25 property managers combined for 58,972,865 square-feet of managed property, an increase of 8.9 percent from the previous year. In this high-tech age, many property managers upgrade their facilities to meet the growing demands for technology in the building. “Many companies are likely to ask for direct subscriber lines (DSL) or accept the needs for Internet connections,” said Jerry Jacquet, principal of Meissner Jacquet Investment Management Services, No. 4 on The List. “As an office manager, we will try to accommodate clients with their needs.”
Meissner Jacquet manages 4,150,000 square feet of commercial property space in 2000 compared to managing 3,012,027 square feet of commercial property space in 1999, an increase of 38 percent. The value of the local property managed is approximately $581 million.
Older Buildings Need Tech Upgrades
Jacquet said many of the older buildings are in need of high-tech upgrades such as the installation of communications systems. He estimated approximately 80 percent of Meissner Jacquet’s Class A office buildings are retrofitted for Internet infrastructure. The Class A office building category is a construction building type defining a building with a steel frame, glass curtain wall, etc.
“Money spent on retrofitting the old buildings are quickly recaptured from the tenant leasing the property,” Jacquet said. “It’s all about customer service.” Meissner Jacquet manages approximately 45 percent in office, and research and development properties categories. Some of the properties managed include the 175,000-square-foot Mission Valley Financial Center and 200,000-square-foot Spectrum Office Building. “The market has been and continues to be very active with high tenant demand,” Jacquet said. “Voice, data and video are all huge needs of these tenants.”
BOMA Identifies Top Three Issues
In the latest report by Washington, D.C.-based Building Owners and Managers Association, the top three issues for property managers were identified as technology, personnel and tenant retention. “Tenants are demanding more and more high-tech features and amenities,” wrote Matthew Bond, a researcher with BOMA International. “A building’s ability to deliver these features and amenities is a key to future profitability.” In San Diego County, the existing inventory for office space is estimated between 40 million and 45 million square feet, according to Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Stamats Building Group. It also reported the average vacancy rate for office buildings ia at 8.3 percent and for industrial complexes at 6.5 percent in San Diego County. Many property managers looked to expand their operations in the improving economy. Trigild, a property management company managing 310,000 square feet of commercial space in San Diego County, expanded its management of properties by acquiring additional restaurants in Arkansas, Missouri and New Jersey in the past couple of months. Most of Trigild’s properties managed are hotel properties. In San Diego County, Trigild manages the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley, Ramada Limited Suites in Mission Valley and the Days Inn in Encinitas. “We are in the business of turning around businesses for resale,” said Judy Maxwell Hoffman, principal and vice president of marketing for Trigild. “Banks and financial institutions take over foreclosed businesses and turned them over to us for revival of its business.” Its latest operation was turning around Chula Vista’s White Water Canyon, a water theme park, into a sale after its previous owner defaulted on a loan. The new owner, Ohio-based Cedar Fair L.P., bought the park in December for an undisclosed amount and reopened the park in May. The park was renamed Knott’s Soak City U.S.A.
Trigild Took Over Operations
“Trigild simply took over its operations by maximizing its revenues, which would show more potential towards a buyer,” Hoffman said.
Some of the targeted areas for property improvements are with management, laborers and marketing. By improving the value of properties, banks and financial institutions could recover some of the losses. She said her management company doesn’t have many properties in the county since the economy is very healthy and without any problem businesses. “We come to fix problem businesses and properties after someone messes it up,” Hoffman said. “It’s not just babysitting the property, but the goal is to actually improve it.”