Providing exceptional service
CBC Advisors has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, and part of that expansion includes major growth in its asset services division. The firm now manages a portfolio of properties that stretches from Manhattan to Dallas and from Anchorage to L.A., a property value in excess of $4 billion—over 22 million square feet in 2,000 leases.
Properties under management are highly desirable spaces in locations like Fifth Avenue in New York City or Silicon Valley in California. The CBC Advisors asset services team helps building owners with every detail of property ownership: maintenance and repairs, renovations and upgrades, tenant management and accounting.
“A client can expect the highest level of attention to detail and loyalty to their property and tenant needs,” says Rob Cord, president of CBC Advisors. “They can expect accurate and timely reports, designed in a fashion that meets their goals and objectives specifically for their financial reporting requirements. They can expect strong internal controls, the most appropriate operating costs. They can also expect that we’ll undertake whatever level of service is required to achieve those goals and objectives we’ve set forth.”
The properties managed by CBC Advisors showcase breadth of scale and opportunity within asset management services.
New York City
“The world’s highest retail rents are found on Fifth Avenue between 49th Street and 59th Street, which is part of the Plaza District,” says Pressler. The current retail rates, he says, range from $2,700 to $4,450 per rentable square foot, an average of $3,484.
“They’re finished properties. They’re the highest level. These are some of the best buildings on the market, and they’re owned by some of the most prominent owners of real estate on the market,” says Cord. “If you know how to manage high-street retail, then you’re working at a different level or caliber than someone who doesn’t know the demand on the owners of that kind of product.”
Pressler and Agoglia definitely understand those demands. Pressler represented German-based DZ Bank in the sale-and-leaseback of 609 Fifth Avenue to renowned retail investor Jeff Sutton and his partners SL Green and Blackstone. Sutton kept Pressler and Agoglia on as leasing and management agents. In 2003, Pressler and Sutton brought The American Girl Place to the building for their second retail location in the world, and then Agoglia oversaw the renovation of the building from the basement through the third floor transform multi-tenanted office and retail space into a multi-level retail space that included a restaurant and a Broadway-style theater. The transaction was named the most creative retail transaction of 2003.
In 2005, Sutton purchased 720 5th Avenue and gave the leasing and management assignment to Pressler and Agoglia based on the successful experience at 609 5th Avenue. Once again, they oversaw the repositioning of the building from a multi-tenanted office and retail property into five floors of retail space for Abercrombie & Fitch’s flagship store.
Pressler and Agoglia still manage and lease 720 Fifth Avenue for Sutton, along with 724 5th Avenue, which is Prada’s Flagship in Manhattan and a partnership with Sutton and SL Green Realty Corp. They also manage 764 Madison Avenue (Derek Lam), 799 Madison Avenue (Frette), 803 Madison Avenue (La Perla), 824 Madison Avenue (De Grisogono), 530 Broadway (AT&T, Skechers, Vince Camuto, Club Monaco) and 125th and Lenox Avenue (Whole Foods).
San Francisco Bay Area
In Silicon Valley, good enough is not good enough—people in the famed technology hub strive for greatness. For a 114,000-square-foot office building in Oakland, a $12-million upgrade pushed the property from good to great.
Part of the renovation was raising one side of the lobby about 20 inches, says Cord, as well as carpeting and furnishing the area to make it more intimate.
“There are things you can do architecturally to give it a different feel, and with finishes, you can give it a different look. This was a turn-of-the-century building, but we gave it a modern but appropriate upgrade. We made it structurally more significant and safer for a tenant, and we improved the interiors to make it look more contemporary: interior glass, exposed brick and concrete floors,” he says. “We were able to get three times the rent. It’s value creation. You’re managing for value creation, for cash flow, for stability and improved performance. That’s three things clients, investors or tenants should be looking for.”
In Reno, the CBC Advisors’ asset services team was asked to manage over 2 million square feet in 15 buildings, with a focus on improving tenant relations, repositioning the portfolio in the marketplace and increasing occupancy—no small challenge.
“We’ve been able to increase the rents beyond market occupancy and improve cash flow dramatically,” says Cord. The current occupancy is now at 98 percent. “The owner has decided to take it on the market because they feel like they’ve reached their highest value and want to sell the property.”