Over the last few months, I have had the pleasure of circling back with past clients, to catch up socially, to refer business their way or to talk about the state of their real estate. What comes to mind after visiting with these folks, is that some of them are still occupying or owning buildings I sold them over 20 years ago. So how well did they/we do, in acquiring the property? Did it meet their operational needs? Did the investment pay off for them?
Here are two vignettes about a building and an owner, past, present and future:

I met Frank Marquez, Branex, as he was leasing about 4,000 SF, moved him into a 10,400 SF building for lease then found a 28,800 SF property that was available on a lease/purchase. Frank needed some freezer/cooler space so finding a property that offered these features was hard to come by. In 1997, just such a property came available; it had been used by King Provisions, the Burger King commissary for the Tampa stores. Frank and his partners leased the building with the option to purchase it within three years’ time. Fortunately, the business was growing rapidly and the partners were able to exercise their option within 24 months. We had crafted the option to include some credits from prior rental payments, so a large portion of the down payment was already paid for.
Branex occupied the building for 10 years, sold the business to a customer, who then occupied the building for another 6 years. Most recently, the building was leased to a seafood distributor. All along, the monthly mortgage payments were chipping away at the principal balance. Now the partners are in a great position to keep the building for lease or sell it at a profit when the time is right.

Overhead Door Company was leasing a small suite in the airport area, which they had quickly outgrown. The owners wanted to expand in the area and through a few fits and starts, we found a 10,000 SF building for them to occupy on a lease; it included a showroom, offices, warehouse space and most importantly, a fenced yard for vehicle and material storage. Within 5 years, they were again bursting at the seams.
In early 2001, I had optioned a 2 acre tract of land along the Veteran’s Expressway to build two buildings. While I loved the property and the exposure it would afford an owner/tenant, the market was not responding as quickly as I expected. Thus, I turned to Bob Briesacher to see if he would be interested in purchasing the site and building his own building; he said yes and then he bought the site.

If you drive north on the Veteran’s Expressway, coming from the airport, you cannot miss the OHD sign and their 20,000 SF building! It remains headquarters for the company, which has expanded throughout the Tampa Bay region.
Most of my clients still own the buildings we bought together, a fact that makes me feel we considered the right factors, location, size, price and timing, to get invested in the buildings. This confirms that all of our instincts were good and I’m proud of the relationship I have with my long time clients.