Gilbert “Gibb” Mitchell
I have worked with Gibb and his family for over 15 years. The Mitchell family has owned one of the larger (32 acres) close in industrial sites in Portland off North Columbia Blvd for close to 40 years. They have a variety of buildings and yard/land lease tenants on the site. Over the last 12 years, I have assisted in providing input on the industrial real estate market in Portland as it relates to rental rates; valuations and more. I have also obtained several tenants for the property and helped renew multiple leases to bring them up to market lease rates. With a large vacancy of the site coming available in late 2017, I was able to provide details and market information that indicated that the industrial real estate market currently in Portland was the strongest it has ever been with values close to doubling since the last recession as with the strong economy and transportation and distribution industries at capacity, developers and users are looking to obtain sites close in to the city and near major transportation networks in Portland which has a very constrained industrial land inventory. Even with a present good cash flow on the property, the family owners came to realize that with strong values and demand for industrial property and understanding the time might be right to “go their separate ways” that there was a rare opportunity to exit out of this large industrial real estate asset at potentially an all-time market price. After organizing a substantial amount of property information and a conducting a formalized marketing outreach effort to both the developer, investor and user markets, 8 solid offers were received on the property. After a “best and final process” I helped the Mitchell family analyze the three final offers to settle on a strong NYSE exchange company that was selected as the preferred buyer due to their financial strength, compacted due diligence time frames, aggressive pricing and less rigorous due diligence stipulations. I connected the family with a skilled real estate attorney and over the ensuing months I have guided the family through the considerable negotiations, monitoring of buyers analysis and due diligence; and directing extensive interactions with city and state agencies around land use, environmental and permitting issues. The property is on track to close in the first quarter of 2019 at a price that is $ 6 million over a recent appraisal in 2017.
Ganesh and his partners operate multiple motel and hospitality properties in the Portland metro area and beyond. I have worked with Ganesh to help secure a long term lease for one of his larger motel properties, the Briarwood Suites on Southeast Powell with Multnomah County. This long term lease was a master lease for the entire 40 unit project for use for the Joint Office of Homeless Services to provide long term sustainable housing for some of Portland’s most vulnerable residents. Combining services with housing, this project will help secure much needed shelter spaces and allow previously un-housed people, especially families the ability to get “ a leg up” in establishing more permanent housing and getting out of the cycle of homelessness. The lease was a result of a 6 month long RFP process and significant negotiation and due diligence to meet the County’s rigorous building requirements. Besides a strong rental rate, I helped with establishing some aggressive yearly rental escalations and a significant “refurbishment” fee per room the County will pay at the lease termination to take into account the necessary need to renovate rooms upon vacation of the premises. “I have known a lot of brokers in 25 years and Todd has a very unique ability to connect with people and get the job done” said Ganesh.
Casey built a thriving and fairly esoteric food business which was indicative of the creative and eclectic Portland food scene. His business, Alpine Foragers, came to be one of the largest specialty mushroom distributors on the west coast. Cultivating a network of pickers and suppliers of some of the most exotic and sought after mushrooms, Alpine Foragers became the “go to” distributor by specialty food companies, chefs, restaurants and gourmet grocery stores the world over. His biggest customer, Whole Foods came to trust Alpine to deliver consistent supplies and services of some of the best and tastiest fungi you will ever find. I represented Casey in moving from an inefficient and disjointed warehouse to buying a north Portland 25,000 sf classic bow-strung roof warehouse off North Columbia Blvd over 10 years ago. I assisted him in setting up competitive financing with a local business bank and then over the years, proceeded to keep in touch to talk about the market and help him with putting together a few smaller leases in his warehouse to complementary businesses. His business thrived and grew but as spending more time travelling, rowing a raft on a river and just spending time with his large family seemed to make more sense, Casey sold his business and he called me to sit down and look at his options in 2017. His first intention was to keep the building continue to try and lease space to several smaller companies including a cider company. But after going through the “numbers” and seeing that he would have to invest tens of thousands of dollars then manager the process and the tenants, he said “That is not for me” I was also through some market information and facilitating a limited appraisal was able to show him that values for these classic warehouses in that size were the strongest they ever had been. So the decision was to put the building on the market and I gave him what he thought was an overly aggressive price but impressed upon him how these older clear span buildings with dock/grade loading and parking were rare and sought after and pricing in this market should be high. My pricing was also substantiated by the fact that Casey had installed some state of the art freezer/cooler facilities; upgraded the power and installed two large floor drains which in food centric Portland has a big appeal to our growing cadre of food businesses. I knew multiple food companies that were out looking in the market for facilities but knew from the start one in particular would be a glove fit: Laughing Planet Cafes. I knew the creative owner; Franz Spitzvogel for several years and knew he had swung and struck out on several building acquisitions for his now 19 unit and growing chain of healthy, fast and fun cafes. At first, Franz didn’t think it would work but once understanding he could use all the food infrastructure in the building which was time-consuming and costly replace, along with the fact there was a long term tenant in the back of the building paying great rent he came around. Casey and Franz hit it off as their ideas about food, treating employees well, and giving back to the community jived. After some negotiation and understand of each party’s needs, we figured out the best “win-win” situation for both. Franz and Laughing Planet leased the building for a few years with an option to purchase which worked perfectly as it allows him to get into the building and due some upgrades and set up his financing for the purchase the building early in 2019.
Salt & Straw Ice Cream Company
110 SE 2nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97214
Salt & Straw has become in a very short time, an amazing Portland food success story and has come to embody the artisanal and creative food culture that Portland has become known for the world over. From a small northeast Portland food cart, Salt & Straw has grown to encompass ice cream stores in five cities up and down the west coast by religiously pursuing a commitment to freshness, local natural ingredients, community awareness and most importantly some of the tastiest and interesting flavor combinations ever seen in the ice cream world. With her cousin and co-owner and ice cream savant, Tyler, Kim Malek and Salt and Straw has with a bit of luck, uncanny vision and some very strategic planning and investments, been on a tear since they opened their first shop in 2011. So when they looked to make their biggest move yet to a much larger and efficient production and administrative facility I came into contact as a referral to them by another broker who handled their ice cream store leases because as she told them “he really understands the market and can find opportunities other brokers cannot”. With a very tight geographical area to stay close in to Portland’s core and near where their small cramped existing facility was located and other innovative food companies they knew and collaborated with were also located, Salt and Straw had a challenging requirement. All this with a company growing so fast that needs were changing monthly helped complicate the search. We worked on a couple of deals along the way that did not work out but this helped me gain valuable information and knowledge about their capabilities and what would work and what would not. It took over a year to finally get to the best possible scenario. “Due to Todd’s contacts and knowledge of what is going on in the market, he was able to present us with a building that was not on the market and lined up well with our facility and financial goals. Though the property is bigger than what we needed and was a lease and not a sale, it became more attractive as we understood that we could sublease the excess space until we needed it for further expansion and that a long term lease was a better arrangement due to the large capital investment we needed to make in the building suitable for our operations” Salt and Straw leased a 28,000 sf newer building in heart of Portland’s most dynamic and entrepreneurial neighborhoods, the Central Eastside in the Produce Row area of SE 2nd and Ash/Ankeny. They were able to sublease a portion of the building to their friends at Stumptown Coffee until they need more room for making and distributing some of the tastiest ice cream on the planet. “Todd really helped us find an ideal solution and he would be an excellent choice as trusted real estate advisor and broker for any company looking to make successful decisions about the very important aspects related to their facilities and real estate.” Malek says.
Director of Housing Investment
Portland Housing Bureau
City of Portland
The lack of affordable housing is one of the most pressing and vexing problems facing not only Portland but many other cities across the United States as both rents and housing valuations have bounced past the all-time highs from the time before the last recession. This combined with slower wage and income increases has made housing out of reach for many especially in the central core areas and as increased certain very visible inequities in the housing market in Portland. This has and will continue to diminish economic opportunities; affect the ability for companies to recruit and hire employees; underpin a growing homeless population; diminish quality of living and is both creating new as well as exacerbating existing societal and cultural problems. Watching some of the issues around housing unaffordability unfold, I approached PHB several years ago with this understanding and the strong premise that the city needed to be more pro-active and targeted in its real estate endeavors in order to secure sites and properties to compete and succeed against the aggressive inclinations of the private development sector. Over the last few years, I have facilitated multiple meetings and inquiries with multiple “interested” property owners and PHB about potential site acquisitions while not initially resulting in transactions this helped set the stage for future successful deals especially on properties in the targeted area encompassing the North/Northeast Housing Strategy area. We able to accomplish two site transactions one on North Interstate and the other on SE Powell, that will result in hundreds of units of new affordable housing units. These opportunities were complex transactions with owners that were not actively looking to sell, had existing tenants, challenging environmental and site conditions.
Dealers Supply Company
2345 N.W. Nicolai
Portland, Oregon 97210
Dealers Supply is a 100 year old Portland company and located that whole time in the Central Eastside of Portland Oregon. They have grown into one of the largest full service roofing supply companies in the northwest. After interviewing multiple borkers, I was selected to represent Dealers Supply to both find a buyer for their older inefficient properties in the close in eastside as well as find a site or property that could accommodate and consolidate their growing headquarter and distribution operations in the Portland market. Over the period of a year, I was able to orchestrate a complicated reverse 1031 exchange where Dealers found a great core development site in Northwest Portland while also selling all three of their properties in the Central Eastside (SE Stark/Washington/Water Ave.)to one very qualified buyer, Harsch Investment which was their goal. I also assisted with qualifying Dealers Supply and their new 100,000 sf development in Northwest Portland for significant property tax reductions under Portland’s Enterprise Zone guidelines at their new location.
409 S.E. 49th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97215
Marcia is part of a family ownership of an industrial property located on N. Columbia Blvd. This 18 acre site encompassing buildings of 80,000 sf had been inherited by her and her siblings many years ago and after having their tenant vacate they made the decision to lease or sell the property. They hired another larger brokerage company that after 2 years was unsuccessful in getting the property sold or leased. I had long term relationships with the family and was able to come in put together a short term lease with an option to purchase by a qualified company and able to accomplish a sale in 2015 of the property which sold for $4.2 million.
Vice President of HARSCH Investment Corporation
1121 S.W. Salmon Street Suite 500
Portland, Oregon 97205
HARSCH Investment is one of the West Coasts leading commercial and property investment firms. With an asset portfolio valued at over $2 billion and spanning multiple product types in six states, HARSCH has grown steadily through its 60 year history. I have worked with Harsch for over 20 years having sold them a key 20 acres industrial site n North Marine Drive and assisted in the development and marketing of HARSCH’s largest industrial project in the Northwest, totaling over 400,000; Stockyards Commerce Center. HARSCH has for the last decade had an invigorated interest in central city core redevelopment, and therefore which translated into representing them in the recently in the purchase of just shy of three city blocks in the Produce Row area (Water/Stark/Washington Street) of the Central Eastside. I helped them understand the changing dynamics of the Central Eastside market with market research, design and marketing of the renovated 50,000 sf of space which leased up quickly in two long term deals to great local companies: Steve Tea Company and House Spirits which will moved into their new renovated spaces in 2015 while leaving them two very developable sites for future projects one of which in now under construction for a 70,000 sf state of the art creative office development.
Weston Investment Company
2154 N.E. Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
Mr. Weston is one of the largest and most successful developers and owners of commercial real estate in the Portland Market. Mr. Weston has developed and invested in commercial real estate with investments exceeding over $2 billion in value in the northwest over the last two decades and is credited with being much of the vision and force behind the Pearl District’s most successful developments. I represented Joe in his purchase and development of one of their largest industrial holdings, Columbia Gorge Corporate Center for over $10 million.