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January 23, 2015

San Diego's Future Lies in Spec, Redevelopment

Globe St.

Natalie Dolce recently reported that Kidder Matthews has expanded into San Diego, opening an office and hiring three senior brokers and a managing partner. In an update to that story, we chat more with two of the firm's executives on opportunities in San Diego, why now was a good time to expand, and more.

"San Diego is an attractive investment market and demand is expanding from core to secondary markets. Leasing is also robust in virtually every submarket and product type." That is according to Mark Read, a veteran with more than 30 years in the commercial real estate industry, who joined the firm to serve as the managing partner for the San Diego office. Read was formerly a broker and then senior managing director for CBRE, where he managed more than 220 employees and 100 sales professionals across multiple service lines. Most recently, Read, was an executive managing director for Voit Real Estate Services, where he was responsible for the company's Orange County, Inland Empire and Los Angeles offices.

Read tells that vacancies are shrinking and rates are rising. Existing landowners, he says, will also have build-to-suit opportunities.

Of the challenges in the state, including red tape, taxes, water etc., he notes that San Diego has a lack of developable land. Still, he says, the city's future lies in spec development and redevelopment.

As for why now was a good time to expand here in San Diego, Jeff Lyon, CEO of the firm, tells that the firm's long term strategy is to continue to grow on the West Coast, so "expanding further south fits with our plan." San Diego, he says, is a great market and the company has existing property management business there. "With all of the consolidation going on in our industry, it creates tremendous opportunity for us, as no one else has a platform like ours," Lyon adds.

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