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January 19, 2018

Local executive helps Kidder Mathews grow

The Daily Transcript

Thor Kamban Biberman

Kidder Mathews' rapid growth force d it to move into a new office in Del Mar Heights in the summer of 2016.

Kidder Mathews has doubled the number of brokers in its Southwest division to 100 since the end of 2016, behind the steady leadership of San Diego's Mark Read.

An executive vice president, Read oversees the commercial real estate firm's entire Southwest division, which also doubled its revenues during the year-long timeframe.

Kidder Mathews' Southwest division includes offices in Del Mar Heights, Carlsbad, Orange County, the Inland Empire, Commerce, downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Phoenix.

At the end of 2017, Read said he had 38 brokers, along with about a dozen support staff and an appraiser, in the firm's San Diego and Carlsbad offices.

"We opened with just three guys (in San Diego County) in January 2015," he said, adding that the number of local brokers had grown to 14 by the end of the first year, and to 26 by the end of 2016.

When Kidder Mathews first came to San Diego, Read thought that having between 35 and 40 brokers would be an ideal number for the local offices. Now that the number has been achieved, Read said there is still enough room to add at least a few more. "We still have room for good people," he said. "I think we will grow a little in brokerage, but a lot in property management."

Kidder Mathews occupies about 13,300 square feet in its primary Del Mar Heights office, located across the street from the Del Mar Marriott. Another 3,300-square-foot office is on Priestly Drive in Carlsbad. Read, who formerly worked for CBRE Group, Inc., Voit Commercial Real Estate, and Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate, is an executive with a company very different from the publicly traded giants such as CBRE or JLL.

One striking difference is that Kidder Mathews "has broad-based employee ownership," Read said.

The company's commission structure also is unique in the industry.

Under the formula, brokers split the cost of the "desk" 50/50. After that, the commission split rapidly ramps up to a 90/10 split in favor of the broker, once the startup costs have been paid.

Read contends that it is significant that Kidder Mathews, while still relatively small, has grew steadily while several major brokerages have been absorbed throughout the years.

"Our goals are to continue to hire, grow out property management business, and grow in the Inland Empire, Orange County, and L.A.," Read said, adding that while there has been an incredible amount of growth in industrial activity in the Inland Empire, Orange County and Los Angeles had less growth because they are much more geographically constrained.

"A record year in construction in San Diego would be two or three buildings in the Inland Empire," Read said.

Read said while industrial vacancies are tight in San Diego County -- 4.4 percent at the end of 2017, according to The CoStar Group -- they are much tighter in Los Angeles, where 1 to 2 percent vacancy is the norm. Looking ahead to 2018, Read said he expects the economy to be strong throughout the year, interest rates to remain relatively low, job creation to continue be relatively strong, and the new federal tax legislation to fuel continuing growth. "There had been a lot of uncertainty around that," Read said. "The taxes have been cut, and that encourages businesses to grow and invest."

Kidder Mathews has many clients on the landlord and the tenant side, and also serves as a property manager for many assets.

The firm manages the 1,230-space 6th & K Parkade near Petco Park; is handles leasing for the 191,000-squarefoot Eastlake Distribution Center in Chula Vista; and handles the leasing for the planned 150,000-square-foot expansion of an industrial building Murphy Development is building in Otay Mesa.

Kidder Mathews has also been named to handle the leasing for a 450,000-square-foot industrial warehouse building in the Parkway Summit development along Scripps Poway Parkway, according to CoStar.

Along with representing industrial landlords and tenants, Kidder Mathews also represents landlords and tenants of office and retail properties, and to a lesser degree, multifamily.

One San Diego multifamily property that Kidder Mathews is managing, according to CoStar, is the 325-unit Icon property at 315-319 10th Avenue next to Petco Park in the East Village.

Read said Kidder Mathews also represents the HCP life science, medical office, and assisted living firm; The Rockefeller Group; and El Cajon-based Hamann Construction.

For the full story, go to The Daily Transcript.

© 2018 Daily Journal Corporation

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