Commentary

On Real Estate

By Jason Hughes

Symptoms emerging for a full-blown recession

Noted fund manager Peter Lynch once observed in his "One Up On Wall Street" that he obtained his best information by simply looking at real life situations around him, rather than depending on formal economic analyses and market gurus. If real life in much of San Diego is any reliable economic indicator, then it's increasingly clear that our local economy is in the early stages of a full-blown recession.

'TALE' needed to wag the landlords' dog

It's been nearly 14 months since I last dealt with the thorny issue of "operating expenses," those something-extra costs in most office leases. And while, my July 18, column delved into how such creative expense formulas can typically abuse clients, nothing then compares to the more recent dire situations in which office space tenants are getting the shaft from greedy landlords who are trying to puff up such expenses to cover the patently absurd prices they paid for their office buildings.

How attorneys can play positive role in transactions

Many friends of mine, including those closest to me, are attorneys. And, a majority of my clients also are members of the legal profession. So, today's topic is a dicey one for me personally; nevertheless, an important one that needs to be addressed.

'Lame' agents create lame deals for all tenants

This past December, I gave myself -- and, I like to think our readers as well -- an early Christmas present by wondering aloud in this column what the San Diego office market might look like with me in charge.

A real look at trends in San Diego's office market

It's a good time for tenants to be shopping for office space throughout the San Diego region's suburban locales, thanks to an office market that is "in equilibrium" and even quite favorable in terms of growing vacancies in some submarkets.

Office design is key to employee productivity

Office space design is much more important to businesses than just being a budget-line item if we are to believe a recent survey of office workers conducted for one of the largest architectural firms in the world.

Entangling alliances continue among brokerage giants

It hasn't been but three months since I sounded the alarm via these pages about a growing trend we're seeing: commercial real estate brokerages forming entangling alliances with developers, real estate investors and the like.

What's going on in the suburban office markets?

We've talked so much in recent columns about the downtown office market that now we need to take a look throughout the rest of the region, particularly the suburban areas where there has been a bustle of activity in recent months. While it's true that downtown is our civic center and the core of the region's office market, the fact of the matter is that our suburbs host some of the region's biggest and most important corporate citizens.

The so-called 'deals' in landlord negotiations

Everybody loves to brag about getting a special deal -- either buying something at the cheapest price ever or fetching a record-high price for something they sell. This, in part, is borne out by the old adage in residential real estate that suggests there are two things homeowners often lie about: what they paid for their house and what they sold it for.

Developing Navy's waterfront takes bold courage

Nobody is more excited than yours truly about what has been and will be done to enhance our city's waterfront. The various efforts now under way to demolish and replace gray obsolete buildings and asphalt lots with a sparkling array of new office buildings, hotels and retail facilities will establish a bay-front skyline of world-class proportions to be admired by generations to come.

Educating tenants 'mountain worthy of the climb'

Being a regular newspaper columnist, I've found, isn't the best way to make and keep friends in the business world. I enjoy engaging our readers in brisk discussions concerning the issues that affect the local commercial real estate market -- in particular, the office space sector. Despite the fact I've softened the tone of some of my views over the years, the fruits of my labor are still not always received in the positive vein I intend them to be. That's especially the case on the part of some of my firm's competitors. I'll get to that point in a minute.

Office-building dominance doesn't dictate rent hikes

If San Diego's Class A office market were a Monopoly board, The Irvine Co. would be the dominant player, holding a choice number of deeds to some of the best properties locally, and leaving the rest of the players to sweat out the growing prospects of landing on those property squares.

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Jason Hughes

Jason Hughes is president of Hughes Marino, the largest San Diego commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation. He can be reached at jason@hughesmarino.com ...

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