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GVA IPC celebrates 30 years of commercial real estate success

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Many 29-year-olds wince at their oncoming 30th birthdays, but brokers at GVA IPC, one of the oldest locally owned commercial brokerage firms in San Diego County, proudly embrace their 30th year with the arrival of 2005. They see the firm's 30th year as an opportunity to celebrate its longevity, its people and its success -- as it has done since 1975.

Jay Diskin

In 2004, IPC became a GVA affiliate; brought on a new senior vice president, James Barwick, CCIM; and ranked among the top 10 largest commercial real estate brokerage firms in San Diego County, with 282 transactions totaling $250 million. Business for 2004 is up 15 percent over last year.

GVA IPC never forgets that its success comes from its long list of satisfied clients, which include building owners, developers, investors and tenants. Jay Diskin, CCIM, SIOR, president and CEO of GVA IPC, also applauds his staff of five full-time employees and 28 well-educated, experienced agents based in the La Jolla and Carlsbad offices.

"Our people are our greatest resources," Diskin said. "Our team values education and takes pride in the CCIM and SIOR initials that follow many of our agents' names. The CCIM and SIOR designations reflect our commitment to education, professionalism, integrity and know-how."

When GVA IPC agents earn the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, they become nationally recognized experts in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate. GVA IPC is proud of its eight CCIM designees, including Bruce Haulley, who earned his CCIM designation earlier this year.

The Society of Industrial Office Realtors (SIOR) symbolizes the highest level of knowledge, production and ethics in the commercial real estate industry. This past year, Diskin and GVA IPC broker, Brandon Keith, both earned their SIOR designations.

According to Diskin, while about 2,000 SIOR and 6,000 CCIM agents nationwide carry these initials, less than 500 carry both simultaneously. Diskin and GVA IPC agent, Richard Murdock, make up two of those 500 agents with the double designation.

Not only does Murdock have the double designation, but will also serve as the 2005 president of the CCIM San Diego chapter.

"The sharing of ideas and practices with designees from all over the country keeps everyone excited about our profession and its potential for high achievement as experts in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate," Murdock said.

GVA IPC brokers have held the position of president of the CCIM San Diego chapter for the past four years: Diskin in 2002; Chuck Wise, CCIM, in 2003; and Chuck Wasker, CCIM, in 2004. In addition, Barwick served as president in 1998.

GVA IPC has another president on its team as well. Patty Haulley serves as 2005 president of the Commercial Realtors Association San Diego (CRASD). Haulley has closed a $17 million transaction, plus two $13 million transactions this year alone.

The full-service brokerage firm specializes in the sale and leasing of office, retail, apartment, industrial, land and investment opportunities, as well as property management.

Among hundreds of transactions this year, GVA IPC completed the sale of a Barnard Courts Apartments in Oceanside for $17.5 million, office buildings on Balboa Avenue for $8.9 million, an office building on Sorrento Valley Road for $7.5 million, and an industrial building on Ruffin Road for $7.3 million. Brokers expect to close on a $13 million sale of a retail center later this month.

With its keen ability to keep a thumb on the pulse of the commercial real estate market, GVA IPC brokers identify investment strategies that help their customers in this ever-evolving real estate market.

For example, GVA IPC brokers help their investors sell investment properties by offering Tenants in Common (TIC) properties for a 1031 Exchange. TIC ownership is another solution GVA IPC brokers offer clients in meeting their needs for finding exchange properties for 1031 Exchanges.

According to Aubrey Morrow, CFPO, of Financial Designs Ltd., investors who take advantage of selling in San Diego's seller's market, will lose approximately 25 percent of their profits in capital gains taxes unless they elect a 1031/TIC exchange.

A 1031/TIC exchange allows brokers to "find suitable replacement properties" in which to pour proceeds. TIC properties can include apartment complexes, industrial and office parks, and retail centers.

"We at GVA IPC expect to see investors using tax deferred exchanges to diversify their investment real estate portfolios," Robert Vallera, CCIM, added. "Some will exchange into other product types or even different geographical regions, frequently outside of California."

Owner/user properties present additional commercial real estate opportunities for GVA IPC agents and investors. Owner/user properties allow owners of office, industrial, or retail buildings to also occupy all or a portion of the building for their own business needs.

Stephen Dok and Brent Bohlken of GVA IPC represented doctors and dentists in the purchase of the Lomas Santa Fe Medical Center in Solana Beach that sold for $7 million. The new owners are also tenants. In addition, Barwick plans to pursue owner/user projects in the form of medical/dental condominiums in 2005.

GVA IPC brokers and agents are grateful for a successful 2004 and look forward to a busy and prosperous 2005.

"We are excited about our La Jolla office's upcoming move early in the new year," said Brandon Keith, SIOR. "We will double our space and add additional high quality, experienced brokers to the company, allowing GVA IPC to continue to be one of the most attractive commercial real estate brokerages to be affiliated with."

The outlook for GVA IPC in 2005 shines brightly, but what light will shine for the commercial real estate industry in 2005?

"Challenges in California, such as higher housing costs and higher energy costs, may adversely impact office and industrial property investments in San Diego," Bohlken said. "However, I am bullish on industrial investments, as lack of land and low vacancy will continue to put upward pressure on rents. I look forward to assisting my clients by understanding this challenging market and advising them in their pursuit of office/industrial investment opportunities."

Growth in space, personnel and expertise as well as an ever-intuitive watch over interest rates, leasing rates and trends in San Diego's real estate market continues to cultivate optimism among GVA IPC brokers.

"I expect sales activity in the commercial real estate market to remain strong in 2005. Leasing was stagnant in 2004, but with increased demand, I am sure it will become more active in 2005," Diskin said. "What I know for sure is that my high-caliber team is excited about the opportunities that 2005 is sure to bring."

Kutch is principal of Kutch & Co.

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