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Close-up: Matthew Reid

NAIOP's incoming president says membership remains strong

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Matthew Reid, the incoming president of the San Diego Chapter of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties, says while there has been a modest dip in membership, it has basically held its own.

Reid, who estimated his chapter has about 500 members, said a 3 percent to 5 percent drop during the past two years is quite minor, considering what has happened to the economy.

"We're encouraged by that. It shows we're creating value," Reid said.

Reid is proud to say that the NAIOP meetings -- some of which have 300 people and more -- have been well attended right through the recession.

As for the downturn, Reid said this down-cycle isn't that uncommon.

"This one's been longer than most," Reid said adding that this is a cyclical and survivable event.

"This is a time when we can really create opportunities for our members with premier events (such as annual forecasts), mixers and networking," Reid said. adding that NAIOP has an electronic jobs board to help unemployed members.

Reid also contends that NAIOP's legislative efforts on the local state and national fronts have never been stronger.

NAIOP helps foster relationships with political officials. A breakfast with Mayor Jerry Sanders has been an annual event, for example.

NAIOP also co-hosts events with university entities such as the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego, and has about 180 members in its "Developing Leaders Program."

Matthew Reid is the incoming president of the San Diego Chapter of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties. Photo: J. Kat Woronowicz

"We are seeing unprecedented growth in our mentorship opportunities," Reid said.

The NAIOP by its very name has primarily focused on office and industrial properties, but Reid said it is adding retail into the mix by having officials from developers as Westfield and Sudberry Properties discuss their retail projects or retail components in their mixed-use developments.

"We're deepening the swath of the sectors we cover," Reid said.

The number of covered sectors could be expanded further still. When asked if apartments could one day be among NAIOP's covered sectors, Reid said, "we need to examine that."

Reid said what he is most excited about at NAIOP are the philanthropic efforts. One program in particular -- Adopt a Platoon -- is a favorite of Reid's. The program does more than just send care packages to the troops, it raises money for families back home, helps find medical care for soldiers and their families and, in the event of a soldier's death, helps raise funds for funeral expenses and sets up scholarships for the children.

When not doing NAIOP business, Reid is a vice president of development with the San Diego offices of the Ryan Cos., a multifaceted commercial real estate development firm with headquarters in Minneapolis.

The Ryan Cos.'s largest project here is what at buildout would be the 1.9 million-square-foot RiverView at Santee development in the East County city.

Reid concedes the RiverView project has been moving slowly in this economy. For example, a 63,000-square-foot office condominium property built about 1 1/2 years ago is still only about 30 percent full. If the economy continues to be as slow as it has been, the project could still take quite a while to lease up. The East County had a 10.31 percent office vacancy rate as of the end of the third quarter, according to a Voit Commercial report.

RiverView currently includes seven buildings totaling 143,000 square feet, plus a 77.000-square-foot build-to-suit building for Hartford Financial Services Group.The new Liberty Charter High School for about 470 students is also part of the plan.

Ryan also owns about 20 acres in Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad. It has constructed a 160,000-square-foot office/industrial building that similar to the RiverView building, is only about 35 percent full. That project is a LEED development (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) going for LEED Silver status.

Being a LEED building may help, but filling office space has been particularly problematic in Carlsbad, which had a 22.5 percent direct office vacancy rate according to Voit. Other surveys say with sublease space added in, Carlsbad's office vacancy might be 30 percent or even more.

When asked about how he intends to fill the empty spaces in Santee and Carlsbad, Reid said he is lowering prices and providing more favorable tenant improvement packages for the tenants and buyers of his spaces. There is good news for Ryan as well.

"There has been about a 20 percent drop in TI construction costs," Reid said.

Not all of the projects worked out of Ryan's San Diego office are in this county. Along with a retail center Ryan is working on in the Palm Springs area, Ryan is planning a 200,000-square-foot expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center. That facility, which competes head-to-head with our own, would also add 1,100 hotel rooms and a 3,000-stall parking garage as well.

Reid, who has 19 years of construction and development experience, was instrumental in the growth and success of Ryan's Chicago office for many years.

In his post here, Reid provides overall leadership and direction for development, design, construction and property management services for the Southern California region.

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