When you look around a room of investors and cannot find anyone who is fearful, you need to be fearful.

Fear in 2009 and Greed in 2015

Fear in 2009 and Greed in 2015

We have finally moved from fear to greed.  Nobody is worried about recessions.  Builders are building. Contractors are busy, and bids are going up.  Commercial and residential property prices are going up.  Interest rates are low.  To do deals today, you have to either lower your margins or increase risk or bet more on the future than the present.  Up it goes until it blows.

fear and greed 3

And the Winner is Parking and Playa Vista

Plentiful Parking at the Reserve in Playa Vista

Plentiful Parking at the Reserve in Playa Vista


Playa Vista had plenty of large blocks of space at relatively affordable rates and parking .  In an expansion, large blocks of space are hard to find, and tech employers found it in Downtown Los Angeles.   In Los Angeles, parking for employees is also hard to find.  Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, and Hollywood have or will soon have transit but not plentiful parking.  At the moment, Los Angeles is a City of drivers.  Playa Vista landlords can accommodate 4 cars per 1000 square feet.  That was a winner.  You can read more on Playa Vista in the article below.


Playa Vista turning into Silicon Valley South as tech firms move in – LA Times.

Pioneering and Gentrification


Highland Park Renters Protest Gentrification

Highland Park Renters Protest Gentrification

PMI has been involved in many investments in improving neighborhoods. This includes Santa Monica in the early 90s, Venice and Culver City in the mid 90s, and SOMA in the mid 2000s. In most cases, we invested in creative offices in improving areas after recessions.  Those offices were filled with companies that  brought jobs. We took obsolete warehouses and turned them into productive offices bringing in jobs And most people in the community thought that was a good thing.

We are now investing in Northeast LA and taking obsolete run down apartments and turning them into renovated creative apartments. We are helping improve the neighborhood. However, not every one in the community thinks this is a good thing. Lower income renters feel they are being displaced and pushed out of their neighborhood.   This was true of Venice in Los Angeles, Chelsea and Harlem in New York, and the Mission District in San Francisco.  Now it is happening in Northeast Los Angeles and specifically in Highland Park.  Recently, renters held protests against gentrification.  An apartment building that we are substantially  renovating was one of the properties cited by the protestors as displacing the original tenants.  We must now work to soften the impact of gentrification for this constituency.  You can read some of the issues in the Los Angeles Times Article below.

Highland Park renters feel the squeeze of gentrification – LA Times.

Open Plans Get Push Back

Open plans promote collaboration.  However it is critical to have the right mix of open and private spaces.  Some employees cannot function in open spaces.  Some need to be on the phone or in conferences.  Even those who can work well in an open plan will still need a private space for conferences.  Some open plans may not be providing the right mix of public/ private spaces.   Our experience would show that there be at least one private space per 1000 square feet, and this ratio should be increased for a density above 5 employees per 1000 square feet.

Who Moved My Cube? – HBR.

PMI Creative Space Helps San Francisco Sharethrough Be Voted One of the Best Places to Work

Companies in the technology field, especially in San Francisco, are currently in competition to hire the best and brightest young software engineers. Tech companies use a cool creative office as a tool in their recruitment wars. The San Francisco Business Times selected Sharethrough, our tenants at our brick and timber building at 394 Pacific, one of the best places to work in 2014..

One Take on What Millennial Renters Want

The article gives some good insights into what Millennials renters look for in apartments.

Millennials, 18 to 30 year-olds, have taken the rental housing market by storm. It is estimated that this generation make up nearly 40% of the housing market, and 90% of them are renters. Millennials recognize the many benefits of renting – many of which have nothing to do with money.

This trend offers a lot of opportunity for property owners, but appealing to this crowd means more than adding bike storage, being close to the farmer’s market and launching a mobile-friendly website. Investing in the right amenities and marketing strategies, understanding how to appeal to the Millennial renter mindset, and knowing how to keep them happy means you’ll be able to cater to this market with success.

We’ve put together this list of things Millennial renters can’t live without to give you a snapshot of what makes them so different and what you can do to attract them to your property.

Millennial Renters Love:
1. Extra Amenities
Amenities such as electric car charging ports, gyms, movie screening rooms and storage lockers would come at a significant cost to homeowners. When included in the cost of rent, these amenities are quite appealing to the Millennial generation. Consider upping your amenity game by thinking of opportunities to wow. Even having consistent cell phone reception throughout the building is an amenity that Millennials, many of whom don’t have landlines, expect and willing to pay a premium for.

2. Furry Friends
It is estimated that more than 76% of Millennials have furry friends. If your rental property is not pet-friendly, you’re only attracting 24% of this huge market.

3. Technology
This may sound hard to believe, but more than 22% of Millennials have never written a physical check. Be sure to give your Millennial renters options for payment, because 38% of them prefer to make payments online. Not only will this help you attract Millennial renters, but it can streamline your business operations. Millennials also love to text. Property managers who make themselves available via text can keep their tenants happy and feeling like you’re always available to them.

4. City Life
Many Millennial renters choose to live in urban areas because they like the convenience. Walking to grocery stores, taking public transportation and having easy access to nightlife and attractions is important. When advertising your property, consider its “Walk Score” and let renters know the amenities and attractions in the immediate area.

5. Safe Environments
More than 76% of Millennials list safe streets as their biggest priority when searching for an urban rental home. By adding security features such as bright entry lights, cameras or restricted entry, you can make your property feel safer.

6. Sharing the Love
Millennials rely heavily on word of mouth, ratings and reviews. In fact, they’re more likely to share bad experiences over good ones, so be sure to lead the way with great customer service. This can mean referral business from other Millennials who value and trust their friends’ experiences.