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Commercial Real Estate Conversations

ONE-ON-ONE with Jay Rubin

Echelon Professional One on One conversation with Jay Rubin image

Jay Rubin is a Principal of Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura Inc., a full-service commercial real estate company and member of the Lee & Associates group of companies. He specializes in leasing office space in Los Angeles.

Jay represents landlords, tenants, business owners and investors in the leasing and sale of professional and medical office properties in the West San Fernando and Conejo Valleys.

Throughout his career, Jay has built a client-focused business centered upon customizing real estate solutions for his clients. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurial firms or private or public equity investors. Along with considerable expertise in marketing and transaction management, he provides in-depth knowledge of the office sector offering clients real-time intelligence to assist with decision making.

Jay’s considerable transaction expertise has resulted in the successful completion of well over 5,000,000 square feet of sale and lease transactions. Among his recent notable transactions, he has sold a seven-story hotel development site in Warner Center, Calif. and executed 60,000 sq. ft. of leases on behalf of Life Alert Medical Response Inc. Jay has been recognized as one of his firm’s Top 10 Producers nine times in the past dozen or so years. And in fact, in 2016, he was Broker of the Year.

Covid has turned the idea of offices, workspace, and leasing on its ear. What do you see from your perspective as to the current state of commercial real estate in the North Los Angeles area?

The office market is still trying to find its footing in the Covid era. Many companies have still not yet gone back into their offices and some have been able to work successfully from home. Vacancies and Subleases have been increasing steadily during the last 7 months. We anticipate this trend continuing until mid 2021. As some sectors like travel have completely shuttered their offices, others have sent their work force home to deal with the perils of working from home and often facilitating their children’s education.

We have all seen challenges that we never thought possible before. Clients across the board are fatigued with working from home and I am seeing a great deal of interest in getting their workforce back in a professional environment. When it will be safe is the question, we are all wondering. It appears this will be a scaled-up effort, bringing back some employees and increasing that count as things become safer.

What are some of the things you are counseling leasing clients with right now? What kind or strategies are you looking at with them?

Each client has different needs and requirements thus, we take a customized approach to their needs. We begin with evaluating each client’s short term
and long-term goals. Currently, we find that Landlords are increasingly open to flexibility. Furthermore, for our many clients that want to or are required to being physically present, we take proper protocol to ensure safety and currently these protocols are working.

Opportunities are available to downsize current premises or find relocation opportunities that meet tenant’s needs. Tenants in the market have an abundance of opportunities from fully furnished suites to flexible Lease Terms. We are seeing clients signing new leases with Commencement dates late in 2021 based on optimism we will get back to a more normal environment and locking in lower lease rates.

Conversely, what are the conversations like with owners and landlords?

Most Landlords are being proactive in assisting their tenants that are in distress. Every landlord/owner has different expenses, debt and business plans, which they based on the leases that were signed previously. Most landlords are open to flexible terms, downsizing tenants and putting attractive terms for new transitions.

There is momentum in the market as companies need to have a base and lease space. A lot of the landlords we work with have space that is conducive to the current situation, offering private access, new filtration systems and controlled environments. Landlords want to assist in creating safe environments that lead to more people back into their offices.

Jay Rubin, Principal

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