Office Landlord Representative

Winner:

R. Todd Doney

Cushman Realty Corp.

$57.0 million

Runners Up:

Bill Boyd

Grubb & Ellis Co.

$30.3 million

Jeff Pion

CB Commercial Real Estate Services Group Inc.

$25.6 million

Even though R. Todd Doney is a landlord representative, he listens intently to what tenants want and then tries to provide it.

That formula helped earn Doney the spot as L.A.'s top-producing landlord representative for 1997, with nearly $57 million in deals to his credit.

"He has a lot of control over his clients (landlords), which is what you would hope for in a landlord representative when you're on the other side of the table," said Clay Hammerstein, a tenant representative at Doney's employer, Cushman Realty Corp.

"Some people are just messengers (for the clients they represent)," Hammerstein said. "Todd knows what's do-able and not do-able. He hears what your client's hot buttons are and tries to react accordingly."

On one recent deal, the "hot button" for one of Hammerstein's clients, the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, was to find office space quickly. Doney set up the firm in space formerly occupied by Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Los Angeles.

"Todd made this transaction a priority and met our time frames," Hammerstein said. "Therefore, I had a happy client. They had a positive experience, so it was positive for me."

Apart from several subleases in the former Wells Fargo space, Doney brokered two other major deals in 1997.

In the larger of the two, he represented the landlord of the building at 1200 W. Seventh St. in downtown L.A., where Prudential HealthCare signed a 10-year, $60 million lease in April for 355,000 square feet of space. The deal was a boost for the downtown market, where the real estate recovery has lagged behind the rest of Southern California.

In his other major deal, Doney represented the landlord of the building at 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, where Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. signed a 10-year, $10 million lease for about 75,000 square feet of space. Jacobs moved its world headquarters into the space on Jan. 1.

Doney said the improving market has benefited landlords in many L.A. submarkets, allowing them sometimes to do what has been unthinkable in recent years: Turn away tenants that are too demanding and expect too many concessions.

"We've had a few instances where the tenant brokers got so aggressive they overreached their bounds that we replaced them," he said. "We've had the opportunity to call the broker and say, 'The space is no longer available. We leased it someone else.' That didn't use to happen."

D.B. Young

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