When it comes to doing deals, Matthew Miller likes to catch businesses when they're small. The trick, of course, is to make sure they're growing.
That's what got him pursuing CyberU, even though the 11,557-square-foot deal at Santa Monica Business Park is a pittance compared to some of the other transactions he's brokered over the years. "If we didn't think CyberU would be a major player in the area, we would've passed on the deal," said Miller, a partner at CRESA Partners.
Last year, the firm's Los Angeles office brokered $900 million in deals (almost all of which were tenant leases), and will do about the same this year.
Miller, who leads about 15 deals a year all tenant lease representation and participates in another 25, has focused on companies whose space requirements are likely to expand with time.
Some of those, like Symantec and Vivendi Unversal Games, continue to grow. But then there is the occasional dot-com bust like eToys.
Having had first-hand experience with the rush for tech space in the late 1990s ("It really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity"), the 40-year-old Westside native now balances the practice with a number of entertainment clients.
Not having much of a career goal through college, Miller joined CRESA predecessor Metrospace straight out of UCLA in 1985. He eventually settled into real estate and, with partner Gerald Porter, bought the practice in 1989 (there are now five principals in the L.A. office).
"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," quipped Miller about his entry into the industry. "It wasn't a lifelong dream to get into real estate."
Still, he enjoys the challenges of growing his own business while learning about the business of his clients.
"Matt spends a lot of time with us to understand where our boundaries are to educate the tenant," said Robert Peddicord, senior vice president at Arden Realty Inc., with whom Miller has brokered a dozen deals. "He's not easy to negotiate with, but that's his job."
He's resourceful. With project developer Hines, he helped conceive a "rehab-to-suit" solution for IMAX Corp. in finding 65,000 square feet of space on Exposition Boulevard.
"Matthew does not have preconceived notions on what's the best solution," said Doug Holte, partner with Hines. "He lobbies aggressively for his clients but he's smart enough to know that it's not in the tenant's best interest for the landlord to be ground to a pulp."
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