Calabasas-based brokerage Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services is opening a new office in downtown, a location the brokerage views as a flagship location for the company and part of its future expansion plans.
“It will act as a second home,” Jeffrey Rinkov, chief executive of Lee & Associates, said. “It’s an exciting opportunity to provide a full-service Lee & Associates office that will cover all the asset classes.”
Jack Cline, president of the office, said the space allows the company to be located near more of its business and agents.
“We have a fairly significant office share in the industrial marketplace in downtown,” Cline said. “We see the industrial market morphing into other asset classes…and as a result of that it seems as if it was a catalyst for us of having a multidiscipline office and a flagship in downtown L.A.”
Rinkov added that downtown was a “great inbound and outbound business source” for the company going forward.
Cline said that when looking for space downtown, the company was focused on creating “experiential moment.”
Lee & Associates landed on a space at 1201 N. Main St., a single-floor industrial conversion. To start, the company will occupy 5,000 square feet, but has expansion rights to space adjacent to it.
“We’re very excited,” Cline said. “This an opportunity to share the Lee platform with more agents.”
Cline said the space would be used for people to gather and to create a collaborative environment, adding that a golf simulator, full kitchen and roll-up door are part of the office.
“There’s a great power and value in the personal networking,” he said. “The majority of our agents are much younger. They are looking forward to and expecting to thrive there and are very social. This gives us a platform to bring us into the office with a number of vendors close by where they can meet with a client, or a broker…and really establish a platform for that personal networking.”
Rinkov added that the culture associated with being in the office was incredibly important and helped build collaboration.
He also said the company would continue to grow, adding staff both in downtown and other markets.
He said the office would be “one of the hallmark executions of our expansion.”
“We want to continue to grow in major MSAs and CBD areas…the growth of downtown and the return to office and the vibrancy of downtown near where our office is,” made it a great fit, he said.
Rinkov said, however, that Lee & Associates finds it more challenging to expand into areas where the firm does not have a footprint similar to its L.A. exposure.
Lee & Associates, which was founded in 1979 by Bill Lee in Orange County, was No. 6 on the Business Journal’s annual list of top Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Firms last year by sale and lease deals. The offices are broker-owned and operated. The company recently opened a San Francisco office specializing in office landlord agency, bio and life science tenants and triple-net sales.