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Changing of the Guard

Los Angeles

This month, The Klabin Co entered its 54th year of business, but it's a new beginning for the industrial brokerage firm in more ways than one. Five long-time Klabin pros—Dave Prior, Todd Taugner, David Grote, who work out of the firm's Torrance HQ, and F. Ronald Rader and Doug Marshall, who oversee the Westside office—bought out the majority interest in the firm from industrial real estate icon Stuart Klabin. Dave (center, flanked by David and Todd) tells us the quintet, who previously were minority shareholders, took this step because Stuart was talking about selling and they wanted to "continue the culture and the brand." The founder, who remains chairman emeritus, owns real estate and is a client of the firm, he adds.

Dave, who has been Klabin Co prez for 20 years, says plans are to hire more salespeople and grow the firm. The firm recently did a "monstrous" land sale in the Inland Empire (meaning a lot of land, not land populated by monsters), as well as repped First Industrial in a 210k SF lease with Triangle Group, a port-related logistics company, in Rancho Dominguez. Speaking of the ports, Dave notes buildings with good yards or excess land are always in demand, especially as container flow picks up. With a South Bay vacancy rate under 4%, you may not see as many transactions, he says, but the larger ones in most cases are related to increased activity at the Port.