Days of Wine and Leases
We caught up last week with CBREs Meade Boutwell outside One Sansome not just because it has a perfect atriumfor a nice day, but because it seemed fitting for someone whos been its listing agent for the last two years. Meade estimates his team has leased or renewed 316k of its 689k SF, and while that seems like a lot, he figures hes done 7M SF over his 28 years in the business. The Portland native and Oregon State grad moved here when depression hit Oregon in 1983 and started as a retail trainee at Macys, managing electronics. A fellow trainee, Steve Anderson, now at JLL, recommended they switch to real estate. Eventually Meade spent 10 years at Cushman and has been at CB nearly as long.
To test his theory that a great building in NoMa could be as appealing to techies as one in SoMa, Meade worked with the Swig Company to spec out 3,500 feet in its Mills building from law firm space to creative. He then sent out a flyer omitting the name and address, just saying it was a block from BART, had tall ceilings, and was ready for move-in. Instantly he got 39 emails and 16 calls, then five offers, and leased it within two weeks at $5 more per foot than before. And hes leased another 65k feet based on showing the suite scores of times.
Another unusual thing Meades done: Last year he was president of the BOMA chapter, the first time its been a broker in 30 years; here he is with board members at his weekend farm (see below). During his tenure, the chapter settled two union contracts, started a property management program at SF State, created a scholarship fund, pushed sustainability (hes a LEED AP), and worked with the city to pass legislation that encourages bicycling to work. He practices as well as preaches: A couple days a week, youll see him pedaling his old Italian Masi 21.5 miles each way from home in San Anselmo.
The weekend place is in Sonoma Valley, where Meade's a "sharecropper" who's planted two and a half acres with zinfandel and chardonnay. (Theyve also got abarn where his three kids can practice their sports of lacrosse, volleyball, and basketball.)He took some enology courses at Davis and has learned the patient process of organically growing sustainable wine grapes, which he then turns over to his winemaker for bottling; they've been producing 70 cases a year starting four years ago, and label it Terra Meade, a play on his and wife Terris names. He hands the wine out to clients. And what if its a bad harvest? You can always make wind chimes.