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Big Apple Landlord Looks to S.F.

San Francisco Office

You may not know Brickman yet, but VP Aaron Lazovik is racking up frequent flyer miles from NYC to lock down S.F. deals.

This morning, Aaron told us creative repositioning is Brickman's bread and butter. 550 Kearny got a big redo after Brickman's purchase last year, and 945 Bryant in SoMa was scooped up last month. Aaron is in charge of West Coast acquisitions, so he's in S.F. one or two weeks a month. This week, he looked through the nooks and crannies at 945 with an action list of small improvements. ("It's not rocket science--it's a small building," he says.) The company has invested around $3.6B capital to date and counts S.F. as its next target market; a fund is being raised to pounce on more properties.

There was big competition for 945 Bryant. From Aaron's understanding, Brickman didn't have the highest price, but it did offer some non-economic incentives (more certainty, speed and a compressed due diligence period). Aaron just closed on a property in Seattle Friday, which is similar to 945 in terms of stable rent roll. Expect the bulk of Brickman's properties to be in its NYC backyard, though, where it has a solid mix. It recently purchased some light industrial product in Long Island City that'll go the creative office route. (Here around the clock is S.F. native Rita Hernandez, who hails from JMA Ventures and acts as Brickman's eyes and ears in the city.)

Brickman is a value-add investor, so it looks for major upgrades needed ("some narrative or story" to get to their return threshold requirements, he says). Brickman liked 550's great bones and the fact it's a bit off the beaten path. It added bike storage and a cute grab-and-go coffee bar (pictured). The cafe's purposely not adjacent to the street to up its appeal to tenants. At purchase, 550 was about 80% occupied, and is now almost full, which is one reason the busy elevators are getting a full modernization next year. (Modern elevator? We can't wait to hear Muzak versions of Taylor Swift and Kanye.)