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The Secret of Larry Benaroya's Success

The Secret of Larry Benaroya's Success
More proof that all good things flow from beer: Before buildings became the bread and butter of the Benaroya family, the late great Jack Benaroya was in the beer distribution business. He got to know warehouses so well, he began building them in Seattle.
Larry Benaroya at the Seattle Yacht Club.
We caught up with Jack's son Larry, now head of the Benaroya Co last week at the Seattle Yacht Club, where he keynoted CCIM's monthly luncheon. Larry tells us the Benaroya Co's motto has always been to build good buildings (particularly industrial, build-to-suits and data centers), keep a pristine reputation, and find ways to work with people who want to do good things. Larry's advice on how to build a great company: "Hire nice people." (And perhaps treat them to a pint every now and then?) Larry's enthusiastic about the state of the market: "We're very lucky to be here," he says. Project-wise, Benaroya is looking at three acres of industrial dirt in South Seattle and five acres in Sumner, Larry says.

Arie Salomon of NAI Puget Sound Properties and Gregg Boehm of Industrial Income Trust at the Seattle Yacht Club.
Speaking of Sumner, here's NAI Puget Sound Properties principal Arie Salomon and Industrial Income Trust's Gregg Boehm, who are buying the Benaroya-built Sumner Distribution Center, a 440k Class-A spec warehouse that Arie calls "superior to what's current in the market." What makes it so? 180 feet of concrete from the curb to the doors (think of the chalk drawing possibilities!), onsite parking for 135 trailers— and that it's rather one of a kind on the Seattle market. "There is no space in the market today that can handle 300k SF," Arie tells us. "Two years ago, there were several." The Distribution center will be delivered Q1 2013.
The movie poster for the Michael Benaroya-produced film "Lawless," one of the summer's top movies.
Larry's son Michael, whom Larry confesses hoped would become "a real estate guy" like dad, is actually off producing movies in Los Angeles (Larry partly got his wish—Michael went into the movie biz after a stint at CBRE in Beverly Hills). Michael Benaroya was part of the production team behind this summer's hits: Lawless starring Shia LeBeouf, Gary Oldman, and Guy Pearce, and The Words with Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, and Olivia Wilde. There was a week when Lawless was the top film in the US and Words was No. 2. How did Michael Benaroya like that? "He was a happy guy," Larry says.