April 17, 2018

A True Story of Value Add and its Rewards Part 2 – Repositioning

With the acquisition complete, it was time for the Thomas Duke Company to add value.

Imagine what we started with: heavily partitioned offices with tiny, dark-tinted ribbon windows near the ceiling of each, water damage on the lower level, and overgrown landscaping surrounding the exterior.

First, John M. Bridges, CPM and Director of Management Solutions for the Thomas Duke Company, tore out portions of the brick façade and all the old windows. He replaced them with full-height windows on all four sides to capitalize on the natural light and to open up panoramic views of the area. The new owner first wanted full-height windows on just the street-facing side, but we persuaded him that more natural light and spacious vistas would significantly increase the building’s value.

Next John and his team ripped out the old landscaping and planted elegant columnar trees. They added hedge lines and created colorful flower beds, then replaced old parking lot islands with new ones that accentuated the building’s architecture.

After a close look at the property’s operations—including an analysis of the HVAC, electrical and water systems, real estate taxes and insurance—it became clear that we needed to ask the tenants to relocate to reduce the overall carrying cost. The result was an annual savings for our client of over $120,000.

Finally it was time to open up the interior. We gutted it! Every wall and ceiling came down, floor finishes came off, until all that was left were steel columns and cement floors. In 60 days we hauled away more than 250 35-yard containers of construction material. Now we were free to design an interior layout that capitalized on the natural light streaming in the new floor-to-ceiling windows.

Taken together, John’s renovations turned a once-obsolete building into a showcase property. He had created tremendous value for the owner and opened the door to a much wider pool of prospective tenants. That paved the way for the Thomas Duke Company to land an amazing lease—the final chapter of this transformation story.

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