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  • Writer's pictureMark Childs, SIOR

Just Leased: 60,000 SF at Millikan Business Center

The Industrial Gurus team of Mark Childs, SIOR, Daniel Helm, and Daniel Sayles have just leased a 60,000 SF space at Millikan Business Center. While this deal was a success worthy of an announcement on its own, the story here actually much deeper. This transaction was three years in the making and served as a catalyst in the formation of who the Industrial Gurus are today.

In 2017, Daniel Helm was working at Newmark Knight Frank and represented the tenant that occupied 14523 SW Millikan Way at the time. Daniel was tasked with subleasing the space for them, and in the process of doing so met Mark Childs, SIOR. Mark was touring a potential tenant through the space and nothing was out of the ordinary. The first tour happened to be on July 4th, 2018. Mark was going to be out of town after the 4th for two weeks, so Daniel knew he had to go above and beyond to get this listing filled. The fact that Daniel was open to touring on a holiday to get a space filled caught Mark's attention. Another tour followed, and another after that. Suspicion grew that perhaps these additional tours were more a measure of Daniel’s skills as a broker than the makings of a transaction. Meanwhile, back at Capacity Commercial Group, the office was under construction which resulted in a bit of a seating scramble, which put McCoy Doerrie, a recent Newmark transplant specializing in office, just one desk away from Mark. This gave Mark a perfect opportunity to bend McCoy’s ear about Helm, who’d shown great potential as a broker on their tours. After Mark’s third time through the Millikan space, he asked Daniel Helm a question that changed everything—are you happy where you are?

Daniel Helm, being loyal to a T, hadn’t put much consideration into what his options outside of Newmark might be. However, Mark’s approach had planted the seed and allowed Daniel to begin looking at his career in a new light. At the time, Mark’s team was going through a transitional period and the timing made sense. In September of 2018, Daniel Helm officially joined Mark Childs at Capacity Commercial Group. In 2019, Childs and Helm recruited Daniel Sayles to join their team, forming the Industrial Gurus as they are now.

A suitable sublease opportunity for this Millikan Business space never did come around so the deal faded into the past. Once the original tenant who’d been trying to sublease their space hit the expiration of their lease, the Industrial Gurus team was brought in and asked to try to lease the space directly. Matt Felton and Jeff Borlaug at Felton properties, the landlords, had a decision to make—do they put in the time and effort to renovate the space and make it more marketable or do they attempt to lease it as is?

Childs, Helm, and Sayles suggested that the landlords remove the existing structural racking, add dock doors, and improve the office area to attract a new tenant. In agreement, the landlords began to go through the process to find a general contractor to get bids. There were several companies that were competing for the job, but the costs were much higher than expected due to supply chain issues, COVID, and material shortages. Just before pulling the trigger on completing improvements, the perfect national credit tenant was brought through by Keegan Clay and Aaron Watt at Cushman & Wakefield.

This tenant was from just down the street and wanted to take the space. Some minor TI’s were provided by the landlord, but the larger cost of speculatively improving the space was avoided, saving the landlords time and money, allowing them to cashflow on the space sooner. The deal was a win-win for all parties.

While this transaction had challenges, it cemented a relationship with the landlords, but also opened the door to a relationship between Mark and Daniel. We’re grateful to the landlords for trusting Capacity to be of service and creating the serendipitous opportunity that ultimately helped form the Industrial Gurus team.

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