ABOUT THE CLIENT AND THE PROJECT
Vicki Rogge and her late husband, Walter, bought this property to house his business over 25 years ago. Not long after they bought the property they decided to retire in Ojai and keep it as a passive investment. Mrs. Rogge loves the building not only because of its connection to her late husband but also because of its incredible architectural detail. The current building was built in 1927 but extensively remodeled and upgraded in the 1990’s. The property had been leased out to a variety of uses in the last 25 years. It was a juice shop, a surf shop, and a few clothing shops. It retains some absolutely stunning architectural details; bow truss ceiling, sky lights, original cement flooring, exposed brick interior and exterior walls, metal stairwells, and original masonry details from the original 1927 construction.
Approximately 2,400 square foot retail building built of reinforced brick and masonry on a 1,978 square foot lot.
Mrs. Rogge wanted to lease the building quickly because it was a significant part of her monthly income but would not lease to a retail tenant who wanted to drastically change the look of the property to suit their concept. There were several features inside and out that were historical in nature. Several national companies pursued the property but every group wanted to cover up some of the brick and change the original cement flooring. This was a non starter for her, any tenant would have to adopt the building’s creative but very traditional aesthetic. We had to target tenants that would embrace the exposed brick and cement floors. We spoke to every current tenant on Main Street in Santa Monica and on Abbot Kinney in Venice to find a fit. We found a high end interior furnishings group that was getting priced out on Abbot Kinney. They loved the existing building so much that they added nothing to the space but one interior wall to hang fixtures and art on.
Main Street in Santa Monica is a very sought after street with numerous creative tenants both local and national in nature. However, these creative tenants typically want to create a unique specific concept which often requires complete remodels of existing space. This posed a problem initially during the early marketing of the property. We had to “pound the pavement” to find the right tenant, someone who’s concept matched the building, and understood the owner’s personal attachment to the improvements. Through walking and talking to tenants we found the perfect tenant. They knew the space and they knew their existing landlord would buy them out of their lease because their rent was severely under market and because of the skyrocketing demand on Abbot Kinney. It continues to be a perfect match of a traditional space with a cutting edge that perfectly suits the tenant’s furnishing aesthetic.