So it’s been a while since my last post and that’s because a lot has happened. For the past two weeks, I’ve been on the property management team. I went into this part of the rotation without really knowing what to expect except maybe having to handle customer complaints about the music being too loud at the H&M in Washington. But ohh was I in for it! Construction and development are the only two teams that do not interact with a property once it’s finished. After all, their unofficial motto is GTS or Get Shit Done! Get in, get out, on to the next one… They’re like the one night stand of real estate.
In the middle of last week, I had the privilege to travel to Riverpark where I met the on-site CenterCal management team. I spent the day talking with all of the members of the team, learning about their role and how they found CenterCal. After, I drove to Valencia and had dinner with some family.
This week I got to travel to Salt Lake City and Boise with the El Segundo (“corporate” as the individual property managers call it) team for the quarterly asset management meetings for 2 of CenterCal’s most prestigious properties. I traveled with the CEO, the President, and the VPs of Leasing and Property Management and sat in on conversations about sales, lease deals, and marketing. One night we all went to one of Station Park’s most popular restaurants for dinner, Twigs. We shared a few bottles of wine and I got to listen to their stories of traveling for CenterCal over the years. I had not interacted with many coworkers outside of the office before that night so it was a real treat. At the end of the night, we all stayed in the newly opened hotel on-site.
On Friday, I went to Northern California, first to visit 2 more sites, and second to stay with Christina and Julia in San Francisco for the weekend. On my way to the airport I called my mom to explain to her one of the properties I was visiting in Danville. “Oh you’re going to Danville?” she said, “There is a great grocery store next to a river in a gorgeous shopping center you’ll have to stop by.” “Mom, that’s the development, THAT’S Blackhawk!” When I told the CEO this story when I returned he thought it was great. A true testament to the experience that is to be felt at his properties.
I flew JetSuiteX from Burbank to Concord. It is literally a jet that only flies between 3 or 4 locations that any old anyone can buy a ticket for. And wow was it ever cool! No security, just a quick swipe of your personal bag, and there’s a lounge with snacks and coffee and wifi while you wait. When you’re on the plane all drinks and snacks are complimentary. I couldn’t stress more that this jet is open to the public, FLY THIS JET!
Concord is in the construction stage but was much more built-out than I had anticipated. I was greeted by the CenterCal staff in the trailers on-site and I road in a golf cart around the property with one of the construction managers. Blackhawk is the only property in CenterCal’s portfolio that they did not have a hand in developing. Like my mom described, it has a river flowing through it and is very picturesque. The marketing manager and I sat out for lunch at one of it’s signature restaurants and it was very good. All of the people I’ve met at CenterCal have been incredible and the Blackhawk staff and I bonded over the familial feel of the company.
After Blackhawk, I jumped on the BART and headed into the city. I met Christina and Julia when they got off work and we shared an uber to Christina’s apartment in Nob Hill. SF is the #1 location for recent CMC grads so I wasn’t too surprised when, 5 minutes into the ride, we pass Ashraf (my freshman year RA) on the street. Christina called him and he chased us down to squeeze into our uber with us. I haven’t talked to him in two years but it’s like time had stopped. It was great to catch up on his successes in SF and in life and after about 20 minutes he simply left and walked the rest of the way home.
For the next 2 days Christina, Julia, and I walked a lot and ate a lot. I think we averaged 8-10 miles a day and we ate great food all along the way. It also happened to work out that our friend Oliver or “OMAS”, another recent CMC grad, was DJing at a bar on Haight. It ended up being a great recent CMC alumni event of sorts of music, drinking, and top notch authentic Mexican burritos.