October 13, 2014 on 5:13 pm | In Act Locally, all, Green Building, Green Workplace, Snapshot, Solutions, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

by Jodi Summers

They grew and greened our ports, and now everyone is bringing their business to Southern California. We have set an example in growing business through green and efficient building.

The Pacific Maritime Association’s website show that in the first quarter of 2014, the Southern California port complex increased its market share on the West Coast by 2 percentage points, to 72%. Oakland’s market share was flat and the Seattle-Tacoma gateway lost 2 percentage points to 16% market share.

Port growth indicates more distribution center development will be needed. New construction is designed with maximum efficiency in mind.

Renters, including traditional retailers and e-commerce retailers, want large warehouses of 500,000 to more than 1 million square feet. Properties capable of accommodating large facilities simply aren’t available close to the coast, so almost all of the new construction in Southern California is occurring in the Inland Empire.  Amazon has built out there, and of the 17 mega-warehouse properties under construction in the Inland Empire, seven of them have an e-commerce fulfillment component.

Compared to traditional warehouses, e-commerce facilities are far more efficient and functional. The buildings tend to be larger, with more height clearance and heavier flooring infrastructure to support higher stacking of goods and hanging conveyors.

E-commerce facilities are also more labor-intensive, generating one job per 1,000 square feet of space, while the traditional warehouse generates one job per 3,500 square feet of space, thus e-commerce fulfillment centers require many more employee parking spaces. The new style is more efficient.

As the Inland Empire grows, look for the rise of Inland ports. Ferris and Poway have lead the way in green warehouse construction, and now both markets are going strong.

Expect Casa Grande, Arizona to see strong development in the coming years.

East of the West – Chicago; northern and central New Jersey; eastern Pennsylvania; Dallas; Atlanta; and southern Florida and Texas are strong industrial markets.

As these industrial hubs continue to grow, they will set examples in energy efficiency – both in kilowatt usage and manpower.



September 26, 2014 on 8:34 am | In Curious, Green Building, Green Workplace, Greenhouse Gas, Snapshot, Solutions, Uncategorized, Water | 2 Comments

from Jodi Summers

The Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach is a through arch bridge that carries four lanes from the end of Interstate 710 across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island. The bridge is named after Gerald Desmond, a civic leader and former city attorney for the City of Long Beach.

Built in the 1960s (with Bethlehem Steel), the Gerald Desmond Bridge was not designed to handle today’s supertankers and traffic volumes and it has been deteriorating, so it is being replaced.

The new bridge, due for completion in 2016, will allow access to the port for even the tallest container ships. It will be the first long-span cable-stayed bridge in California. (A cable-stayed bridge has one or more towers (or pylons), from which cables support the bridge deck.)

Time-lapse video featuring new footage of the SB I-710 Freeway connector demolition work that took place from May 23 – June 22, 2014. The connector to WB Ocean Blvd. was demolished to make room for the new bridge foundations.

In order for the bridge to be so tall, long approaches will be required to allow heavy trucks to cross the structure. A joint venture of Parsons Transportation Group and HNTB performed preliminary engineering for the main span and the approaches.

The current bridge proved to be obsolete in March 2012, when the 155-foot (47 m) vertical clearance of the bridge was not enough to allow the Fabiola to enter the Port of Long Beach. At 12,562 TEUs, the Fabiola was, to date, the largest container ship to date to enter the Port of Long Beach. The height restriction prevented the ship from docking at the Mediterranean Shipping Company dock; it docked at the Hanjin terminal instead.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge will continue to be a vital link in the nation’s trade system and a major commuter corridor.



August 12, 2014 on 8:26 pm | In all, Green Workplace, Trends, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

by Jodi Summers

Office space has changed drastically in the past decade. Gone are cubicles and forced air. What’s hot are bright and breezy multiuse open spaces which use less square footage than their predecessors. Allow us to share with you some cutting edge concepts in office design.

Google’s stimulating new workspace in Tel Aviv. Google creates environments to allow  creative ideas to easily flow.









92%  of young professionals interviewed said they would be more inclined to work for an environmentally-friendly company.







Office space abundant in light with inspiring design.
















Three complementary design firms have joined together to share a loft office space.




Shared office or executive office suites.




The office barns the workspace is completely open, without partitions and without hierarchy. Desks and local storage are mobile and a system of power distribution drops power and network down to the desks from over head. It’s unlike any corporate office space that came before it and in fact has many of the characteristics of smaller businesses.








Open office space circa 1923





August 2, 2014 on 7:53 pm | In all, Green Workplace, Solutions, Trends, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Corporations are learning that their employees are happier if they work at home at least one day a week. Going one step beyond, for some careers and small business owners the home office and related tax deductions have become a legitimate tax deduction.

According to data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, in 1997 7% of workers (9.2 million individuals) reported working at home at least one day a week. By 2010, that total had grown to 9.4% (13.4 million), an increase of more than four million or 35%.

The geographic distribution of those workers who primarily work at home (most days) shows interesting geographic clustering. Using data from the 2012 Census Bureau American Community Survey, the map above charts the share of the workforce (age 16 and over) who report working at home. The highest shares are found in the West, the Northwest, the Upper Midwest and New England. The state of Vermont has the highest share (7.1%), followed by Montana (6.5%), Colorado (6.5%), and Oregon (6.3%). Louisiana has the lowest share at 2.3%.




July 4, 2014 on 7:46 am | In Act Locally, Global Statistics, Green Workplace, Greenhouse Gas, Snapshot, Solutions, Uncategorized, Water | 2 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Bravo! The Port of Long Beach has been recognized as the “Best Green Seaport” in the world at the 28th annual Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards.

The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a primary gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety and environmental stewardship. The Port is served by 140 shipping lines with connections to 217 seaports worldwide. A major economic engine for the region, the Port handles trade valued at more than $180 billion each year and supports hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.

In 2005, the Port of Long adopted a “Green Port Policy,” focusing reducing its impact on the community, wildlife and the environment…with unmitigated success. The POLB is proud of the dramatic improvement in air and water quality thanks to an array of environmental initiatives that include the Clean Trucks, Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction and Technology Advancement programs.

“This is an honor to be named the AFSCA’s Best Green Seaport. The Port of Long Beach has made great strides in reducing air pollution and improving water quality, and we are committed to doing even more,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond.

The Port’s growth policy has had tremendous results. The total number of containers handled at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in May increased by 5.6% on a year-over-year basis to 1,288,652 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). This was the 14th consecutive month of at least 1 million TEUs for the San Pedro Bay ports.

The Port of Long Beach’s Green Port Policy is an aggressive, comprehensive and coordinated approach to reduce the negative impacts of Port operations. The Green Port Policy, adopted in 2005, serves as a guide for decision making and established a framework for environmentally friendly Port operations. The policy’s five guiding principles are:

  • Protect the community from harmful environmental impacts of Port operations.
  • Distinguish the Port as a leader in environmental stewardship and compliance.
  • Promote sustainability.
  • Employ best available technology to avoid or reduce environmental impacts.
  • Engage and educate the community.

The Green Port Policy includes six basic program elements, each with an overall goal:

  1. Wildlife – Protect, maintain or restore aquatic ecosystems and marine habitats.
  2. Air – Reduce harmful air emissions from Port activities.
  3. Water – Improve the quality of Long Beach Harbor waters.
  4. Soils/Sediments – Remove, treat, or render suitable for beneficial reuse contaminated soils and sediments in the Harbor District.
  5. Community Engagement – Interact with and educate the community regarding Port operations and environmental programs.
  6. Sustainability – Implement sustainable practices in design and construction, operations, and administrative practices throughout the Port.

The “Green Seaport” honor of the Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards is reserved for ports that have “demonstrated compliance with green freight transport regulations and environmental standards; investment in green initiatives, technology and action plans; incorporation of environmental requirements in strategic planning; use of a policy on reducing fuel emissions from freight handling operations; and ongoing training of staff in green initiatives and in measures to lower carbon footprints.”

The awards are based on an annual poll of thousands of professionals in freight transportation services. Awards also are given in many categories, including best shipping lines, container terminals, air cargo terminals, airports and rail haulers.

Find out more about the Port of Long Beach’s environmental programs at




December 28, 2013 on 8:28 am | In all, Curious, Green Workplace, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Edited by Jodi Summers

The right work environment makes all the difference. Google, regularly voted the best company to work for in America, seeks to create the perfect work environment.

Google’s goal (try saying that 5x fast) is to create the healthiest work environments possible so Google masterminds can thrive and innovate. From concept through design, construction and operations, the search engine’s goal is to create a brick + mortar workplace that optimizing access to nature, clean air and daylight.

To keep the Google brain trust at peak performance, they avoid materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other known toxins that may harm human health. Furniture, carpet, flooring, toilets > all green, and augmented by dual stage air filtration systems to eliminate plankton-like particles and remaining VOCs, further augmenting indoor air quality. Or, they could Additionally, the location is so fine, they cay just open the west facing windows and let the ocean breeze come rolling through, as it does from 10:30 a.m. – sunset on all days except for Santa Ana conditions.

For those of us with businesses aspiring to be as successful as Google, choosing the right office space is the challenge of balancing present and future needs.

Savvy entrepreneurs looking for office space will ask….

1. Is there room for my company to grow?

If your business is not in the position to take extra space for future growth, try negotiating a shorter lease term or add language to the lease that gives you the first right of negotiation on any adjacent space that becomes vacant.

2. Is it the right location for my key employees?

Be green in commuting. Consider where your key employees live and whether the location is convenient for them. Make them sit too long in traffic, or pick a site away from mass transit and employees will be more likely to jump ship to a business that’s more convenient for them.

“When considering a move, you might want to let your key staff weigh in so you don’t risk losing them,” offers Peter Riguardi of Jones Lang LaSalle commercial real estate.

3. Is the location convenient for clients?

You also want your office to be accessible to clients. If you’re located in downtown Santa Monica, your clients are going to be sitting in long lines of traffic, and you’re going to be paying a lot of additional parking costs…unless you plan on being walking distance from an Expo line stop.  Be easy to find. Make it too difficult for clients to get there and they will go elsewhere. If you leave an urban location for a cheaper space in the suburbs, consider whether the lower expenses will make up for the possible loss of clients. Even in the age of video conferencing and Skype, it’s important that face-to-face meetings be manageable.

4. Does this office send the right signal?

Think about the message you want to give to your clients when you select your location. Google’s Venice offices –  green, innovative, in an ultra hip location blocks from the beach – très cutting edge. In the new millennium, an office space is far more than a collection of cubicles; it also will be a sign to others of how much money you’re making. “I’ve seen companies spend for a lavish space they’re very proud of. They invite clients to see it, and the clients wonder if they’re paying them too much for their services,” Riguardi says. On the other hand, if you don’t spend enough, people may wonder about the financial health of your company.

5. Do you need to be green?

Progressive companies are concerned about the environment. Having a “green” office rates well with clients. Green doesn’t mean it has to be LEED platinum, green touches can be as simple as putting the lighting and air conditioning on timers so that energy isn’t wasted when offices are vacant. An office with a light-colored roof can cut back utility costs by as much as 30% in SoCal.

6.  What are possible hidden costs? Calculate the full cost of the space–rent, utilities, construction costs, moving expenses, CAM fees, NNN fees, insurance and other costs that may not be obvious. “You have to look at the costs associated with the move, even restoration of the space you’re moving from,” Riguardi recommends.

7. Parking.

We live in L.A.; we know how precious parking can be. Depending upon your location, parking can be a hidden cost. Even new Culver City office spaces are adding in $75+ per month per car. Consider the amount of parking available at your proposed location, as well as the potential cost to employees and customers. If parking is tight, is there a place where employees can park so customers get the most convenient spaces? Negotiating special employee rates and validating customers’ parking tickets are good ideas, but they need to be worked into the budget.

8. Is the office ADA compliant?

In our progressive times, you need to consider how your space works for handicapped individuals. Check to see that the building is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example, the law states that doors to office suites should be at least 32 inches wide and require fewer than five pounds of force to open, while carpeting in areas open to the public must be secured to the floor with a pile of less than half an inch. You can learn something new every day.

9. Consider sharing an office.

Sharing space with another company saves money not only on the office rent, but also on the cost of common areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Plus, the fact that you’re being ultra-efficient makes you seem greener. To best benefit the shared space, it’s ideal to divide the space with complementary businesses > an architect with a builder or a PR firm with a Web designer. Draw up a formal agreement between tenants. This agreement can be flexible.

10.  What if I sell my company during the course of the lease?

If you hope to sell your company, make sure the lease is clear about owner responsibility. Some leases are written so that the original company and its owners have liability in the future should the future tenant not perform.

11. Pay attention to the terms of renewal.

The last thing you want is to get established in a space, then find at the end of your lease that your landlord is exercising their option to rent the space to someone else or to drastically raise your rents. Although rental rates are usually negotiated at the time of renewal, you also can try in the original contract to cap any increase at no more than 5%. “Real estate is rebounding in many areas, which means rental rates are rising,” concludes Julie Clark, a founder of, a national online directory. “If you can control how much, it’s a stick in your court.”

We know all about Los Angeles office space, and can assist you in your office needs. Please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.

Next Page »

Powered by Digital Shake LLC with WordPress