First National Bank of Arizona

The Challenge:

At a time when problems in the financial market were creating a great deal of vacancy in the real estate market, First National Bank of Arizona (FNBA) decided to shutter its Eastern Class-A, 25,000-SF mortgage operation. According to FNBA, this was also “…a time where an expeditious resolution to finding a tenant to occupy its Charlotte office space in order to offset considerable expense was crucial.” The chairman of FNBA was personally involved with the project and wanted regular updates from the real estate VP – it was her highest priority.

The Solution:

FNBA chose to hire Cardinal Real Estate Partners because of our extensive experience dealing with landlords and subleases, our responsiveness to all inquiries, and a high probability of success. Once the specific objectives were defined, Cardinal came back to FNBA with a proposed strategy and goals. We worked together to define and finalize our Key Performance Indicators, and immediately started working through our lease termination/sublease processes. In order to understand FNBA’s rights and terms we abstracted the Lease, and then delivered a sublease marketing report to establish market expectations. Using our Prepared to Win2™ Negotiation Worksheet, we developed a plan and personally met with the landlord on numerous occasions to work through the mechanics of a deal. In order to maximize the market penetration, we created local newspaper advertisements and broker incentives, and made regular calls to active brokers in the submarket. We worked to create best-in-class marketing strategies for the property, including a home theater raffle that drew new attention to the space. Most importantly, we sent weekly reports to the real estate VP and were available for immediate return of all her inquiries.


simmons2_l The Result:

Cardinal secured a top tier subtenant for the space before any of the competing space in the market. The deal was completed faster than the client expected. Because of the quick turnaround, FNBA was able to reverse a $1,000,000 write-down they had assumed was an inevitable cost. We also negotiated a rate more than 150% of the minimum amount the Bank had established as acceptable.

With very low out of pocket costs for the new tenant, we were also able to get value for the 160-plus workstations onsite and relieve FNBA from the anxiety of disposing of the unneeded furniture. By taking the time to understand the objectives of FNBA, the landlord and the tenant, Cardinal was able to structure and follow through on a deal that can only be considered a “win-win-win” situation.

Real estate transactions can be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.

Sometimes the hardest part turns out to be working with your broker, the person who is supposed to help you through the complexities. Veteran commercial real estate broker and client advisor John Culbertson discovered that brokers’ interests aren’t always aligned with those of their clients. He realized there was a better way to advocate for clients and get the deal done.


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