By: Sabina Ohanessian and John Krikorian
Highest Producing Commercial Agent in United States
Number one commercial real estate agent in California. Number one commercial real estate agent in the United States. Number one commercial real estate agent in the world. It is hard to believe that one man has earned all three of these titles for the year of 2008. Sam Manoukian, Director of the Commercial Division for ReMax Optima, has received all three of these recognitions by being the highest producing commercial agent for the ReMax agency.
“I never thought that I would ever win all three categories”, says Manoukian, who is also a Certified Commercial Investment Member. “This was never really my goal. It was a really strange weird feeling when I received all of these awards. Personally I knew I could win in California but never thought I would get the United States, let alone the world.” The awards were based on determining the agent with the highest sales volume in the year 2008; between all ReMax agents, totaling about 110,000 agents in 72 countries worldwide.
Manoukians most recent finished projects include The 416 project on Broadway Ave., Glendale, CA, which is a Mixed-Use 115 unit condominium project over 9,011 sq. ft. of retail space.
The rough economic times have obviously caused Retail leasing activities to slow down. However, Manoukian explains that the city of Glendale is such a unique market and that the supply and demand for the city in comparison to others is totally different since there is a limited amount of new Retail space available.
“The main reason is if you wanted to open up a store there aren’t a lot of locations that you can go to as far as new retail space,” says Manoukian. “You can basically count the number of new projects at any given time with one hand. This is because the time frame it takes to get the entitlements, the cost and availability of real estate itself, plus the cost of construction makes the projects very hard to put together.
Another recent addition to the city of Glendale is the structure on 1700 W. Glenoaks Blvd. Glendale, CA, on the corner of Western Ave. and Glenoaks Blvd. This project is one of his own, since he is also a partner at a development company called ZHS Investments and Tribeca Investments. Manoukian states, “We have worked on this project for 6 years, it is very unique in design and the tenant mix. Currently 75 percent is leased out; and we have a couple spaces available.”
Manoukian, who also represents a number of developers that are going through the entitlement process is currently representing Equity Residential, who is the developer of The Glendale Triangle Project which is a 205 Unit Mixed-Use Project over a 54,000 sq. ft. retail commercial complex. It’s located on Los Feliz Blvd., Central Ave, and San Fernando Rd. The property occupied by a Burger King restaurant, and a carwash, totaling 2.1 acres.
“Once the project has obtained all the required entitlements, the actual construction will take about 2.5- 3 years”, explains Manoukian. He says that it will have 54,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 4 stories of luxury apartments which will consist of 205 units.” He further noted that, “It’s the biggest project in the city of Glendale after the Americana. It will improve the southern portion of Glendale, which could really use some new developments.”
Manoukian is also currently working on a new project on 900 W. Glenoaks Blvd. It is 12,000 sq ft total, on the ground floor it will include 6,000 sq. ft. of retail, and offices on the second floor. “We are currently negotiating with a couple of retail tenants but no terms have been finalized so we cannot release that information with respect to the identity of the tenants,” he adds.
Another project represented by Manoukian is the Alexander project, which is a 201 Luxury Condominium units in a high-rise, which has obtained all of its entitlements. It is located on Orange St. and Wilson Ave and is currently listed for sale with his firm.
The main challenge Manoukian feels his company has faced because of the economic crisis is financing issues. “Everybody hears about it but the reality of it is that the banks position as far as lending money in this economy is very difficult. To obtain construction finance is even worse.” Manoukian also adds, “A second challenge is “trying to get commitment from tenants who are willing to sign a new long term lease in this economy.”
Despite all his success, Manoukian remains humble when he says, “My ultimate goal in life is to raise my two boys with my wife, and make sure they turn out to be good citizens in Glendale and give back to this community and the United States of America, for all the opportunities and benefits it gave to me and my family.”
For additional information contact: RE/MAX OPTIMA, 818-547-6324, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Visit www.glendaleinvestments.com