Morsekode is a creative branding and marketing agency that works with advertising agencies and companies to create solutions that promote their brands. They were located in a Class A office building in Bloomington, near the Mall of America, along the I-494 “hospitality strip”. While the location was convenient to the Airport and Mall of America, it was not a good location for Morsekode’s creative business partners, and some of its major clients. Morsekode needed to find a new, downtown Minneapolis location, and in a very short period of time.
The Process and Tactics:
The initial meeting with the decision-makers at Morsekode revealed their desire to relocate to Downtown Minneapolis. We knew that we needed more than 60 days to identify available vacancies, tour competitive options, negotiate the lease terms, and construct its long-term solution for its office space. Furthermore, in just two months, Morsekode was facing a “Holdover” lease issue that would cause their monthly rent to double. CTA identified ten acceptable downtown alternatives, toured six of them, and requested Proposals from four…all within a week. Simultaneously, we engaged the current [Bloomington, MN] Landlord in negotiations in order to generate the time needed to complete a downtown lease, construction, and relocation. After the selected properties were further vetted, Morsekode determined that a ground floor location, with visibility and street signage, was their best solution. We identified two alternatives that met Morsekode’s goals. Knowing that the three Landlords would likely learn of each other, CTA proactively created a competitive lease negotiation environment and began negotiating diligently with all three Landlords; both downtown Landlords (creating necessary leverage between them), and the Bloomington Landlord (creating the illusion of a possible lease renewal in the minds of the two downtown Landlords). The Results: We successfully negotiated with three competitive-set Landlords, and in a very short period of time. Furthermore, we successfully negotiated for month-to-month tenancy, at no additional cost, with the Bloomington Landlord. This gave us the time necessary to finalize the lease terms at the chosen property, complete architectural drawings, and construct the premises. We negotiated lease terms that were a 42% discount from the Landlord’s original offer, which includes free rent and other concessions. In fact, the terms are so aggressive that the lease document contains a Confidentiality Agreement to prevent us from promoting the discounted terms to other tenant-clients. The owners of Morsekode call us “Rock Stars”…we like to call ourselves “The Tenant’s Edge”.
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