Stream Realty Partner’s Martin Pupil participated in Connect Orange County as a panelist on a conversation among industry leaders. Connect Media caught up with Pupil at the conference that drew nearly 450 commercial real estate leaders to The Boardwalk OC in Irvine, to hear his insights on the market and trends he’s tracking
Recently, Pupil moved from Colliers International to a leadership role as Executive Managing Director at Stream Realty. The firm focuses on acquisitions and development, plus services. Pupil says it was a “big move” for him that was more about people. He sees further consolidation in the CRE industry, and was seeking a platform and environment that he’d enjoy. “What’s unique about [Stream] is it offers a full-on investment and development platform, not just the service business,” he says.
[x_pullquote type=”left”]Pupil says it was a “big move” for him that was more about people. He sees further consolidation in the CRE industry, and was seeking a platform and environment that he’d enjoy. “What’s unique about [Stream] is it offers a full-on investment and development platform, not just the service business,” he says.[/x_pullquote]
Pupil points out that Orange County is a “very dynamic market and one of the best locations in country,” that also just happens to have proximity to the beach, featuring “an extremely good labor pool.” One obstacle to continued growth in Orange County is the tight labor market, which Pupil notes has reached near 100% full employment. “We are having more and more trouble attracting and replacing the labor that we have here,” he says. “So one of the challenges is attracting new talent, and young people, to this more suburban environment when everyone is really looking for that urban work, life play [environment]. So we have more selling to do.” He believes as Millennials get a bit older they will see the benefits of Orange County, and the quality of life they can achieve compared to other markets.
In terms of product types, Pupil finds the industrial category as having intrigue to see what happens on that front. He says early in the current cycle industrial properties were repurposed for multifamily, but believes a lot of that’s already been done. Municipalities are facing more difficulty securing entitlements for multifamily due to traffic and congestion concerns now.
Pupil notes an interesting trend to keep an eye on is the new e-commerce and logistics push. “I think that is going to involve repurposing older buildings, manufacturing buildings or old office buildings that don’t look so good,” says Pupil. These will be used as a pick-up and drop-off depot. An Amazon store could go into an urban retail space or use an industrial facility just as easily. “I think it is just the tip of the iceberg as it relates to that,” says Pupil.