In 1997 Union Bank retained MEI to manage and lease the dynamic street front retail at the NEC of 3rd & Wilshire in Santa Monica. Directly across from the Third Street Promenade the property suffered from well below market rental rates. At the time, Lenscrafter’s occupied the 6,500SF hard-corner suite. While they were interested in a 5 year lease extension, they would only pay $1.70/SF NNN. MEI persuaded Union Bank that the rate was too low and proposed that they give us two weeks to find a replacement tenant at rates closer to the market which were slightly over $3.00/SF. After two weeks of stealth marketing which included reaching out to tenants and brokers throughout the Country we secured several significant proposals for the space. After negotiations with several tenants and with a renewed interest by Lenscrafters we were able to place Sur La Tables flagship store at this location at a rate of more than double what Lenscrafter’s was initially offering. At the same time, we knew of an upcoming vacancy in a neighboring center and facilitated Lenscrafter’s leasing of that space at a rate closer to their desires amount. This transaction served as the catalyst for MEI to more than double the rents for the remaining 5 tenants at the property thereby increasing ownership cashflow by over 100%. Today, over 20 years later, Sur La Table and Lens Crafters remain successful at their respective locations, just north of 3rd Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica.