A parking garage in the heart of downtown Seattle had been in the Costacos family since the mid-1940s. Six decades later, as the city boomed, several firms approached the family with offers to lease or buy the property. The Costacoses wanted to be wise about their response. Was it better to lease? To sell? At what terms? And what happened afterwards? A casual lunch with Trinity Real Estate’s Richard Leider, aimed at answering some of those questions, soon turned into an ongoing relationship.
WHAT WE DID
Informally at first, and then as the family’s primary advisor, we guided the Costacoses through the fast-paced, sometimes-dizzying world of high-value real estate. Our first objective was making sure they understood their options. “Richard never tried to hard-sell us on any one option,” says John Costacos, a second-generation family member. “He mostly asked questions, and they were always the right ones. His main concern was to find out what our preferences were, and he based his recommendations on those.”
We advised the family through the twists and turns of a potential ground-lease agreement. When the prospective lessor unexpectedly offered to buy the property for extraordinarily favorable terms, we helped John and his family protect their interests, close the deal, and receive the proceeds of the sale immediately.
We then helped the family complete an IRS “1031” exchange to reduce the taxes on the sale. The rules for a 1031 can be complicated, and timing is critical. Under a tight IRS deadline, we helped the family meet the requirements of the exchange by identifying and acquiring five promising investment properties.
“Richard walked us through the pros and cons of various kinds of properties, and all the risk levels,” says John. “When you’ve never had that explained to you in detail, that’s incredibly valuable. He described it in a way that all of us could understand, yet he never talked down to us.”
We also helped the family arrange financing. “They got us the very best loans possible,” John says. “They helped us save money and get a better rate, even though it made no difference to what Trinity would make on the deal. And that’s how they acted across the board. Every step of the way, they were as careful with our money as if it were their own.”
In the end, says John Costacos, “we understood the deals we made, and we felt good about them. We also appreciated how they handled some complex family dynamics, with different generations in different locations. They always made sure each one of us felt confident in our decisions.”
Today, we’re proud to manage the family's real estate portfolio. We oversee property managers, advise on capital improvements, provide regular, detailed financial statements, and monitor the portfolio to ensure it continues to serve the family’s goals.
“I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job than the guys at Trinity,” says John. “To anybody looking for help with a sale, a 1031 exchange, or any kind of real estate investment, I’d say, ‘Do not look anywhere else.’ They’re that good.”
SERVICES WE PROVIDED:
Acquisition and disposition services
Investment strategy and implementation
Asset management services
Family education and mentoring
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