It is my pleasure to write this letter on behalf of Mr. Stephen Sunderland and Optimal Spaces, Inc. Stephen personally guided and educated me through every step of the process of identifying, negotiating for, and occupying a beautiful space in just the right location for our school. The Goddard School is a national franchise pre-school which was looking for a Manhattan location, and I am the Manhattan franchisee. I can truly say I would not be in business now without the effort and support Stephen and his firm provided. We found an ideal space, at a fair price, with a Landlord contribution to the build-out.
I had several other brokers offer to help, but they quickly lost interest when I did not jump at one of the sites generated by checking current listings. In contrast, Stephen took the time to understand what we needed, and actively searched for it. He reached out to personal contacts he has developed over the years, and unearthed a variety of options to consider.
Even when a particular space was determined to be viable, and while we were deep into working out the details of a deal, when other options came to his attention he shared them and encouraged me to explore them.
He understood the financial limits we had, and the importance of having the Landlord contribute to the build-out. With that understanding he interceded with the Landlord on my behalf, encouraging them to see the advantages of us as a tenant. We had a number of false starts and challenges, and he guided me through the process-he never urged me to take a particular space, always sharing ideas and options.
Of particular importance was his generous sharing of his resource contacts. When we ran across a problem, he reached out to an architect friend, a knowledgeable attorney, a contractor-all of whom provided guidance and solutions based on their relationship with Stephen.
When negotiating the lease where I am now, he was involved in every detail-he read and commented on the lease, had back channel conversations with the Landlord , and was present at every step, including the closing.
Stephen took a personal interest in our venture, and from construction to this day, he reaches out to see how we are doing, and makes helpful suggestions.
His knowledge, experience and personal interest helped us secure our current location, and he was able to help negotiate the terms we wanted and needed. I would highly recommend his firm for any commercial real estate leasing need, and I am personally aware of his depth of experience with educational space and retail.
William Swan, Ph.D.
The Goddard School of Manhattan