Locust Point-based retrievRE Launches to Help Small Businesses Find Office Space

| November 11, 2013 | 2 Comments

fb07d12ceb0db8239d9328d3ae9bdeeaTechnology and real estate have been grabbing a lot of business headlines around Baltimore of late. Now, Alex Kopicki and Jeff Jacobson of Locust Point’s Solstice Partners have come up with a new online service, retrievRE, which combines both of these surging industries.

Best known locally as the developers of the upcoming 900 E. Fort Ave. project, it was Kopicki and Jacobson’s experience looking for their own office space that led them to create a website catered toward small businesses in search of office space of their own. “If you are looking for residential properties, you have websites like Zillow and Truilia,” said Jacobson, co-founder of Solstice Partners. “But for office and retail space, there is no reliable system to gather information. We were looking for space and thought the system was broken, and we are in the real estate business.”

This search process led to the creation and development of retrievRE, which Kopicki and Jacobson launched in October. retrievRE is a completely free website for landlords and brokers to post available office and retail listings and for businesses to post their office needs and search for suitable locations.

The website provides information such as property owner, gross square footage, year built and more for 10,000+ buildings in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Users can then provide listings and supplemental building information to create a comprehensive, crowd-sourced database. Properties in Howard and Anne Arundel County will be added to the database by the second quarter of 2014.

“95% of all commercial lease transactions in the region involve less than 20,000 square feet of space,” said Jacobson in a recent press release. “These relatively small leases can become lost in the shuffle by the larger, more visible requirements. In reality, these smaller spaces generate the highest per square foot rents. This is a powerful tool for landlords and brokers to fill in the gaps.”

“Priorities for business location are more and more about commute times, walkability and nearby amenities,” Jacobson continued. To address this, retrievRE integrates Yelp, and Transitscore for each building to provide a digital map of nearby restaurants, businesses, transportation systems and shopping. 

retrievRE does not get involved with the actual lease negotiations or transactions, but will gain income through pre-negotiated rates with preferred vendors to help with the nuances of leasing new space including design, space planning, construction build-out, moving, furniture, insurance, banking and tele-data systems. retrievRE also hopes to offer premium listings in the future.

Kopicki and Jacobson anticipate expanding into the Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia markets in the near future.

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  • cwals99

    Do you know that the Baltimore Board of Estimates working for the Baltimore Development Corporation killed more small business contractors in two decades by handing public work to connected large corporations and that all we have to do is reverse this. Send away the piggyback policies that hand all business to Montgomery County firms winning state bids……send away the awards to global corporations that have only nefarious profiteering on the mind. Send away immigrant firms enriched from stealing workers wages and using abusive workplace laws to maximize profits…..and VOILA—–you have a return to small business in Maryland/Baltimore.

    Did you know that Santoni’s Grocer closed his doors because his business was going to be used to subsidize downtown corporate tax breaks? Do you know the war on convenience liquor stores is more about handing alcohol sales to national chain stores so won’t reduce alcohol sales only who gets them? Do you know that the Enterprise Zones have filled development with national chain restaurants and retail that make all US cities look the same…..all owned by the same few corporations? Does sound like good policy does it? So, why the emphasis on tech small startups especially since they seem to all be swallowed into these global corporations as soon as they prove marketable? Could it be that taxpayer money is being used yet again to pay the cost of global corporate R and D?

    That is indeed what is happening. As Wall Street’s MarketPlace Money decried startups across the country are simply dying on the vine because there is no money in the economy to spend and/or they simply are taken over by larger firms. Does a model for these startups that look overseas for growth right away because US citizens are impoverished seem a good one especially when it is these same impoverished workers paying the taxes used in these startup projects that bring no jobs? OF COURSE NOT…..THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT THESE CORPORATE POLICIES BROUGHT BY MARYLAND NEO-LIBERALS!

    We need the youth who are being steered to this gimmicks to think long term and see that global markets are dead and any startup depending on domestic economy will not fly until domestic workers are brought back to middle-class. Why not work on getting rid of neo-liberals by running labor and justice candidates in all primaries so small businesses across the board can thrive in Baltimore and Maryland!!!

  • BJohnson43

    I guess they’ve never heard of a company called CoStar, which is based out of DC and has an office just down the street in Columbia. They do the same exact thing and have been doing it for +25 years. They track all commercial properties and listing in every market throughout the USA as well as globally including Baltimore.