Jacqueline Dompe joined JLL’s San Francisco office in February 2016 and leads the firm’s 81 Project and Development Services (PDS) professionals in the Northwest that, in addition to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Oakland/East Bay, and Sacramento includes offices in Seattle, Portland, Denver and Salt Lake City. Prior to joining JLL, she was the Western Director of global engineering firm AECOM. The Registry talked to her about her new position, her business philosophy and why project management is so important to today’s tenants.
TR: Jacqueline, at JLL you lead diverse project and development management teams providing real estate solutions to corporate clients in verticals like tech, healthcare retail and hospitality. What are some of the common problems faced by those clients?
DOMPE: Many of our clients are faced with similar issues when it comes to real estate decisions—cost control, predictability and strategic investment for their employees and customers. Our goal is to strike the right balance between predictable real estate-associated costs and increasing real estate’s contribution to the overall health of the business. Balance often means our client’s business will excel in productivity, profitability, engaged employees, and satisfied customers. This requires our project and development managers to keenly focus on budget and schedule while ensuring design intent and positive human experiences are achieved.
TR: Your teams have worked on some major projects, including the renovation of the Axiom Hotel (formerly the Powell Hotel), which opened about a month ago in San Francisco. Can you give us a few concrete examples of how JLL has helped clients in a PDS assignment?
DOMPE: What’s most exciting and inspirational about our projects is that we are blind to the size and scale of a project. Square footage and budget do not affect our goals of enriching the client’s experience and delivering superlative value.
One example of a smaller project is Ping Identity in San Francisco. Ping specializes in internet identity security and needed guidance, education, design and construction support for a 3,279 square-foot space located in the epicenter of San Francisco tech. To attract talent in the current tech market, offices become an extension of the company brand and often seek to achieve the iconic “San Francisco start-up” style while creating a custom look and feel. Already having offices around the globe, Ping wanted a smaller start-up feel, but required a corporate infrastructure. We worked with a small private building owner (non-corporate) and a built a strong relationship with a very hands-on client to deliver a project that reflected their company values.
At the other end of the spectrum, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISI) in Sunnyvale, who designs and manufactures minimally-invasive robotic surgical systems, came to us with plans to build a new engineering campus next to their current headquarters. They currently own three, single-story buildings, which will be demolished to make way for the new facilities. Two new four-story buildings will cover 300,000 square-feet each for a total of 600,000 square-feet, plus a parking structure with 1,650 stalls. The development site is adjacent to the Lawrence train station and will increase density on the site from .35 FAR to 1.0 FAR. The first phase is expected to be complete in late 2018 and is targeted to achieve LEED Gold+ certification.
Our project lead, Bob Russell, sums up our feelings about the ISI project. Bob says Intuitive Surgical is a dream client. They are quick decision makers, care deeply for their employees and the surrounding community. Most importantly, they are focused on their mission of developing the best in minimally-invasive surgical equipment to benefit surgeons and patients around the world. Their new campus will be a reflection of who they are as a company.
TR: Ten years ago, sustainability was just a buzzword in real estate, now it’s a part of the lexicon, talk to us about why energy and sustainability services are so important and how do your teams approach these issues when working with clients?
DOMPE: So true. Ideally, our energy and sustainability services are not perceived as “add-on” services. Rather, we integrate sustainability directly into our real estate solutions. Our experts are excellent at navigating requirements of Title 24 and certification processes such as LEED and WELL to meet corporate sustainability goals. We also help drive a competitive advantage for our clients in terms of employee attraction and retention, and overall lowering of operating and maintenance costs.
TR: How do you see technology influencing your business over the next five years?
DOMPE: Traditionally, businesses rely on technology and related advances to differentiate themselves in the market place. JLL is no different. Our technology platform is one of the most sophisticated that I’ve experienced in the professional services industry. It’s unique in that it allows our project and construction managers be as efficient as possible, while at the same time, deliberately provides direct value and benefit to our clients through real time budget and timeline reporting.
Given the pace of technology-led change, it would be presumptuous for me to anticipate the significance of its impact on real estate over the 5 years. The immediate interest in virtual reality (VR), nonetheless, is fascinating…considering how our hospitality clients are planning to virtually transport clients to exotic locations, such as Ulaanbaatar, from the comfort of their hotel room through the use of VR headsets. What this technology might mean for retail and healthcare, and even office sectors, is exciting to think about.
TR: JLL put out a report not too long ago stating that construction (and TI) costs were climbing throughout the Northwest, and particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Is this a trend you see accelerating and can companies do anything to mitigate rising costs?
DOMPE: Primary tech markets, such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley, are expected to continue to experience some of the highest construction costs nationwide. While material prices have dropped, noticeably steel, this may be counterbalanced by the skyrocketing price of glass. Wages for skilled construction laborers also continues to grow as supply remains low. However, California has cheaper construction labor costs compared to east coast markets such as, Washington DC, New York and Massachusetts. Office construction costs are some of the highest in San Francisco with corresponding high rents at a direct average asking rent of nearly $70.00/square-foot. While short-term mitigation may not be obvious, our teams focus on decreasing long-term operating costs for during design phases.
TR: From your LinkedIn profile: “For Jacqueline Dompe, the old adage, ‘It is just business; don’t take it personally’ does not apply.” Can you expand on that for us?
DOMPE: It’s comfortable for us in the design and construction industry to speak confidently about the evolution of building materials, depleting natural resources, escalating construction costs and dynamic government processes. So, while every building or space tells a story, our team shares the common philosophy that our work affects people’s lives. We ultimately create an experience for our clients and the end user of the space that we help develop. That experience is created by human characteristics and behaviors such as integrity, respect and collaboration. Those personal traits often traverse work and non-work life.