This letter is to acknowledge and thank The Space Place for the incredible work that was done to help the California Academy of Sciences find a facility that could serve as a temporary home while our existing facilities in Golden Gate Park are being completely re-built.
The task was not a simple one: find a large building that could accommodate a major public aquarium with over 5,000 animals; ability to house research facilities and scientific collections with over 18 million specimens; room for a staff of over 300; all within close proximity to public transportation and other public amenities; and at the best possible fixed price for a short term lease (less than five years). Dan Mihalovich not only stepped up to the challenge but did it in record time, in incredible detail and in the most professional manner.
Dan Mihalovich came on board as our real estate broker and, within a month, had provided a detailed analysis of the current real estate market along with a large list of property options that met our basic requirements. Dan worked closely with my team of architects and engineers to evaluate the options and further refine our program. Two months later we had narrowed the options down to six properties that could work for us and ultimately short-listed it to three key properties that worked for us both programmatically and financially. Together, we prepared a detailed analysis of all three properties and Dan worked to negotiate the possible leasing terms for the initial offers on all three properties. Before the seventh month, we had settled on one particular property and had come to an agreement on the basic leasing terms with the landlord. Four months later we had fully executed the lease and design for the tenant improvements were well underway.
Overall, the entire process was done in less than two years—from the first day we met to talk about the properties to the day we opened the doors of our temporary museum and aquarium. All of this would not have been possible if it were not for the hard work of a very dedicated team, of which Dan Mihalovich was a key player. Dan worked tirelessly and professionally on our behalf to find the best property for us and with the best possible leasing terms.
It was a whirlwind of a ride, but well worth it. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Dan Mihalovich and I would highly recommend The Space Place for any museum or non-profit looking to find a new facility.
Scott C. Moran
Transition Project Manager
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