Bumble Bee May Buzz Downtown
The tuna company considers high-profile move from Kearny Mesa
By Roger Showley
Bumble Bee Foods, North America’s largest branded seafood company, is thinking of returning to its downtown waterfront roots.
CEO Chris Lischewski says the search is on for a roughly 31,000-square-foot space for its 140 corporate employees. The company has been headquartered in its Kearny Mesa building for 10 years.
“While one of the options is stay in the area, we looked at the resurgence downtown — the Gaslamp district, the ballpark, a lot of office buildings — it’s an exciting place to be,” he said.
So far, he said he has seen stand-alone and high-rise spaces that would suit the company’s needs.
“We may be starting the negotiation process within the next month,” he said, and aim for a move-in by early next year.
Bumble Bee had its roots in the Columbia River Packers Association in Oregon in 1899. The brand was established in 1910 and the company took over a San Diego waterfront cannery in 1977.
Through a series of acquisitions and corporate takeovers, the company was acquired in 2010 for $980 million by Lion Capital. Its annual sales exceed $950 million.
Part of the reason for relocating, Lischewski said, is to elevate the company’s presence locally.
“Chicken of the Sea is also here,” he said, making San Diego home to two of the three biggest tuna companies in North America. “When we talk to people they have very little view of that.”
The new location might simply be in a downtown high-rise offering panoramic views of the bay.
But a small stand-alone building with character and charm also would be attractive, he said. Such a setup could include museum space where the company could celebrate its heritage and San Diego’s tuna history.
“We have nothing against Kearny Mesa — it’s a great place, obviously a very affordable place,” he said. “But we think it would be really good for our morale, for our organization to be in some great space downtown, where we have access to all that downtown has to offer.”
John Jarvis, a Hughes Marino broker helping Bumble Bee consider its options, said a new location for any company has the opportunity to “fire up your team.”
“It’s not just about the nickels and dimes and financial element to the transaction,” he said.
By contrast, he said, the company is “off the grid.”
“For any company, they take pride in the headquarters presence, the location, the reason to be here,” Jarvis said. “They might as well leverage that.”
In a broader sense, Jarvis said, companies realize that the workplace is more of a home for their employees since they spend so much time at their job sites.
“The truth is this is a huge opportunity with the real estate to accomplish or enhance employment engagement,” Jarvis said.
He acknowledged the practical problems of operating downtown, particularly the cost of parking. But there are ways to reduce that impact, he said.
“That’s our job,” he said. “We’ll solve that.”
Bumble Bee Foods
Founded: 1899 by fishermen in the Northwest; moved to San Diego in 1977
Current location: 9655 Granite Ridge Drive in Kearny Mesa
Business: Top U.S. producer and marketer of canned salmon, albacore and specialty canned seafood products, No. 2 producer of canned tuna.
Annual sales: $950 million
Jason Hughes is president and CEO of Hughes Marino, a San Diego commercial real estate company specializing in San Diego tenant representation and building purchases. Contact Jason direct at (619) 238-2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
John Jarvis is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, a San Diego commercial real estate company specializing in San Diego tenant representation and building purchases. Contact John direct at (619) 238-2111 or email@example.com to learn more.
Jason Hughes is president and CEO of Hughes Marino, as well as a featured columnist for the San Diego Business Journal and past columnist for the San Diego Daily Transcript. Jason has written well over 100 articles, is a real estate resource for the Wall Street Journal, and has been profiled in the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego Business Journal, San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Metro, Smart Business San Diego, California Real Estate Journal, and Western Real Estate Business.
John Jarvis is senior vice president of Hughes Marino, a past contributor to Smart Business San Diego, and a leader in countless local charitable, professional and civic organizations. A member of Biocom, International Facility Management Association, and Corporate Finance Council, as well as a graduate of LEAD San Diego, John has earned the trust of a loyal clientele by consistently providing thoughtful and creative solutions on high value real estate projects.
David Marino is executive vice president of Hughes Marino, as well as a monthly columnist for the San Diego Metro. Specializing in high-value, time-critical and complex transactions for technology, life science, and business service companies, David has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune, San Diego Business Journal, Smart Business San Diego, and Western Real Estate Journal.
Nik Bandak is a project manager for Hughes Marino CM. Nik earned a degree in Financial Services from Saint Mary’s College of California where he graduated with honors. As a project manager, Nik is knowledgeable in estimating, documentation control, construction scheduling and processes, contract administration, and financial analysis. Prior to joining Hughes Marino, Nik worked for Bechtel International on the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone in Taweelah, United Arab Emirates, where he monitored and oversaw the daily construction activities and progress of 5,000 field workers in 53 buildings within the Industrial Zone borders.
Dave Bates, Vice President of Hughes Marino CM, has more than 20 years of construction and project management experience in San Diego. He has overseen the construction of several million square feet of projects ranging from typical office space and specialty tenant improvement projects to large-scale new building construction. Dave is LEED accredited and OSHA 30 qualified, and has been named one of San Diego's top project managers several times over the course of his career.
Robert Bello, General Counsel for Hughes Marino, is a member of the State bar of California, the Association of Corporate Counsel, and the San Diego County Bar Association. Robert holds degrees in economics and political science from Northwestern University, an MBA from San Diego State University, a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and is also on the Board of Directors for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Alumni Association.
Travis Carter, a San Diego native, serves as vice president of Hughes Marino. A licensed real estate broker, Travis specializes in representing legal and accounting firms throughout the UTC, Del Mar Heights, Mission Valley and Downtown markets. Travis, a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University, was honored as one of SD Metro's 40 under 40 recipients in 2011.
Brendan Foote is senior vice president of Tax Credit Services for Hughes Marino, which focuses on securing tax refunds and savings for California businesses who are eligible for various economic development programs. With an expertise in such programs as the California Enterprise Zone Program, the Federal Empowerment Zone Program and the LAMBRA Program, Brendan and his team generate substantial tax savings for businesses located in these incentive zones. Brendan is an active member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and a board member of the East Village Association.
Heather Fox is controller at Hughes Marino. Heather earned a degree in accounting from University of Phoenix. As controller, Heather is responsible for accounts receivable and accounts payable, and works closely with the director of finance in all aspects of the firm’s accounting and finances. Prior to joining Hughes Marino, Heather was a senior staff accountant at a public tax and accounting firm for ten years. Heather also assisted with corporate and non-profit compilations, reviews and audits.
Kirt Gilliland, division president of Hughes Marino CM, has over 25 years of construction and project management experience in San Diego, having managed over 6 million square feet of projects valued in excess of $400 million. Among the most notable projects are a 23 story, $70 million affordable housing project at 10th and B Street, and the nationally-recognized, award-winning 45,000 square foot New Children’s Museum.
Scot Ginsburg has been solely focused on exclusively representing tenants and occupiers of commercial space throughout his career. With over 8,000,000 square feet of experience, Scot specializes in high-tech, life science, business service, research and development, and other growth-oriented companies. Scot is a guest columnist for California Real Estate Journal and the San Diego Daily Transcript.
Steven Gorup is a project manager/LEED AP BD+C for Hughes Marino CM, which is essential for green-building technology implementation. In 2009, Steven obtained the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate, a strategy designed to improve quality while simultaneously eliminating cost and administrative excess. Prior to serving as a project engineer on University of San Diego’s LEED Silver-certified, award-winning Student Life Pavilion, Steven earned a degree in construction science and Management from Kansas State University.
Shay Hughes, chief operating officer, plays a key role in all aspects of the organization, including internal operations, marketing, business strategy, and end-to-end management. A San Diego native, her versatile skills range from designing Hughes Marino’s corporate headquarters, managing the day-to-day operations of the firm, and a strong understanding of the local marketplace and client needs.
Star Hughes is a director at Hughes Marino, the largest tenant representation company in San Diego. A San Diego native, Star specializes in downtown San Diego real estate. Star earned her Masters of Business Administration at University of San Diego, where she was the first and youngest full-time MBA student to complete the two-year program in one year, at the age of twenty-one. Star graduated from University of San Diego with her Bachelor of Business Administration at the age of nineteen after completing her undergraduate degree in two years with a 4.0 overall GPA and highest academic average in the graduating class.
Tucker Hughes is a director at Hughes Marino where he specializes in tenant representation throughout San Diego. A native San Diegan, Tucker is a member of one of the most experienced and respected commercial real estate teams in San Diego, contributing to his ability to provide the best service to his clients. Tucker graduated from the University of San Diego magna cum laude with his Bachelor of Business Administration and is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Real Estate also from the University of San Diego.
Craig Knox is senior vice president of Hughes Marino, where he is an insightful advisor and aggressive advocate for tenants, especially those in the life sciences and technology sectors where his technical background is a key asset. A graduate of Stanford’s MBA and Master of Engineering programs, Craig serves as a board member of the San Diego Venture Group, a chair of CommNexus’ Capital Markets Committee, and is in charge of real estate for the EvoNexus start-up incubator.
Ashley Lewis, director of marketing, is responsible for brand development and marketing strategy for Hughes Marino. As a graphic designer she creates original marketing pieces and advertisements, in addition to writing for the Hughes Marino blog. Prior to joining Hughes Marino, Ashley ran her own graphic design business, specializing in brand identity, print design, web design and illustration. In a previous life, Ashley was an engineer and naval officer who served on San Diego based ships USS Nimitz (CVN-68) and USS Jarrett (FFG-33).
Ed Muna is senior vice president of Lease Audit Services, providing tenants with a resource to review and audit their landlord charges, ensuring fairness and proper billing by landlords for operating expenses, CAM charges, and property tax expenses. A twenty year veteran of San Diego’s commercial real estate industry, Ed brings a unique perspective having worked as an owner’s representative, asset manager, and property manager in the development, leasing, management and operations of several million square feet. He is currently involved in the Downtown San Diego Partnership and North County Chamber of Commerce.
Dean Petersen, a senior vice president and LEED AP, has been responsible for the management of over 5 million square feet of construction valued in excess of $225 million throughout his 30 years of construction and project management experience. Having directed a wide range of projects, from ground up historical building remodels, multi-million dollar tenant improvement projects, award-winning residential work/live highrises, hospital facilities, airport terminals and universities, Dean brings a strong knowledge of project cost estimating and control, scheduling, quality control, contract administration, and construction means and methods to his clients.
Shane Poppen is a native Southern Californian who specializes in tenant representation in the suburban markets of San Diego County, partnering with companies to make the most of their real estate decisions. His experience includes site selection, strategic planning and needs assessment, financial analysis, negotiation and transaction structuring for lease renewals, relocations and renegotiations. Shane brings persistence, a strong work ethic, dependability, and a results-driven attitude to the Hughes Marino team.