Centers Business Management sponsors second annual Retail Live Los Angeles trade show at the Costa Mesa Hilton

CBM Sponsers Retail Live

West Covina, CA – National retail trade organization, Retail Live, held their second annual Los Angeles marketplace trade show on April 2nd, at the Orange County Hilton hotel in Costa Mesa. Centers Business Management (CBM) joined an elite group of leading Southern California Commercial Real Estate related organizations, including France Media (Western Real Estate Business), Jones Lang LaSalle, NewMark Merrill, Festival Companies and CAM Services, among others, in sponsoring the show. This also marks the second time CBM has sponsored the event.

Differing from most CRE trade shows, Retail Live is a tenant’s only showcase. The event featured 70 booths hosted by over A+ national and regional tenants. The show is specifically designed for Brokers, Landlords, Municipal Representatives and Vendors to court tenants. By considerably narrowing the field, the show not only allows brokers to zero in on tenants for whom they have ideally suited space, but also lays the ground work to foster future relationships.

“By strictly catering to tenants and eliminating all the brokerages and vendors vying for attention, the show has a much less formal, more relaxed feel. And it really seems to loosen people up and get them talking,” offers CBM’s West LA Leasing Director, Geoff Grossman. “I spoke at length with a tenant who’s familiar with one of CBM’s longtime landlords and even one of CBM’s founders. That’s not typical of CRE trade shows. Even better, I walked away with four legit leads — best money I’ve spent all year!” Grossman says in closing.

“Retail Live is a great way for agents to learn about the marketplace and build their personal business, in addition to meeting tenants and general networking. And the tenant only setting genuinely facilitates deal making opportunities,” says CBM President, Rick Rivera. “I would recommend future Retail Live events to any leasing agent who wants to get ahead in retail leasing,” Rivera states in relationship to CBM’s continued sponsorship of Retail Live Los Angeles.

To find out more about Retail Live, visit them online at For more information about CBM and its Retail Property Management & Leasing services, please contact Rick Rivera at 310.575.1517 x201,

Download Retail Live PR

West Covina, CA – March, 2014, Centers Business Management (CBM) accepts Certificate of Recognition from West Covina Mayor for sponsoring the city’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival on behalf of Commercial Realty Consultants, Inc. for SHP Capital, LP.

CBM Accepts Cert at West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival

West Covina’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival was held this past March 29th at South Hills Plaza, 1410-1432 S. Azusa Avenue (managed by Centers Business Management (CBM) property manager Pamela Ozell).  Ms. Ozell accepted a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the property owner, SHP Capital, LP, for allowing the city to host the event at South Hills Plaza and sponsoring a portion of the event electrical services, in addition to sponsoring portable restrooms for visitors and dressing facilities for event performers.

Organized by the City of West Covina and the East San Gabriel Japanese Community Center, the annual Cherry Blossom festival celebrates the Japanese heritage shared by a large portion of West Covina’s population. The East San Gabriel Japanese Community Center leadership, the West Covina City Council and West Covina Mayor, Steve Herfert, were all on hand for the event and presided over the awards ceremony. Mayor Herfert personally presented Ms. Ozell with the city’s Certificate of Recognition.

“South Hills Plaza plays an especially important role in West Covina’s Japanese Community, as Marukai Market (the city’s largest and most highly patronized Japanese market) has anchored the shopping center for over 15 years,” shares Ms. Ozell. “The owners are thrilled to be a part of the festival and give back to a community that has treated them so well. The special certificate is just really added bonus!” Ms. Ozell further adds.

In addition to gratitude for the Cherry Blossom Festival sponsorship, the City of West Covina is also very pleased with South Hills Plaza in general, as the shopping center’s outstanding curb appeal is a bright jewel of the community’s retail and commercial district. After CBM took over management in 2005, South Hills Plaza undertook a large scale remodel, and Ms. Ozell has diligently maintained the property, preserving its luster for nearly a decade.

To find out more about CBM and their Retail Property Management and Leasing services, please contact Rick Rivera at 310.575.1517 x201,

Download Cherry Blossom PR

CBM Wins 2013 CoStar Power Broker Award

Los Angeles, CA – March, 2014, Centers Business Management (CBM) wins a 2013 CoStar Power Broker Award for leading SoCal leasing brokerages in retail leasing transaction volume.

cbm wins costar power broker award

CoStar, industry leading Commercial Real Estate Multiple Listing Service, honors Centers Business Management (CBM) with a 2013 Power Broker Award, recognizing CBM’s outstanding leasing transaction volume. CBM earns this prestigious award for the 5th year in row, continuing to lead all SoCal retail leasing brokerages completing 460 leasing transactions. Additionally, several CBM leasing agents received individual Power Broker Awards, most notably West LA Leasing Director, Geoff Grossman; West LA retail specialist, Alex Shabani; and veteran Encino retail specialist, David Levcovitch.

“I’m running out of room for all the plaques!” jokes CBM President, Rick Rivera in reference to the firms 5th Power Broker Award. “But in all seriousness, winning another Power Broker Award is a real testament to the talent and tenacity of our leasing team. We’re growing, and we’ve got some very sharp agents on our roster, but our fellow award winners are regional and even national powerhouses. To compete, we use every tool available and leave no stone unturned when it comes to filling vacancies. We handle each property, large or small, as though were our own,” Rivera further shares.

“Since I started in the business, more than 15 years ago, Rick has always preached ‘Keep the Pipeline full.’ I took that directive to heart and have instilled it each new agents I train. Ask any of our agents about my motto, and they’ll tell you without hesitation: Always be canvasing for new listings,” says West LA Leasing Director, Geoff Grossman. “To this day, I’m still driving the streets, taking down addressees and making calls to landlords to bring in new listings. By repeating this process companywide, we’ve amassed a huge inventory. And when you have the most product, you’re bound to do the most deals,” Geoff offers in explanation of why CBM consistently completes hundreds of new leasing transactions every year.

2014’s transaction volume is already on pace to surpass last year’s numbers, in what Rivera, Grossman and the rest of CBM’s leasing team expects to be another banner year.

To find out more about CBM and the firm’s retail leasing and property management services, please contact Rick Rivera at 310.575.1517 x201 or

By Los Angeles Business Journal, Tuesday, March 4, 2014

L.A. Council Passes Restrictions on E-Cigs

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to ban smoking of electronic cigarettes at all public buildings and restaurants, as well as at parks, playgrounds, beaches, libraries and public schools in the city.

The council voted 14-0 to approve an ordinance that places the same restrictions on the use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, as on the smoking of traditional cigarettes.

The ordinance allows the smoking of e-cigs at any of the scores of vaping lounges that have recently opened around the city and by performers during theatrical productions.

Supporters of the measure say that because e-cigs contain nicotine, their use should be restricted until the health impacts are fully studied. Opponents of a ban say that e-cigs release fewer toxic chemicals than conventional cigarettes and provide a way for smokers to wean themselves off nicotine.

In December, the council voted to ban the sale of e-cigs to minors. That ordinance also requires that e-cigs be sold only by licensed tobacco retailers and bans their sale at kiosks and displays directly accessible to customers.

Other local cities have also begun regulating the sale and use of e-cigs, including Long Beach and Beverly Hills.


CBM Valentine's Day Brunch

Not sure why only guys made it into the ladies Valentine's Day Brunch pix?

CBM President, Rick Rivera, hosted a Valentine’s Day brunch in tribute to the women of CBM this past Friday (Valentine’s Day). Held on the rooftop patio of CBM’s West LA office, the gathering was organized as special thank you to the women to of CBM. As the heart and soul of CBM’s operation, our success is due in large part to their great work and tremendous effort.

The brunch featured a gorgeous spread, including breakfast bagel sandwiches, muffins, pastries, orange juice, coffee and assorted cupcakes — just for good measure. (Many thanks to Einstein Bros Bagels on Pico Blvd. for whipping up the very tasty treats!)

All of CBM’s ladies were in attendance, representing our accounting and administrative departments as well as our property management team. And even a few (well, a lot more than a few) of the guys showed up, too.

Regardless of their gender, all on hand enjoyed a delicious brunch, a good chat with co-workers and great time in general.

Perhaps this was merely the 1st Annual CBM Valentine’s Day Brunch…?

CBM Exhibits at ICSC Idea Exchange

Idea Exchange CBM Team
Los Angeles, CA – February, 2014 – CBM exhibits at the ICSC Idea Exchange event and The LA Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Centers Business Management (CBM) exhibited at the International Council of Shopping Centers Center (ICSC) annual SoCal Idea Exchange event last Wednesday, February 5th at the LA Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles. CBM was joined by 200+ Commercial Real Estate firms, Tenants, Municipalities and Vendors for the Idea Exchange’s first year at the LA Convention (having relocated from its previous home at the Long Beach Convention Center). Relocating to the LA area (with its higher retail broker concentration), Downtown LA’s resurgence and the overall improvement in the retail sector were all contributing factors to record attendance and the event’s overwhelmingly positive reception.

The combination of above average attendance and hosting the event in a smaller room (about a third smaller than Long Beach) created a frenetic energy amid the afternoon’s official “Deal Making” session. Activity was high and the networking intense as attendees and exhibitors were packed in, shoulder to shoulder, transacting business at a full tilt.

Idea Exchange CBM Table 1

CBM Director of Leasing, Geoff Grossman, was the most effusive in his assessment:

“Every broker and investor I spoke was pumped with tons of enthusiastic and positive energy. Everyone’s convinced 2014 is going to be a banner year.” Geoff summed up the event stating “What a great way to kick off the New Year!”

CBM Valley Division Director, Dave O’Connell, echoed Geoff’s positive sentiment, while also expressing reservations: “Lots of restaurants and service based businesses in expansion mode. But the lack of shop space sized retailers continues to be a concern, particularly with tenants like Radio Shack downsizing their retail operations.” Ultimately Dave emphasized the need for creativity among brokers to fill general retail vacancies.

CBM West LA Leasing Agent, Alex Shabani, was impressed with the turnout and felt the positivity in the air: “There was a definitely a positive vibe. And most tenants (represented at the event) are expanding and looking for new locations.” Alex also managed to get some deal making done, “I made a couple of new contacts and actually received an offer.”

Idea Exchange CBM Table 2

CBM President, Rick Rivera, was approached by a landlord seeking management for a large retail portfolio as he was leaving the venue. After trading contact info with the prospect he commented that “This event just paid for itself.”

In general, all in attendance seemed very pleased with the new Downtown LA location. The reception following the deal making session, held at the LA Live Marriot’s ION Rooftop Patio, was abuzz with broker’s praising the revitalization of Downtown LA.

To find out more about the ICSC Idea Exchange, visit their events page online at: And to find out more about CBM, please contact: Rick Rivera at 310.575.1517 x201 or

ACRE’s 2014 Industry Forecast Luncheon Theme: PROSPERITY & OPPORTUNITY

The Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives (ACRE) assembled a panel of leading Southern California retail brokerage chiefs for the 2014 Industry Forecast luncheon. The nearly 300 attendees were treated to an insightful discussion on the state of Southern California’s retail real estate market, with the expert panelists offering their prediction for 2014. The prosperity of 2013 and the importance of “embracing change” and “making your own opportunity” in the future dominated the panelist’s conversation, ultimately defining the events theme.

The panel was moderated by Brad Umansky, President of Progressive Real Estate Partners; and included Greg Fisher, President of Present Value Properties; Shauna Mattis, Vice President of Wilson Commercial: Matt Hammond, Director of Retail Brokerage for Coreland Companies; and Rick Rivera, President of CBM.

Panelists shared their individual perspective on topics ranging from shifts in the market over the past half-decade to the impact of changes in the grocery industry on local retail to the biggest challenges and opportunities on the horizon in 2014.

The panelists agreed 2013 surpassed even 2007 lofty “top of the market” heights. This amazing revelation of market growth was, however, tempered by Mattis’ warning that the reabsorption of “quality space” has put retailers back in a “cautionary mode.” But optimism remained strong, as Rivera counted stating “as long as there’s property available, there will be tenants to lease it.” Rivera sighted CBM’s continued success in “less than desirable locations,” as evidence that deals continue to get done (with right terms), an attitude echoed by the group.

While a great deal of local retail remains dependent on grocery store anchor tenants, the grocery store business itself has changed radically. Mattis noted it’s no longer a case of “just shopping at your local grocery store.” Now grocery stores have stratified, in many cases dividing along economic lines. From low-cost “discount” stores to more expensive “specialty markets” and high-end chains like Whole Foods and Sprout’s Market, consumers have more options than ever.

This divide has also extended along ethnic lines, particularly in the Hispanic marketplace. “Hispanic retailers are doing a fabulous job of servicing their customers, and stores such as Vallarta and El Super have been very successful,” remarked Rivera.

Specialty stores are so well attuned to their target customer; they provide an ideal platform for complimentary tenants.

In reference to challenges, panelists pointed to the internet, with its toppling of the consumer goods retail market, as largest agent of change in the retail landscape. Retail shop space is now dominated by destination-based and service-oriented businesses. According to statics offered by Hammond, restaurants/QSRs and service tenants represented over two-thirds of leases written by his firm in 2013. Restaurants and service providers representing the two most common businesses the internet cannot replace.

In the face of this changing landscape, however, panelist also agreed that change is the biggest agent of opportunity in retail real estate. This sentiment underscored by Umansky pointing toward the industry’s ceaseless evolution as continually yielding new opportunity.

“There is no room in this business for someone who can’t pick up the phone, make a cold call or canvass for properties. You have to create opportunity,” Rivera shared in closing. Indicated that regardless of the circumstances, you have to work for it. A closing point the panel clearly agreed upon.

To find out more about ACRE SoCal, visit them online at: To find out more about CBM’s retail leasing and property management services, please contact Rick Rivera at 310.575.1517 Ext. 201 or

CBM President Appearing on ACRE Panel

Los Angeles, CA – January, 2014 – CBM President, Rick Rivera appearing on panel of retail real estate brokerage leaders forecasting 2014 retail property trends at upcoming ACRE (CRE Professional Organization) event.

Rick Rivera CBM President
CBM President Rick Rivera appearing on Acre panel

Centers Business Management (CBM) President, Rick Rivera has been asked to join a panelist of leading Southern California Retail Real Estate Brokers at the upcoming ACRE SoCal (Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives of Southern California) networking luncheon. Scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st at the Long Beach Grand (events center), the event’s theme is forecasting coming trend in the retail property market for 2014.

In addition to Rick Rivera, panelist include a who’s who of top Southern California Retail Brokerage chiefs, including moderator Brad Umansky, Progressive Real Estate Partners | Greg Fisher, Present Value Properties | Shauna Mattis, Wilson Commercial & Matt Hammond, Coreland Companies. Selected for their vast experience and proven track records in the retail real estate, the assembled panelist are guaranteed to offer invaluable insight into the emerging trends shaping the retail property industry.

Rivera in particular was tapped for his experience helming one of SoCal’s most successful retail property brokerages – CBM currently leases and manages 600+ shopping centers totaling over 10 million SQFT across SoCal. “I’m very pleased to be a part of this event, and can’t thank Brad Umansky (event moderator) enough for the invite,” says Rivera. “My inclusion on a panel of SoCal’s top retail brokers, and these are some very heavy hitters, is a testament to CBM’s long running success in the shopping center business and the continuing achievements of our leasing and management team – which I think is the best in the business,” Rivera adds.

A well respected non-profit organization with a very high-profile in the CRE industry, ACRE provides a forum for idea exchange and networking among SoCal based commercial real estate professionals. ACRE hosts regular seminars, luncheons and networking events featuring panelists and guest speakers culled from upper echelons of Southern California Commercial Real Estate Elite. ACRE event are a major draw for area professionals, routinely attracting several hundred real estate agents, developers, managers, vendors and other CRE specialists.

The 2014 Retail Property Forecasting event is open to the public, anyone is welcome to attend – your registration includes a formal lunch. To find out more about ACRE or this event, visit them online at: to find out more about CBM, please contact: Rick Rivera at 310.575.1517 x201 or


Superman takes flight

David "Superman" Levcovitch

Well, simulated skydiving anyway…

Instead of opting for the typical luncheon or cocktail with this year’s office holiday party, CBM President, Rick Rivera, elected to try something a little different.

And skydiving at iFly is about as “different” as it gets!

The entire CBM team met up at yesterday at Universal City Walk and were treated, thanks to the awesome “flight” instructors at iFly, an amazing “simulated skydiving” experience in a three story wind tunnel, situated in full view of the bustling City Walk pathway.

18 brave souls, among the 30 in attendance, “made the jump” and the remaining 12 laughed, jeered, cheered and were generally entertained by their teammates incredible “flights of fancy.”

And for those who took flight, floating weightless, rising several stories high, diving, spinning and generally soaring through the air like an eagle, well… to say it was an awe-inspiring adventure may be the understatement of the seasons, if not the entire year!

We could try to describe the event in greater detail, but as they say: “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so we invite you to check out some of best “candid pix below…

Out “flights” were followed up by an amazing group lunch at the delectably delicious Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, right across the Walk from iFly. Spectacular food – the meat lovers were in hog heaven – lovely libations and tremendous camaraderie were all and the menu and shared with good tidings by group as a whole.

Here’s to another fabulous holiday season with the unrivaled Shopping Center Leasing and Management pros of CBM!

Rick Rivera

CBM President, Rick Rivera, takes flight!


Dave O'Connell

Valley Division Director, Dave O'Connell, floating weightless


Geoff Grossman

West LA Leasing Manager, Geoff Grossman, contemplates his next daring aerial trick!

Janice Adair

Accountant, Janice Adair, glides like an old pro!

Tina Flor

Encino Property Manager, Tina Flor, kicks off her 8" Louboutin's for some high flying!

Roselene White

West LA Property Manager & Skydiving Champ, Roselene White, proves her Mettle

Jeff Adelman

General Counsel, Jeff Adelman, the flying attorney at law...

This year at CBM…

We’re most thankful to all of you: Our wonderful clients and professional associates!

Please enjoy and happy and safe holiday with your family and friends!

Happy Thanksgiving from CBM!