Monday, March 8, 2010

My biggest "Aww, crap" moment ... at least to date

Through the Summer of 2001, I worked with the then manager/owners of Westport Plaza to develop a sales presentation for the property.  Selling a house is one thing: you list a few items, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the equipage of the kitchen and overall square footage and hope for the best real estate agent you can get.

When you're trying to sell a $70million commercial property you have to try a little harder.

The info I was given to begin with started with a PowerPoint presentation developed by a skilled secretary.  It included detailed but outdated information about the income-per-square foot of restaurant and retail properties and the occupied/unoccupied status of the 55, 77, 111 and 940 buildings over the last few years.

111 Westport, of course, is the landmark Gold Tower.  And Westport has always included two Sheraton Hotels:  the Plaza and the Chalet.

I dug in for weeks on the project, changing numbers, modifying graphics. I took new photos of Westport Plaza using my then-state-of-the-art Sony Mavica digital camera, including one (what I thought was an outstanding) photo of the Gold Tower, looking from the ground up, taken from just in front of what is now The Bread Company.

I wrote and rewrote, with many client changes, voicetracks that I recorded in the production studios of KTRS, whose studios are still in the lobby under the 111 Gold Tower. Production wizard Paul Arca transferred them to CD for me to use.

I took all the parts and put them together and created the new sales presentation.  I ordered a hundred copies of the sales presentation, with a photo of the Gold Tower on the CD. Then I sent it off to the duplicator to finish the project.  I picked it up on Friday, September 7th, 2001. 

My appointment to deliver the finished project was the next Wednesday.

September 12th, 2001.


To their credit, the property managers paid the bill promptly, but also took the property off the market just as quickly.