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Comient Launch Press Release

The Seattle Times

Seattle – 18 June 2010 – With the constant stream of news detailing the collapse and uncertain recovery of the home real estate market, another lingering real estate crisis has gone virtually unnoticed by the press and the public.

In the Seattle area, vacancy rates for commercial real estate have hovered at an unprecedented 18% to 20% during the first half of this year.

And, according to the National Association of Realtors, the increasingly familiar sight of darkened windows throughout commercial districts will persist – and vacancy rates will continue to rise – in the office, industrial, and retail commercial sectors at least through 2011.

Still, one Seattle entrepreneur sees a both a business opportunity and a call to action in these grim signs and statistics.

David Milesi, a former genetics scientist turned real estate investor, recently launched Comient, a set of next-generation web and mobile services, which he humbly describes as “the simplest possible tools for connecting businesses with the right real estate space.”

Milesi, who describes himself as “a regular guy with a passion for real estate,” began his career conducting genetic research, during which time he published several articles and secured a patent on a novel gene detection system. Looking for a change away from the lab, he turned to a career in finance and began investing in real estate.

After the financial collapse of 2008, Milesi founded Comient “to help small to mid-sized businesses and entrepreneurs connect with their ideal working environments.” Comient provides listing services through a very simple, easy-to-use set of web and mobile applications, which were built by Conceivian, a local innovations lab specializing in new product prototyping and v1 web ventures.

Janet Backus, Vice President of the Retail Group at Grubb & Ellis, is one early adopter and fan of Comient’s services. “Finally, there’s an easy-to-use search tool for commercial real estate, and a great way to market commercial lease space,” Backus said. “And the iPhone app is cutting edge and incredibly useful."

Milesi notes that most of the leasing activity in commercial real estate is coming from smaller spaces as new businesses are founded and current small businesses seek more favorable lease terms.

And one significant result of high unemployment has been the creation of so-called “accidental entrepreneurs,” individuals who start companies while out of work. According to the Index of Entrepreneurial Activity by the Kauffman Foundation there was an uptick of new businesses in 2008 compared to 2007. An example of this can be seen in Seattle where new restaurant openings have moved in to empty retail space.

Research from the Kauffman Foundation in June found that more than half of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 2009 and nearly half of the companies on the Inc. Magazine 2008 list were founded during a recession or bear market.

Another trend Milesi sees in the commercial real estate market caused by the slow economic recovery has been that many small businesses are choosing to share commercial space in order to save on expenses. This trend is becoming particularly popular with young entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Marlene Harvey, Marketing Manager at JSH Properties, agrees that Comient has arrived at a perfect time both to capitalize on these trends and to serve as a catalyst in the marketplace. “Comient is as simple as Craigslist and is a great regional marketing tool for our lease properties,” she said. “And the iPhone app is perfect for our brokers in the field.”

Contact:
David Milesi, Founder and CEO, Comient LLC
Phone: 1-866-665-1502
Email: info@comient.com

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David Milesi, a former genetics scientist turned real estate investor, recently launched Comient, a set of next-generation web and mobile services....

 

 
 

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