A Conversation with Marcus Gilmour

This summer, we sat down with with Marcus Gilmour, Principal at Lane Partners, to learn more about how his team is using coUrbanize at the SOUTHLINE project in South San Francisco.

Marcus Gilmour

What’s a typical day like at the office for you?

Marcus: As a developer, every day can be different from one to the next. One day you may have meetings with your design team for a project while the next day you could be on a construction site reviewing issues in the field with a general contractor. Other important tasks/events include:

  • Meetings with brokers to discuss new opportunities
  • Calls/meetings with legal counsel to work through a lease or purchase contract
  • Tours/meetings with potential tenants that are interested in a project
  • Meetings with city planning staff, planning commission hearings/study sessions, city council meetings, etc.

Each day is different and each project presents its own set of challenges which is what makes this industry so fun in my opinion.

How is Lane Partners’ approach to development unique?

Marcus: Lane Partners is a Bay Area focused commercial real estate developer. We’ve been in business for 13 years and our focus is on value-added projects and ground-up development. Our current portfolio is comprised of approximately five million square feet of both existing and ground-up projects. As developers, we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to be able to work on projects in the Bay Area. While the entitlement process can be challenging, there really is no place like it in terms of the dynamic growth that has occurred over the past 8+ years. We remain bullish on the industry in the Bay Area and continue to search for interesting opportunities to invest in.

How is your team using coUrbanize today? How has it helped you?

Marcus: coUrbanize has been instrumental in helping us get out early in the process ahead of the formal entitlement and application filing. We’ve been able to get meaningful community engagement significantly earlier than any project I’ve worked on. This crucial feedback will allow us to make key adjustments to the project as we start formal application process. The platform expertly provides structure around the feedback that can be provided while at the same time allowing contributors to weigh in on general project topics. I look forward to seeing how the platform continues to contribute to the lengthy entitlement process going forward.

Tell us about a particular interaction on coUrbanize that you found interesting.

Marcus: A member of the community posted a comment on the project website that touched on housing and why our particular project didn’t contemplate housing. His post had a negative tone and was combative. However, I was able to track down this individual and reach out to him directly in a private conversation in which I explained my position. We had a great conversation and he truly appreciated the fact that I had taken the time to reach out to him and show a willingness to engage on the discussion point. Without the coUrbanize platform this individual may have presented a more formidable challenge to the project in the future.