By BRAD GRAVES
San Diego Business Journal
A duo from RiverRock Real Estate Group (RREG) received honors as Property Management Team of the Year. Mary Murphy Rice and Julie Schraeger manage properties at Liberty Station, the development built in the historic space formerly occupied by the Naval Training Center in Point Loma.
“I’m surprised and quite happy,” Murphy Rice said, calling the recognition “quite an honor.”
“I was pleasantly surprised and honored” given the prestige of the award, Schraeger said.
A Varied Mix of Tenants
Liberty Station includes major brands such as Trader Joes, Vons, Stone Brewing and Liberty Public Market, Solare Ristorante and The Lot along with smaller tenants including museums, galleries, artists, dance and music companies as well as nonprofits. Its historic nature and diversity of offerings make it a complex and exciting property to manage.
Seligman Liberty Station LLC owns Liberty Station’s retail and office assets. These encompass 328,000 square feet and house more than 85 tenants. Murphy Rice’s responsibilities include managing tenant relations, overseeing vendor activities, contract bidding and accounting. She also is responsible for the preparation of the operating budgets and monthly financial reporting.
RREG also manages the NTC Foundation holdings at ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station. There are 17 active buildings with 117 tenants totaling approximately 220,334 square feet, as well as several yet-to-be-renovated buildings. Schraeger’s responsibilities include overseeing all the leasing and management for the NTC Foundation buildings within the ARTS DISTRICT.
Changing With the Times
To ensure success, even throughout the pandemic, Murphy Rice and Schraeger exhibited innovation and creativity in helping tenants to manage the ups and downs of government closures while helping to bring new tenants to the Liberty Station ARTS DISTRICT. Those new tenants include Imperfects, the makers of high-quality surf craft; La Galleria Gift Shop; The Rosin Box Project, a dance company; and Apt 4 Music.
The RREG team recalled that the government shutdowns were a challenge, especially for service industry tenants. The team stepped up to help with lease work outs and provide information for PPP and SBA loans.
One of the most appealing aspects of Liberty Station is the open-air, outdoor spaces and green areas. To assist restaurant tenants during the closures, RREG acquired outdoor furniture to expand the dining experience and worked with the Liberty Station Community Association to allow fitness tenants to utilize open areas. These actions helped tenants survive the shutdowns. The outdoor spaces remain a prized asset especially as tenants help to enliven these areas.
All told, RREG has worked diligently to provide outstanding property management services to benefit the ownership, tenants and local community.
Drawing on Experience
Murphy Rice has been in commercial real estate for more than 25 years in San Diego starting as a senior property manager with Capital Growth Properties Inc. before coming to Liberty Station. Murphy Rice has served on the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) board of directors since 2017 and is slated to be the senior vice president and corporate secretary for 2022.
Schraeger has over 35 years of experience in commercial real estate, in property management, as a principal of a development company and as a commercial real estate broker with Colliers International. She holds a CPM designation from IREM. Additionally, Schraeger co-founded BTB-Art Inc. an event production company and the producer of ART SAN DI-EGO (which has since been sold to Red-wood Media).