Saturday, March 27, 2010

Everything happens for a reason

No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently. -- Agnes DeMille

We heard back from the broker for the Comcast Center last week. He said he was very interested in our concept and wanted to get on the phone to learn more. We were a bit nervous because the broker would be joined by the director of the food court who has a reputation for being a bulldog. Luckily our senior advisor, a friend’s father who has significant restaurant experience and is investing in our startup, was able to join us on the call. Now I normally don’t get anxious about calls with my clients at Google, but selling your own idea is a whole other story. In any case, he grilled us but we were able to impress the director and he asked us to move forward with creating a ‘nickel package’ which is architectural lingo for a basic sketch of the construction to be done. The broker also mentioned that there were a few terms on the LOI that we would need to discuss further but that we were close to making a deal.

We were super excited about this outcome and began talking to general contractors and architectural firms to work on the drawings. After a few conversations we decided to move forward with one architect. But first we wanted to confirm with the Comcast Center broker that it made sense for us to invest significant dollars in these drawings since we last spoke. Little did we know that the broker had been aggressively pursuing a deal with another restaurant owner at the same time. We had heard rumors of this but didn’t put much weight in it because the space has been empty for nearly two years and it seemed more like a negotiation tactic on the broker’s part. To our dismay he told us that we should hold on the nickel package because they had signed an LOI with this other restaurant owner, and they have a two-week exclusive period to close the deal fully.

We tried to push back on this but it seems like they had a week’s edge on us and were able to get together their drawings and agree on terms more quickly. So all we can do is wait on this now and hope for the best. If for some reason their deal falls apart, we will have to be aggressive with moving forward. But it is more likely that they will close the deal so no we need to start back at square one. This felt like a setback for sure, but we believe that things happen for a reason and ultimately we will see the silver lining in the clouds. Perhaps the Comcast Center location wasn’t meant for us and this is a sign that we should keep looking elsewhere, which is just what we’ll do.


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