Cathie Anderson: Ethan Conrad’s building an empire
“If you’d told me, ‘Ethan, you’re going to have 65 guys in construction. Basically, you’ll own a construction company,’ I’d have said, ‘That’s crazy. I’ll never do that,’ you know, but I would have been wrong about that,” Conrad said.
Conrad, who calls himself a property redeveloper, has more than 4 million square feet that he’s either improved or is preparing to remodel: “Most property that I buy is distressed property, so it’s property that has a high vacancy rate and maybe some deferred maintenance. … I remodel them and make them better, and then as part of that, I’ll be fairly successful at leasing the vacant space.”
Conrad, owner of Sacramento-based Ethan Conrad Properties, said he still owns the first building he ever purchased, bought in 1995: 3123 Fite Circle, off Highway 50 near Bradshaw Road. He typically doesn’t sell, unless he finds someone who wants to be an owner-tenant for a building with vacancies of 50 percent or higher. The owner-tenant pays a premium for that extra space because it’s room to grow, he explained.