A Look at Where People Work
Newspaper: Wall Street Journal
Location: The Property Report
Author: Nancy D. Holt
Who: Michael A. Pollack, founder, Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments.
Where: 1136 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa, Ariz.
What you see: Grandeur. When this commercial real-estate investor set up shop in an old furniture warehouse, he spared no expense. Envisioning a Mediterranean-style villa, Mr. Pollack transformed the dilapidated space into luxury offices with pseudo-classical details, from white columns to synthetic statuettes. Seventeen chandeliers dangle Strauss crystal. Black granite floors sparkle with flecks of gold. Frescoes painted on domed ceilings superimpose the heads of his grandparents onto Greek gods. "It was the first time in my life I worked without a budget," says the 47-year-old Mr. Pollack, whose portfolio includes 55 retail centers in Arizona. He founded the closely held investment firm in 1973. The president's suite spans 4,500 square feet -- and seats 60 -- with a conference room, bath and full-service kitchen. Custom upgrades consist of arched windows and decorative woodwork. A molded-plaster ceiling rises 15 feet. Mr. Pollack ushers visitors to studded-leather couches and wing chairs grouped around formal mahogany furnishings. But the matching king-and-queen thrones, upholstered in wine-red velvet, are just for show. Contemporary artworks portray beautiful maidens in acrylic, porcelain and bronze relief. A baby grand piano plays itself. The so-called plastic surgeon of real estate, who specializes in fixing up older strip-shopping centers, says he had this project in mind for 30 years. Not one to skimp, Mr. Pollack fashioned amenities ranging from a big-screen media center and employee gym to a video arcade and '50s-style cafe. Several rooms are devoted to his collection of antique three-dimensional advertising, thought to be the world's largest. The private museum contains more than 4,000 pieces, with hundreds of store displays that light up and move.
What he sees: "A dream that became a reality. I always said if I could afford to, I would create the building. The detail in this space is some of the best we've ever done, but it was for us. No one could complain about the costs but me -- and I did. [The office] is a cross between Las Vegas and a bank. It's large in scale but traditional in style, not unlike my approach to doing business. I'm very aggressive and conservative at the same time. I wait for the right deals, then go after them."