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"Hughes Telematics located the ideal space in a great building at an affordable price."
Chief Executive Officer
Since its founding in 2006, Hughes Telematics has become a major supplier of telematics technology, which makes driving safer and more enjoyable by connecting vehicles to valuable information and vital services.
For Mercedes-Benz USA, Hughes developed mbrace™, a factory-installed telematics system with 18 services in the categories of safety and security, navigation and destination planning and convenience. The services can be accessed from within the vehicle or from any computer through a personalized web portal. Some can also be accessed via a smartphone.
Hughes recently established three new client relationships for marketing and distribution of In-Drive, a Telematics system that consumers can install for services ranging from emergency response and family monitoring to diagnostics and driver behavior.
“Our relationship with Wm. Leonard & Co. began even before we formed Hughes Telematics, says Hughes Telematics CEO Jeff Leddy. “One of our founders needed working space and Doug Legg at Wm. Leonard & Co. helped him obtain the space. After the company was formed and we needed space, we contacted Doug.
“We were unusual for a start-up company in that we had secured $40 million in funding, but we were still a start-up and had to watch our cash. We needed space we could grow into without having to pay a lot for it, and we really didn’t want to invest in furniture. Wm. Leonard & Co. was able to find recently renovated space that was perfect for us. They did some creative negotiating, and we walked right in and went to work.”
Hughes Telematics’ business grew quickly and the firm expanded to take over two floors of its building. “Wm. Leonard & Co. was active throughout our growth and was there to assist us again,” Leddy says. “We were continuing to grow, and wanted to step up in quality, but we still wanted to maintain good economics. Among our other requirements, we wanted space for our telecommunications operations center and garage space to accommodate the ongoing research work we do that requires fitting electronics technology into cars. In the building we were in, we had to work on cars outdoors, which was disruptive in inclement weather.
“Wm. Leonard & Co. pursued the search on our behalf for more than a year. They investigated more than 100 properties, and worked closely with us to narrow the search down to just a few. Doug was very patient, very diligent, and very accommodating.
“Of all the properties they investigated, one building stood out from all the rest. It was true class A space, ready within our time frame, and provided the facilities we needed. The only problem was that it was outside of our price range. We were working with a very tight cash budget.
“We asked Wm. Leonard & Co. to see what they could do, and they were creative once again. They negotiated a deal for us that gives us very affordable pricing now, when we need it. We’re in a great building – much nicer than we ever anticipated– in a great environment, and the economics are very attractive.
“Wm. Leonard & Co. had to vouch for us and convince people that we are a great tenant with strong growth potential. They argued our case very persuasively and really came through for us.”
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