New Mosquito Joe Franchisee Calls on Hilliker to Find Office Space for Lease in St. Louis

A Yard Overrun by Pests

Laura Strasser lives in Des Peres, Missouri. With two kids and four dogs, she has plenty of reason to worry about mosquitos, fleas, and ticks. More than a nuisance, these insects can carry viruses, so she takes them seriously.

To deal with the problem, she became a customer of a local franchise of Mosquito Joe, a nationwide chain that specializes in eliminating these pests.

After three treatments, Mosquito Joe technicians were able to kill most of the mosquitos in her yard (they estimate 95%). They treat other kinds of properties as well: baseball fields, soccer fields, restaurants with outdoor seating, and others.

As someone who had owned franchises before, Strasser knew a great business model when she saw one. After doing a little research, she decided to invest in three St. Louis-area territories. She needed to find a small office space for lease in the St. Louis area.

Finding Manchester Road Office Space for Lease

With a house in Des Peres and a child in an Ellisville school, Strasser started looking on Manchester Road.

Strasser and Family

Her needs were simple. Mosquito Joe franchises don’t require much space, and in Strasser’s case, she only needed to find about 2000 square feet to receive shipments and outfit her small fleet of vans with the supplies they need for a day’s work.

On a drive, she found a potential candidate. Will Aschinger of Hilliker Corporation represented the property owners, so she called and asked about the space.

She liked Aschinger immediately. “He didn’t start by trying to get me to lease the property I was interested in initially. He started by asking me questions like, ‘What are you looking for? How can I help you find something?’”

As it turned out, the space she called about wasn’t a great fit. But she continued to work with Aschinger, who researched and shared multiple properties for her consideration.

A Prime Location for a Unique Need

They zeroed in on a retail center at 14560 Manchester Road.

Though Mosquito Joe doesn’t need high visibility (they seldom get walk-in clients), the property owners had space for lease behind the building on a lower, hidden level. Situated near MO-141, her drivers would be able to get to the highway without having to fight Manchester Road traffic.

Putting two spaces together, Aschinger and Strasser were able to strike a deal with Hutkin Development Corporation and carve out 1900 square feet of office and storage space. Settling on a five-year lease, Hutkin also performed some light buildout, including adding a water spigot for an outdoor hose.

A Low-Stress Transition

Strasser was pleased with the process, saying, “Will is doing it right. We looked at several spaces. And when we finally settled on this building, one of Hutkin’s owners came out to meet me. I’ve worked with several landlords before, and that rarely happens.”

Strasser says that with heavy rain combined with possible flooding, it may be a challenging year for mosquitos in the St. Louis area. Her team is working to put chemical barriers around properties while educating landowners about how they can enjoy the outdoors this summer.

Strasser and her Mosquito Joe franchise were able to move into the new building and start operations in less than a month, thriving as people begin to prepare their yards for spring.

Does Your Business Have a Unique Property Need?

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Omni Physical Therapy Works with Hilliker Corporation to Purchase Commercial Real Estate in St. Louis County - Des Peres

A Welcoming Environment for PT Patients

Commercial Property in Des PeresPhysical therapist Dr. Hunter Knight, DMP, believes each of her patients has a right to her undivided attention.

At Omni Physical Therapy, she made it her mission to see only one patient per hour. With three private treatment rooms, a fourth room for massage therapy, and two full-service gyms, she and her staff can focus on offering patients one-on-one care, whatever their needs.

An all-inclusive physical therapy (PT) provider founded by Dr. Knight in 2009, Omni has cultivated a welcoming environment, reporting a 99% customer satisfaction rate from a recent in-house survey. With a staff that includes a massage therapist, a personal trainer, and an ergonomist, they work together to maintain a comfortable and inviting space for their patients.

Finding a New “Home”: Going from Rental to Purchasing Commercial Real Estate in Des Peres

However, the medical space Omni was leasing at 1000 Manchester Road (near I-270) was at cross-purposes with Knight’s vision. Though it served her business for many years, she hoped to one day own a building that exemplified the personal care she was used to giving her clients.

Additionally, she no longer wanted to pay the high rent her space required. She wanted to invest in a building and property that would serve her business well into the future.

For Knight, it was time to purchase commercial real estate in or near Des Peres.

Believing that moving too far from her original location could prove harmful to her relationship with her patients, she wanted to stay within a five-mile radius.

One day, out for a drive, she saw the house at 13314 Manchester Road for sale. Listed with Will Aschinger at Hilliker Corporation, she called the number on the sign, and the two of them got to work.

Working Together to Build Omni’s Future

The house, owned by Fred Bueler of Bueler, Inc. (a residential design and modeling company), was 3200 square feet and had served as the company’s showroom, warehouse, and office. They purchased the building in 1991 after growing out of two separate rental spaces. Like Knight, Bueler was ready to stop paying rent. He had envisioned the two-story home as perfect for his growing business and made that a reality.

With parking in the rear and a 1600-foot walk-out basement, he worked to turn the former home into a showroom and office. When he decided it was time to retire in 2018, he started asking trusted advisors for a referral to a high-quality local broker.

A. William AschingerAfter several conversations, he called on Will Aschinger, the name that came up more than once.

Bueler says, “Oddly enough, Will and I ran into one another when I was coaching [my grandson’s fifth-grade basketball team].” Aschinger coached his own son on an opposing team, and the two developed a rapport.

Bueler prepared the house for sale: painting the walls, removing his inventory, and making small repairs. At one point, he and Aschinger had the building under contract but were disappointed when the previously eager buyers had to pull out of the deal.

Dr. Knight’s call came at the right time. Leveraging inspections already been completed under the previous contract, Bueler and Knight were able to arrive at a mutually beneficial deal quickly.

Building on Mutual Trust and Integrity

Aschinger, Knight, and Bueler enjoyed working together, each one commenting on the other two parties’ commitment to do what they had promised promptly.

For Knight, her practice is set to blossom now that she is paying rent directly to herself. Happy to be able to take control of her destiny, she’s now building equity in addition to creating her business.

The house works well with the aesthetic, brand, and customer experience she has defined as her goal. As the owner, she and her colleagues are doing half of the remodeling work themselves, contributing to the “personalized” feel of the new office.

Additionally, with a backyard where many of her patients will be parking, she’s eager to get to work doing some gardening, a hobby she believes will serve her business by beautifying the grounds and creating an even more welcoming environment.

Omni Physical Therapy will have a gym both on the top and bottom floors plus four private rooms for treatment. Having built a wheelchair ramp to ADA specifications, the building will be ready on April 1, a new home for Omni’s valued clientele.

Are You Ready to Stop Leasing?

Is it time to start paying yourself rent? If so, you may be ready to purchase commercial real estate here in the St. Louis area, and we’re here to help. Get started on your search today!