Shahpor “Ben” Mahgerefteh wishes he had more resources – which he is now providing to others – when he immigrated to the U.S. 43 years ago from Iran. Mahgerefteh, who started with nothing, opened Prestige Auto Brokers, a used car dealership in Portsmouth, within two years of coming to this country.
He still owns the business, but it has a different operator so Mahgerefteh can concentrate on his next business venture.
“As he became more successful, he began investing in commercial real estate,” his son, Michael Mahgerefteh said.
Excited to help Hampton Roads’ businesses establish their workspace and in turn, help the community, the elder Mahgerefteh began a new endeavor when he opened Colley Executive Offices at 5215 Colley Avenue three years ago in the former YWCA building.
The facility offers private all-inclusive office spaces with three-, six- or 12-month lease options.
With the success of CEO, as it known, Mahgerefteh opened a second Norfolk location in March in the former MyTVZ building at 900 Granby St.
“We are not a co-working space; each of our office spaces is private,” said Michael Mahgerefteh, facilities manager for the family-owned business.
Prices, which include utilities, insurance and real estate taxes, start at $375 per month for a 60-square-foot office and up to $900 per month for a 370-square-foot office.
Mahgerefteh said both buildings have a wide variety of tenants including construction, cleaning, home health care, artists and therapists.
“It’s everyone under the sun,” he said. “We have people just starting out to very big companies with satellite locations.”
The two-story building has an elevator, free onsite parking, electronic key fobs for entrance and 24-hour lights for security.
A receptionist greets and escorts visitors which, Mahgerefteh said, can give tenants peace of mind about the building’s safety.
Each of the 110 offices comes with the same amenities — free furniture, internet, a direct private phone number with voicemail and a direct mailbox.
The facility has seven conference rooms which each tenant can use free for eight hours a month.
“We feel the setting is so important for your deal,” said Mahgerefteh, noting there is a waiting area and large break room, too.
He said each office is designed to be expanded as a business grows.
“We highly encourage our tenants to move into bigger spaces during their lease term so they’re not stuck in the same space,” he said. “We love seeing people grow.”
Tenants are also offered a variety of discounts from other businesses such as lunch specials and office supplies.
Frank Reid, owner of Champion Fences Inc., said after scaling down his business, he knew he needed to downsize his office space, too.
“I didn’t need the larger office and warehouse space anymore,” Reid said of the approximately 4,500-square-foot space he previously leased on Colonial Avenue.
That’s when he decided to lease at CEO on Granby this past summer.
“It fit my needs at the time and has worked out really well,” he said. “It’s all-inclusive and comfortable.”
The Colley Avenue location has a bakery on the first floor and a coffee shop is slated to open on the first floor of the Granby Street location.
“Really our ultimate goal is to have everything taken care of for you,” Mahgerefteh said. “And all you need to do is focus on what matters – which is your business, growing it and making money.”
The Mahgereftehs also own Prestige Realty Group, a commercial real estate company in Norfolk.
“The idea is that they start here and then when they outgrow the space and are ready to move into more conventional space our company can help them with that,” he said.
Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-222-5356, firstname.lastname@example.org