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Buildings get white-glove test.

When you've been managing properties as long as Cliff Credeur, you know the difference between a building that operates and a building that operates the best it possibly can.

That's why Credeur, who has been in the business for nearly 45 years, many with Olympia & York, was selected to fill a new and innovative position with the property management division of the Edward S. Gordon Company, Inc. As head of quality control, Credeur's sole mission is ensuring the owners and tenants of the 27 million square feet of office space managed by the national real estate services firm get the highest level of service and operating efficiency possible.

With clipboard and flashlight in hand and the building agent at his side, Credeur, 69, starts at the bottom of a building and does a thorough evaluation that includes each tenant floor, the elevators and the roof. He examines those components of the building that are visible, like bathroom fixtures, flooring and carpets, windows, sprinklers, signage, and lighting, and those behind the scenes, like the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, phone closets and electrical closets.

"I look for mostly deficiencies in cleaning, maintenance... and operations," said Credeur, whom REW caught up with on his inspection of 1 New York Plaza, a 2.5 million-square-foot office tower owned by Chase Manhattan Bank in downtown Manhattan.

Safety is also a big concern, he said, as is checking that the building is keeping in budget.

As he moves from floor-to-floor, Credeur takes notes. The notes, which sometimes total 30 pages, are then drafted into a report that is submitted to the owner and the building staff.

Credeur's survey includes riding the elevators and checking the systems. "I ride each elevator in the building to see if it's a rough ride or a smooth ride," he said.

His detailed check also leads him to ride the top of the elevators to determine how clean the outside of the cars are. "The worst car is the freight car," he said.

At 1 New York Plaza, which is undergoing a massive renovation, Credeur perused the building like a military superior inspecting the troops. On the roof he stopped a building engineer and asked him what his responsibilities are and if he has adequate equipment to do his job. Pointing to a large fan with a cover, he said that he would ask that the cover be removed to be sure that the fan is operating properly.

"I've learned not to take anyone's word," he said. "If you say its' O.K., I say let me see."

Credeur Knows Buildings

While Credeur is not assigned to any particular building, he carried out his audit of 1 New York Plaza as if he was home.

"It's nothing new to me and it's something the industry really needs, " he said.

Prior to joining ESG, Credeur had been a management consultant to Olympia & York since 1990. From 1977 to 1990, he was a senior vice president for the Canadian-based owner and developer and was responsible for all its U.S. properties, which totalled 27 plus various partnerships. Prior to joining O&Y, Credeur managed properties for Uris Buildings
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Title Annotation:Cliff Credeur of Edward S. Gordon Company Inc. inspects commercial buildings to ensure quality control of service and operating efficiency
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Biography
Date:Jun 17, 1992
Words:526
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