Tag Archives: cb richard ellis

BOMA - AZRE Magazine November/December 2010

BOMA: Bad Times Call For Good Managment

Building Owners and Managers Association ( BOMA ) suggests energy conservation and retention can help commercial property managers ride out a tough economy.

Dwindling capital budgets. Old mechanical systems that don’t stop aging because the economy is in a recession. Tenants lured away by cheaper lease offers. Buildings in receivership.

While good management practices may have helped position some properties to better withstand the economic turmoil, today they are more important than ever in helping managers find solutions to these problems. That means retaining tenants and keeping a property well maintained, despite fewer dollars.

“Retention is absolutely key in a down market,” says Marii Covington-Jones, a real estate manager for CB Richard Ellis’ asset services division, and BOMA member.

Covington-Jones manages the Mesa Financial Plaza at 1201 S. Alma School Rd., which is wending its way through receivership. When she began managing the high-rise, it was 75 percent occupied. Today, occupancy is at 50 percent.

Real estate professionals across the Valley are facing similarly declining rates. According to figures from CBRE, the vacancy rate for Metro Phoenix went from 12.62% in 2005 to 26% in 2010.

Declining tenancy rates mean declining dollars.

“The first thing that happens in an economic downturn is your capital budget goes away,” says Susan Engstrom, senior real estate manager of The Great American Tower, a 24-story building at 3200 N. Central Ave. Engstrom manages the 25-year-old tower for Tiarna Real Estate Services.

Covington-Jones and Engstrom say good property management practices are helping to shave operating costs and do what it takes to keep tenants.

BOMA – Saving Energy Is Good Business

Covington-Jones estimates that efforts to reduce energy consumption have saved $2 a square foot in the 323,000 SF building. When she began managing the tower, it scored in the 30s on the U.S. government’s Energy Star scale. It now scores in the 90s.

Management professionals, particularly those overseeing older buildings, can look into:

  • Installing a variable frequency drive on major motors to regulate start-up and start-down based on usage.
  • Installing energy-management controls on boxes in each suite, so they can be remotely turned off during non-business hours.
  • Establishing programs for after-hours energy use. Covington-Jones says she implemented an “On-demand Saturday” scheduling system, which regulates after-hours usage. “… only using what someone actually needs,” she says.
  • Getting serious about recycling. Engstrom says taking cardboard out of the trash pickup reduced the tower’s trash bill by 35%, from about $1,700 a month to just less than $1,000 a month.

Do What It Takes To Lease

Property managers must continue leasing in a down market, Engstrom says. When ownership recognized that prospective tenants were tightening their budgets, it cut $3 or $4 a square foot from the pro forma lease agreement, helping them continue leasing throughout the previous year. Today, the tower is 83% occupied.

Getting approval for such changes is more difficult when a property is in receivership, Covington-Jones says, but fortunately there are steps a manager can take that don’t require outlays of capital or everyone’s signature.

It is particularly important to work closely with leasing agents, even joining them on walkthroughs with prospective clients. Covington-Jones says it is wise to walk through “every inch” of a building at least once a month to assess what can be done to a suite to make it more attractive or to ensure it is clean enough to show.

Retention, Retention, Retention

Being responsive to tenants’ needs is paramount and doesn’t always cost money. That means property managers must be vigilant to avoid the trap of deferred maintenance, Engstrom says. Hiring a good chief engineer is worth the cost, she says, particularly one who knows the building’s operating systems inside and out, and has the expertise to keep them maintained.

While it may be more difficult to keep a building clean and secure during lean times, it can be done. Engstrom recommends keeping long-time vendors, such as a janitorial firm, to prevent disruptions to service and having to work through learning curves with new vendors. That may mean a manager has to renegotiate a contract, but good vendors often are willing to do that in order to hold onto business.

If a manager must hire a cheaper contractor for landscaping or cleaning, he or she should insist on monthly inspections.

“Sometimes you may have to be a little more on top of people,” Covington-Jones says.

She has had to get creative to lower maintenance costs, even picking up a paintbrush to help spruce up some worn planters. Replacing perennials that needed lots of water with lantana also saved about $4,500 a year.

Being attentive to tenants’ needs always has been important, and it doesn’t always cost money, Engstrom says. But in today’s market, it is one more tool in her arsenal that helps keep the property viable.

AZRE Magazine November/December 2010


3rd Quarter Figures Upbeat for Retail and Market Sector

3Q Figures Upbeat For Office, Industrial & Retail Market Sectors

The Arizona economy has marked some improvement and is much better than the public perceives, according to the Third Quarter 2010 Economic Outlook released by the Forecasting Project at the University of Arizona.

However, the report also states that will it will take some time for many Arizonans to recognize the improvement in the state’s economy and to repair the damage done by the recession. Estimates are that it will be 2013 or early 2014 before all the damage that occurred during the recession is repaired. The long-term forecast is for nation-leading growth to return to Arizona.

There was also some positive news in the CB Richard Ellis Third Quarter 2010 Analysis of Metro Phoenix Office, Industrial and Retail Markets. Highlights included:

Office: After 12 consecutive quarterly increases, the office market vacancy rate remained unchanged from the second quarter, at 25.9 percent. While the full service average asking lease rate for office space has leveled off in 2010, it has fallen 12.5 percent in the past two years, from $25.44 per square foot in third quarter 2008 to $22.25 per square foot today.

Absorption for the year is 147,610 square feet, with gross activity of 4.3 million square feet. This compares with negative absorption of 897,916 square feet and gross activity of 2.9 million square feet at the same time last year. An increasing supply of office sublease space continues to impact the absorption of direct space. There was 2.2 million square feet of available sublease space at the end of the third quarter compared to 2 million square feet one year ago.

Industrial: Through the first three quarters of 2010, the Metro Phoenix industrial market had positive absorption of 2.6 million square feet. Leading the way was the Southwest submarket, with more than 3.4 million square feet of positive absorption year-to-date. The industrial market vacancy rate decreased for the second consecutive quarter, dropping from 16.4 percent at the end of the first quarter to 15.3 percent today. One year ago the vacancy rate was 15.8 percent.

The net direct average asking lease rate for existing industrial product remained relatively unchanged during the past three months, ending the third quarter at $0.54 per square foot. However, in the last year the rate has dropped 5.3 percent. While there is 619,800 square feet of industrial product under construction, it consists entirely of build-to-suit projects. No speculative developments broke ground in the third quarter. This trend is expected to continue due to the challenging financial market and the glut of space.

Retail: The retail market experienced positive absorption in the third quarter, posting 83,491 square feet. This was the first time in seven consecutive quarters that the metro area reported more retail space was gained than lost. Vacancy increased slightly in the third quarter, from 12.2 percent to 12.3 percent. In comparison, the retail vacancy rate one year ago was 10.9 percent.

The average net asking lease rate for existing retail centers has declined 9.4 percent since the end of 2009, dropping from $17.33 per square foot to $15.71 per square foot at the end of the third quarter. The large supply of available big box space continues to weigh heavily on the Phoenix area retail market. Currently there are 303 spaces greater than 10,000 square feet, totaling 8.2 million square feet. The majority, 34 percent, can be found in the Mesa/Chandler/Gilbert submarket, with 2.8 million square feet of space.

Future of Finance - AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Lenders Experience An Increase In Loan Requests

Depending on whom you talk to, it appears the financing freeze in commercial real estate is starting to thaw a bit. Part of that thawing process, according to Bruce Francis, vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis Capital Markets, may be that there has been an increase in the number of loan requests, and that activity alone is making the industry feel the situation is generally getting better.

With that said, lenders still are looking hard at every financing request. They have gone back to the basic underwriting principals that were used in the years prior to the “go-go” times leading up to the real estate bust.

Francis says these are the questions lenders want answers to:

– Who is the sponsor?
– How long have they been in business?
– Have they been through a downturn in the past and what kind of staying power do they have?
– What is the borrower’s exposure to real estate?
– Where is the property located and how healthy is this market and submarket?
– Are the property’s rents in line with the market?
– What is the relationship of this property relative to competing properties (age, improvements, quality, utility, etc.)?
– What is the health of its tenants and what industries are they in?

“It is not so much that one property type (office, industrial, retail) is favored over another,” says Francis, adding that each of the property types has its challenges.

“Rather, it really comes down to the basic underwriting criteria that we all have learned and used for many years that determines if a lender will have interest in offering financing on a property today.”

James DuMars, senior vice president and managing director for NorthMarq Capital in Phoenix, says permanent financing is happening across all major sectors. Life companies and agency lenders (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), he says, are by far the most active lenders in the market. CMBS are attempting to gear up again, with several pools scheduled to hit the market before the end of the year.

“We anticipate that the CMBS market will continue to improve and eventually this will be another good source for investors seeking permanent debt,” DuMars says. “But for now, I am not aware of any recent CMBS loan closings in Phoenix.”

Multi-family forecast

Multi-family owners have a significant advantage over owners of all other types of commercial real estate, DuMars explains, as they can access government-guaranteed debt from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

“As I understand it,” he says, “the investors who buy this debt on the secondary market are rewarded with higher yields than standard U.S. Treasuries, but receive the government’s guaranty on the bonds. Consequently, recent Freddie Mac securitizations have reportedly been very successful as fund managers snap up the paper. Today, rates for multi-family are in the low 5% range, fixed for 10 years and include a 30-year amortization.”

Richard Rosenberg, managing principal for DPFG, agrees.

“The only segment of the commercial real estate market where lending may have loosened up recently is that involving multi-family,” he says. “This is principally due to the availability of agency funds (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) to backstop the financing provided.”

Industrial forecast

Institutional lenders (life insurance companies) are very interested in the Phoenix industrial market, DuMars says.

“I am currently processing several loans on big box and light industrial warehouses,” he adds. “The lenders focus on loan per square foot, and want to be in infill locations and lend on properties that have multiple tenants so as to limit the downside if a tenant vacates.”

Retail forecast

“We’re processing loans on retail with life companies,” DuMars says. “Expect lower loan-to-values in the 55% range, and expect the lenders to require a grocery anchor in the income stream with a long-term lease.

“The problem with many retail centers today is you may have most of your rent roll in, say, the $25 per SF range, but recently the landlord did a couple deals in the mid-teens. The lender sees this and gets nervous that all rents will eventually revert to the new lower figure.

“It’s easier for a lender to make a retail loan in Chicago vs. Phoenix, so they have to be compelled to come here. They will want strong sponsors, a significant equity contribution and will ask lots of questions about the rent roll and tenants. If they like what they hear, then they will lend.”

Office forecast

This is a tough product type today, DuMars says. The job loss in Phoenix and the 27% Valley wide office vacancy rate have deterred many permanent lenders from wanting to pursue offices in Phoenix.

“However, we are quoting office loans,” DuMars says. “Underwriting an office building today will include marking rents to market or blending them to market and using a market vacancy rate. Again, expect a loan to purchase price of say 55% and a rate of approximately 6.5%. Expect lenders to be in the sub $75 per SF range for this product type when it comes to loan dollars.”

For more information:

 AZRE September/October 2010

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Award Winners

Arizona Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ are honored to unveil the winners of our inaugural Arizona’s Most Admired Companies Awards.

With 43 winners, we think you’ll agree the awards selection committee has done an outstanding job in determining some of the most admired companies in our state.  Our primary goal in developing this program was to find those organizations that excel in four key areas: workplace culture, leadership excellence, social responsibility and customer opinion.  This list features the most prestigious companies in our state, providing us the opportunity to learn from the best.

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 69
Recent Award: AIA Kemper Goodwin Award – 2009
WEB: www.a-p.com

AlliedBarton Security Services
Headquarters: Conshohocken, Penn.
Year Est.: 1957
No. of Employees in AZ: 1,047
Recent Award: Brandon Hall Research Award for Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management – 2009
WEB: www.alliedbarton.com

American Express
Headquarters: New York
Year Est.: 1850
No. of Employees in AZ: 7,219
Recent Award: Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies – 2010
WEB: www.americanexpress.com

Arizona Charter Academy
Headquarters: Surprise
Year Est.: 2001
No. of Employees in AZ: 61
Recent Award: Elks Lodge Community Partner of the Year – 2010
WEB: www.azcharteracademy.com

Banner Health
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1999
No. of Employees in AZ: 27,528
Recent Award: Gallup Great Workplace Award – 2009
WEB: www.bannerhealth.com

BeachFleischman PC
Headquarters: Tucson
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 104
Recent Award: Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For – 2009
WEB: www.beachfleischman.com

To buy a print version of the 2010 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies
go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010

Newsmakers, AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

Newsmakers: AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

The newsmakers of September and October 2010.

Paul Klink, Alisa Timm and Sarah Searight joined the Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial property management division. Klink was named managing director Southwest Region; Timm was named associate vice president and Searight joined the company as property manager. Justin LeMaster joined the industrial group as senior associate. LeMaster previously was with NAI Horizon.

Dick Crowley was promoted to vice president of Kitchell Construction’s healthcare division. Crowley joined Kitchell six years ago as director of client services.

Neal Churney joined Johnson Capital as senior vice president. Prior to joining Johnson Capital, Churney was a director with Marcus & Millichap Capital, where he financed multi-family, office, industrial and retail properties.

Luke Snell joined Western Technologies as senior construction materials engineer. Snell formerly was with the Concrete Industry Management program at ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction.

Brian Ackerman joined Jones Lang LaSalle as senior vice president. He will specialize in the acquisition and disposition of office and industrial property throughout Arizona.

Anthony Lydon and Marc Hertzberg joined the industrial brokerage team as managing directors. Most recently with Cassidy Turley, the duo has a combined 50 years of experience in industrial real estate.

GPE Management Services added Mark Carrell and Shirley Hawley as senior commercial real estate professionals. Carrell is responsible for managing the 200,000 SF local portfolio of West Coast Capital Partners.

Grubb & Ellis expanded its Phoenix operation with the addition of the office and medical condo team of Sheila Bale, Colleen McPherson and Ryan O’Connor. David Cravath joined the multi-housing group as vice president. Also joining Grubb & Ellis are Steve Julius (senior associate) and Jesse Goldsmith (associate). Previously with Marcus & Millichap, they will specialize in retail investments.

ICSC appointed six Arizonans as volunteer officers for Arizona and New Mexico: Gordon A. Keig, Kornwasser Shopping Center Properties, state director; Jeff Manelis, The Pederson Group, Inc., government relations committee chair; Steven R. Helm, Macerich, alliance private sector co-chair; Jim Brennan, Vestar Development Co., operations chair; Dennis Barr, The Kroger Co., retail chair; and John C. Reva, SR Commercial Real Estate, next generation chair. All appointments are for the 2010-2011 term.

Dave Headstream and Mike Ratliff were named to the land services group of CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix. They join Jason Hyams, another CBRE first vice president, to form a new land services team.

James Abell, FAIA of James Abell & Associates Architects in Tempe received the Edward C. Kemper Award at the AIA convention in Miami. The Kemper Award is given annually to an architect who has contributed significantly to the profession through service to AIA.

Rowland Luxury Homes hired Mary Norton as director of marketing and business development.

MODE Real Estate Management Services hired Ryan King as tenant services coordinator to its commercial property management staff.

Voit Real Estate Services opened an Arizona regional office in Phoenix. Jason Quintel was named managing director for the area. Voit also announced the hiring of Robert A. Freund as COO. Phoenix is one of the operations he will oversee.

SmithGroup hired Michelle Romero as senior interior designer for the firm’s Workplace Studio. Romero formerly worked for Tempe-based DAVIS.

Brock Huttenmeyer was named director of pre-construction services for Haydon Building Corporation’s building division. Denise Arredondo joins Haydon’s building division as a junior estimator.

Boe Bergeson was named leader of business development in the Southwest Region for the Weitz Company. Bergeson will focus on mtunicipal, commercial, industrial, higher education, hospitality, federal, senior living, tenant improvements, renovations, retail and distressed properties.

CB Richard Ellis’ 12th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale raised nearly $35,000 for Valley charities and local chapters of national nonprofit organizations. Three charitable organizations will receive a sizable portion of the money: Childhelp, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix.

The Phoenix Asset Services Division of CB Richard Ellis announced that Camelback Esplanade III achieved Gold certification under the USGBC LEED rating system for Existing Buildings (EB). The 218,254 SF building at 24th St. and Camelback Rd. is the third CBRE-managed office building to earn the LEED-EB rating.

AZRE Magazine September/October 2010

RED Awards 2010 - AZRE Magazine March/April 2010

2010 RED Awards Winners & Honorees

On Thursday, March 4, 2010, AZRE | Arizona Commercial Real Estate Magazine presented the 5th Annual RED Awards — Arizona’s most comprehensive annual real estate awards. The reception honored the Biggest, Best and Most Notable commercial real estate projects and transactions of 2009. The top projects were announced and awards given to the developer, general contractor, architect and broker/teams of each winning project. All of the award winners and honorable mentions were featured within a special award section published within the March/April 2010 issue of AZRE Magazine.

2010 RED Awards Winners & Honorees

Best Education Project:


ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation

Honorable Mention:

Ironwood Hall

Best Hospitality Project:


Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

Honorable Mention:

aloft Hotel

Best Industrial Project:


Rockefeller Group Distribution Center

Honorable Mention:

Spectrum Ridge, Phase I

Best Medical Project:


Banner Ironwood Medical Center

Honorable Mention:

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center Tower

Best Multi-Family Project:


Grigio Metro

Honorable Mention:

Ninety Degrees Paradise Ridge

Best Office Project:


One Central Park East

Honorable Mention:

Orbital Sciences Corp.

Best Public Project:


Surprise City Hall

Honorable Mention:

Camelback Ranch Spring Training Facility

Best Retail Project:


Scottsdale Quarter

Honorable Mention:

Aspen Place at the Saw Mill

Best Re-Development Project:


300 M

Honorable Mention:

Phoenix Country Club Modernization

Best Tenant Improvement Project:


Barneys New York Interior Build-Out

Honorable Mention:

Arcadia Gateway Reimaging

Most Challenging Project:


Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites

Honorable Mention:

3900 Camelback Center

Most Sustainable Project:


Appaloosa Branch Library

Honorable Mention:

Flagstaff Courtyard by Marriott

Developer of the Year:


Ryan Companies US Inc.

Architect of the Year:



General Contractor of the Year:


McCarthy Building Companies

Brokerage Team of the Year for Leasing:


CB Richard Ellis

Brokerage Team of the Year for Sales:


Cushman & Wakefield

For information on sponsorship opportunities, corporate tables or attendance, please email events@azbusinessmagazine.com or call (602) 277-6045.

AZRE Magazine March/April 2010


Brokerage Team of the Year for Leasing 2010

Tom Adelson, CB Richard Ellis
Kevin Calihan, CB Richard Ellis
Jim Fijan, CB Richard Ellis
Jerry Roberts, CB Richard Ellis
Tom Adelson
Kevin Calihan
Jim Fijan
Jerry Roberts

CB Richard Ellis

• Jim Fijan, Exec. VP
• Tom Adelson, Exec. VP
• Jerry Roberts, Exec. VP
• Kevin Calihan, Sr. VP

• 97 Lease Transactions
• Totaling, 1.3 MSF
• $215.9M in Value

Four men and more than $215.9M in leases for 2009 — an amazing feat in the Valley of the Sun, during one of the most difficult times the commercial real estate industry has encountered. Executive Vice Presidents Jim Fijan, Tom Adelson and Jerry Roberts, along with Senior Vice President Kevin Calihan, conducted 97 transactions totaling more than 1.3 MSF.

Their largest single transaction that closed in 2009 was a long-term lease with a law firm for 54,000 SF at CityScape, a 27-story office tower located at One E. Washington St. in Phoenix. CBRE’s sales team represented the landlord, and the value of the transaction exceeded $28 million in consideration.AZRE March 2010 Front Cover

Fijan, Adelson, Roberts and Calihan are recognized as industry leaders and encompass an unmatched level of professionalism, comprehensive market knowledge and strict adherence to high ethical standards. While they are often acknowledged as the top brokers in their field, these four individuals are involved in numerous community and charity organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Center, Sun Angel Foundation, Downtown Phoenix Community Development Corporation and the Southwest Autism Research Center.


AZRE Red Awards March 2010 | Previous: General Contractor | Next: Brokerage Team Sales


Best Office Project 2010

One Central Park East

One Central Park East is the first new high-rise spec office building built in Downtown Phoenix in more than eight years. The $175M development contains 495,000 SF of Class A office space on 16 floors, resting atop a 9-level parking garage. The design philosophy took a functional and efficient office floor plate and articulated it with shading devices on each façade in response to the harsh environment. This enabled the team to take a typical developer-driven office model and create a building with a sophisticated layer of shade fins to make it appropriate for Phoenix’s desert climate. The project is adjacent to the light rail system, making it one of the first transit-oriented developments in Downtown Phoenix.

Developer: Mesirow Financial
Contractor: Holder Construction
Architect: SmithGroup
Broker: CB Richard Ellis: Brad Anderson
Size: 700,000 SF
Location: 50 E. Van Buren, Phoenix
Completed: November 2009

Honorable Mention: Orbital Sciences Corp. Best Office Project 2010

Developer: Gilbane Development Company
Contractor: McShane Construction Company
Architect: Gromatzky Dupree & Associates
Broker: CB Richard Ellis:
• Jerry McCormick & Team
Size: 83,183 SF
Location: 3377 S. Price Rd., Chandler
Completed: September 2009

AZRE Red Awards March 2010 | Previous: Best Industrial Project | Next: Best Medical Project

Young Professionals - AZRE Magazine November/December 2009

BOMA’s Young Professionals Group Grooms The Next Generation

Leading the Way

“Young professionals cannot afford to sit on the sidelines,” says Jami Vallelonga, a BOMA Greater Phoenix board member. “It has become increasingly important to develop a professional network and get the training and tools needed to advance as a management professional.”

Welcome to the Young Professionals Group

Jami Vallelonga, a real estate manager at CB Richard Ellis, formed the Young Professionals Group (YPG) in January 2009 to offer professionals (age 40 and younger) a forum for interaction and support within the property management industry, and to promote career growth and development.

Marion Donaldson, who co-chairs the Young Professionals Group with BOMA members Colleen LeBlanc and Vallelonga, says, “Our goal is to encourage young leaders to take educational courses and obtain their industry designations, volunteer on BOMA committees, increase community activism and awareness, ultimately fill vital leadership positions in 5 to 10 years, and make sure that BOMA Greater Phoenix remains a viable, effective industry group.”

Donaldson, a 7-year member of BOMA Greater Phoenix, works as a sales and customer service manager for Commercial Service Solutions, a commercial floor care company. With a background in both property management and the services industry, she notes BOMA-YPG is an important group for professionals in both fields.

A subsidiary of BOMA Greater Phoenix, the Young Professionals Group offers the benefits of BOMA membership including:

  • industry networking
  • enhanced educational opportunities
  • career building
  • a powerful voice in the industry

LeBlanc joined BOMA 5 years ago for its network.

“We’ve never had a salesperson work for this company,” she says, referring to ProGuard Security Services, a company that provides security to commercial and high-rise properties.

“All of our business has been earned through relationship building, which can be tied to BOMA membership.”

She started with ProGuard Security Services 5 years ago as the director of customer relations, and began running the Phoenix office as vice president 3 years ago.

How it Works

Monthly luncheons and quarterly events enable Young Professional Group members to connect with industry professionals, both inside and outside of the group.

The YPG recently teamed with NAIOP Developing Leaders (NAIOP’s young professionals) to extend industry connections.

These large networking events can be a little intimidating for new members, notes Donaldson. She recalls walking into her first BOMA luncheon as an assistant property manager at age 24 and feeling “wholly intimidated” because she did not know anyone there.

It was at that moment she knew the group needed a way to make members feel welcome and get networking faster.

What resulted is the Ambassador Program, adopted by the Young Professional Group, to personally welcome all new members and help them navigate the monthly luncheons. This includes introducing newcomers to other members.

Additional Value

For management professionals, the Young Professional Group may offer a free ticket to some of their education.

The Young Professional Group raises money through sponsored events to enroll members in the BOMA Real Property Administrator (RPA) and Facilities Management Administrator (FMA) certification courses.

These are important certifications for property managers, Vallelonga says, who started her career in property management as a receptionist and worked her way up the ranks to real estate manager of CB Richard Ellis. She holds the RPA, CPM and LEED AP designations.

However, the group’s education opportunities extend beyond certification classes.

“Every company has different styles of management,” LeBlanc points out. “Our group offers young property managers a chance to interact with many management companies and gather ideas that can help tremendously in their careers. BOMA is kind of a one-stop shop where you are going to find information, mentors, or perhaps your next job.”

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For more information about Young Professionals Group, call BOMA Greater Phoenix at (602) 200-3898.



AZRE Magazine November/December 2009


Real Estate Relationships: Importance Of Representation In Tough Marketplace

By Tom Ellis

Businesses thinking of leasing space in Phoenix should have no problem finding a real estate broker to help them select the best site, and negotiate with the landlord on their behalf. But there is one thing the tenant must bring to the table — patience. Brokers who specialize in commercial tenant representation make it clear that site selection and lease negotiation are complex processes that can take several years to bring to fruition.

Real Estate Relationships, Arizona Business Magazine September 2008Retail
For Judi Butterworth, a principal at De Rito Partners and a Phoenix broker specializing in retail tenant representation, it all starts with becoming thoroughly knowledgeable about the client’s business. Then she looks at local geography, the freeway system, traffic patterns and changes in demographics. There are many questions her client must answer: What are the client’s goals? Will the client share space with other retailers, who are the ultimate co-tenants? If the client has existing stores here, will some of them relocate?

Retail leasing is more complicated than office and industrial, considering multiple locations and an out-of-state headquarters often are involved, Butterworth says. Client representatives come to town to look around, including the president.

“Part of what you do as a broker is really a process of elimination,” Butterworth says. “You’re given the criteria and you research all of the available space and decide which ones meet the criteria. That way, when you drive around with the client, you know what the alternatives are.”

Once a location is selected, Butterworth negotiates a letter of intent with the landlord. The letter delineates whether her client accepts the space as is or will make improvements; the money the landlord will allot for construction; the number of days allowed for construction; when the lease starts; and when rent payments commence. The final letter typically is approved by a client committee. Then attorneys for the landlord and Butterworth’s client draw up a lease that can be 60 to 80 pages long. After the lease is signed, Butterworth’s job is done.

Retail, office and industrial clients all must determine how much square footage they need, but that’s where the similarities end, according to Butterworth. Brokers representing industrial clients must consider railroad service, dockside service, ceiling height and freeway access. For office tenants, there are questions about the kind of floor plan that will accommodate all employees, where employees and vendors travel from to get to the building, parking requirements and area amenities.


CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix specializes in office tenant representation. Chuck Nixon, a senior vice president there, says he first helps his client select an architect because changes to the existing space usually are needed. Then he rolls out a six-step process that’s the same for small, medium and large tenants — client needs assessment, market evaluation, landlord solicitation, negotiation, implementation and post-project documentation.

The client’s general criteria are gathered during the needs assessment, and a list of potential buildings is narrowed during the market evaluation as the client’s needs are further refined, Nixon says. Once a short list of buildings is drafted, Nixon sends a request for proposal to each landlord. Nixon and the client evaluate the economics of each Request for Proposal (RFP), and the architect evaluates whether the landlord’s proposal is a good fit.

The client accepts one of the RFPs and Nixon negotiates a letter of intent and then a lease. Nixon and the landlord may negotiate through several lease offers as an array of topics are addressed, including tenant rights to expand and reduce the space, tenant improvements as specified by the architect’s design and rights to terminate and renew the lease.

“Typically, the client is involved (in negotiations) as much as they want to be,” Nixon says.“Some want to be involved in just key decisions. Some want to be involved in all points of discussion.”

Implementation includes construction and final lease documentation that covers such areas as lease term, rent, additional costs (i.e. property taxes and/or maintenance), security deposit, subleasing and dispute resolution. In post-project documentation, Nixon makes sure the client’s move into the space is coordinated and that the client is happy.

Market OpportunitiesArizona Business Magazine, September 2008
Current market conditions offer more opportunities than challenges for tenants, Butterworth and Nixon say. The main challenge is selecting the right building. Butterworth and Nixon make sure they work the opportunities into lease negotiations.

The construction frenzy over the past few years has resulted in an ample supply of retail and office space, and Butterworth and Nixon say vacancy rates have climbed. Consequently, landlords are aggressively pursuing tenants, and brokers can negotiate lower rents or no rent for specific periods of time. Landlords are offering more concessions and are flexible on tenant improvements and parking requirements.

“Clearly, it is a tenant-friendly environment and will be so for the foreseeable future,” Nixon says. “Which is good. One thing you don’t want as a tenant is limited options.”


CB Richard Ellis, AZ Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

CB Richard Ellis Has A Century-Long History

Ethics, Integrity, Collaboration

CB Richard Ellis has a century-long history rich with client-focused expansion

By Debra Gelbart

This year CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) celebrates the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding in America. However, many may not realize that this commercial real estate giant began in San Francisco under another well-known corporate moniker, “Coldwell Banker.” Colbert Coldwell was just 23 years old in 1906 and wanted to help rebuild San Francisco after the catastrophic earthquake. When he started his real estate firm, he was determined to set a new standard for ethics. His professionalism attracted a loyal client base. Just a few years later, he hired a salesman named Benjamin Arthur Banker. The two became lifelong business partners. Their firm began to expand farther and faster than any real estate services firm in history.

Arizona’s profound impact on the company
Ethics, Integrity, CollaborationIn 1952, the company opened its first office outside of California in Phoenix, Arizona. The office was first located on the property of Park Central Mall at Central Avenue and Earll.

J. Daryl Lippincott directed the activities of the Phoenix office from its inception and helped shape the trajectory of the company for the next 30 years. He began working at Coldwell Banker in Los Angeles in 1948 and started learning the business of regional shopping center development in Southern California. Lippincott came to Phoenix to manage the leasing of Park Central, the city’s first mall and Arizona’s first regional commercial development. “Initially, the sole purpose of the Phoenix office was to focus on Park Central,” Lippincott says.

The list of retail stores that Lippincott brought to Park Central includes some legendary names: Goldwater’s department store (the precursor to Robinson’s-May and Macy’s), Diamond’s department store (which subsequently became Dillard’s), Leonard’s Luggage and Switzer’s.

By 1957, the Phoenix office offered an array of real estate services, including mortgage loans, appraisals, property management and a residential brokerage as well as a commercial division. “The Arizona office incorporated separately from California and I became president of the Arizona corporation,” Lippincott says. Later, Phoenix was brought back into the corporate family and became the headquarters for the company’s Southwest division.

Leasing leader
In October of 1959, John Amory drove a car, belonging to a winter visitor, from Boston to Phoenix. “I really liked Phoenix,” he says. “I decided to look for a job here.” In December, Lippincott hired him.

Initially, Amory sold houses. “In 1961, I had an opportunity to concentrate on leasing. That’s when my career working with developers on office buildings began.”

His resume includes leasing activity for most of the premier office buildings in Phoenix in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s: the Greyhound Tower; the Del Webb Townhouse (a unique mix of hotel and office space); the Financial Center, the building on Central Avenue that looks like a 1960s-era IBM punch card; the United Bank Building; the 111 W. Monroe office building in downtown Phoenix; and the Phelps Dodge Tower at 2600 N. Central Ave.

“Our firm leased almost all the new office space in Phoenix,” Amory says. He enjoys leasing office property because “every deal is a new deal. There’s no cookie-cutter formula for leasing office space. You have to figure out how to be a matchmaker for the landlord and the tenant.”

Today, 47 years after Amory began working in the Phoenix office, he serves as senior vice president for CB Richard Ellis. He has the longest continuous tenure of any sales professional in the company’s history. “I have no plans to retire,” he says, adding that he commutes every day from Wickenburg. “I like to work.”

Until this year, Ben Cowles had held the record of longest continuous tenure of any sales professional in the company’s history. He started out in the company’s Los Angeles office in 1949 and came to work in the Phoenix office in 1961, retiring in 1995.

In 1980, Cowles was presented with the William H. McCarthy Memorial Award, named after a salesman in Los Angeles who had demonstrated “the perfect blend of motivation and cooperation,” according to the award plaque. Cowles was only the third recipient of the award in the company’s history and to this day, he remains the only Arizona recipient. The award is the highest honor given every year to a CBRE sales professional who emulates (McCarthy’s) outstanding career.

Just 10 months after Amory arrived at the Phoenix office, Lee Noble was hired. Today, Noble too is a senior vice president in Phoenix with CB Richard Ellis.

“I was a student at ASU and one of my real estate professors got a letter from CB that said the company wanted to hire a young guy to do odd jobs,” Noble says. “I wanted to do it. So I became the ‘sign guy,’ putting up real estate signs all over the Valley. Then I began to concentrate on office building leasing, and several years later, on apartment building sales.” Noble was promoted to senior sales manager but found that he missed selling. “After seven years,” he says, “I went back into production. I wanted to focus on individual clients.”

“People ask me all the time why I’ve stayed with the company so long,” Noble says. “It’s because of the company’s ethics, integrity, the services we offer and the trusted relationships we’ve developed with clients that have lasted for years. The Phoenix office has, by far, the most tenured people of any CBRE office in the world. We have 26 guys who have worked for us for 20 years or more.”

More expansion
In 1963, the company is incorporated after operating as a partnership and again expands, this time to Tucson. In 1968, Coldwell Banker became a publicly traded company.

Mic Williams, who went to work in the Tucson office in 1974 as a salesman, says the firm developed an innovative, more effective way to cover the commercial real estate market. “Typically in those days, real estate brokers were jacks of all trades, leasing office space one day and selling a house the next. But the company pioneered the concept of segmenting the market—having each salesman focus on one specific area, such as office, industrial, retail or residential income. By segmenting, we had a competitive advantage. Our people were better trained and better equipped to service all aspects of the market.”

Williams, today the president of an early-stage seed capital investment firm in Boston, remembers the Tucson location fondly. “We had tremendous camaraderie and esprit de corps in that office,” Williams says. “We all grew up together and had families at about the same time. Our social lives revolved around the office. We were a ‘work hard, play hard’ group.”

The segmentation strategy made CBRE a headliner in the real estate industry in Arizona. By the time Rich Rodgers arrived in the Tucson office in 1981, “I really didn’t have to sell myself or the company to prospective clients,” he says. “They already knew about the company’s reputation for ethics, integrity, knowledge and dependability.”

Today, Rodgers is still in Tucson, presiding over his own company that develops industrial parks. “The knowledge I gained while I was at the firm has been invaluable,” he says. “Everyone I worked with was so professional and knowledgeable.”

Growing, growing, growing
By 1980, the company ranked as one of Arizona’s top real estate brokerage firms, providing comprehensive local market knowledge backed by a solid reputation as a nationwide leader in business and real estate services. In 1989, employees invested their own money and acquired the commercial side of Coldwell Banker’s business. Immediately, it ranked among the largest real estate service firms in North America.

In 1991, the company changed its name to CB Commercial Real Estate Services Group. In 1996, CB Commercial completed an initial public offering under the ticker symbol CBG.

In 1997 CB Commercial acquired Koll Real Estate Services, the nation’s largest property manager. In 1998, the company acquired REI Limited, the holding company for all Richard Ellis operations outside of the United Kingdom, and changed its name to CB Richard Ellis. The same year, CB Richard Ellis purchased a London-based commercial property services company, expanding the company’s full-service capabilities to the United Kingdom. Also that same year, company revenues reached $1 billion.

In 2001, CB Richard Ellis successfully concludes its privatization efforts with an overwhelming 98 percent approval vote by the shareholders. The company continues operations as CB Richard Ellis through its growing service network.

In 2003, CB Richard Ellis merged with Insignia Financial Group, a New York-based fully integrated real estate services company.

AZ Business Magazine October / November 2006In 2004, the company posted U.S. revenues of $2.4 billion. CB Richard Ellis’ property and corporate facilities management portfolio exceeded 989 million square feet. CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. completed an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2005, CBRE joins the Fortune 1000. And finally, in this, the company’s 100th year, CB Richard Ellis debuted on the Forbes Global 2000 list as the only real estate services firm to make the list. National Real Estate Investor has again ranked CBRE as the top real estate sales firm in the world, with sales and leasing volume in excess of $150 billion—more than double the nearest competitor. CBRE, with its partner and affiliate offices, has more than 19,500 employees in over 356 offices across more than 58 countries worldwide.

“This is a dynamic company that has continually expanded throughout the world,” says Daryl Lippincott, who today runs the Lippincott Family Foundation. “The company has never lost sight of providing quality, knowledgeable real estate services always focused on clients’ best interests.”



Arizona Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

CB Richard Ellis Service, AZ Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

CB Richards Ellis Expands Its Definition Of Who It Considers A Client

And Service for All

CB Richard Ellis expands its definition of who it considers a client—supreme service for which it stands


CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) is the world’s premier, full-service real estate services company. It has been providing real estate owners, investors and occupiers who represent an array of industries spanning the globe since 1906. Its 100th year anniversary calls attention to a record of astounding achievement and begs the question: what is success and how did this industry leader undeniably obtain it?

And Service for All“We define our success by understanding what our clients need and incorporating their success matrix into our strategies and tactics. When they’re successful, we’re successful,” says Chris Ludeman, CBRE president of U.S. Brokerage at the Los Angeles headquarters who has been with company for 25 years. “When people traditionally think of a commercial real estate firm, they think it’s all about money. Our best people will say it’s not: It’s about the people. The money follows, it doesn’t lead.”

If only every business operated under this value—the importance of prioritizing clients and employees above monetary gain. When people are treated well and feel valued and understood, they become long-term customers and work hard, ultimately forming a winning team.

CBRE’s reputation for excellence in serving clients starts on home turf, with more than 19,500 employees at 356 offices worldwide. What’s the cache? If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of someone else. “Service to employees—it’s absolutely the best,” says Perry Bassett, a client and private investor who was with CBRE for nine years and a top producer in Tucson. Sales personnel are taken to educational events, supported through ongoing education, regularly recognized for their ascendancy and rewarded at ceremonies for levels of achievement. “It’s not like there’s a hierarchy,” adds Bassett, “like you’re an enlisted man verses an officer. If anything, salespeople are held in higher esteem than management. And that’s reflected in every company activity.”

CBRE’s healthy internal corporate culture, its strong core value in people first, permeates through its employees to its clients.

“The quality of service is excellent. They’re very professional,” says Vice President of Kitchell Development Co. Jeff Allen, who has done hundreds of millions of dollars of business with CBRE over his 16 years with the company. “Many of the brokers have been there for 20 plus years. It’s the most experienced commercial real estate brokerage firm in the state.”

When asked if there is anything he’d criticize about CBRE, he quickly answers, “No. We love our brokers. It’s a valuable service they bring to the real estate community.”

CBRE’s reputation for consistency, predictability and superior execution is due in part to all of its salespeople. They’re fully immersed in the market, constantly current on the latest in their specialty field.

AZ Business Magazine October November 2006“We do our best work when we become an indistinguishable part of our client’s executive team,” says Ludeman. “When we can be seen by clients as an extension of their own employees and strategic advisors, it demonstrates we understand their business opposed to them understanding ours.”

Like many of CBRE’s staff, Tyler Anderson’s tenure of more than 20 years has allowed him to observe and testify to the company’s service over time. The top producer says, “It’s our culture to ensure the client is always put first and meet their needs. It’s a people business that’s relationship driven. Through great relationships there’s great trust created and reliability.”

Mike Sandahl, another 20-year veteran and top producer in Tucson sums it up best: “Honesty and integrity has made us a valued partner in our clients’ business. It has helped us to achieve success not only for our clients, but lead to the success of CB Richard Ellis in both cities.”

Why it works
CBRE sales staff undergo a rigorous screening process, one-year training program and ongoing education throughout their careers. They are considered by many to be the top providers of real estate market knowledge on the planet. Because everyone is required to specialize, clients glean the expertise from a number of deep wells rather than a shallow, expansive pool. Find out what these experts say has allowed their company to offer stellar client service.

When Rich Rodgers worked in commercial real estate for another company, he says he had to “sell himself” to get a listing. In the ‘80s when he worked at CBRE in Tucson for nearly five years, he says, “I didn’t have to sell the company because everyone knew its reputation; whoever is working for the company is professional. So I didn’t even need to sell myself,” which was half the battle.

The sheer number of salespeople alone who have been with the company for a long time enhances the depth and quality of expertise. “We have more than 20 people who’ve been with the company for 20 years or more,” says Tyler Anderson, a sales professional in CBRE’s Phoenix office.

Arizona Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006