Tag Archives: McShane Construction Company

Photo by Robin Sendele, Az Big Media

Big Deals: Julie Johnson is a star-crossed broker

Julie Johnson’s first job out of college was to conduct failure analysis for airplane turbine blades, and she couldn’t have been more bored.

She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering with aspirations of conducting research for a space program. A career in healthcare real estate leasing, investment sales and site selection for medical office properties and senior living communities, didn’t even cross her mind as a career path.

Johnson launched her career in commercial real estate in 1989 following a position in advertising sales with the Phoenix Business Journal. During her years in advertising sales, Johnson began forging relationships with members of the hospital and healthcare community. She expanded her knowledge of the industry and strengthening her skills in sales, market analysis and transaction management.

Twenty-seven years in the industry and more than 100 sales transactions later, Johnson has never looked back.

“I love real estate because everyday is a new day; it is definitely not boring,” Johnson says.

When Johnson isn’t in the office or closing a $25 million deal, she can probably be found outdoors. She enjoys skiing, biking and is quite the adrenaline junkie. She used to race cars and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

The most significant deal for Johnson involved working on the new build-to-suit for the VA Clinic in Gilbert. The deal involved working closely with McShane Construction Company as its representative for buying the land. It was almost two years before the deal came together.

“It was a long and very competitive process for both land sites and well as a lease package for this VA Clinic requirement,” she says.

What makes real estate such a good fit for someone whose dream job involved working out-of-this-world research?

“It merges doing all the numbers work with the marketing work; it is a great combination,” says Johnson, whose love for numbers brought her to study engineering.

However, the creative part of being a broker and trying to look at situations differently is something she says she enjoys while conducting research. Johnson believes creativity is a vital aspect of being a broker and that her unique background in advertising has set her up for success in her field.

“Working through issues to try to get something done and being creative,” she says, are key traits of a successful broker. “If you cant do it one way, what are three other ways to do it and can you get one of those three ways to work?”

Currently, about one-fourth of Johnson’s business comes from the senior housing industry. As that part of the industry grows, Johnson has been meeting with people to position herself to grow with it. In the future, she anticipates more build-to-suits for healthcare clients and providers as well as more national clients as healthcare becomes more corporate rather than private practice.


McShane promotes Elmer to VP of Phoenix office

Jeffrey A. Raday, P.E., president of McShane Construction Company, has announced that Milt Elmer has been promoted to vice president of the firm’s Southwest office in Phoenix. Elmer offers nearly 45 years of construction and field supervision experience and has demonstrated his skillful construction management and leadership expertise through the successful completion of numerous high-profile projects on behalf of the firm.  Elmer’s responsibilities include the oversight and direction of the firm’s Phoenix operations in addition to his current duties as Director of Field Operations – Southwest Region.  He coordinates his responsibilities from McShane Construction’s Phoenix, Arizona and Irvine, California offices.

As Vice President – Phoenix, Elmer oversees the firm’s Phoenix office and its growing portfolio of project undertakings.  He offers proven leadership in the pursuit and execution of complex construction assignments within the industrial, manufacturing, office, healthcare and multi-family markets.

In addition, Elmer performs the simultaneous organization, scheduling and direct management of superintendents and numerous field staff on McShane’s job sites within the Southwestern and Western regions.  He implements McShane’s Safety and Quality Assurance Programs and performs regular site visits to ensure that the highest standards of safety and quality are being utilized.  He is also directly responsible for managing the firm’s relationships with industry affiliates including subcontractors, suppliers and OSHA, in addition to national, regional and local governmental authorities.

Since joining McShane Construction in 2006, Elmer has been instrumental in the delivery of numerous assignments for many highly-respected clients.  Most recently, he served as the on-site point person for the fast-track construction and tenant improvement assignment for a global e-commerce retailer at Cherry Logistics Center, a 575,000 square foot, Class A industrial building in Newark, California.  He also oversaw and directed the delivery of the new 72,000 square foot U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Gilbert, Arizona.  His other recent notable projects include a 1.3 million square foot manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, for First Solar and an 820,000 square foot build-to-suit for W.W. Grainger, Inc. in Patterson, California.

“Milt Elmer has earned this notable recognition and we look forward to implementing his expert direction within the Phoenix office as Vice President and throughout the Southwest and Western regions as Director of Field Operations,” remarked Raday.  “During his tenure with McShane Construction, Milt has consistently demonstrated the expertise and dedication necessary to provide successful results to our clients.  This appointment will allow him to better position the firm to deliver best-in-class construction services while strengthening field operations and safety to ensure continued success both on and off our job sites.”

Tracy Hammer joins VanTrust

VanTrust Real Estate, LLC announced that Tracy Hammer has joined the firm as its new Senior Director of Development Services, supporting VanTrust Real Estate’s projects across the southwest.

Prior to joining VanTrust, Hammer spent ten years with McShane Construction Company as Vice President overseeing their western region including expansion into California and Nevada.  His 28 years of experience in the construction industry includes such notable projects as the USAA Campus Expansion Project, Phelps Dodge Centre, First Solar Manufacturing Plant, NCR Corporate Headquarters (San Diego, CA) and W.W. Grainger Distribution (Patterson, CA).

“Tracy’s experience in commercial and residential construction will be an incredible asset for our team,” says Keith Earnest.  “We are confident that Tracy will provide a high level of quality, efficiency and sustainability for all of our projects.”

Clay Wells

Clay Wells Joins Gilbane as Sr. Manager of Business Development For Arizona

Gilbane Building Company’s Phoenix office named Clay Wells, a 20-year construction and business development veteran specializing in healthcare, higher education, and corporate construction, to lead the company’s new business efforts in the Arizona public and private markets.

“Gilbane is consistently ranked as one of the top five healthcare and higher education construction firms in the country,” Wells says. “Our strong client relationships, project success and experience in the West provides a solid foundation on which to build. I’m looking forward to growing the company’s presence in Arizona to better align this region with Gilbane’s already impressive resume.”

In his previous role as a director with McShane Construction Company, a commercial and multi- family builder, Wells was responsible for building short- and long-term strategic business development programs for key markets in Arizona as well as developing new market segments.

He is actively engaged with local community organizations such as Mountain Park Health Center Foundation, Arizona Town Hall, Urban Land Institute, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and the Arizona Association for Economic Development.

“With Clay’s combined knowledge and experience in the Phoenix market and surrounding communities, we are confident he will continue to grow our portfolio within Gilbane’s key market sectors of healthcare, higher education and public works,” says Andy Faber, Gilbane’s regional manager and senior vice president.

Wells received a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Murray State University. He is an avid cyclist who enjoys the local terrain Phoenix has to offer.


NAIOP Arizona's Developing Leaders - AZRE Magazine September/October 2011

NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders Pairs Veterans With Young Professionals

NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders mentoring program designed to pair veteran and young CRE professionals to bolster the industry

For a group that has yet to commemorate its first class, NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders mentoring program has some fairly heady goals.

That’s evident by its mission statement:

* To Improve the communities in which we develop, build, and broker commercial real estate;

* To Impact the careers of young real estate professionals through educational development, and exposure to pertinent topics;

* To Instill the knowledge, values, and expertise of today’s industry leaders in developing leaders;

* To Influence the professional growth of developing leaders by fostering valuable long-term relationships with industry peers.

NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders mentoring program is relatively new to the Arizona chapter, although it’s been around for awhile nationally — where it has been successful.

“It was a natural evolution,” Clay Wells, a co-liaison on the NAIOP Arizona board of directors and director of business development at McShane Construction Company, says about implementing a mentoring program. “The first year we were involved with getting our feet wet. The second year we tried to make it grow by working on charitable events.”
Now in its third year, it’s time to get the ball rolling.

“The program will bring the best elements of the entire membership together,” says NAIOP Arizona president and CEO Tim Lawless. “It will create synergy with older more experienced people and younger up-and-coming members.”

The goal is for those in the commercial real estate industry to help provide protégés with insight on how to become successful, says Nate Goldfarb, an associate at CBRE and co-chair of the mentoring program.

The program will be comprised of 10 highly experienced industry professionals as mentors, each paired with two protégés who are existing developing leaders under the age of 35.

Other chapters have had mentoring programs for several years, with those in San Diego and Colorado boasting some of the strongest programs, according to Wells.  “We looked at other chapters and tried to steal the best details,” he says.

Lawless will be involved in the final mentor screening process and says he will be looking for the best and brightest people who are experts in their niche and would bring the most to the table.

Protégés will be selected based on application information and not on personality, says Wells, who is part of the selection committee that is made up of five to six board members.
Initially an email survey was sent out to all developing leader candidates to probe interest and to determine which industries members would like mentors from, Goldfarb says.

“There was a strong response from potential protégés and response from prospective mentors was phenomenal, particularly senior members,” Goldfarb says.

“We’re looking for an Icon,” says Lawless, adding that NAIOP Arizona’s membership has an excellent crop of mentor candidates such as Keith Earnest from RED Development and NAIOP chairman Mike Haenel of Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial.

When protégé and mentor are paired they will meet at least once a month for 10 months.
“There will be a lot of active listening to the mentor who has already walked the path,” Goldfarb says.

The inaugural class function will be held this fall and will be a black tie event, according to Goldfarb.

“We want to make events special for protégés so that they are impressed by the mentor, the program and the events.”

[stextbox id=”grey”]For more information about the NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders mentoring program, visit www.naiopaz.org/dl.[/stextbox]

AZRE Magazine September/October 2011



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

Orbital Sciences, AZRE July/August 2009

Office: Orbital Sciences


Developer: Gilbane Development
General contractor: McShane Construction Company
Architect: Gromatzky Dupree and Associates
NWC Price & Dobson roads, Chandler
Size: 82,000SF

The 3-story, Class A build-to-suit office facility is being built for the Orbital Sciences Corp., one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturers of smaller, more affordable space launch systems. Construction finishes in August, and includes a post-tensioned concrete frame and glass curtain wall enclosure.

AZRE July/August 2009