Senior Director, Leasing & Development, Liberty Property Trust
Years in CRE: 11
Years at company: 1.5
What was it about the industry that attracted you?
The excitement of building a career in an industry where I knew that no two days would be the same. Our industry is dynamic and constantly evolving with the broader economy as companies’ logistics and office needs change and become more sophisticated. It is really the dynamic nature of our industry that first attracted me to commercial real estate, and it has been the excitement of watching our industry evolve that has kept me in the industry for more than 10 years.
How has the industry changed since you started?
I entered the industry in 2003 and to say that things have changed since then would be an understatement. Our industry has evolved in many ways, not only due to the economic downturn we experienced from 2008 to 2011, but also due to changes in the way companies do business. Since the beginning of the last recession in late 2008 we have seen many themes including a flight to quality, tighter lending standards and a sharp decrease in the velocity of new development. With regards to how business has evolved, we continue to see the impact of e-commerce on our industry and how it continues to shrink the footprint of retail big box space. In addition, the needs of e-commerce users are driving the evolution of big box warehouses with a focus on energy efficiency, higher clear heights and more strategically located distribution centers in order to deliver product to the consumer faster. In the office sector, there has been a growing trend toward more open floor plates and increased energy efficiency. These needs are translating into increased productivity, lower build-out cost and higher parking ratios.
Of what professional achievement are you most proud?
I would have to say my Master of Business Administration (MBA), which I received from the University of Arizona. I pursued my MBA through a 20-month accelerated program while working full-time and serving in leadership roles in NAIOP Arizona, NAIOP National and the Junior League of Phoenix. The experience was invaluable.
A bit of history was made on Friday, November 22 when the first woman to serve as chairman of the Arizona chapter of NAIOP (National Association of Commercial Real Estate Development), Megan Creecy-Herman of Liberty Property Trust, was sworn in at the organization’s annual board retreat.
“Since the day she joined, Megan has brought a tremendous amount of energy and dynamism to NAIOP-AZ,” said organization president, Tim Lawless. “In 2009 she served as the founding chairperson of our Developing Leaders Group for commercial real estate professionals age 35 and under; in 2010 her peers voted that she be named the first recipient of the NAIOP Arizona Chapter Developing Leaders Award. Her work in developing continuing education, focus on increasing diversity in commercial real estate, and commitment to her profession make her a tremendous asset to NAIOP-AZ and we are excited for her as she begins her term.”
Creecy-Herman takes over with what Lawless calls a “clear agenda” for improving the chapter’s educational opportunities. One of her goals is to bring back a “signature speaker” series; another is to offer programs for CLE credit. She is an accomplished fundraiser who has spearheaded the raising of more than $500,000 to help pay for large-scale NAIOP-AZ networking events.
Creecy-Herman serves as Liberty’s director of leasing and development in Arizona and is responsible for marketing the company’s portfolio and working on existing and future development projects throughout the Valley. Since joining the company in mid-2012, she has been responsible for Liberty’s complete renovation of 2626 S. 7th Street in Phoenix, now known as Liberty Sky Harbor Center; lease transactions totaling more than 350,000 square feet; and assistance with the acquisition of two key properties: a nearly completed 593,600 square foot warehouse currently known as Liberty Logistics Center I, and, in a separate deal, 73 acres of land currently known as Liberty Logistics Center II, both in the highly desirable Southwest Phoenix Industrial submarket.
John DiVall, senior vice president at Liberty Property Trust and a previous NAIOP-AZ chairman noted that “Megan is a consummate professional and brings tremendous insight into what motivates individuals and groups. Her enthusiasm is contagious and it is exciting to contemplate what the organization will be able accomplish during her term as president.”
Before joining Liberty, Creecy-Herman served at EJM Development Co. in Phoenix, where she held various positions in leasing, acquisitions and development. A graduate of Arizona State University, Creecy-Herman earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business. She earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Arizona.
In addition to serving on the NAIOP Arizona Chapter Board of Directors, she is a past member of the NAIOP Corporate Board of Directors and is an active member of the Junior League of Phoenix, as well as the Arizona State University Real Estate Alumni Club.