Tag Archives: Richard Ellis

CB Richard Ellis - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Best of the Best Awards 2009: Real Estate Commercial

Real Estate Commercial Honoree: Brokerage Firms: 25 brokers or more

CB Richard Ellis

CB Richard Ellis - Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Photograph by Duane Darling

CB Richard Ellis has been serving clients in Arizona for more than 55 years, becoming a dominant player in the state’s commercial real estate market. From leasing, acquisitions and sales, marketing and consulting, it has earned a reputation as a respected leader in the business community through its ability to track market trends and build relationships. Whether marketing a portfolio of properties or negotiating a complex lease agreement, CBRE brokerage professionals — more than 100 statewide — offer the most integrated array of commercial real estate services. Their approach is strategic rather than merely transactional.

That is, CBRE’s professionals can assess a client’s entire real estate portfolio requirements on a company-wide scale, delivering results and surpassing expectations.

2415 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
602-735-5555
www.cbre.com/phoenix

Year Est: 1952 Brokers: 103
Principal(s): Craig Henig
(Arizona/Phoenix), Tim Prouty (Tucson)


Real Estate Commercial Finalist: Architectural Firms: 10 architects or more

SmithGroup

SmithGroup Inc. is one of the largest architecture, engineering, interiors and planning firms in the United States. With 10 offices and a staff of 800, Smith- Group specializes in the health, education, science and technology, office workplace, high tech and urban/campus planning markets. SmithGroup’s Phoenix office is well-known for its innovative design of the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative; the award-winning Apollo Riverpoint Center; and the recently completed Norton School of Family and Consumer Science at the University of Arizona.

455 N. 3rd St., #250, Phoenix
602-265-2200
www.smithgroup.com


Real Estate Commercial Finalist: Contractors: General, 120 staff or more

The Weitz Company

Since entering the Phoenix market in 1978, the Southwest Business Unit of The Weitz Company has built a solid reputation based on excellent service, quality work and long-term relationships. Weitz attributes its success to the company’s core values: honesty and integrity, respect for people, performance with absolute reliability, long-term perspective, and nurturing personal growth. In 2007, Weitz expanded its Arizona market by opening an office in Tucson based on its reputation for quality and service to clients.

5555 E. Van Buren St., #155, Phoenix
602-225-0225
www.weitz.com


Best of the Best Awards 2009 presented by Ranking Arizona

Cov1

Cover Story – Subprime Shake Out

Subprime Shake Out

Will a house of cards trump Arizona’s economy?

 

Fallout from the subprime mortgage lending mess is roiling Wall Street and roughing up the national economy. But in Arizona, at least so far, experts say its impact has been mostly psychological. “There is a perspective that we are in a crisis due to foreclosures of subprime mortgages and this is leading to gloom and doom, if not total doomsday,” says Lee McPheters, economics professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “The numbers simply don’t back that up.”

subprime_shake_out

McPheters says as of Sept. 30, according to the most recent numbers available from the Mortgage Bankers Association, Arizona was well below the national rate for seriously delinquent subprime mortgages (delinquent 90 days or in foreclosure). Arizona’s rate was 7.47 percent compared to 11.38 percent nationally.

“Arizona is not among the troubled states,” McPheters says. “However, there are troubled areas, particularly newly developed communities such as Maricopa, where there are many foreclosed properties for sale and prices have been affected.”

John Finnegan with Colliers International says there is an emotional aspect to subprime.

“The psychological effect subprime is having on our market is more damaging than the problem itself,” Finnegan says.

Homebuyers see eye-popping foreclosure headlines and then discover home prices aren’t as low as they expect, Finnegan says. Confused, they wait.

“I’ve heard subprime has knocked out 20 to 25 percent of the buying pool for homes,” Finnegan notes.

Although home construction and sales have dramatically slowed and prices are falling, Arizona’s housing market is relatively strong.

“It’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing, which is correcting itself,” Finnegan says.

Arizona last endured a significant housing downturn in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but experts say that was a true real estate depression. Today, the residential real estate sector is returning to a normal pace after years of hyperactivity, they say.

Larry Seay with Meritage Homes says most Arizonans with subprime mortgages can qualify for traditional mortgages and also can afford higher interest rates that kick in when lower introductory rates expire.

Subprime psychology also trickled into the commercial real estate market. Last summer, investors in Arizona commercial real estate were rattled by residential subprime problems nationally and pulled back from the market. Lenders tightened their credit standards and offers to buy property dropped by half, says Bob Young with CB Richard Ellis.

“We’re seeing some investors returning to the marketplace because they sense things are settling down,” Young says. He expects investor activity will pick up this year.

But there’s more than psychology at play. The dampened housing market has impacted office leasing and industrial space absorption in Phoenix. Relaxed mortgage lending standards were availed to borrowers of all types, and lenders have tightened their criteria, says Joe Biondo of Sunwest Mortgage. Now, Arizona’s mortgage brokers and title companies are consolidating or closing as loans default and business slows, he says.

“There has been a lot of office space leased by those companies over the years and we’re hearing that a good portion of it is coming back to the marketplace or being subleased,” says Rick Danis with Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial.

Most of the Valley’s leased industrial space is occupied by companies with ties to residential construction and Danis says that by third quarter 2007, industrial space absorption dropped by more than half from a record 7.8 million square feet in 2005. Housing is a catalyst for retail development and Danis says retail construction will slow.

However, Paul Boyle with Grubb & Ellis expects the commercial real estate market to do well this year.

“We may not be as vibrant as we have been in the past, but I look for things in commercial to continue to stay active,” he says.

But Arizona’s economy is cooling faster than expected, McPheters concedes. He cites four factors — the slow housing market; a loss of 20,000 residential construction jobs from third quarter 2006 to third quarter 2007; significantly declining consumer spending, particularly in areas that depend on a strong housing market; and the fact that Arizona is not benefiting from a national export boom fueled by the weak dollar.

“Arizona is no longer a top 10 growth state,” McPheters says.

Possibly making matters worse is the toll the subprime collapse is having on other parts of the nation. Arizona is accustomed to, indeed dependent on, having a large number of people move here from other states. McPheters says the inflow of new residents to Arizona could slow and have a negative impact on Arizona’s economy if people living in states with serious housing market slumps can’t sell their homes. If they can’t sell their homes, they probably won’t move to Arizona as planned. That’s one less potential buyer to help reduce the glut of homes in the Arizona market and one less person living, working and spending money in the state.

But, there are bright spots.

The state’s population is still growing and unemployment is lower than the national average. Arizona ranks first nationally in growth of personal-services jobs, second in tourism-related jobs and fourth in retail and wholesale trade jobs. Nonresidential construction remains strong. The state’s banking sector is weathering subprime, as well.

Tanya Wheeless, president of the Arizona Bankers Association, says Arizona banks are “healthy and certainly not near crisis.”

Arizona Business Magazine February 2008More good news: Arizona State Treasurer Dean Martin says the state government has no investments in subprime mortgages. Plus, Arizona’s economy is diversified with wealthy retirees and service, high-tech, health care, manufacturing, communications and knowledge-oriented employment. Nevertheless,McPheters says there is a “specter of recession and a cloud of uncertainty” about the state’s economy.

“Arizona would not be immune to a national recession,” McPheters says. “If there is a national recession, theeconomic outlooks for Arizona would have to be recalibrated.”

www.brephoenix.com
www.cbre.com/phoenix
www.colliers.com
www.meritagehomes.com
www.thesunwestgroup.com

 

 

AZ Business Magazine February 2008 | Next: Baby Bust
Loop 202 - AZ Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

Plannings Pays Off For 202 South Mountain Freeway

The New 202

Plannings pays off for 202 South Mountain Freeway

By David Schwartz

Tom Tait Jr. just chuckles when quizzed about the future of his family’s land holdings in the West Valley, a large expanse of property that has been in the portfolio since the 1970s. Are there any great plans for development? Are there plans to flip the property and pocket the proceeds?

 

The New 202Not even close. Indeed, the past few years have raised the property’s worth, but that’s apparently where it ends. At least, he claims, that’s the thinking for now. “We are long-term owners of properties and really don’t bother much with any short-term benefits that there might be,” Tait says. “At the present time, we’re just farming the property. That’s what we’ve been doing and I don’t see that changing much. No matter what happens.” And apparently no matter what transportation planners have in store for the acreage.

The Tait family are among the owners of property in the vicinity of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, a long-charted, controversial thoroughfare that eventually will span 22 miles and link Interstate 10 in the southeast and West valleys.

But it’s the stretch of the freeway that cuts through the burgeoning southwest Valley that recently was brought into sharper focus by the Arizona Department of Transportation. In late June, officials ended any uncertainty and revealed that the freeway would connect at 55th Avenue in Laveen—an old favorite seen on the map for at least the last two decades.

The route was a popular choice of the three options presented for review. Better than 71st Avenue. Better than 99th Avenue, south of Loop 101. It was hailed as the right choice by officials in Phoenix and several area municipalities. It too was welcomed by several landowners in the area. But it was neither a surprise, nor unexpected.

Land experts say that the decision by the state was important because it serves to cement the value for the land in the area to be affected by the proposed freeway. There is now a line drawn in pen that can’t be easily erased and sent back to the drawing board.

But experts are quick to add that property in the area has been soaring in value anyway during the last two years, as the real estate market careened through its boom times and those familiar red tile rooftops became a more frequent sight with each passing day.

There likely will be no land rush, they predict, unlike what occurred when other segments of the Valley’s freeway system were put into place in years past. “They are putting it where I think most people thought it was going to be,” says Greg Vogel, chief executive of Land Advisors Organization, which has offices in Arizona, Texas and Colorado. “I don’t think there was a drop in values while they were considering other options. It’s already been priced into the market and it’s been a long time coming.”

Besides, Vogel says, there is not a huge amount of land to be had in the area that will be directly affected by proposed freeway as it sweeps its way through the area. He said land costs now in the fast-growing Laveen area already are between $175,000 to $350,000 an acre, a dramatic increase from more than a decade ago. “This isn’t a case where there are 25 pieces (of land) with 30 different buyers and all kinds of things going on,” he says. “It has been thought through and organized, so you’re not going to see anything like you may have with other freeways.”

Pat Feeney, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis in Phoenix, says he has watched a surge in valuation of available industrial land that began in summer 2004 and pushed prices to about $4 per square feet. That’s more than a five-fold increase from the early 1990s. “The net result is that almost every piece of land in the submarket is owned by a developer who will be building on their property,” says Feeney, who has been tracking industrial properties for about 20 years. “No one out there is a seller right now.”

He says he sees no revaluing of land in wake of the transportation department putting its official stamp on the freeway alignment in the southwest Valley. Officials say that’s because the proposed freeway has been on the books since 1985, when Maricopa County voters approved a Regional Freeway System that was supposed to take care of the Valley’s transportation needs. But a funding shortfall meant that this segment fell down the priority list of projects. At one point, it was seen as a potential toll road.

AZ Business Magazine October November 2006Fast forward to 2004. Voters approved Proposition 400 that provides money to pay for a Regional Transportation Plan that includes the South Mountain Freeway. Transportation officials say plans call for the freeway to cost an estimated $1.7 billion, with construction expected to be completed and ready for motorists in 2015. “It’s the future for that part of the West Valley,” says Debra Stark, Phoenix planning director. “We think we have done a good job planning and making sure land has been set aside.”

She says one needs only to look at an aerial map as proof. In one picture, a clear path for the freeway already has been set aside along 59th Avenue and Broadway Road. Houses can be seen on both sides. “What has helped is that unlike other areas, we’re not seeing as much housing or commercial development,” Stark says. “And as we’ve done zoning there, we’ve asked developers to set aside land for the 55th Avenue alignment. So we’re more prepared for when the freeway is built.”

As for Tait, there are no great preparations just yet for his family’s property. Asked about his time frame for development now that the freeway route has been picked, he says, “What, so now instead of 30 years, it’s 20 years? That’s still a long way away.”

 

Arizona Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

CBRE, AZ Business Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

CBRE’s Top Arizona Executives Describe The Company’s 100-Year Legacy

Looking Ahead

CBRE’s top Arizona executives describe the company’s 100-year legacy and their vision for the future.

By Melanie Winderlich

Pete Bolton, senior managing director-Phoenix, seven and a half years at CBRE
A marathon, not a sprint: The key to CBRE’s sustainability is flexibility, awareness of market conditions and selection of excellent people (including staff, brokers, management)—we have been able to do this work for 100 years. Nearly 20 years ago, the company decided to do commercial real estate exclusively and walked away from the residential side. They understood market conditions and could plan for the future of the market.

Looking AheadAlso, risk taking has been extremely effective here. Some competitors scoffed at some of the major risks we’ve taken and swore those risks would bury us. But we’ve always made strong, calculated risks. For example, Sears, Roebuck and Co. acquired 100 percent of Coldwell Banker commercial and residential in the early 1980s. However, in 1989, the employees invested their own money, and with others, acquired the company’s operations to form CB Commercial. The men and women who worked here invested hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the commercial side away from Sears. That was the launch, a very risky move, which could have been very tough if the market would have experienced a downturn.

Industry progression: In our business, if things aren’t changing, then things aren’t happening. We had a challenging, tough time from the beginning of 2001 toward the middle of 2004 because there was so much uncertainty and nobody was doing anything. Today, in Arizona we’re seeing far more than our share of expansions, which is extremely important for this state. Many companies are either completely relocating to Arizona or expanding by adding a regional hub in the Valley. Phoenix has proven in the last 15 years, to the national marketplace, that we’re a player, not a ‘boom or bust’ economy. It’s consistency from various sources—from the governor’s office to everyday people on the street—that generates interest about developing here.

I hope there can be more openness, from the community, in regards to change. I’ve been in the Valley for more than 52 years and seen so many people move here and give back to the community. What I see a lot of is newcomers (all types) pushing back against change and growth. Any kind of big project is always a battle with the neighborhoods. The change can be good, but they just vehemently resist. Our community needs to become more open to change, more open to density, more open to becoming the city we are destined to become. Luckily we have a very business-friendly government and a governor that listens to the business community and respects our concerns.

Greg Coxon, left, senior managing director-Phoenix and Pete Bolton, senior managing director-Phoenix

 

Greg Coxon & Peter Bolton

 

Tim Prouty, managing director—Tucson, six years with CBRE

Tim Prouty

 

The 100-year legacy: CBRE is all about the client. We want to reduce our clients’ risk. These transactions can be massive, one bad decision can ruin a career, so you better be giving good advice and data. That’s our prime legacy, we’re very sure about the information we’re providing.

Vision quest: CBRE would like to continue to be the place to work. If you have happy people internally and continue to educate them, then your company continues to grow and benefits clients. We’re the only commercial brokerage company I know of that has its own university. About 40 minutes outside of Chicago, our teaching facility educates employees at all different levels. The intensive CBRE curriculum and professional coaches are all geared to create the strongest, most intelligent group to represent the company. CB Richard Ellis is the biggest, most profitable commercial real estate services company in the world, earning about $3 billion worldwide. Our closest competitor pulls in about $780 million. We would like to continue that tradition.

On-the-job satisfaction: I work at CBRE because it’s fun. When you think about it, we spend more time at work than with our families. I work about 10 to 12 hours a day—I get home at 7:30 p.m., spend a couple hours with my kids then go to bed. When you spend 40 to 60 hours a week with the same group of people, you want to be with people you enjoy. Not only is CBRE the No. 1 commercial real estate company in Arizona, the country and the world (by revenue), but our people are wonderfully intelligent, creative and fun. We truly make a difference because of the advice we give. This is a great place for me to apply my trade.

Greg Coxon, senior managing director-Phoenix, 19 years with CBRE
In it for the long haul: The biggest reason CBRE is still around today is our people. We’re blessed to have high caliber people working here. They are unbelievably motivated to execute our business goals. The other part of that secret is our ability to retain these people. CBRE is a great company— the No. 1 company by any comparative standard, that fact coupled with our awesome people who offer expertise and longevity, is a fabulous recipe for success.

A star is born: From an organizational standpoint, we’ve been lucky and had incredibly talented people sitting at the leadership chair of this company. These leaders have been unbelievable with growing this company. Each owner, CEO, manager, and so on has taken this organization to a different level. And this fact has allowed the next CEO or director to grab onto that success and take it to the next level—success begets success. It’s almost incumbent on the incoming leaders to take their role and responsibility to that level of quality. I expect CBRE to get bigger and better as we look forward to the future.

What the community should know: The one thing I would like the community to know about CBRE is how giving we are. Our employees are involved in countless organizations—we have people who sit on boards, volunteer with charities, work with nonprofits. We give money and time to our community. For example, CBRE has held a charity golf tournament every year for the past eight years and over time, has raised nearly $750,000 for several charities. ChildHelp is the biggest benefactor of this event, but it is one of many things we do. I would like people to know about how our people join together when they see a need for their involvement and what they are prepared to do in time of crisis. It’s unbelievable.

Vision quest: We would like to continue to be bigger—growing by employees, geography and revenue. One of our corporate initiatives, at the highest level, is to be the No. 1 provider of commercial real estate services in the world. We can do that by hiring professional, knowledgeable people. We’re looking into other areas that are related to our industry. We’ve started an equipment and asset financing business within CBRE | Melody. A few years ago, we created a team of real estate professionals focused on the acquisition and disposition of mining properties, especially appropriate in Arizona—few people think about mining operations or equipment that are very beneficial to specific clients. We’re continually spawning other niche service lines because CBRE is very entrepreneurial at its roots.

The need for CBRE: Commercial real estate is a fragmented business; there is not another dominant company that provides real estate services across the world. As we go into a global economy, every country has different laws and regulations regarding real estate. The United States’ real estate practices are some of the most advanced in the industry. Given such a good foundation, in terms of ownership and standards, CBRE applies these standards to every market in the world. One of our top attributes is that we have our best practices implemented everywhere in the world, which is good for the client who might not understand the real estate regulations in Japan or Russia, but must have a presence there.

There is not any one company that has the vast majority of the marketplace. We apply our standards to a very vast area of geography—an important fact if you have someone who cannot navigate laws specific to certain areas around the world. We are an economic development engine on a global scale.

A look into the next 100 years: The next 100 years will be better than the last 100 years. We’ve always made the future better than what was in the past. We’re making major advancements. We won’t give up things we value most—our high ethical standards, client needs, giving employees latitude to achieve the level of success they desire—we will meet these successes as a call of duty.

Tim Prouty, managing director—Tucson, six years with CBRE
Benefiting Arizona: CBRE’s 100-year presence all boils down to the people who we’ve been able to attract to the platform. If you get people who want to make things happen, then things will happen. When each individual person contributes, their work creates a huge contribution statewide.

In Tucson, CBRE orchestrated the sale of the IBM plant to the University of Arizona, which then led to the development of the University of Arizona Science Park. This project, which sold for nearly $100 million, created huge employment numbers and added another avenue of research for the school and the state—that’s a pretty significant contribution

AZ Business Magazine October November 2006Changes through the years: Corporate real estate, over time, has continued to focus on outsourcing to real estate service providers, which means more services for us to be ready to provide (from the occupier side). From the investor side, the world is awash with investment capital so we must find appropriate spots to invest that capital. Vision quest: I see continued growth in our company, to serve our clients, in CBRE’s future. We strive to help our clients as one, integrated Arizona company with a consistent level of service in the state. Also, the opportunity to go in fields of different business and serve new clients. For example, clients have changing needs as it relates to finance, construction, facility management. Anything that has to do with real estate, our company wants to be a part of that.

Where work and play merge: I work at CBRE because it’s fun. It’s a great company with a state-of-the-art platform, working on the leading edge of the commercial real estate industry. This business is a blast and it’s always changing—the challenge is never the same. Every client, every building, every concern is unique. The real estate business runs through everybody’s life; every business has a real estate component and I get to interact with almost every industry out there.

 

 

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.

Reputation
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.

Experience
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