Episode 27 - G. Michael Verden - Security, Protection, and Active Shooters

In this day and age of security breaches and active shooters, Phil brings on G. Michael Verden, the CEO of the Lake Forest Group, a private security consulting firm, to discuss crafting a security plan for your company.  With an extensive career as a police officer, 21 years as a Secret Service agent guarding the First Lady and President, Director of Security for the NBA, and security consultant, Mike Verden understands how to apply security best practices to your unique setting to safeguard people, property, and assets.  Before Mike comes on, our managing principal, Andy Annes, sets the stage by discussing how landlords and businesses should approach having a security plan for their employees and business.  Then, our feature guest Mike discusses the specifics of security, the different types of security threats, and different policies that can help keep companies and people safe in the event of an emergency.  Later in the episode (34:00), Mike shares real life stories of security situations he has encountered during his extensive career.

Read More

Episode 26 - Mike Piper - Student Housing and Tax Incentives

Joining Phil on this episode is Mike Piper, the CEO of ICS Tax, LLC, to explain P3s, or Public-Private Partnerships, and tax strategies such as cost segregation. Mike brings a wealth of expertise to provide beneficial tax strategies to both public and private entities that have made investment in student housing facilities beneficial. By using the example of public universities, Mike shows how pairing together a tax paying private entity with a tax free public entity can create a win-win for developer and university.  Mike then delves a little into his business and the software they have developed to help companies large and small identify beneficial tax strategies.

Read More

Episode 25 - Bob Cavoto - Successful Interviewing Strategies

He’s back!  Bob Cavoto joins the podcast again to talk to Phil about successful interviewing and making an effective sales pitch, taking your career to the next level, and the state of the real estate jobs market.  With over 20 years of experience matching executives with careers as CEO of 20/20 Foresight Executive Search, Bob is able to give unique and personal advice.  First, Bob takes Phil though his 3 basic principles of interviewing, exploring the ideas of likability, credibility, and competence.  Bob and Phil discuss body language and using voice modulation for effective communication.  From there, Bob delves into his thoughts about what can help make a successful career and the different management techniques he comes across.  Finally, a look at the current real estate jobs market, and the possibility of a cooling down period.

Read More

Episode 24 - Bill Barry - Financing Commercial Real Estate

Bill Barry (a/k/a “BB”) is a Senior Vice President and the current head of the Commercial Finance Group at Draper and Kramer. A 30 year finance veteran, BB has closed $25 billion in real estate during his storied career, and believes deals are like snowflakes—no two deals are the same.   Bill sits down with Phillip to explain how commercial lending works and the different lenders available to borrowers.  From there, Bill describes current types of attractive asset classes and the weak asset classes in the market.   The interview has complex financial and legal terminology, explores various strategies for financing deals, and discusses trends in the marketplace while Bill personalizes the discussion with war stories on various deals. What are the current prime asset classes? Listen and find out. You can learn more about Draper and Kramer and Bill Barry here: http://www.draperandkramer.com/meet-our-team/

Read more here.

Read more here.

Read More

Episode 23 - David Moore and The Willis Tower Redevelopment

David Moore, as Senior Vice President and Portfolio Director of Equity Office’s Chicago portfolio, comes on the podcast to discuss the company’s $500 million investment/redevelopment of famed The Willis Tower.  As the second tallest building in the country, The Willis Tower is most recognizable building in Chicago and one of the most recognizable in the world. This episode is a fascinating consideration of the massive scale of a $500 Million redevelopment and investment into Chicago’s most quintessential and historic building. 

David discusses the “why” of redevelopment and the movement to amenitization of office buildings in Chicago. The company’s objective is to look at how to enhance the daily lives of the people in the building and create a better experience for those people. Equity Office is creating an amenity destination for its 15,000 daily inhabitants and visitors. The Willis Tower is delivering multiple floors of tenant only amenities, including a “Tower House” which is a West loop style creative space, and an “Altitude Lounge” grab and go location built in a high rise Gold Coast style, as well as a floor of tenant only fitness space with cardio, workout classes, spin, yoga, and much more.  In addition, the base of the structure is being torn down and built out and expanded, to include 300,000 square feet of commercial space with a Wintergarden style space full of various food and drink offerings. This episode is a great explanation of why these massive investments in existing office product are taking place in Chicago and around the world.

Read More

Episode 22 - Doug Childers

Doug Childers (HFF) on housing tax credits.  What happens when the government utilizes market forces to reinvigorate its public housing programs? For decades, publicly subsidized affordable housing was an underutilized aspect of commercial real estate. This all changed in 1986 with the introduction of the Section 42 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program that incentivized private developers and investors to work together to modernize the US’s public housing infrastructure. To give you an idea of the scale of this program, our guest advises that over 50% of the rental units in America today have component of section 42 tax incentives.

Doug Childers, Managing Director at HFF’s Atlanta office (formerly, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler), sits down with Phil and Raul to discuss LIHTC and other tax incentive programs. In his 10 plus years in the industry, Doug has been in involved in the disposition of over 1 billion dollars in affordable housing assets throughout the country including Parkway Gardens on Chicago’s south side. Doug takes Phil and Raul through the hurdles of affordable housing transactions and how LIHTC has incentivized companies, like Google, to get involved in the affordable housing tax credit market. Doug discusses how he built his book of business as a broker and finds leads. Doug also shares his experience working in the Atlanta Braves clubhouse during their dynasty years and the genius of Bobby Cox.

Read More

Episode 21 - Bob Cavoto Repost

Happy Thanksgiving!  Phil is out this week to spend time with family, so we are re-broadcasting one of our most popular interviews: A sit down with Bob Cavoto, the founder of 20/20 Foresight Executive Search. Bob comes on to answer all those questions you always wanted to ask an executive recruiter. Bob shoots it straight. Bob explains executive marketing and recruiting, gives career and life advice, and provides a roadmap for how to improve your career and become a C-level executive for real estate companies. It is a fascinating discussion about the job market in commercial real estate and how to market yourself for a C-level executive position. We plan to have Bob come back on in early 2018 for a market update.

Read More

Episode 20 - Donna Salvatore

Data analytics are everywhere. The commercial real estate industry is ultra-competitive and companies are looking for any sort of edge.  Phil sits down with Donna Salvatore, the CEA and founder of Megalytics, a Chicago based tech company providing data analytic services to the commercial real estate industry.  Phil and Donna discuss the value of utilizing big data, the trend of data being applied to various industries, and specific applications to the commercial real estate industry. Megalytics has proprietary software which assimilates data from over 100 sources and scores prospective commercial tenants to help property owners determine the tenant’s ability to meet financial obligations.

Read More

Episode 19 - Andy Koglin

Phil sits down with our first architect on the podcast, Andy Koglin—the President of OKW Architects.  Andy tells Phil about current trends in real estate, including redeveloping and adapting bricks and mortar for different uses by creating value and density, and seeing an increase in urban infill properties. Examples of these projects are the new Amazon, Bareburger, and Soul Cycle in the Clybourn Corridor. While Phil has Andy’s ear, he asks Andy to tell us about the NewCity Development, and how he approaches integrated community development projects such as the Southport Corridor. 

OKW is involved in many aspects of commercial real estate, from architecture, to interior design, to urban planning, and to landscape architecture. You will see OKW on many interesting projects such as New City in the bustling North/Clybourn corridor, to central station in Evanston, IL, to the Soul Cycle on Southport. The good people at OKW take an idea from start to reality. 

Read More

Episode 18 - The University Club of Chicago

The University Club of Chicago is a private city club residing in a gorgeous 13 floor gothic skyscraper located at the corner of Monroe and Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.   Phil recorded this episode onsite with its general manager, John Spidalette, head chef and restaurant manager, Mark Baker, and chief engineer, Marty Keane, to discuss the opening of $13.5 million expansion on the 7th and 8th floor.  This is a unique development as it involves combining two buildings, dealing with landmark building issues, and raising funds to deliver a beautiful new restaurant (The Parliament), private dining space, two outdoor spaces including a balcony overlooking Millennium Park, and a more casual sports bar area called The Living Room. The project includes design and architecture by Antunovich Associates, general construction services rendered by Bulley and Andrews, and owners representative JLL.  We release this episode just one day before its formal opening to membership. In full disclosure, Phil is a longtime member of the University Club, involved in club governance, and this is his home away from home.

Read More

Episode 17 - Liz Holland

The Back to School Special.  Phil sits down with Liz Holland, the CEO of Abbell Credit Corporation and Abbell Associates.  Liz takes us to school on current retail real estate trends, what Amazon is going to do to compete in the grocery store market. She also discusses the under-utilization of the female workforce causing a limited economic growth environment, and the fight for sales fairness legislation (a/k/a the main street fairness act).  Liz explains the value of brick and mortar and how recent online retailers are transferring to them, creating a situation where the line is murky between online sales and in-store sales. 

Read More

Episode 16 - Linda Day Harrison

Marketing!  We all know that we should be doing a better job marketing ourselves and our companies online.  But it is hard to know how to market oneself.  We had Linda Day Harrison, founder and CEO of theBrokerList, come on the podcast to describe simple tips and strategies to market yourself online.  Marketing is simply educating the public about who you are and what you can do for them.  Linda is passionate about helping people market and is generous with her time, energy and ideas.

We also asked Linda about theBrokerList, a commercial real estate network created to provide an online forum for brokers to share ideas, listings, contacts, and deals.  theBrokerList is a free tool and way to unite all of our commercial real estate organizations and the affiliated members to message and find each other or groups of our colleagues and save those lists for future reference.

Read More

Follow-Up Call with Colin Laitner

Phil’s friend Colin Laitner (Deeter Investments / Metis Capital) comes back on the podcast as a follow up to Episode 4 to let us all know the resolution of his company’s real estate lawsuit between the Nook and the Westin regarding the Westin’s claim that the Nook’s awesome sound was infringing on its use and enjoyment of its property.  It is an interesting discussion of litigation strategy, finding common ground in a multi-dimensional negotiation, and realizing value in the midst of a contentious real estate litigation.   This episode is an experiment on using an Uber conference call to connect people across the country, and as such, please excuse the audio quality.

Read More

Episode 15 - Dan McCaffery

Phil sits down for a cup of coffee with Dan McCaffery of McCaffery Interests.  Dan explains how he went from a college student in Canada to running a hugely successful real estate development and full service real estate firm in Chicago, Illinois, that has successfully completed over $2 Billion of commercial real estate developments. Dan is a big picture guy who has made big developments his business, including the current development of The Lincoln Common in Lincoln Park, Illinois.   The Lincoln Common is the former site of the Children’s Memorial Hospital, and the project will cover a contiguous 6.04 acre area which includes 100,000 square feet of retail space, 538 apartment units, 40 luxury condominiums, a 5-story boutique office building, 850 garage spaces, and a 156 room senior living facility, with over 1 acre of open space and multiple swimming pools.  Dan explains how he and his team “imagineers” huge developments, his strategy for pricing the site while factoring in construction and other costs, and obtaining the vision to see the project completion and how it can transform a community.    Dan also discusses his developments in the West Loop and participating in the revitalization of that area, and how to build projects which are attractive to multiple generations including the millennial demographic.  McCaffery interests has been instrumental in pioneering the Strip District in Pittsburgh.  Dan’s story about the sale of the old Nike Town property exemplifies the attraction to real estate development and real estate property values.   Dan also explains why the retail sector may be a great opportunity for investment in this period of bad news surrounding retail.

Read More

Episode 14 - Jon Winick

Distressed Debt.  Debt buying is a multi-billion dollar industry that operates largely under the radar.  Phil has Jon Winick of Clark Street Capital come on to discuss the business side of debt purchases and sales, the industry, and how it all works.  As it turns out, all banks sell loans.  There are professional loan buying companies, private equity groups, and individual investors, out there that purchase loans to restructure (i.e. workout) loans and enforce delinquent debt.  Jon talks about the process and costs of loan management, the reasons for selling loans, the purchasers in the market, and the opportunities available for loan purchasers.  Jon also gets into the 2008 downturn, the consequences on the banking industry, and how that changed the loan sale industry. Clark Street Capital puts debt sellers and buyers together and creates a market for these transactions.  Their primary business is value management and sale of complex loan portfolios by selling loans and valuing loans.

Read More

Episode 13 - Sam Rosen

In order to learn more about the coworking phenomenon, Phil has Sam Rosen, co-founder of Deskpass, on the podcast.  Sam, a design and technology professional by trade, is a long time pioneer in the coworking space industry (former founder of the “Coop” in River North), and Deskpass allows users to dip their toes in the coworking atmosphere.   Sam discusses trends with the millennial workforce, the shift to the freelance workforce, and how companies are using creative strategies to attract top tier talent in urban areas.

Read More

Episode 12 - Sleeping Bear Capital - Andrew Calcutt and George Freeman

First, Phil provides an ICSC RECON recap, and he shares his first experience at the storied conference in Las Vegas.   Phil then sits down with Andrew Calcutt and George Freeman, two long-time friends and business partners, who invest in 6-30 unit multi-family buildings in the south side of Chicago.   Andrew and George discuss their strategies, their challenges finding quality deals in the current marketplace, the lack of REO inventory, distressed debt purchasing, and their strategy of renovating challenged properties to provide affordable, quality housing in challenging markets.

Read More

Episode 11 - Dee G. Coover - Mother's Day Special

MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL.  In this episode, Phil’s mother Dee G. Coover comes on the podcast to discuss one of the most complex real estate deals one can imagine:  The DeKalb Public Library Expansion project.   As (now happily retired) director of the DeKalb Public Library, Dee embarked on a 9 year, $25 Million Dollar, journey to renovate an existing historical structure, build a new structure which merged with the historic structure, purchase multiple parcels, change the zoning laws, build public support, obtain government approvals, and finance the project through a combination of public funds, private donations, TIF Financing, loans from private banks, municipal bonds, and public grants.   It was an absolute pleasure having Dee’s on to discuss the public library.  Please support your local libraries, and have a Happy Mother’s Day.

Read More

Episode 10 - Bobby Goodman

Phil is joined by Bobby Goodman, one of the co-founders of Truss, which could revolutionize the commercial real estate industry with its new real estate tech company, Truss.  This company launched in January of 2017 and is already making waves in the community.   Truss provides a cloud based platform for office space and gives power to the tenants looking for office space in downtown Chicago and is expanding rapidly to new markets.   This company fills a hole in the marketplace and serves an underserved market where tenants can search the marketplace and take control of the process. The Truss company makes the information and pricing transparent, provides a rebate to tenants from the buyer’s broker commission, so much more.

Read More

Episode 9 - Craig Nadborne - Q1 2017 Chicago Downtown Office Market Report

In this episode, Phil has Craig Nadborne, an office tenant rep broker and senior managing director at Bradford Allen, come on the podcast to explain the Bradford Allen quarterly report and describe the state of the office market in downtown Chicago.   Craig advises on the current rental rates, total inventory, the difference between A, B and C class buildings, current trends in new office buildings and renovating existing buildings, and what’s to come in future quarters.

Read More