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Did You Hear? Colliers' Kratz Keeps Climbing

A Daily Look at the Movers and Shakers in Commercial Real Estate
September 17, 2018

Call Ryan Kratz the rocket man of Southeast commercial real estate.

The 42-year-old broker-turned-manager has skyrocketed to the position of president of Colliers International’s Southeast Brokerage operation. Based in Colliers’ Tampa, Florida, office, Kratz will oversee brokers in more than 20 offices in the high-growth region that stretches from Richmond, Virginia, down to Miami and west to Memphis, Tennessee.

Colliers tapped Kratz as it Southeast Brokerage president a mere 18 months after he was promoted to president of Colliers’ Florida operations. All told, Kratz now oversees more than 350 brokers or producers, at a time when the industry is undergoing incredible change as clients rely on real estate agents for more than traditional transactional assistance. As companies outsource more professional services to focus on their core business, clients expect their representatives to act more as consultants who help with all aspects of a move or expansion.

"As a broker, you really have to become more of a real estate advisor, " he said, adding it is important to stay nimble. Brokerage "is the easiest business to get into, but it’s the hardest business to have staying power in."

Kratz would know. He started his real estate career in 2005 as an investment sales broker in Minneapolis. "I’ve been around that environment my entire career," he said. "It helps when you can truly identify with and have empathy for what a broker goes through like when a deal falls apart."

Did you hear?   A globetrotter, Kratz has been to 78 of the world’s 196 countries.

Prologis Executive Leaves for Competitor

Elizabeth Kauchak, who oversaw leasing and management for one of the largest industrial real estate portfolios in the U.S. at Prologis, has jumped to the C-suite of a competitor. Her move comes as Prologis just closed its acquisition of DCT Industrial Trust. Kauchak said the change had "nothing to do with DCT."

Kauchak now serves as chief operating officer for Dermody Properties, a Reno, Nevada-based investment and development firm. At Dermody, which specializes in logistics facilities, she is responsible for leasing, property management and capital programs for a growing portfolio that stretches from Southern California to New Jersey.

Kauchak said she had her eyes on Dermody prior to making the move. "They have always been very strategic in logistics real estate, through investment in acquisition and development. This position matched up perfectly with my experience and skill set."

All told, Kauchak has completed more than 1,500 transactions and participated in the design and construction of over 20 million square feet of industrial space while at Prologis, which completed its $8.5 billion acquisition of DCT Industrial Trust on Aug. 22. Kauchak said she’s thankful for her time at Prologis and now is poised to take advantage of that experience at Dermody, where she’s also on the company’s executive and investment committees.

NRP Hires Atlanta VP, Enters Market

Atlanta’s multifamily market is deep into an incredible run that’s produced scores of new real estate developments and rising rents. But is it too late for a new player to get in on the action? Cleveland-based multifamily development firm NRP Group is about to find out.

NRP just entered the Atlanta market and hired local industry veteran Johnson Bazzel to lead the charge. As vice president of development, Bazzel will oversee NRP’s site selection, entitlement, capital raising and construction across Georgia. He joins NRP from Atlanta-based multifamily developer Wood Partners, where he spent five years.

"We’re new to the Atlanta market, and I’m starting from the beginning," Bazzel said. "Atlanta just continues to have so much energy. Every day it seems there’s a new office tower discussed or new company creating jobs here."

For now, Bazzel operates his one-man Atlanta operation out of coworking company Industrious’ location at Ponce City Market near the BeltLine. He said he likes the coworking atmosphere and being surrounded by companies with one to five people. "We’re a bunch of grinders."

Johnson’s launching NRP’s Atlanta office at a time some analysts believes the market’s multifamily boom, especially in Midtown where several large communities and high-rises have just been delivered, is waning. He doesn’t feel that way and still sees a decent runway for new apartment development, even in Midtown.

"I’m a very big believer in Midtown. We’ve seen a lot of supply and developers are collectively taking a breather, in a healthy way," he said. "But there’s so much long-term upside with job Midtown’s job growth and its natural grid" and with Midtown residents deciding to stay and raise families instead of bolting for the suburbs once kids come along.

Johnson’s already working on a couple of deals he hopes to announce "sooner rather than later."

Florida Firm Wants Back In on Multifamily

Chris Finlay, who began investing in real estate in the 1970s, became one of the country’s largest producers of so-called "workforce" housing, or housing aimed at middle- and lower middle-class families, in the 1990s and 2000s. Then the Great Recession hit, and in 2008, Finlay dropped development faster than a slab of cement could dry.

But Finlay, who founded Miami-based Lloyd Jones Capital in 2013 to invest in existing properties, is back in the multifamily development game. "It’s time to start from the ground-up," he said. Finlay’s new division will have a heavy focus on active adult housing for those age 55 and older.

To this end, Lloyd Jones hired Jamie Telchin, a 20-year industry veteran, as vice president of development and construction management. Telchin joined Lloyd Jones from Golub & Co., where he oversaw development of The Bristol, a $430 million ultra-luxury condo in downtown West Palm Beach.

Finlay is expecting big things out of Telchin. "Jamie has managed every phase of the development process and he has an impressive record of landmark projects," Finlay said.

Telchin, who earned his MBA at the University of Colorado in Denver, served as the chair of ULI’s Multifamily Development Council for Florida and the Caribbean.

more moves

Like Father, Like Son

Building things is in the blood of the Burton boys from Birmingham.

Rob Burton has long headed Hoar Construction, which is building one of the tallest towers in Northern Virginia, but the time has come to pass the baton to his son, Turner Burton, who was just promoted to company president.

But Rob Burton is not going anywhere, for at least five years. The Birmingham, Alabama-based general contractor said Rob Burton will remain chairman and chief executive and stay on for five to 10 years "to ensure a successful transition."

Data Center Company Names New CEO

If you’re looking for Charles Meyers this week, his head’s in the clouds. In a good way.

The 25-year veteran of the technology industry took over as president and chief executive of Equinix Inc., a global data center company based in Redwood, California. Meyers, who joined Equinix as president of the Americas, replaced Peter Van Camp, who had served as interim CEO and will resume his role as executive chairman of Equinix’s board.

Van Camp said Meyers deserves the promotion because, from Day One at Equinix, he has been "a major contributor" to the company’s growth. Equinix’s annual revenue has quadrupled, to $5 billion since Meyers’ joined.

JPI Picks Cooper to Pilot Western Region

Irving, Texas-based multifamily developer JPI just promoted U.S. Air Force vet Rosie Cooper to executive vice president and regional managing partner of its Western Region office.

Based in San Diego, Cooper now oversees the territory's multifamily operations. Cooper originally joined JPI after her honorable discharge from the Air Force in 2006. She then worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and real estate firms before returning to JPI in 2015 as vice president and development manager.

JLL Capital Markets Hires Mireles in Austin

Richard Mireles just left Marcus & Millichap’s Austin, Texas, office to join Jones Lang LaSalle’s Capital Markets team in the same city.

As vice president of JLL Capital Market’s multifamily team, Mireles will assist clients with the acquisition of apartments and help find financing for their projects.

Did You Hear? is a new column focusing on real estate's movers and shakers. Send new executive hires and promotion announcements to  |  Follow the news on Twitter @TheCoStarGroup and @TWilbert.

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