A dozen young professionals from all corners of the real estate industry in the Valley were taken under the wings of seasoned veterans in the industry as part of NAIOP’s annual Developing Leaders Mentor Program Protégé Class that recently concluded with a competition and case study presentation.
The class is a year-long program where those selected attend educational seminars and complete a full scale development project from inception to the exit sale. The program’s goal is to help deepen their knowledge of the industry and develop invaluable relationships with some of the industry’s most successful professionals.
“We think they get out the ability to walk through a real estate transaction from start to finish,” said Developing Leaders Mentor Program Protégé Co-Chair Cooper Fratt. “As well as, develop a one on one relationship with an expert in the commercial real estate industry along the way.”
Fratt hopes being a NAIOP graduate will hold high prestige and companies will recognize the significant accomplishment it entails when they hire in the commercial real estate industry in the future.
Fratt is a former young professional himself. He graduated from the program in 2012 and is now an industry broker for CBRE.
This year’s graduation ceremony was held at Mastro’s City Hall where the young pros presented their case studies in a competition format in front of a three judge panel who determined the winners. The young pros were split into three teams of four, evenly dispersing everyone’s talents and areas of expertise.
They were tasked with transforming a lot on the northwest corner of McDowell Road and Central Avenue that started with buying the land, planning the architecture and pricing the lease up all the way through the exit sale. Each team was given a price for the land and the loan amount they would receive but everything else was up to them as long as the construction numbers made sense.
“We did a lot of due diligence,” said Martina Stephan of team Canvas. “We met with village planners, architectural firm and a contractor to get an overall understanding of the neighborhood. What would work in this area and what wouldn’t and that really helped us develop what we did.”
During the graduation ceremony, each team presented their projects to be scored by three judges: Bob Hubbard with LBA Realty, Mark Stapp with ASU MRED and Christine Mackay with City of Phoenix.
Team Canvas won with a dazzling $131 million development commingling elements of Downtown and Midtown culture. It was designed to bring art and people together with an art museum, gym, grocery store and luxury apartments for residents. It even featured an electronic billboard on the side of the building, which could be used as a digital canvas to showcase arts’ works.
“The central business district is a lot of high-end office and we brought in high-end office but made it creative,” explained Greg Barrett, Canvas team member. “We bridged the gaps between those two environments and made something in between. It’s really more focused on the arts community more so than anything else.”
Mackay, community and economic developer for the City of Phoenix, said each team’s presentation was very impressive so picking a winner was especially challenging.
“For me, it was how they integrated the trans Lorient and development,” Mackay explained. “There is a huge need for quality retail in the area and creative office space. As I was looking at them that for me was when it really stood out.”
Less than a few points on the judge’s scorecards separated all three teams.
“We were fortunate to have great mentors and learned a lot from them,” said David Dickinson from team Canvas. “The relationships we formed amongst our group first and foremost and the relationship with the other teams is what we’ll take away from it the most.”
The NAIOP is celebrating their 30th anniversary and will soon change the name of their protégé program to the Young Professionals Group (YPG). Applications will be sent out in early August.
Below is a list of young professionals and the NAIOP members who mentored them based on their teams:
- Team name: Canvas
- David Dickinson: development associate at Wentworth Property Co., Masters Architecture from University of Cincinnati and MBA in Business from University of Arizona.
- Greg Barrett: broker at Colliers International, B.A. Economics and Business Brigham Young University
- Samnang Dul: estimator at Willmeng Construction, Inc., Masters degree in Construction Arizona State University
- Tony Lydon: brokerage at JLL
- Megan Creecy-Herman: development at Liberty Property Trust
- Scott Maxwell: broker at Cresa
- Mike Burke: development at DMB
- Team name: CCMP
- Jason Ploszaj: associate principal at RSP Architects, Architecture at Arizona State University
- Billy Cundiff: Arizona State University MRED student
- Thomas Maynard: coordinator, Strategic Partnerships at GPEC, Journalism and Public Relations at Arizona State University
- Tim Colquhoun: assistant Vice President, Commercial Banker at National Bank of Arizona, Bachelor’s of Science, Finance and Accounting at Arizona State University
- Cathy Thuringer: development at Trammell Crow Company
- James Murphy: construction at Willmeng
- Jim Wenworth Jr.: Development at Wentworth
- Pat Feenely: brokerage at CBRE
- Team name: KMLS Partners
- Kate Perrin: business development at Deal Berkenne Construction, B.A. Business Administration at Whittier College
- Samuel Doncaster: senior litigator at Rose Law Group, B.S. Mathematics at Arizona State University
- Michael Marsh: office properties at Lee & Associates, M.B.A at University of Arizona
- Leo Sanchez: Fidelity National Title, M.B.A at Keller Graduate School of Management
- Barry Gabel: brokerage at CBRE
- Alisa Timm: property management at Lincoln Property Co.
- Larry Pobuda: development at Opus
- Fred Messner: architecture/design at Phoenix Design One