Knowledge, integrity, hard work; three components for success in commercial real estate development. Kalan Haywood (Haywood Group); Jerry Franke (Franke Development Group) and Tom Irgens (Irgens) shared their backgrounds, advice and stories of being in the business. Very different in their individual focuses, each of the March 19th presenters had similar themes in terms of being successful.
- Serving as the ‘quarterback’ of a team, understanding a little bit about every aspect of the deal, is key.
- Being willing to engage a highly knowledgeable team, these developers shared experiences of serving as the chief risk-taker, visionary and face of the project with elected and municipal leaders.
- Development is local – understanding the nuances of each municipality where the project is being done – knowing how the neighbors, planning advisors and possible scenarios for the project outcomes.
- Change is inevitable – get used to it, comfortable with it, and understand that NOBODY LIKES CHANGE.
- Challenges in commercial real estate development include regulation (TIF – changes and federal laws related to how it is taxed; Wetland requirements (particularly onerous in Wisconsin)
- Redevelopment of existing structures – big box and urban infill in particular – take a lot of creativity and vision – and is highly necessary given the high costs of construction and approval timelines.
Participants inquired about financing complexities, site selection strategies, and what’s on the horizon for commercial real estate in Wisconsin. Panelists encouraged participants to always be focused on how they are adding value to the project and process. Bringing insights to the deal will keep you in the game.