As I reflect on the past year, once again have a sense of gratitude – for our clients, the Omaha community and our people, who work hard each day to be their best.
Our real estate market has seen low interest rates, plenty of equity and strong demand across all sectors, particularly in the industrial sector. At this time last year, ConAgra had announced it was moving its headquarters to Chicago and we braced ourselves for the fallout. However, deals kept happening, and ConAgra’s departure has not had the impact we initially thought it would.
In fact, it was a record-breaking year for us at IRI. A sample of interesting projects that we worked on in 2016 appears below.
- In our property management area, we won the assignment to manage the Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall properties, bringing the total square footage of buildings we manage to over 4.5 million square feet.
- One of the most extraordinary projects we worked on in 2016 is the conversion of Creighton University Medical Center to a 700-unit apartment and retail development. We worked closely with NuStyle Development to help make this complex project a reality. A more in-depth look at the development appears inside.
- Another win for the community and both organizations involved was the sale of HDR’s current headquarters and the Durham Plaza office buildings at 84th and Dodge Street to Children’s Hospital. The sale allowed Children’s to secure property adjacent to its campus that it can grow into while giving HDR more time to make a decision and initiate plans for its new headquarters.
- While we focus primarily on the Omaha market, we also work on a handful of regional projects. In 2016, IRI’s Ember Grummons has worked on several regional investment deals including the $9 million sale of a suburban shopping center in Kansas City.
- In a booming auto market, several members of our team have worked with Baxter Auto Group on the purchase of new dealership sites in Omaha and Lincoln totaling over 100 acres, and are assisting in the disposition of several of Baxter’s existing locations.
As we finish the year, 90 percent of our brokers are on pace to exceed their 2016 goals and, collectively, our brokerage fees are up 15 percent over last year and 44 percent over 2014. One area that we believe sets IRI apart is our focus on continuing education. Many of our team members set and achieve education-related goals. We invest in ourselves and this, in turn, helps us deliver higher quality service to our clients. Continuing education also helps ensure we are current on industry trends and regulations and are advising our clients accordingly. In 2016, Tim Kerrigan earned his SIOR designation and Todd Trimpe earned his Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation from BOMI International. Others are working towards CPM and CCIM designations in 2017.
Last, this past summer a member of our team, Clint Seemann, and his wife, Lisa, suffered an unimaginable loss when their three-year-old son, Aspen, passed away after a drowning accident. All of us at IRI were heartbroken for Clint and his family and we came together as a team to support them. In addition, the outpouring of support from our clients, vendors, competitors and friends was overwhelming and provided some comfort during an incredibly sad time. On behalf of Clint and his family as well as our entire organization, we wish to extend our deepest gratitude. While it will be a long road ahead, Clint, Lisa, and Aspen’s older brother, Jenner, are continuing to heal. As a show of their gratitude to the community, the Seemann family recently started the Aspen Drake Seemann Foundation to help other families facing personal tragedy or illness.
I am proud of our team and all of the ways they have helped our clients, our industry, our community and one another in 2016. Thank you to all of you who continue to put your trust in us. We wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season.
R.J. Neary, CCIM, SIOR President, Investors Realty
This article appeared in our quarterly newsletter from December of 2016. The full newsletter is available at http://files.investorsomaha.com/download/online_newsletter_12_2016.pdf