All timeline stories.

No Comments

Synchrony Puts 200K SF Atlanta Office Up For Sublease

100-Edgewood-Avenue-Rendering-1024x1021

New 100 Edgewood Fly-Thru Gives Taste of $45 MM Office Redo

Former United Way of Greater Atlanta tower will be available for move-ins starting April 2021

Commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm Cushman & Wakefield Atlanta last week published a fly-through video (shown below) offering a glimpse of what 100 Edgewood will look like when it opens next year following a $45 million renovation. Florida-based Parkway Property Investments LLC began overhauling the downtown office building, at 100 Edgewood Avenue SE, in mid-2020, and plans to debut the updated 306,000-square-foot property in April 2021.

“Edgewood Avenue has long been a road to what’s next — a thoroughfare for Civil Rights leaders and artists, entrepreneurs, and thrill-seekers, students and masters of craft,” a landing page for 100 Edgewood states on Parkway’s website. “Now, a bold and unexpected answer to a missing option in the urban office landscape is emerging here. A window to Atlanta’s past, present, and future, 100 Edgewood offers a refreshed workplace ecosystem for those who dare to dream, to push boundaries, redefine success on their own terms and have fun along the way.”

Parkway acquired the building overlooking Hurt Park in the midst of Georgia State University for $17.7 million in 2019. Ahead of Parkway’s purchase, developers planned on converting the building into student housing but changes in the market put the kibosh on those plans. It was formerly known as the United Way of Greater Atlanta tower.

The 18-story tower will offer ground-level retail flanked by a food and beverage operator, private terrace opportunities, +/-18,500 rectangular floor plates, conference facilities through the adjacent Loudermilk Center, and a private outdoor green space. No tenants have yet been announced for the under-construction 100 Edgewood tower.

(Click here to read the original article)

No Comments

Atlanta’s Law Firms Adapting Quickly to the Times

law firms
The COVID-19 pandemic has both fractured and consolidated a variety of businesses in a variety of sectors, creating uncertainty and opportunity. The one constant has been the need to transform to face the new normal of remote work and distancing, and to do so in record time.

Surprising as it may seem to some given its traditionalist reputation, the legal sector is among those that have moved quickly to join the transformation. Many law firms were already ahead of the curve when the pandemic hit in terms of technology. The bigger question relates to office space, long a sign of a firm’s prestige.

For what might seem forever, large, imposing offices were de rigueur for law firms. With the onslaught of COVID-19, many are now questioning whether there continues to be a real need for this massive outlay given the success of working from home. The answer appears to be a resounding no. Even pre-COVID, downsizing was starting to creep into the minds of many legal executives. In 2019, firms that signed new leases or renewals decreased square footage by 10.6% on average, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

“I think everyone is looking long term at their space needs because there is going to be a greater willingness to allow remote working,” said Gary Barnes, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson in an interview with Focus: Atlanta. “I think this will evolve but our firm is already starting to implement study groups to establish the future parameters of remote working. Once those decisions are made, we need to evaluate how this impacts the space we need.”

Technology is a big part of the equation that has made remote work a viable option for Atlanta’s firms, many of which, like Troutman Pepper, the firm created through a merger between Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton and finalized in early 2020, see remote work as a staple throughout the rest of the year, at least. “We do not anticipate being back in the office in any real way. Technology will continue to grow in importance as people try to stay connected and navigate what the new normal looks like. All law firms will struggle with the ‘new normal’ and will need to be flexible in how that looks,” said Steve Lewis, chairman of Troutman Pepper.

In a survey by Lexology, 76% of lawyers predict that the increasing importance of technology will be the top trend going forward. Troutman Pepper, for example, was already leveraging technology pre-pandemic with its eMerge subsidiary that focuses on electronic discovery. “eMerge has seen an explosion of activity in the last few months since courts have been closed,” Lewis said. “This impacts the litigation practice, but eMerge has been busy with the remainder of the discovery process. Technology has become not just something that comes out on special occasions but something essential that contributes to our daily activities.”

In a 2019 Future Ready Lawyer Survey, respondents were categorized as Technology Leaders or Transitioning in terms of their technology use. Of Technology Leaders, 62% reported an increase in profitability over the year prior, while this number was just 39% for Transitioning firms.

While some in the legal sector have thrived on this new technology, state and federal courts have moved at a different pace, says Baker Donelson’s Barnes. “I think the federal courts have done a good job at adjusting to telephone and video hearings, in part because in the bankruptcy world, telephonic hearings have been used for a long time,” he told Focus: Atlanta. “In contrast, state courts have been a little slower to adapt to telephone and video hearings, though we are starting to see more of that now.”

Whatever the outcome of the pandemic, law firms in Atlanta have already moved into the future, transforming and adapting with the times.

(Click here to read the original article)

No Comments

The Central Perimeter Boom

buildings-27

Location, Location, Location: Central Perimeter attractive to workforce moving toward suburbs

According to two recent studies, millennials who are starting to form families are leaving higher-density urban areas and seeking to live and work in the suburbs. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, which is good news for the Central Perimeter market, which includes the cities of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven, and the office-market-rich Perimeter Mall area.

“The millennial workforce is going to be living mostly in the suburbs, outside of the central business district,” said Michael Starling, director of economic development for the city of Dunwoody,” which puts Perimeter squarely in the center of where they want to be.”

This demographic shift is driving home sales in inner-ring suburbs, where submarkets such as Central Perimeter are poised to become the location of choice for companies looking to follow the workforce.

According to a Cushman & Wakefield report, “Suburban Boom: How Covid-19 May Accelerate the Trend Already in the Making,” The median age to buy a home is 33. Half of home purchases are in the suburbs , while 13% of all home purchases are in a central city.

During Covid-19, people are working and schooling from home, and therefore looking for more space.  With the single-family market booming due in part to low interest rates, a larger house in the suburbs becomes more attractive than a compact intown condo.

“Remote work and higher taxes in large cities due to declining tourism and business tax revenue are contributing to the shift away from an urban core,” states the 2021 report, “Emerging Trends in Real Estate: U.S. and Canada,” a joint project of Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC.

Sarah Kirsch, executive director of ULI Atlanta, said she sees this occurring in the metro area.

“As the workforce evolves into some form of hybrid model, combining work from home and in the office,” she added, “that shift is going to change where employees want to live.”

Between 2020 and 2030, the report found, the population of young professionals (ages 20-29), will decline by 0.4 million while the population considered in “family formation” years (ages 30–49) will grow by 8.4 million. And a lot of those families will look to the suburbs.

For office developers and leasing managers, the advantages in the Central Perimeter market include less dense working environments near retail and entertainment.

The area “is located at the geographic center of the area’s employment base and includes just about every amenity in the world,” said Alex Chambers, senior vice president at KDC, which recently topped out the third of three towers at Park Center, a massive campus site developed for State Farm.

RECOMMENDED

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

Peoplestown community opposes plan for hundreds of apartments along Southside Trail

SPORTS BUSINESS

Atlanta Hawks, Peach Bowl Inc. named to ‘Best Employers in Sports’ list

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

State Farm puts space for hundreds of employees up for sublease

Wrapped around a MARTA station, Park Center encompasses some 1.7 million square feet of office space, an additional 41,000 square feet of retail and 6,000 parking spaces for more than 8,500 employees. Construction on the project began in 2013.

“The area is not as walkable as Midtown [Atlanta], but it’s getting there,” said Chambers, adding that a number of Park Center’s design elements coincided with concerns raised by the subsequent coronavirus pandemic. For example, open interiors allow for flexible spacing of workstations and offices. Wide walkways accommodate social distancing, while terraces and balconies provide outdoor access.

“We knew that State Farm wanted employees and customers to experience something different from the normal office environment,” said Bill Halter, principal at Cooper Carey and architect for Park Center, adding that those touches are even more necessary during a pandemic. “Fast forward six or seven years, and most of these things look good for a post-Covid world.”

The Terraces, the signature twin 11-story towers at the intersection of I-285 and GA 400, recently benefited from a $15 million renovation undertaken by MetLife Investment Management. A focus of the site and facility renovation was on creating a natural flow between indoor and outdoor spaces, and encouraging employees to work around the project’s three-acre lake.

“Even pre-Covid, markets like Central Perimeter were seeing leasing activity and tenant interest because of the access to MARTA, the walkability and mix of amenities,” said Brooke Dewey, executive vice president at JLL, which leases The Terraces. “The attractiveness of those components is reinforced by what’s going on with Covid.”

As the workforce pushes to live in the suburbs, they will want to work in these types of environments, Kirsch of ULI Atlanta said.

“In the post-COVID environment,” she added, “everything is going to come down to ‘location, location, safety.’”

 

(Click here to read the original article)

No Comments

Diversity & Inclusion Awards

oneill-john

Diversity & Inclusion Awards: John O’Neill says leadership, intention and commitment keys to inclusion

In December 2013, T. Dallas Smith got a call from Cushman & Wakefield Central Region President John O’Neill asking him to help O’Neill promote industry diversity in O’Neill’s upcoming role as president of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.

“Being one of the few Black brokers in the business since 1983, I have heard this sentiment from a few white brokers over the years and to say the least I was skeptical,” said Smith, president and CEO of T. Dallas Smith & Co. “He asked me if I would help him but instead of answering the question, I gave him a homework: an assignment to watch the movie ‘42’ about the life of Jackie Robinson. And he said, ‘But you are going to help me, right?’ And I said, ‘Watch the movie and give me a call.’”

After O’Neill watched the movie, he followed up with Smith.

”I said, ‘John, the reason I wanted you to watch the movie was to understand that baseball was integrated by one white man making a decision to do it and that was Branch Rickey,’” Smith said. “I also told him the hell that Branch Rickey took from his peers in baseball and the white community overall. Crosses were burned in his yard, he was kicked out of the country club, and on and on. I said, ‘John are you willing to put up with that backlash?’ And John said, ‘Dallas, if they don’t come along, forget them. We are doing this.’ And I said, ‘I’m in.’”

Under his watch as ACBR president, O’Neill championed the formation of the diversity committee and welcomed the Empire Board of Realtists — established in 1939 by Black real estate brokers who were denied membership into the National Association of Realtors trade organization — to have a seat on the ACBR board. From the diversity committee grew the ACBR mentorship program and CRE Studio, a speaker series to promote diversity within the organization, and, finally, the CRE Race Awareness Workshop, a two-day event addressing issues of race within the industry.

O’Neill’s advocacy efforts for diversity within ACBR were an extension of his efforts within Cushman & Wakefield, where he has worked for 17 years.

“Immediately after George Floyd’s death, John was one of the first senior leaders to address the racism matter and the current events with our employees,” said Sabine Apollon-Lopez, senior director of project and development services at Cushman & Wakefield. “He genuinely was concerned about our Black employees’ well-being and safety.”

O’Neill, together with Cushman & Wakefield employee resource group BUILD (Blacks United in Leadership and Development), embarked a series of town halls on racial equity and racism, Apollon-Lopez said. His commitment continued to date with his participation and impact on the Cushman & Wakefield Racial Equity Advisory Board, she said.

RECOMMENDED

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Year in Review: Cushman & Wakefield’s acquisition of Colvill Office Properties was a Deal of the Week in February

CAREER & WORKPLACE

From conversation to action: Albany business leaders form new diversity, equity and inclusion group

MANUFACTURING

UPDATE: LookUp Aviation to sell and build Sling Aircraft kits at Smith Reynolds Airport (PHOTOS)

O’Neill is a Corporate Diversity Champion honoree in the 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle Diversity and Inclusion Awards. The award recognizes the leader of a metro Atlanta corporation who has promoted initiatives, resources and/or community involvement in advancing diversity in the region.

For O’Neill, there are three principles to increasing diversity and building a culture of inclusion: strong leadership, being intentional and having unwavering commitment.

“First, serving in a leadership role is an awesome responsibility; it’s a privilege,” O’Neill said. “Whether you’re leading a small team or a large organization, the tone a leader sets is powerful. People will, consciously or sub-consciously, model the behavior they see, and it will cascade throughout the organization. The tone at the top is a real force multiplier; it’s the foundation which everything is built from.”

Second, he said, it is critical to be intentional about inclusion.

“You must create opportunities for your team to develop meaningful relationships and appreciate their differences,” O’Neill said. “For example, standing up employee resource groups, hosting listening sessions, doing community service projects together — all important activities to foster a culture of inclusion. And it’s critical to consistently survey how people feel, learn from the results and then improve.”

And finally, you must have unwavering commitment, he added.

“You never master inclusion. There’s no point in which you declare victory. It requires an on-going commitment. … I have many friends that fear the focus and energy on DE&I in 2020 will fade away over time,” O’Neill said, “and that’s why strong leadership, intentionality and an unwavering commitment is so critical to sustainable change.”

 

(Click here to read the original article)

No Comments

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD LAUNCHES INAUGURAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM WITH PROJECT REAP

CUSHMAN_CLUB-lightened1

CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD LAUNCHES INAUGURAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM WITH PROJECT REAP

Cushman & Wakefield joined forces with Project REAP External Link (The Real Estate Associate Program), the nation’s largest talent resource for minority commercial real estate (CRE) professionals, to pilot a first-of-its-kind mentorship program with the firm’s professionals.

Through the program, 14 Cushman & Wakefield mentees from the U.S. and Canada have gained access to ULI (Urban Land Institute)/REAP’s Academy External Link, an eight-week CRE education program; 10 months of 1:1 sessions with a Senior REAP Alumni Mentor in their area of interest; enhanced visibility to industry opportunities and access to CRE networks; and a ULI membership. Three of the mentors are REAP alumni from Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta office: Janelle BeasleyRe’Nauta Bell and Brandon LaBord.

The mentorship program is one of the first outcomes from Cushman & Wakefield’s Black Equity Advisory Board (BEAB), a group of employees and executives working towards companywide initiatives supporting the recruitment, retention and development of Black colleagues. Sabine Apollon-Lopez, who serves on the BEAB Uptake Team and the leadership team of the firm’s BUILD (Blacks United in Leadership and Development) employee resource group (ERG), jumpstarted the program with REAP.

“Cushman & Wakefield’s BEAB and BUILD groups are committed to investing in our Black talent and being at the crest of providing important growth and development opportunities to our employees,” said Apollon-Lopez. “REAP is known as the No. 1 CRE minority resource across country – if not internationally – and we wanted to implement this program for rising stars at our firm in different markets so they can connect with a mentor who can give them depth of exposure and understanding of CRE.”

Apollon-Lopez was also involved in helping launch another pilot mentorship program earlier this year, a partnership between Georgia CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Chapter External Link and REAP Atlanta with Cushman & Wakefield serving as corporate sponsor.

Osayamen Bartholomew, Chief Program Officer of Project REAP, said, “For the past 22 years, REAP has had a long-standing commitment to connecting talented minority professionals to pathways and careers in CRE. The Platinum-level support of Cushman & Wakefield has enabled us to expand our programming and events with the successful execution of several career development initiatives, including townhall discussions hosted by BUILD, professional training through the ULI/REAP Virtual Academy, and the inaugural Cushman & Wakefield/REAP Mentorship program. Through our ongoing relationship, we are committed to expanding the pipeline of talent to the CRE industry and changing the competitive landscape for talent.”

Quinn Green, Co-Planning Director of REAP Atlanta, added, “The timing of this partnership could not have been better, as there is a heightened awareness more than ever before that this type of professional collaboration is truly needed to assist with moving the needle to address underrepresentation in the CRE community. We welcome others to join us by thinking and acting boldly in a similar fashion as we continue the work to provide more career changing experiences and opportunities one qualified minority professional at a time.”

In addition to the mentorship program with REAP, Cushman & Wakefield’s BUILD ERG recently hosted its first Shadow Week program with students from historically black colleges and universities, and has plans to kick off an internal mentorship program in 2021 that will pair high performing employees with senior leaders and executive sponsors within the company.

 

(Click here to read the original article)

No Comments

The Broker List “Best Commercial Real Estate Advice”

Downtown Atlanta Commercial Real Estate Specialist Re'Nauta Bell

Commercial Real Estate Advice on Why You Need to Be Authentic to Succeed

If I only had one piece of commercial real estate advice to give, it would be to be yourself at all costs.  Everything in your commercial real estate career begins with and stems from who you are.  You must learn to look at yourself like you would look at a trusted and well-known brand.  You need to understand why people should trust you.  With that understanding and some time, you can easily become a household name.

Marketing – When marketing yourself, it must come from a place of authenticity, or no one will buy what you are selling.

Mentorship – You must find a mentor, and if you are being truly authentic and marketing yourself properly, your mentor will find you.

Expectations – This. Will. Be. Hard.  Be prepared.  Be honest with yourself about your financial situation because you will need at least 3-5 years to get ramped up if you plan to go into brokerage.  Just be patient and you will see the rewards are lucrative.  Brokerage can be a very, very scary roller coaster so you must be ready for the ride.

Education – Trust me…you do not know what you do not know.  You must continuously be educating yourself to provide value-add to your clients.  Enroll in classes that will expand your knowledge-base and keep you on top of current topics and market trends.

Networking – I cannot explain enough how important networking is.  Devote yourself to a minimum of four networking opportunities per week.  Opportunities include lunches, phone calls, networking events, virtual meetings, etc.

Differentiator – Find out what your differentiator is.  What makes you unique and stand out from the crowd?  Your differentiator does not have to do anything with commercial real estate, but you can share your talent or gift with the world.  If you are a poet, volunteer to recite a piece as an opener for the next conference you attend.  If you are spiritual, wear your spirituality on your shoulder.  You will find like-minded colleagues flocking to you.  Maybe you are a social media guru.  Who knows?  Maybe that skillset helps your team on your next pitch.

All the aforementioned advice is rooted in your own authenticity.  You must show the world and the industry the “You” that you have to offer.  Once they see your sincerity, transparency, and consistency, they will begin to trust you.  If you are not authentic, then you simply will not win.

 

(Click here to read the original article)

No Comments

Cushman & Wakefield to Oversee Leasing at Concourse Corporate Center V and VI

king and queen towers atlanta
Cushman & Wakefield has been retained to oversee leasing at Concourse Corporate Center V and VI, two office towers known as the “King and Queen” buildings, located in the heart of Atlanta’s Central Perimeter submarket.
Glenn Kolker, Caroline Nolen, Re’Nauta Bell and Molly Millard of Cushman & Wakefield will lease the towers on behalf of Building and Land Technology (BLT) and Regent Partners, which total 1.38 million square feet.

“We are excited to be teaming up with Cushman & Wakefield to attract world-class tenants to our iconic ‘King and Queen’ Towers,” said Carl R. Kuehner, Chairman of BLT.

Stamford, Connecticut-based BLT is a premier vertically integrated real estate firm. For more than three decades, the firm has developed, owned, operated, managed and invested in more than 25 million square feet of real estate where individuals live, work and play. Founded in 1988 in Atlanta, Georgia, Regent Partners is a full-service real estate company with office, hotel, residential and retail developments totaling over 10 million square feet throughout the Southeast.

“These are two of the most recognizable buildings in Atlanta and the Southeast,” Kolker said. “We are excited to be retained to lease these trophy towers on behalf of BLT and Regent. Cushman & Wakefield’s national platform combined with the property’s history and reputation should bring key tenants to these buildings.”

Concourse Corporate Center V and VI are currently 87% leased to tenants including Atlanticus, Willis Towers Watson, BCD Travel and Aprio.

Concourse Office Park totals 2.16 million square feet of Class A office space. The property includes a 372-room Westin Hotel with conference facilities and the Concourse Athletic Club, which contains an indoor track, seven tennis courts, indoor/outdoor pools, spa services, and basketball, racquetball and squash courts. Additional amenities include multiple on-site restaurants, cafes and newsstands as well as two miles of running/walking trails.

MARTA and Perimeter Mall access are available via a shuttle service from the property. Concourse is located just north of Interstate 285 and directly east of Georgia 400.

 

(Click here to read the original article)

 

Additional Press:

Atlanta Business Chronicle

CoStar

Connect Atlanta

Newsbreak

Commercial Property Executive

 

No Comments

Voyage ATL “Hidden Gems”

Downtown Atlanta Commercial Real Estate Specialist Re'Nauta Bell

Meet Re’Nauta Bell of TenantBase in Buckhead

Today we’d like to introduce you to Re’Nauta Bell.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Re’Nauta. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.

I am a product of the south side of St. Louis, MO, and after experiencing the loss of my mother, I moved to Atlanta to get a fresh start. I was a new college graduate and I decided to dive into the finance industry working closely with my aunt at a national mortgage brokerage. I started out as an executive assistant but my aunt taught me how to process loans.

It didn’t take long for me to become a loan processor. Soon after that, I was promoted to senior loan processor. Everything was exciting until the company closed their wholesale division. This put us out of a job. My aunt decided to branch off on her own and I helped her to erect her own independent mortgage brokerage. We were two women on a mission and we did execute. We leased a space, hired loan officers, and worked the market.

While I was excited about my achievements, I soon became bored. I watched the loan officers running in and out of the office all day while I was stuck behind a desk processing loans. I told my aunt that I wanted to try my hand at being a loan officer. She gave me the opportunity and then I took off. Being a loan officer made more sense for me as I’m very extroverted and a lover of people. I had to be a big networker to make this change work, as I had to hunt the market for business.

We soon graduated from processing residential mortgages to commercial mortgages…and that was exciting to me. Growing up back home, I found a love for architecture. I always admired beautiful buildings and would often wonder what each room looked like inside. For some reason, these thoughts were always on my mind. When presented with the opportunity to work in commercial, I was ready to move full steam ahead.

Things were amazing and there were tons of opportunities to make money, but then we fast forward to 2008 where it all began to fall apart. The crash was encroaching upon us. I always trust my instincts so I took my earnings, left the industry, and started a business, Smudged Prntz Photography. The business was a huge success. We were published nationally and internationally but, after a while, it wasn’t enough for me.

My husband was working in commercial real estate and was a part of a program called Project REAP. The program bridges the gap between minorities and the commercial real estate industry, where we are very underrepresented. The program was in the evening so, typically, my husband would come home tired. One night, he came home excited and full of energy, which was a surprise to me. He told me about this speaker who was a broker, owned an African American tenant representation brokerage, and wrote a book (which he had a copy of). His excitement excited me so I asked if I could see the book. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. When I was finished, I knew I wanted to be a tenant representation broker. The next day, I signed up for my real estate classes.

Halfway through my classes, I knew I needed to start planning my next move. I asked my husband to reach out to the broker who wrote the book and set up a meeting. I told him not to mention me because I was planning on crashing the meeting. He set the meeting up and I did just that. There were definitely some confused faces as to why I was there, but I was doing research. I intended to join that brokerage when I got my real estate license but I needed to make sure it made sense first. I didn’t tell them about my plans that day because I wanted to wait until I got licensed to make my next move.

Once I passed my real estate exam, I sent the broker a message on LinkedIn and told him I’d like to get his input on some things I was doing. He told me to reach out to his receptionist to schedule a meeting. I was so excited because what he didn’t know this meeting was going to actually be an interview. At our first meeting, I was very quiet. I may have come off as shy but, in actuality, I was taking mental notes. I hung on every word he said and researched everything else I could find out about him when I got home that night. I knew he liked arts and entertainment so I created an animated video resume highlighting my own creativity to go along with my standard resume. I arrived at his office, shook his hand, and told him I wasn’t going to waste his time. I let him know that I was interested in joining his team and this is why he needed me. I was scared to death and I had never done brokerage before so I figured, if I can sell the broker, then I can do this.

After three long months of tenacity, they finally offered me a position as the only female tenant representation broker at an all-black firm. I was excited, nervous, and ready. Everyone in the industry told me it would take 3-5 years to get acclimated enough to really make some money but I didn’t believe them. I was always an over-achiever and assumed I would easily dominate as I always have. I joined my firm with five potential deals already in my pipeline and every single one of them died. Those first two years were the brokest and most financially dismal times that I have ever experienced in my adult life.

Learning the industry takes time. It takes even longer if you don’t have a mentor who does what you do everyday, guiding you and advising you. Without that, you have officially been accepted into the school of hard knocks…and that’s where I was. I burned through all of my savings, we were down to one income, one car, and commercial real estate is a very expensive industry to work in. Things got really, really low for me but I kept pushing. I knew the sacrifice would change my family’s lives.

After two years passed, I finally started to make some traction and people started to notice. I was recruited by a few brokerages and ultimately, I chose my current brokerage, TenantBase, who gave me the best offer.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?

The biggest challenges that I have are all things that I can’t control. They are inherited:

Sexism – Commercial real estate is a male-dominated industry. Women are finally finding a position in the industry, however, I can count on one hand the number of black female office tenant representation brokers in Atlanta. A lot of men prefer to work with men because that is how it always has been. Sometimes, women prefer to work with men for that same reason. Women are often ignored in group meetings so it is important that we find our voices and use them, especially if we have a seat at the table. We must speak up.

Racism – Only 1.3% of the commercial real estate industry is African American. There are even less African American women in the industry. Today, the industry is very focused on diversity and inclusion, however, that does not apply to all members of our industry. Sometimes there’s a very apparent “vibe” or “energy” that is felt in certain situations. It’s negative and you know it’s because of the way you look. I’m often the only black person in the room at networking events so I’m very familiar with the feeling.

Ageism – Commercial real estate is a very old industry. A lot of people came into this industry and simply never left because it didn’t make sense to. Many companies are used to letting their commercial real estate needs be handled by an older man. They don’t trust the youth to have enough experience to be responsible for, what could be, millions of dollars. I look younger than I am so I have to work a little harder to prove my competence. Many of our leaders in the industry are beginning to age out so mindsets will have to change.

Please tell us about TenantBase.

I work in the commercial real estate industry specializing in Office Tenant Representation. As a Tenant Representation Broker, I focus on helping businesses (Tenants) secure office space in commercial property to run their business. I’m known for putting my clients first, knowing my shit, and my “smile and dial” approach to finding locations and prospects. I’m most proud of my ability to give back to communities and educate business professionals on the ABCs of commercial leasing. I’ve been able to help corporate businesses such as Mister Car Wash and Radio One to find office space to expand their operations to the Atlanta market. It gives me great pride to know that I am instrumental in the growth and success of the boom Atlanta is experiencing. What sets me apart from others are my tenacious negotiating skills, market knowledge, and ability to creatively craft the right terms and location for my clients.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?

When I was a little girl sometimes my mom would wake my sister and I up and tell us that we were taking a “mental health day”. This was always some random day, and for seemingly no apparent reason. Mom would call us out of school, she would call out of work, and we would go and just have a ton of fun all day long. She used to take us to this awesome little subway shop in University City called Amighetti’s. We would get sandwiches and go the art museum or the history museum or go hang out in The Loop, which is was this cool and eclectic collection of shops on a strip in the middle of the city. Sometimes we would go on a picnic in this little secret spot that we had in Forest Park before they added the lake. We didn’t have a lot of money but she never lacked in creativity. Mom was really cool like that and I learned a lot from her before she died. Those days seemed so magical to me. They were sun-kissed like a scene out of a movie.

(Click here to read the original article)

No Comments

People On The Move

Re'Nauta Bell

Re’Nauta Bell joins T. Dallas Smith & Company as a tenant representation broker after leaving the financial industry.  She accompanies prospective clients to discuss property features, leasing rates, and terms.  She also compiles property data for clients, such as tenant surveys, summary reports, maps, status updates, and presentations for listing or tenant representative assignments.

 

(Click here to read the original article)